Video: “Saving Syria’s Children”: The Worst Case Of Fake News?

Global Research, February 17, 2017

Mike Robinson, Patrick Henningsen and campaigner Robert Stuart take a look at what is quite possibly the worst example of mainstream media fake news in history – the BBC Panorama documentary Saving Syria’s Children.

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

1 BANNER - Fake News Week

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…

1 no fly zone SyriaBarbara McKenzie

21st Century Wire

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

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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

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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.

idlib-school-strike

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:

shameWADA_

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…

spalpeenuillean

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’

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A number of people have written on the fraudulent and hypocritical nature of reporting on hospitals, including two excellent reports:

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
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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, @syriahr.

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.

 

Deflectionpicture. The editing was sloppy …

 Fake news demonising Syria and Russia is used to deflect attention from war crimes by NATO’s proxy agents on the ground, i.e. the terrorist groups, and also by NATO itself, both in general and in specific instances.

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

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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 bloodbankthe last clown, and a ‘world-famous’ cat sanctuarySouthbank 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

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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’.

Hyperbole

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?

@BrotherAbuRahma I don’t think it will stop the Assad/Russia slaughter & will fuel more bombing from all sides w/ potential for ww3

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’

Meanwhile, NATO war crimes, even the use of depleted uranium (raised again as an issue now but actually reported back in October 2016) continue to be ignored or downplayed.

This is what George Orwell meant

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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.

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Author Dr Barbara McKenzie is an independent researcher and special contributor to 21st Century Wire. Visit her research blog here

Separating the Wheat from the Chaff: the need for epistemology in the age of information clutter

January 25, 2017

by Anwar Khan

Certain knowledge about things inaccessible to the senses has always been a challenge to man. It has especially become so in our times—those of the fake news days. As news of the assassination of the Russian ambassador to Turkey hit the waves, it was another field day for the alternative media folks to provide “analysis” and “conclusions” on the issues related to this sad event. As always, it ranged from the erudite to the outlandish. One particular Youtube video I was sent went so far as to claim that the whole event was an elaborate hoax, staged in a studio. The speaker “proves” this to be the case based on some pictorial anomalies, videography technique, and appearance of symbols and numbers of occult nature, according to him, indicating the fingerprints of some secret society. The video was watched by many and if the comments section was any indication (which is disabled now), his judgement on the issue was beyond a reasonable doubt. All the while the casket of the slain ambassador was being afforded state funeral, attended by his wailing family.(1)

While the space that the internet affords the voices we call the alternative narrative (a collective of blogs, radio shows, websites, researchers, writers and activists who challenge the false narratives and lies of the corporate media) is undoubtedly one of the most cherished developments, as it add tremendously to the richness of the information we receive, and advance our understanding of the world, this democratization of information also has a down side. It has caused a phenomenon we may call “information clutter” where on any particular issue many different claims can be made without anything ever being proved. This has resulted in utter confusion among many whose loathing and distrust of the corporate media has caused them to turn to the alternative narrative for information but only to find many varying and often contradicting information on the same subject matter. The average person has never been this overwhelmed by data before at any point in history and this has lead to a paradoxical state of affairs: an information surplus but a coherence deficiency.

The so called “truther movement” is a sobering example. Currently there are at least half a dozen groups fighting ferociously among themselves regarding whose take on the collapse of the two Trade Towers on 9/11 is most congruent with reality. The proponents of direct energy call the thermate folks “disinformation agents”, the mini-nuke fraternity call both “controlled opposition”. The no-plane theorists call everyone else “shills” while itself being labelled “kooks” by all the other factions for taking poetic license to a whole new level. The hubris of each group holding fanatically to their theories and failing to form a consensus on the least common denominator amongst the leading theories has done tremendous harm to the “truther movement”, and has arrested to a great degree the potential it once had to achieve a great deal more than it has thus far—in the process disillusioning many of this movement’s veterans. Some may say the beauty is in the detail, such that it is of essence to know “how” things are done. But this is more a case of looking at the finger and neglecting the heavenly glory, a state of affairs most desirable to Cass Sunstein—the government wizard in charge of fighting “conspiracy theories”.

In the light of all these divisions, squabbles, name-callings, all and all mistrust of each other in the leading alternative narrative movements (hereafter AN), we need to ask ourselves if it is, in its current state, offering any substantial diagnosis to our miseries – or is it just another instrument in the orchestra? Is the AN playing any decisive role in the collective awakening of the masses, or is it only adding to their confusion and bewilderment? Are we any closer to dislodging the corrupt centers of power that is taking humanity to the slaughter-house, or is it that, the AN, unknowingly acts as a ventilation for the frustrated, providing an illusion of freedom yet really constituting an inextricable part of the matrix? Clearly, the answers to these questions are not simple. What constitutes the alternative narrative? How do we measure success or failure? What exactly is the “purpose” of the AN? These are all valid rejoinders. Leaving philosophical hairsplitting for another day, let me take a bold stance and claim that I believe that as a whole the AN has failed to live to its potential, excepting certain noteworthy exceptions within it. We have won a few minor battles but winning the war is increasingly becoming a farfetched idea.

As a Muslim who lived through 9/11, I can assure you that today myself and 12 million other Muslims in the U.S. have never been more restless about our future. Islamophobia in the US and in Europe has never been this existentially threatening. A nuclear war with Russia has scarcely ever been so real. The Palestinian Question—a moral blemish on global conscience since 1947— has never been this removed from political priorities (the silly UNSC resolutions notwithstanding). Since the 13th century Mongol invasion, the Middle East has never been in such an extreme state of confusion and disorder (many would argue that this is on the whole far worse). ISIS and Co, despite some setbacks in Syria and Iraq, are not going anywhere any time soon. (They will metamorphosis into something much more sinister, just like how Al Qaeda turned into ISIS, reminding us of the truth of Einstein’s ‘energy cannot be destroyed’ theory). On a deeper level, the human condition has never been in such disarray; our minds have never been so confused; our nature never so badly manipulated; empathy never in such low supply; apathy never existing in such high quantities. And most pertinent to our discussion here, the alternative narrative has never been this divided amongst itself.

It is wholly possible, nay most probable, that the current divisions in the AN is to a great degree the machinations of Cass Sunstein and Co. After all the likes of his are experts in how to infuse genuine movements with co-intel, disinformation agents, gate-keepers and controlled opposition infiltrations to arrest the momentum in forming vehicles of genuine change in society. As Lenin said, “the best way to control an opposition is to lead it”. That is a reality as old as humanity itself and it is here to stay. But I wonder if Sunstein and his ilk would enjoy this much success had the AN had some sound principles to abide by, some intellectual framework underpinning its quest, some axioms binding all the different voices within it, rather than just their mistrust of the military-industrial-media complex?

Therefore, I will not— for a change—put the focus on the enemy’s strength and cunning. Rather, I will place it upon our weakness and failures. Moreover, I will assume—to the extent possible—that most people within the AN are genuine about their desire to reach to the bottom of the issues but are mistaken about some judgements, which have arisen from certain defective conceptions. This is usually the case when sound intellectual principles are missing from the cognitive process. In my own lifetime I have seldom interacted with a truth-seeker, activist, writer, researcher, radio-host within the alternative narrative except that I have been left with a bitter taste in the mouth. Part of it was my own shortcomings, perhaps for projecting my sensibilities onto others. But mostly it was my witnessing that many of the characters in the AM lack sound intellectual and logical principles which would enable them to grapple with the ever more sophisticated mind-rape that we are treated with, and are often clueless in finding coherence within the noise.

Towards that end, I would like to offer one potential solution that can address the increasing divisions, dissensions and resultant information clutter that is undermining the work of the AN and impeding its purpose and potential. I believe the AN needs to “standardize” its epistemology—the investigation of what justifies sound belief and distinguishes it from mere unsupported opinion— or risk being a collection of such a cognitive spectrum (which it currently is) where it is impossible to find two people of similar belief, a recipe for information clutter, confusion and ultimately failure to change our collective disposition.

Standardization is mainly an accident of centralization. The AN, on the other hand, by its very nature is decentralized, and staunchly independent. Each person within it operates on individually driven principles and motivations. They are bound together by some abstract concepts perhaps and nothing more at times. The voices within are so various and multifaceted that the very idea of brining them together in some shape or form sounds like an exercise in self-delusion. Maybe. But we also see an indisputable harmony and synchronicity within it that is driving many of its relative achievements. (Here I am a Muslim writing from a Muslim-centric point of view for the Saker, a platform dedicated to “stopping Empire’s war on Russia”. This is not just convergence of conveniences. There are things that bring us together on a deep level). Could it be that some agreed upon driving principle might be able to mitigate the many disappointments and dissensions that has plagued the AN? I believe it can if we standardize (not to be mistaken with homogenize) certain important principles in what we might call our “epistemology”, in order to make it less hackable by… well everything under the sun.

Every field has a “quality standard”, against which various bodies within it compare, judge and improve their trade. This encourages production of the best possible product. Shouldn’t the AN have a similar standard, in order to check the quality of its output? You may say what we are dealing with is conceptual and not material so standardization may not necessarily apply. I could not disagree more. Concepts (and conclusions) also have a quality standard. It is called logic: the validity or lack thereof of reasoning in statements. It is an unassailable achievement of us humans (some say gift from God) to come up with a mode of communication that calls out invalid reasoning entering communication.

People often say “mathematics is the only language shared by all human beings regardless of culture, religion, or gender. Pi is still approximately 3.14159 regardless of what country you are in”. Yes, but this applies even more fundamentally to logic. If A is B, and B is C, then A is C, is the same regardless of what country you are in. We often forget that mathematics is a branch of logic and not vise versa. But logic only will not help us for our purpose here. It only serves us with the proper arrangement and logical entailment of statements, not necessarily of their meaning. What we need is a framework that provides meaning beyond the mere arrangement and entailment of statements. What we need is hikma(‘wisdom’ in Arabic)the science which investigates the nature of things as they really are, to the best of human effort. (2) As grandiose as it sounds, I truly believe that this form of traditional philosophy can provide a sound standard of epistemology, guiding us on how to organize our thinking, and to separate the political wheat from the political chaff.

In my days of studying classical Islamic sciences, we spent a great deal of time studying Aristotelian logic, Arabic grammar and rhetoric before we delved into metaphysics, with theology being the crowning jewel. This method—study of logic, grammar and rhetoric—is called the Trivium in the West. The trivium (which means “intersection of three roads” in Latin) along with the Quadrivium (arithmetic, geometry, music, astronomy) constituted the liberal arts curriculum. This time tested way of learning was discontinued—barring some exceptions— in the US and European public schools in the early decades of the 20th century, mainly due to the influence of the Rockefeller run General Education Board and its European subsidiaries. In our times it is mainly taught in private schools and religious seminaries, in watered-down incarnations.

This curriculum was the cream of hundred years of human experience and analysis of “knowing”. The purpose of this approach to learning was to free the mind of incorrect beliefs, and to understand reality to the extent afforded by the human intellect. Theology was the premier study (before the Enlightenment pushed it to the back rows of intellectual human inquiry). One had to be equipped with all the right intellectual tools to avoid faulty judgements before arriving at Revelation, (after which the intellect was subservient to it in some degree)(3). Grammar was the systematic method of gathering raw data of a similar nature into a body of knowledge. When that gathering is complete we call it a subject. Logic was the method of bringing full understanding to that body of knowledge by systematically eliminating contradictions within it. Rhetoric was to communicate the result of grammar and logic to ourselves and to others with wisdom and persuasive appeal. The purpose of all this learning was to arrive at hikma.

The purpose of this needed detour is to point to the challenges of arriving at hikma in the absence of the prerequisite learning to learn process—which the Trivium really was— that is missing from many amongst us, even in the AN who pride themselves with their ability to separate the wheat from the chaff. In the absence of an education system that prepares us for understanding reality, we all need to re-asses if we are intellectually geared to not only detect the lies and half-truths of the MSM, but also the faulty reasoning and judgements from the AN that often gets a free pass? Perhaps some of us need to revisit what makes for sound education (which is the opposite of schooling). This is not to say that to get to the reality of things, one necessarily has to systematically study these disciplines. Many people have the God-given ability to see things for what they are. But in our times that very ability is manipulated on so many levels that the need to study epistemology is greater than ever.

Revisiting epistemology

Epistemology comes from the Greek episteme (knowledge) and logeo (to speak). It means the theory of knowledge: the study of the nature, sources, and validity of knowledge, or in other words how you know what you know. There are two components to it, (1) knowledge, and (2) how one arrives at it. Let us examine both.

Knowledge (ilm) is when a perception of something takes place in the mind. It divides into two parts: conception (taṣawwūr) and judgement (tasdiq). Conception is a perception of something that is free of any judgement. For example, we imagine the person of John without affirming or negating anything in relation to him. If we affirm or negate anything in relation to him – in other words predicate – for example, we say, “John is tall”, then we call this judgment. Now if this judgement is based on a conviction that is firmly rooted in the heart and also congruous to reality, we call it certainty (yaqīn), as in the statement “9/11 is an inside job”. If the judgement is based on a conviction that is firmly rooted in the heart but not congruous to reality, we call it compound ignorance (jahl murakkab), as in the statement, “They (Muslims) hate us for our freedom”. If the judgement is based on a conviction but not firmly rooted in the heart such that it maybe uprooted with some skeptical remarks, it is called immitation (taqlid), as in the statement, “Trump will fight the establishment”. If a judgement is not based on conviction at all – and therefore lacks any firmness in the heart – it is called conjecture (zann), as in “Russia hacked the US elections”. Therefore conjecture is the weakest of judgements.(4)

Macintosh HD:Users:anwarmangal:Desktop:epistemologylatest.png

 

Now let us see what is usually said about the second component of epistemology—how we arrive at it, or the causes of knowledge. Again, here we are drawing on the shared rational tradition of medieval Jews, Christians and Muslims, much of which was inherited from the Greeks. It is not peculiar to any one group.(5)

Causes of knowledge are three things: (a) sound senses, (b) Reason, (c) unanimously agreed upon report.(6)

The senses, the notion that hearing, seeing, smelling, taste, and touch, causing certain knowledge does not require much comment. But if for any reason you are in doubt, touch the nearest flame to remove it.

Reason is a cause of certain knowledge also. And whatever of it is established is self-evident, requiring no demonstration, just as the knowledge that the whole of a thing is a greater than the part of it. There are three modes of rational judgements: they are either characterized by necessity, possibility or impossibility.

1)Necessity is that whose non-existence the mind cannot conceive, for example 1+1 equal to anything other than 2

2)Impossibility is that whose existence the mind cannot conceive, for example a number being odd and even at the same time.

3)Possibility is that whose existence or non existence the mind can equally conceive, for example the Loch ness monster.

Unanimously agreed upon report (UAUR), something established by so many different chains of narration, such that it is inconceivable that all of the narrators would have been able to come together to agree on a falsehood.(7) For example the historical reports of a certain Alexander of Macedonia, or that there is a place called Madagascar. Unanimously agreed report also causes certain knowledge. Most of what an average person “knows” through the media—print and electronic—are assumptions of UAUR. In our age—the age of information warfare— the abuse and manipulation of this cause of knowledge is one of the main reasons of our political realities. Therefore, getting UAUR right is the most important pillar of a sound framework for the AN to start unclogging the information clutter which is an obstacle in valid judgements.

This brief prefacing on epistemology was to bring us to the forefront of the investigation on how we know what we know. It is a succinct analysis of the subject matter from a body of knowledge that is quite voluminous. The idea being that to be able to apply hikma to phenomenon we experience, we need to be standing on a solid ground which is not particular to us as individuals but rather universal to all.

Now let us move to some axioms—derived from the conceptual framework stated above—that I believe can further help the AN in separating the wheat from the chaff. Axiom is a statement that is regarded as established or self-evidently true. But here it is given a more liberal application, which is to say that it has some room for slight disagreement (with emphasis on ‘slight’), a confession of my fallibility if you will. The list here is, again, not exhaustive by any means but a starting point which should be further examined and added to as the AN consensus see fit. Am I asking for a Philadelphia Convention(8) to ratify the AN constitution? Perhaps I am. I will leave the preamble to the wordsmiths among you. I will go straight to the articles:

The 4 (for now) Articles of Hikma for the Alternative Narrative

(I) Anyone or any group that denies 9/11 being an inside job/conspiracy can not be part of the solution, and therefore not part of the AN. 9/11 being the watershed event of our lives that changed the world as we knew it, is the perfect litmus-test of our moral courage, intelligence and integrity. Our judgement of it being an inside job is corroborated by all the causes of knowledge, leading to a level of certainty that only a fool or a fraud will deny.

(a) While the AN may accept contributors who are silent on the issue (some may have legitimate reasons), the AN should never accept those who explicitly deny it, or subscribe to some half-baked, mainstream approved soft conspiracy theories.

(b) Any theory on 9/11 which directly or indirectly absolves state actors from responsibility— even if its subscriber hold the official version as a lie—should not be adopted by the AN as a strategy, and not necessarily as a final judgement on the ‘impossibility’ of such a claim. What is even worst is to ascribe the actions of 9/11 to ‘non-human entities’. This undeniably pushes the subscriber into a state of awe from which it is difficult to see the playing field level, as the antagonist is perceived bigger than life, and thus any action futile. This conveniently serves the Empire.

(c) Anyone maintaining the inside job narrative of 9/11 yet whitewashing Israel from participation in it cannot be part of the AN. (9)

 

(II) AN needs experts in their respective areas. Jack of all trade, ace of none cannot be a motto to live by. Mainstream academia, politics aside, have some very erudite experts in their areas of study, and this is something the AN can learn from them. A commentator on Russia should ideally know Russian and lived in Russia. A commentator on the Middle East should ideally know at least one Middle Eastern language and lived amongst its people. An occultist— the increasing favorite of the New Age conspiracists — should be able to interpret ancient Egyptian texts, among others, and not just sleuthing happily on Youtubistan, peddling other people’s ideas. Usually speaking, a mainstream academic will put many AN commentators to shame with their ability to deeply understand the subject matter, especially with research and bibliography (AN researchers love to quote Wikipedia on most affairs). It is an entirely different matter why mainstream academics choose to serve the Empire with their scholarship rather than fight it.

AN media, especially radio, suffers from adding to the information clutter by broadcasting opinions of all and sundry without checking their qualifications first. Have you found yourself listening to some show where the guest covers topics such as UFOs, Free Masonry, Muslim Brotherhood, and GMO in half an hour?

(III) While the role of the occult in today’s political, economic and social realities is a subject that demands close scrutiny, and most certainly not be dismissed out of hand, the way it is often blown off proportions by many in the AN conveniently serves the interest of Empire in more than one way. Some—like the Zeitgeist films—connect major modern political realities to secret societies (that also happen to be behind the creation of religions like Islam, Christianity and Judaism according to them), whose roots go back to ancient Egypt. The AN will do itself a world of good to stay away these New Age conspiracists who seek to fill the spiritual vacuum created by modernity by subscribing to unsubstantiated and shoddy conclusions, which not only fail the UAUR and Occam’s Razor test, but fail many other heuristic tool available to us. The same would apply to the subscribers of any idea that puts the levers of global institutions of influence in the hand of alien entities— the Reptilian Agenda being one of them. While AN should not adjudicate the claim as ‘impossible’, it does violate the principles of hikma on many levels and should be courteously discarded. This is not the same as denying the truth or role of the Anti-Christ or Dajjal in our political and social realities. It should ideally work as a spiritual element that pierces the modern material dialectics of our realities today and not necessarily as a notion that determines our strategies.

(IV) “Islamic terrorism” is a reality created and sustained by the Empire and not something that exists independent of it. Islamophobia is the desired reaction. Russophobia — the latest trend — is from the same sources. Those subscribing to it or help maintain this narrative should not be part of AN.(11)

Conclusion

I know I am being naive perhaps to (a) suggest a rather simple solution to a very complex situation, and (b) being slightly presumptuous that my “axiomatic” musings will somehow set us on the path of deliverance from a divisive state which would have left many a great mind clueless. But as long as basic conceptual shortcomings exist in any area, someone will try to point them, not necessarily believing it will lead to heavenly glory but rather to correct a flaw. Again, what is mentioned here is intended to start a process. It is not an end in itself. I intended to raise more questions than provide answers. This is the reason I have not mentioned other important issues that also have a direct bearing on the subject at hand, like what do I mean by the term “Empire”?

Is it the American Empire? Anglo-Zionist Empire? Jewish Empire? Illuminati/Free-Mason Empire? Or a combination of some or all of them? I will leave that for our Convention to determine. So by a raise of hand, who is attending it?

Notes

(1) While the claim that the assassination of the Russian ambassador was a “hoax”, is not impossible, it is highly improbable and badly misinformed. For the simple reason that it violates, among other things, the law of parsimony or Occam’s Razor: among competing hypotheses, the one with the fewest assumptions should be selected. Occam’s Razor, while not being an indisputable proof, is nonetheless a very useful heuristic tool to understand phenomenon. It is within the framework of hikma.

For the assassination to be a hoax, Turkish and Russian authorities would have necessarily cooperated quite intimately because this did not take place in some back alley in the dark of the night. It was in a state institution, in front of TV cameras, and many witnesses. Since the event took place in Turkey, she would have been naturally more involved. Turkey already suffering from falling tourist numbers due to many terrorist attacks this year, is risking decimating her tourism industry entirely— a significant 15% of her GDP— with this hoax (if the place is not safe for high level delegates it can not be that safe for average foreigners surely). Tourism lose means a tremendous hit to the economy. Which can send the ruling AKP party to the cleaners in elections and result in their ouster even before it. Who wants to be removed from office for a hoax that is achieving nothing more than “sending occult messages” to whom it may concern on “who rules the world”?. Also, it effectively means the acting ambassador will be living the rest of his life in some house in the Siberian expanse, or going through at least 10 major plastic surgeries to change his entire face, or a combination of both. It would have been easier for the Turks and Russians to actually assassinate him than go through the myriad problems associated with hoaxing it. Also, if it was a hoax, the Americans—the nemesis of the Russians — would have tried to point to it somehow. Unless they are also part of it — which is another assumption of this claim— in which case the whole Putin vs US narrative is a hoax itself. Anyone holding that cannot possibly be enjoying life. Therefore this theory has more assumptions than Joan Rivers’ plastic surgeries, and thus cannot possibly be that useful.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wAMSLCfaD4M

(2) This is the same slogan raised by philosophical trends since the Enlightenment, but who, in actuality, are doing nothing more than serving positivist scientism, and deliberately stifling the bigger questions that was the Principale Propositum of the philosophical inquiry.

(3)“Reason is subservient to Revelation”, this is in a very specific sense and the truth of revelation does become established purely through reason (the rational entailment implied by a miracle occurring at the hands of someone claiming prophethood) but that once the revelation is proven true, not everything in scripture can be strictly reduced to something which has a linear logical structure – although this isn’t to say that it is ever “irrational”.

(4)While this particular passage is from Islamic sources(the examples being replaced with modern ones), this understanding of knowledge is by no means peculiar to Islamic scholarship only. Invariably there are similar definitions by Greek, Christian and some Jewish (Maimonides being one of them) scholars of hikma.

(5) Wolfs, The Philosophy of Spinoza, II, 133.

It is noteworthy that Muslims were studying Greek didactic philosophy and producing commentaries on Aristotle (that was then translated into Latin from the Arabic for teaching in European centers of learning in medieval times) because in the rational traditions of the Greeks, the Muslims saw an opportunity to refine the intellect in understanding shared concepts. Wisdom derived from it was for all. As the Prophet of Islam said “wisdom is the lost property of the believer, where ever he/she finds it, he/she may claim it”.

(6)Illumination—knowledge derived through a hyper-spiritual state— is also a valid source of knowledge, but particular to the recipient only. What is known through it may not be generalized.

(7)That historians Plutarch and Diodorus mention this monumental figure, whose name and exploits are also available in Sassanian and Sanskrit historical sources of the time; not to mention the cities that still exist by his name (Alexandria), with Hellenist architecture still surviving today in places he is purported to have conquered; and ethnic groups that are known to be of Greek origin (for example the Nuristanis of Afghanistan) in the midst of other homogenous groups. All these factors make the invention of Alexander inconceivable.

(8) The 1787 meeting that ratified the US Constitution.

Interestingly there is another AN convention taking place in Philadelphia where some brilliant ideas are being presented. But I often wonder if such events— in the absence of a basic intellectual framework around which to build a consensus upon— is nothing more than reinforcing common held beliefs of unfalsifiable nature, usually accompanied by self-congratulatory air of being “liberated”, and ultimately glorification of the ego, more than providing any strategy to overcome the Empire.

http://www.freeyourmindconference.com/

(9) This excludes Alex Jones as being part of a genuine AN. I promised I will not take names but this was a must. Other than his efforts to whitewash Israeli involvements in 9/11 and other conspiracies, Alex Jones violates our epistemology on so many levels that it is a disgrace to see this man become the face of the AN.

(10) One of the reasons I was attracted to the Saker was his undeniable expertise on the subject matter he dedicated his writing: Russia and military affairs. The Saker also seems to be one of the few in the AN who is consistently rational with his judgements. That is to say he is willing to suspend judgement till the very last minute, and entertain many competing theories without necessarily accepting them. This is deductive reasoning in action. He avoids pontificating on issues outside his area of expertise. Another example is Sibel Edmonds. I like her measured approach to Big Brother and whistle blowing issues and staying within her range of expertise, without unnecessarily delving into the occult and other unrelated issues. I should also mention James Corbett of thecorbettreport.com and Kevin Barrett of Truth Jihad. Their style of AN journalism should be a guide to those who want to go that route: reasonable, courageous, and relevant. Finally I should mention Sofia Smallstorm of http://www.aboutthesky.com/who is doing some tremendous work on chem-trails and nano technology. There are many unsung heroes of the AN who deserve mentioning and salutations for their services. We own them a heartfelt thank you!

(11)I know this will infuriate many, but I believe Russia Today’s news, unfortunately, often fails this test. RT talks shows and documentaries are definitely a breath of fresh air, a most important contribution to the AN. But RT news (especially online) does not live to this expectation (sometime I feel as if they are two different organizations). RT news has been consistently peddling many uncorroborated news items, most dealing with refugee crimes in Europe and Muslim “brutalities” in general— something that is increasingly becoming RT news’ mainstay. The latest being this news item: “A 30-year-old woman has been beheaded in a remote Afghan village for visiting a local market alone, without her husband, local media report citing officials. The people behind the beheading may have links to the Taliban.” Other than the total irrelevance of such a random piece of news (there are thousands of such crimes daily), this is also fake news, reported by the USAID funded Tolo News — an operation of Saad Mohseni, chairman of the Moby Group and as far as I am concerned a CIA asset. Not only did the Taliban have no relation to this event (I am no fan of Taliban but I know that killing a woman in such an unwarranted manner in a tribal society where reprisals from her family and tribe can spell the end of Taliban operations in the area, is not a very smart strategy), the incident itself is most certainly fake news. There is no word from the victim’s family, no name, no interview, just a “confirmation from the provisional governor’s spokesperson” (who conveniently has a dog in the fight as this means more money extorted from the government for “security” operations) and “confirmed by Sar-e-Pul women’s affairs head Nasima Arezo”, (whoever she is) who most probably was informed by the governor’s office, without any further access.

https://www.rt.com/news/372124-afghan-woman-beheaded-husband/

I know it might be new to some people but killing women— as if they are cucumbers waiting to be chopped at any time— is not a favorite pastime in Afghanistan. Soros affiliated news organizations would like you to believe that but it really is not the case. Yes, there are the sad incidents of “honor” killings but not quite as many (every 15 seconds if you are following the MSM) as they would like you to believe. I can assure you that. I work in Afghanistan. And if such barbaric practices still take place, we need to be thankful to the American war in Afghanistan which has destroyed most traditional institutions like the tribal Jirgas(meetings) which used to settle “honor” related issues, often humanely. A far cry from the vigilantism that prevails because of the security situation.

Why is RT peddling sensationalist uncorroborated news (just like the MSM) that is disparaging the name of Islam and Muslims, while at the same time challenging other false premises of the Empire, is something that I would love to be enlightened about. AN has to be the vanguard against fake news, its raison d’être. It cannot participate in it.

President Trump: Nationalist Capitalism, An Alternative to Globalization?

Global Research, January 28, 2017
CIA-trump

During his inaugural speech, President Trump clearly and forcefully outlined the strategic political-economic policies he will pursue over the next four years.  Anti-Trump journalist, editorialists, academics and experts, who appear in the Financial Times, New York Times, Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal have repeatedly distorted and lied about the President’s program as well as his critique of existing and past policies.

We will begin by seriously discussing President Trump’s critique of the contemporary political economy and proceed to elaborate on his alternatives and its weaknesses.

President Trump’s Critique of the Ruling Class

The centerpiece of Trump’s critique of the current ruling elite is the negative impact of its form of globalization on US production, trade and fiscal imbalances and on the labor market.  Trump cites the fact that US industrial capitalism has drastically shifted the locus of its investments, innovations and profits overseas as an example of globalization’s negative effects.  For two decades many politicians and pundits have bemoaned the loss of well-paid jobs and stable local industries as part of their campaign rhetoric or in public meetings, but none have taken any effective action against these most harmful aspects of globalization.  Trump denounced them as “all talk and no action” while promising to end the empty speeches and implement major changes.

President Trump targeted importers who bring in cheap products from overseas manufacturers for the American market undermining US producers and workers.  His economic strategy of prioritizing US industries is an implicit critique of the shift from productive capital to financial and speculative capital under the previous four administrations.  His inaugural address attacking the elites who abandon the ‘rust belt’ for Wall Street is matched by his promise to the working class: “Hear these words!  You will never be ignored again.” Trump’s own words portray the ruling class ‘as pigs at the trough’ (Financial Times, 1/23/2017, p. 11)

Trump’s Political-Economic Critique

President Trump emphasizes market negotiations with overseas partners and adversaries.  He has repeatedly criticized the mass media and politicians’ mindless promotion of free markets and aggressive militarism as undermining the nation’s capacity to negotiate profitable deals.

President Trump’s immigration policy is closely related to his strategic ‘America First’ labor policy.  Massive inflows of immigrant labor have been used to undermine US workers’ wages, labor rights and stable employment.  This was first documented in the meat packing industry, followed by textile, poultry and construction industries.  Trump’s proposal is to limit immigration to allow US workers to shift the balance of power between capital and labor and strengthen the power of organized labor to negotiate wages, conditions and benefits.  Trump’s critique of mass immigration is based on the fact that skilled American workers have been available for employment in the same sectors if wages were raised and work conditions were improved to permit dignified, stable living standards for their families.

President Trump’s Political Critique

Trump points to trade agreements, which have led to huge deficits, and concludes that US negotiators have been failures.  He argues that previous US presidents have signed multi-lateral agreements, to secure military alliances and bases, at the expense of negotiating job-creating economic pacts.  His presidency promises to change the equation:  He wants to tear up or renegotiate unfavorable economic treaties while reducing US overseas military commitments and demands NATO allies shoulder more of their own defense budgets.  Immediately upon taking office Trump canceled the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and convoked a meeting with Canada and Mexico to renegotiate NAFTA.

Trump’s agenda has featured plans for hundred-billion dollar infrastructure projects, including building controversial oil and gas pipelines from Canada to the US Gulf.  It is clear that these pipelines violate existing treaties with indigenous people and threaten ecological mayhem.  However, by prioritizing the use of American-made construction material and insisting on hiring only US workers, his controversial policies will form the basis for developing well-paid American jobs.

The emphasis on investment and jobs in the US is a complete break with the previous Administration, where President Obama focused on waging multiple wars in the Middle East , increasing public debt and the trade deficit.

Trump’s inaugural address issued a stern promise: “The American carnage stops right now and stops right here!”  This resonated with a huge sector of the working class and was spoken before an assemblage of the very architects of four decades of job-destroying globalization.  ‘Carnage’ carried a double meaning:  Widespread carnage resulted from Obama and other administrations’ destruction of domestic jobs resulting in decay and bankruptcy of rural, small town and urban communities.  This domestic carnage was the other side of the coin of their policies of conducting endless overseas wars spreading carnage to three continents.  The last fifteen years of political leadership spread domestic carnage by allowing the epidemic of drug addiction (mostly related to uncontrolled synthetic opiate prescriptions) to kill hundreds of thousands of mostly young American’s and destroy the lives of millions.  Trump promised to finally address this ‘carnage’ of wasted lives.   Unfortunately, he did not hold ‘Big Pharma’ and the medical community responsible for its role in spreading drug addiction into the deepest corners of the economically devastated rural America .  Trump criticized previous elected officials for authorizing huge military subsidies to ‘allies’ while making it clear that his critique did not include US military procurement policies and would not contradict his promise to ‘reinforce old alliances’ (NATO).

Truth and Lies: Garbage Journalists and Arm Chair Militarists

Among the most outrageous example of the mass media’s hysteria about Trump’s New Economy is the systematic and vitriolic series of fabrications designed to obscure the grim national reality that Trump has promised to address.  We will discuss and compare the accounts published by ‘garbage journalists (GJ’s)’ and present a more accurate version of the situation.

The respectable garbage journalists of the Financial Timesclaim that Trump wants to ‘destroy world trade’.  In fact, Trumps has repeatedly stated his intention to increase international trade.  What Trump proposes is to increase US world trade from the inside, rather than from overseas.  He seeks to re-negotiate the terms of multilateral and bilateral trade agreements to secure greater reciprocity with trading partners.  Under Obama, the US was more aggressive in imposing trade tariffs that any other country in the OECD.

Garbage journalists label Trump as a ‘protectionist’,confusing his policies to re-industrialize the economy with autarky.  Trump will promote exports and imports, retain an open economy, while increasing the role of the US as a producer and exporter.. The US will become more selective in its imports.  Trump will favor the growth of manufacturing exporters and increase imports of primary commodities and advanced technology while reducing the import of automobiles, steel and household consumer products.

Trump’s opposition to ‘globalization’ has been conflated by the garbage journalists of the Washington Post as a dire threat to the ‘the post-Second World War economic order’.  In fact, vast changes have already rendered the old order obsolete and attempts to retain it have led to crises, wars and more decay.  Trump has recognized the obsolete nature of the old economic order and stated that change is necessary.

The Obsolete Old Order and the Dubious New Economy

At the end of the Second World War, most of Western Europe and Japan resorted to highly restrictive ‘protectionist’ industrial and monetary policies to rebuild their economies.  Only after a period of prolonged recovery did Germany and Japan carefully and selectively liberalize their economic policies.

In recent decades, Russia was drastically transformed from a powerful collectivist economy to a capitalist vassal-gangster oligarchy and more recently to a reconstituted mixed economy and strong central state.  China has been transformed from a collectivist economy, isolated from world trade, into the world’s second most powerful economy, displacing the US as Asia and Latin America ’s largest trading partner.

Once controlling 50% of world trade, the US share is now less than 20%.  This decline is partly due to the dismantling of its industrial economy when its manufacturers moved their factories abroad.

Despite the transformation of the world order, recent US presidents have failed to recognize the need to re-organize the American political economy.  Instead of recognizing, adapting and accepting shifts in power and market relations, they sought to intensify previous patterns of dominance through war, military intervention and bloody destructive ‘regime changes’ – thus devastating, rather than creating markets for US goods. Instead of recognizing China’s immense economic power and seek to re-negotiate trade and co-operative agreements, they have stupidly excluded China from regional and international trade pacts, to the extent of crudely bullying their junior Asian trade partners, and launching a policy of military encirclement and provocation in the South China Seas.  While Trump recognized these changes and the need to renegotiate economic ties, his cabinet appointees seek to extend Obama’s militarist policies of confrontation.

Under the previous administrations, Washington ignored Russia ’s resurrection, recovery and growth as a regional and world power.  When reality finally took root, previous US administrations increased their meddling among the Soviet Union’s former allies and set up military bases and war exercises on Russia ’s borders.  Instead of deepening trade and investment with Russia , Washington spent billions on sanctions and military spending – especially fomenting the violent putchist regime in Ukraine .  Obama’s policies promoting the violent seizure of power in Ukraine, Syria and Libya were motivated by his desire to overthrow governments friendly to Russia – devastating those countries and ultimately strengthening Russia’s will to consolidate and defend its borders and to form new strategic alliances.

Early in his campaign, Trump recognized the new world realities and proposed to change the substance, symbols, rhetoric and relations with adversaries and allies – adding up to a New Economy.

First and foremost, Trump looked at the disastrous wars in the Middle East and recognized the limits of US military power:  The US could not engage in multiple, open-ended wars of conquest and occupation in the Middle East, North Africa and Asia without paying major domestic costs.

Secondly, Trump recognized that Russia was not a strategic military threat to the United States .  Furthermore, the Russian government under Vladimir Putin was willing to cooperate with the US to defeat a mutual enemy – ISIS and its terrorist networks.  Russia was also keen to re-open its markets to the US investors, who were also anxious to return after years of the Obama-Clinton-Kerry imposed sanctions.  Trump, the realist, proposes to end sanctions and restore favorable market relations.

Thirdly, it is clear to Trump that the US wars in the Middle East imposed enormous costs with minimal benefits for the US economy.  He wants to increase market relations with the regional economic and military powers, like Turkey , Israel and the Gulf monarchies.

Trump is not interested in Palestine , Yemen , Syria or the Kurds – which do not offer much investment and trade opportunities.  He ignores the enormous regional economic and military power of Iran ,  Nevertheless Trump has proposed to re-negotiate the recent six-nation agreement with Iran in order to improve the US side of the bargain.  His hostile campaign rhetoricagainst Tehran may have been designed to placate Israel and its powerful domestic ‘Israel-Firsters’ fifth column.  This certainly came into conflict with his ‘America First’ pronouncements.  It remains to be seen whether Donald Trump will retain a ‘show’ of submission to the Zionist project of an expansionist Israel while proceeding to include Iran as a part of his regional market agenda.

The Garbage Journalists claim that Trump has adopted a new bellicose stance toward China and threatens to launch a ‘protectionist agenda’, which will ultimately push the trans-Pacific countries closer to Beijing .  On the contrary, Trump appears intent on renegotiating and increasing trade via bilateral agreements.

Trump will most probably maintain, but not expand, Obama’s military encirclement of China ’s maritime boundaries which threaten its vital shipping routes.  Nevertheless, unlike Obama, Trump will re-negotiate economic and trade relations with Beijing – viewing China as a major economic power and not a developing nation intent on protecting its ‘infant industries’.  Trump’s realism reflect the new economic order:  China is a mature, highly competitive, world economic power, which has been out-competing the US , in part by retaining its own state subsidies and incentives from its earlier economic phase.  This has led to significant imbalances.  Trump, the realist, recognizes that China offers great opportunities for trade and investment if the US can secure reciprocal agreements, which lead to a more favorable balance of trade.

Trump does not want to launch a ‘trade war’ with China , but he needs to restore the US as a major ‘exporter’ nation in order to implement his domestic economic agenda.  The negotiations with the Chinese will be very difficult because the US importer-elite are against the Trump agenda and side with the Beijing ’s formidable export-oriented ruling class.

Moreover, because Wall Street’s banking elite is pleading with Beijing to enter China ’s financial markets, the financial sector is an unwilling and unstable ally to Trump’s pro-industrial policies.

Conclusion

Trump is not a ‘protectionist’, nor is he opposed to ‘free-trade’.  These charges by the garbage journalists are baseless.  Trump does not oppose US economic imperialist policies abroad.  However, Trump is a market realist who recognizes that military conquest is costly and, in the contemporary world context, a losing economic proposition for the US .  He recognizes that the US must turn from a predominant finance and import economy to a manufacturing and export economy.

Trump views Russia as a potential economic partner and military ally in ending the wars in Syria , Iraq , Afghanistan and Ukraine , and especially in defeating the terrorist threat of ISIS .  He sees China as a powerful economic competitor, which has been taking advantage of outmoded trade privileges and wants to re-negotiate trade pacts in line with the current balance of economic power.

Trump is a capitalist-nationalist, a market-imperialist and political realist, who is willing to trample on women’s rights, climate change legislation, indigenous treaties and immigrant rights.  His cabinet appointments and his Republican colleagues in Congress are motivated by a militarist ideology closer to the Obama-Clinton doctrine than to Trumps new ‘America First’ agenda.  He has surrounded his Cabinet with military imperialists, territorial expansionists and delusional fanatics.

Who will win out in the short or long term remains to be seen.  What is clear is that the liberals, Democratic Party hacks and advocates of Little Mussolini black shirted street thugs will be on the side of the imperialists and will find plenty of allies among and around the Trump regime.

 

Mainstream British Press Propaganda Ramps Up Dangerous War Rhetoric against Russia

Mainstream British Press Propaganda Ramps Up Dangerous War Rhetoric against Russia

By Graham Vanbergen,

Screen-Shot-2017-01-18-at-08.54.52

The British press are in full hysteria propaganda mode when it comes to demonising our new greatest threat on planet earth; not climate change, a global pandemic, international terrorism, or America’s new foe in the South China Sea – but Russia.

The Telegraph 31/12/16: “Systemic, relentless, predatory’ Russian cyber threat to US power grid exposed as malware found on major electricity company computer.”

The Independent 13/12/16: “Highly probable Russian interfered with Brexit referendum.”

The Express 15/01/17: “Russians forcing RAF to abort missions in Syria by ‘hacking into’ their systems”

The Guardian 14/01/17: “Senior British politicians ‘targeted by Kremlin’ for smear campaigns”

In all of these newspaper reports, and there are plenty more of them, not a single scrap of actual evidence other than hearsay is published. In the case of the Express story, it’s allegations are backed up with the statement “It is entirely feasible that Russia has targeted Tornadoes and Typhoons in this way,” said air defence expert Justin Bronk, of the Royal United Services Institute think-tank.” This is not evidence.

In the case of the Telegraph, this fairy-tail has been 100% debunked as pure propaganda and the original report from the Washington Post ended with a full-on apology by its editor. The Telegraph has printed no such amendment or apology for its totally fictitious article.

The Guardian’s headline is pure misinformation as it’s sole point of evidence is an MP (Chris Bryant), explaining that incumbent Foreign Office ministers could not speak out on the (Russian hacking) issue because of security connotations, and said:  “Any minister who goes into the Foreign Office and has responsibility for Russia, they [Moscow] will be, in any shape or form, trying to put together information about them.” As if to strengthen the ‘evidence’, Bryant says he is “absolutely certain that Boris Johnson, Liam Fox, Alan Duncan who has the Russia brief, and [Brexit secretary] David Davis will have been absolutely looked at.” This is not evidence.

The funny thing is this; the story may be true and quite probably is, but so what.

In October 2015, Britain’s own spy agency confirmed it was spying on Britain’s MP’s and at the time was given court immunity when challenged. It determined that MPs’ communications were not protected from surveillance by intelligence agencies. This case came about because Green Party MP Caroline Lucas, Baroness Jenny Jones and former MP George Galloway, that revelations from Edward Snowden, showed MPs’ communications were being spied on by GCHQ despite laws protecting them.

Around the same time we learn that a well known paedophile ran a lodge set up by GCHQ for its spies to monitor important political ‘targets’ ie our own MP’s and other public figures.

Back in 1983 Margaret Thatcher used Britain’s latest and most advanced surveillance system named ‘Echelon’ (Read: ECHELON – The Start of Britain’s Modern Day Spying Operations) to Spy on Government Ministers’. It was an American design and the first major state surveillance system using satellite and IT systems to spy worldwide. Indeed Echelon was originally created in the 1960s to monitor the military and diplomatic communications of the Soviet Union and its Eastern Bloc allies throughout the Cold War by Britain and America. All of this data being shared with America – and whichever way you look at it, is a foreign government.

America’s NSA monitored the phone conversations of 35 world leaders in another Snowden leak three years ago. Germany’s Spiegel reported in 2014 that “Documents show Britain’s GCHQ signals intelligence agency has targeted European, German and Israeli politicians for surveillance.” So distrustful of the British that Chancellor Merkel announced a counter-espionage offensive designed to curb mass surveillance conducted by the US NSA and its British counterpart, GCHQ.  Today it is reported by IntelNews that the “discord between British and German intelligence services, which began at the same time in 2014, allegedly persists and now constitutes the “biggest rift between the secret services” of the two countries “since World War II”.

Just six months ago we found out that “GCHQ and NSA routinely spy on UK politicians’ e-mails” that included privileged correspondence between parliamentarians and their constituents and before that, internal MI5, MI6 and GCHQ documents reveal routine interception of legally privileged communications. The information obtained was exploited unlawfully to be used by the agencies in the fighting of court cases in which they themselves were involved.

Amazingly, we recently find out just last week that Israeli embassy staff, quite likely Mossad operatives – “are working with senior political activists and politicians in the Conservative and Labour parties to subvert their own parties from within, and skew British foreign policy so that it benefits Israeli, rather than British interests.” And yet, there has been little comment in the British press about foreign infiltration of government minsters by Israel.

If Russia were not spying on our MP’s, they would be the only ones not at it. No-one trusts anyone. Spying is old news and fully expected. We are ALL being spied on nowadays.

The British press are complicit in their reckless rhetoric designed to instil fear into the population with dangerous propaganda that could easily lead to tensions becoming so dangerous that a real ‘hot war’ starts. Whilst America is shielded by continental Europe and the Atlantic ocean, Britain could be used as a pawn to be sacrificed on the international chess-game of winner-takes-all. We have no ‘special-relationship’, there never has been one, and an irresponsible press being a mouthpiece that ramps up the stress between the US/NATO and Russia is absolutely against the interests and national security of Britain.

As Laurence Krauss’s (chair of the board of sponsors of The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, and is on the board of the Federation of American Scientists) article last October alarmingly points out – “Trump has said he would consider using nuclear weapons against ISIS and suggested that it would be good for the world if Japan, South Korea, and Saudi Arabia acquired them.” Trump could be one seriously dangerous individual for world peace – who knows!

So much for Trump but as Krauss goes on to say that “In general, during the Obama presidency, we have only deepened our dangerous embrace of nuclear weapons. At the moment, around a thousand nuclear weapons are still on a hair-trigger alert; as they were during the Cold War, they are ready to be launched in minutes in response to a warning of imminent attack.” 

Who in their right mind would support this lunacy?

Syria, BBC and fake news

Saving Syria’s Children: The Director’s Cut?

1) BBC Worldwide has been swift to block the short excerpt from Saving Syria’s Children included here. I have now replaced it with a OneDrive upload:

https://bbcpanoramasavingsyriaschildren.wordpress.com/2017/01/09/saving-syrias-children-the-directors-cut/

bbcpanoramasavingsyriaschildren.wordpress.com
Update, 11 January 2017: the short clip from Saving Syria’s Children referenced in this post has been swiftly blocked on You Tube by BBC Worldwide, as has a substituted copy – see here …

2) At yesterday’s press conference, Saving Syria’s Children reporter Ian Pannell challenged Donald Trump over his accusations of “false news”: 

TRUMP: Go ahead, go ahead, you’ve been waiting, go ahead
IAN PANNELL: As far as we understand the intelligence community are…
TRUMP: Stand up please
IAN PANNELL: Yeah, Ian Pannell from BBC News…
TRUMP: What?
IAN PANNELL: Ian Pannell from BBC News
TRUMP: BBC News, that’s another beauty
IAN PANNELL: Thank you – thank you. Er, as far as we understand it the intelligence community are still looking at these allegations, it’s false news as you describe it. If they come back with any kind of conclusion that any of it, er, stands up, that any of it is true, will you consider your position, would you think about resign…
TRUMP: There’s nothing they could come back with.
Will Mr. Pannell consider his position with the BBC if the evidence of inconsistencies in his own reporting provides ground to charges of “false news”?
3) Is the star of BBC2’s ‘Trust Me I’m A Doctor’ a gun runner?
In a recent article Humanitarian & Emergency Aid specialist Moeen Raoof made the following allegations about Dr Saleyha Ahsan, one of the two British medics featured in Saving Syria’s Children and presenter of the BBC2 health series Trust Me I’m A Doctor:
After the meeting in Nairobi, Mr. Afshar [former Foreign Office diplomat Reza Afshar] then met in London with Saleyha Ahsan, who claims to be a doctor and ia [sic] Sandhurst graduate becoming the first Muslim woman to be commissioned in the British Army. Ahsan, whose previous role was to provide arms and logistics assistance to the Libyan rebels during the so-called Arab Spring while based in Benghazi, was now actively supporting the rebels in Syria, as well as training of rebels in the UK in the use of arms, battlefield first aid and running of British Muslim jihadists travelling out to Syria in road convoys involving second-hand British ambulances, this was a sequel to her active role in Libya previously.
Shortly after the meeting between Afshar and Ahsan, the latter proceeded to Turkey where she received several containers from Kenya, these containers, Ahsan claimed were medical equipment, operating theatre equipment, medicines and other related equipment; once cleared, the containers were shipped out to the Turkey-Syria Border and handed-over to rebels who used the weapons to hold on to towns and cities as well as areas, thanks to the intervention of all involved, including the sacrifice of a US ambassador in Benghazi.
This material has been forwarded to the police. Dr Ahsan’s employers have been drawn into comment on Twitter.
My correspondence with the BBC regarding Dr Ahsan can be found here and a number of startling inconsistencies in Dr Ahsan’s accounts of the events depicted in Saving Syria’s Children are gathered here.
Dr Ahsan was recently reunited with her Saving Syria’s Children colleague Dr Rola Hallam when they led the “People’s Convoy” to Syria. Dr Hallam’s connections are detailed here and depicted in the image below:
Robert Stuart

https://bbcpanoramasavingsyriaschildren.wordpress.com/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lu6TlmHnd4c

https://twitter.com/cerumol

ROBERT STUART’S BLOG https://bbcpanoramasavingsyriaschildren.wordpress.com/ Did the BBC Fake ‘Saving Syria’s Children’? Robert Stuart is a former newspaper …
bbcpanoramasavingsyriaschildren.wordpress.com
Analysis of the 30 September 2013 BBC Panorama documentary ‘Saving Syria’s Children’ and related BBC News reports, contending that sequences filmed by BBC personnel and others at Ata…

‘The Mainstream Media has Failed in Most of the West’–Syrian President Assad

[ Ed. note – Every time I see Syrian President Bashar Assad interviewed, I find myself impressed. He is soft-spoken, articulate, and everything he says rings true. In this exchange with a group of French journalists, he comments: “For the French people I would say the mainstream media has failed in most of the West. The narrative has been debunked because of the reality, and you have the alternative media. You have to look for the truth.”

The mainstream media narrative has been debunked, whether you are talking about the war in Syria, Russian hacking, presidential politics in America, Brexit, the European Union, or just about any other topic–and it is incumbent upon people now to search for truth from sources other than scoundrel organizations who have proven track records of deceit. This Assad has absolutely correct, and it is probably one reason why the mainstream media so detest him.

In the interview, the Syrian leader also talks about the French presidential election, coming up in April, as well as his own plans for the future. In regards to the latter, he reiterates what he has said before: that the decision of who should be president of Syria is a choice that should be left solely to the Syrian people; it is not up to him, and it is certainly not a decision that should be determined by outsiders.

Or to put it more bluntly, the US State Department should stop trying to regime-change the entire planet. Disastrously, it has been  intent on doing just this throughout the entire eight years of the Obama administration, the Bush administration before that, the Clinton administration prior to that, and the Bush-One administration even afore Willy and Hillary. Enough is enough! The US government’s unquenchable thirst for overturning other governments is the greatest threat to world peace today.

Moreover, it doesn’t seem the thirst has gone away (whether it will under the incoming Trump administration remains to be seen, although I’m not particularly hopeful). The journalists asking questions in the above video are part of a delegation visiting Syria from France. As Vanessa Beeley reports in the article below, the delegation, headed by three members of the French Parliament, came under shelling by the US-backed Free Syrian Army yesterday while visiting Aleppo. This is not to say the Obama administration specifically ordered the attack, but any government providing backing to terrorists holds responsibility for their actions. ]


US-Backed ‘Moderate’ Rebels Target French Delegation in Aleppo

By Vanessa Beeley

In a clear breach of the Russian brokered ceasefire, US backed FSA (Free Syrian Army) division, Company 23, fired upon Aleppo airport. The shelling took place just prior to the departure of a French delegation, led by French politician, Thierry Mariani, after a fact finding trip to the recently liberated industrial, second capital city, of Aleppo.

According to Fares Shehabi, independent, Aleppo MP and head of the Aleppo Chamber of Commerce, the missiles were fired from an area next to Khan Touman, 8km away from the airport, in a deliberate act of terror against the French delegation. The leader of this group of so called “moderates” is Hassan Rajoob, a colonel who had previously defected from the Syrian Arab Army.

Fares Shehabi had been meeting with the three French parliamentarians, Thierry Mariani, Jean Lassalle & Nicolas Dhuiq, and other intellects and journalists who made up the delegation. Shehabi told 21st Century Wire that they had been due to leave via Aleppo airport at 14:00 on the 7th January 2017. The shelling took place just prior to the flight in what appeared to be a deliberate targeting of the delegation.  The flight was delayed a further 3h 3o minutes and the airport was kept in complete darkness in order to ensure safe take-off without further attacks.

Continued here

Everything in the World is Changing Regarding Syria

By President Bashar al-Assad

January 10, 2017 “Information Clearing House” – “SANA” – Damascus, SANA_ President Bashar al-Assad has said that everything in the world is changing regarding Syria on every level, the local, the regional, and the international.

In a statement given to the French media, President al-Assad added that our mission, according to the constitution and according to the laws, that we have to liberate every inch of the Syrian land.

Following is the full context of the statement:

Question1:Mr. President, you have just met a French delegation of MPs. Do you think this visit will have an influence on the French position about Syria?

President Assad:This is a French question. We hope that any delegation that would come here is to see the truth about what is happening in Syria during the last years, since the beginning of the war six years ago, and the problem now, regarding France in particular, is that they don’t have an embassy, they don’t have any relation with Syria at all, so it’s like… we can say it’s a blind state. How can you forge a policy towards a certain region if you can’t see, if you’re blind? You need to see. The importance of those delegations is that they represent the eyes of the states, but that depends on the state; do they want to see, or they want to keep adopting the ostrich policy and they don’t want to tell the truth, because now everything in the world is changing regarding Syria on every level, the local, the regional, and the international. Until this moment, the French administration hasn’t changed its position, they still speak the old language which is disconnected from our reality. That’s why we have a hope that there’s someone in the state who wants to listen to these delegations, to the facts. I’m not talking about my opinion, I’m talking about the reality in Syria. So, we have hope.

Question 2:Mr. President, you said that Aleppo is a major victory for Syria, and a major turn in the crisis. What do you feel when you see the pictures of the hundreds of civilians that were killed in the bombings, and the devastation of the city?

President Assad:Of course, it’s very painful for us as Syrians to see any part of our country destroyed, or to see any blood shedding anywhere,this is self-evident, this is emotional part, but for me as President or as an official, the question for the Syrian people: what I’m going to do. It’s not only about the feeling; the feeling is self-evident as I said. How we’re going to rebuild our cities.

Question 3:But was the bombing of east Aleppo the only solution to retake the city, with the death of civilians, your fellow citizens?
President Assad:It depends on what kind of war you’re looking for. Are you looking for a quiet war, war without destruction? I haven’t heard, in the history, of a good war, every war is bad. Why bad? Because every war is about destruction, every war is about the killing, that’s why every war is bad. You cannot say “this is a good war” even if it’s for a good reason, to defend your country, for a noble reason, but it’s bad. That’s why it’s not the solution, if you have any other solution. But the question is: how can you liberate the civilians in those areas from the terrorists? Is it better to leave them, to leave them under their supervision, under their oppression, under their fate defined by those terrorists by beheading, by killing, by everything but not having state? Is that the role of the state, just to keep and watch? You have to liberate, and this is the price sometimes, but at the end, the people are liberated from the terrorists. That’s the question now; are they liberated or not? If yes, that’s what we have to do.

Question 4:Mr. President, a ceasefire has been signed on the 30th of December, why do Syrian Army still fight near Damascus in the region of Wadi Barada?

President Assad:First of all, ceasefire is about different parties, so when you say there’s viable ceasefire is when every party stops fighting and shooting, and it’s not the case in many areas in Syria, and that was reported by the Russian center of observation regarding the ceasefire. There’s breaching of that ceasefire on daily basis in Syria, including Damascus, but in Damascus mainly because the terrorists occupy the main source of water of Damascus where more than five million civilians are deprived from water for the last three weeks now, and the role of the Syrian Army is to liberate that area in order to prevent those terrorists from using that water in order to suffocate the capital. So, that’s why.

Question 5:Mr. President, Daesh is not a part of the ceasefire…
President Assad: No.

Journalist: Do you plan to take again Raqqa, and when?
President Assad: Let me just continue the second part of the first question. Second part of that ceasefire is not about al-Nusra and ISIS, and the area that we’ve been fighting to liberate recently, regarding the water sources of the capital Damascus, is occupied by al-Nusra, and al-Nusra announced formally that they are occupying that area. So, it’s not part of the ceasefire.

Regarding al-Raqqa, of course it’s our mission, according to the constitution and according to the laws, that we have to liberate every inch of the Syrian land. There’s no question about that, it’s not to be discussed. But it’s about when, what are our priorities, and this is military, regarding to the military planning, about the military priorities. But nationally, there’s no priority; every inch is a Syrian inch, it should be within the purview of the government.

Question 6:Important talks will take place in Astana at the end of the month, including a lot of Syrian parties, including some opposition groups, let’s say. What are you ready to negotiate directly with them, and what are you ready to negotiate to help the peace to come back in Syria.

President Assad:Of course, we are ready, and we announced that our delegation to that conference is ready to go when they define… when they set the time of that conference. We are ready to negotiate everything. When you talk about negotiation regarding whether to end the conflict in Syria or talking about the future of Syria, anything, it’s fully open, there’s no limit for that negotiations. But who’s going to be there from the other side? We don’t know yet. Is it going to be real Syrian opposition – and when I say “real” it means has grassroots in Syria, not Saudi one or French one or British one – it should be Syrian opposition to discuss the Syrian issues. So, the viability or, let’s say, the success of that conference will depend on that point.

Question 7:Are you even ready to discuss your position as President? That has been contested.

President Assad:Yeah, but my position is related to the constitution, and the constitution is very clear about the mechanism in which you can bring a president or get rid of a president. So, if they want to discuss this point, they have to discuss the constitution, and the constitution is not owned by the government or the president or by the opposition; it should be owned by the Syrian people, so you need a referendum for every constitution. This is one of the points that could be discussed in that meeting, of course, but they cannot say “we need that president” or “we don’t need that president” because the president is related to the ballot box. If they don’t need him, let’s go to the ballot box. The Syrian people should bring a president, not part of the Syrian people.

Question 8:And with this negotiation, what will be the fate of rebel fighters?

President Assad:From what we’ve been implementing during the last three years, because you want genuinely to have peace in Syria, the government offered amnesty for every militant who gives up his armaments, and it worked, and they still have the same option if they want to go back to their normality and to go back to their normal life. This is the maximum that you can offer, amnesty.

Question 9:Mr. President, as you know, French presidential election will take place, do you have a favorite, do you have a preference for one of the candidates?

President Assad:No, because we don’t have any contacts with any one of them, and we cannot count very much on the statements and rhetoric during the campaign, so we always say let’s wait and see what policy they’re going to adopt after they are in their position. But we always have hopes that the next administration or government or president, they want to deal with the reality, to disconnect themselves from the disconnected policy from our reality. That’s our hope, and they can work for the interest of the French people, because the question now after six years: as a French citizen, do you feel safer? I don’t think the answer is yes. The immigration problem, has it made the situation in your country better? I think the answer is no, whether in France or in Europe. The question now: what is the reason? This is the discussion that the next administration or government or president should deal with in order to deal with our reality, not with their imaginations as has been happening during the last six years.

Question 10:But one of the candidates, Francois Fillon, doesn’t have the same position as the official one; he would like to reestablish the dialogue with Syria. Do you expect his election – if he’s elected – could change the position of France about Syria?

President Assad:His rhetoric regarding the terrorists, or let’s say the priority to fight the terrorists and not meddling in the affairs of other countries, are welcome, but we have to be cautious, because what we’ve learned in this region during the last few years is that many officials would say something and do the opposite. I wouldn’t say that Mr. Fillon would do this. I hope not. But we have to wait and see, because there’s no contact. But so far, what he said, if it’s implemented, that will be very good.

Question 11:Do you appreciate him as a politician, Francois Fillon?

President Assad:I didn’t have any contact with him or cooperation, so whatever I say now won’t be very credible, to be frank with you.

Question 12:Is there a message you want to address to France?

President Assad:I think if I want to send it to the politicians, I will say the self-evident thing; that you have to work for the interest of the Syrian citizens, and for the last six years the situation is going in the other direction, because the French politics harmed the French interests. So, for the French people, I would say the mainstream media has failed in most of the West. The narrative has been debunked because of the reality, and you have the alternative media, you have to look for the truth. The truth was the main victim of the events in the Middle East, including Syria. I would ask any citizen in France to search for the reality, for the real information, through the alternative media. When they search for this information, they can be more effective in dealing with their government, or at least not allowing some politicians to base their politics on lies. That’s what we think is the most important thing during the last six years.

Question 13:Mr. President, your father has been a lifelong President of Syria. Do you consider the option of not being the President anymore, one day?

President Assad:Yeah, that depends on two things: the first one is the will of the Syrian people; do they want that person to be president or not. If I want to be president while the Syrian people doesn’t want me, even if I win in the elections, I don’t have strong support, I cannot achieve anything, especially in a complicated region like Syria. You cannot be just elected president, that doesn’t work, you need popular support. Without it I cannot be successful. So, at that time, there’s no meaning to be president.

The second one; if I have that feeling that I want to be president, I will nominate myself, but that depends on the first factor. If I feel that the Syrian people doesn’t want me, of course I wouldn’t be. So, it’s not about me mainly, it’s about the Syrian people; do they want me or not. That’s how I look at it.

Question 14:Last question; Donald Trump is to be appointed as President of the United States in less than two weeks. He has been clear that he wants to improve relationships with Russia, which is one of your main allies…

President Assad: Yeah, exactly.

Journalist: Do you consider… do you expect that it will change the position of the United States towards Syria?

President Assad: Yeah, if you want to talk realistically, because the Syrian problem is not isolated, it’s not only Syrian-Syrian; actually, the biggest part… or let’s say the major part of the Syrian conflict is regional and international. The simplest part that you can deal with is the Syrian-Syrian part. The regional and the international part depends mainly on the relation between the United States and Russia. What he announced yesterday was very promising, if there’s a genuine approach or initiative toward improving the relation between the United States and Russia, that will effect every problem in the world, including Syria. So, I would say yes, we think that’s positive, regarding the Syrian conflict.

Journalist: What is positive?

President Assad: I mean the relation, the improvement of the relation between the United States and Russia will reflect positively on the Syrian conflict.

Journalists: Thank you very much.

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Information Clearing House editorial policy.

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