Imagine if you and some friends wandered into a completely dark room together for some reason. You’ve never been in this room before, and you can’t see a thing.
Now imagine one of your friends says he can see everything in the room perfectly, and starts describing the different things that he sees in a confident, assertive tone of voice. You know for a fact that there’s no light in the room, so you are doubtful that your friend is able to see any better than you are, but one by one your other friends start talking about the objects in the room as though what he is saying is true. After a while your group starts telling you you’re crazy and evil because you remain skeptical of your first friend’s ability to see the room in pitch darkness, despite his assertive tone of voice and despite the fact that everyone else believes it.
Western public discourse about Syria is very much the same. All the time I get people coming up yelling at me about what a butcher Bashar al-Assad is, how he loves gassing children because he’s an evil monster, how he’s killed hundreds of thousands of civilians in his own country out of sheer sadism, and all I can say to them is, you don’t know that. You don’t know any of those things, you’re just pretending you do because that’s what everyone else is doing. I know you don’t know any of those things because you’re looking at the same information landscape as I am, and it’s chock full of war propaganda. The media matrix is too full of obvious psyops meant to manufacture public consent for military interventionism in Syria for any westerner to have a clear idea of what’s actually happening in that country.
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