The mainstream media, which promoted the narrative of ‘Assad gassing his own people’ early on, has refused to acknowledge the facts and evidence which point to a false flag at Douma. Instead, they either ignore the evidence or double down on the false ‘gas attack’ narrative.
As far as I am aware, the only reporters in the UK mainstream media to raise any questions about the OPCW scandal are the late Robert Fisk in the Independent and Peter Hitchens in the Mail on Sunday. In the US, the only reporter I am aware of who has questioned the narrative is Fox News host Tucker Carlson. This is despite the fact that political corruption at the OPCW should be a massive scandal.
The Douma case is a clear example of the fact that our media serves the establishment and not the people, and that they are complicit in covering up for establishment crimes.
In this article I am going to tackle the case of George Monbiot, an alleged anti-establishment journalist who follows the establishment line on Douma.
The Case of George Monbiot
Before I get into Monbiot’s opinion on Douma, I’d like to examine an article Monbiot wrote several years ago called ‘Choose Life‘.
I used to be rather a fan of Monbiot around 12 or so years ago. I even own a few of his books and used to regularly read the Guardian. That’s how I originally found that article. I want to talk about it because it gives an interesting insight into how Monbiot sees himself.
The article is about giving careers advice to young people looking to get into journalism. In it, Monbiot is very keen to promote anti-establishment ideas, and prioritise speaking the truth over money. He encourages young people to get out there and cover what they actually want to talk about rather than using conventional means to work their way up the journalism ladder. He talks about holding on to your dreams and learning to live off the smallest amount of money that you possibly can in order to become less reliant on the system. He ends the article by saying that the editor of the Times may have more wealth than you do, but that he is just a cog in the system who has far less freedom than yourself (if you follow Monbiot’s sage advice).
Now you might think, well how does he reconcile that with working for The Guardian? After all, The Guardian is part of the British establishment. Well, he says that there might be niches in the corporate world for you to fulfill your dreams so long as you are careful and always make sure these opportunities aren’t leading you away from where you want to be.
Of course, what I find interesting is that he proves his own argument in the strongest possible terms: if you work for the establishment then you will end up being bent to what the establishment wants you to say. They may allow dissent on minor issues in some cases or the occasional decent article to make them look more credible (though even the space for this seems to be decreasing). But on the big issues – war and imperialism being one of those – dissent is very rare.
Monbiot has been promoting the establishment line on Syria for several years now. Monbiot will claim – when he is called out for repeating deep state talking points – that he opposes Western intervention in Syria and thus he is not supporting the establishment position. This argument ignores the fact that by repeating the deep state lies about Syria, he is manufacturing consent for war regardless. A weak ‘but I don’t support war’ tacked on at the end does nothing to change that.
Not only that, Monbiot seems to have a lot of time to argue with people online about Syria. If you search ‘Syria’ from tweets from his account, you end up with quite a few of them. There is a whole list of tweets attacking the ‘Assad apologists’ who criticise his position. Some of them are ridiculous strawmen such as claiming that sceptics of official narratives on Syria are “keen to believe that Bashar al-Assad’s government is purer than the driven snow”, a claim no one has made. Narrative sceptics are “Russian bots, outright fascists and leftist tankies” rather than people who think the evidence just doesn’t stack up. People who question the White Helmets are, of course, “conspiracy theorists”.
One of his arguments is to smear those who focus on Douma as, you guessed it, ‘Assad apologists’.
“Say, for the sake of argument, there wasn’t a CW attack at Douma (unlikely to be true, in view of the evidence). It would be one great crime Assad had not committed, against tens of thousands he has. Yet this is the issue you obsess about. Why? Because you’re apologists.”
Of course, this argument is completely wrong. Monbiot (deliberately in my opinion) fails to make the connection between the Douma narrative and the push for war by the West. The Douma narrative was directly used to justify bombing Syria. This means that it is crucially important whether or not the claim is a lie. If the US & UK were using some other claim as an excuse to bomb Syria, then that claim would be the one coming under the most scrutiny. (Of course if we examined some other imperialist argument, Monbiot would be sitting here making the same case about that claim instead.) This arguments is the equivalent of saying ‘Why are you all obsessing over WMDs in Iraq, even if Hussein doesn’t have them, he did all these other crimes!’. There are other important aspects to this issue as well, notably whether or not the OPCW is politically compromised. This is vitally important as if the institution is compromised then we have to re-examine all chemical weapons claims in the light of this political bias. None of it is about ‘obsessing’ over Douma because we are ‘apologists’.
Why talk about Douma now?
The final point I would like to make in this series is that it is still important that people know the truth about Douma. The British, French and American governments bombed Syria on the basis of a fraudulent claim that Assad did a gas attack in Douma. Accountability for government lies is important.
The Douma case is also a good example of how the media covers up for those lies by refusing to report upon the claims of credible whistleblowers such as Ian Henderson. Alleged left wingers such as Monbiot are further recruited in order to put forward the ‘left wing’ case for establishment lies.