BRIEF ACCOUNT OF RELATED EVENTS
• President Obama wishes to arm rebels with small arms.
• An estimated 70% of US civilians disagree with US involvement.
• Recently the CIA began training rebels that have gone through
• There is controversial evidence that the Syrian government used
• The Free Syrian Army wants US involvement.
• Russia is disagreeing with US proposals of dealing with Syria.
This presentation analyses and compares perspectives on the matter of
US President Obama delivering weapons (small arms, shoulder-fired
missiles) to the Free Syrian Army. From a western perspective I believe
that Obama is doing the right call by arming rebels rather than sending
in ground forces. Doing such the US avoids going to war with the Syria
which effectively minimizes loss of western lives in the conflict. This is
my bias as being a westerner I feel more compelled to feel sympathy for
the US. I would think that if I weren‟t from a western country I would be
less likely to support armament and more likely to either support
liberation or doing nothing at all. Liberation would draw fire from rebels
and thus protect Syrian lives. Doing nothing at all allows Syria to work
on it‟s problems by itself despite the government being backed by other
A news website called Bloomberg uses phrases such as:
“… A U.S missile attack on Syria would be intended solely to punish his regime’s
use of chemical weapons.”
Notice how the word punish is used rather than use more peaceful words such as
retaliate or respond. The authors (David Lerman & John Walcott) aim to guide
people to feel better about a U.S missile attack as a word such as „punish‟ implies
that what the Syrian government is doing very wrong. Later on in the same article
when talking about what weapons they intend to send to Syria the authors write:
“Local fighters and defectors from the regime are trained to use simpler and more
rugged Russian-made equipment, not more complex American arms.”
I hypothesize the reason as to why include this in the article is , other than explain
that USA is not sending American weapons, the authors attempt to glorify the
United States, thus appealing to the readers of which the majority is most likely
American/western as it is an American website.
Bloomberg is reportedly leaning towards Labour Party bias which is pro-
democratic and is most likely the reason as to why they support the US.
Another news website called Policymic also appears to be for the arming of
rebels. They author calls Obama‟s plan to arm rebels “Machiavellian
Genius”. On top of this they claim CIA‟s training of rebels is a “clandestine
dissemination of aid”.
By approving Obama‟s wishes the website gains some agreement from the
masses. Some might consider news agencies the dominant source of „right‟
information, and as such if they consider Obama right so do the people.
Additionally by claiming that CIA‟s mission is clandestine (peaceful, tranquil)
the author reinforces the readers that the US is not involved in hostilities and
are only engaged in „good‟ aid. This is possible evidence of a Status Quo
bias which, in this case, focuses only on the good side of America‟s
involvement in Syria. It also feels as if the article is evaluating the situation
rather than reporting.
The author again appeals to Americans by explaining that this approach of
dealing with Syria lessens the risk of American lives being lost, which can
allow westerners to support Syria involvement without worrying about
Policymic states on their website that they are „the first democratic online
news platform‟ and as a democratic news site are more likely to agree with
Sources claim that Russia is very opposed to the issue of USA arming Syrian
rebels. Despite promoting the fact that arming rebels would stall peace it is
hard to believe that this is Russia‟s true intent as they are one of the
suppliers of military hardware to the Syrian government.
A statement from Moscow said that armament sent could end up in the
hands of “terrorists” and “encourage the opposition towards a destructive
military solution for Syria.”
This statement is made to appeal to those against involvement in Syria and
is mainly directed at the Russian population. The statement uses words like
terrorists and destructive military solution to install fear and stray people
away from being proactive towards arming rebels.
Russia has had a broad hostile history with the US which precedes even the
Cold War and are also suppliers to the Syrian government. Their
disagreement with Obama seems natural. Additionally their pro-Syrian
government bias is noticeable in the slanting of rebels and USA‟s methods.
An article from JPOST claims that Russia believes that the U.S is stalling peace in
Syria by arming the rebels, however, it appears to be more biased towards the U.S
as „purr‟ words like support and help are thrown around which again shows that
despite announcing Russia‟s views on the situation a westerner written article is
still leaning towards agreeing with the US even though 70% of the population
disagrees with involvement.
Another article, this time from PressTV, begins with the following:
“Russia warns the United States, the European Union and their regional allies
against supplying more weapons to insurgents fighting against Syrian
This phrase by itself is enough to motivate westerners to be pro-rebel as a threat
to the US, EU and their allies can cause anger and hatred towards Russia and
avoid association with their political views on the Syrian matter.
JPOST is Israeli and regarded having a centrist position. Despite not leaning
neither left or right wing the newspaper is still Israeli and is more than likely to
share Israeli president Peres‟ view, which it does. PressTV on the other hand is
based in Iran. Iran is an ally of Syria which explains the scare tactics being used in
the article. The entire agency is also infamous for promoting Iran at the expense of
truth and reason which shows their bad news bias. On top of this harmony is
boring and it is more beneficial for the news agency to write about conflict.
I felt the need to include an Israeli perspective on the issue as the Hezbollah, a
Palestinian terrorist organization, is involved in the conflict.
Reuters.com has an article concerning the arming of rebels and takes it‟s bias
from an Israeli perspective. The articles title is „U.S. right to arm Syrian
rebels, says Israeli president.’ – I believe that this was purposefully titled like this
in order to appeal to Americans and people around the globe that might or might
not support the U.S. involvement. If a nation, and in this case a major political
figure, takes USA‟s side in this matter it could potentially lead others to follow.
In the article it is written that Israeli president Peres stated the following:
“Unfortunately it is becoming more of a confrontation between two superpowers
and there is a growing intervention of outside forces.”
Peres is clearly talking about the Hezbollah and Iranian involvement in assisting
the Syrian government. Helping people realize that the U.S. wouldn‟t be alone
against Syria could lead people to want to empower the U.S. or stray away from it
out of fear of facing a superior enemy, especially after everything that has
happened in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Reuters.com is accused to have an anti-Israel and an Anglophone bias. The
Anglophone bias is evident as they agree with Obama and David Cameron on the
CONCLUSION & BIBLIOGRAPHY
There were no apparent inferences, at least none that I could find. It also
appears that despite the majority of Americans leaning away from
involvement the articles are very pro-Obama. This could be because I have
no republican sources which shows my accidental bias in basing my
collective knowledge on mostly democratic websites.
Bibliography in order of citation: