On July the 10th 2013 the Guardian published an article written by Yassin al-Haj Saleh in which he directly appeals to “friends and leaders of public opinion in the west”. The article is entitled “Help Syria now. Tomorrow it may be too late” and is pretty much a public letter attempting to persuade readers to support some kind of military intervention in Syria on behalf of the rebels – be that weapons shipments or a no fly zone or both.
Here is a link to the article > Help Syria now. Tomorrow it may be too late
The article obviously contains emotive language and for all intents and purposes may be written honestly and directly from the heart – however I find it worrying that this kind of letter would not be published on behalf of someone calling for Saudi Arabia and Qatar to stop supplying the rebels with arms and money. This is how the Guardian and other mainstream news outlets continue to give more airtime to one side of the argument (the side of the argument also shared by the upper echelons of the UK Government like William Hague and David Cameron).
The article in question contains numerous statements which could be classed as propaganda. Below, I have highlighted several quotes.
“Finally, after the world established that the regime used chemical weapons, (something I documented myself and verified with friends who have the necessary personal expertise)…”
The perpetrators of the chemical weapons attack have never been fully identified and no evidence is given to back up this accusation.
“There is a fascist regime that has already killed more than 100,000 of its own people…”
Laying the blame for the entire death toll at Assads feet seems inappropriate. According to this recent Reuters article the UN estimates that around 35 to 40% of the deaths have been on the side of pro Assad forces. The writer then goes on to describe the armed opposition to Assad as…
“… a diverse umbrella of revolutionaries, of which some had been radicalized due to the longevity of the conflict and the weakening resistance of Syrian society towards radicalism.”
This statement suggests that radical Islamists are a by-product of the wars longevity but source material tells us that extremists were attacking security forces just weeks after the uprising began. For source material and evidence of this please visit the links posted on my previous blog “Rewriting the Syrian script”.
The majority of the comments below the article dismiss the authors main premise as to suggest that his plea for help has been largely ignored by the readers. I’ll leave you with a few comments which received the most recommendations.
“Hopefully, the appeal is to our Government to stop selling weapons to the Gulf States who are the culprits behind the violence in Syria.”
“See the foreign office has nudged both the Guardian and the BBC Newsnight program (with their sham debate last night “Syria. Time to act?”) to have a co-ordinated campaign to persuade the british public that it is okay arm the rebel rabble”
“If you have your country’s best interest at heart stop calling for war and instead call for peace.”
“How can such a biased war mongering article appear in the Guardian? Even a child would see through the author. This article is an insult for even those who hate the Assad government, let alone those who do not believe in western propaganda regarding Syria.
The conflict could have been solved yesterday, had it not for the bottomless purse of the Qataris, who keep sending the Jihadists and the weapons to Syria.
In any of your ‘articles’ have you criticised any of the Gulf states? If not, why not?”