Syria and the End of Western Media Dominance

Empowering Weak & Oppressed

Tahir Mahmoud

Shawwal 17, 1439 2018-07-01


by Tahir Mahmoud (Opinion, Crescent International Vol. 47, No. 5, Shawwal, 1439)

The war on Syria to secure the Zionist entity from Islamic Iran and Hizbulllah not only revealed the political and military limits of NATO regimes in the new multipolar world order, it also manifested the rapid decline of Western propaganda capabilities.

One of the efficiencies behind the NATO regime’ so-called fourth estate was their ability to camouflage their imperialist agenda by giving dissenting voices limited space on their platforms. The reason Western corporate news outlets were able to dilute their propaganda through nonconforming voices more consistently 10–15 years ago was because the post-WWII global order was still under Washington’s control. The NATO regimes operated as unchallenged hegemons, so it did not hurt them if a few eloquent but almost always Western educated pundits criticized them a little.

Since the invasion of Iraq in 2003 and the malfunction of the US selection system that brought the morally unfit Donald Trump to power, the decline of Washington’s influence has become more evident. The NATO bloc began facing a rising China, assertive Russia, and the European Union (EU) even if economically vulnerable. All these grand problems spooked the NATO establishmentarians and it appears they have realized that they can no longer afford to sugarcoat their chauvinistic propaganda. Therefore, they have had to go full throttle in their propaganda effort in a much more crude manner. In the multipolar world order the playing field of the media war has become somewhat leveled and there is little NATO regimes can do to reverse this trend.

The Syrian conflict exposed the bias of the Western media to its maximum. A few years ago it would have been difficult to imagine that Tucker Carlson of Fox News would be the voice of reason on NATO’s aggression against Syria. It says a lot about the state of Western propaganda when Fox News sounds more professional and sophisticated than the British government funded BBC.

Overall, the “objectivity” mask is gone and there is nothing that the Western media can do to restore it because its close alliance with the ruling clique is out in the open. Nevertheless, there are some isolated media outlets that are still able to cling to the objectivity mask, like the Washington based The US based is probably the last remaining sophisticated media outlet that is able to sustain its objectivity mask by granting dissenting voices some limited space, but then immediately dwarfing the alternative perspective through mass production of the Western narrative countering the alternative angle.

Today, the most widely used tool by Western news outlets in the broadcasting war is volume and cynicism. The nature of information technologies of today makes it possible to flood the masses with enormous amounts of shallow information. This accompanied by the sophistic philosophy of the contemporary Western civilization allows Western propaganda outlets to create doubts and distrust of the alternative media. Simply put, today the strategic aim of Western propaganda is to make sure that if they are not trusted, then no one else should be trusted as well. For now this is working to a limited degree. In the long run it is a primitive methodology and is destined to fail, as alternative media outlets continue to improve their production capabilities. Trust and quality is what makes and breaks media outlets, all else is secondary. Western media outlets have lost the trust of their own constituencies.

The primary advantage remaining behind most Western media outlets is their access to huge sums of money through direct and indirect state funding, like think-tanks and giant corporations in cahoots with Western regimes. Nevertheless, even this is not helping them to maintain the dominance over the media field in the same way as they did a decade ago. A case in point is the rise of the low-budget, high-impact British Muslim news website With its miniscule budget, 5pillarsuk has become an important go to news-source for British Muslims. This magazine, Crescent International, has survived for over 40 years on a shoestring budget, thanks to our cutting-edge analysis, dedicated readership, and the commitment to never compromise on principle.

The phenomenon of improvement of “guerrilla” media outlets will continue to grow along with their sophistication. This will be a daunting challenge for the Western corporate media. Western media’s advantage in terms of access to the corridors of power and finance comes from the fact that they are in cahoots with the strategic paradigm of their imperialist governments, thus they are in a catch-22 situation: go on accepting the money from the ruling establishment and continue losing the trust of the masses or go semi-broke to keep the authenticity mask. Both are tough choices, if the Western media chooses to financially distance itself (unlikely to happen) from the NATO regimes to maintain a veneer of independence, they will not be able to significantly outperform, in terms of substance, the alternative media outlets dedicated to exposing Western imperialism.

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