EditorialSanctum

Aleppo’s brutalities will be more real

Why is Aleppo in such heavy focus just when the Syrians have more or less wrested the eastern part of their biggest city from an assortment of extremist Jabhat Al Nusra and similar groups? The US, France, the UK, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Israel have consistently dignified these as “Syrian rebels”. Turkey was a key member of this gang too but has switched sides after an attempted coup against President Tayyip Erdogan which he suspects had American origins. He travelled to Moscow outlining an Ankara-Moscow-Teheran axis. This, by the way, is a game -changing axis: major powers are meeting over Syria without US participation, for the first time.

The American establishment, bruised by the defeat of its very own candidate Hillary Clinton, is trying to influence the incoming administration on some issues it has invested heavily in — Russia and Syria, for instance. The CIA and the media, duly mobilised, would like to cast Russia in a Cold War-like adversarial role. Also, they would not like to give up on regime-change and fragmentation of Syria.

The relentless propaganda war, with Aleppo at centrestage, is part of an effort to salvage something from the wreckage. What is happening in Aleppo is truly grim and very tragic. But tragedy dressed up as propaganda is what we are being exposed to. The propagandist’s expectation is that folks around Donald Trump would begin to worry about public opinion thus whipped up. This, in turn, would influence policy.

All of this is delusionary because Trump has come to power fighting precisely this kind of stuff and from these very sources — CIA and the media. He has set the cat among the pigeons by taking on the CIA even before he has assumed office. Never have CIA daily briefings to the President been so summarily dismissed. What is the point of listening to the same thing every morning, he says.

Rep Peter King, who sits on the House Intelligence Committee, says CIA Director John Brennan is orchestrating a “hit job” against the President-elect by leaking allegations that Russia hacked into the US elections. Some heads may roll, but the CIA will eventually fall in line once Trump enters the Oval office.

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