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Syria: With friends like that who needs enemies?

Posted: 2012-07-07
From: Mathaba
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Mathaba News Analyst Dr Sahib Mustaqim Bleher asks pertinent questions of China and Russia and their failure to challenge western propaganda

Dr Sahib Mustaqim Bleher

Today, 6 July, Paris is hosting a third meeting of the so-called "Friends of Syria" group, another coalition of the willing and coerced, as part of the ongoing propaganda war to aid the reshaping of the Middle East in the interest of American imperialism - a project begun with 9/11 and the conquest of Iraq and Afghanistan.

The group of "friends" is essentially made up of two constituents: those who want to profit from the pillage and those who want to avoid or at least delay being pillaged themselves. Most of the attending Arab countries fit in the latter category, painfully aware that the "Arab Spring", the subterfuge for catapulting American-friendly Muslim Brotherhood governments (for details of that cozy relationship see my book "Surrendering Islam") into power through engineered popular unrest, could also engulf them any time they step out of line.

The situation of Syria is constantly being presented as a civil unrest having turned into a civil war with international humanitarian intervention required in order to counter government oppression. It is a re-run of the same model of regime change having been accomplished in Libya, except that this time Russia and China are no longer standing by altogether naively.

There is a lot which doesn't add up with this story broadcast throughout the loyal media outlets. How does civil unrest turn into civil war without the outside supply of arms? We do not expect oppressed people suffering under the yoke of cruel dictatorship to have acquired machine guns and heavy artillery from their local grocery store. So Western governments are arming the Syrian opposition, which makes the moralising of Hilary Clinton about Russia supporting the Syrian government and thereby prolonging the suffering sound rather hollow.

I do not for a moment deny that there are grievances the Syrian people have. But by turning dissatisfaction into an armed rebellion the West is guilty of destabilising the country. Of course, that is exactly, what they wanted to do, but it is not justifiable by international standards. I do not know of any country where there are no grievances. If Russia and China armed dissidents in the US or had armed last year's rioters in Britain, would that have given them the right to demand that Obama or Cameron must go and hand over to the protesters in the interest of world peace?

Will the people of Tunisia, Egypt and Libya be grateful for having been allowed to exchange regimes that have outlived their usefulness with new American-groomed collaborators brought into power through engineered social unrest followed by the farce of allegedly "democratic" elections held under ex-constitutional arrangements for which the people never voted? Only time will tell, but history does not hold out much promise for the people of those countries. Nobody, of course, wants us to relativate emotionally charged propaganda slogans by looking at history.

What is difficult to understand is, however, why the Russian bear and the world's leading economy of China are so subdued and quiet on the matter. They're not attending the "Friends of Syria" conference, but they're not challenging it either. In Libya they allowed themselves to be tricked by blindly believing the West would gentlemen-like honour assurances and international agreements and would not violate the sanctity of nation states by open military intervention to depose the existing government without at least the pretence of a threat to their own security. In the case of Syria, they no longer nod through an elastically worded UN security council resolution which can be used to give them the green light to send in the bombers. But they are nonetheless allowing themselves to lose the propaganda war.

Unless those two countries - the only ones capable of counter-balancing the American-Israeli hold on world affairs - stop being defensive and launch their own propaganda offensive, they will continue to be seen as the villains stubbornly standing in the way of a just world peace. What is it that stops them pointing the finger at Western nations arming the militias set up to overthrow the Syrian government? What is is that stops them naming names and exposing the supply routes? What is it that stops them challenging the American vision of world hegemony directly?

Is it that because they are not part of the English-speaking world that they underestimate or misjudge the potency of Western propaganda?

Is it that they do not understand sufficiently that for Western democracies those lies are essential in order to keep their own populations on side without having to reign them in through oppressive emergency laws and increased police powers readily available through anti-terrorism legislation? And having to do that would divert resources from meddling elsewhere.

Or do they still trust the West more than they should?

America has been at war throughout her history, and except for the war of independence, all those wars were fought on other people's soil. The American empire has now finally reached the stage of decline and impending collapse, but it won't go quietly. As if to hold on for dear life, her leaders have gone on another rapid and rampant expansion drive and have begun to reshape Asia and Africa politically and militarily, and maybe the weakening of Europe through its financial crisis is also part of the plan.

By entering into an alliance with Russia as well as challenging the supremacy of the dollar through a number of direct currency deals, China has finally upped the game. For years, China and Russia have sat back to led the West bleed itself out through overstretch. Confucian or Taoist as that may be, today, that strategy is no longer enough to prevent serious damage. Whilst it is sensible to tire out an opponent, sometimes you have to block or even strike so as not to get hurt yourself. What China and Russia need to understand is that winning the propaganda war can sometimes prevent having to fight the shooting war or, at least, it will provide an advantage in it. And the language of propaganda is English.
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