The ZDF broadcast “[heute]” on December 28 at 7 pm: the presenter announces bad news from Idlib. According to UN figures, 235,000 people have fled the Syrian province in the last two weeks alone. Turkish President Erdogan therefore warns of"a new wave of migration towards Europe”.
This accent is already set in the first sentence, namely the always effective Association “refugee Tsunami”: they are on their way towards Europe. The proven excitement proves to be the perfect trampoline for what follows, namely the immediate assignment of guilt. The presenter teaches us to whom we owe all this:
The province in northwestern Syria is considered the last major rebel stronghold in the country. The weapons were supposed to rest here for months, but the agreement has long since been broken. The Syrian government forces (here the moderator takes a tiny art break and then raises her voice) with Russian support are launching airstrikes and forcing people to flee.
Any Questions? Certainly none, because here everything seems clear, even before the pictures of the post begin to run. What should stick with Michel is the simple Information: the Syrian army and the Russian Air Force are driving people into flight. There are Russian fighter bombers shooting at women and children. And this is the war in Idlib. This is clearly the message in this article, and the authors do not think that more explanation is necessary, as it turns out in the following.
If the audience expected to learn how this Offensive by the Syrian government came about, or what role these insurgents play, who are referred to as “rebels” in the Moderation, they expected too much. The approximately 20,000 combatants of the various extremist groups of the terrorist organization Hai’at Tahrir Asch-Scham, against which the Syrian army is taking action with Russian help, do not appear in the ZDF article. They have vanished into thin air. It is not mentioned that, according to the statements of numerous observers, they broke the negotiated ceasefire with brutal attacks. Instead, the opposite is suggested:
The ceasefire has been broken. The Syrian army and the Russian Air Force are flying attacks.
The immediate succession of these two sentences in the Moderation suggests a causal connection. Who broke the ceasefire? The Syrian government and the army, it is suggested here, because “they are flying attacks”. And this Suggestion is a blatant misinformation.
So you can produce Fakes through hints and clever omissions. The art is to arrange things in such a way that one can always say afterwards: This is not in the Text. We did not say that.
There is nothing so finely spun …
If a bank robbery has failed, it can happen that the bank robbers accuse and unpack each other. The same applies to politics. In September and October 2017, Hamad bin Jassim Al Thani, the former prime minister and Foreign Minister of Qatar, said in several TV Interviews that Qatar and Saudi Arabia had planned and carried out the attack on Syria together with the United States:
“Everything went through Turkey,” the Sheikh said on the state television of the emirate, " in coordination with the US, the Turks and our Saudi brothers, all were involved through their military.”
Al Thani did not mince his words. He himself travelled to Damascus in spring 2011 and offered Assad 15 billion dollars if he distanced himself from Iran. Since Assad refused, the planned Intervention in Syria was initiated together with the Saudis. Syria had been the” spoils " that more than 60 countries under the leadership of the United States had set their sights on: the so-called group of friends of the Syrian people.
“Qatar and Saudi Arabia were responsible for financing and arming,” Al Thani said. The Arab League was content with Propaganda. The Syrian media, for example, have been blocked from accessing Arabsat and other satellites. “Al Jazeera” provided the desired Propaganda to discredit the Syrian government. A number of journalists then left the station in Protest.
The Qatari ruling family Al Thani alone has spent billions of dollars to finance the uprising, the Sheikh said. Deserters of the Syrian army were rewarded with large sums. Some commanders of the militias had become rich with the Dollars from the Gulf monarchies. In Syria, Syrians were paid to shoot at other Syrians.
In an Interview with the BBC, Al Thani describes in detail how the military operations, supplies and logistics were coordinated in Jordan and at the Turkish NATO base Incirlik. He explains how the intelligence services of the USA, France, Great Britain, Turkey and Jordan worked together, and much more.
The media “embezzling, twisting and falsifying”
Next spring, the war in Syria will enter its ninth year. Even if the Islamist warriors of God are driven out of Idlib, it is to be expected that some conflict hot spots will continue to smolder or be kept burning by interested powers. The US has already announced that it wants to “protect the Syrian oil fields in the Northeast with additional military means”. The idea that everyone can wrap up a piece of Syria still seems virulent after eight years of war.
Since the beginning of the war, the US and its NATO allies have masterfully managed to turn many facts upside down. They have largely succeeded in enforcing the perception in Western public opinion that Bashar al-Assad and Russia are the main culprits of this war and have instigated it. The leading Western media have played a fatal role in this Commedia dell’arte. As a reminder: Russia only intervened in the Syrian government’s request for aid at the end of 2015. The war had already been going on for five years. But logic and facts were often foreign to our editorials. The thesis that Putin broke a war off the fence in Syria in order to assert himself as a “Player on the world stage” was spread with diligence.
Ulrich Tilgner, long-time correspondent for ZDF, said in an Interview that German media “talk beautifully about the failure of the West in the Middle East”. Our media system is a closed cycle, in which journalists are the addressees of symbolic politics, whereby “the truth remains by the wayside”. But the whole thing is more complicated than widely assumed:
The media do not lie, they shorten, embezzle, twist and falsify. I have an allergic reaction to the word liar press. For it presupposes a conscious act. But this is exactly what is very rare in the media. Rather, the workers there have their own perception of an increasingly complex reality, of which they show excerpts. They assume the positions of official policy or their employers. To avoid contradictions, they resort to the means of reduction, not least because they believe that this reduction facilitates the audience’s understanding.
The image montage as the most effective ideology-machine
The fact that the facts were “shortened, embezzled, twisted and falsified” in ZDF’s Syria report of 28 December is beyond question. And as a result, it does not matter whether the distortion was deliberate, semi-conscious, unconscious or intentional. A perfect image Assembly supported the representation far more effectively than many words. Even during the Moderation, the image of a heavy Detonation was cut seamlessly onto a refugee convoy.
At the beginning of the post, the Same is repeated, not to say been hammering. As a Syrian tank is seen driving past a man on the armor raises his Hand in a Victory sign and then a cut: a refugee camp, and children that run away. According to this visual logic, the Syrian tank drives directly to the refugee camp. He followed the refugees, he attacks them, which is reflected on the soundtrack :
The Syrian army is said to have already conquered dozens of places. Their destination: Idlib, the last rebel stronghold. Their Victims: Civilians.
The humanitarian hardship that the fighting undoubtedly brings with it is presented extensively. Tens of thousands were fleeing towards the Turkish border, but the border was closed and the camps overcrowded. At temperatures close to zero degrees and continuous rain, the tents offer little protection. A woman: “the water runs into the tent, the children are sick, we couldn’t sleep all night.”
Aid organizations complained about a humanitarian catastrophe, the comment reads. And asks the rhetorical question: “International aid? Not shown.”
To prove this, the viewer is transferred in an abrupt Transport to Istanbul, where a certain Mohamed, who had fled Syria, asks the question: “Where Is America? Where is Germany located? It is not possible that only Turkey helps.”
The government in Ankara supports the opponents of the Regime, we are told by the commentary. And with the word “opponents of the Regime”, the Film – to put it polemically – does not show us black-mumbled combatants of the Islamic State or public head separations, but the close-up of Mohamed’s coffee machine.
The Syria contribution thus ends, as was to be expected, with the barely concealed political call that the USA and Germany must “act”. One gets the impression that the author can only laboriously abstain from the statement, that it is now necessary to finally take Assad and the Russians to the curb.
This is where the Aleppo syndrome repeats itself. Every Time when the West and the Gulf monarchies financed and armed “rebels” are losing, there is a large lament and warning of a humanitarian disaster. When these same” rebels ““purged” Syria of Assad supporters and persecuted tens of thousands of Alawites and Christians, this led to much less headlines and blame. As well as the more than 200,000 Syrian soldiers who have fallen and maimed and defended their country against the insurgents, our media did not trigger any empathy for helpers. If you and your families were ever worth mentioning. The “White Helmets” financed by the West reported almost only on victims of the Regime.
Journalist Uwe Krüger has been researching the influence of Elite networks, power hierarchies and PR agencies on our media for a long time. He says, “journalists are not puppeteers, they are not foreign-controlled puppets.“But according to Krüger, they often follow the guidelines of the political elite in the agenda of topics and in framing these topics, and in geopolitical conflicts this means the narrative: we are the good guys.
How is this possible?
How is it possible that in a country with more than 80 million inhabitants, manipulated television programmes such as the one from 28 December 2019 will be broadcast on one of the largest TV channels with a matter of course? Uwe Krüger says:
One can explain this selective perception with Western socialization and cognitive influences from the Cold War or with the involvement of leading journalists in transatlantic networks and the discourses that take place there. Or that the journalists simply go against the PR or Propaganda of their own elites (…) but for me it is clear: there are these one-sidedness, blind spots and double Standards, wherever they come from.
Uwe Krüger has revealed in his Dissertation with the title “power of opinion”, politics, economy and media make up, to some degree, a “closed society”. He compiled a list of names of German journalists in senior positions who were members of international institutions pursuing the interests of the United States. The publication hit Like a bomb. Needless to say, Claus Kleber, presenter and head of the ZDF news programme “heute”, appeared there as a prominent member of the NATO-affiliated foundation Atlantik-Brücke and the US Aspen Institute.