News and the Cold War

We live in an era of Cold War politics. I remember the first Cold War of the early postwar period. But I was only a child then. The first casualty of the Cold War is always the truth, and the responsibility lies with the media, both newspapers and TV/Radio. It doesn’t matter whether you live in a democracy or not, propaganda is what defines the Cold War.

A good example of this is the war in Syria. On one side, Russia supports the Assad Government, while on the other side, the USA supports the rebels who want to overthrow the Syrian Government. The USA have done this from the start, even though they know full well that they sometimes have to go back and reconquer the country over again. Just as is happening in Iraq, where the Islamic State in Syria (ISIS) is entrenched in Mosul. Just as happened in Libya, and just as is happening in Syria today. Russia is aiding the Assad government, but the USA is hoping to help the pro-US rebel forces. The trouble is that it is unclear who these rebels are, and so Kerry, representing US interests in Syria, is in a difficult position. He has engaged in negotiations with Vladimir Putin but these have foundered because of the lack of clarity in U.S. aims.  See the following Der Spiegel piece:

Part of the problem lies with Russia as well. The Russians are bombing “the enemy” in Syria, and this strategy, although saving Russia combat involvement with ground-based forces provides the West with good Cold War propaganda against the unleashing of bombing raids by Russia, against innocent civilians in Aleppo.

This is why Putin has been trying to get an agreement with Kerry that ensures that they can co-ordinate attacks. Kerry sees no advantage for the US to clarify its position. Let Russia continue killing innocent Syrians! Nor is this mere propaganda. It fits with the theory that all rebels of Assad are worth supporting, even those who may or may not be .  It could be bypassed if the Syrian Government could take charge of land operations much as is being done in Iraq against Mosul, and severely limit Russian air attacks. But as the Der Spiegel article makes clear Assad is not able to do so until at least February.

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