Media Middle East

Britam – A Chemical Romance?

A British military training and logistics company has admitted its website was hacked, but claims no truth to the emails indicating the company is at the centre of a staged propaganda.  After the website hacking of Britam Defence Ltd, emails began to circulate that the company had been recruited to create a video that staged the deployment of chemical weapons, which would subsequently be blamed on the Assad Government.


When push comes to shove, it’s impossible to find the truth to some of these stories, but the premise behind the claims is plausible.  Of late, there was a lot of rhetoric from the US and UK media about chemical weapons in Syria, which was clearly spun from nothing pertaining to events on the ground, so is likely to have come from western governments; the timing of the video preparation would tie in.


One wonders if the laughable ‘Assad Emails’ was not of the west’s doing; although I suspect it was an attempt at propaganda by an inexperienced and poorly resourced rebel organisation that was used by the west as something better than nothing. If so, it was a very foolish decision by western government/media. As it is becoming increasingly clear that rebels are causing crimes against humanity, justification to support these organisations is becoming difficult if not impossible. In addition, the war in Syria is in a stalemate, some ‘legitimate’ reason to crank up the attack is one of the few options left open to Western governments.


A further option is the talks with the Assad government by the official opposition leader, Moaz Al-Khatib. There are general elections (of a sort) in Syria in 2014. It appears that the west is trying to shore up support for Khatib within the Arab League, with the intention of having him stand as the official opposition next year.

It’s too early to say if Khatib can garner as much support in Syria as he needs. Many Syrians don’t trust him. They see him increasingly as a puppet of the west and a traitor of the Syrian people in the fight against Israel. However, the Syrians are tired. They want an outcome. Crippling sanctions imposed by the west which has hiked up the cost of the most basic commodities are taking their toll. On top of that, there is the emotional fatigue that comes from the day-to-day fear of wondering if you will be caught up in the next Al-Qaeda bomb blast. By the time 2014 comes around, any outcome may do!

The more pro-Assad people talk of Syria following an Egypt pattern (as opposed to a Libyan one) When Assad goes (and there is nothing to suggest for certain that his departure will be as the west would want it) the Syrians will want a government that is more socially liberal and politically free than it is now. Syria is a secular country with considerable social freedoms in comparison to other Middle East countries. Syrians will not want to give those freedoms up; rather, after all they have been through, they want something more for their troubles.


Maybe they will accept Khatib, but he will have to deliver what the Syrians want and not what the west wants. Let’s not forget: There was a legitimate Arab-Spring protest in Syria at the start of all this; that spirit for change has not gone away, its just dormant until this nasty business with the west, Qatar, KSA, et al., has gone away. I’m not sure the west understand or accepts this truth.


However, the unknown factor is Assad. It would be unwise to underestimate him or the support he has in Syria and in the region (even if a lot of that support comes from a simple hatred of the west) The longer Assad remains in power, the more the west looks weak and that their policy in Middle East is seen (and maybe is) a failure. If Assad can pull off something of a military coop or has something else up his sleeve it’s possible the west will be shamed and made to leave. …. but I don’t think he will use chemical weapons

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