Friday, April 6, 2018

US pulling out of Syria? Won’t happen, too much at stake – Eva Bartlett on Redacted Tonight

RT | Apr 6, 2018

The US should, but likely won’t, pull out of Syria soon, independent journalist Eva Bartlett told RT’s Lee Camp. She added that you have to be “brain-dead” to believe the myths used by the US to justify the conflict.

Comedy show Redacted Tonight hosted by Lee Camp strikes a more serious tone in its special interview editions. This week he spoke with Bartlett – whose extensive reporting from inside Syria has challenged mainstream coverage of the conflict – about what the US is doing in Syria, the human cost of “bringing democracy” to the Middle East, and the many myths used by the West to justify its involvement in the war.

 US President Donald Trump’s recent comments about wanting to bring home US forces currently operating in Syria caused an uproar in Washington and the media. Administration officials quickly clarified that while an immediate withdrawal was not being seriously considered, Trump was opposed to maintaining a long-term presence in the country.

“I wish it were true, but I don’t think it is true,” Bartlett said, commenting on the hypothetical pull-out. “America is clearly still embedded in eastern Syria and doesn’t seem to have any interest in leaving soon.” She said that the US is “still supporting forces against Syria” and has “oil and strategic power” interests in the country. “So I don’t foresee, unfortunately, Trump’s words coming true any time soon,” she told Camp.

Camp then asked Bartlett about how the US justifies its presence in the country – despite having no UN mandate or invitation from the Syrian government to conduct its operations – mimicking the popular Western narrative that “there was a peaceful grassroots movement [in Syria], and we went in to help them against the terrible dictator! We’re bringing democracy, we’re bringing freedom! – just like we did in Iraq, right? Bring democracy and freedom.”

Pointing out that similar talking points were used to rationalize the disastrous Western intervention in Libya in 2011, Bartlett said that she was amazed that people are still gullible enough to believe that US military operations in the Middle East have anything to do with democracy promotion.

“You have to be brain-dead or you have to have an agenda” to believe the “myth” that peaceful, pro-democracy demonstrations allegedly sparked the conflict, Bartlett added. She said that Syrians told her there were demonstrations prior to war breaking out – but they were sectarian and violent in nature.

The wide-ranging interview also touched upon some of the more egregious examples of misinformation peddled by Western media about the conflict, as well as the shady background behind the White Helmets and other NGOs operating in Syria.

Appearing every Friday on RT America, Redacted Tonight is a satirical take on the news hosted by American comedian Lee Camp. On Thursdays, Camp hosts special interview segments on hot political and public issues.

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