the recent horrific deaths of 126 people, including 68 children, on buses taking people out of the US-backed jihadi-besieged towns of Foua and Kefraya in Syria.
The very first thing to be said is that the BBC in the above-linked article makes absolutely no reference to terrorism. It doesn't use the words 'terrorists' or 'terrorism' even once. The only thing we get is "bomb attack", "attack" or "bus attack". We should all justifiably be outraged that the innocent civilians of this henious act aren't even afforded the dignity of being named victims of terrorism.
The article makes no comments on the horror of children's suffering who made up over 50% of the deaths. Apart from the description of 68 killed, the only reference to this attack being unconscionable is a quote from Pope Francis, saying it was a "vile attack on fleeing refugees".
This is what you call 'de-weaponising propaganda'. The natural reaction of most people to this event is that it is likely the work of the "Syrian rebels," and such a huge loss of life would draw quick criticism of the West's support for these jihadi mercenaries. So to protect Western government assets in Syria, the BBC attempts to obfuscate the truth with innocuous descriptions, while pursuing other angles that subtly shift responsibility from the US-backed terrorists to the Syrian government.
To take the heat out of public rage towards the 'rebels', the BBC report states that "no group has claimed responsibility for the bus attack." But by saying no "group" the BBC is muddying the waters. We can say there are only two groups who could be responsible; forces under the control of Bashar Al-Assad and the opposition forces. But there are many different groups that make up the 'opposition forces'.
While it may be conjecture at the moment to categorically point the finger of blame, it can be said with confidence that it was very likely some element of 'the opposition'. While the BBC casually points out with a one liner that no one has stepped forward to claim responsibility, it coincidentally forgets that we are in the midst of an epic public relations battle being waged in the war on Syria. What opposition individual militia, let alone alliance of fighters are going to confess to gruesomely murdering 68 children?
Idlib governorate, in which the attack took place, has been under the control of Jabhat Fateh Al-Sham (Al-Nusra) led Salafi-Jihadists since early 2015, who have imposed a virtual Islamist emirate in the province. The extremist ideology prevailing in the region only hardened after the agreement for hard line opposition fighters to relocate to Idlib following the liberation of Aleppo.
Space is at a premium in any article by the BBC, but given their scant coverage of the deaths of children, surely they have space to devote to exposing the extremist nature of the "rebels" who are likely responsible.
They could have told us that Hayʼat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) a hardline Salafist coalition emerged from the infighting that plagued the Jihadists in early 2017. HTS is ostensibly led by Jabhat Fateh Al-Sham and includes the infamous Nour Al-Din Al-Zenki who beheaded a 12 year old boy who was unfortunate enough to fall into their clutches. Al-Zenki has emerged as one of the names alleged to be behind the terrorist attack. The BBC could have mentioned Al-Zenki, but instead opted for vague non committed statements in the face of an event which would, if the truth were told, elicit great outrage and emotion. Obviously only attacks instantly blamed on Bashar Al-Assad, such as the chemical weapons incident at Khan Shekhoun, are written in a way to draw out our outrage.
Or they could have kept it simple: 'The "rebels" are led by Al-Qaeda, the group that murdered 3000 people on 9/11'.
Having done its best to nullify our senses and obfuscate responsibility for this truly grotesque act of terrorism, the BBC amazingly begins the game of blame shifting.
The BBC tells us that their Middle East correspondent, Lina Sinjab "said it was not clear how the vehicle could have reached the area without government permission."
This single sentence is a real contender for the 2017 award for insulting everyone's intelligence. The buses were evacuating people from "rebel" controlled areas. The only permission required for vehicles, or anything else for that matter, to be in the area comes from the terrorists who almost certainly are responsible for this atrocity. Apparently the BBC has also forgotten the many incidences of "ISIS" and other 'rebel' groups in Syria killing people who attempted to flee their areas of control.
Next the article says:
"But there is also no evidence that rebels were involved in the attack, as the government claims."We should all be overjoyed that the BBC has discovered that evidence is required before accusations are made. It is a pity they didn't discover this basic principle on 3 April. If so, they, like virtually all mainstream media and western politicians wouldn't have accused Assad of gassing civilians in Khan Shekhoun on 4 April, without any evidence whatsoever.
Finally, to steer the reader's thoughts towards the possibility of this being a government attack the article says:
"It would not be in the rebels' interest, our correspondent says, as they were waiting for their own supporters to be evacuated from the other towns."But the BBC's insightful journalist then pulls the rug out from under her own argument by saying the "exchange later resumed, with coaches reaching safety on both sides."
If the government perpetrated the attack to blame the opposition, we might expect it would refuse to continue the evacuation of the towns it has besieged, Madaya and Al-Zabadani. But it did not.
The demolition of the argument is complete when we are told:
"A previous attempt at mutual evacuations failed in December when rebels burnt coaches due to be sent to the towns"So the "rebels" have done this before. Not in a different situation in another location, but in the very same location when they jubilantly sang and shouted as they burned buses that were due to evacuate people from these long suffering towns.
I and many others would strongly argue this was in the interests of the terrorists. As far as the Western press and the NATO/Israel/Gulf state backers of the terrorist groups in Syria are concerned, if blame can't be falsely apportioned to Assad, then attacks against civilians in Syria aren't really worth condemning.
On the other hand, it would be a disaster for Assad, already beleaguered over accusations on Khan Shekhoun - despite no concrete evidence- if the attack was blamed on him. The pressure on him to step down, already immense, would reach fever pitch. So a false flag may very well be in the "rebels interest."
In a sane, rational world, to carry this off successfully as a false flag would have little chance of success. However, the protagonists seeking regime change are far from sane and rational. The propaganda is ubiquitous. The terrorists and their backers know they have a compliant western media, all too willing to please in acting as government propaganda mouth pieces. This attack is likely to be a precursor however, with another false flag involving chemical weapons to come.
Paul is a budding freelance writer who currently works in the welfare industry in Melbourne, Australia.
Areas of interest include: Russia/US conflict, wars in the Middle East, particularly Syria, the conflict in Ukraine, the occupation of Palestine by Israel, the damage to our economies from the global financial markets, the debt trap imposed on states by bankers seeking to privatize assets and "reform" economies while they line their pockets with cash and impoverish local populations.