Harvard’s Fake Guide to Fake News Sites

Harvard’s Fake Guide to Fake News Sites

by Stephen Lendman

Is this what parents pay $63,000 annually for tuition, room, board and fees – so their children can be ill-served and ill-taught?
Following the 2014 Obama administration Kiev coup, replacing democracy with fascist dictatorship, Harvard expressed concern about nonexistent “Russian aggression.” Some faculty members called for US military intervention.
Not a word about US-supported putschists seizing power. Nothing about the most brazen European coup since Mussolini’s 1922 march on Rome.
No explanation about a scheme orchestrated in Washington. Silence about a major crisis in Europe’s heartland still ongoing. Trump inherited Obama’s mess, so far not indicating clearly where he stands on Ukraine.
Harvard is at it again. It’s University Library published a fake guide to “fake news, misinformation, and propaganda.”
It recommends using FactCheck.org, Politifact, Snopes.com, Washington Post Fact Checker, and other self-styled fact-checkers, biased against truth-telling on all major issues, acting as censors, trashing reliable alternative sources of news, information and analysis.
It endorses sanitized content acceptable to America’s deep state, abandoning support for speech, media and academic freedoms.
It recommended “tips for analyzing news sources.” Ignore them. Common sense is the best guide, along with distrusting and avoiding media scoundrels. They’re paid to lie, deceive and feature fake news – what powerful interests want people to know, what’s most important suppressed.
Harvard published a list of hundreds of sites it calls “bias(ed),” “conspira(torial),” “unreliable,” “fake,” and otherwise mislabeled.
Some I’m familiar with are reliable sources, (polar opposite media scoundrels paid to lie), including:
21st Century Wire
Activist Post
Antiwar.com
Before Its News.com
Black Agenda Report
Boiling Frogs Post
Common Dreams
Consortium News
Corbett Report
Countercurrents
CounterPunch
David Stockman Contracorner
Fort Russ
Freedoms Phoenix
Global Research
The Greanville Post
Information Clearing House
Intellihub
Intrepid Report
Lew Rockwell
Market Oracle
Mint Press News
Moon of Alabama
Naked Capitalism
Natural News
Nomi Prins
Off-Guardian
Paul Craig Roberts
Pravda.ru
Rense
Rinf
Ron Paul Institute
Ruptly TV
Russia-Insider
Sgt Report
ShadowStats
Shift Frequency
SJLendman.blogspot.com – my alma mater recommends avoiding my writing; new articles posted daily; featuring truth-telling on major issues
Solari
Sott.net
South Front
Sputnik News
Strategic Culture.org
The Anti-Media
The Duran
The Intercept
The People’s Voice
The Saker
The Sleuth Journal
Third World Traveler
Voltairenet
What Really Happened
Who What Why
WikiLeaks
Zero Hedge
These and other sites Harvard’s Library urges avoiding are ones readers should rely on – avoiding The New York Times, Washington Post, CNN and other fake news proliferators.

Interesting week for Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump

This article was written for the Unz Review

Putin’s latest move

I don’t follow the western corporate media so I don’t really know how much coverage this development has received in the West, but in Russia and the Ukraine the big news is the decision by Russia to begin recognizing official Novorussian documents such as passports, driver licenses, school and college diplomas, etc. The Russians were pretty specific in the way the made the announcement. They said that it was a temporary measure dictated by humanitarian considerations. They have a point. Until now, the residents of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics had to travel to the Nazi-occupied Ukraine to try to get their documents. Which, considering how the Ukronazis consider anybody from the Donbass was not only futile, but sometimes dangerous. This decision makes perfect sense practically. But, of course, it has a far-reaching symbolic dimension too. The timing is also crucial: by recognizing the documents issued by the DNR and LNR authorities, the Russians have de facto “semi-recognized” the authorities which issued them and that is just a fairly short step away from recognizing these republics.

Right now, the Kremlin is vehemently denying any such thoughts. But all the Kremlin-affiliated commentators are rather blunt about what this really means. According to them, the message for the junta in Kiev is simple: if you attack Novorussia or if you officially ditch the Minks agreements we will immediately recognize these two republics. And, once that happens, it’s over the the Ukronazis, these republics will be gone just like South Ossetia or Abkhazia. Of course, nobody will officially recognize the independence of these republics, but neither will anybody do anything meaningful about it. And, let’s be honest, the Russian authorities couldn’t care less about what western politicians or their corporate media have to say: they already heard it all and it’s not like they could be demonized much further.

The next logical move would be to move the Russian border control from the Russian border to the line of contact. Or not. If the Russians don’t do it, this might be a sign that they support the official position of the Republics which is that they want to liberate the totality of the Doentsk and Lugansk regions. By the way, the Russian Border Guards are elite and highly militarized forces whose presence on the line of contact would in no way prevent a Novorussian (counter-)attack against the Ukronazi forces. So the decision about where to deploy them would have a primarily political dimension and no real military consequences.

Right now the Ukronazis have basically gone officially on record in declaring that they never intended to abide by the terms of the Minsk 1 and Minsk 2 agreements. Here is what Anton Gerashchenko, an special adviser to the Minister of internal Affairs of Ukraine and a member of the Board of the Ministry of internal Affairs of Ukraine openly declared on Ukrainian national TV: (emphasis added).

Let’s immediately say that the Minsk Agreements were not implemented from the day they were signed in February 2015. This was a temporary measure on the side of the Ukraine and, I will be honest, a deliberate deception. Remember that the first Minsk Agreement was signed following the military disaster near Ialovaisk when we had no forces to defend the front from Donetsk to Mariupol. The second Minsk Agreement was signed following the treacherous Russian aggression on Debaltsevo and the formation of the “Debaltsevo Cauldron”. These agreements are not international agreements or anything else.

Needless to say, NOBODY in the West paid any attention to this statement, and why would they, after all, their line has always been that Russia is not abiding by the Minsk Agreement, even if Russia is not even a party to them (Russia is only a witness and guarantor). And if a senior Ukronazi official says otherwise, who cares?!

This amazing admission by Gerashchenko is only the latest in a series of steps taken and statements made by various Ukronazis to the effect that “we are done negotiating and from now on, we will solve this problem by force”. So far, the “force” applied has been primarily in the form of a total blockade of the Donbass which included the prevention of a large amount of vitally needed coal to the Nazi-occupied Ukraine from the Donbass even though this shipment had already been paid for. Officially Poroshenko does not condone this blockade, but in practice he is either unwilling or unable to prevent or stop it. Another sign that the Independent Banderastan is falling apart.

There is a strong feeling in Russia that Poroshenko is powerless and that the Ukronazi crazies are up to no good. Clearly, *nobody* in the Ukronazis elites has any intention of actually implementing the Minsk 1 and Minsk 2 agreements. That, by the way, might be a dangerous approach for a number of reasons:

First, these agreements were endorsed by the UNSC and every country out there, at least as far as I know. So Gerashchenko is wrong – the Minsk Agreements are binding under international law.

Second, the Ukrainian authorities recently found and released a document showing that Yanukovich had made an official request for a Russian intervention in the Ukraine. They wanted to show that he was a traitor. But in the process, they also showed that the last legitimate president of the Ukraine had made a legal request for a Russian intervention which might well mean that, at least in legal terms, any subsequent Russian intervention in the Ukraine would be 100% legal.

Even better, Yanukovich is still in Russia. And, from a legal point of view, you could make the case that he is still the legitimate president of the Ukraine. If the Yemeni President in exile Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi could ask the Saudis to intervene in Yemen, why would that no be an option for Poroshenko Yanukovich to ask for such an intervention in the Ukraine?

Right now, the Russians are making no such legalistic statements. But you can be sure that they have already aligned all their ducks in a neat row just in case they do decide to openly intervene in this civil war.

How realistic is the possibility of a Russian recognition of the breakaway republics or an overt Russian intervention in the Ukraine?

I think that it all depends on what the Ukronazis crazies do. If they really attack Novorussia I expect the Kremlin to recognize the DNR and LRN. A Russian intervention? I doubt it, but only because I believe that the DNR/LNR can handle a Nazi attack. So the only question for me is how long Poroshenko will stay in power and what the real crazies will do once they overthrow him. Right now this mostly depends on the USA but since the US elites are locked in desperate struggle for power, I don’t see the Trump taking and dramatic decisions anyway, not in the Ukraine, not elsewhere. At least not as long as there is a question mark as to who is really in charge in the White House. Everybody is waiting for the outcome of that struggle, including Moscow and Kiev.

Trump – all words, no action, but good words

In the meantime, Trump has been busy doing speeches. Which sounds pretty bad until you realize that these are good speeches, very good ones even. For one thing, he still is holding very firmly to the line that the “fake news” (which in “Trumpese” means CNN & Co. + BBC) are the enemies of the people. The other good thing that twice in a row now he has addressed himself directly to the people. Sounds like nothing, but I think that this is huge because the Neocons have now nicely boxed Trump in with advisors and aides which span from mediocre, to bad to outright evil. The firing of Flynn was a self-defeating disaster for Trump who now is more or less alone, with only one loyal ally left, Bannon. I am not sure how much Bannon can do or, for that matter, how long until the Neocons get to him too, but besides Bannon I see nobody loyal to Trump and his campaign promises. Nobody except those who put him in power of course, the millions of Americans who voted for him. And that is why Trump is doing the right thing speaking directly to them: they might well turn out to be his biggest weapon against the “DC swamp”.

Furthermore, by beating on the media, especially CNN and the rest of the main US TV channels, Trump is pushing the US public to turn to other information sources, including those sympathetic to him, primarily on the Internet. Good move – that is how he won the first time around and that is how he might win again.

The Neocons and the US ‘deep state’ have to carefully weigh the risks of continuing their vendetta against Trump. Right now, they appear to be preparing to go after Bannon. But what will they do if Trump, instead of ditching Bannon like he ditched Flynn, decides to dig in and fight with everything he has got? Then what? If there is one thing the Neocons and the deep state hate is to have a powerful light pointed directly at them. They like to play in the dark, away from an always potentially hostile public eye. If Trump decides to fight back, really fight back, and if he appeals directly to the people for support, there is no saying what could happen next.

I strongly believe that the American general public is deeply frustrated and angry. Obama’s betrayal of all his campaign promises only made these feelings worse. But when Obama had just made it to the White House I remember thinking that if he really tried to take on the War Machine and if he came to the conclusion that the ‘deep state’ was not going to let him take action or threaten him he could simply make a public appeal for help and that millions of Americans would flood the streets of Washington DC in support of “their guy” against the “bastards in DC”. Obama was a fake. But Trump might not be. What if the Three Letter Agencies or Congress suddenly tried to, say, impeach Trump and what if he decided ask for the support of the people – would millions not flood the streets of DC? I bet you that Florida alone would send more than a million. Ditto for Texas. And I don’t exactly imagine the cops going out of their way to stop them. The bottom line is this: in any confrontation between Congress and Trump most of the people will back Trump. And, if it ever came to that, and for whatever it is worth, in any confrontation between Trump-haters and Trump-supporters the latter will easily defeat the former. The “basket of deplorables” are still, thank God, the majority in this country and they have a lot more power than the various minorities who backed the Clinton gang.

There are other, less dramatic but even more likely scenarios to consider. Say Congress tries to impeach Trump and he appeals to the people and declares that the “DC swamp” is trying to sabotage the outcome of the elections and impose its will upon the American people. Governors in states like Florida or Texas, pushed by their public opinion, might simply decide not to recognize the legitimacy of what would be an attempted coup by Congress against the Executive branch of government. Now you tell me – does Congress really have the means to impose it’s will against states like Florida or Texas? I don’t mean legally, I mean practically. Let me put it this way: if the states revolt against the federal government does the latter have the means to impose its authority? Are the creation of USNORTHCOM and the statutory exceptions from the Posse Comitatus Act (which makes it possible to use the National Guard to suppress insurrections, unlawful obstructions, assemblages, or rebellions) sufficient to guarantee that the “DC swamp” can impose its will on the rest of the country? I would remind any “DC swamp” members reading these lines that the KGB special forces refused not once, but twice, to open fire against the demonstrators in Moscow (in 1991 and 1993) even though they had received a direct order by the President to do just that. Is there any reason to believe that US cops and soldiers would be more willing than the KGB special forces to massacre their own people?

Donald Trump has probably lost most of his power in Washington DC, but that does not entail that this is the case in the rest of the USA. The Neocons can feel like the big guy on the block inside the Beltway, but beyond that they are mostly in “enemy territory” controlled by the “deplorables”, something to keep in mind before triggering a major crisis.

This week I got the feeling that Trump was reaching out and directly seeking for the support to the American people. I think he get it if needed. If this is so, then the focus of his Presidency will be less on foreign affairs, were the USA will be mostly paralyzed, than on internal US politics were he still might make a difference. On Russia the Neocons have basically beat Trump – he won’t have the means to engage in any big negotiating with Vladimir Putin. But, at least, neither will he constantly be trying to make things worse. The more the US elites fight each other, the less venom they will have left for the rest of mankind. Thank God for small favors…

I can only hope that Trump will continue to appeal directly the people and try to bypass the immense machine which is currently trying to isolate him. Of course, I would much prefer that Trump take some strong and meaningful action against the deep state, but I am not holding my breath.

Tonight I spoke with a friend who knows a great deal more about Trump than I do and he told me that I have been too quick in judging Trump and that while the Flynn episode was definitely a setback, the struggle is far from over and that we are in for a very long war. I hope that my friend is right, but I will only breathe a sigh of relief if and when I see Trump hitting back and hitting hard. Only time will tell.

The Saker

BBC a major purveyor of fakenews sets itself up as a guardian of the truth

BBC Fake News Reality Check

This is funny BBC sets up team to debunk fake news | Media | The Guardian

Friday 13th January 2017 was the day we learned of the BBC’s ‘Reality Check’, described by the Guardian as a team to ‘debunk fake news’. If you feel that the BBC debunking fake news might be an oxymoron, then we would agree with you, and the reasons are not difficult to identify.

The BBC stated that their Reality Check team:

… will focus on content that is clearly fabricated and attempting to mislead the public into thinking it has been produced by a reputable news organisation.

The immediate implication here is that the BBC considers that as a £3.65 billion major news broadcaster, it is beyond reproach in reporting facts and truth, and is therefore happy to set itself up to monitor and police other news sources for the accuracy of their content.

BBC claims podium of truth

But what could have caused the BBC to have taken this narcissistic and egotistical stance in self-righteousness?

The clue does not take long to find:

False information around big events such as the UK’s referendum on leaving the EU and the US election has been especially rife, with numerous instances of completely fabricated stories, many of which are created with the sole aim of generating advertising revenue from people viewing the stories.

Both Brexit and the election of Trump have, according to the BBC, been beset with fabricated stories. The inference is that stories were so fabricated and so widespread that 17 million Britons were mistakenly swayed to vote to leave the EU, and millions more US voters were misled into voting for Trump rather than Hillary Clinton. Since the BBC has a track record of highly biased support for both the EU and Hillary Clinton we might just see why the BBC would be upset at competition in the world news circuit.

With heady professional passion and an ego the size of a rhinoceros, James Harding, head of BBC News, led the BBC’s rhetoric:

The BBC can’t edit the internet, but we won’t stand aside either … We will fact check the most popular outliers on Facebook, Instagram and other social media. We are working with Facebook, in particular, to see how we can be most effective. Where we see deliberately misleading stories masquerading as news, we’ll publish a Reality Check that says so.

Climbing even higher onto his podium of BBC truthful self-righteousness, Harding added:

And we want Reality Check to be more than a public service, we want it to be hugely popular. We will aim to use styles and formats – online on TV and on radio – that ensure the facts are more fascinating and grabby than the falsehoods.

Thank goodness the BBC has stepped up to be the guardian of truth, and thank goodness that James Harding has volunteered himself to champion and head the new Reality Check team. We can now all sleep much easier in our beds knowing that the BBC and Mr Harding are looking out for truth.

Mr Harding apologies to Leveson Inquiry

Let’s forget the BBC’s own slight weaknesses in the field of truth for a moment and consider Mr Harding. This is the same man who previously served as Editor of Murdoch’s Times newspaper – itself a bastion of truth and respectability, especially in the City and Westminster circles. Well not quite. Poor James was forced to apologise to the Leveson Inquiry into press ‘respectability’, for his role in running the Times news team whilst reporters for whom he was responsible (his statement) broke the law to hack other people’s emails.

Perhaps he didn’t know, perhaps he wasn’t told, perhaps he didn’t care. No matter, he had the responsibility for editorial standards and the professional behaviour of his team. Heaven forbid that similar such dirty dealings would be going on in the vast organisational black hole of the BBC – or even perhaps, a little fabrication of the truth here and there by BBC reporters. It might be me, but I don’t get good vibes for Harding’s claim of the moral high ground in world-wide truthful reporting.

The launch of BBC Reality Check indicated two key things. Firstly, that despite the rampant BBC propaganda supporting and promoting UK, US and European Union political agendas, which they have churned out for years, the work of many amateur journalists, and especially those broadly known as the web-based alternative media, has clearly upset the BBC’s propaganda apple cart. Secondly, the damage has been so great that the BBC has had to launch a counter-attack against free speech.

Understanding the BBC’s role

At this point we should perhaps remember what the BBC says it is there to do. Its ‘Mission’ is to:

enrich people’s lives with programmes and services that inform, educate and entertain.

And their ‘Vision’ is

to be the most creative organisation in the world.

Of these two self-proclaimed goals, it is perhaps the latter that has a distinctly ‘scary’ feel about it. The most creative organisation in the world! What does that actually mean? Creating what? In reality, what does the BBC create? It clearly doesn’t create a better world. On the contrary, and as we shall see, the BBC specialises in the dark media arts. Are they there to create truth?

As a propaganda machine the BBC is outstanding. Aside from ‘normal’ news reporting, the BBC has operated BBC Monitoring, part of the World Service Group, since the Second World War.

First funded by the FCO, and now the TV licence payer, BBC Monitoring is still intimately linked to the British intelligence services, especially GCHQ. It employs a team of highly trained language specialists to monitor overseas radio and television broadcasts. Their job is to listen to and interpret what the broadcast message and messenger is really saying. If, for example, there are indications of political decisions or objects hitherto unknown to HM GOVERNMENT, or indications of military movements, threats or internal political strife, then BBC Monitoring flags up their findings and analysis to the secret services.

So innocent people on the Indian subcontinent, for example, may listen in the BBC World Service broadcasts believing that they are listening to friendly transmissions and truthful news from Britain, but in reality the BBC is spying on political, social, economic, and military events in their country. Perhaps India is big enough to look after themselves, but few people realise that the BBC spies on hundreds of countries around the world in this way, and especially those within trouble spots. After all, the BBC likes nothing better than reporting violence, riots, mass shootings, rape, torture and wars.

Enter BBC proxy charity BBC Media Action

Unfortunately the BBC does not just stop there. It also boasts that its ‘charity’ BBC Media Action is “transforming lives through media around the world”, backed up by its mission “To inform, connect and empower people around the world.”

These are heady claims by a charity that is funded by the UK government’s Department for International Development (£14.7m) and Foreign and Commonwealth Office (£4.1m), the US State Department (£0.5m), the Government of Norway (£0.7), the UN (£3.0m), the EU (£2.4m), and receives money from many other NGOs, agencies and change agents.

We must also mention Bill and Melinda Gates. The happy couple, who seem to have a deep interest in helping the world’s poor through population control, vaccinations, and easing in Western banking and debt based financial systems to many poor and thus highly vulnerable countries, have scraped their loose change barrel to give BBC Media Action £4.5m. Why?

At this point, as we probe into BBC media truth concerning Syria, we encourage our readers to read our article ‘BBC Media Action: Subversion from Broadcasting House to Kazakhstan.’

This concise analysis delves into the dark political, subversive and propaganda origins of BBC Media Action, including the ‘Marshall Plan for the Mind’, and sets out its dirty media work amongst the unsuspecting people of Kazakhstan.

We should also note that Juliette Harkin, a former BBC Media Action Project Manager, was kind enough to give a little more than a glimpse into the aims of her work, and thus the real agenda of BBC Media Action, in their Country Case Study: Syria. She boasted that they had been working inside Syria to help foment regime change:

We [BBC Media Action] worked in 2004 with individuals within the ministry who wanted change and tried to get them to be the drivers of that. All media development work that has been done in Syria has, in my opinion, been predicated upon this idea that there can be change from within – you have an authoritarian regime and you find who the reformers are within that (individuals) and you work with them.

Was she aware of what she was doing, was she used, or an innocent in her work, or didn’t care?

Understanding BBC Fake News in Regime Change 

In terms of Fake News, just think what Juliette Harkin’s comments really mean. In both the UK and worldwide, the BBC was reporting the unrest and uprising of the Syrian population against the Assad government, as if it was autonomous.

According to the BBC, Syrians were rebelling, of their own accord, due to their own dissatisfaction with their government. Yet the reality was (and still is) that the BBC was reporting events which it had itself helped to foment from inside Syria.

The BBC attacked Assad at every opportunity, accusing him of every brutal action possible, including gassing his own people, when in fact the BBC was itself actively working inside Syria to subvert peaceful life, and to assist the UK’s clearly stated political aim of regime change. Never mind Fake News – this BBC action is duplicitous, obscene and must surely be a hostile act on an unsuspecting overseas nation state.

Just imagine the furore if the BBC discovered that President Assad had been using teams inside the UK to help oust the Prime Minister David Cameron, on the basis that Syria found him to be an aggressive warmonger – a man prepared, for example, to unleash unlawful bombing attacks on Libya, Syria and Yemen.

Getting straight to the heart of the matter, The Huffington Post’s article Hillary Clinton’s Enthusiasm for Regime Change Wars grips the regime change agenda:

The presumption of dictating to an independent nation the form of its government is so arrogant, so atrocious, that indignation as well as moral sentiment enlists all our partialities and prayers in favor of one and our equal execrations against the other.

Wars for regime change also violate international law. Article 2 (4) of the United Nations Charter generally prohibits ‘the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state…’ Article 51 creates a narrow exception for wars in self-defense ‘if an armed attack occurs… Regime change wars do not fit that narrow exception.’

Yet Syrian regime change was the repeatedly declared policy of the US, UK and EU from the outset, and these collective Western powers ultimately trained, armed, funded and unleashed the ‘ISIS’ terrorists to fight their proxy war against Assad. Follow the simple path of deceit. Western governments pay BBC Media Action to run ‘projects’ galvanising rebellion against Assad, whilst those same Western governments work in the margins to set up and equip the terrorists which the BBC was to deliberately and misleadingly label ‘moderate’ anti-Assad rebels.

Follow the Government Money

We must surely be fully justified in asking: just who was BBC Media Action to intervene in the internal politics of the nation state of Syria?

The clue to this pernicious action comes from the old adage: follow the money. BBC Media Action claims to be a charity, but we have clearly revealed that in reality it is a paid agent of the Western collective state. It can only have operated in Syria, and against Assad, on the basis that its work would help the underlying UK, US and EU collective governmental regime change agenda.

Clues are not hard to find. BBC Media Action is a major partner of European External Action Service (EEAS), which promotes their project:

Bridging Syria’s divides: Mass media programming and platforms to build resilience and social cohesion to counter violent conflict and radicalism across all sections of Syrian society.

But what does this description really mean? A secondary sentence in the flyer spells it out:

The project will develop and produce radio series relevant to the topic of radicalisation in Syria and entertain dynamic debate.

Here we can see the BBC up to its old tricks: devise and broadcast programming, preferably with the help of innocent local people, which injects the views, values and agenda of the BBC to foment a change agenda in all areas of the target society. By focusing on radicalism and creating ‘dynamic debate’, the real effect is to create discord, unrest and uncertainty. This is insidious and dangerous interference in a nation state, be it Syria or any other.

So BBC Media Action was working to help undermine Syrian social cohesion and inflame those hostile to Assad, and the EU paid them a mere €2,409,751 to do so. That sum was only just one contribution to the cost of this work, and a fraction of their other government and non-governmental agency funding.

European External Action Organisation 

The blatant hypocrisy could not be clearer since the European (Union) External Action Organisation declares that:

it is the European Union’s diplomatic service, which helps the EU’s foreign affairs chief – the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy – carry out the Union’s Common Foreign and Security Policy.

In this one example BBC Media Action was thus paid to help further the political agenda of the EU, and that agenda was, and remains, Syrian regime change.

The EEAS website reveals a string of other EU-backed political projects to further the anti-Assad agenda:

– Supporting transition towards democracy in Syria through preparing for a[n] engendered constitution building process. The overall objective of the action is to contribute to a democratic transition in Syria inclusive of gender equality.

– Strengthening social cohesion for a democratic and inclusive Syrian civil society. To enable key individuals and community based groups from Syrian civil society to undertake community capacity building in key sectors to foster an effective future transition process in post-conflict Syria.

– Supporting Syrian professionals to prepare for leading roles in a future transition to a peaceful, democratic and inclusive Syria. Qualified Syrians will be enabled to become key actors in a future transition process and are willing and capable to contribute actively in the fields of transitional justice, security sector reform, urban planning and local administration. Exchanges with experts from within the EU are established.

– Promoting social cohesion and moderate voice in Syria. To provide Syrian civil society actors with a tailor-made approach for supporting new and existing initiatives through capacity building, networking, sub grants and continual mentoring to promote social cohesion and non-violent mobilisation and to amplify moderate narratives.

The list — for a number of different executing agencies (alongside BBC Media Action) — goes on, with a never-ending supply of EU funding to drive the agenda. The last of the above programmes is funded to over €1 million by the EU.

Syrian Regime Change aka Transition

Whilst these EU programmes are sold in terms of humanitarian need and aid to help people and society,  the language reveals much more. Transition is a key word. The inference is that selected Syrian professionals will be trained to become EU actors to help drive (transform) Syria towards an EU style society – a new sociopolitical economic society and order that will completely replace traditional Syria lifestyles.

Only yesterday, EU High Representative Frederica Mogherini announced that she will host an international conference in Brussels on the future of Syria and the region. The announcement came following the first meeting in 2017 of EU foreign ministers, which she herself chaired. Mogherini’s weasel words contained a repeated theme, and that was ‘transition’. Her conference, for example, would have two main objectives:

on the one side taking stock of the implementation of commitments of the donor community at the London conference, on which the EU has delivered in full [here, we may ask, is she talking the donation of aid or bombs or both?] … most of all it will be a political conference, hoping that could be the moment for the international community to together turn the page and start the political transition, the reconciliation process and the reconstruction of Syria.

Against this background of very dirty political ‘soft power’ by the West in Syria, the BBC flooded UK and world news with highly biased Syrian news describing how “dictator” Assad murdered babies, used chemical weapons against his own people and murdered all those that opposed him. As we have already stated, this BBC propaganda was supported with descriptions of the Western-backed terrorists and their sadistic killing machine as ‘moderate rebels’ suffering under that very same brutal dictator, Assad.

BBC shocked at desire for profit

Let’s go back to the BBC and Mr Harding’s Reality Check, and remember that he described his concern over:

numerous instances of completely fabricated stories, many of which are created with the sole aim of generating advertising revenue from people viewing the stories.

The key point of interest here is his theatrical shock horror that other media outlets might want to generate advertising revenue from their stories. If the BBC is a £3.65 billion media machine working hand in glove with the UK government and intelligence services, then consider also the existence of the £1.1 billion BBC Worldwide, and £91 million BBC Global News Ltd. All supported by the bully boy muscle of Capita, which does the heavy door-to-door collections should anyone dare not to pay their BBC licence fee in the UK.

Mr Harding acts as if the BBC is a non-profit organisation. Far from it; BBC money and resources, such as pension funds, have been used to create the slick BBC Worldwide corporate media empire, which has profits of some £156 million. Not bad on the back of public money collected by Capita for, yes, you’ve guessed it, profit. BBC Global News has not yet delivered the cash cow, and profits are slim, but give it time.

So against this big money and big profit background, are we to assume then that these BBC companies are so squeaky clean that they will not spin facts to create the best profit-making story?

BBC Reality Check

Hopefully, the BBC’s Reality Check team will read this article. I would very much like them to challenge our investigation into the dirty dealings of the BBC, and their skewed political reporting which has been particularly prevalent in war zones worldwide:

Afghanistan (no mention of the US & UK involvement in the opium poppy drug trade);
Libya (no professional investigation of the funding, training and arming of terrorists by the UK and US to help assert regime change);
Syria (no real investigation of anything – just the regurgitation of UK, US and EU anti-Assad anti-government propaganda);
Yemen (where the BBC has also failed to investigate this UK- and US-created civil war and their funding, training and arms, which features particularly vile military brutality by the British government’s old friend Saudi Arabia).

BBC Reality Check Oxymoron

I encourage readers to watch and read reports by Vanessa Beeley, who has reported the facts from Syria and Aleppo. Her work has established without doubt that BBC reports on the Syrian conflict have ranged from poor to deliberately misleading Fake News.

Taking a ‘Reality Check’, it is apparent the BBC is a master of propaganda, and its duplicitous senior management is happy to betray the thousands of staff who still believe they work for a trustworthy, truthful and reliable organisation, along with the wider viewing and listening public. For the BBC to suggest it is the guardian of media truth is indeed an oxymoron.

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

.

Western governments and their agents have used every dishonest stratagem they could think of, in order to create a fake narrative, so that public perception of the Syrian conflict is an inversion of reality.

The NATO strategy is to:

    • Shut down debate on the nature of its proxies on the ground, and of their criminal acts;
    • Shut down debate on its own warmongering and its support for criminals who are anathema to the Syrian people;
    • Shut down debate on the legitimacy of the position of the Syrian government and its allies, and their right to defend Syria; and above all
    • Ensure that it is Syria and its allies who are portrayed as war criminals, rather than NATO, its allies and its agents.

From beginning to end, the mainstream media’s coverage of Syria has been intentionally distorted, portraying fake news as fact, in order to support an aggressive geopolitical agenda by the West.

***

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

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…
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