Putin Narrowly Avoids Defeat in Syria

Our source has obtained these draft notes from the waste paper basket in the office of the Director, Spin Central, Western Main Stream Media Holdings.

ISSUE: Putin has recently announced a partial pullout from Syria and claimed success.

BACKGROUND: For months we have been saying that Putin's air force has been clusterbombing civilians, good moderate rebels, sand and hospitals; that Putin is getting bogged down; that it was turning into another Afghanistan; that he was lying when he said he was bombing terrorists; that all he was doing was propping up Assad. In short that it was a failure that could only grow worse. "Russia's Failed Adventure in Syria" by Con Coughlin, Defence Editor of the Daily Telegraph is a typical example. Others are "Putin bogging down in Syria", "Russian army in Syria: A failure foretold" and "Putin Dare Not Send More Forces to Syria". These must now, as it were, be unspun in such a way that we do not look like fools who were just speaking stenography to power.

PROBLEM: Many of our dupes punters sheeple citizens are in danger of forming the impression that Putin actually did what he said he would do, when he said he would do it and, having done it, is finished. Some are even going so far as to suggest Putin did us a service by attacking ISIS. Such an impression would directly threaten our credibility profits freedoms and values.

SOLUTION: It is imperative that we develop a media campaign to save our faces regain the moral high ground. Consultations with our specialists have developed the following themes. The essence is that, while not a complete failure, Putin's war had a very limited and short-lived success. All writers are instructed to work these themes into their coverage.

  • Putin attacked Syria to distract the population from the catastrophic economy. Nonstop videos of explosions on state-controlled TV had an initial effect which soon wore off. With the collapse of his popularity ratings from 90% to 85%, he realised he had milked it for as much as he could and it was time for another diversion.

  • The attack on Syria diverted attention from Putin's war in Ukraine. The pullout has successfully diverted attention from Putin's war in Syria.

  • Putin's war has been countered by the successful diplomacy of President US President Obama and (insert the name of local stooge leader) which created the ceasefire and brought the warring parties to the negotiating table.

  • Humorists can make the point that Putin has run out of Syrian hospitals and orphanages to bomb.

  • Find "some expert" to "believe" that the cost of the intervention was ruinously high and that "probably" Putin's supporters told him to stop or they would dismiss him.

  • Suggest there was a big argument with Assad and Putin left to punish him. "Some experts believe" is the way to introduce this story.

  • Other departments will be trying to create a "Soldiers' Mothers Committee" to claim there were thousands of hidden casualties. Be ready to quote them.

  • Don't forget to say that Putin claimed "mission accomplished" and that he promised to completely withdraw. This allows us to call him a liar if these things do not happen. In the meantime, anything short of 100% "accomplished" can be spun as failure.

Standard instructions continue as usual

  • Scatter the expressions "barrel bombs", "troll factories", "hybrid war", "carpet bombing" and "weaponising" freely through your writings. But I don't think we can get away with "weaponising success" though.

  • Question the reliability of everything Putin says and observe that, while his motives are always obscure, they are always malign.

  • Don't forget personalisation: everything is "Putin's"

  • When you can't find a source for some assertion, make frequent use of the formula: "Many experts say -------"

  • Try and say "Putin's war on Syria" as much as possible; this makes him out to have been on the morally wrong side.