Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Clear deceptions | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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With a regime such as the one led by Bashar al-Assad and his father Hafez al-Assad before him, the lie is one of the most important means of influencing people. The al-Assad regime has always sought to sell attractive illusions. These illusions were politically mouthwatering, such as nationalism, Arabism and resistance, and stories, slogans and goals were invented in order to consecrate these ideals in the minds of the people. The regime lied with all types of figures and statistics, even official weather forecasts, currency exchange rates, foreign exchange reserves and other information. Hence it is not strange in the slightest that this regime is resorting to lies and myths in its current final phase prior to its fall, and the final chapter of its existence on the political scene.

From the onset of the Syrian revolution, the al-Assad regime has been stumbling over how to interpret what has happened, and how to deal with the growing number of revolutionaries in every Syrian city. Numerous state media stories began to explain what was happening, all of which located somewhere between the impossible and the absurd, using repressive media language and threatening foreign parties, with experts and witnesses who seemed closer to clowns.

Now the world is watching how the Syrian regime deals with the appalling bombing of a national security building in Damascus, which claimed the lives of some of the most important executive leaders in the regime, and specifically in its security division. Of course there have been many important gaps in the media coverage, because the building targeted by the explosion has so far never been filmed, and therefore we have yet to see the aftermath. Official Syrian sources reported that the bombing was carried out by “terrorists” after rumors began to circulate suggesting that what happened was an “internal assassination” carried out by the regime itself. Either way, the Syrian regime has entered a phase of skepticism and mistrust; no one is safe from doubt or the possibility of cooperating with the outside, whatever the “outside” may be; foreign intelligence services or the Syrian opposition itself.

Stories emerged one after the other describing the “body parts” of the suicide bomber who carried out the terrorist attack, and that his body has been identified…and then 24 hours later the Syrian media announced that the perpetrator had been arrested! The floundering, lies and desperation is amazing, and even those addicted to the Syrian state media’s rhetoric – those who support Bashar al-Assad and his regime – have begun to make fun of this comic media coverage and wooden vocabulary used to justify what is happening.

Bashar al-Assad is in serious trouble…he can no longer trust anyone. His inner circle is decreasing after it was breached and highly influential personalities were targeted. Today he is in Latakia because Damascus the capital is no longer safe, and the situation has become very serious. The army can no longer be trusted because the reality dictates that the security domain is now limited to the Republican Guard and the Fourth Division.

The army flounders between defections and refusals to obey orders, and some districts of Damascus have witnessed violent clashes between army forces divided amongst themselves. Now a statement has emerged from Russia’s Ambassador to Paris, hinting at al-Assad’s willingness to step down in a civil manner, yet the Syrian media deliberately discredited the man and declared that his statement was distorted. This only serves to expose the lies of the Syrian media. In the reported minutes of a meeting between Putin and Erdogan in Moscow two days ago, as published by the Turkish newspaper “Hurriyet”, the two presidents allegedly agreed to come up with an alternative to the Bashar al-Assad regime, one that is not contaminated with blood on its hands, whilst also ensuring the protection of al-Assad who will decide to stay in Latakia.

Yet the fact that the Syrian media is full of lies does not make it entirely redundant; it provides an honest and accurate mirror of four decades of falsehood, lies and deception, an era which is rapidly nearing its end.