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Dr Jeremy Salt

"The Australian newspaper is like a free market Pravda." (Dr Jeremy Salt)

Why does the mass media support false government narratives that justify our support or participation in deadly wars? Media analyst, Jeremy Salt and Susan Dirgham of Australians for Reconciliation in Syria, explore this perplexing question that shapes our times and our future.

Video & Transcript: Women's Rights in Syria and a History of Western interventions in the region

Susan Dirgham of AMRIS talks with Middle East and propaganda scholar, Jeremy Salt, about the history of western interventions in the Middle East and in Syria. She asks why the mainstream press don't tell westerners how Syria is secular and has good women's rights; women got the vote there in 1947. This article is summary plus transcript from the video of Part One of Politics and war in Syria: Susan Dirgham interviews Jeremy Salt. Susan Dirham is convener of Australians for Reconciliation in Syria (AMRIS) and Jeremy Salt is a scholar of Media propaganda and the Middle East
Jeremy Salt begins by talking about 19th century history of interventions in the Middle East, then about intervention in Iraq in 1990s. The UN ran this nominally, but really England and United States did. Two UN humanitarians objected to the inhumanity of economic sanctions against Iraq, possibly even mentioned ‘genocide’: they were Denis Halliday and Hans von Sponeck. [1] To Susan’s question, Dr Salt agrees that UN personnel no longer speak out. On the subject of the 2003 ‘weapons of mass destruction’: The use of no-fly zones to conduct aerial bombardments. [2] Libya. No-fly zone fig leaf. Syria: they wanted to get a UN resolution for a no-fly zone, but Russia and China blocked this with the UN. Next best thing [sic] was to pull down the government of Damascus by using armed gangs – mercenaries. From 2011 until now and still [the west]have not reached their main objective, which is the destruction of the government in Damascus, but they have destroyed a large part of Syria. This is similar to the Sandinista template of mercenaries used in Nicaragua.

Does Bashar al-Assad really have to go? Cartoonist Bruce Petty talks to Dr Jeremy Salt.

Video & transcript: Bruce Petty interviews Dr Jeremy Salt, Middle Eastern scholar. Bruce Petty is a highly regarded political satirist and cartoonist as well as an award-winning film maker.

"There always has to be a 'madman' in the Middle East," explains Jeremy Salt, when asked why we constantly hear that 'Bashar al-Assad has to go'? Of course Bashar al-Assad is not really mad. Jeremy explains how the west, in its long exploitation of the Middle East, has invented crises that it then pretends to help with, and these tend to feature a 'madman' whom the people have to be saved from. In reaction Middle Eastern governments tend to be defensive and authoritarian, in order to survive constant foreign interference. Even if Bashar went, the Syrian state would remain the same. Salt gives a fluent history of how the west has used the Middle East, and how western politicians expected to knock Syria over easily, but underestimated it. All they have done is weaken it and assorted armed and dangerous groups including ISIS have risen up through the cracks they have created. But many Syrians really like Bashar al-Assad and think he is their best chance for reform. (See the third part in this series, "Has the Syrian president killed more than ISIS and other questions," to hear about how al-Assad is actually legally elected and had brought in reforms prior to the current crisis.) Petty asks about beheading and the role of religion and Islam in today's crisis. Salt agrees that Islam has been taken over by conservatives and extremists, but precises that this is a political ideological take-over that has little to do with Islamic religious base.

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