The Verifiable Information Vacuum From Syria, by Peter Crowley

The government’s virtual stranglehold on information from foreign war zones makes it impossible to determine the truth. From Peter Crowley at antiwar.com:

It is hard to underestimate the paucity of objective information coming from Syria.

Wars always have their propaganda machine feeding media sources, from the Israeli Army’s largely false assertions that Hamas used human shields during the 2014 Gaza War to Robert McNamara’s claim that American campaigns were leading to success in Vietnam. But rarely has the public been fed and believed information from a rebel opposition dominated by terrorist groups, as is the case in the Syrian Civil War. The lack of the civil war’s neutral information may be the case in the recent images we saw from apparent chemical attacks in Khan Sheikhoun, Idlib province, Syria, where Al-Nusra is the most powerful opposition group.

The Syrian opposition has been trying to get the US to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad since the beginning of the conflict. After the US’s “leading from behind” in the NATO-led overthrow of Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi, the Syrian opposition assumed that Assad’s head would be next on the US’s chopping block. But this would not come to pass.

It should be remembered that these initial anti-Assad protests were certainly legitimate acts of dissent and the Assad regime overreacted with disproportionate violence. In response, protesters grew in number and the regime increased its violence, leading to the development of an armed opposition, shortly after which the US, Europe and Gulf States called for Assad to step down. Though receiving arms and funding from its international supporters, the rebel opposition had trouble coalescing and remained highly disorganized, during which time terrorist groups, such as al-Nusra, ISIS and Ahrar al Sham, established themselves in Syria. These terrorist groups were far more organized and effective at fighting than the discombobulated opposition and soon became the principal anti-regime actors in Syria. Thousands of disaffected fighters from the “moderate” opposition joined these terrorist groups, as they proved to be the most effective fighting forces against Assad.

To continue reading: The Verifiable Information Vacuum From Syria

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