To introduce this string of BBC lies, one thing that’s worth noting is that overwhelmingly the people of Syria view that nation’s current President, Bashar al-Assad, favorably. He won his election on 27 May 2007 by acclamation in a referendum when the Associated Press at the time reported that, “the country’s tiny opposition boycotted the voting.” (Note that it indeed was “a tiny opposition.”) The AP reported: “Still, the president is assured of another seven-year term in a referendum that gave voters just one choice: a green circle to approve Assad or a gray one to oppose his second term. In his first referendum, he received 97.29 percent approval.” The West supports not only that “tiny opposition,” but the much bigger opposition that comes from the Saudi and Qatari royal families, and which has recruited Sunni jihadists from around the world to fight in Syria against the secular Shiite Assad. Furthermore, repeated polling even by Western polling firms, shows that the Syrian people overwhelmingly reject Islamic jihadists and blame the U.S. for ISIS. They hate America because America backs the jihadists. (And see here U.S. Senator John McCain congratulating the ISIS “heart-eater” who was helping to lead in the fight to remove Assad. And here is the back-story regarding that “heart-eater.” And here is confirmation from McCain that he “accidentally” met with him.) Furthermore, the U.S. has not been inactive in the Syrian war; long before America’s active bombing campaign inside Syria, the U.S. was feeding sarin gas into al-Qaeda’s affiliate there al-Nusra, and fabricated blame for the sarin gas attack which even British intelligence could not endorse but instead found to be a ludicrous fraud, but kept secret (in order not to embarrass their ally). With that, then, as the firmly documented historical background:
BBC Newshour, on the morning of Friday September 18th, interviewed Oxford Professor Eugene Rogan and also the Century Foundation’s Thanassis Cambanis, on the question, “Is it time for the west to bury the hatchet with President Assad and ally with him against IS?”
Cambanis said, “To expect Bashar al-Assad to be a reliable partner … ignores the last decade during which he single-handedly has driven Syria to the brink of destruction, and, by the way, has been the key culprit in the rise of al-Qaeda in Iraq first, and later in the rise of ISIS.” Rogan did not challenge that assertion.
Cambanis then referred to “Bashar al-Assad’s strategy, which was to set up a false choice, apres moi, le deluge, if you don’t support me, you’re going to get ISIS, and we got to that point because he really systematically focused all his firepower on killing moderate, reasonable people and leaving those as the two choices.” Rogan did not challenge that assertion, either.
Cambanis then said, “The U.S. position has been to just stay out of this complex mess, and there is some merit and some moral reason for this. Now we see not intervening has also led to a disaster. So logically what follows is either the U.S. remains remains on the sidelines and just lets it play out as it may, or, …,” and Rogan did not challenge those allegations either.
Rogan then said, “What Russia has done by prepositioning the facilities for Russian troop presence is to escalate its position in Syria, and by providing the Syrians with air defense systems, they are actually creating the kind of protections that will make any talk of a no-fly zone a nonstarter, so I think the Russians are trying to clearly set what the limits of the terms of discussion will be, and it’s very clear that preserving Bashar al-Assad in power is the Russian condition.”
The interviewer then said, “But if the West were to come onside with President Assad, I mean that would represent the most appalling concession, would it not, given the number of Syrians who died as a result of actions by President Assad and his military?”
Rogan answered: “I agree with that.” But he advised negotiations instead of “the West” sending in more military assets for “continuing a struggle that no side is capable of winning.”
Cambanis interjected, “What we’re seeing right now is the result of America and the West not intervening. It’s not really American weapons, or American anything that has fueled this conflict. It’s important to remember also that Assad has been a huge strategic threat to the West long before ISIS even existed.” To that, Rogan replied, “I could not agree with you more, that the injustice that Assad has inflicted on his people has been an injustice of the first magnitude.”
So: the BBC simply assumes that Assad is hated instead of passionately supported by the Syrian people, and that the U.S. and “the West” have been “not intervening” but have been well-intentioned there. And the BBC’s producers invited on Western ‘experts’ to ‘debate’ the matter, but all within this lying framework.
Clearly, then, the BBC’s answer to its headline question, “Is it time for the west to bury the hatchet with President Assad and ally with him against IS?” is: No!
Here, again, is my article about the recent WIN/Gallup polling results of the Syrian people regarding their attitudes towards ISIS, the U.S., and Assad.
What remains of honest news-media in the West? They’re few, and small.
Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.