The Grayzone’s Max Blumenthal has published the first part of an investigative series on how so-called non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are being used to manipulate the narrative about what’s going on in Syria by posing as impartial investigative bodies and circulating pro-imperialist disinformation to the western political/media class as objective fact.
Part one is titled “Behind the Syrian Network for Human Rights: How an opposition front group became Western media’s go-to monitor”, and it documents a mountain of evidence that one of these “NGOs” is in fact very much state-funded and highly biased in favor of anti-Assad forces, yet still gets cited as an independent source by western mass media outlets in a way that just so happens to help make the case for western interventionism in Syria.
“Citing the Syrian Network for Human Rights as an independent and credible source is the journalistic equivalent of sourcing statistics on head trauma to a research front created by the National Football League, or turning to tobacco industry lobbyists for information on the connection between smoking and lung cancer. And yet this has been standard practice among correspondents covering the Syrian conflict,” Blumenthal writes. “Indeed, Western press has engaged for years in an insidious sleight of hand, basing reams of shock journalism around claims by a single, highly suspect source that is deeply embedded within the Syrian opposition – and hoped that no one would notice.”
Major media outlets rely on the Syrian Network for Human Rights as a go-to source.
— The Grayzone (@GrayzoneProject) June 14, 2019
I’ve taken to calling such things “narrative management operations” lately, because that’s a much clearer illustration of their function than simply labeling them propaganda constructs and psyops (though those labels are certainly accurate as well). Countless operations have been set up both inside and outside of Syria to control the narrative about what’s happening there, and now if a casual observer decides to find out more about the Syrian conflict they’ll almost certainly be consuming information that has been filtered through narrative management ops that have been funded by governments within the US-centralized power alliance.