Saturday, 1 June 2013

Think Tank Propaganda and 'The Case for Intervention' In Syria.

After William Hague pushed the case for intervention in Syria, in getting the EU embargo on arms to Syria lifted, many US neoconservative think tanks have stepped up the propaganda that backs or "advocates" such a cause to be embraced. Two pieces of propaganda presented themselves this week.

The first propaganda piece was written by David Schenker who wrote,
This week, British Foreign Secretary William Hague issued a statement describing the lifted arms embargo as "a clear signal to the Assad regime that it has to negotiate seriously" in Geneva, warning that, "all options remain on the table if it refuses to do so". Let's hope he's serious ( my italics )
William Hague is serious. He, like Shencker, is serious. This is precisely the problem. Intelligent people following messianic policies based on the pseudo-reality of groupthink, that is encouraged by 'think tanks' when 'gaming' ,and the advocacy of 'solutions' that displaces independent thought.

Such propaganda is easy to dissect.It is important that people learn to read propaganda closely and dismantle the assumptions and scan the language closely to replace it will self evident truths as opposed to simplistic propaganda falsehoods masquerading as 'analysis'.

The mechanisms of indoctrination and thought control are advanced by certain rhetorical tricks. For example,
Despite overwhelming odds and this heavy toll, Syrian rebels made some remarkable gains on the battlefield......Lately, however, opposition forces experienced setbacks as Assad's allies – Russia, Iran and the Lebanese Shiite terrorist organization Hezbollah – have reinforced the regime.
The obvious thrust here is to insinuate that by backing the heroic 'rebels', the 'opposition' would overcome 'setbacks' and 'win' while the most likely result is to ratchet up the carnage to levels reached in Iraq after the US and UK invasion of 2003.

Opposition forces are termed 'rebels' when the objective term would be 'insurgents', one better applied to Hizbollah no less than the Sunni militias and jihadists. Those that US based think tanks and their model pupils such as Hague tend to follow blindly as they have no real independent ideas.

The BBC too needs to drop the use of the term 'rebels' and use the word 'insurgents' instead.

Another mechanism of propaganda is the premise of a false unity of purpose that is not evident in reality but is pre-supposed to be true so that any assertion that contradicts this can be used to ram home hard the propaganda about 'doing something' as as one concerted exertion. 
 Until now, the EU and the US have done relatively little to suggest they really want the opposition to win.
The EU and the US are not some Orwellian power block termed Oceania. The US and UK have continually suggested they want to insurgents to win and the opposition to win ( even if the blood price is somewhat high ). Clinton and Hague repeated 'Assad Must Go' from very early on in the Syrian conflict.

In fact 'regime change' has been the Game Plan from the outset. To pretend that this has not been the case is to ignore the reality that US and UK goverments have been demanding 'Assad Must Go' and at the same time sending the CIA and MI6 to help funnel arms to the insurgents.
...the ( Geneva ) conference will discredit the opposition's political leadership in the eyes of the rebels, and further fragment an already hapless political opposition. In any event, Assad has no intention of quitting Syria.
This presupposes the opposition's political leadership was not marked by divisions in the first place and contradicts the fact that there are opposition forces in the military struggles against Assad that has led the Revolutionary Movement to disown the Syrian National Council as unrepresentative.

There is no singular political opposition in the singular but oppositional forces both in the military struggle and in politics.
...the dangers of continued western inaction – including the destabilization of both Lebanon and Jordan, and/or the leakage of Assad's chemical weapons to terrorist organizations – far outweigh those associated with providing weapons to the rebels.
The dangers are incalcuble in ramping up the military conflict and civil war without a means to bring about an end to the war as Schenker himself admits is one likely to go on for a long time. It will draw in the Great global and regional players to keep backing their proxies.

This is a far more dangerous situation as it leads to a slippery slope where the Global Powers feel compelled to defend their 'credibility' as partners and refuse to back down as the outcome of the struggle in Syria becomes more and more a global one about hegemony in the Middle East.

It seems many do not understand how this could destabilise not just the Middle East but the peace of the globe. In many cases, there is an indifference to the scale of the civilian casualties that will occur if the conflict is accelerated through becoming a general geopolitical proxy war for dominance in the Middle East.

Kori Schake's so-called 'analysis' of the conflict in Syria and what 'the West' is supposed to 'do' about it is also propaganda of a transparently a neoconservative sort that throws in words such as 'humanitarian' simply to rationalise the messianic foreign policy of John McCain.

The chilling thing about this is that there really might be an alternative worse than Barack Obama. There is an almost insane lack of reality to the world inhabited by the neoconservative in which knowlege and caution is replaced by fanaticism and purely abstract geopolitical formulations.

As an explanation for what 'the West' is to do, what it 'could, 'ought' or 'should do', this geopolitical wish thinking is worse than useless as analysis. As a document stating how and why those itching to intervene in Syria want to and what they are prepared to do it is of great value.
The west has interests at stake in Syria: protecting people from predatory governments and stopping the proliferation of heavy weapons. We should protect our allies the friendly states around Syria, and work to reduce the pressure on them.
Evidently, the West has interests in Syria: protecting oil supplies from the destabilising effects enabled by Saudi Arabia and Qatar in backing the Sunni insurgents and forestalling the construction of the Iran-Iraq-Syria pipeline, The two Gulf States started backing jihadists before Hizbollah entered the conflict
Forestalling an eruption of Sunni-Shia violence and a deeper schism serves regional stability, and similarly, people will be safer after exposing Iranian malfeasance and cutting supply lines to Hezbollah and Hamas.
Iran was never going to voluntarily allow 'friendly allies' of the US such as Saudi Arabia arm Sunni insurgents to take out their main ally in the Middle East. Moreover, the black farce is that the liberated Iraq has returned Shia dominated governments under Maliki favourable to Iran and Syria.

Saudi 'malfeasance' is as great as Iranian 'malfeasance' but, in accordance with doublethink, Saudi Arabia is a 'friendly ally' and Syria is a land in need of 'humanitarian assistance' through doing what every responsible humanitarian organisation has said the US should not do-i.e arm the insurgents.
A humanitarian rationale is also the strongest case for changing Russia's policy, a precondition for the Obama administration. Russia is concerned about violent Islamism in the Caucasus; we should invite them into a positive role, emphasize the goodwill they can earn by assisting Muslims in Syria.
Russia does not generally care much for humanitarian rationales but in asserting its national interests as best it can. If it is not in Russia's interest to allow Assad to fall ( as Schake suggests is the reason for Russia intervening ) then why would they 'want' to assist undefined 'Muslim's in Syria ?

The tired 'humanitarian' rhetoric' is making the populations of Western countries weary as militant think tankers and politicians pretend that shoddy UK and French realpolitik in relation to Syria is anything to do with caring about the civilians trapped in an appallingly savage conflict.

As this utterly deranged claim proves,
Arming the rebels is an unattractive option, given the increasingly radicalized factions, but rebel forces are strong enough to protect camps, provided that we protect against the Assad regime's air and rocket forces. The government's main advantage is heavy weaponry; therefore we should shoot down any combat aircraft the government uses. Missiles from stand-off range, cratering runways, or impeding their electronics and communications would all work to this end. We probably could not prevent missile weapons, but we should retaliate against any unit that fires them, degrading their forces with time, as Senators Levin and McCain have suggested.
Clearly, the alleged delivery of Russian anti-aircraft missile would forestall that possibility and the prospect of ramping up the stakes in Syria and triggering off the destruction of globe via World War Three is of little importantance. Such interventions would ensure permanent peace.
...rebel forces are strong enough to protect camps...Opposition groups should be permitted to run the camps, giving them the chance to gain experience governing and public legitimacy. Humanitarian assistance would give us routine working relationships with rebels, allowing us to identify both jihadists and positive leaders
That would go like clockwork, of course. Ensuring the big mass slaughters and reprisals. Just as in Iraq where ethnic cleansing by Shia militias was allowed by the US as the price of stabilising a country ripped apart by sectarian violence.

No comments:

Post a Comment