(ANTIMEDIA Op-ed) — The fact that Russia’s military operation in Syria is still underway in the Idlib province — with heavy bombing by both Syrian government forces and Russian military forces — proves Western countries pick and choose their moments of outrage in order to pursue their warped foreign policy agenda.
To be clear, this is not a case of “Donald Trump is silent because he secretly works for Russia and is incapable of criticizing the Russian president.” It’s the media that is also currently silent on this issue — not just Donald Trump’s entire administration.
According to Middle East Eye, 100,000 residents have fled the current advance taking place in Idlib, and entire villages have reportedly been destroyed by the assault. The Guardian, citing the Union of Medical Care and Relief Organizations, claims 11 medical facilities in Idlib, Hama, and eastern Ghouta have recently been targeted by Russian and Syrian government airstrikes. However, as the Guardian notes, Trump’s “attention is elsewhere.”
“His passionate, outspoken hostility to Iran jars badly with his passivity and disinterest over the plight of Syrians dying and injured in the war. His controversial efforts to advance ties with Putin, and his wooing of the Saudis and Israelis, Iran’s sworn enemies, fit his top priority of isolating Tehran. The Syrian child victims Trump vowed to defend last April have been forgotten,” the Guardian observed.
But where the Guardian gets it wrong is that it is not just Trump who is silent on the Russian and Syrian forces’ current bombing of Syria. The mainstream media is completely quiet on this topic, too. It is an absurd paradigm in which hardly any establishment media outlets decide it is worth is begging Donald Trump to speak out against Russian and Syrian bombing in light of the fact that Trump’s own illegal bombing of Syria killed well over 1,800 civilians and razed the city of Raqqa to the ground. At the time, outlets like the Washington Post celebrated this monumental death and destruction. In other words, the idea that Trump or the establishment media care about civilian deaths is highly questionable.
Of course, Trump is not going to criticize Russia for doing on a lesser scale what he did over the course of 2017 completely unabated. The media shouldn’t focus on it for too long, either, due to its major hypocrisy in criticizing Russia for doing exactly what the U.S. does on a routine basis, which it often fails to adequately highlight. Ultimately, criticizing Russia and Syria serves a purpose for Western interests.
The reality on the ground is that the U.S. government has essentially given up on its illegal regime change operation in Syria and is instead turning to Iran. British Army Maj. Gen Felix Gedney, deputy commander for strategy and support for Operation Inherent Resolve, recently stated that the U.S.-led coalition has announced it has “no intention to operate in areas that are currently held by the regime.”
This announcement marked a huge shift in the Syrian conflict, and it corresponds to what has taken place in the battle theater recently. The U.S. military is doing little to stop Russian and Syrian advances in major parts of Syria with the exception of relying on its proxy forces.
Much like Donald Trump and Barack Obama before him, the media is geostrategically choosing its outrage. The Guardian is criticizing Trump for doing what the mainstream media is doing across the globe: focusing on Iranian protests and magnifying them as a major cause for concern while turning a blind eye to what is going on in Syria. By all accounts, the media refused to do its job by refusing to pay equal attention to the shocking number of civilian deaths caused directly by America’s decision to bomb Syria without legal authority to do so.