Detroit, Michigan (TFC) – Beginning last Thursday event pages began appearing on Facebook promoting demonstrations worldwide to protest the increased violence in Aleppo. The problem with these demonstrations is they were primarily only critical of the actions of the Syrian and Russian governments.
Nobody is in favor of the violence in Aleppo or Syria in general but it did seem odd that such a massive PR campaign emerged seemingly overnight on such a massive scale. The timing of the campaign also sparked some questions; all of a sudden Aleppo was top priority among the anti-Assad community right as the Syrian military was undertaking a major offensive to retake the city from a coalition of fighters that Western media refers to only as “the rebels.”
The issue with the rebels inside Aleppo is that as recently as late April, the US Department of Defense agreed with the assessments made by the Russian government that the fighters primarily belonged to the al-Qaeda affiliated al-Nusra front. To be fair, following the demonstrations this weekend; Ayman al-Zawahiri did give al-Nusra “permission” to break their affiliation (possibly to better the chances of being included in the next round of ceasefire talks) but this was not the case at the time the events were organized.
With all of this being public knowledge, it’s curious to think who would be so anti-Assad that they would support known Western-funded Jihadist groups holding the city over the secular government retaking it. Yet doing some digging in the right places reveals that the source of the Save Aleppo campaign was a large media conglomerate sponsored by some of the usual actors who attempt to subvert foreign nation’s sovereignty in favor of a pro-NATO agenda.
On May 2nd, the first rumblings of the campaign appeared on the Global Voices website. Global Voices is a consortium of primarily Western media outlets such as The Guardian, PRI, The BBC and Slate along with media outlets run by Middle Eastern dissenters like Syria Deeply. Similar to the recent leak of the Panama papers this organization of journalists is funded by several neoliberal mega donors.
Global Voices has a list of the usual suspect wealthy benefactors who always appear when the media is needed to spin a narrative against adversary states. The links to the protests can easily be drawn to “philanthropist” giants like the MacArthur and Knight Foundations along with The Open Society Institute (part of the Soros network.)
This isn’t to blame the demonstrators any more than blame should be put on activists fooled by other Soros organizations such as MoveOn. This also doesn’t absolve Bashar Assad of any criminal violations he may or may not have committed. The primary criticism is fairly simple; the narrative shouldn’t be twisted to absolve extremists of their obvious crimes and the word should be spread who is trying to change the story.
Counter protesters did attempt to do this in several locations including Detroit, Michigan where a rally was held by the local chapter of FIST (Fight Imperialism Stand Together) to counter any ideas of more NATO intervention or US lead covert operations and arming of “rebels.”
Demonstrations like this should be the goal of citizens of the West to educate those being manipulated to show that they are being mislead into potentially encouraging the escalation of violence. This is the typical manipulation of groups like The Soros Network and more needs to be done to counter a narrative that whitewashes the facts and could help the West sell a larger operation in the area.
Editor’s Note: In addition to our original content, The Fifth Column republishes articles from over 130 outlets worldwide. While TFC did not participate in the “Save Aleppo” campaign (for many of the reasons above), we do publish carefully selected articles from Global Voices. The articles we aggregate are from individual journalists, not organizations. It should be made clear that we receive no funding from any foundation, multinational conglomerate, or anything of that nature. TFC’s sources of revenue are limited to advertising revenue through the ads you see on the page and donations from readers like you. If you would like to review the articles we have aggregated from Global Voices, you can find them here.