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Everyone in Syria’s seen this beheading video, no one in U.S. has (warning: graphic image)

And you know why that’s the case. Because a credible video of an 11 or 12-year-old Free Syrian Army boy beheading an Allawite Assad loyalist [apologies if youtube has disappeared it by now] doesn’t fit the narrative of “kill to protect” (KTP) or whatever is the current justification for the U.S. sponsoring and funneling Qatari/Saudi money to ‘our guys in Syria’. (Preemptive disclaimer for non-reality-based attacks on anything anti Syrian rebel: that doesn’t mean I’m pro-Assad, in the same way that any criticism of the U.S. invasion of Iraq did not mean we were pro Saddam Hussein.)

youtube screengrab via

Anyway, thank you to Patrick Cockburn in Syria, who’s written an excellent column — Descent Into Holy War — on what is going on inside Syria, especially in Damascus, right now. He writes:

…a basically false and propagandistic account of events in Syria has been created by a foreign media credulous in using pro-opposition sources as if they were objective reporting.

The execution video is a case in point. I have not met a Syrian in Damascus who has not seen it. It is having great influence on how Syrians judge their future, but the mainstream media outside Syria has scarcely mentioned it. Some may be repulsed by its casual savagery, but more probably it is not shown because it contradicts so much of what foreign leaders and reporters claim is happening here.

Besides the glaring imperial propaganda substituting for news (why do we pretend it is otherwise, why do we stand for it?) and the lessons that should teach us, here’s the impression the video is making in Syria:

The film is being widely watched on YouTube by Syrians, reinforcing their fears that Syria is imitating Iraq’s descent into murderous warfare in the years after the US invasion in 2003. It fosters a belief among Syria’s non-Sunni Muslim minorities, and Sunnis associated with the government as soldiers or civil servants, that there will be no safe future for them in Syria if the rebels win. … The beheadings, so proudly filmed by the perpetrators, may well convince [Shiites and other Assad supporters] that they have no alternative but to fight to the end.

So the video and the bizarre anti-news ‘reporting’ on Syria remind Cockburn of the U.S.-sponsored Iraqi descent into sectarian war/hell, and how that didn’t appear in U.S. news until it was impossible not to report. The same descent into sectarian and worse war/hell is happening in Libya of course in the wake of our KTP invasion there, but the imperial propaganda sheets aren’t forced to report that.

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