No. Not "simply". To the purpose. Sophisticatedly. But it is becoming more and more clear exactly why you don't see fascism: Of course it is. It's completely standard, run-of-the-mill insurrection-suppression. Carrot and stick, is the Western term. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kurdish_rebellion_of_1983 Ok. But that leaves the real Assad, who keeps gas handy and a fully operational system of black site and torture prisons. Who doesn't "want" to create fear and terror, but definitely knows how to at need. Sure. So? Lots of people don't care what the Western press thinks of them. That doesn't redeem them. http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/02/lifts-sanctions-gulbuddin-hekmatyar-170204125508334.html And the people of Syria will know that as well. If they had any doubts, they can recall being gassed with Western observers right there - no protection from that direction. CNN has been looking for a chance to do that for weeks now. They had a good thing going with that guy - sold a lot of cornflakes, as they say. The rest of them are signed on to the bothsides program, and Trump's been stretching them thin - they need to say something good about him, for "balance" and "objectivity" and "journalism" and "bothsides", asap, and this is their first chance in a while.