August 21st Al Jazeera broke the story of 1,300 civilians killed in the opposition stronghold region of Ghouta, Syria. Casualties, primarily those of women and children, were the result of an alleged chemical attack. The Syrian National Coalition posted videos of hundreds of children either convulsing, displaying symptoms consistent with sarin gas exposure or being draped in white burial cloths. Reports quickly spread that Syrian leader Bashar Assad was responsible for the attack. A pretty gripping story the third day after the launch of Al Jazeera America.
In their best attempt to give the rebel group legitimacy, Al Jazeera repeatedly casts the coalized insurgents as western-supported opposition rebels. Why the push to legitimize such an assemblage?
If by meaning western-supported one means being supported by the Qatari government who funneled rocket-propelled grenades and heat-seeking missiles into rebel hands with the CIA assistance steering arms into the right Syrian rebel hands then yes, one could say that the Syrian National Coalition is western-supported.
The government of Qatar also happens to support The Muslim Brotherhood with arms and aid. Coincidentally enough the government of Qatar also bankrolls Al Jazeera. (It was the Qatar-backed Al Jazeera who purchased CurrentTV for a mere $500 million.) One could say that the Qatari government has a vested interest in how the news is reported from Egypt and Syria. Witness the staging of a story the second day after Al Jazeera America’s launch: On August 20th Al Jazeera broadcasted a story about a wounded Muslim Brotherhood activist who allegedly suffered a gunshot wound to the abdomen. As the tape runs, the victim lifts his shirt to find no wound. He quickly realizes he is caught red handed and obstructs the camera view with his leg.
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