Sunday, 7 June 2015

War with Isis: As the militant threat grows, so does the West's self-deception

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 Patrick Cockburn is a magician, he has made Bashar al-Assad disappear. After a year of telling us the only way to defeat ISIS¹ was to ally with a régime bombing, raping and torturing its people to the max, this latest fantasy ignores him altogether. Even in Hasakah, where Assad's army has been holding the town and a few surrounding villages, we get this, 

 "Isis routed the Syrian army and captured Palmyra and has since struck at Syrian opposition units north of Aleppo and at the north-eastern city of Hasaka."

 Maybe it is the awkward fact that the Syrian Arab Army barely exists now, and exists "for a single man's benefit."². Maybe it is that the Syrian airforce has been bombing rebel positions in support of an attempted ISIS advance in Aleppo province³, while the US ignores ISIS there in favour of bombing those fighting Assad in Idlib⁴. Meanwhile Assad carries out a massacre by bombing a town centre in Idlib⁵, as much a barbarian as the barbarians of ISIS Cockburn used to present him as the alternative to.
 It is a disgrace that Patrick Cockburn, and indeed Robert Fisk⁶, are still employed by the Independent, without their output being clearly labelled as fiction.

¹As Muhammed Idris Ahmad wrote in his exposure of Cockburn's lie about witnessing an alleged massacre of Christians in Adra, 'For Cockburn, the situation in Syria is stark: you are with the regime or you are with the terrorists. He is an enthusiast for the war on terror—Bashar al-Assad’s war on terror. He criticizes the U.S. for excluding from its anti-ISIS coalition “almost all those actually fighting ISIS, including Iran, the Syrian army, the Syrian Kurds and the Shia militias in Iraq.” “The enemy of our enemy”, he insists, “must be our friend”—and those who reject this formula are “glib” and “shallow”.' []





⁶See the first link, "Cockburn is only following the precedent of his illustrious colleague Robert Fisk who, in August 2012, after a massacre of 400-500 people in Daraya, rode a Syrian Army armoured personnel carrier to the scene, interviewed survivors—“in the company of armed Syrian forces”—and concluded that, contrary to initial reports, “armed insurgents rather than Syrian troops” were responsible for the massacre." []

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