Usman A Khan Tahir -Pakistan
George Orwell once said: "All propaganda is lies, even when one is telling the truth."
Every country in the world carries out some form of propaganda, and they do it because that is in their self-interests. In order to do that they hire propagandists. Some propagandists are fully aware that they are propagandists, while some other naive ones think that they are being uber-patriotic, and doing that is something noble and holy. In order to carry out a successful propaganda you also need an enemy that you know people would love to hate, and will gladly participate in it.
For the Assad regime ever since the Syrian revolution started in Deraahe started calling all protestors as terrorists. Fighting against such a brutal regime was the only option left for Syrians, and that is exactly what he wanted. The Assad propaganda is one of the most vicious propagandas of today where all opposition fighting against the Assad regime is brushed as terrorists by the Assad supporters. The barrel bombs are consistently denied as just bombs. In a recent interview to ‘Sunday Times’ Bashar Al-Assad had this to say about the barrel-bombs:
“ So, the issue is not these so-called barrel bombs and this evil president killing the good people who are fighting for freedom. This romantic image is not the case. It is about how you use your armaments, rather than the difference between so called barrel bombs and high precision missiles. It is about how you use these weapons, what kind of information you have and your intention. “
He further goes on to say “Are we going to shoot ourselves in the foot? That is not realistic and not logical. This propaganda cannot be sold anymore.” And yet his regime continues dropping barrel bombs on Syrians, and this is something undisputable.Russia aggressively supports the Assad regime, and ever since the Russian airstrikes started happening in Syria the Russian media has consistently used propaganda as a tool to further its own interests. Russia has attacked ISIS only 15% of the times, and the other times it has attacked non-ISIS rebels that are fighting against the Assad regime. The area where Turkey shot down the Russian plane had no ISIS controlled territory, and it has to be said that if Russia is really attacking ISIS then what were its planes doing so close to the Turkmen territories? Russian airstrikes have consistently attacked, and killed scores of Syrian civilians which Russia has always denied. The recent propaganda employed by the Russian media, and the Assad apologists is to link Turkey with buying ISIS oil.
If we look at the Gulf than Saudi Arabia loves to blame everything on Iran, and by the same token Iran loves to blame everything on Saudi Arabia. During the Mina stampede the Iranian media was practically falling over itself to pin all the blame on Saudi authorities. And Saudi media and apologists were trying their best to somehow link Iran with it. The truth here is that both of these countries have played a big role in destabilizing Middle-East. Saudi Arabia is busy destroying Yemen while Iran has already destroyed Syria by consistently supporting the Assad regime.
When it comes to USA however the enemies keep on changing. Nazi Germany in the past, the threat of communism after that, Al-Qaeda until very recently, and now the death-cult known as ISIS. One has to wonder what on earth happened to the old enemy Al-Qaeda? Al-Qaeda has actually utilized the lack of spotlight on itself really well. AQ wouldn’t have been disheartened by it too much, and yes some of the fighters have preferred joining the ranks of ISIS now ever since ISIS burst on to the terrorist scene, but regardless of that Al-Qaeda is still very much alive. It controls an entire city of 'Al Mukalla' in Yemen, and its faction in Syria which according to some analysts is only loosely affiliated with AQ has gained legitimacy from the Syrians because of its apparently excellent record of fighting the Assad regime. It even has presence in Mali, Somalia and some other regions.
But forget about AQ, it is ISIS now which is the poster child of all terrorists, and governments everywhere can’t wait to "contain" ISIS. Yes, that`s right not *destroying* ISIS, but to just contain them. Imagine you have an enemy that is hell-bent to destroy you, and your response is to just contain them. And that is part of the reason why Russian airstrikes target ISIS only 10-15% of the times, because anything more might destroy them, and we don't want that. US airstrikes only weaken ISIS here or there, but never really destroy them because we have to "contain" them.
And just 2 days ago the US led coalition airstrikes killed multiple civilians in Syria, and that plays right in the hands of ISIS, and its own macabre propaganda. ISIS feeds on this‘us versus them’ narrative, and tries to project itself the only option against the violence and oppression of the West.
If one is looking for saints then you are not going to find any. The likes of Rumi no longer live among us. In these constantly shifting narratives in the Middle-East each side likes to claim its own version as the truth and the rest as ‘propaganda’.
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