by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley
In preparation for talks on Syria this month, the U.S. corporate media is pretending to be concerned about the Syrians of Madaya, caught between the lines of a war deliberately begun by the United States and its allies. “Every time a president says that Saddam must go or Gaddafi must go or Assad must go a new terror is created for unfortunate people in a far away place.” Madaya is one of those many, many places plunged into misery by the U.S.
Freedom Rider: The U.S. Starves Syria
by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley
“If the corporate media in the United States are truly interested in the plight of Syrians perhaps they ought to do the real work of journalism instead of acting as courtiers for the Obama administration.”
The degree to which the American corporate media will cover up for American foreign policy atrocities knows no bounds. The country’s leading newspapers and broadcasters have supported every official lie from Lyndon Johnson’s Gulf of Tonkin resolution in Vietnam to George W. Bush’s claim of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. News reports concerning areas suffering from American interventions should be taken with a great deal of skepticism. In light of the past history of propaganda, the context of recent stories about the people of Madaya, Syria should be closely scrutinized.
The American plan for regime change in Syria has killed 250,000 people and displaced 9 million more. There would be no bullets, bombs or sieges absent the United States and the rest of NATO, Saudi Arabia and Turkey attempting to overthrow the Bashar al-Assad government. All of the people who drowned in the Mediterranean as they tried to flee bloodshed were killed by the United States. The towns and cities that have been destroyed by warring armies were in fact destroyed by the United States. Absent American action, none of the other parties would have taken on this project
It is important to keep these facts in mind when seeing footage of starving people in Madaya. The corporate media lay all of the blame at Assad’s feet and claim that the Syrian army is holding people hostage. There are in fact many Madayas in Syria with starving populations but if the narrative doesn’t make the case for western aggression the story disappears. According to the United Nations some 400,000 Syrians are trapped by combatants in hard to reach areas and are in desperate need of humanitarian aid.
“The towns and cities that have been destroyed by warring armies were in fact destroyed by the United States.”
The cities of Fou’aa and Karaya were also cut off from aid but the people there were victims of the U.S. backed “moderate rebels.” The inhabitants of these cities were also reduced to eating leaves. They too fainted from hunger. But their suffering didn’t make Assad look bad or America look good so the story went straight down the memory hole.
Madaya is surrounded by the Syrian army and also by Ahrar Al-Sham, an al-Qaeda linked group and among those so-called “moderates” supported by the United States in its regime change effort. If the corporate media in the United States are truly interested in the plight of Syrians perhaps they ought to do the real work of journalism instead of acting as courtiers for the Obama administration.
While images of hungry children are the story du jour from Syria, the White House continues in its relentless effort to get an elected president out of power no matter what the consequences. A State Department memo leaked to the Associated Press proves that the Obama administration continues pressing for Assad’s ouster and has even come up with a date, March 2017, when they plan for him to be gone. This optimistic scenario assumes that the Syrian army will collapse, a prediction that has been wrong ever since 2011. It also assumes that Russia and Iran will do an about face and leave Assad at America’s mercy. Both predictions are dubious. When the memo became public the State Department was caught red faced and red handed. They called it a “staff level think piece,” an unofficial document and an exercise of no consequence.
The timing of news about Madaya is especially convenient. United Nations talks in Geneva will begin at the end of this month and anything that promotes the administration theme of Assad being evil and having to leave is helpful. It is true that people are starving in Madaya. They are hungry all over Syria and that is why they risk their lives in unseaworthy boats to get to Europe.
“The Obama administration continues pressing for Assad’s ouster and has even come up with a date, March 2017, when they plan for him to be gone.”
War is all hell and before Americans go along when Obama or his successor call for bloodshed they need to keep these images in mind. Every time a president says that Saddam must go or Gaddafi must go or Assad must go a new terror is created for unfortunate people in a far away place.
It is important to keep in mind that the United States does not have clean hands as a humanitarian nation. The Obama administration deliberately kept food aid from reaching Somalians in an effort to break the al-Shabaab resistance. That is a war crime by any definition. Yet we never saw footage of starving Somalians on television or in the newspapers.
The folly of trying to overthrow Assad is so obvious that the Joint Chiefs of Staff shared intelligence with his government through intermediaries in Russia, Israel and Germany. This information comes from Seymour Hersh who has proven once again that true journalism still lives. Few of his colleagues dare to ask what will become of Syria if Assad should fall. Apparently one Libya isn’t enough for the Obama administration. Chaos is the order of the day for the United States.
Anyone with even a small degree of empathy wants to help people in Syria. The best way to do that is to demand that the United States leave that country alone. Syrians can return home and rebuild their lives if there are no foreign powers interfering with their country. The United Nations and the Syrian government have pledged aid to Madaya and other communities. In the meantime concerned Americans can demand that their country stay out. Non-intervention is exactly what all Syrians need.
Margaret Kimberley's Freedom Rider column appears weekly in BAR, and is widely reprinted elsewhere. She maintains a frequently updated blog as well as at http://freedomrider.blogspot.com. Ms. Kimberley lives in New York City, and can be reached via e-Mail at Margaret.Kimberley(at)BlackAgendaReport.com.