What the Fake Syria Sniper Boy Video Tell Us About Media Experts

News | 27.11.2014 | 14:40

Many mainstream media websites helped a fake video go viral this month. The video showing a young Syrian boy running through sniper fire to save a little girl, was exposed as a fake when the Norwegian producer Lars Klevberg made the fact public. One of the stated aims of the Norwegian film makers was to “see how the media would respond to a fake video.” This article examines how that experiment went.

The western press very quickly accepted the video as real and used it to support the US administration’s narrative on Syria. Many top US news sources began to spread the story. Even though the producer said he explicitly added big hints that the video was fake, like the children surviving multiple gun shots.

Propagating false stories on Syria, is nothing new for the western press. In the lead up to the conflict many stories were exposed as frauds, such as the Anti-government activist “Gay Girl in Damascus” which turned out to be a middle-aged American man in Scotland. Syrian Danny Abdul Dayem which was frequently interviewed by CNN was using fake gun fire and flames in his interviews.

The fake sniper video wasn’t enough to support US government narratives by itself, as the now deleted original upload didn’t suggest the identity of the snipers. So the west’s media suggested that it was Syrian military snipers that were targeting the children without any evidence. Journalists failed to mention how they reached the conclusion that an actor in Malta was shot by the Syrian military. It may be that the western press is quick to trust pro-rebel sources, as the video was uploaded by the pro-rebel Sham Times along with their own twist.

The Guardian’s headline for the video was “Syrian boy ‘saves girl from army sniper’” and the Telegraph delicately suggested the Syrian military was responsible for the fake bullets. The International Business (IB) times stated, “the snipers, who reportedly are said to be the government forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.” IB Times never explicitly mentioned who reported this information. They then took it a step further and concluded the article with “the incident certainly is not the first time that Pro-Assad gunmen have targeted children”. Well it is at least not the first time the mainstream media has presented false reports as fact. In 2012, CNN claimed a bullet that killed a four year old girl in Aleppo was shot by government snipers even whilst admitting the bullet came from rebel held buildings.

Other journalists took to Twitter to make unfounded claims about army snipers targeting the boy. Vinnie O’Dowd who has done work for Channel 4 and Al Jazeera tweeted “Syrian Regime Targets kids. Liz Sly of the Washington Post tweeted incredulously that “Soldiers kept shooting” at children.

These tweets were inline with an official State Department Twitter account @ThinkAgain_DOS which blamed Assad for the fictitious bullets in the film. This casts doubt on how deeply the US administration scrutinizes information it bases it’s policy on. In 2013 they relied heavily on video footage provided by rebels to support its planned attack on Syria in the wake the Ghouta chemical attack.

Scrutinising the Scrutinisers (Experts)

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But it isn’t just the mainstream media that was easily duped by the convenient propaganda film. The video experts that were asked to scrutinise the video, failed to recognise that the video was a fraud. The Telegraph stated that upon enquiry ‘experts told them they had no reason to doubt that the video is real”. International Business Times went a step further spinning the statement to “experts told The Telegraph that they have no doubts on the authenticity of the footage.”

This is very strange since both children in the film walk away after being directly and repeatedly hit by bullets. The creators of the film said he purposely scripted this as a big hint that the video is fake. The lack of scrutiny the media experts employed suggests incompetence or the same level of bias as the media that employs them .

Heather Saul of the Independent wrote that one of the ‘Middle East experts” she showed the video to was from Human Rights Watch. Indeed, Human Rights Watch European Media Director Andrew Stroehlein, showed no doubt on the authenticity of the film when he tweeted it out to his followers. The New York based human rights organisation is not new at tweeting false information, last month they used an image of the Odessa fire, where US-backed militia’s burned thirty two people to death, as an example of ‘Putin’s repressive policies’. In 2008 Venezuela expelled two HRW staff members accused of “anti-state activities” after producing a report against the Chavez government. Guardian journalist Hugh O’Shaughnessy accused HRW of using false and misleading information in the report, as well as pro-Washington bias. In 2009 HRW received financial donations from the Saudi government which may, in part, explain the anti-Syrian slant.

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HRW employed so called video expert Eliot Higgins and his colleague Daniel Kaszeta to investigate the August 21 chemical attack in Ghouta, and quickly reached the conclusion the Syrian government was behind the attack. Daniel Kaszeta was referred to as a fraud by prominent physicist and MIT Professor Theodore Postol. HRW’s CEO Kenneth Roth recently used a report by Eliot Higgins to make unfounded claims about Ukrainian rebels shooting down Malaysian flight MH17. Heather Saul did not respond to questions on whether Eliot Higgins was one of the expert she asked for advice. However the mainstream media’s most often quoted video expert, did not recognise that the video was a fraud, tweeting cautiously that he wasn’t sure if it was authentic but gave the video a reaction non the less.

However many viewers who aren’t referred to as video or Middle East experts, immediately recognised the video was a fraud and flooded social media sites Twitter and Youtube with doubts on its authenticity. If Heather Saul had used these individuals as experts rather than HRW, she would have reached the correct conclusion about the video. But perhaps it is this unbias eye that the mainstream media avoids. The vast majority of Higgin’s conclusions support US government narratives and agendas, and that’s the kind of bias the mainstream media prefers.

Blaming the Producer

Instead of humbly accepting blame for spreading disinformation, many western journalists and their experts reacted by blaming the producer of the film. The collective rage of the entire mainstream media forced the film’s producer to delete any trace of this 30,000 dollar experiment. Some journalists took to Twitter to express their rage at being exposed as easily duped by convenient propaganda.

The experts that were fooled by the video also strongly protested. HRW posted a complaint that the fake video “eroded the public trust in war reporting’, in other words blind trust in HRW analysis and war propaganda. Eliot Higgins posted an open letter to the producer of the film on his website Bellingcat, condemning the film.

GlobalPost referred to the film as ‘irresponsible and dangerous’ but not because it could be used to promote wars and make false accusations. What the real danger to the mainstream media and their experts seems to be, is that as a result of the films exposure as a fraud, future video claims may now have to be properly scrutinized and the public may not be so unquestioning in future. However it is the journalists’ lack of scrutiny that is truly what is irresponsible and dangerous. Had the director not admitted the film was fake, these journalists more than likely would have kept promoting the story as an example of Syrian Army war crimes.

Maram Susli also known as “Syrian Girl,” is an activist-journalist and social commentator covering Syria and the wider topic of geopolitics

online magazine New Eastern Outlook.

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IDF chief rabbi: 90% of Muslims don’t know Quran contents

Ugly Truth
 

jewish venn diagram star

OCDG: Apparently, this ‘learned elder’ doesn’t know the torah either. In it, the jews are expelled from the sight of God forever. They are also on an eternal exile from the “lands of their fathers”. The same God, whom they claim to revere and obey, has forbidden then from ever having a nation of their own and has made it obligatory that they behave and be loyal to the nations in which they call home… they have obviously done neither. They have perpetuated the wicked satanic filth of their ancestors to every country on Earth : prostitution, usury, abortion, porn, theft, murder, ritual child sacrifice and every other sin and vice known and unknown to mankind. In pursuit of the Divinely forbidden nation, they have murdered and genocided the native Palestinians, raped their women, children and men, stolen all their natural resources (water and oil come to mind), brutalized them for over a century, they have gotten their diaspora jew sayanim to provide cover for all these crimes… the world’s media all lie and deceive about every aspect of this massive infiltration, thus outing them as the God damned traitors they are. That’s just the tip of the icesteinberg.

Times Of Israel

IDF chief rabbi Rafi Peretz downplayed Muslim religious ties to Jerusalem, and said that the majority of the followers of the Quran know nothing of its contents, in comments brought to light Wednesday.

According to a transcript of a lesson at the Otzem pre-military yeshiva, published on the Kipa website on Wednesday, the military rabbi said on November 3 that Jews were more well-versed in the Quran than Muslims.

The IDF said in response that the remarks had been taken out of context, but apologized nonetheless.

“In the Quran, there is not even one reference to the word Jerusalem. Not even a hint. The Arabs are imagining things. Ninety percent of them don’t know what’s written in the Quran. We know far better than they do,” Peretz said during a lecture on the biblical book of Genesis.

Other than the al-Aqsa mosque, the rest of the site — including the Dome of the Rock — contains no religious significance to the worshipers, he added.

When they pray, facing Mecca “their backsides face the Temple Mount,” he said. “So what are they doing on the Temple Mount?”

The Temple Mount site — the holiest in Judaism, and the third-holiest in Islam — has been a source of increased tensions between Israelis and Palestinians, which have led to a number of violent clashes, Palestinian acts of terrorism, and the attempted assassination of a Temple Mount activist in just under a month.

The riots and terror attacks in Jerusalem and elsewhere were touched off in part by Palestinian fears that Israeli lawmakers would seek to change the status quo on the compound, called the Haram al-Sharif or al-Aqsa by Muslims.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed on several occasions that Israel had no intention of changing the status quo at the site.

A statement from the IDF spokesman maintained that the comments “were taken out of context and do not reflect the position of the IDF chief rabbi. The rabbi is sorry if his remarks offended the Arab population.”


And now some quotes from the Book of Jeremiah:

‘I will pronounce my judgment on these people (the Jews) because of their wickedness in forsaking me…Therefore I bring charges against you, your children and against your children’s children…As a thief is disgraced only when caught, so too is the house of Israel disgraced…they, their kings and officials, priests and prophets have turned their backs to me and not their faces…These people are fools…They do not know me. They are senseless children and have no understanding. They are skilled in evil and know not how to do good…Therefore a lion from the forest will attack them…a wolf from the desert will ravage them…a leopard will lie in wait near their towns to tear to pieces any who venture out, for their rebellion is great and their backslidings many…Why should I forgive you? Your children have forsaken me. I supplied all their needs and yet they committed adultery and thronged the houses of prostitutes…Should I not punish them for this? Should I not avenge myself upon a nation such as this?‘O house of Israel’ declares the Lord,‘I am bringing a distant nation against you,An ancient and enduring nation,A people whose language you do not know and whose speech you do not understand…They will devour your harvests, sons and daughters, your flocks and herds…With the sword they will utterly destroy the fortified cities in which you trust…Hear this, you foolish and senseless people, who have eyes but do not see and ears but do not hear…And yet, their ears remain closed and the word of the Lord is offensive to them. They find no pleasure in it…From the least to the greatest, all are greedy for gain, prophet and priest alike, all practice deceit…I will bring bereavement and destruction on these people for they have not changed their ways…Your wealth and your treasures I will give away as plunder, because of all the sins of your country…For my anger will kindle a fire that will burn against you, for I, the sovereign Lord am against you, Jerusalem, and will punish you as your deeds deserve and will kindle a fire in your forests that will consume everything around you…Do not pray for these people nor plead for them, because I will not listen in the time of distress…Do not pray for the well-being of these people, for I will not listen to their cry…Through your own fault you will lose the inheritance I gave you, for you have kindled my anger and it will burn FOREVER…

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Abbas’ Palestinian state, rejected by Israel

Rehmat

 

On Wednesday, South Africa’s president Jacob Zuma received West Bank president Mahmoud Abbas, an Israeli ally in Pretoria. Zuma also hosted a meeting between Abbas and SA leaders of pro-Israel Jewish organizations,Jewish Board of Deputies and Zionist Federation. During the meeting, Abbas assured the Jewish leaders that he is committed to the so-called two-statesolution for the Jewish occupied Palestine.

The two Jewish groups in a statement said that they “welcome the confirmation by President Abbas that he and his government remain committed to a negotiated two-state solution to the conflict with Israel and to working with the Israeli government towards attaining that goal.”

I bet these cunning Jewish leaders knew that the Israeli government has already rejected the idea of the “two-state”.

On Monday, in a speech, Israeli envoy at the United Nations, Ron Prosor said:

Imagine the type of state Palestinian society will produce. Does the Middle East really need another (Israel) terror-ocracy.”

The answer to Prosor’s question comes from a non-Muslim, non-Palestinian, A. Bilzarian: Hamas may be the most moral “terrorist” in history.

In Spring 2014, Israeli defense minister Gen. Moshe Ya’alon called his Jewish brother John Kerry “Messianic” for latter’s persistence pursuit of an Israel-Palestinian deal. In October 2014, he said that Palestinian will never get a country of their own. What they will achieve the most – an autonomy within Israel. Here is a glimpse of Ya’alon’s talk with Lally Weymouth of Washington Post:

Q: Do you believe in a two-state solution?

A: You can call it the new Palestinian empire. We don’t want to govern them, but it is not going to be a regular state for many reasons.

Q: What does that mean — the Palestinian empire?

A: Autonomy. It is going to be demilitarized.

Q: In Gaza and the West Bank?

A: It is up to them. According to the agreement, they should be demilitarized. It is up to Abu Mazen if he is able or if he wants to demilitarize Gaza. Otherwise, we are not going to talk about any final settlement.

Q: Is Abu Mazen the best Palestinian leader you’re going to get?

A: I don’t know, but he is not a partner for the two-state solution. He doesn’t recognize the existence of the Jewish state.

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu wants to annex occupied JordanValley and expel all its native Muslim and Christian inhabitants.

The Zionist regime doesn’t want a sovereign Palestinian state next to its occupation. What it has in mind is a Palestinian Bantustan modeled on apartheid South African and Canadian-American Native experiment.

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آية الله خامنئي _ امن اسرائيل يتلاشى باتفاق نووي او بدونه

 

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The future of the Nazi Ukraine in 90 seconds

 

There are no Nazis in the Ukraine?

This photo comes from a Polish forum and has reposted by Colonel Cassad.

 ——

Check the sad and, frankly, pathetic footage recently taken at the Ukrainain-Polish border: these poor people are trying to storm the Polish checkpoint every day to try to sell or barter something, or to find a job.  This has been happening every day.  The saddest thing about that is that this is only a timid beginning for a phenomenon which will inexorably grow.  The poor Ukies can sing “Ще не вмерла України” (“The Ukraine has not died yet“, the Ukrainian national anthem, itself a bad copy of the Polish one) but it sure looks to me like the Ukraine is dying.

The Saker

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

Baghdad… When Plane of Iran’s Suleimani Landed

Israa al-Fas

Edited and Translated by Mohamed Salami


Suleimani

“This is my enemy… I wish that one of my officers could match him.” -Obama

ISIL lost around half of the territories it occupied since June 10, 2014. Since then till September 18, the day which preceded the first US-led coalition’s airstrikes, a number of political changes and battlefield developments occurred in Iraq. ISIL’s image that was consecrated after the fall of Mosul as the “invincible monster” was altered by the army’s achievements. Securing Baghdad as well as its belt, Samarra, al-Dajil besides al-Balad and regaining control over Talaafar, Amerli, Suleiman Beik, in addition to large parts of Salahuddine province corrected the scene and proved that the monster is a paper tiger.

On June 10, 2014, ISIL controlled the city of Mosul, pushing the political and military leadership in addition to the religious authority in Iraq to take the necessary measures to protect the capital and to urge the citizens to encounter the terrorist group.

At that time the Saudi media played a vital role in promoting ISIL’s propaganda by claiming that the terrorists’ shells reached Baghdad’s airport.

What changed the course of the events? What turned the table on ISIL?

Commander of IRGC Quds Forces Qassem Suleimani in Baghdad

Well-informed sources told Al-Manar that after the fall of Mosul into the hands of the terrorists, the plane of the commander of IRGC Quds forces Major General Qassem Suleimani landed in Baghdad. The sources added that Iranian and Lebanese military experts were on board.

At that moment, the Iraqi army was not collapsed, and the different factions which fought the US occupation started to order its ranks. Also, thousands of volunteers flocked to the training camps in preparation to defend their cities and towns against ISIL.

Al-Manar correspondent to Iraq, our colleague Mohammad Nesr, quoted Iraqi fighters as saying that Suleimani used to attend the battles in person, leading the advancing troops into the fronts to defeat the ISIL terrorists.

Nesr added that Suleimani used also to perform his religious duties regularly and to show signs of confidence, boost the morale of the fighters.

Suleimani called Hamas official Khaled Meshaal and al-Barazani in iraq’s Kurdistan as he also used to follow news bars of different TV channels, including Al-Manar, according to Nesr.

US War against Maliki

As the fierce clashes between ISIL terrorists and the Iraqi army erupted, the US administration launched its political war against PM Nuri al-Maliki, requiring the formation of a transitional government in order to strike the terrorists’ strongholds.

Failing to contrive major achievements, the US airstrikes against ISIL sites in Iraq started only when the terrorist group reached Kurdistan where the Western investments exist.

On the other hand, the Iraqi army and the volunteer military factions benefited from the relative political stability which resulted from forming a new government and continued its operations against ISIL terrorists regaining major towns in Diyala and other provinces.

All these achievements were led by the commander Qassem Suleimani whose battlefield photos pushed the US president Barack Obama to say,

“This is my enemy… I wish that one of my officers could match him.”

Source: Al-Manar Website

28-11-2014 – 18:05 Last updated 28-11-2014 – 19:13

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US-Iran talks extended, AIPAC rushes to step in

ayatollahkhamenei[1]Netanyahu and his American poodles in both Houses are celebrating the extension of nuclear talks between the US and Iran in Vienna. On November 24, the E3+3 announced that they intend to continue their dialogue to resolve US-Israel “concerns” regarding Iran’s nuclear program.

With anti-Muslim pro-Israel law-makers, both Republican and Democrats controlling both Congress and Senate and Liz Sherwood-Randall (Jewish) WMDs Czar while the so-called “soft on Iran”, Pentagon’s top gun ChuckHagel dumped – Next year will be the best time to make Iraq out of Iran for Israel.

As I wrote last week that both the US and Israel are not interested in resolving Iran’s nuclear issue. They’re preparing the necessary anti-Iran groundwork for a violent military regime change in Iran, as all their efforts to achieve that goal through propaganda and the “crippling sanctions” have failed to change Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatullah Ali Khamenei’s views about the Zionist regime.

It’s now essential that Congress now take up new bipartisan sanctions legislations to let Tehran know that it will face much more severe pressure if it doesn’t clearly abandoned its nuclear weapon program,”AIPAC said in a statement on Monday after P5+1 and Iran agreed to extend the final deal deadline to June 30, 2015.

Zionist prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu who called US-Iran nuclear talks as “blunder”, approved the extension “better than a nuclear deal between the US and Iran”. John Kerry tried to take the credit for delaying a final deal agreeable to Tehran. Both Iranian president Rouhani and his foreign minister Dr. Zarif said that talks did not need extension if American administration had been sincere in understanding Iran’s concerns. Both said that Tehran will never roll-back its civilian nuclear program.

Some political analysts are of the opinion that Israel, Russia and China will be the main beneficiaries in the long-term “no deal” scenario while European Union will be the main loser.

On November 26, Chuck Freilich, former Israeli national security adviser wrote at The BUZZ that since the US-Iran talk has failed to curb Israel’s “existential threat” from Iran with a “nuclear capability” – Obama administration should put the “military option” against Iran back on table.

Rob Eshman’s article Obama’s Jewish War posted at Jewish Journal on July 11, 2012, opens many doors to what’s being cooked at the White House. “Barack Obama rescued Egypt from fundamentalist chaos and to secure Israel,”Liz Sherwood-Randall told a large Jewish gathering sponsored by Foreign Policy Roundtable in July this year.

I would pause here and say there are some who assert there is a different sort of relationship between the president and the prime minister, that it is not a solid relationship. I would assure you that the president has built a very important relationship with Prime Minister Netanyahu. What this administration has done to advance Israel’s security is, literally, unprecedented,” she said.

She detailed military-to-military cooperation, $205 million spent to assist Israel in developing its Iron Dome missile defense system, Obama’s assistance to stranded and threatened Israeli diplomats in Egypt, and his speech before the United Nations General Assembly arguing against a bid for Palestinian statehood.

On Iran, Sherwood-Randall maintained that the administration has imposed the most far-reaching sanctions that Iran has ever faced, and that because of its intensive diplomacy, 18 countries – including Turkey, Japan, South Korea and India – have decreased purchases of Iranian oil, halving Iran’s crude oil exports.

Sherwood-Randall whose father Richard Sherwood was leader of the American Jewish Committee (AJC) for years, pointed out that the president Obama had never ruled out a military option on Iran.

I sincerely hope all Iranian leaders committed to the survival of the 1979 Islamic Revolution, stop chasing the “ghost” and learn from North Korean experience. Iran should dump NPT in garbage-can like Israel, India and Pakistan did longtime ago. It must rush to build a few nukes. That will put a duct-tape on Obama-Netanyahu mouth. In contrast to North Korea and Pakistan – Iran is loaded with oil and gas reserves and its economy has already withstood the western sanctions since 1980s. Israel-born British writer, author and musician, Gilad Atzmon, agrees with me on this.

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Russian commander warns US could control whole Gulf of Mexico

The Saker

How is that for a ridiculous headline?  You like it?

Well, it is just a little variation of a BBC headline today:

Nato commander warns Russia could control whole Black Sea

Here is an except from this article:

Russia’s top military commander, Gen Valerii Gerasimov, has warned that US “militarisation” of the annexed Florida Peninsula could be used to exert control over the whole Gulf of Mexico.

Well, the real excerpt was just slightly different:

Nato’s top military commander, Gen Philip Breedlove, has warned that Russian “militarisation” of the annexed Crimea Peninsula could be used to exert control over the whole Black Sea.

So is there a difference? Of course not. Except one: American exceptionalism, of course.  Come to think of it, there is another difference: the US and NATO just tried to take control of Crimea via the Maidan color revolution whereas Russia did not try to take control of Florida.  That, of course, also begs the following question: if the US and NATO suspect that Russia might use the Crimea Peninsula to control the whole of the Black Sea, then would it be most unreasonable to ask what exactly the US and NATO were hoping to achieve had they succeeded in taking over Crimea?

This is, of course, absolutely ridiculous and yet another example of the mind-blowing hypocrisy western corporate media.  It goes like this: US in Gulf of Mexico – good.  US in Black Sea – also good.  Russia in Black Sea – bad.  Russia in Gulf of Mexico – unthinkable.

And the worst here is not the imperial hubris and arrogance of the USA, it is the willing subservience of the Europeans to Uncle Sam.  They all know it, but they pretend not to notice.

Still, does Gen Breedlove have a point?  Oh yes, he sure does.  Crimea will, indeed, give Russia total control of the Black Sea and even beyond.  Russia will station at the very least one missile cruiser, several ultra-modern diesel attack submarines (ideal for brown and green water operations), supersonic medium range bombers armed with cruise missiles, coastal artillery and cruise missile batteries, fast attack craft, anti-submarine rotary and fixed-wing aircraft, etc.  You can think of Crimea as a unsinkable mega-carrier.  Kind of like Florida.

The Saker

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