After U.S. Uproar, Another Syrian “Civilian Massacre” Story Falls Apart

By:  Alex Newman
07/16/2012
       
After U.S. Uproar, Another Syrian “Civilian Massacre” Story Falls Apart

Yet another alleged massacre of civilians by the Syrian regime was in the establishment press headlines this week, supposedly a brutal killing spree by dictator Bashar al-Assad’s forces in the village of Tremseh that left up to 250 people dead. As has become typical, Western governments and mainstream media outlets — the New York Times, the BBC, and others included — parroted anonymous “opposition activists” for the claims. But within days, after foreign powers seeking regime change had their chance to beat the war drums even louder, the carefully constructed tale was already falling apart.

Yet another alleged "massacre" of "civilians" by the Syrian regime was in the establishment-press headlines this week, supposedly a brutal killing spree by dictator Bashar al-Assad’s forces in the village of Tremseh that left up to 250 people dead. As has become typical, Western governments and mainstream media outlets — the New York Times, the BBC, and others included — parroted anonymous “opposition activists” for the claims. But within days, after foreign powers seeking regime change had their chance to beat the war drums even louder, the carefully constructed tale was already falling apart.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, one of the top defenders of the dangerous “rebel” coalition operating in Syria at American taxpayer expense, immediately claimed there was "indisputable evidence that the regime deliberately murdered innocent civilians" — “over 200 men, women and children,” in fact. She did not present or cite any of the alleged evidence, but vowed to punish those responsible amid more calls for immediate regime change. Other Western leaders and financiers of the violence in Syria issued similar condemnations and more threats.

Despite hysterical reporting and wild statements by political leaders, however, even “opposition activists” were conceding early on that most of the dead were actually armed combatants who had staged attacks on the regime’s military forces. More recent reports, even those based on anonymous “opposition activists,” also suggest that closer to 100 people had died. Almost all of the dead were military-aged men, too — a far cry from Clinton’s “over 200 men, women and children.”

"At this stage, though we do not yet have the final count, the number of civilians killed by shelling is not more than seven," an anti-Assad “activist” known as “Jaafar” with the Sham News Network (SNN) told the AFP press agency. "The rest were members of the [Western-backed] Free Syrian Army.” How could Clinton and the establishment press have messed up the story so badly, again

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Photo of members of the Free Syrian Army: AP Images

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