September 14, 2013

Making Assad The Bad Guy: The Four Tricks

Invoking the ghost of Hitler to win a propaganda war: It's easy, it's simple, and it's fun.

Making Assad The Bad Guy: The Four Tricks

As each day passes, more and more people are beginning to realize that Hollywood screenwriters are guiding U.S. foreign policy, not military-minded war hawks or strategically inclined empire-builders.

Washington's playwrights have desperately tried to make Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, a mild-mannered physician and family man who has no desire to live out his life as the leader of Syria, into a crazed monster who is hell-bent on killing his own people and crushing aspirations for freedom in his country. It's clear that Washington has a special preference for fantasy fiction writers more than those who write historical fiction.

But the basic and formulaic depiction of a complex man and nation has not convinced the majority of the American people into backing the illegal overthrow of Assad's government, let alone the rest of the world.

Unlike a decade ago, people's political sophistication has reached a point where cartoonish propaganda, which was deployed with marginal success in the run up to the illegal war against Iraq, is no longer effective at swaying minds. This great age of awakening demands better propaganda than the junk that has been served up by President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry. Their statements regarding Assad's use of chemical weapons against his own people are ridiculously amateurish.  

Will the world get better propaganda? It's unlikely. The stubborn U.S. political and media elite have yet to figure out that they need to come up with more creative lies to sell their new illegal wars. They need to adapt. But instead of changing with the times, they continue to rely on an old, Communist-era playbook to handle public perceptions of 21st century foreign policy crises.

Below is a list of their four favourite tricks to demonize their enemies, focusing on the designated bad guy of the day: Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

1. Do not address the foreign leader whom you have designated as a dictator with his proper title, but, instead, just use his name, such as Assad, Gaddafi, and Saddam. This trick is meant to denigrate the person's character, lower his status as a leader, and diminish his standing both in front of his own people and the world. At least in the old days kings respected other kings and recognized them properly, even in combat. In our age, a vain, commercially minded, morally empty, and spiritually rotten empire like America and a tiny, inconsequential, aggressive nation like Israel have such arrogance and such contempt for human life that they do not recognize the enemy's nobility, or even his humanity. What happened to chivalry in war? What happened to basic decency?

2. Invent atrocities and blame it on President Assad. This trick has been used throughout the foreign-inspired conflict in Syria. Massacres committed by Saudi Arabian, French, Turkish, Israeli, and US-backed Al-Qaeda terrorists have been falsely attributed to Assad's forces. Chemical weapons attacked staged by the so-called rebels are ignored, while fake news stories about Assad using chemical weapons are written every day.   

3. Exaggerate the death toll of civilians in turf wars between foreign-armed sectarian terrorists and the Syrian army. The number of people who have died in the war in Syria was originally made up by anti-Assad Syrian activists and their Western and Israeli patrons, but it then took on a reality of its own. The number 100,000 is now thrown around in mainstream news stories and presidential speeches without any basis in fact. As of yet, there is no accurate and verifiable evidence that 100,000 people have died in Syria since the beginning of the conflict. There are no credible and neutral international institutions that care enough about the truth of this important detail, which is unfortunate and reflects poorly on humanity.

4. Cast doubt on the designated dictator's intentions, commitments, and public statements. In order to make out Assad to be a bad guy, it is important to question his honour, because bad guys don't have honour. They can't be trusted. They can't be negotiated with. They are not a credible party in any deal-making. They give you your word and then stab you in the back at the right opportune time. By this standard, President Assad is a good guy compared to President Obama. President Assad's word should hold more weight than President Obama's word because it has been repeatedly proven that President Obama is the bigger liar and cheater.