Public outcry and condemnation against the Syrian government spread like wildfire across mainstream news and social media when the horrific photos of starved children and civilians from the besieged town of Madaya emerged. No one could understand why Assad would allow this to happen to his own people, especially since videos emerged (that can be seen on my last Madaya article) under a month ago that displayed rallies against the occupying terrorist forces and in support of the Syrian government.
Hours after my last article, truth seekers quickly unveiled the lies shrouding around the starvation of the people.
It was also interesting to see that an official statement by the neutral Red Cross could not verify or deny the systematic starvation of Madaya’s people.
— الهيئةالسوريةللإعلام (@SMO_SYRIA) January 9, 2016
However, for the sake of analysis, I must now retract from my previous refusal of posting photos of malnourished people so that the truth can be open.
One of the first and most heartbreaking was one of a healthy young girl followed by a new photo of her on the verge of death because of starvation.
This photo published by Saudi owned Al-Arabiya soon quickly engulfed media platforms and the calls for humanitarian intervention was called. However, it was quickly revealed by the Lebanese Daily Star that the girl in question is actually a south Lebanese girl who is in safe hands with her family, and is fit and healthy.
— Iman (@Iman84NL) January 9, 2016
Although this does not discount the hunger permeating in Madaya, and the shocking condition of the girl starved in the photo, what it does present is an obvious media distortion of the truth. This propaganda was well received by war mongering interventionists, Syrian ‘opposition’ (jihadists and their sympathizers), and the trendy Western left.
When this truth was exposed, calls for people to retract their propaganda were denied.
This shocking tweet is just one upon hundreds I personally saw of people refusing to revert their falsifications, or admittance that they will keep up with the propaganda campaign till intervention against the Syrian government is achieved.
It must be questioned however why people automatically assumed that the Syrian government were responsible for the starvation of Madaya. Throughout the war we have seen efforts of terrorist militants attempting to force an international intervention as seen in Libya that provided the conditions of a stable ruler to be overthrown and where jihadists can prosper.
This began with the chemical weapon allegations, despite prominent U.N. Weapons Inspector on the ground in Syria, Carla del Ponte, stating there is little evidence that the government were responsible for the sarin gas attack in Ghouta in 2013. She alluded that it was most likely the terrorist forces, but of course, the usual social justice warriors and international community ignored her, and continued with the false narrative.
Then of course there is the narrative that Assad is supposedly barrel bombing his own people in a systematic effort, despite Assad fighting a war for the support of his people, as well as the war against the terrorist forces. It seems that would be a little counter-productive to systematically target your own innocent civilians. Of course, this simple notion seems to be a little perplexing for the terrorist sympathizers.
However, the case of Madaya was not reduced to one southern Lebanese girl, the propaganda was far and wide.
Al-Jazeera published a photo of a man supposedly starved in Madaya, which turns out to be a photo of a refugee in Europe from 2009.
Then of course we had the shocking photo of the malnourished baby ‘from Madaya’, who actually turned out to be a child from the Yarmouk Palestinian camp on the outskirts of Damascus. The photo was taken in 2014.
The Western media narrative has focused on Hezbollah and the Syrian Arab Army forces conducting a food blockade on the town. However, these allegations ignore that truckloads of food and medical aid that have reached Madaya and that have been turned into a weaponized tool by the terrorist forces holed up in the town. As seen in my previous Madaya piece, which was linked earlier in the article, the people of Madaya support the government and confronted the militants on why they have no food. Images have appeared of hunger sticken women and children, yet all the militants seem to be in fit and healthy conditions. One must question why is this?
More importantly, this propaganda campaign has remained defiant, and the public outcry for intervention stonger then ever, despite the irrefutable evidence on the falsification of the situation in Madaya. We have had the Middle East’s largest media services blatantly posting false images from Madaya. This is not to discount the pain and suffering of the people starved in the photos, this should not exist anywhere in the world, but we set a dangerous precedence when we apply these photos to the wrong context. Most disturbing however are the acknowledgement on the false photos, but people still wanting to use them for their own agendas that serve to only increase the suffering in Syria through the expansion of war and intervention.
Before submitting to the western narrative that leads to calls of intervention, always take a step back and find the truth on the issue, because just like the chemical weapons and the systematic targeting of civilians that led to calls for intervention, this is just another false red line that was once again quickly disproven.
The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Al-Masdar News.
Paul Antonopoulos is currently a Candidate for an MA Degree, writing his dissertation on the Saudi-Iranian Geopolitical Rivalry in the Syrian War.