by Philip Roddis
Today’s Guardian (December 18th) plumbs new depths in its narrative on Syria. A Spotlight Piece by Olivia Solon – her profile refers to her as “a senior technology reporter for Guardian US in San Francisco” – carries the header, How Syria’s White Helmets became victims of an online propaganda machine, and opens like this:
The Syrian volunteer rescue workers known as the White Helmets have become the target of an extraordinary disinformation campaign that positions them as an al-Qaida-linked terrorist organisation.
I confess, I’m aware of but haven’t looked into claims of White Helmets working closely with al-Quaeda, Jabhat al-Nusra or other terrorist outfits. I do know the West has a record stretching back through Afghanistan in the eighties to Churchill’s peg on nose support for Saudi jihadists after the fall of the Ottomans. As one who deems Syria’s elected government – indeed, Syria’s secular state – target of an extraordinary disinformation campaign by Western interests who for reasons set out below aim to prime us for further regime change in the middle east, I object.
In a second paragraph worthy of the Daily Mail, Solon proudly tells us that:
The Guardian has uncovered how this counter-narrative is propagated online by a network of anti-imperialist activists, conspiracy theorists and trolls with the support of the Russian government (which provides military support to the Syrian regime).
We already know the Russian government is evil. It worms its way into right-thinking American brains, urging their owners in satanic whispers to vote the way they know they shouldn’t. It poisons dissidents, cheats at sport and has the bally cheek to bomb ISIL in Aleppo instead of watching Assad go the way of Gaddafi and Saddam while the good guys over the border bomb ISIL in Mosul.
(Pulling two demoniser narratives together delivers more than a BOGOF. When the Get Corbyn agenda merged with that of Friends of Israel over Shah-Livingstone, a multiplier effect arose from two powerful and mutually reinforcing myths. With such dog-whistle journalism, the piece practically writes itself.)
Only this morning,