Self-delusion in the West

by on December 15, 2016 in International affairs

The Western media and political classes have conned themselves into believing their narrative on Syria.

But this is nothing new. They conned themselves into believing their narrative on Ukraine. (A peaceful pro-democracy uprising against a Russian-backed corrupt government).

The narrative on Syria is that Russia and Syria and Iran are guilty of horrendous war crimes in their “conquest” of Aleppo.

This is the Guardian describing one of the rebel groups in Eastern Aleppo:

A spokesperson for Noureddine al-Zinki, one of the armed opposition groups in Aleppo, said the deal would also allow the evacuation of wounded people in Fua and Kefraya, two Shia villages in Idlib province that are besieged by rebels. (Guardian)

This group has received US weapons. [1] This group became notorious in July this year for chopping the head off a young boy. Amnesty International has also accused this group of abduction and torture of human rights workers and journalists. [2] Oh well, just another “armed opposition group” as far as the Guardian is concerned.

At the UN Samantha Power, the US representative, has just given a performance in which she tries to “shame” Russia about their actions in Syria. The video is worth watching as an insight into how far self-delusion can take you. One of the features of Western narrative building is very evident in this piece. The small coterie in the State Department and Whitehall and Paris – those who see themselves as the “international community” and maintainers of the “rules based international order” – have come up with an “analysis” which shows that Russia is in the wrong. The concept is that by putting a “noose” around Aleppo Russia has contributed to the terrorism there. Well; they needed to find some kind of an explanation given that for the last 6 months they’ve been telling us that no one lives in Eastern Aleppo apart from civilians and “White Helmets” – and now undeniable stories are emerging of terrorist atrocities. (Even the Guardian has had to admit that “armed opposition groups” in Eastern Aleppo have been lobbing shells into Western Aleppo).  [3] There may be an element of truth in this viewpoint – that squeezing the terrorists has made them worse. It is a valid strand in a full analysis which would also, obviously, also consider what would have happened had the “armed opposition groups” been allowed to implement their version of Salafist Islam in a multi-faith country. What the West does when they offer these narratives is take one strand, inflate that, ignore all other points of view – and then castigate anyone who disagrees with them as the devil incarnate. It isn’t rational. You have to delude yourself in order to believe it. Anyone watching Samantha Power’s performance at the UN can see that she is doing just that. She has managed to believe her own unlikely story. As any liar knows the first person you need to convince is yourself..

We can note that the Guardian reports Samantha Power’s speech. But they don’t report the witty riposte of the Russian representative, Vitaly Churkin. Nor does the Daily Telegraph. You have to watch “Putin’s propaganda channel” to get that balance…

(One of the ironies of this “noose” idea is that this, an encirclement, is what the US coalition is doing in Mosul. And concerning the “execution of children” Samantha Power needs to check some of the groups which the US has backed in Syria – see above).

Notes

1. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jul/20/syrian-opposition-group-which-killed-child-was-in-us-vetted-alliance

2. WikiPedia

Guardian. July 2016

3. Guardian. December 2016 – you can see the writer trying to maintain the approved narrative on Aleppo while having to admit e.g. that rebels have been firing shells into civilian areas of Western Aleppo. The piece also contains a direct admission that the Western backed rebels are “in coalition” with Al Qaeda.

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