New US Narrative: “Assad or The Extremists”

A video analysis of the new narrative in Washington, “It’s Assad or It’s The Extremists in Syria” — a narrative now being put out by a former high-level US Ambassador, probably on behalf of officials in the Obama Administration, as well as by American media and analysts:

The analysis was spurred by articles in Time Magazine, The Daily Telegraph, The New York Times, and The Washington Post. Since it has been filmed, the narrative has been fed by distorted reports in outlets such as Reuters and The Wall Street Journal, which said — wrongly — that the Supreme Military Council’s head Salem Idriss had been forced to flee Syria because of an attack on the Free Syrian Army by the recently-formed Islamic Front.

This week, when you read stories about Syria, count how many times you read the word “jihadist”, “extremist”, “Al Qa’eda-linked”.

Then count how many times you read the line, “On August 21, 2013, the Assad regime carried out chemical attacks that left hundreds of its people dead. Count how many times you see the line that, in the last week, the Assad regime has carried out aerial attacks and shelling across the country that have killed hundreds more people.

Then tell me, which has more headlines: “extremists” or the regime attacks?

Related Posts

Richard Langley is a freelance filmmaker and academic based at the University of Birmingham. He has taught at undergrad and masters level, across a broad range of subjects: from American literature and poetry, to documentary film and Hollywood cinema. Richard has also worked at museums, art galleries and at independent production companies, as well as for Google (YouTube). Much of his current work seeks to bring university and filmmaking work together through the development of a rigorous and creative audio-visual academia.


  1. Syrian Activists: Crimes Against Media Workers Must Stop

    Media organizations in Syria are speaking out against the increasing harassment of journalists by jihadist groups in the country. Following recent abuses by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), advocacy groups in Syria and around the world have launched a campaign demanding an end to crimes against Syrian media workers.

    The Global Voices Advocacy community is deeply concerned about threats and attacks against free speech posed by extremist groups taking over areas free of regime control in Syria. While the Syrian regime’s tradition of censorship, monopoly over communication infrastructures, and repression against journalists and media activists is well-known, violations of freedom of expression in so-called “liberated” areas reveal a tragic trend.

    We join other local and international organizations in demanding support of press freedom and freedom of expression, the release of detainees and an end to the crimes and abuses committed by ISIS in Syria. A campaign effort is under way at


  2. There are signs though that the US is drifting away from it’s traditional alliances with the Sunni states (Egypt, KSA), to bettering relations with the Shite sphere (Iran, HA, Syria’s Assad, Iraq). Perhaps the Sunni extremism is the factor here.

    • Not trying to be disagreeable but I would say that Egypt and KSA are moving away from America rather than America making the move. The U.S. doesn’t seem to be in the driver’s seat on anything at the moment.

      And Europe would be a better ally for them. Both geographically closer and far less tied up with Israel which would help with domestic politics. Also France seems more willing to work with them militarily than America.

  3. The US has finally realized that a nationalist secular governement in Syria, is better for the World and the region than an islamic state like Afghanistan which would be a safe heaven for Al Qaeda.

    Maybe in another year or two, the US will finally support the loyalist governement to end the salafist attempts to create a caliphate.

  4. Hi Scott, thanks for your analysis. I really like your work and I think you are mostly right, I had similar views before finding this website, even I did not know so much like I do now, but I am afraid about the independency of the information found here when I see an ad of Syrian Support Group, not because the group itself, they are supporting a good cause, but in the case that some information is not the adequate for their cause, how are you going to deal with that?

  5. A false equivalency is put forward at the end of this article. The crimes of the Assad regime are less important in this context because America is not supporting the Assad regime and no major figure is suggesting that it start. Whereas willingly or not US equipment and support is finding its way to Islamist Militants .

    It’s more neutrality versus supporting Islamic extremists from America’s point of view. If you as the author believe supporting Islamic extremists is better than neutrality then make your case.

    • A mass murderer, a torturer of the people and a destroyer of the country can`t be a president of a country. Period –

      Completely no matter what kind of foreign policy priorities Obama is going to develope: “”A massmurder for president”” is definitly a red line. Obama will has no other choice than to strengthen its allies in syria. But this is not an easy task.

      • “A mass murderer, a torturer of the people and a destroyer of the country can`t be a president of a country. ”
        Well American Presidents have killed many people, America has run torture camps and America destroyed Iraq. Your statement is particularly hypocritical considering some of the torture camps America has run in the past were actually in Syria.

        If a mass murderer for president is a red-line for Obama, won’t he need to resign over the drone program?

        There is not much difference between Assad and Obama, so neither of them can reasonably judge the other. They are more alike than they are different.

Leave a Comment