A little under two weeks ago every major news outlet fell over themselves to report on allegations of a chemical attack in Syria that had killed scores of people.
Yesterday our time, over one hundred people, including scores of children, were killed when buses carrying Syrian refugees were bombed. There have been a few sidebar stories that I’ve seen in western newspapers. But no headlines. No cries of indignation. No demands that ‘something must be done’.
Worse than that, what reporting there has been, has been completely misleading and/or utterly dishonest.
In the Guardian, we were told that the buses were carrying residents from government held areas. This was and is completely untrue. That article has yet to be updated or corrected. Essentially readers are being invited to conclude or suspect against reality, that Syrian government forces targeted a convoy of buses packed with women and children who felt antipathy towards the Syrian government. Hell, even the Daily Mail was more accurate (at least in its headline), even it did use the tragedy to segue back to Khan Shaykhun and more condemnation of Syria’s government.
Today’s sidebar story on the atrocity in The Guardian leads with the same bare faced lie or, if you want to cut them some slack, the same misleading or inaccurate statement. It reads – “Nearly 70 children were among those killed when a suicide car bombing tore through buses carrying evacuees from besieged government-held towns in Syria a monitoring group has said.” (my emphasis)
Here’s my question. If media give a crap about Syrian people, then why isn’t the bombing of the bus convoy waiting to enter into Aleppo getting similar levels of coverage to the supposed sarin attack? And why are very basic facts being twisted or omitted?
(I say “supposed” in relation to the sarin attack advisedly, because that story seems to be tattering and shredding as time passes – a quick post on that will be going up later today or tomorrow)
Meanwhile, here’s the only decent report I found yesterday on the deliberate targeting of that bus convoy.
A little bit of searching will produce translated interviews from non-western news sources with women from that convoy that were conducted at an Aleppo hospital. Those women tell how they were kept in the buses for two days and not allowed to exit at all, meaning among other things, that children had to piss their pants. One woman recounted how crisps were thrown on the floor and young children who hadn’t eaten and who had no concept of humiliation, were invited to eat the crisps from the floor of the bus.
Now, I don’t expect any such interviews to be aired on western news media. They have a narrative to sell. And it seems that ordinary people only count insofar as they and their suffering serve to further that narrative.
But perhaps I’m being too harsh. I understand that maybe it was just unfortunate that the western media news cycle had turned and was somewhat obsessed with nuclear matters yesterday – what with them getting all wide eyed and arm wavy over a nuclear test. Y’know, like when they reported disapprovingly of that successful test for an ‘upgraded nuclear weapon’ by the US yesterday? Oh – hang on, that was the other nuclear related test – not the bad one…
And so it goes.