Deconstructing U.S. Propaganda – Case Study: Syria

WWI Propaganda Poster

On January 28th the New York Times published an article entitled “Syria Blocks Aid to Besieged City, Dimming Hopes Raised in Peace Talks.” This is a perfect example of how U.S. elites, through their media apparatchiks, spread powerful and effective propaganda.

First of all, the front-page article’s headline says that Syria “blocks” aid in order for the casual reader to get the gist of the message they’re sending. However, for those who read the United States’ premier, along with the Wall Street Journal, “paper of record” who need the full story and know how to read between the lines, more of the full details emerge on the inside page where the story continues. The secondary headline on the inside pages seems to contradict the main headline; it says: “Attempts Fail in Sending Aid to Syrian City Under Siege” (emphasis mine). To the casual reader, which most Americans are, if they aren’t completely functionally illiterate, will be led to believe that the Syrian government maliciously “blocked” the humanitarian aid rather than understanding the entire situation which led to the failed attempt to deliver the aid in a war zone.

As you delve into the article you will notice that the Syrian government is constantly referred to as a “regime”; this word has come to acquire a definitely negative connotation. On the other hand, the terrorist insurgents are kindly referred to as “rebels”, which elicits a more positive reaction; think of the “Rebel Alliance” from Star Wars, perhaps. If these “rebels” were working contrary to U.S. interests they would be called “insurgents” or some other damning term.

Further careful reading leads one to realize that the Syrian government was perfectly willing to allow civilians to evacuate the besieged city of Homs, but quite understandably are unwilling to supply food and medicine to the foreign insurgency; you don’t have to be a military mastermind to realize how foolish it is to give aid and comfort to the enemy. The U.S. State Department spokeswoman is quoted delivering fiery rhetoric to denounce this egregious act by the Syrian authorities who will not allow “women and children” to receive the much-needed aid; “The people are starving,” she continues, for maximum emotional impact, forgetting, at least for the moment, that approximately 20% of American children suffer from so-called food insecurity in the U.S.

It is interesting to note such concern for Syrian civilians, whose government U.S. elites seek to overthrow despite President Assad having a majority of popular support. The U.S. ruling class allows a million of its citizens to sleep on the sidewalk and has the largest prison population in the entire world (mostly non-violent offenses), but we are expected to believe that it cares deeply about Syrians half a world away. That overthrowing the Syrian government and installing a pliable client puppet-regime just coincidentally happens to further U.S. economic and geostrategic interests should not arouse any suspicion whatsoever.

The article continues by emphasizing the point that “Assad must go.” U.S. elites have not given an inch from their original position when they were fully prepared to attack Syria directly. The U.S. is attempting to accomplish diplomatically what they have heretofore failed to do through funding and supplying extremist, fundamentalist Islamic Jihadists. In an attempt to get readers to sympathize with the terrorists they are presented as the underdogs in this fight. Propaganda, if you haven’t figured it out by now, primarily attempts to sway people’s emotions in order to change their attitudes, beliefs and actions. The propagandists make reference to “the regime’s military crackdown” and “the regime launched a series of blistering military offensives” and “scorched-earth campaign that left hundreds dead including two Western reporters.” (emphasis mine). Killing Western reporters? Oh, hell no – now they’ve gone too far!

Of course, the propagandists behind this article (it probably is a team effort) would be remiss in their duties if they had failed to mention that Hezbollah has entered the fray on the side of the legitimate Syrian government. This piece of information is inserted to throw aside attention to the fact that it is the liver-eating cannibal insurgents that are the real terrorists by referencing Hezbollah, an organization on Washington’s officially designated terrorist list because of its continued, and somewhat successful defiance of American empire.

The “democracy promoters” falsely claim that the majority of the Syrian population is on the side of the so-called rebels since they somehow represent the Sunni majority of the country. President Assad, from the minority Alawite sect, is purportedly representing only this minority religious group. In point of fact, the majority of Syrian civilians, regardless of religious affiliation, support the secular state headed by President Assad and his government that does not just represent the Alawites. This attempt at divide and conquer fails when the simple facts are pointed out. The terrorist insurgents, most of whom are foreign mercenaries, do not represent a majority of Syrians.

Finally, the photograph included with the article pulls at the heart strings by depicting bedraggled children warming themselves by a barrel-fire on a desolate war-torn street. When you see this type of blatant and clumsy propaganda you should completely reject it and tune it out. In fact, I suggest that you don’t read the New York Times or other official organs of the U.S. establishment – unless you enjoy being lied to.

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About Prole Center

Inspiring class-consciousness and an educated, strong and militant Working Class
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One Response to Deconstructing U.S. Propaganda – Case Study: Syria

  1. beetleypete says:

    Strange how Syria is suddenly forgotten, when the situation in Crimea/Ukraine started to capture world attention. Great article, about shameful practices.
    Regards from England, Pete.

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