FakeNews week: Assad and Russia’s Slaughter in Syria’: Deconstructing the Media’s Fake ‘War Crimes’ Narrative
By Barbara McKenzie – 21st Century Wire – February 15, 2017
February 15, 2017 By Barbara McKenzie
In response to the establishment media’s contrived ‘fake news’ crisis designed to marginalise independent and alternative media sources of news and analysis, 21WIRE is running its own #FakeNewsWeek awareness campaign, where each day our editorial team at 21st Century Wire will feature media critiques and analysis of mainstream corporate media coverage of current events – exposing the government and the mainstream media as the real purveyors of ‘fake news’ throughout modern history…
NATO and its allies are waging an immoral and illegal war against Syria. Despite mainstream media denials, the fact remains that their proxies on the ground are criminal gangs with an extremist ideology, committing atrocities on a daily basis.
The crimes against Syria by the hand of western governments and their agents, however, are totally ignored by institutions that support the West in its plan to effect regime change. The agenda stretches from Washington DC, to the US-led ‘Coalition’ governments, right through to the United Nations.
Instead, the West has constructed a narrative of Russian and Syrian ‘war crimes’ which, although refutable at every level, is maintained and promoted by Western politicians, diplomats, UN officials, the corporate media, and social media trolls. The fake narrative is achieved through a comprehensive set of strategies:
MSM Fake News in Syria
The following is a catalogue of fabricated or misleading stories disseminated by western media in Syria:
The Haas school bombing
On 26 October 2016, news came of a lethal Russian or Syrian airstrike on a school in the village of Haas in Idlib province, northern Syria.
UNICEF smartly issued a statement by Executive Director Anthony Lake, with an implication that the world is remiss in not taking action:
NEW YORK/AMMAN, 26 October 2016 – “Twenty-two children and six teachers were reportedly murdered today when their school compound was repeatedly attacked in Idlib, Syria.
“This is a tragedy. It is an outrage. And if deliberate, it is a war crime.
“This latest atrocity may be the deadliest attack on a school since the war began more than five years ago.
“Children lost forever to their families … teachers lost forever to their students … one more scar on Syria’s future.
“When will the world’s revulsion at such barbarity be matched by insistence that this must stop?”
Principal sources cited in the media are ‘Syrian Civil Defense’ commonly known as the White Helmets, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), and ‘locals’ or ‘activists’. Pictures are provided by either ‘activists’ or the Revolutionary Forces of Syria, an anti-government media outfit.
The Guardian also cites ‘a doctor who […] asked that his name and the name of his medical facility not be used’. Both the BBC and the Independent quote UNICEF, presumably for its response rather than as a source, as UNICEF has no permanent presence in Idlib, let alone Haas.
The Guardian added value to its article by quoting of Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Stephen O’Brien’s previous report to the UN on the Wednesday (which refers to Aleppo, but not the Idlib school incident). Like Anthony Lake above, O’Brien suggests that some kind of action is called for.
“O’Brien added that he was “incandescent with rage” over the security council’s passivity. “Peoples’ lives [have been] destroyed and Syria itself destroyed. And it is under our collective watch,” he said. “And it need not be like this – this is not inevitable; it is not an accident … Never has the phrase by poet Robert Burns, of ‘man’s inhumanity to man’ been as apt. It can be stopped but you, the security council, have to choose to make it stop.”
All the Western media quoted here assume that the attack actually happened. The Washington Post goes further, implying that civilians are deliberately targeted: ‘the seeming denial of targeting civilians in Haas suggests that more of them will die in this horrific conflict.’
Vitaly Churkin, Russia’s ambassador to the UN, responded to the reports, saying: “It’s horrible. I hope we were not involved. It’s the easiest thing for me to say no, but I’m a responsible person, so I need to see what my ministry of defence is going to say.”
While the Russians maybe have been cautious in their initial response, others had no doubt at all. Politicians, diplomats, UN officials and human rights organisations were quick to condemn the attack. The Guardian quoted White House spokesman Josh Earnest:
“We don’t know yet that it was the Assad regime or the Russians that carried out the airstrike, but we know it was one of the two.”
French Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, Jean-Marc Ayrault, issued a statement condemning the bombing:
“The Syrian regime and its supporters – far from implementing the announced truces – have stepped up their bombing campaign. These attacks constitute serious violations of international humanitarian law.”
Gordon Brown, UN envoy for education and former British Prime Minster, at a formal press briefing, described the attack as a ‘descent into barbarism’, and a ‘war crime’, calling on the Security Council to refer ‘the worst assault on school children in Syria to the International Criminal Court (ICC). Brown pronounced himself eager to take up Russia’s suggestion of an investigation.
Ban Ki-Moon, the UN Secretary-General likewise called for an investigation. A statement from his office read:
“The Secretary-General is appalled by reports of attacks that killed students and teachers in a school complex in Haas village, Idlib governorate, Syria on 26 October. If deliberate, this attack may amount to a war crime.
The Secretary-General calls for immediate and impartial investigation of this and other similar attacks against civilians in Syria. If such horrific acts persist despite global outrage, it is largely because their authors, whether in corridors of power or in insurgent redoubts, do not fear justice. They must be proved wrong.”
There Was No Air Raid
Even to the casual observer, the claim of an airstrike, based on the evidence provided to the media by the sources on the ground, looks ridiculous.
The following picture, which was distributed widely, including by the Independent, does not suggest an airstrike, so much as someone attacking the wall with a hammer. The desks are upright and undamaged, and other pictures make it clear that the roof is quite intact.
The video in the Reuters report, “Air strikes in Syria’s Idlib kill 26, mostly children: rescuers, monitor” contains very clear footage, which again does not fit with claims of an airstrike.
The Russians promptly sent out a drone to take photos of the area said to be bombed in Haas, and also examined the supposedly incriminating evidence provided by photos in the media. They concluded that ‘the nature and the extent of the damage sustained by the school were not similar to the destruction caused by airstrikes’, noting that the school roof was undamaged, likewise the fence, nor was there was no sign of surrounding buildings being struck.
In this video from RT, ex-Pentagon official Michael Mahloof points out that in an airstrike would have blown the buildings to smithereens, and certainly roofs destroyed.
Others agreed with the Russians’ conclusions.
Comments below the Independent report included the following:
Oh, another dose of fake info from pseudo-journalists. Actually this
fake was exposed pretty fast. Those ones who interested feel free to
check out photos made by russian UAV a day ago where clearly recorded
TOTAL absence of destructions characteristic for airstrikes – no
destructions of roofs of the buildings, no ANY craters which must be
left after airstrikes etc., plus analysis of photos taken from the
“place of the crime” by those journalists. Cheap fake, as it was with
“attack” on humanitarian convoy on 19 september. Oh, liars and slanderers…
What a huge steaming pile of propaganda. Latest reports on BBC and Al
Jazeera are now saying no children were killed. Also saying that the
school was hit by a ‘missile’, not a bomb. Local people interviewed on
AJ confirm that the school was used by terrorists as a command centre
and ammunition store.
Although the evidence provided to the media by their sources proves, if anything, that there was no airstrike, not one of the corporate media outlets quoted here questioned the veracity of the story. It seems as if the media’s narrative took priority over factual reporting.
Claim: Russia and Assad ‘Target Hospitals’
A number of people have written on the fraudulent and hypocritical nature of reporting on hospitals, including two excellent reports:
“Aleppo Doctor Attacks Western Media for Bias, Censorship and Lies,” by Silvia Cattori
“About Bias and Propaganda on Syria: Open Letter to MSF/Doctors without Borders,” by Rick Sterling
The claims of Russia targeting civilians and public buildings such as schools and hospitals – and deliberately, began soon after it entered the war in the fall of 2015, reaching a crescendo during the liberation of Aleppo in December 2016. Often the claims lack detail and are impossible to verify; sometimes the hospitals have names like ‘M10,’ and are unregistered, or are completely unknown to the people of Aleppo with some likely to be ‘rebel’ (terrorist) field hospitals or pop-up triage units. On the rare occasion that mainstream media reports offer any specifics, once again they turn out to be fake news.
On October 20-21st, western media accused Russia of bombing hospitals in six municipalities in Syria. Russia investigated and found that in five towns there were no hospitals at all, while the sixth town, Sarmin, had a hospital that, contrary to reports of it destruction was quite intact.
The fact of specific claims being debunked, or of ‘civilian hospitals’ being shown to be military facilities used by gazetted terrorist organisations, never halts the progress of the narrative, and despite the long list of misreporting and disinformation in this area of coverage, retractions are rarely, if ever reported by western media outlets after the fact.
How Media, Politicians, NGOS and UN Deliberately Use Illegitimate Sources
.The lesson to be learned from this is not only that the media occasionally publish anti-Russian or anti-Assad stories which are incorrect, and then when the stories are exposed as fake forget to apologise. The crucial problem is that the media rely as a matter or course on discredited sources, or sources funded by the very same governments who are responsible for arming and finding the ‘rebel’ terrorist fighters attempting to destabilize and overthrow the government in Syria.
Both the White Helmets and the SOHR were created by the British Foreign Office (and in the case of the White Helmets directly funded by the US State Dept and other NATO member states and Qatar ) for the express purpose of devising propaganda to the detriment of the Syrian government and of Russian operations in Syria. Their sole function is to discredit ‘Assad’ and Russia in order to fulfill the eternal hope of the FCO of gaining approval, either from the UN or the British public, for a Libya-style No-Fly Zone. In addition to this, their video material purporting to show ‘brutal atrocities from Assad and Russia’ are circulated through Gulf media and are effective recruitment propaganda for prospective jihadist fighters wanting to join the fight in Syria.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights is based in Coventry, England. The man who runs it, Osama Suleiman, goes by the false pseudonym of Rami Abdulrahman, and was formerly imprisoned as a criminal in Syria before the war began in 2011, and is an unabashed supporter of the ‘revolution’ and has the flag of the ‘armed opposition’ prominent on the banner of the SOHR twitter account, @
Regarding the White Helmets, the very name “Syrian Civil Defence” is a travesty, as it usurps the name of the legitimate REAL Syria Civil Defence. White Helmets are intertwined with terrorist gangs in regions like Aleppo and Idlib, and most notably with the ISIS-aligned Nour al-Din al-Zinki group. They have been filmed with groups waving terrorist flags, abusing prisoners, and taking part in terrorist operations. Even if there were truth in the fable that their primary function is humanitarian, to consider them as an “impartial source” is ridiculous.
The antics of the White Helmets are often so obviously staged that it is hard to imagine that anyone would be taken in. Again, however, that is not the point. Even if they had better actors, even if the shoots looked less like glossy commercials and instead achieved the immediacy and conviction of, for example, like the real scenes shot by RT in the hospitals of Western Aleppo, the fact remains that they are heavily partial and should never be given the benefit of the doubt.
Since the beginning of the Syrian War, the western media have exclusively used a bevy of ‘unnamed activists’ as their sources on the ground, activist meaning members of extremist groups aligned with al Nusra (al Qaeda in Syria) or ISIS, and journalists who have been based in the northern Syria and Turkey and who openly support the ideology of these Salafi and religious extremist groups (and are therefore acceptable to them). American Bilal Abdul Kareem, a born again takfiri, reported regularly for the BBC and CNN from Aleppo before liberation.
During the liberation of Aleppo these journalists were portrayed by Al Jazeera , CNN and others, as ‘average people’ able to speak for the people of Aleppo, all dramatically filing their “last message” – presumably before the “brutal Assad regime” finally converged on them.
Civilians in Aleppo are filming their goodbyes.
All these news sources are illegitimate, and known to be illegitimate, and thus all reports from these sources should be treated as fake news. It is dishonest and unprofessional for the media to rely on any of these sources.
The corporate media and humanitarian organisations such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch accept or seek out the fake news from these discredited sources, and publish and republish it without a qualm.
The humanitarian fake news is then picked up and amplified by politicians, diplomats and United Nations officials, including the UN Secretary General himself.
The inherent illegitimacy of sources like the White Helmets, and the examples of proven dishonesty and fakery, has done nothing to prevent them being used as evidence by media and politicians alike. On 25 September, TIME Magazine ignored all the evidence that there was no bombing of the UN humanitarian convoy, and reiterated the White Helmets story, and furthermore claimed that the White Helmets were being deliberately targeted by Russian and Syrian air power – and the media’s ‘source’? Once again, being the White Helmets.
Atrocities by Western-backed Terrorists are Routinely Ignored or Downplayed
The reaction to the alleged bombing in Haas by media and spokespeople alike stands in sharp contrast to the response to the crimes of the insurgents. Terrorists have shelled schools in government areas throughout the conflict, with frightful consequences but these atrocities are reported only in passing, if at all, with little or no comment from human rights agencies and United Nations officials.
On 28 October there was a genuine attack on a school in Haidaq al-Andalus.
A Google search for the attack under the name of the school gives no hits from the corporate media, though they had all reported on the alleged bombing of the Haas school a couple of days earlier.
Eva Bartlett assesses the responses to attacks on Syrian schools in the piece, “UN covers up war crimes in Syria, citing U.S. backed Al-Qaeda propagandists,” as well as considering the evidence for the Haas school ‘bombing’. With reference to UNICEF’s response to the Haas bombing claims cited above, Bartlett observes:
“With supreme audacity, UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake further claimed that this “airstrike” may be “the deadliest attack on a school since the war began more than five years ago.”
Perhaps Lake was otherwise distracted when on October 1, 2014, terrorists car and suicide bombed the Akrama Al-Makhzoumi School in Homs, killing at least 41 children by conservative estimates, or up to 48 children by other reports, along with women and other civilians.
[…] no similar statement of condemnation and anguish for the children murdered at the Akrama school bombings can be found on UNICEF’s website, even prior to Lake.”
When all else fails, the media construct their own fake news.
Media distortion and fabrication is nothing new, and Syria is no exception.
On 30 September 20 year old Mireille Hindoyan and her 12 year old brother Arman were killed by terrorist shelling of the Armenian quarter of western Aleppo. The story was largely ignored by the corporate media, but one who did pick it was the Independent, who created the impression that the children were the victims of Russian bombing:
[The incident] came after medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) said there had been a “bloodbath” in Aleppo amid a sustained assault on the city by pro-Assad forces backed by Russian warplanes.
In September 2013 the BBC Panorama documentary ‘Saving Syria’s Children’ and related BBC News reports claimed to show the aftermath of an incendiary bomb attack on a school in Urm Al-Kubra, Aleppo. In his analysis, Fabrication in BBC Panorama ‘Saving Syria’s Children‘, independent media analyst Robert Stuart has shown that sequences filmed by BBC personnel and others at Atareb Hospital, Aleppo on 26 August 2013 purporting to show the aftermath of the attack were completely staged.
On 13 February Channel 4, which has a special relationship with al Zinki, broadcast a short documentary of life in Aleppo before the ‘fall’ of East Aleppo, relying on what it terms the ‘extraordinary footage of a 26-year-old woman called Waad al-Kateab’. Al-Kataeb is a journalist employed by CNN and C4 to broadcast on behalf of gangs like al Zinki, and has an al Nusra flag showing in her twitter profile picture. The editing was sloppy …
Deflectionpicture. The editing was sloppy …
The terrorist groups operating out of eastern Aleppo until liberation in December 2016, all of which are aligned with ISIS and/or Al Nusra, the two branches of al Qaeda in Syria – shelled the 1.5 million residents of government western Aleppo on a daily basis for years. During the weeks RT’s Murad Gazdiev was reporting the gruesome details from Aleppo hospitals, RT documented many of these horrific scenes.
The western and Gulf-backed ‘rebel’ terrorists in eastern Aleppo were known to have carried out mass executions in eastern Aleppo. Reports of these atrocities were largely ignored in the West. The corporate media spread a series of fake news stories of ‘Russia and Syria deliberately targeting hospitals, schools, animal shelters’ etc to deflect from the reality of the hell people in all parts of Aleppo were experiencing at the hands of the terrorists.
The fact of terrorists shooting at people fleeing from terrorist-held eastern Aleppo into the government-protect western part of Aleppo during liberation of the city was inverted by the media into the nonsense story of ‘Syrian soldiers shooting fleeing residents,’ a lie widely distributed, and again, one which relies on the testimony of the White Helmets.
Around July 19, 2016, a video emerged of the last moments of a 12 year old Palestinian boy in Aleppo named Abdullah Issa, who had his head sawed off by a mocking Nour al-Din al Zinki terrorist group. The story was too horrific to be ignored even by the Western media.
However, Abdullah’s grizzly death was eclipsed in the eyes of the world’s media just a few weeks later by the story of little Omran Daqneesh, the little boy who was pulled out of the rubble. The video below shows how staged the whole affair was; the boy was released a few hours later with nothing but scratches – essentially a fake story of a non-event. The still picture took the corporate media by storm, with the whole affair descending into farce when CCN’s Kate Bolduan was apparently reduced to tears by the sight of the shocked, confused or simply bored Omran.
It is unclear why the White Helmets and the Aleppo Media Center needed to stage these performances, when supposedly there are thousands of real victims of Russian/Syrian bombing. Regardless, the armed opposition’s media operation is unrelenting.
In mid-October 2016, 6 year old Mahmoud Halyaf, who was born without arms, lost his legs when he triggered a terrorist landmine in Aleppo province.
The Mahmoud story received little coverage in the Western media, who were determined that Omran be the face of Syria’s children, not Abdullah, not Arman Hindoyan, nor Mahmoud. Whereas TIME Magazine, for example, has had at least 7 articles on Omran, a Google search reveals no TIME articles exist on Mahmoud, Abdullah or Arman. A search for the name Arman Hindoyan only gives the dishonest Independent article insinuating his death was caused by Russian bombing.
Deflection from NATO’s War Crimes
.On September 17, 2016 NATO forces bombed Syrian troops who protect the city of Deir ez Zor, just prior to an attack by ISIS. The US claims that is was an accident. However, the Syrian government believe that NATO was consciously cooperating in a previously agreed plan. Over 60 troops died in the sustained air attack, with some reports suggesting over 80, and scores more were wounded. Even if this horrific attack on Syrian troops was a mistake, it can hardly be termed ‘friendly fire’, as the action of NATO military forces in Syria is illegal under international law.
Russia requested an emergency meeting of the Security Council. The US response was extraordinary. Samantha Power, the US envoy, derailed the closed meeting by leaving as soon as Churkin got up to speak, choosing instead to address the press outside the chamber. Her strategy was to go on the attack with a tirade against Russia: Power insisted the Russians were trying to score “cheap points” by making so much of the US attack; the meeting described as ‘a stunt’, a ‘diversion’: ‘when you don’t like the facts, try to create attention somewhere else’. There was no apology to the Syrian people – the US attack on Syrian troops and the ensuing loss of life were completely trivialised.
The UN Humanitarian Convoy
NATO’s airstrike on Syrian troops, and the accompanying loss of life, was quickly forgotten when, just two days later, there were reports of a ‘Russia/Assad’ airstrike on a humanitarian convoy headed for Aleppo. The source for the story was members of the White Helmets.
Video evidence relating to the alleged bombing is less than convincing. Despite the distance, White Helmet Ammar el Selmo knows the location of the incident, and exactly what is being ‘bombed’. Giving the date in a moment of excitement also seems unlikely.
Gareth Porter analysed in some detail the discrepancies in the various reports offered by Ammar el Selmo and other White Helmets operatives, including:
- Selmo insists the attack was carried out by Russian bombers and ‘Assad’ helicopters dropping barrel bombs, while another White Helmet spokesman, Hussein Badawi, claims that missiles were launched from the ground.
- Selmo changed his story several times: after first claiming to be a kilometre away, he then decides he was having tea across the street. Helicopters dropped first 2 barrel bombs, then 4, then 8.
- The forensic evidence provided does not make sense, e.g. Selmo points to a small hole in the ground and claims it was made by a barrel bomb – barrel bombs leaves craters at least 25 feet wide and 10 feet deep.
The NATO/Atlantic Council-linked blog Bellingcat, which specialises in pseudo forensic reports (based on internet research) specifically designed to always prove Russian and Syrian culpability in warcrimes, produced its own interpretation which turned out to be counterproductive, as shown by Patrick Armstrong in his article, “Bellingcat proves the Russians didn’t do it.“
The UN launched into accusations of war crime, but Russia denied carrying out an airstrike in the area and the UN had to back down when evidence suggested that damage to the convoy was not caused by bombing.
While the affair provoked much ridicule on social media, the corporate media were quick to assume that the UN convoy was bombed, on the authority of the White Helmets, ‘locals’ and even the UK based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
The incident provided a pretext for renewed verbal attacks on Russia and Syria, but was almost certainly devised for the express purpose of diverting attention away from US-NATO’s horrific attack on Deir ez Zor. That the UN convoy incident was quickly debunked made no difference – the diversion was achieved, and in any case, fake or not, contributed to the ongoing narrative.
‘The Last Hospital in Aleppo’
.Purely on the basis of White Helmet evidence, there was a barrage of reports of ‘Assad/Russia’ taking out the last hospital in Aleppo, the last bloodbank, the last clown, and a ‘world-famous’ cat sanctuary. Southbank found 21 last hospitals alleged to have been bombed; here is summary from another source:
“When a hospital in East Aleppo is destroyed, 10 new spring up in its place.” – Syrian proverb. https://twitter.com/annie_sparrow/status/799743773420859392 …
The lie of Saddam Hussein pulling neo-natals from Kuwaiti incubators was rehashed when news came that the last children’s hospital in Aleppo had been destroyed and babies had to be rescued from incubators, with accompanying video. We are led to believe that it was the Independent report of the story that inspired Anna Alboth to organise the Civil March for Aleppo.
The story was obviously fraudulent – no-one ever handles a newborn baby the way the supposed healthcare professional handled the doll (I hope it was a doll) in the video (from 2:31). That the mainstream media widely promoted the story without question reveals the extent of their complicity in the propaganda campaign against Syria.
Barrel Bombs: Weapon of Mass Distraction
The term barrel bomb has become a politically charged trigger as part of the wider new western nomenclature for what they call Syria’s ‘civil war’. The intention is that barrel bombs should have the same resonance as cluster bombs, to suggest something particularly sinister and particularly powerful.
There is no evidence that barrel bombs have properties on a par with cluster bombs, or napalm, nor are they especially destructive compared to other munitions. The attribution of particularly sinister powers to barrel bombs by the likes of John le Mesurier, founder of the White Helmets, who claimed they had the ‘seismological equivalent of a 7.6 magnitude earthquake‘, is clearly nonsense. See Vanessa Beeley, Syria: Consign “Barrel Bombs” to the Propaganda Graveyard
Whether or not the Syrian Air Arab Airforce has ever resorted to such weapons, the conceptualisation of barrel bombs as being particularly evil, the very use of which is a war crime, is a fake construct.
Soft Fake News
.The goal is to create an assumption of extensive and relentless bombing by Russia of places where civilians, and especially children, congregate. In addition to specific claims of atrocities, the message is accompanied or followed by ‘soft fake news’, designed to reinforce, amplify and humanise the message.
Project like Bana, the little girl who tweets from Aleppo, the ‘Civil March for Aleppo’ and the ‘People’s Convoy’ were specifically designed to create this kind of soft fake news. Their principal role is not so much to construct fake news stories, as to create the impression that Russia/Assad war crimes (‘bombbing’ in Bana’s parlance) are an established fact.
The organiser of the People’s Convoy is Rola Hallam, who also participated in the fraudulent BBC Panorama documentary ‘Saving Syria’s Children’.
Having dishonestly created, as they hope, an assumption of Russian and Syrian excess, the point is then rammed home by politicians, the corporate media and on social media in the most extravagant terms.
At a UNSC meeting on 25 September 2016, Washington’s then UN Ambassador, Samantha Power, reiterating the accusation that Russia is bombing the humanitarian convoys, hospitals and first responders, talks of Russia’s ‘barbarism.’
At the same meeting the UK envoy Matthew Rycroft claimed ‘the regime and Russia’ have instead plunged to new depths and unleashed a new hell on Aleppo. In a further meeting on 30 September Power claimed what ‘Assad and Russia’ were doing in Aleppo was ‘soul-shattering‘, ‘sowing the doom of Syria, were providing a gift to ISIL and Nusra Front’. According to the Guardian Power also talked of “the most savage week we’ve seen in an incredibly savage five-plus-year war”, with more than 1,000 people killed by 1,700 airstrikes on east Aleppo alone (sources presumably being the White Helmets).
The same meeting heard a diatribe from United Nations aid chief Stephen O’Brien, who urged the 15-member U.N. Security Council to stop “tolerating the utter disregard for the most basic provisions of international humanitarian law.” He stated:
‘East Aleppo this minute is not at the edge of the precipice, it is well into its terrible descent into the pitiless and merciless abyss of a humanitarian catastrophe unlike any we have witnessed in Syria.
‘The only remaining deterrent it seems is that there will be real accountability in the court of world opinion and disgust – goodness knows, nothing else seems to be working to stop this deliberate, gratuitous carnage of lives lost.’
At a meeting on 8 October at which Russia vetoed a UN resolution to stop bombing in Aleppo, New Zealand envoy Gerard van Bohemen, in a speech worthy of Samantha Power, told the Security Council that ‘Russia and Syria are using counter-terrorism as a pretext for the mass murder of civilians‘, while the US deputy ambassador, David Pressman, claimed that ‘Russia has become one of the chief purveyors of terror in Aleppo, using tactics more commonly associated with thugs than governments’.
Given the intemperate language of politicians and diplomats, one would hardly expect the media to moderate theirs, thus the Mirror‘s, ‘Russia has now joined [Assad’s] bloodsoaked campaign, sending its own warplanes to inflict even more destruction upon Syria, especially Aleppo. Social media, needless to say, did not pull any punches either:
Hey @RaniaKhalek, as an unbiased individual, do you think a no-fly zone over Syria is good? Or counterproductive in fighting Daesh?
Aleppo is liberated, the truth uncovered, but the narrative rolls on regardless
.The liberation of eastern Aleppo, and the testimony of its residents, should have put paid to many of the myths about the Syrian war, not least the bogus claims about the White Helmets. However the fake narrative of ‘Assad/Russian’ war crimes continues – nothing is to be allowed to slow its progress, neither the exposure of fake claims and invalid sources, nor the new revelations coming out of Aleppo. Paul Mansfield comments in After the Liberation of Aleppo Comes the Psyops War, which looks at the allegations of crimes by Syrian and allied troops.
The tired and hungry residents of Aleppo are being provided with much-needed food, medical treatment, clothes and blankets and shelter in internally displaced persons camps. The images of this are unmistakable. Despite this we still hear from the western media that people are fleeing the fighting, that regime soldiers have taken over the devastated city, that people trapped inside East Aleppo have held out for four years of bombardment and siege and that far from being a battle of liberation this is a Russian and Syrian regime “onslaught.” The word liberation is nowhere to be found. A bit like the honesty and integrity of the mainstream fakerstan media.
Samantha Power, in her final speech to the United Nations on 17 January 2017, was still quoting the White Helmets, ‘the brave first-responders’.
We saw it in 2015, when Russia went further by joining the assault on the Syrian people, deploying its own troops and planes in a campaign that hit hospitals, schools, and the brave Syrian first-responders who were trying to dig innocent civilians out of the rubble. And with each transgression, not only were more innocent civilians killed, maimed, starved, and uprooted, but the rules that make all our nations more secure – including Russia – were eroded.
The total disconnect between the NATO narrative and any regard for truth is further illustrated by the Atlantic Council’s latest report, dramatically entitled, “Breaking Aleppo.” Bellingcat’s Eliot Higgins is listed as one of the writers; sources include the Aleppo Media Center, which like the White Helmets operates as part of the vicious al Zinki group, Bellingcat, the White Helmets, and the Syrian American Medical Society, which is funded by George Soros. The report has a special section dedicated to hospital attacks, which repeats the same propaganda peddled throughout the war and, without blinking, relies on the same discredited sources.
Maj. General Igor Konashenkov, speaking on behalf of the Russian Defense Ministry, was unimpressed with both the report’s ‘lame duck authors’, and its content:
‘it is not a coincidence that the report never mentions the mined schools, the warehouses of ammunition and firing positions in closed hospitals, the militant warehouses stuffed with groceries, drugs and medical equipment, mass graves of civilians shot in the head: from children to the elderly’
This is what George Orwell meant
Western governments and their agents have used every dishonest stratagem they could think of, in order to create a fake narrative, so that public perception of the Syrian conflict is an inversion of reality.
The NATO strategy is to:
- Shut down debate on the nature of its proxies on the ground, and of their criminal acts;
- Shut down debate on its own warmongering and its support for criminals who are anathema to the Syrian people;
- Shut down debate on the legitimacy of the position of the Syrian government and its allies, and their right to defend Syria; and above all
- Ensure that it is Syria and its allies who are portrayed as war criminals, rather than NATO, its allies and its agents.
From beginning to end, the mainstream media’s coverage of Syria has been intentionally distorted, portraying fake news as fact, in order to support an aggressive geopolitical agenda by the West.
Author Dr Barbara McKenzie is an independent researcher and special contributor to 21st Century Wire. Visit her research blog here.
Billionaire globalist George Soros has penned a panicked rant in which he decries President-elect Donald Trump as a “would be dictator” who threatens the future of the new world order.
In an article for Project Syndicate, Soros begins by mentioning how he lived under both Nazi and then Soviet rule in Hungary before asserting that “various forms of closed societies – from fascist dictatorships to mafia states – are on the rise”.
This claim is confounded by the facts, which show that, “The share of the world population living in democracies (has) increased continuously.”
Soros writes that in voting for Trump, Americans “elected a con artist and would-be dictator as its president,” and that his defeat of Hillary Clinton means America will be “unable to protect and promote democracy in the rest of the world” (because that policy worked so well in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and Libya).
Soros also slams Trump’s new cabinet as containing nothing other than “incompetent extremists” and “retired generals.”
Explaining how he supports the European Union because it is a successful attempt at “social engineering,” Soros laments the fact that the body has become “increasingly dysfunctional” and its disintegration has been accelerated, “first from Brexit, then from the election of Trump in the US, and on December 4 from Italian voters’ rejection, by a wide margin, of constitutional reforms.”
Soros also bemoans Russian President Vladimir Putin’s alleged undue influence during the presidential election.
“At first, he tried to control social media. Then, in a brilliant move, he exploited social media companies’ business model to spread misinformation and fake news, disorienting electorates and destabilizing democracies. That is how he helped Trump get elected,” writes Soros.
Soros says Putin “felt threatened by ‘color revolutions’ in Georgia, Ukraine, and elsewhere,” without mentioning that Soros himself played a key role in bankrolling these contrived uprisings, as well as the color revolution being fomented against Trump.
The irony of an ultra-rich elitist who has bankrolled the overthrow of innumerable governments insisting he cares about “democracy” and the will of the people is particularly rich.
The whole tone of the piece is clearly fraught with concern that the populist movement sweeping the west poses a direct threat to the plutocratic new world order that Soros has spent his entire life helping to build.
He concludes by warning that “the EU is on the verge of breakdown” due to stagnant economic growth and the out of control refugee crisis (that Soros himself again helped create in the first place as a way to obtain political power).
SOURCES: by Paul Joseph Watson Newstarget from Infowars Submitted by Lone Bear War Press Info Network at : https://syrianfreepress.wordpress.com/2017/01/05/soros-claims/ ~
Mainstream media coverage of a recent pro-terrorism rally in Hamilton Ontario demonstrates the media’s continuing efforts to hide fundamental truths behind fake veneers of “objectivity” or “neutrality”.
It is known and documented, and has been for years, that Canada supports all of the terrorists in Syria, and has from the beginning of this regime change/dirty war on Syria, and yet the media messaging would have us believe that Canada and Canadians want peace. No. The Canadian government wants illegal regime change operations and terrorism in Syria. It does not seek peace in Syria. This is the fundamental lie of omission that the MSM tries to conceal beneath its fake veneer.
In fact, the MSM seeks to normalize terrorism in Syria by concealing and suppressing this well-documented truth.
The timing of the aforementioned rally was priceless. It coincided with the joyous liberation of Aleppo, and narratives from formerly captive citizens who recounted the horrors of living under terrorist-occupied areas. But this was omitted from MSM coverage that prefers to relay on fraudulent sources for its stories, far removed from the on-the-ground realities of life in Aleppo as covered by independent writers such as Eva Bartlett and Vanessa Beeley.
The well-orchestrated rally featured kids dressed as victims – reminiscent of White Helmets stage-craft – professionally –made signs, and of course pleas to stop the killing, all consistent with imperial propaganda strategies that project the crimes of the invaders/terrorists on the victims.
Alshawaf, a speaker at the rally demanded “First, to stop the killing in Syria; second, for the murderers responsible to be tried and held accountable for their crimes; and lastly, for the restoration and unification of my beloved homeland.” But he also exclaimed, Down with Bashar and Down with Putin.
Absent from the speech were the well-documented facts that both Putin and Bashar seek an end to the killing, accountability for the murderers, and restoration of the Syrian homeland. But Bashar and Putin are seeking these goals within the framework of international law; whereas the NATO terrorists are violating international law as they seek the opposite: to destroy and balkanize Syria.
Again, the media made no note of these fundamental inconsistencies. And it was easy for the media to ignore the well-documented facts because it refused to even acknowledge the presence of members of the Hamilton Coalition To Stop The War — the real messengers of peace – at the rally.
In a December 23 Facebook commentary, professor Tim Anderson explained:
It was never too difficult to understand. The Syrian people, through their government and army, and with the support of Syria’s allies, just took back their second major city, from foreign funded and armed terrorist groups. This proxy war was another step in Washington’s 15 year series of wars designed to dominate the entire ME region. The aggression and terrorism was always in clear violation of international law, sovereignty and the foundational human right of self-determination. But the big powers tried to create an ‘exception’, with the imperial doctrine of a ‘responsibility to protect’, by constant lies about a ‘brutal dictator killing civilians’, etc. The western media and embedded NGOs like Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, using Washington’s preferred jihadist sources, backed them up. The UN remained paralysed and most western peoples, in their vanity and arrogance, went along for the ride. However most formerly colonised peoples saw exactly what was going on.
The truth is straightforward, and not that hard to understand, but North American MSM is an appendage of the war-mongering apparatus of deception – it furthers an agenda of war, terrorism, and hatred, not peace and goodwill.
North Americans should understand that in this festive season where we proclaim a desire for peace and goodwill, our governments, and the establishment in the shadows making the decisions, are determined to deliver the opposite, beneath the lies and distortions of their accomplices in the mainstream media.
Filed under: Al Qaeda, Assad, Canada, Corporate Media, Fabrications, ISIL, Media Lies, Putin, regime change, Social Media, USA, War on Syria, Wars for Israel, Zio-controlled media, Zionist entity | Comments Off on Fake News Engineers Consent For Terrorism
December 20, 2016
This text is slightly modified from an interview that Andrew Korybko gave to a Moscow-based PhD student specializing in the “Arab Spring” regime change events.
The Role Of Social Media
Social media platforms were instrumental in organizing and deploying the regime change destabilizations that took place during the “Arab Spring” theater-wide Color Revolutions. They allowed the initiators of these events to more easily connect with tens of thousands of sympathizers and propagate their provocative messages to them in a bid to incite as many participating individuals as possible. Social media at that time was naively assumed by many of the masses, especially the comparatively uneducated and less technologically adept ones of the “Arab Street”, to be the “uncensored” and “genuine” “voice of the people”, ergo why so many people fell for the narratives (some of which were deliberately misleading or outright false) being spread by core organizers through these media. Had it not been for social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and even the technical application of Google Maps (which assists with planning ‘protest’ routes and urban guerrilla warfare), it’s doubtful that the so-called “Arab Spring” would have ever unfolded as it did, let alone at all perhaps.
The “Green Revolution”
What happened in Tunisia and Egypt in 2010-2011 was the beginning of what the US hoped would be a transregional Color Revolution campaign, and it’s directly connected to the so-called “Green Revolution” which the US encouraged in Iran in 2009. The whole point of that latter exercise was to gauge the responses of the Iranian government – the strongest and most security-conscious of the Mideast states – and to identify structural vulnerabilities which could be exploited in the comparatively weaker countries of the region. The US only half-heartedly supported the “Green Revolution” because it was always meant to be a probing exercise, not a full-fledged regime change attempt, but it also had the intended aftereffect of signaling to the Ayatollah and his military-security “conservatives” that the US could do much worse against them at a future date if they don’t agree to what turned out to be forthcoming secret negotiations about the country’s nuclear energy activity. It also impacted the psyche of Iranian youth by emboldening them to vote for the “moderate” Rouhani four years later, which ultimately facilitated the eventual nuclear deal in summer 2015.
The successful regime change campaigns in North Africa are emblematic of what my definition of Hybrid War is, namely the interweaving of Color Revolution and Unconventional Warfare tactics for the purpose of overthrowing a targeted government. What began as ‘peaceful’ anti-government protests provoked by external social media management techniques and in-country collaborators quickly spiraled into urban terrorism, with the main difference between Tunisia and Egypt being that the Cairo authorities held out slightly longer before capitulating to the insurgents’ demands.
As would later be seen in the case of Syria, however, the government and the vast majority of the population united in their opposition to what they already knew was a foreign-concocted regime change plot against their civilization-state, which is why they resisted so fiercely and the Color Revolution instruments were ordered to transform into outright terrorist groups such as Al Nusra, Daesh, and other “moderate rebels”.
The whole point behind the “Arab Spring” Color Revolution wave in the first place was to replace the governments in North Africa and the Levant with the Muslim Brotherhood, thus creating a transregional ideologically identical ‘super state’ which could be controlled by proxy via Neo-Ottoman Erdogan (just as the Eastern Bloc was controlled by the USSR up until a generation ago), though the geopolitical reality tremendously changed throughout the course of this campaign and thus prevented this wide-ranging geostrategic plot from succeeding.
The Role Of Foreign Influence
Foreign influence was crucially important in sparking the “Arab Spring” regime change riots, especially in North Africa. The first thing to remember is that the US works best when it’s operating indirectly, in this case, through the social and structural preconditioning that it carried out on these two states and their peoples well in advance of their formal destabilizations. Using a combination of macroeconomic instruments and ‘NGOs’, the US was able to both damage the Tunisian and Egyptian economies and consequently use various incitements to provoke the already agitated masses into coming out to the streets and overthrowing the government. It can safely be assumed that the US had at least several teams of in-country experts guiding the events, but for the most part, these operatives would not have had much success had it not been for the prior conditions that the US manipulated in shaping the dismal state of these country’s economies and fomenting widespread anti-government sympathies. Under such circumstances, all that it took was a highly publicized spark and carefully crafted Mainstream Media hysteria to set the ‘NGO’-social media apparatus into motion and craft a self-sustaining auto-synchronous destabilization which required minimal direct interference to execute its desired objective.
Foreign-Funded “Civil Society” NGOs
Foreign-funded ‘NGOs’ were used as some of the most powerful tools to destabilize Tunisia and Egypt in the run-up to, and during, the “Arab Spring” regime changes. George Soros and the scores of organizations that he directly and indirectly sponsors engage in ‘investigative’ and ‘activist’ activity which seeks to uncover corrupt relationships between public officials, the financial sector, and others. In and of itself, there’s nothing wrong with legitimately indigenous civil-society groups engaging in political and electoral criticisms, provided of course that they’re grounded in facts and not deliberately disruptive provocations, and it should of course be celebrated anytime that a corrupt individual is exposed for their illegal and unethical behavior. However, the relationships that the said civil society organizations have cultivated, as well as their and their patrons’/partners’ intent, must also be taken into consideration.
There’s a big difference between patriotic individuals carrying out the abovementioned activities for the intended betterment of their societies and internal collaborators conspiring with external (often intelligence-linked) organizers in plotting to sow unrest and topple the government. Sometimes it turns out that the latter category of “activists” are just “useful idiots” who have been duped by their naïve optimism, the comparatively hefty paychecks of their financiers, and/or the self-absorbed attention and sense of importance that they seek to receive from their work into unknowingly collaborating with forces which they aren’t even aware are foreign intelligence agents hostile to their home government. International ‘NGOs’ (INGOs) are oftentimes very shadowy like this and don’t regularly reveal their true intentions to their in-country staff, and some of them typically operate through ‘shell NGOs’ superficially based inside the targeted country, thus promoting the false perception that they are ‘indigenous’ when they’re not.
The Role Of INGOs
In the context of Hybrid War, INGOs function as the catalysts in organizing large masses of people and propagating their external patron’s political message. They operate through a combination of deceit and openness; on the one hand, they usually don’t proclaim their true regime change objectives or emphasize their foreign origins, but on the other, they do whatever they can to spread awareness about their overt or strongly inferred anti-government agenda. There are some INGOs which are officially apolitical but are in fact inherently political organizations, such as some of those dealing with environmental and animal rights. It should be emphasized that this doesn’t mean that every one of these groups is necessarily working as organizational fronts for a foreign government or has an interest in overthrowing their host government, but just that some of the most well-known names in this field such as Greenpeace have a history of engaging in political disturbances and then propagating the authorities’ response to them as alleged ‘proof’ of the given country’s ‘undemocratic nature’ and ‘lack of free speech’, all of which in turn is predicated on stoking more anti-government resentment.
As for those INGOs which are directly a part of Color Revolution destabilizations, the prevailing trend has been for them to flirt with Unconventional Warfare and urban terrorism by lobbing deadly Molotov cocktails at law enforcement officers, as well as committing crimes such as attacking civilian bystanders and vandalizing public and private property. Whenever the INGOs desire to launch a concerted ‘public action campaign’, as they euphemistically call it, and gather as many people together as they can to protest for or against whatever the carefully selected item of agitation may be, they’re in reality working to assemble a crowd in order to manipulate the inevitable mentality that’s associated with large masses of angry individuals and channel it into a ‘hive mind’ of easily guidable “activists”. These individuals are then subtly encouraged or outright goaded into sparking a confrontation with the authorities, usually by breaking municipal law in marching on a location which they weren’t legally permitted to assemble around and then violently resisting arrest.
The whole point in these sorts of stunts is to prompt situations where edited footage can then be acquired by social media “activists” or sympathetic (collaborationist) mainstream media organizations in portraying the government as the “anti-democratic aggressor” and the “protesters” as the “peaceful victims”. As it relates to Hybrid War, this is intended to strengthen the domestic and international pressure on the authorities and introduce an implicit blackmail scenario whereby the government realizes that it must back down in the face of the incipient “protest” movement otherwise it risks aggravating already high tensions and falling under increased international (Western) condemnation. The perception of the masses has already been influenced to a degree whereby some apolitical individuals begin to sympathize with the “activists” and question whether they may indeed be right after all in accusing the government of “anti-democratic and human rights abuses”. Depending on the course of the destabilization and the decisiveness of the authorities’ response to it, some of the INGO members will then break off from the larger group and form their own urban terrorist cells, at times even dangerously using the unaware apolitical crowd of sympathizers surrounding them as de-facto human shields in warding off police countermeasures such as batons and tear gas.
The self-sustaining and auto-synchronous cycle is apparent, and the escalation ladder suggests that the disorganized urban terrorists will eventually coalesce into more disciplined terrorist formations the longer that the Hybrid War is being waged, such as what happened in Syria up until the present day and in rural Western Ukraine right before the coup. If it were not for INGOs and the crowd mentality schemes that they engage in, it would be much more difficult for these actors to destabilize their host governments and promote regime change scenarios. It should be reminded, however, that many of the civilians gathering around the INGO core are usually unaware of the larger goals being pursued by the “protest” organizers. This is a convenient fact which is exploited by these groups to maximum effect in proselytizing their “official” public message to the masses and then steering their converts in the physical direction of being nearby the police’s response to the core provocateurs’ illegal actions, hoping that any ‘collateral damage’ that occurs to law-abiding civilians during this time can galvanize their incipient anti-government attitudes.
The Future Of INGOs In Egypt And Tunisia
It’s not likely that INGOs will continue to enjoy the same operational freedom under Sisi as they previously had during the last days of Mubarak, and this is simply owing to the experience that the Egyptian state has since received in terms of how these groups are used for regime change purposes. There’s also the very real threat that some INGOs are working with the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood terrorist group, which the US is slavishly sympathetic to, so national security must be considered by all responsible decision makers in Egypt when deciding on the future of INGOs. Concerning Tunisia, however, the country has historically been the most liberal of the North African states, and it doesn’t look like they’ll enact the necessary legislation needed to properly protect themselves from the regime change threat that INGOs are now associated with. Another reason is that they have the globally renowned reputation as being the ‘birthplace’ of the “Arab Spring”, which is still celebrated in the West as a “democratic uprising against totalitarianism”. Even though many Western observers have since wised up to the destabilizing consequences of these transregional Color Revolutions, Tunisia has been the least severely affected by them, which is why it’s still “officially” lionized in the Mainstream Media as the ‘birthplace of modern-day Arab democracy’.
Like it was mentioned in an earlier response, INGOs have also developed a new trend of operating through ‘shell companies’ in order to obscure their foreign nature and more adeptly deceive the domestic audience that they’re trying to target. Instead of the “Open Society Foundation” directly funding whatever ‘NGO’ it is that they envisage promoting their political agenda, for example, they’ll fund a ‘shell NGO’ first and then use that entity to spread their seed funding all throughout the country. There has yet to be any legislation implemented anywhere in the world prohibiting this arrangement from happening or formally decreeing the recipients of the ‘shell NGOs’ laundered largesse as being foreign agents, which is a critical oversight that must be legally remedied as soon as possible by all countries concerned about foreign ‘NGO’-driven Hybrid War destabilizations. While North Africa probably won’t be the first place where this loophole is closed, Egypt might follow the predictable lead of Russia and/or China in likely doing so sometime in the future, and Tunisia might also be compelled to mirror this as well if it begins to once more suffer from INGO destabilization (perhaps with Muslim Brotherhood-sympathetic Western ‘NGOs’ funding violent in-country counterparts).
Varoufakis As Soros’ EU INGO Ringleader
Hybrid War researchers and national security services must keep an eye on George Soros, Gene Sharp, and Yanis Varoufakis. The first one is globally notorious for expending tens of millions of dollars on Color Revolutions and anti-government INGOs all across the globe, while the second one runs the Albert Einstein Institute and is the strategic-tactical architect for “people’s power” unrest. The third one isn’t commonly grouped in the same category as Soros and regime change, though he very well should be considering his links to the billionaire Color Revolution financier as openly evidenced through Varoufakis’ regular contributions to Soros’ “Project Syndicate” website.
This online platform is known as a gathering place for ‘revolutionaries’ and those who desire to catalyze “change” in their societies, which is what Varoufakis now seeks to do. He launched a radical leftist-liberal organization at the beginning of 2016 called DiEM25, which he thenceforth described on “Project Syndicate” as being the beginning of a “Progressive International” which aims to defeat, among others, President Putin, who he intimates is part of a “nationalist international – a classic creature of a deflationary period – united by contempt for liberal democracy and the ability to mobilize those who would crush.” He also since said that Putin is a “war criminal” who “justifies his stranglehold over his own people”, which clearly proves that he’s in opposition to the Russian President and closely echoes what many of Moscow’s regime change opponents have falsely alleged. Given that DiEM25 hopes to become a continental-wide “Progressive International”, it must accordingly be seen as a far-reaching Color Revolution threat which ultimately aims to affect political change in Russia and cause public disruptions to Moscow’s investment deals and partnerships in the EU (per the aforementioned organizational tactics outlined in a previous answer).
Varoufakis’ extreme left-liberal “revolutionary” views could become dangerously attractive to many European and Russian youth, and the Greek demagogue’s connections with George Soros – the man behind the banned Open Society Institute – should be enough cause for Russian decision makers to worry about his intentions and responsibly contemplate preventive action. As Russia continues its post-communist transformation in becoming a conservative civilization-state, one of its greatest enemies might turn out to be the “Secular Wahhabism” that Varoufaki and his Soros-supported ilk represent.
‘The atmosphere of misinformation only strengthens the Syrian regime’s insistence that all Western media reports of its forces’ atrocities are false,’ noted one media analyst.
Propaganda about conditions in Aleppo, including photos recycled from other incidents in other places, is spreading online amid efforts to justify war on the Syrian government.
Even mainstream media sources and humanitarian organizations admit that reports of atrocities in the besieged Syrian city are often unverifiable rumors.
For example, on Dec. 9, the Agence France-Presse reported on the deaths of 82 civilians in Aleppo, allegedly the victims of Syrian government forces.
“The U.N. human rights office said it had received reports of ‘pro-government forces killing at least 82 civilians including 11 women and 13 children in four different neighbourhoods,’” Rupert Colville, the spokesman for the U.N. human rights office, told reporters in Geneva.
But the United Nations was unable or unwilling to stand by Colville’s claims, adding in a separate statement provided later to AFP: “We hope, profoundly, that these reports are wrong, or exaggerated, as the situation is extremely fluid and it is very challenging to verify reports.”
Shira Rubin, a reporter at Vocativ, noted on Wednesday that images of atrocities in Aleppo are proliferating wildly on social media. However, Rubin added, “A large portion of those images are fake, sparking an uproar among those who argue the false posts diminish the reality of those suffering and fighting on the ground.”
Syrian geopolitical analyst Mimi Al Laham took to Twitter on Dec. 14 to point out that images purporting to show a terrorist attack came from music videos and an unrelated bombing in Pakistan:
While attacks attributed to the Syrian government have been a frequent topic of reporting throughout the Syrian civil war, atrocities by so-called “moderate” rebels, forces with the backing of the United States and its allies in Europe and the Middle East, rarely receive the same enthusiastic treatment in the mainstream media.
Reports have even suggested that some of these groups have blocked efforts to evacuate Aleppo’s civilian population, including Jabhat Al-Sham, an extremist group with both U.S. backing and ties to al-Qaida.
Robert Fisk, a renowned foreign policy analyst, noted in a Dec. 14 report that while Syria’s leader, Bashar Assad, had undoubtedly carried out numerous human rights violations, the West also must be held accountable for its support of extremist groups involved in the conflict. He recounted one recent atrocity he heard from a refugee:
Only a few weeks ago, I interviewed one of the very first Muslim families to flee eastern Aleppo during a ceasefire. The father had just been told that his brother was to be executed by the rebels because he crossed the frontline with his wife and son. He condemned the rebels for closing the schools and putting weapons close to hospitals. And he was no pro-regime stooge; he even admired Isis for their good behaviour in the early days of the siege.
Blaming atrocities in Syria solely on the Syrian government supports the agenda of the U.S. government, which seeks to overthrow the Syrian government and replace it with one more amenable to Western interests and investment by fossil fuel companies. WikiLeaks’ archives of U.S. diplomatic cables show that the United States, Israel and Saudi Arabia have sought to unseat Assad since at least 2006.