This was the implication of articles published in many Western media following a double car bombing in Damascus in December 2011 – the first ever such event in this peaceful city. Presented with the title “Syria blames Al-Qaida — the article goes on to suggest that the Syrian government actually staged this event to coincide with the UN observers mission:

Syria blames al-Qaida after two car bombs kill dozens in Damascus

Opposition activists dismiss official account, accusing Assad regime of plotting blasts that coincided with Arab League visit

Even though this idea – that a government would stage a suicide bombing and kill dozens of civilians simply to make a point – had zero credibility, and Western audiences were used to terrorist car bombings in Iraq and other countries – the presentation of this false narrative took root with the help of such bad and biased journalism.

We didn’t have to wait long to see the Syrian government’s ‘story’ proved right, when the newly created ‘Al Nusra Front’ acknowledged responsibility for similar bombings a month later. This was reported in the US:

but it was some time before the continuing acts of terrorism by Al Nusra and the Free Syrian Army came to be acknowledged as such in the Western press. No-one ever thought to apologise to the Syrian government for implying that it would commit such an atrocity, or to the relatives of those civilians and security forces who died. And this press continues to mock Syria’s claim it is a victim of foreign backed terrorism – simply by referring to it as a “Claim”.

To those millions of supporters of Syria and its secular state, and the tens of thousands of soldiers who have died at the hands of these terrorists and armed groups, such reporting puts the Western media into role of co-conspirator and complicit aggressor; it is a charge that sooner or later we may have to answer.