A video is not enough to start a war
Could the video of an alleged chemical attack, recorded and diffused by a rebel jihadist group, be enough to start a war? Thinking about the recent history and the fake or contradictory images emerged from the Syrian chaos, the only answer possible is: no. Here are five cases that should make us reflect and be dubious before agreeing with a war against Syria and Bashar al Assad.
1) February2003. The USA Secretary of Sate Colin Powell talked at the UN Security Council to persuade the world to intervene againstSaddam Hussein accused of owning chemical and biological weapons threatening the international community. Among the other evidences, he showed the images of some mobile laboratories used to move gases and other nerve agents. The laboratories and the depositories of chemical weapons were never found. In the end the USA had to admit that the war against Saddam Hussein had been started basing on wrong or manipulated information from the intelligence.
2) February 2011. A few days after the start of the revolution against Gheddafi televisions and newspapers across the world published the images of what they called the mass graves used to bury the victims of the violent repression perpetrated by the regime. Later it came out that those were the images of the Sidi Habed cemetery. The alleged victims of the repression were made up by the anti-regime propaganda made by Al Jazeera and Qatar together with the jihadist groups protagonists of the rebellion. All of this happened in front of the eyes of France, eager to find a pretext for an intervention.
3) August 2016. The images of the little boy Omran touched the world. They boy, so they said, was saved by the so-called White Helmets from the ruins of his house in East Aleppo, destroyed by a Russian bomb. The pictures were spread by the Aleppo Media Center, the press office of Jabhat Al Nusra, the Syrian emanation of Al Qaida, which at that time controlled that part of the city. But international media ignored it and took the story as valid. After the liberation of Aleppo from the rebels, Mohamad Kheir Daqneesh, Omran’s father, told that the so-called White Helmets grabbed his son from his arms and, instead of bringing him to the hospital, wasted time taking photos and videos.
4) Syria 2014. The video of a Syrian boy saving his little sister from Bashar Assad’s snipers, even though he was injured himself, got viral and received millions of enthusiastic comments. In November the Norwegian director Lars Klevberg told he realized that video in Malta using the set of the movie “The Gladiator”, some professional actors and some extras hired among Syrian refugees. All of this right to show how fiction and reality can be easily turned upside down in war.
5) April 2018. A video diffused on Saturday April 7th from the rebels of Jaysh Al Islam, the jihadist faction financed by Saudi Arabia that in those days still controlled the city of Douma in the region of Ghouta, showed the terrible consequences of an alleged chemical attack made few hours earlier by two helicopters of the government. However another tape had been previously spread on the web: it showed how in the schools controlled by the rebels, children are taught to simulate the consequences of a fake chemical attack. It is hard to distinguish between the two scenes.