Using false flags is a primitive military tactic that can be virtually manoeuvred with the advent of digital warfare: thus turning fake news into 21st century propaganda – the age of disinformation.
Both in 1991 and 2003, the US-led attacks on Iraq were based on false information and propaganda. In 1991, the global community was moved into supporting the US coalition on the horrific account of Iraqi soldiers killing Kuwaiti babies in incubators. Later on, this account was proven to be a hoax, undertaken by Hill and Knowlton, a US PR company. The 2003 illegal invasion of Iraq by the US is arguably the worst foreign policy disaster of the 21st century; that too was based on lies and misinformation.
The war of disinformation on Syria is part of a large campaign that has seen the destruction of not just Syria but also Yemen and Libya. We cannot afford to remain ignorant on this issue and need to question the disinformation by those who want permanent war and the destruction of Muslim countries like Iraq, Somalia, Yemen, Libya and Syria.
The US, UK and France did not even wait for OPCW inspectors to land in Syria to investigate the recent alleged chemical attack whose dubious proofs were simply staged videos on social media. In the pre-emptive bombing campaign against Syria, the US coordinated the aggression with Israel.
The current regime-change war of intervention in Syria is a perfect example of a war of disinformation. The White Helmets, a major source of information on war crimes and seen by many as working as the main agents of disinformation, are alleged to have produced fake footage of war crimes for gullible Western audiences and media outlets. The aftermath of the Douma chemical attack is no different.
This is an illegal conflict where Western powers are supporting Al-Qaeda affiliates and other sectarian terrorist groups. Israel is also part of a Western alliance aiming to destroy Syria for the unpardonable sin of providing support and refugee status to the Palestinians. Sadly, some Gulf dictatorships are openly siding with it against a fellow Muslim country.
Pakistanis must remember that it was Jordan that betrayed the Palestinians. Under the aid of (then) Brig Gen Ziaul Haq, King Hussain of Jordan massacred close to 25,000 Palestinians (as per some estimates) in the Black September operation of 1969-70. Pakistan must not allow itself to become a part of any such wars against other Muslim countries.
Sadly, our intelligentsia has failed to inform us about the conflict in Syria and our media simply reproduces the most hawkish and Neoconservative accounts of it. Along with our religio-political and proscribed sectarian organizations, we have been brainwashed via divisive and sectarian propaganda.
Our media has not covered Seymour Hersch’s excellent investigative deconstruction of the lies on the false flag chemical attacks in 2013 nor has there been a serious discussion about Carla Del Ponte’s claim that the “rebels” used Sarin Gas.
Instead, we are relying on the same propaganda channels that sold us the lies about the WMDs leading to the disastrous and illegal invasion of Iraq by US-led coalition in 2003.
US Secretary of Defense James Mattis had to recently admit that there wasn’t evidence to blame the Syrian government for chemical weapons attacks. This clarification came nearly a year after a leading rocket scientist, national security advisor to the US Chief of Naval Operations and MIT Professor Theodore Postol said that a four-page report released by the Trump administration yesterday “does not provide any evidence whatsoever that the US government has concrete knowledge that the government of Syria was the source of the chemical attack”.
When we step up away from Western propaganda and educate ourselves about Syria and Yemen, the only logical and sane conclusion is that no one should support these horrific intra-Muslim conflicts; Muslims need to unite on one platform (OIC).
The current government lacked a foreign minister for most of its time. As Pakistanis, our vision should be to resolve such regional disputes by staying neutral: not add fuel to the fire and embroil ourselves in intra-Muslim conflicts.
The writer is a human rights and peace activist, and a political strategist.