The Syrian manipulation: Playing human misery to score political points

Catherine Shakdam
Catherine Shakdam is a political analyst, writer and commentator for the Middle East with a special focus on radical movements and Yemen. A regular pundit on RT and other networks her work has appeared in major publications: MintPress, the Foreign Policy Journal, Mehr News and many others.Director of Programs at the Shafaqna Institute for Middle Eastern Studies, Catherine is also the co-founder of Veritas Consulting. She is the author of Arabia’s Rising - Under The Banner Of The First Imam
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As the Syrian army is closing in on ISIL militants in Aleppo, a victory that will undoubtedly restore Damascus’ authority over Syria, Washington is leveling charges of 'war crimes' to politically discredit President al-Assad.

While the move is not exactly surprising, Western powers have been painfully predictable in their hypocrisy and political maneuvering against President Bashar al-Assad. And Washington’s latest stunt shows just how far down the rabbit hole the US will go to eliminate the competition.

I say 'competition' because America’s ambitions in Syria, and beyond the Middle East, have nothing to do with counter-terrorism. What Washington is pursuing in the Mid-East is an asymmetrical war of neo-colonialization. Within this dynamic, Terror has served both as a convenient alibi and a political rationale.

Both a political and militarily roadblock, President al-Assad has been a thorn in the West’s military complex’s thigh in more ways than one. A tower of resistance against Western imperialism, President al-Assad has managed not only to retain his people trust, he asserted himself as a keen military strategist. How many heads of state can claim to have raised a regional resistance movement against both Terror and imperialism, and live to tell the tale?

I’m not trying to sing President al-Assad’s praise here, I’m only stating facts. Truth be told, political analysts do not exactly make a name for themselves by swimming against mainstream narrative. Still, some feel compel to tell the truth. Truth is what I’m trying to establish – however imperfectly.

Today, Washington has cried wolf against Damascus, alleging the Syrian government is carrying out a genocidal campaign against its people in Aleppo to speed its return to power. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights – an NGO which it needs to be said is being run by one shadowy individual from a house somewhere in the United Kingdom, President al-Assad ordered the killing of his own people… to which end no one can really say. As for proofs no one really has any, save of course from the public outrage US and UN officials have fronted.

My first question is: Who is this so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and where does it get its information? The Observatory is actually a one-man show run by Rami Abdul Rahman from a two-bedroom flat in Coventry – whose information is being relayed by a network of “trusted sources” in Syria. In other words the whole organization is a sham, designed to spit and spread propaganda the, mainstream media then sell as truths to feed, support and prop Western capitals’ anti-Assad campaign. Don’t take my word for it, research it for yourself. The Observatory is not a very difficult nut to crack when it comes to seeing through the crude political manipulation. It is the United Nations’ and Washington’s eagerness to hold its lies as undeniable truths, which is a bit more difficult to stomach.

Here is what Reuters had to say on Aleppo: “Air strikes on a camp housing Syrians uprooted by war killed at least 28 people near the Turkish border on Thursday, a monitoring group [Syrian Observatory for Human Rights] said, and fighting raged in parts of northern Syria despite a deal to cease hostilities in the city of Aleppo.”

Right on cue, UN officials and the White House cooed their condemnations.

"If this obscene attack is found to be a deliberate targeting of a civilian structure, it could amount to a war crime," O’Brien said in a statement. "I call for an immediate, impartial and independent investigation into this deadly incident,” said United Nations aid Chief Stephen O’Brien said.

As for the White House, it noted that the victims were innocent civilians who had fled their homes to escape violence. White House spokesman Josh Earnest stressed there's "no justifiable excuse" for an airstrike targeting innocent civilians who have already left their homes to flee violence. He added: “the situation is heartbreaking.”

Hmmm... “no justifiable excuse.” Now that’s an interesting statement coming from the mouth of a US official – especially when Washington has done nothing but promote bloodshed in the Greater Middle East over the past decade. What about Yemeni civilians are they not innocent? What about Libyans, Bahrainis, Afghanis, Iraqis, and Pakistanis? Has their innocence been forfeited the moment a US smart bomb, drone or allied bomb is dropped on their head?

So what is upsetting Western powers so in Aleppo? Could it be the little unknown fact that Aleppo will pretty much determine the fate of the war? Could it be that Aleppo stands as the last main terror bastion in northern Syria right atop the Turkish-Syrian border?

Let me put it this way: Once the Syrian Arab Army regains control of Aleppo, Syria’s largest city, and it will, Turkey will lose its main footing in the Levant, and any hope of toppling the Assad government by wielding terror will be gone.

But not only that. Once Aleppo returns to the authority of Damascus, President al-Assad will be free to seal his alliance with Lebanon, Iran and Russia, by raising a grand regional political coalition against terrorism and imperialism.

Too fast you say? Not really. A senior adviser to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Ali Akbar Velayati was only just in Damascus to discuss counter-terrorism, and bilateral relations in between Iran and Syria. A visit by such an Iranian heavy weight, and Tehran’s confirmation it would “utilize all its capabilities to fight terrorism in the region,” will likely translate into the creation of a regional front against Terror.

How long before other countries in the region decide to join in? How many countries will resist the call of victory, and the once elusive promise of true political independence? That dear reader is what is really eating away at Washington!

For those of you still looking upon Damascus as the anti-Christ, allow me to debunk Washington’s latest attempt to criminalize Syria’s government. It was al-Nusra, and not President al-Assad who ordered the murdering of civilians in Aleppo. I would argue that the US stands guilty by association here – it is after all US officials’ insistence to fund the “nice” terrorists which plunged Syria in the pits of hell. President al-Assad has only ever sought to defend his people and his nation from Terror – whichever mask it has brandished to hide its true face.

"Considering the fracture pattern, seen in the pictures and videos taken at the site, the camp could have been shelled, either intentionally or by mistake, by rocket artillery, which is in active use in the area by militants from the terror group Al-Nusra Front," Major-General Igor Konashenkov, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman, said on Friday.

Unlike the United Nations, Russia is resting its assessment on empirical evidences not the ranting of a shadowy organization.

I find America’s silence on the statement interesting.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.