As Washington hails victory over ISIS, media ignores massive human toll
Bill Van Auken
30 March 2019
For the last several days, US President Donald Trump and his administration have been staging multiple victory laps over what it describes as the final defeat of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
In his right-wing rant before supporters in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on Thursday night, Trump bragged that “the ISIS caliphate is defeated, one hundred percent.”
Last week he showed reporters before-and-after maps of Iraq and Syria—which he held upside down—the first showing areas previously occupied by ISIS in red and a current map that was spotless. The stunt apparently upended a promise made to the Pentagon’s proxy forces, comprised largely of the Kurdish Syrian YPG militia, that they would be allowed to be first in announcing the supposed victory.
The US media has followed suit, sending its embedded reporters striding into the eastern Syrian village of Baghouz, the last reported stronghold, alongside their handlers from the Pentagon’s proxy militia. One NBC reporter acknowledged that bodies had been cleared from the area before he arrived.
This sanitization of the bloodshed in Iraq and Syria has been a constant feature of the news coverage of the over four-year-long US war against ISIS. Few within the corporate media have even bothered to question the Pentagon’s official story that only a handful of the tens of thousands killed in relentless US bombing campaigns have been civilians.
This same hypocritical media provided non-stop coverage denouncing the Russian-backed campaign to re-take the Syrian city of Aleppo from Islamist forces as a war crime.
The Pentagon issued a report on Thursday claiming that the total number of civilians killed in both…