The latest salvo of progaganda from Assad's supporters is truly convoluted and deceptive: sending out quotes of 20th century literature via the e-mail account of conservative MP Rory Stewart:
The Arabs "were incorrigible children, feckless and colour-blind... their mind strange and dark, full of depressions and exaltations, lacking in rule".
These were the words of T E Lawrence, dripping with colonialist condescension, apparently used by the high-profile Conservative MP Rory Stewart to opponents of Bashar al-Assad's regime, dismissing their plea for democracy in Syria. But the email quoting from the Seven Pillars of Wisdom and purporting to be from Mr Stewart is, however, a forgery, as is a response from the Syrian embassy which hails his apparent backing for their regime.
Stewart, a soldier, diplomat, adventurer, writer, professor, and a great admirer of T.E. Lawrence, appears to be was the victim of a hacker seeking to bolster the Assad regime:
Mr Stewart, MP for Penrith and the Border, said :"I have not really spoken publicly much about Syria at all. I do recall getting an email from someone with a different name back in April.
"I replied saying that I fully agree that what Assad was doing was abhorrent and he should go. But this should be done through diplomatic means. I said that I did not think that the British Government should get involved militarily and that we should not get involved in arming the rebels. I certainly did not quote Lawrence in any way."