MSM Is Frantically Attacking Dissenting Syria Narratives, And It Looks Really Bad

Caitlin Johnstone
4 min readApr 23, 2018


I write a lot about how, in a political environment that is saturated in disinformation and propaganda, it’s important to ignore people’s words and watch their actions instead to get a clear picture of what’s really happening. You could not ask for a better illustration of this than the recent behavior of the mass media with regard to Syria.

The always excellent Moon of Alabama put out a piece yesterday detailing the immense deluge of attack editorials disguised as information that have been churned out recently about anyone who questions the establishment Syria narrative, including a single day in which no less than seven smear pieces were issued by prominent publications. Seven. In one day.

If you look at the words within these smear pieces, you will gather that there has been a sudden disturbing emergence of evil bloggers, tweeters and activists who are hell bent on deceiving you into falling in love with Bashar al-Assad and pledging allegiance to the Russian flag. If you look at what these outlets are actually doing, however, you see a very different picture indeed: an aggressive, spurious campaign to inoculate the English-speaking world against the influence of anyone who disagrees with yet another war against yet another Middle Eastern country.

And people are noticing. It’s getting too blatantly obvious, like a stranger coming up to you and talking about climate change while openly masturbating; what he is doing would eclipse interest in whatever he is saying. The frenetic publication of hit pieces against anyone who fails to fall in line with the establishment Syria narrative is fast becoming the real story here.

Many of these recent hit pieces are coming out of the UK, which is interesting given the way a BBC reporter recently admonished her interviewee for questioning the official story about the alleged Douma chemical attacks because his words could hurt the “information war” effort against Russia. If this view is widespread among British journalists (and recent headlines by the Times, the Independent and the Telegraph suggest that it may be), this means we’re looking at an environment wherein reporters aren’t even pretending it’s their job to be truthful, tell all sides of a story and hold power to account, but rather to manufacture support for escalations against Russia and undermine anyone who resists.

Today yet another mainstream smear piece has been published about Vanessa Beeley, an investigative journalist who has done extensive work on the ground in Syria, which the UK’s Huffington Post branch hilariously titled “How An Obscure British Blogger Became Russia’s Key Witness Against The White Helmets”. Its author, senior Huffpo editor Chris York, doesn’t explain how we’re meant to see an investigative journalist practicing the definition of investigative journalism on the ground in a war-torn nation as “an obscure blogger”, but he has said that he has two more such articles on the way.

Who do these people think they’re kidding? Are we truly meant to believe that people expressing skepticism about the authenticity of a “civil defense group” in a distant Middle Eastern country is suddenly the most dangerous thing in the world? Are we really meant to think it’s normal for all these mass media corporations to suddenly start ferociously attacking anyone who expresses skepticism about the military agendas of western forces that have an extensive and well-documented history of using lies, propaganda and false flags to manufacture support for military agendas? Are we really meant to believe that Syria, a nation for which the US and UK have been plotting regime change for many years, is just now in sore need of humanitarian regime change? And that anyone who says otherwise just loves Bashar al-Assad, Vladimir Putin and dead babies?

Please. We’re being lied to, aggressively and relentlessly. And it’s backfiring on them.

Propaganda and censorship only work if they’re invisible. Once it becomes obvious that propagandists are propagandizing, public attention moves from the material being presented to the people who are doing the presenting. And this is exactly what we are seeing with the establishment Syria narrative.

In martial arts you learn never to overextend and reach for your opponent, because leaning into striking range with your arm outstretched leaves you exposed to a devastating knockout counterstrike. Do that in a boxing match and you’ll eat an uppercut that leaves you staring into a ringside doctor’s pen light and questioning your life choices. By losing control of the Syria narrative and making such a strained effort to regain it, the establishment propaganda machine has overreached, and now we have only to point at what they’re doing to cripple their Syria warmongering.

Let’s make a lot of noise about this blatant, ham-fisted propaganda campaign. When people are looking straight at them and what they are doing, the psyops can’t take root. Turn the lights on full blast in this kabuki theater and shatter the illusion for everyone.


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