I was in my senior year of high school when 9/11 happened. Al-Qaeda was behind the attack, and we were now at war. I joined the Army and served in American special operations units in Iraq and Afghanistan. There, I got to see the Taliban, al-Qaeda, and other jihadi militants up close, confirming beyond any shadow of a doubt that these guys are scumbags. I got out of the Army in 2010, but the war continued on. ISIS was born. Things got worse.

The war mutated, and to my shock, horror, and disbelief, our government and news media were soon telling us that al-Qaeda was our friend. They didn’t come right out and say it, although General Petraeus openly advocated arming al-Qaeda. Think tanks carefully couch their words, as does the CIA, when it refers to so-called “moderate” opposition in Syria. Our press freely and willfully accepts propaganda from “activists” in rebel/jihadi-held areas of Syria.

We have short memories in America. Let’s set aside the fact that we were told that al-Qaeda was our eternal enemy after 9/11 and look back to the Gulf War. In 1990, a 15-year-old girl named Nayirah testified in front of Congress, telling our lawmakers a shocking story in which she had witnessed Iraqi soldiers in Kuwait removing babies from incubators in a hospital, and then leaving them to die. There was one problem with her story: It was pure bullshit.

Nayirah al-Saud was the daughter of Kuwait’s ambassador to the United States, and she had been used as a vehicle to carry propaganda to American lawmakers as a part of a public relations campaign put on by Citizens for a Free Kuwait.

Have we learned nothing?

Is there anyone out there who is seriously so stupid as to believe that a seven-year-old girl in war-torn Aleppo is Tweeting about her life on the front lines? Bana Alabed is just one of many examples of children being used for propaganda purposes. In Eastern Aleppo, the groups holding those areas are FSA and al-Nusra, making one wonder who is really sending those Tweets. They certainly are not coming from a seven-year-old girl who would rather be playing My Little Pony instead of Tweeting about politics.

Does anyone else remember the gay Syrian girl hoax? A Gay Girl in Damascus was a blog that became an internet meme, which in turn was widely reported by the mainstream media without batting an eye. Later, it turned out that the blog was run by an American named Tom McMaster in the U.K.