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Issue #1550      6 June 2012

West’s Houla Syria narrative crumbles

The UN according to Associated Press, has stated that, “most of the 108 victims of a massacre in [Houla] Syria were shot at close range, some of them women, children and entire families gunned down in their own homes.” The UN has also stated that militants, not Syrian soldiers, were responsible for the massacre. The report cites “witness accounts” claiming the militants were “pro-government thugs known as shabiha,” while the Syrian government has claimed the militants were foreign-backed armed terrorists.


Residents of the Syrian town of Houla conducting a mass burial.

This stands in stark contrast to the original narrative the US, UK, France and other NATO members have used to accuse the Syrian government for the atrocities, and even as the basis to expel Syrian diplomats. As stated by UK Foreign Office minister Alistair Burt, “We are appalled at what appears to be credible reports that the Syrian regime has been responsible for the deaths of 92 civilians in Houla, including 32 children. The UN Head of Mission has been able to confirm the numbers and also that artillery tank shells have been used. If this is the case then it’s an act of pure, naked savagery and we condemn it in the most strongest possible terms.”

Clearly Burt was not reading credible reports, nor has he or his government made any credible attempts to retract their earlier accusations now confirmed to be fabrications. Instead, what the West has done is distort each new piece of actual evidence that emerges, as the Syrian government and their Russian counterparts struggle to objectively ascertain what happened in Houla, Syria.

An example of this comes from the UK Guardian, who contradicting its own earlier reports, began citing “witness” accounts admittedly provided by Syrian opposition leaders and seemingly custom-tailored to refute the latest evidence presented by Russia before the UN Security Council.

At the moment, only Russia has observed that not enough evidence exists to blame either side, and insists that “the blame must be determined objectively.” Paradoxically, the West, who justifies its global interventions and institutions via “international rule of law,” seems intent on trying, convicting, and executing the Syrian government as quickly as possible, seemingly desperate to do so exactly before “blame can be determined objectively.”

In the wake of the Houla massacre, and evidence exposing the West’s initial narrative of Syrian troops “shelling to death” around 100 people to be categorically false, people are struggling to understand just what happened. The Guardian has chosen to post unverified witness accounts produced by the “Free Syrian Army” (FSA), seemingly custom tailored to refute evidence brought by Russia to the UN Security Council. The BBC has admitted that only “most” of the accounts they’ve received implicated what they “believe” were Syrian troops, or pro-government militias –and by doing so, imply that some did not and have told a different account.

As the window of opportunity closes for the West to exploit the bloodshed at Houla, the Western media is increasingly backpedalling, retracting, and being caught in a crossfire of their own lies and propagandising. The BBC was caught initially using years’ old photos from Iraq for their Houla coverage, while papers and networks across the board have had to adjust their narratives entirely as each new piece of verified evidence emerges.

What is known is that Syrian troops were engaged with armed militants of the FSA in and around Houla. Syrian troops, as they have been doing throughout the conflict, were using artillery and tanks to target heavily fortified opposition positions from a distance. During or shortly after this exchange, opposition forces began entering homes and killing families with knives and small arms fire. The FSA claim the militants were pro-government militias while the government claims they were foreign-backed Al-Qaeda terrorists, known to be operating throughout the country. What they weren’t, by all accounts, were Syrian troops.

A recent “editorial” out of the Globe and Mail claims that Russia’s position that opposition forces were involved in the massacre is “laughable”. However, this is divorced from not only reality, but also from a complete understanding of modern 4th generation warfare. From Venezuela to Thailand, Western backed opposition groups have triggered unrest and used it as cover to pick off members of their own movement, to then blame on the targeted government and compound any given conflict until a critical mass is reached, and a targeted government is toppled.

Information Clearing House  

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