Strategic Culture — April 27, 2018
This week saw a horrendous massacre of up to 50 women and children at a wedding party in Yemen, carried out by the US, British and French-backed Saudi air force.
Two wedding halls in Hajjah Province were obliterated in the air strikes. Body parts were strewn among the debris in a hellish scene.
Among the carnage, a little boy was found by civilian rescuers clinging desperately to the body of his dead father. He refused to let go of his father’s bloodied corpse, clinging to the hope that his parent was still alive.
There was hardly any coverage of the slaughter in Western news media.
Yet the incident was nothing other than a massacre of civilians by Saudi warplanes, armed and fueled by the US, Britain and France. A war crime.
Abominably, the Hajjah bombing was just one of many such war crimes committed by the Western-backed Saudi regime in Yemen over the past three years.
Contrast that Western media indifference to Yemen’s suffering with the saturated coverage given to an unverifiable, and as it turns out, fabricated incident in Syria over an alleged chemical-weapons attack in Douma on April 7.
Videos of dubious provenance were played over and over on Western media purporting to show children suffering from chemical exposure in Syria. Strangely, the pitiful scene of the Yemeni wedding hall massacre and the little boy among the carnage gained negligible Western media coverage.
A week after the Douma incident, on April 14, after much hysterical condemnation of the Syrian government and its Russia ally, US President Donald Trump and his British and French counterparts ordered a barrage of missile strikes on Syria in what was supposed to be revenge for the alleged atrocity in Douma.
Trump, Theresa May and Emmanuel Macron made anguished statements about “human suffering” in Syria. On Yemen, they say nothing.
This week, Russian authorities facilitated testimonies by families from Douma at the Hague headquarters of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. British and American officials decried it as Russian “theatrics” without even bothering to listen to the testimonies.
Children who had previously appeared in dubious videos released by the militants in Douma testified that they were orchestrated unwittingly for a propaganda video on April 7 purporting to show chemical weapons had been used. It turns out that no chemical weapons were used. Medics in Douma confirmed that too.
The Douma incident was undoubtedly a false flag. There was no chemical-weapons attack. It was a brazen fiction amplified by Western media.
Shamefully, Western media this week have blatantly dropped the Douma “story” probably in light of the evidence emerging about the false flag.
But based on that stunt, the US, France and Britain launched over 100 missiles on Syria. The US-led airstrikes were based on a lie. The strikes were, therefore, a grave violation of international law. A war crime.
The Western media in their reckless, hysterical coverage of the Douma incident alleging a chemical-weapon attack thus stand accused of complicity in the subsequent criminal US-led air strikes.
But where are the Western media coverage and outcry over a real atrocity which happened this week in Yemen? Like many other real atrocities that have occurred in Yemen from Western-backed Saudi air strikes, the Western media act as conduits for covering up the crimes by omitting to report on the horror.
Another distorted priority in Western media was the massive coverage given to an incident this week in Toronto where some deranged individual killed 10 pedestrians with a van. A terrible crime in Toronto no doubt. But nothing on the scale of dozens of women and children being butchered in Yemen by US, British and French-backed Saudi warplanes.
The near-complete absence of reporting on the barbarity inflicted in Yemen with the support of Western governments is an example of how Western media operate like propaganda services.
No wonder that Western governments get away with such crimes in Yemen and elsewhere when the news media in those countries are shamefully derelict in reporting on the crimes of Western governments, and holding the latter to account.
To accuse Western media of being derelict is perhaps too generous a criticism. They are in fact complicit in war crimes by their deliberate distortion and omission.
Their complicity is compounded by their arrogance in proclaiming to be “independent, professional journalism”. It is sickening when Western media outlets continually boast about their “excellence in journalism”. Celebrity self-inflated journalists like Christiane Amanpour at CNN or Stephen Sackur at the BBC talk about “digging for truth and understanding” and “hard talking”.
Why isn’t Amanpour digging for “truth and understanding” in the blood-soaked rubble of Yemen; why isn’t Sackur hard-talking to Western foreign ministers about their crimes in Yemen and Syria, like he rudely tried to do recently with Russia’s Sergei Lavrov? They don’t because they are vastly overpaid propaganda artists in the service of imperial power.
These people, like the news organizations they work for, are vile charlatans. The Western media are propaganda cleaners for their criminal governments. This week’s distortion about a false flag in Syria and the horror in Yemen is the proof.