By Finian Cunningham
Five years of war, five months of Russian military intervention, and now peace talks are underway. It’s as simple as that.
However, rather than acknowledging a successful Russian mission, Western media outlets immediately began speculating that President Putin’s surprise announcement to withdraw Russian forces from Syria indicates a “rift” between Moscow and Damascus.
This is just more of the same Western media weapon of mass distraction that has obscured the real nature of the five-year war.
The sovereignty of Syria is the central principle officially underpinning peace talks that resumed in Geneva this week. Without Russia’s military intervention, Syria would not have the chance to pursue a political settlement on a such solid footing.
By contrast, after nearly two years of US-led military intervention allegedly to “defeat terrorism”, the Syrian state was on the brink of collapse from a largely foreign-backed terrorist assault. Until, that is, Russia intervened at the end of September last year.
The touchstone is that Russia from the outset was motivated by supporting the Syrian nation and supplanting the terror threat. While the US and its allies were ultimately the source of the threat.
Western media in hock to their governments’ political line still strain the implausible narrative of a “popular uprising” in Syria that somehow descended into a “global proxy war”.
But to the rest of the world, US-led illegal regime-change is the obvious, and damning, story. This should be the focus, not speculation about Putin’s alleged ulterior motives to withdraw militarily now from Syria.
US Secretary of State John Kerry speaking in Paris last weekend alongside European counterparts appeared to highlight Syria as a priority for peace efforts.
It is rather galling that Kerry should lecture Russia about making “clear choices” in Syria or elsewhere, when the only plausible explanation for the violence in the Arab country can be traced to the criminal interference of Washington and its partners, in flagrant violation of international law and thereby unleashing mayhem that destroyed millions of lives.
As opposition parties gather for tentative talks in Geneva, the New York Times informed its readers that it coincides with the “fifth anniversary of the beginning of the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad, which morphed into civil war and then a regional and global proxy war.”
This is a typical sample of Western distortion on Syria that persists in contradiction to the abundant evidence. That Western narrative is based on the dubious premise that the violence was instigated after the Syrian state crushed a genuine pro-democracy uprising. Secondly, the narrative blandly portrays that the conflict then escalated into a proxy war between foreign governments, as if the latter scenario is unrelated to the initial “uprising”.
However, thanks to alternative news media in the West and also internationally, such as channels like RT and Press TV, there is a substantial body of information that challenges the Western mainstream narrative. Not only challenges, but exposes it as willful deception.
For a start, substantive reports in the alternative media convincingly show that the initial, small-scale protests in Syria during March 2011 were infiltrated by armed provocateurs who fired on civilians and state security forces alike in order to incite large-scale violence. One of the best investigations on these crucial events was carried out by Sharmine Narwani for RT.