Previously, I was under the impression that Gallup was in the business of polling
opinion, not shaping
opinion. Now I know better
The headline is: "Four in Five Americans View Syria Unfavorably." Syria, we learn, is the least popular nation in the world, after North Korea.
It's a clever bit of propaganda: The article deliberately confuses American antipathy for the war
in Syria with antipathy for the government of Bashar Assad. The poll is presented as a resounding denunciation of Assad, even though it does not actually measure how Americans feel about him.
That said, I am quite certain that most Americans have a very negative attitude toward Assad, since this country has been spectacularly misinformed about that conflict. Most mainstream writers have repeatedly stated that Assad is the root cause of his country's civil war; the more audacious newsfakers have offered the bonkers theory that ISIS and Assad are somehow working together. (If you believe that nonsense, then you are probably the sort of person who can also be convinced that Churchill colluded with Hitler.)
The truth: There is no civil war
. Assad is an elected leader
, more popular in Syria
than Obama is in the U.S. He was targeted for regime change by the Saudis, by the Turks and by our own neocons -- and also by the Israelis, who have long wanted to see Assad go. Syria has been besieged by an army of imported
jihadis, created and funded largely by Saudi Arabia and Qatar. These young Islamic maniacs have functioned as a neocon proxy army.
The Gallup story is itself a disinformation exercise:
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has used chemical weapons against his own people, maintains close ties with Russian President Vladimir Putin and keeps his grip on a country that has rebelled against him for several years. Now with conflict creating an international refugee crisis, it's not surprising that Americans' views of the country are at a low ebb.
Where to start with this? Let's begin with the beginning.
"Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has used chemical weapons against his own people..."
No reasonable, informed person now believes this. As we have demonstrated repeatedly in previous posts, and as Sy Hersh
has confirmed, the real perps were Nusra
(a.k.a. Al Qaeda). Even the CIA recently admitted that the jihadists have long had a CBW capability. The most oft-cited source for the "Assad did it" thesis is a Human Rights Watch report
-- which I have indeed read (although I doubt that the Gallup writer quoted above can make the same claim). HWR's "proof" came in the form of circles drawn on maps, illustrating the range of areas that the missiles could
have come from; since those circles included government-held territory and
jihadi-infested locations, this "proof" is meaningless.
Assad's forces had no logical reason to launch a CBW attack: Hitting civilian targets served no military function and would only result in worldwide condemnation. The jihadis did
have a logical motive for such an attack: They sought to draw the U.S. into the battle on their side.
Let me repeat a telling point. To this day, and despite the enforced exodus of those most likely to support him, Assad is more popular in Syria than any
American politician is in America. (Such was the judgment of an independent British organization which specializes in conducting polls in conflict zones.) Damascus remains the
hub of pro-Assad sentiment. Would that be the case if the people of Damascus believed that he launched a chemical attack against defenseless non-combatants?
"Close ties with Vladimir Putin"
: This is no sin. Putin has done nothing wrong. He is defending a country that has been unfairly attack by a conspiracy of outsiders.
"Keeps his grip on a country that has rebelled against him"
-- as noted above, what's happening in Syria is not a civil war. Assad faces a proxy army created by the Saudis, the Turks and the U.S. Anyone who has read up on the CIA's methods of destablization will recognize the scenario. (William Blum's Killing Hope
is your best guide here.) One should hope
that Assad "keeps his grip," since his removal would mean the ascension of ISIS and Nusra (Al Qaeda).
"Now with conflict creating an international refugee crisis..."
Assad did not create that crisis. We did.
The Syrian war resulted from our insane decision to side with Sunni theocratic dictatorships against a secular democracy in which Christians and other minorities lived in peace. The refugees are Christians, Alawites, Shi'ites and secular-oriented people who have fled the areas controlled by our Islamic proxy armies.
The moment America gives up on the sick dream of regime change, the refugees will pack for the trip back home.
Gallup should stick to reporting
opinion, not manipulating it.
If you have the stomach for it, take a look at this interview
with Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir. Much of what he says is pure deception, of course. But you don't have to do much reading between the lines to get a shiver from the following:
SPIEGEL: Is Saudi Arabia in favor of supplying anti-aircraft missiles to the rebels?
Al-Jubeir: Yes. We believe that introducing surface-to-air missiles in Syria is going to change the balance of power on the ground. It will allow the moderate opposition to be able to neutralize the helicopters and aircraft that are dropping chemicals and have been carpet-bombing them, just like surface-to-air missiles in Afghanistan were able to change the balance of power there. This has to be studied very carefully, however, because you don't want such weapons to fall into the wrong hands.
SPIEGEL: Into the hands of Islamic State.
Al-Jubeir: This is a decision that the international coalition will have to make. This is not Saudi Arabia's decision.
Translation: Of course
the missiles (which can -- and will -- be used to shoot down civilian airliners) will fall into the hands of ISIS. Why not? Every other piece of military equipment we have sent over to Syria has "accidentally" ended up with ISIS, in the most outlandish series of oopsies
in military history. See here
, and that's just for starters.
Did you know that we "accidentally" gave ISIS a fleet of 2300 Humvees
? What makes you think that we won't also "accidentally" give them surface-to-air missiles? Hell, I'm surprised that they haven't already "accidentally" received tactical nuclear weapons...
Actually, the "accident" may have already happened. Some believe that ISIS already has a limited SAM capability: See here
. There's even some evidence that ISIS has Scuds
We should not allow Al-Jubeir's most outlandish lies go unrefuted.
It will allow the moderate opposition to be able to neutralize the helicopters and aircraft that are dropping chemicals and have been carpet-bombing them, just like surface-to-air missiles in Afghanistan were able to change the balance of power there.
There is no "moderate" opposition in Syria
-- unless you follow James Clapper's suggestion that all non-ISIS jihadis (including Nusra/Al Qaeda) should now be rebranded as "moderates." Neither the Syrians nor the Russians have carpet bombed anyone, and they certainly have not dropped "chemicals."
Al-Jubeir neglects to mention one key fact: The Stinger missiles given to the Mujahadin ended up with the Taliban and Al Qaeda. The theocratic despots running Saudi Arabia may want to repeat that history -- they've supported Al Qaeda from the start -- but all sane people will say "No thanks. Not again."