Interview with James Corbett of The Corbett Report pertaining to war propaganda, the ongoing crisis in Syria and the role of what he describes as “the real alternative media”. The real alternative media is independent and grassroots, and is not funded by the NGOs or foundations. Devon DB begs the question: How can people break free from the current system of oppression and media disinformation?
Devon DB: What is your opinion of the ongoing crisis in Syria?
James Corbett: The crisis in Syria can only be understood through the lens of what the mainstream Western media is leaving out of their reporting, namely the ongoing, on-the-record support of outside actors in arming, equipping, and training the so-called “opposition” that is currently waging a ground war against the Syrian government.
This help is coming in the form of equipment and tactical involvement from the US State Department and the CIA, arms and supplies from Saudi Arabia and Qatar, logistical support and operational bases in Turkey, and armed militants associated with Al Qaeda and other Wahabbi Sunni terror organizations from Libya, Iraq, and elsewhere. In this context, the constant demands of Clinton and other Western representatives for Russia to “stop arming Assad” can be seen as the hypocritical and deeply dishonest position that it is.
In fact, the entire conflict can only be understood when it is seen not as the spontaneous outgrowth of a popular internal resistance, as portrayed by the West, but as a foreign-funded and armed terrorist insurgency whose open terror campaign of car bombings, ethnic cleansing and other war crimes are consistently praised as heroic by the new “humanitarian interventionists” of the neoliberal imperialist set. Given what has taken place in Libya in recent days, those gun-ho interventionists who are currently praising the “Syrian freedom fighters” would be well-served to contemplate who it is they are helping to bring to power in Damascus.
Devon DB: Many in the alternative media are focusing on the actions of the rebels, while, some would say, ignoring the actions of the Assad regime. This usually results in one being accused of being a regime supporter. Why do you think that the focus is so much on the rebels rather than on the regime and how would you respond to such accusations as being a regime supporter?
James Corbett: Selling war to the public has always involved portraying the issue as a clear-cut case of black and white, good and evil. Once the issue is framed in that way, anyone who opposes the war can be portrayed as a supporter of evil. In every instance, the case for peace is effectively taken off the table by arguing that “if you’re not for the war, you’re supporting X,” where X is the boogeyman du jour.
This has transitioned easily from the Bush era “axis of evil” and “war on terror” to the Obama era of “humanitarian intervention.” The rhetoric and reasoning are virtually identical, but they have been transposed into a liberal-friendly context. This thinking necessarily begs the question of who gets to decide who to “help” and what groups will take over in the aftermath. I do not support Assad any more than I supported Gaddafi or Assad. But neither do I support Mugabe, or the Al Khalifa dynasty in Bahrain, or the House of Saud, or Netanyahu, or any of the other leaders of repressive regimes. Why is one leader demonized and the other feted? The answer is obvious.
So the question is whether refusing to support the bombing and military invasion of a foreign country is morally equivalent to supporting that government’s leader. This comes down to the question of moral responsibility. As a Canadian citizen in Japan I have absolutely no control over what happens in Syria. I do have a say over what the Canadian government does, what actions it takes, and what its military does. When it lends its support to the bombardment of Libya, I become implicated in the deaths of those civilians who were killed in those strikes. So it is up to us to stop the violence, bloodshed and power grabs made by our leaders under the guise of “humanitarian intervention” as it is up to the people of Syria to deal with the Assad government however they can. This is the nature of moral responsibility.
Devon DB: In the alternative media, we have read and heard time again that the situation is Syria could lead to “a World War 3 scenario,” do you actually think that this is possible?
James Corbett: If NATO were to roll into Damascus tomorrow with guns blazing, there would be military repercussions. Russia has face to save in the Syria situation as well as strategic interests to protect in the country, so it would not sit idly by while the country is taken over by a foreign military. This is precisely why there has been no direct military intervention by any outside military, nor is there likely to be barring some international outrage like a false flag event.
More worrying, perhaps, is the relentless, years-long campaign by Israel to drum up support for a military strike on Iran. Such an event is very much on the table, very much a possibility, and would almost inevitably draw Russia, China, and other military powers into armed conflict with the NATO powers, which very well could lead to a third world war scenario.
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