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3 Nov, 2011 16:14

'Coordinated media attack against Syria will continue'

While the Syrian government has agreed to an Arab league proposal that could put a stop to nearly eight months of violence, independent journalist James Corbert argues a media campaign is underway to help overthrow the Syrian government.

According to Colbert, human rights groups are being used as a front to destabilize the Syrian government. He sees a link between Syria and Libya, where a stream of unverifiable stories were used to undermine the Gaddafi regime.“The latest example in fact is just breaking now, is that apparently they’re trying to say that the ceasefire has already been broken by Syrian troops firing on citizens,” he says.The Syrian opposition rejected the Arab League peace plan for Syria on Thursday amid claims that some 20 people had been killed in and around the city of Homs since Tuesday.  The opposition continued that the overthrow of the current regime was a precondition for talks with the government.    Corbert also drew attention to one London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which reported last August that babies in incubators were being harmed when power was cut off in the city of Hama.  He draws a parallel between this claim and accusations made prior to the 1991 US Invasion of Iraq, whereby Iraqi soldiers allegedly stormed a Kuwait city hospital and took babies out of incubators, leaving them to die on the floor. The story of the babies being snatched from incubators was repeated both before the US Congress and at the UN Security Council in the run up to the Gulf War. The claim, based on the hand-written testimony of 15-year-old Kuwaiti girl allegedly volunteering in the hospital at the time, actually came from the daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador to the US.Colbert claims the Syrian story was also fabricated, and that the video footage used as evidence had actually been shot in Egypt.He also contends that while the Syrian government has been held responsible for all instances of violence in the country, the Western media has often ignored reports that Damascus is facing an armed insurrection.  “One of the untold assumptions in all of this is that the protestors are somehow peacefully protesting and there is no violence coming from their side of it, which I think is categorically untrue, and has been shown to be untrue by the fact that Syrian forces themselves are being shot at so clearly there are armed protestors here, this is not just some peaceful, benign movement.”As the United States also maintains that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad had lost legitimacy and must step down regardless of the recently agreed peace deal in Cairo, Colbert says it has been Washington’s long-standing policy to remove Assad from power.  “In Libya, where we saw the well-funded and well-supported rebels taking over…we see that happening again through covert means here with covert supplies going to the Syrian opposition and that came out earlier this year that in fact the US State Department has been funding the Syrian opposition for years so again we see the exact same pattern ramping up.”According to diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks in April, the United States has been funding the Syrian opposition since 2005, when then-President George W. Bush effectively cut off political ties with the Syrian government.  That policy continued under President Obama, despite his administration’s policy of rapprochement with Damascus.