It seems the propaganda machine of the West just won’t quit when it comes to Syria. Whether it is claims that Assad is “butchering his own people” that overwhelmingly support him, “using chemical weapons” on civilians at questionably convenient times that defy all logic, or buying oil from ISIS, the Western propaganda against the legitimate secular government of Syria seems to become more and more absurd with each passing attempt.
The latest attempt at portraying Assad as the new Hitler without a shred of real evidence? Claims that he is starving the residents of Madaya for some undefined purpose that would allegedly benefit his “grip” on power.
Actually, according to the Western media, no motives are necessary. For the West and its populations totally lacking in discernment, Assad is starving the people of Madaya and that is enough.
But the truth is that Assad is not starving the people of Madaya. The people of Madaya are suffering because their village is overrun with the savages supported by NATO, the GCC, and Israel. Unfortunately,the Western media that insists upon calling them “rebels” and “activists” instead of what they are.
Regardless, the recent photos circulating throughout the Western media have been entirely misrepresented in order to condemn Assad the Syrian military.
For instance, the photo currently being circulated by the Western media and a number of pro-war NGOs purporting to show a little Syrian girl being starved by Assad is actually a photo of a Lebanese girl, Marianna Marzeh. Marianna’s picture was being used side by side with that of a starving girl so emaciated that she appears at the very brink of death. But Marianna is alive and well living in Lebanon with a full stomach. Her family has stepped forward to clear the record that she is not a victim of Assad; and even Marianna herself can be seen in a video saying someone stole her picture off the Internet. The picture thieves were, of course, the death squad fanatics currently terrorizing the people of Syria but attempting to use sympathy for a small child (of which they have none) to demonize their enemy. The Saudi Arabian satellite TV network, Al-Arabiya, has been the number one progenitor of the fake connection between Marianna’s photo and the starving girl.
Marianna’s photo has now been used for the second time for propaganda purposes by the jihadists.
Another photo used and claimed to be from Madaya was of a young boy being interviewed and claiming to be suffering from starvation and want. While the suffering was real, the picture was not from Madaya but from the Yarmouk camp in Syria, a Palestinian refugee camp located in Damascus. The photo was also from July 2014. Yet it did not stop the BBC’s Jim Muir from posting the image as an example of “Assad’s cruelty” to civilians.
One image being circulated throughout the Western media of an emaciated boy was paraded about by many mainstream sources including the Associated Press. In reality, however, the picture was one that was taken in 2015, the original having been “touched up” to enhance the boy’s emaciated features.
BREAKING: Graphic photos emerge of mass-starvation in Syrian town of Madaya, besieged by Syrian army. pic.twitter.com/YL48AqjCDt
— The Int’l Spectator (@intlspectator) January 4, 2016
Local Revolutionary Council in #Madaya using same fake image of #Madaya as CBS, USA Today, Weiss etc etc etc pic.twitter.com/oAvQ1faRVk
— Navstéva (@Navsteva) January 9, 2016
Another popular image being circulated by the likes of VICE News and Donatella Rivera, Amnesty International’s Senior Crisis Advisor, is neither current nor from Madaya. The photo shows a very emaciated young boy, crouching shirtless on the floor, ribs jutting out, and staring at the camera. It was first posted in 2013.
RT continues in a separate report entitled “First Aid Convoys Enter Besieged Syrian Town Of Madaya,”
Various media outlets, including the Telegraph, the Independent, BBC, CNN and Fox news said Syrians were eating domestic animals, and had been left without any help. Some media didn’t bother to re-check the authenticity of images allegedly showing dying Madaya residents.
No one has as yet been able to confirm that the images are actually authentic. RT decided to investigate the photos.
One haunting image posted on Arab-speaking social media shows a starving man supposedly lying somewhere in the streets of Madaya, a town with a population of about 9,000 people.
“The victims of starvation caused by Bashar Assad, Hezbollah and Iranian militias on Madaya and Al-Zabadani,” says the caption under the image.
However, the story behind the starving man turned out to be fabricated. In fact, he starved to death in the city of Ghouta a year ago, according to the Syrian American Medical Society. The picture was taken on January 13, 2015.
“Mohammad Yoususf An-Najjar, disabled, from Damascus died on 13 January due to extreme cold and lack of food during the government forces’ siege of Eastern Ghouta,” the Syrian network of human rights said.
. . . . .
Another horrendous picture of a starving man in Madaya has turned out to be a drug addict (or refugee, according to other sources) taken in Europe in 2009. His eyes were even Photoshopped to hide the fact they are blue. The image originally appeared on Al Jazeera. It was subsequently deleted, but not before it had been retweeted many times.
Who controls Madaya?
The hardships facing Madaya citizens are very real. But the governing force of Madaya is not the Syrian government but the terrorists backed by the West and the GCC. The town has long been overrun by terrorist al-Qaeda forces, most notably Ahrar al-Sham.
It should be noted that Ahrar al-Sham is also sieging and starving two other villages in Syria – Fua and Kefraya.
As one resident of Madaya, an 89-year-old man, told the cameras, “The rebels are trading in people’s blood. They are the ones taking all the rice, then selling it for 80-90 notes . . . cigarettes for 5,000 lira; a chocolate bar for 5,000 lira. And they butchered our children! Burned our trees! They caused all this. When aid arrived they stole it and are selling it at high prices.” Indeed, the residents of Madaya cannot be any clearer as to who is destroying their lives.
You can also see a number of additional eyewitness testimonies in this video by Mimi al-Laham (Syrian Girl), posted on her SyrianGirlPartisan YouTube channel.
As can be seen from the video, even the BBC aired a partial clip of residents of Madaya screaming at the so-called “rebels” for food and haranguing them for stealing the aid that belongs to civilians.
It is also interesting to note that Qatari-based Al-Jazeera is promoting statistics that simply do not match up with the facts. According to AJ+, up to 40,000 people live in Madaya and most of them are starving, all because the Syrian government has some illogical plan to starve innocent people. According to other statistics such as the Census conducted by the Syrian Central Bureau of Statistics and reports by RT, however, Madaya has only 9,000 residents. Clearly, there is a massive discrepancy in the numbers. With Qatar having acted as a sponsor and bankroller of terrorists in Syria, one would question the legitimacy of the claims made by the organization. The very fact that such varying numbers can be assigned to one population is evidence enough that there is an agenda afoot.
Regardless of whether the images being used by the NGO and “journalistic” communities are from Syria, 2016 or some other location or time, the fact is that these communities are using photos that are undoubtedly altered, misrepresented, and paraded as if they are something they are not. In other words, the photos are a part of willful deception by these same organizations.
Starving children – the images now being paraded throughout the Western media in order to drum up hatred for Bashar al-Assad –are images that selectively pull upon the strings of the selective Western conscience. It is a curious thing that millions dead at the hands of the U.S. military are merely “collateral damage” and are deemed worthy of death, with the Western public even deriving some strange sense of righteousness and masculinity at the sight of bodies while, at the same time, the photo of one hungry child is enough to sway their opinion of war and peace.
In Syria, tens of thousands of dead children are par for the course. In America, several dead children are justification for the destruction of the Constitution and basic rights. It is a curious thing indeed that the Western media always reports the stories that rattles the collective conscience and that the collective conscience of the nation always responds to the Western media’s stories as if they were tailor made for the psyche of the general public.
Clearly, the people of the West should question a conscience that must be told what it feels guilty about. They should also begin to wonder where their own inner voice might be and where they were when it was silenced.
Brandon Turbeville – article archive here – is the author of six books, Codex Alimentarius — The End of Health Freedom, 7 Real Conspiracies, Five Sense Solutions and Dispatches From a Dissident, volume 1 and volume 2, The Road to Damascus: The Anglo-American Assault on Syria, and The Difference it Makes: 36 Reasons Why Hillary Clinton Should Never Be President. Turbeville has published over 500 articles dealing on a wide variety of subjects including health, economics, government corruption, and civil liberties. Brandon Turbeville’s podcast Truth on The Tracks can be found every Monday night 9 pm EST at UCYTV. He is available for radio and TV interviews. Please contact activistpost (at) gmail.com.