Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian President, states that his country has been “the target of foreign conspiracies for geopolitical and other reasons”. “Conspiracies, like germs reproduce everywhere, every moment and they cannot be eradicated”. “yet we have to fortify our community, what we have seen through the media and political positions does not require a great deal of analysis that there exists a conspiracy”.
His claims, in many ways, have parallels with perhaps accusing someone of being a child molester…it sticks and spreads, permeating all facets of the media and wider society, even when devolved of any basis to the allegation whatsoever, by which point, having flourished and given birth to suspicion, any irrefutable evidence would be completely unnecessary anyway. Meanwhile, the media continue to level their accusations at Assad and his apparent use of ‘barrel bombs’, ‘chemical weapons’ and massacring innocent civilians. Accusations that are repeated over and over again, a tactic used to great effect in the run up to the Iraq War in 2003, with the tagline ‘weapons of mass destruction’, and the rest, of course, is history.
Aldous Huxley, in his book Brave New World (1931), he wrote his now seemingly prophetic assessment of our world leaders, and the common processes they adopt: “In their propaganda, today’s dictators rely for the most part on repetition, suppression and rationalization – the repetition of catchwords which they wish to be accepted as true, the suppression of facts which they wish to be ignored, the arousal and rationalization of passions which may be used in the interests of the party or the State”.
Assad says articulately, even though English is clearly not his first language, that despite the West’s campaign against him and his country, the Syrian people want him to remain in power. And on this evidence alone, one may think that this is slightly incompatible with the notion by foreign powers of his alleged indiscriminate killing of his own people, and yet has still managed to maintain their support.