More "rebel" BS in Syria: Madaya outrage fakery

Starvation victim, but not from Madaya, Syria

By now, the "rebels" in Syria, and their enablers Human Rights Watch (NATO, Inc), Amnesty International, and the so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (which is actually just one guy in the UK) have compiled a solid record of fiction and BS.

Their eagerness to smear the elected government of Syria (the "Assad regime") knows no bounds, and no untruth is spared in the effort. The massacre at al-Houla, the "chemical attacks" in East Ghouta, and many others have turned out to be atrocities committed and video-taped by the "rebels," and peddled to the international media as the handiwork of Assad's war criminals.

By now, anyone who's been paying attention should, when coming across one of these PR campaigns, react by remembering the old adage, "a good lie will go round the world before the truth can get its trousers on." Give it a couple days, and maybe the truth will eke out.

Recently the media have their shorts in a knot about the Syrian town of Madaya, near the border with Lebanon. Why? Because people are starving. Why? Because the town has been under the control of "rebels" since 2012, and the Syrian Arab Army has laid siege to the town to force the "rebels" to surrender. No food has got in since last October, we are told. People have tried to leave, but they've "been shot." There are minefields--people trying to escape have been blown up. There are photographs and videos of emaciated, sometimes dead victims.

Why should we be suspicious? To begin with, the photos that accompany the articles in the western mainstream are fake (see below). They're photos that have been used before, and they are not of the townspeople of Madaya. We've seen this before: Earlier this year Human Rights Watch used a photo of the Israeli destruction of Gaza that it attributed to Assad's "barrel bombs" in Aleppo. In the massacre at al-Houla, photos of corpses turned out to be from Iraq. The videos that publicized the "chemical attack" in East Ghouta were faked. So if the photos lie, can you trust the rest?

Note the use of the passive voice. The Syrian army laid siege, but people trying to escape "are shot." Are shot by whom? Do Hezbollah or the Syrian army have the slightest reason to shoot people trying to escape? Er, no, it would be entirely counter-productive, non-strategic. Do the "rebels" who control the town have reason to shoot? They sure do. They're using these people as human shields; if everyone could go, they undoubtedly would, if they're starving. Then how would the "rebels" survive the attack that would surely follow?

Do we see anything about "rebel" fighters starving? I haven't. Feel free to let me know if you do. I don't expect you will.

In my opinion, if it weren't for the clear political purpose for which this story is being used, the headline could just as well be: "Rebels controlling Syrian town using civilians as hostages, letting them starve rather than surrender."

Hey, now there's an idea! If these humanitarians were really interested in people not starving, a "rebel" surrender would certainly do the trick.

But wait a minute! There's already an agreement in place by which the "rebels" surrender and are allowed to go to other "rebel"-held territory, but it hasn't been implemented yet. Wonder why? If it was the Syrian government's fault, you can bet we'd know about it--the "rebels" would have it all over social media, even if it weren't true.

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There are actually three towns with sieges. Unfortunately, two of them are being besieged by "rebels," and are therefore not as interesting. See Crisis in Madaya exposes double standards. This is also the source for the "agreement" mentioned above.

There apparently were pro-government demonstrations in Madaya last month. Some of the civilians there may be starving because they can't afford the prices charged by the "Local Revolutionary Council." See Madaya: Why would Assad starve his own supporters? This might help to explain why we've yet to hear from any citizens of Madaya telling us they're starving, and why.

Thanks to Tim Anderson, Brian Souter, and others at the FB group "Hands Off Syria."

Recycled photos, not from Madaya, Syria

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