by Amal Saad-Ghorayeb
So after today’s suicide bombing by opposition forces (most likely the same al-Qaeda linked/inspired groups that have claimed responsibility for previous terrorist attacks), here’s how the news wires covered the attack:
Associated Press: “The regime blamed Friday’s attack on unspecified “terrorists” - the term it uses to describe opposition forces that it says are carrying out a foreign conspiracy.”
AFP: “The report blamed “terrorists,” the term used by President Bashar al-Assad’s regime to refer to the armed opposition…Assad’s regime has repeatedly blamed “armed terrorist groups” for the violence, and for failing to abide by a putative ceasefire that went into force on April 12.”
First of all, there is the ever-present, and borderline sarcastic, reference to how the regime perceives the armed opposition as carrying out a “foreign conspiracy”. So Turkey’s hosting and arming of the opposition and FSA, and the US and other “Friends of Syria’s” declared intent [if not after-the-fact acknowledgement] to arm these groups, should not be interpreted by the regime as a foreign conspiracy to overthrow it, nor should Israeli officials’ admissions of meeting with elements in the Syrian opposition, or France’s saber-rattling for military intervention. By extension, groups receiving this aid are not involved in this conspiracy and the regime’s depiction of them as such is surely delusional. Well, to some extent it is injudicious of the Assad regime to continue to refer to what is an openly belligerent US-western-Turkish-Arab-Israeli-al-Qaeda war against it as a hidden conspiracy. It is anopenly declared foreign war on Syria, and not an ill-concealed foreign conspiracy.
Second, according to mainstream media’s logic, a suicide bombing which targets innocent civilians isn’t necessarily a terrorist attack, hence the need to use the term “terrorist” in quotation marks and to clarify what is really meant by it. Thus for example, the Assad regime “describes” or “refers” to the perpetrators of this attack as “terrorists” when in reality they are merely the “armed opposition”. This despite the fact that almost all definitions of terrorism share one common denominator— irrespective of their other differences— which is the deliberate use of force, or the threat of force, against civilian targets for political purposes. Mainstream news agencies have not hesitated in the past to refer to such attacks on western soil as “terrorism”, but the failure to do so in the case of Syria reflects their not-so-hidden political agendas and the degree of their embeddedness in Empire’s foreign policy objectives. More than this, their legitimization of such violence as routine armed opposition tactics essentially whitewashes terrorism as a form of morally acceptable insurrectionist warfare, and as such, is tantamount to complicity in these acts of terrorism. As Colonel Ralph Peters admits in the article I posted yesterday on information warfare: “ OUR CREATIVITY IS DEVASTATING.” Indeed it is, for it kills innocent lives and then walks in their funerals, as the Arabic proverb goes.