A CNN interview of several years ago with Asma Assad, the wife of Syrian President Bashar Assad, offers us a fascinating look at how the media score propaganda points against foreign leaders the US has slated for regime change.
In the above video, we get the original interview, basically in its more-or-less unedited form. This took place in 2009–I gather early in the year, when Israel was carrying out its ‘Operation Cast Lead’ attack upon Gaza, a conflict which took the lives of some 1,400 Palestinians and in which the Israelis carried out incendiary white phosphorous attacks in densely populated areas, causing deaths from severe burns.
During the interview Mrs. Assad expresses the concerns any normal human being would express over the rising civilian death toll, and she also discusses at some length the hardships faced by Gazans even when they’re not under attack by Israeli planes, this due to the ongoing embargo. Clearly Mrs. Assad is a woman of great compassion as well as great beauty.
But in the next video, CNN launches what might be thought of as the journalistic equivalent of a homicidal ax attack against her. Fast forward–to the year 2012. Mrs. Assad’s country has been invaded by terrorist proxy armies backed by the US and its allies. And the CNN reporter castigates her unmercifully for not speaking out against efforts by the Syrian Army to defend the country, while at the same time heaping contempt upon her earlier expressions of compassion for the Palestinians of Gaza.
“Inspiring words that today ring deafeningly hollow!” he says, his voice dripping with scorn.
In 2012, media attacks this vitriolic were perhaps a bit less common than they are today, though of course they were out there. You’ll notice the reporter includes the standard, obligatory claim of a hospital bombing, though with, as today, no evidence of such presented. We are presumably expected to believe that Mrs. Assad’s husband, an articulate, soft-spoken ophthalmologist by training, suddenly, upon a whim, picked up a phone and ordered an airstrike on a hospital–simply because he enjoys “committing horrific abuses against Syrian citizens.”
Whenever the US decides to target a foreign leader for regime change, the media are always down with the program. This is the way it’s been for a while. Maybe that will change under Donald Trump. His words spoken before an audience in Cincinnati last night are at least encouraging.
“We will destroy ISIS. At the same time, we will pursue a new foreign policy that finally learns from the mistakes of the past. We will stop looking to topple regimes and overthrow governments, folks,” Trump said.
But as we see, the “ship of state” is more than just the White House. It also includes media gargoyles that spew propaganda like a dragon spews fire. Whether Trump can effectively turn the whole thing around, if he even intends to, remains to be seen.