Freedom fighters?

Beware the fickle nature of imperialist propaganda. The political line of the corporate media is apt to flip-flop.

Consider the latest revelations in late August that up to 1,000 volunteers from Western countries, including some from the United States, have been fighting in Syria against its government. Most of these volunteers are fighting within military units of the group now known as the Islamic State.

This should be no surprise since the Islamic State — also called ISIL or ISIS — has been the dominant element in the opposition to Damascus. Those who appear to be winning attract the new volunteers.

The tone taken in these media varies. Some consider the nearly 100 U.S. citizens who have gone to join ISIS to be misled young men. Other more rabid media call them evil. They agree that these youth could be “dangerous terrorists” should they slip back into the U.S.

No media, to our knowledge, have criticized themselves for their three-year barrage of propaganda comparing Bashar al-Assad’s Syria with Adolf Hitler’s Germany. They ranted that he was “killing his own people” with bombs and even chemical weapons and must be overthrown.

The NATO governments and their Middle Eastern collaborators knew all along that ISIS-type forces were a major and dynamic sector among the opposition to Assad. They knew this sector is merciless with their enemies.

That didn’t stop NATO and its allies from funding and arming these forces in the hope that this would bring down the Assad government. And while the imperialist media gave their most favorable coverage to another grouping in the Syrian opposition, the so-called Free Syrian Army, ISIS was allowed to grow unopposed.

Given the heavy anti-Assad propaganda, some young people in the U.S. and Western Europe might have believed they would be welcomed back to their home countries as heroes, even as “freedom fighters,” for battling in Syria.

If they did hope for a hero’s welcome, they hadn’t considered the character of imperialist politics as the situation developed in the region. The Islamic State moved into Iraq and started threatening important U.S. assets in Iraqi Kurdistan. It even executed a captured journalist who was a U.S. citizen and videoed his beheading to the world.

From an unreliable ally, the ISIS-like forces in Syria had now morphed into Washington’s number one enemy. They have become the latest of a long list of U.S. opponents whom the media have described as a threat to the U.S. (“American”) way of life.

Those young people from the U.S., Canada and Europe who joined the fight against Assad are no longer potential heroes, but potential “terrorists.” The politicians and media that created this situation don’t even blush as they flip-flop the official line.

We take a consistent position whatever Big Lie the corporate media are pushing at the moment: No to imperialist intervention in both Iraq and Syria!