White Helmets controversy reveals Western media bias

Source:Global Times Published: 2018/8/27 22:38:39

Russia's defense ministry said on Sunday that a group of militants were plotting to use chlorine to stage an alleged chemical attack in northwestern Syria, filming video clips "for distribution to the Middle East and English-language media" to make people think that it was done by the Syrian government.

The US, the UK and France released a joint statement on August 21, saying that the three countries "are gravely concerned over reports of a military offensive by the Syrian regime against civilians and civilian infrastructure in Idlib," warning that "we will respond appropriately to any further use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime."

The Syrian government has been accused of using chemical weapons against opposition forces many times. The government has denied it. But after US President Donald Trump assumed office, he ordered two missile strikes on Syria based on the excuse of retaliating for the country's use of chemical weapons. The Syrian government is piling huge pressure on the country's armed opposition forces.

Damascus and Moscow are worried that the Syrian government will be framed again and military strikes may be repeated.

For quite some time, there have been reports saying that White Helmets were responsible for launching fake chemical weapon attacks in Syria. It has been mostly reported by Russian media and a few Western media. However, major Western media remained silent on the topic and avoided mentioning that the Syrian government could be framed while quoting the opposition forces' accusations. Whether the Russian defense ministry announcement this time will stop the controversy remains unknown.

International public opinion is still dominated by Western media. When Western countries have disputes with non-Western, Western media often jointly accuse the

latter, putting values and positions above facts.

For instance, it's difficult to explain the motivation of the Syrian government in using chemical weapons to attack the opposition. However, turning a blind eye to such an obvious paradox, mainstream Western media take what the opposition say as a reliable source of information. They don't question or criticize the military strikes launched by Washington based on one-sided accusations.

Chinese people used to believe the Western media "independent" and "objective." It has been increasingly proven in recent years that Western public opinion institutions have acted as a tool to safeguard the interests of their own country and the West on issues regarding non-Western major powers such as China and Russia. 

It's a reality of today's international politics that the West led by the US has the dominant discourse power, which is also one of the most unreasonable parts of the current international order. In the international arena, many facts have been distorted by Western public opinion institutions, right and wrong confused, and controversies concealed. They judge values based on the interests of Western countries.  

Before the Iraq war, the American media, acting in conformity with the government, collectively accused the Saddam Hussein regime of possessing weapons of mass destruction, which was later proven a false pretense for waging war.

However, the US media underplayed the mistake, making no self-reflection. It's hard to prevent another Iraq war mistake from happening again. Perhaps the US is now applying the same logic in dealing with the Syrian government as it did with Iraq.  

Posted in: EDITORIAL

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