Westerners who propped up Islamist ‘moderate rebels’ suddenly realize they're terrorists as they launch ‘genocide’ of Kurds
An absolutely fascinating phenomenon accompanying the Turkish invasion of Syria has been watching the reaction of western journalists who once shilled for ‘moderate rebels’ now falling into the trap of having to condemn them.
Spearheading the Turkish invasion are the very “Free Syrian Army” and other “moderate” militants that the mainstream Western outlets have promoted for years as the victims of “genocidal monster” Bashar Assad in Damascus. Now, however, the “rebels” are baddies and Assad is the savior – at least when it comes to the Kurds the media have been lamenting as allies “betrayed” by US President Donald Trump. What a headache!
“When Turkish forces fight the Kurds the media calls them genocidal maniacs and ISIS-helpers,”tweeted scholar Max Abrahms. “When Turkish forces fight [Syrian President Bashar] Assad the media calls them rebels and revolutionaries.”
Outlets like the Washington Post are now describing as “crazy and not reliable” the very same militants they defended as “moderate rebels” just months earlier, journalist Aaron Mate pointed out.
For many years, leftist journalists & others have been smeared & attacked for pointing out what is now openly acknowledged: murderous militias -- aka "moderate rebels" -- used to wage a US/Gulf/Turkey-backed proxy war in Syria "are crazy and not reliable." https://t.co/fGEV8FFn53pic.twitter.com/g9DZb1wRUf— Aaron Maté (@aaronjmate) October 13, 2019
“There are surely proxy war apologists who previously cheered on FSA now pained by their atrocities against Syrian Kurds,” Mate tweeted, noting that they shouldn’t be taken seriously unless they apologize to those they smeared as “Assadists” for being right all along.
While no apologies have been forthcoming, there has been plenty of hand-wringing by western journalists. Here is Danny Gold of PBS Newshour, bemoaning the discovery that the anti-government fighter he once “embedded with” (while working for Vice) is now taking part in Turkey’s invasion of northern Syria:
Reading the mainstream Western press this week, one would think they are the real victims of last week’s developments – not the Syrian Kurds whose fate they are lamenting – as the narrative they have crafted and maintained since 2011 is falling apart. Not only has the Turkish invasion exposed the true nature of “moderate rebels,” it has also served as a pretext for a general US withdrawal from Syria, and a deal between the Kurds and the Syrian government that Washington has spent years blocking.
The very same journalists who’ve spent years demonizing Assad as a genocidal war criminal and a week accusing Trump of abandoning the Kurds to Turkish “genocide” are now struggling to cope with the Syrian Arab Army stepping in to defend the Kurds from Turkey.Also on rt.com Syrian Army deployed to country’s northeast to counter ‘Turkish aggression’ (VIDEOS)
Needless to say, the process is not going too well.
“Trump has driven the Kurds into Russia's arms,” tweeted Edward Luce, chief US columnist for Financial Times, describing the Syrian development as a disaster of global proportions, an unraveling of the world order that only benefits the Kremlin.
“I don't know whether it's too late to retrieve the benign image America had in most of the world. But the light is failing,” Luce said in a thread on Monday.
Worth emphasising the scale of the disaster Trump has wrought in the week since his call with Erdogan. 1. Revived Isis. 2. Cemented Assad’s grip on Syria. 3. Handed Russia yet another geopolitical windfall. 4. Betrayed the Kurds. 5. Immeasurably harmed US power. Thread 1.— Edward Luce (@EdwardGLuce) October 14, 2019
Journalist Max Blumenthal described Luce’s thread as “panic over an empire's waning,” which is fitting for such melodrama. Notice that there is little or no concern for the well-being of Syrians, who have suffered for over eight years of proxy warfare and IS terror – or even the Kurds themselves, who were the original recipients of all the hand-wringing up to the moment they made a deal with Damascus.
It’s hard to admit being wrong, which is why most journalists never do it. Much easier to blame Russia, like they’ve been doing ever since the 2016 US presidential election and the Brexit referendum revealed how horribly out of touch they’ve been with their own societies. What Syria has shown is the extent to which this is true for international coverage as well. Don’t look for them to apologize, however – they’re the real victims in all this, don’t you know?
Nebojsa Malic, senior writer at RT
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.