Wednesday, 24 January 2018

Fake news from Syria

It is astonishing how inattentively many read what I call the papers but which are better called the 'old media'.

An intelligent schoolboy (I use that 'gendered' word to annoy people who deserve to be annoyed) can see in a moment that the siege of East Ghouta, on the outskirts of Damascus, from where we read harrowing stories of children starving or denied hospital care, is not simply a story of war crimes by the Syrian government, aided by the Russians. 

The people under siege are obviously being held hostage. 

The people holding them hostage are the Jaysh al Islama group, part of Al Qaeda.

But the media do not tell us this fact, preferring to paint the government as the villains.

Is this the kind of fake news the EU is worried about? Schoolchildren in the EU are to be tested to see how sceptical they are about fake news, but I am not sure if it is news on the BBC and in the Economist that the Pisa tests have in mind.

I suspect it is news that the governments of Europe dislike that will be considered fake. 

In the old days in 18th century England of criminal libel it was a legal adage that
The greater the truth, the greater the libel.
Fake news can be a bit like that.

I have no doubt that the Syrian armed forces are committing war crimes. 

So I am sure are the Islamists. Do you doubt it?

The government are accused of using poison gas and they have form on this. 

They pretty certainly did so more than once before. 

Are they doing so again? I do not know.

I cannot help wondering why the siege was not rigorously enforced by the government before now, even though sieges apparently are considered themselves war crimes. I don't exactly know why it is better to allow sieges to drag on indefinitely. 

I do know that the news coverage of Syria, Libya and Yemen in the Western press is a disgrace. I know I wish the siege would end quickly and the war end quickly. 

I am torn between wishing the Americans would pull out and leave Russia to sort things out, a hope I expressed on this blog before the Russians intervened, and a wish to see the Kurds protected and given a safe area, safe from the Turks and the government.

1 comment:

  1. RT is the only news channel that is still watchable. Everything else is garbage.