Lebanese Hostages in Syria and Western Media Propaganda

Al-Akhbar is currently going through a transitional phase whereby the English website is available for Archival purposes only. All new content will be published in Arabic on the main website (www.al-akhbar.com).

Al-Akhbar Management

The release of the Lebanese pilgrims who were kidnapped in Syria more than a year and a half ago was not big enough news for Western media, or even for Arab oil and gas media. The story is embarrassing for those in Western media who have been promoting and romanticizing the armed groups of the Syrian “revolution.” Worse, the captors were in fact very moderate and “secular” (any Islamist group in Syria that is not tied directly to al-Qaeda earns the moniker of “secular” by Western governments and media).

Lebanese pilgrims on their way from visiting Shia religious sites in Iraq were kidnapped because they were Shia. Liwa Asifat Ash-Shamal (the Northern Storm Brigade), a group affiliated with the Free Syrian Army, stopped the bus carrying the pilgrims traveling with their wives and children. The women and children were released, but only after the captors proudly identified themselves as members of the Free Syrian Army.

As is always the case with the Free Syrian Army, the command later denied what other members and commanders have said regarding the claim of responsibility. And like all typical cases of sectarian kidnapping by the Free Syrian Army and its other “moderate” and “secular” affiliates, the Free Syrian Army (and Qatari and Saudi propaganda outlets) claimed at first that the pilgrims were Hezbollah fighters. But that lie did not stand for long: The footage of the hostages made it clear that those were not fighters. In fact, the pilgrims were mostly part of the Amal Movement, and the pilgrimage was run by a religious travel agency run by the Amal movement in south Beirut. As in all cases relating to Syria, Western media initially repeated the lie of the Free Syrian Army and of the Asifat Ash-Shamal gang without bothering to inquire about the case or to do any independent reporting.

Western media have become so propagandistic about the Syrian “revolution” that correspondents (operating from Beirut and relying almost always on staff composed of March 14 Lebanese) don’t refrain from engaging in fundraising for the armed groups. Loveday Morris of The Washington Post wrote a tear-jerking article about the financial needs of not the “moderate” and “secular” groups who exist only in the imagination of Western governments but of what she termed “the moderate Islamist” armed groups. There are now distinctions being made between the jihadi Bin Ladenites and the moderate and reasonable jihadi Bin Ladenites: There is al-Qaeda and al-Qaeda-light. The groups that receive lavish funding from Qatar and Saudi Arabia are said to be deprived of cash.

The pilgrims spoke of the horror of their experience, but that was not something that Western media wanted to bother with. They were made to watch summary executions, including one execution of somebody whose only crime was being Christian. One of the hostages (al-Jazeera has been calling them muhtajazin, or “those under arrest”) spoke about the blatant sectarian bigotry of the captors, but his comrades (and others) later presumably pressed him to refrain from talking about the sectarian dimension. They spoke about cash payments being made to the captors by the representative of Saad Hariri and Saudi intelligence, Lebanese MP, Okab Sakr.

No matter how many sectarian crimes and war crimes are committed by Syrian armed groups, Western media will insist that they are revolutionary (and since when have Western media become keen on revolutions and revolutionaries?). For a year and a half, the families of the hostages lived in total oblivion according to Western media. The mawkishly sentimental stories about Syria can’t extend to the victims of the heroes of the Western colonial agenda in the Middle East. There were no interviews in Western media with the families of the hostages. What is even more bizarre, is that Western media have even internalized the sectarian outlook of Syrian militant groups, according to which all Shia and Alawis are shabiha who deserve death, or at least some captivity and torture.

There will come a time when the real story of the Syrian conflict is written. The story will bear no resemblance whatsoever to the prevailing narrative in Western media about the glorious “Syrian revolution” led by “secular” and “moderate” forces. But it will be a long time when a corrective story is published, and when that time comes, it will be too late, far too late.

Comments

What about the 250 000 dead sunni´s in Syria that you never mention in your Blog?. The Kerballa of Sunni´s so to speak. Is Iran now involved in fighting in Syria or not? I mean after they march in the arab syrian capital Damascus? Still no Involvement of Hezbollah in Syria Mr. pseudo progressive sectarian Asshole.

You think this sectarian shabeeh gives a damn about the "Nawasib Bakris" and then you have the dregs of the Iran-Syria alliance claim to speak in the name of Syrian Sunnis, while Amin blasts "Shi'at As-Safara"(Ali Amin, etc.) while his hypocritical people, anjas an-naas, were totally silent on the treacheries of their allies in Afghanistan and Iraq, nay Hamas is more treacherous. They rant about their support for Hamas, so lets the Assadi regime return the billions that Saudi gave it in the past or Hezbollah return the 100 million it got from Qatar.

...the folks at the Daily "Hariri" Star deserve some credit as well.

I read in a french newspaper that Qatar had paid up to 100 million euros to secure their release, and the article was bragging about how a victory for the tiny emirate the liberation of the pilgrims was.
But make no mistake: as the polls showed when the climax of pro intervention propaganda followed the august 21 attack, most western citizens have no interest whatsoever to take part in the fight. They couldn't care less about the Gulf's agenda.
And as all clandestine operations have failed, we who support the Syrian Arab Republic here and the sovereignty of the country are rather optimistic. Everybody sees now how the fucked up liberation narrative is a dead end, and all the smart people have understood Putin was right from the start.
Please translate more articles in english by the way. Your information on Syria is one of the best sources available.

Western media? what's that?
Lie news24/7. does anyone bother with that?

As regards the TRUTH the whole world knows that - (try listening to Comment Press TV.
At the tender age of 6 we learnt what western media bbc was!
we were FORCED to stand in the hot blistering sun from 08.00 till bbc's hideous ugly majesty drove through for a fraction of a second in her air-conditioned car. We were not allowed to move - no water, no visit to the washroom....etc
the obnoxious butchering barbaric bbc came and asked us why we were there. we shouted that we were forced to stand there we want to go home, we need water, some needed to use washroom, some were crying, .......
what does bbc write?? the bloody disgusting scums!
the school kids were waiting since 08.00 to greet "his damned queen"
we couldn't give a flying **** about that nasty women

this is what our mothers, their mothers, we and others had to go through.
so really nobody pays attention to or the whorish press. As regards El Liezeera - what a sick joke:
during the US/UK +40 thieves of Baghdad TERRORISM - B liar's Supreme war crimes, Liezeera gave UNLIMITED time to berlusconi' s mafia in Iraq caught with a car FULL of weapons (Italy denied that they had anyone in Iraq) to the families of the scum terrorist mercenaries to make numerous appeals for their child killers.
we wrote to El Liezeera to give us only 20 sec to make our appeal to the butchers of Baghdad not to phosphor bomb the holy city of 150 mosque of Al Falluja and they didnot have the courage to respond.
the curse of Karbala on them

The saga of John McCain's Northern Storm Brigade continues...
He should meet with the victims, hear their stories, and then beg their forgiveness.

year, sure, the old war criminal is SO going to do it (just ask his victims from Vietnam, for ex)

! Two Thumbs Up !

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd><img><h1><h2><h3><h4><h5><h6><blockquote><span><aside>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

More information about formatting options

^ Back to Top