There are positive developments on the ground in Syria, but for America it’s sanctions and suffering as usual

Sep 30, 2021, RT.com

moi

-by Eva K Bartlett

Jordan is re-opening its border crossing with Syria and resuming flights to Damascus. In Syria, more armed groups lay down their weapons but while these positive developments occur, the US hunkers down to inflict more pain.

On September 29, Jordan’s Nassib border crossing to Syria re-opened, meaning a resumption not only of travel but of trade between the two nations. In early October, Royal Jordanian will start flying again to Syria’s capital.

In Syria’s south, after years of the government and allied attempts to restore full peace, the last armed groups have finally laid down their weapons in Dara’a, which journalist Vanessa Beeley wrote about after her recent return there.

And while the Biden administration recently changed talking heads for a Syria related diplomatic position, little else has altered regarding America’s position on Syria.

Sanctions against the Syrian people have continued under Biden, and the at least 900 US troops illegally occupying Syria remain.

Same old, same old, for Syrians, who have endured 10 years of foreign war and terrorism against their country, as well as ten years of some of the most obnoxious lies and war propaganda.

Read here

In their September 13 meeting in Moscow, Presidents Assad and Putin made clear that while Syria continues to work towards restoring stability, doing so has been hampered by the presence of foreign troops not invited by the Syrian government and not under a mandate of the UN.

While speaking diplomatically, it is clear they meant the US and Turkish troops occupying areas of Syria, which—along with the proxy forces they support—bring the opposite of peace to Syrians.

Yet, type “Syria” into your search engine of choice and you will still come across screaming headlines of inexplicable “violence” in Syria, and that Syria is “not safe” for the return of refugees. Many of these recent claims emanate from a recent update from the UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria.

But this is not true. In fact since September 2015, nearly 1 million Syrians have returned to Syria, with another nearly 1.4 million internally displaced refugees re-settling, according to the September 27, 2021 bulletin of the Center for Reconciliation of Opposing Sides and Control of the Movement of Refugees.

What the delusional articles, omit are the real factors that make life in Syria difficult, and dangerous: the continued presence of al-Qaeda-affiliated groups in Idlibterrorizing the population and firing on civilian areas in surrounding Hama and Aleppo provinces; and the deadly Western sanctions against Syrians, among still other preventable factors.

Starving and thieving Syria

The latest from the UN commission refers to the fuel shortages and food insecurity without a mention of the many brutal Western sanctions against Syrians, once again showing the supposed impartiality of the UN is non-existent.

Read here

I have written repeatedly about the deadly impact of sanctions, noting that they impact Syria’s ability to import medicines or the raw materials needed to manufacture them, medical equipment, machines and materials needed to for prosthetics, among other things.

The food insecurity mentioned by the UN commission comes as a direct result of sanctions which, “cripple a state’s economy; disrupt the availability of food, medicines, drinking water, and sanitation supplies; interfere with the functioning of health and education systems; and undermine people’s ability to work.”

Deliberating causing the devaluing of the Syrian pound (as US envoy James Jeffrey boasted about) is not targeting the Syrian government, it is targeting the Syrian people. Western leadership have blatantly said sanctions will continue until Assad is deposed.

More recently, journalist Dan Kovalik was in Syria. He noted that, “10 years ago, abject poverty in Syria affected less than one percent of the population. By 2015, this had risen to 35 percent of the population. The rise in food prices – up 209 percent in the last year – is also noted.”

Indeed, the comparison of pre-war Syria and lack of abject poverty then rings true to what Syrians have told me over and over again in my visits to their country since 2014: that they were living wellin safety, and in harmony.

As for the increasingly debilitating effects of the sanctions, I saw life get increasingly more expensive. Syrians got more desperate during the 6 months I spent there last year, and again even more so this May and June, with skyrocketing prices meaning Syrians, in spite of working multiple jobs, can’t afford to put food on the table.

Under the Biden administration, the illegal US forces continue to pillage Syrian oil. Last year, I wrote about this theft of around $30 million a month. In March 2021, Syria’s petroleum minister compared the illegal US forces to “pirates” for plundering Syria’s oil, saying the US occupation inflicted over $92 billion in damage on Syria’s petroleum sector.

Turkish-backed terrorists imprison, torture and kill civilians (including children) in northeastern Syria, with Turkish forces themselves routinely shelling Syrian villages. Meanwhile, before his meeting with President Putin, Turkey’s Erdogan sent still thousands more troops into Syria.

These are all factors contributing further to Syrians’ hellish circumstances and poverty, as well as factors omitted by most media and UN reports on Syria.

Peace-bringing reconciliation initiatives ignored

When armed groups reconcile with the state, laying down their weapons, they’re largely ignored by Western leaders, media and the UN.

Indeed, the same UN report mentioned earlier claimed that under Assad’s leadership there seems to be, “no moves to unite the country or seek reconciliation.”

Reconciliations have been ongoing since the Reconciliation ministry was established in 2012. Although the process is not perfect—the state cannot guarantee that armed groups who promise to cease violence against the state and population will adhere to their word—it is still the most peaceful option of enabling armed Syrian men to reintegrate into society, if they so choose.

How would America deal with such men on US soil? Kill them without blinking, most likely.

I interviewed the Minister of Reconciliation in 2014 and 2017, after the successes of returning peace to HomsAleppoMadaya, al-Waer, among others.

The objectives of Reconciliation are the obvious restoration of security and enabling Syrians to return to their lives. But also, according to Minister Haidar, helping Syrians resolve their suffering in all respects: “Their security and safety, the economy, social services, education, the large number of martyrs and injured, the kidnapped, the missing, the internally-displaced… We are trying to find a solution to each one of these cases. That is the deepest meaning of ‘reconciliation’: to return people to their normal lives.”

In our 2017 conversation, I asked the Minister whether Syria had any outside support for Reconciliation. Only, he said, from countries who are friends of Syria.

He said even the UN wasn’t interested.

The UN during this period was siding with the Western policies, and not mentioning the achievement that the Syrian government has reached from these efforts. Western governments were against this project because it considered it a victory for the Syrian government and a major pillar for the unity of the Syrian people and the Syrian territories.”

At the end of our conversation, he made one particularly poignant point: “Most of the people that support the reconciliation process are the martyred’s families. For example, I was in a Latakia suburb and there I met a mother of four martyrs. She said, ‘I lost 4 children and I don’t want other mothers to suffer what I suffered.’”

Incidentally, the minister is also father of a martyr: His son was gunned down by terrorists in 2012, in what Haidar described as an attempt to assassinate himself.

Dara’a, a long-awaited reconciliation

The UN commission called the restoration of peace to Dara’a al-Balad an unfolding tragedy. That’s right, it is utterly tragic that armed extremists who have shelled, killed and maimed civilians for years are finally laying down their weapons.

As Vanessa Beeley wrote“The armed groups that had committed multiple war crimes and atrocities against Syrian civilians and anti-terrorism armed forces had no intention of relinquishing their campaign of retaliatory crimes against anyone they considered to be loyal to the Syrian government and state. A vicious offensive was unleashed by these extremist gangs formerly associated with terrorist Al Qaeda and ISIS factions in the southern region.”

Further, it is truly tragic (sarcasm) that those terrorists can no longer shell and snipe the state hospital, preventing civilians from getting medical care, as they have done for years.

As I wrote, in May 2018 before Daraa was fully liberated, in a hired taxi I went to areas which were under fire from terrorists, and took a perilous high speed ride to the state hospital, down a road exposed to terrorist sniping from less than 100 metres away.

The hospital was battered and partially destroyed from terrorists’ mortars, and mostly empty of patients. The director showed me destroyed wards and off-limits areas due to high risk of snipers.

In that article I noted that upon my return months later, I was able to see just how close the near terrorist headquarters had been to the hospital: 50 metres away, hence the extreme risk of being shot while inside the hospital.

Read here

So yes, UN and Western media, shed your tears that another reign of terror has come to an end.

And keep ignoring the brutal Western sanctions as you churn out more war propaganda against the Syrian people and ignore positive developments on the ground. Because you care so much for the Syrian people…

RELATED LINKS:

It’s 10 years since the war in Syria began, and Western media & pundits are still eager to keep it going

‘They know that we know they are liars, they keep lying’: West’s war propaganda on Ghouta crescendos

Absurdities of Syrian war propaganda

Meeting with President of Syria Bashar al-Assad

Liberate Syria’s Idlib, precisely for the civilians that America fakes concern over

Faked concern: Haley & corporate media bleating about Idlib civilians, ignore terrorists’ presence

The bombs rain down as I visit the Idlib frontlines, and witness the atrocities committed against civilians by NATO-backed terror

Scoundrels & gangsters at UN: Silencing the Syrian narrative

A Western-backed war couldn’t destroy Syria, now sanctions are starving its people

US sanctions are part of a multi-front war on Syria, and its long-suffering civilians are the main target

The New U.S. “Caesar” Sanctions on Syria Are Illegal

As Foreign Insurgents Continue to Terrorize Syria, the Reconciliation Trend Grows

Liberated Homs Residents Challenge Notion of “Revolution”

Syria War Diary: What Life Is Like Under ‘Moderate Rebel’ Rule

Order Returns To Western Cities as Syrian Civilians Recount Horrors Of Rebel Rule

Western media quick to accuse Syria of ‘bombing hospitals’ – but when TERRORISTS really destroy Syrian hospitals, they are silent

Researcher Michael Swifte on draconian covid policies in Australia

 

Eva Bartlett

moi

Michael Swifte is an independent activist and advocate residing in Brisbane, Australia. He is a part of the critical thinking collective Wrong Kind of Green.

From a brief bio on him:

“His work focuses on the non-profit industrial complex with a special interest in the development of the Galilee Basin coal complex, networked hegemony, the collateralization of nature for the ‘new economy’, and in highlighting the political will for fossil fuel driven industrial decarbonization.”https://www.youtube.com/embed/5CR18fSy3vQ?version=3&rel=1&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&fs=1&hl=en&autohide=2&wmode=transparent


Follow his work:

https://twitter.com/empathiserhttps://wesuspectsilence.wordpress.com/
https://www.wrongkindofgreen.org
https://www.facebook.com/michaelswizswifte

RELATED LINKS:

Monica Smit Refuses to be Silenced: Chooses Jail over Unfair Bail
https://xyz.net.au/2021/09/monica-smit-refuses-to-be-silenced-chooses-jail-over-unfair-bail

*her arrest
https://twitter.com/_Mrtdogg/status/1432585114333110274
https://www.reignitedemocracyaustralia.com.au/monicas-arrest/

CHO served
https://www.reignitedemocracyaustralia.com.au/sutton-served

Oz surveillance legislation
https://insiderpaper.com/australian-government-new-surveillance-laws-modify-twitter-facebook-posts/

Increase of suicidal ideations
https://www.rt.com/op-ed/519837-covid19-lockdowns-mask-wearing-isolation/

Phone call with a lawyer at Caxton Legal Centre
https://sciencepublichealthpolicyqld2021.blogspot.com/2021/01/phone-call-with-lawyer-at-caxton-legal.html

Denis Rancourt interview
https://odysee.com/@EvaKareneBartlett:9/interview-with-canadian-physicist-and:1

Mark Crispin Miller censorship
https://www.corbettreport.com/interview-1633-mark-crispin-miller-exposes-propaganda-in-the-academy/

‘There has just been non-stop idiocracy happening. We’re living in a comedy goldmine right now’ – YouTube comic Joey B Toonz

September 7, 2021

Sep 5, 2021, RT.com

moi

-by Eva K Bartlett

They walk among us, and apparently proliferate on social media: narcissists who will do seemingly anything for a like or a click. Luckily YouTuber and comedian Joey B Toonz is here to help us all look and laugh.

Recently I had a rude awakening to something that was inexplicably trending worldwide. Seeing the tweet of a comedian and social commentator I follow, I learned of the bizarre ‘milk crate challenge’.  While many people around are struggling to get by, or are under lockdown, a surprisingly significant number of people were filming themselves trying to walk over a pyramid of milk crates. 

Being generally oblivious to such time-wasting and stupendously idiotic fads, I decided to speak with the guy whose tweet brought it to my attention. 


Joey Borelli
, or as he is known on social media, Joey B Toonz, is an American comedian, illustrator, animator. Before starting his social commentary, he worked in the film industry, and toured film festivals with his comedy-based animated shorts.

In recent years, he started doing scathing critiques of some of the most bizarre and narcissistic trends and people on social media. 

I came across him sometime last year, stumbling upon his hilarious videos highlighting the narcissism so prevalent on social media platforms nowadays, a series titled ‘Narcissists and social media’. 

During our conversation, he explained his drive to do social commentary.

“There has just been non-stop idiocracy happening. We’re living in a comedy goldmine right now. I’m basically trying to highlight the idiocracy of what is going on in the world right now, saying some of the stuff that we accept as normal is the problem.” 

I, myself, am not on TikTok, so have remained blissfully unaware of the insanity that reigns there. But Joey B is acutely aware. 

“I discovered TikTok two years ago. I said to myself, what the hell is this?” he said, noting not only the narcissism prevalent on the platform, but also the general lack of talent or creativity of some extremely popular “influencers.” 

“These kids are twirling their arms around, but anybody could do this. It’s not like these people are salsa dancing or doing some kind of complex ballet routine. And they’re getting sponsors and they’ve got millions of followers. Meanwhile, there’s a guy painting like Leonardo da Vinci and he’s got 300 followers.”

JOEY B TOONZ on the idiocracy of what’s going on in the world right now

moi

 

Eva Bartlett

I spoke with comedian and social commentator, Joey B, on his (extremely funny) comedic work exposing the narcissism so prevalent on social media platforms nowadays, and the censorship he faces for doing so.

“I find that any time any of my content gets removed, I always find that same content on multiple channels, major channels, whether news organizations or big just big Youtube channels. And the only difference between my videos and their videos is my commentary. So apparently they don’t like what I’m saying.

Every platform, I’m on the risk of deletion. Cause I’m such a menace to society, apparently. And all I’m doing, I’m basically trying to highlight the idiocracy of what going on in the world right now, saying some of the stuff that we accept as normal is the problem.”

“What if you worked at a one hour photo place in the ’90s and you got a roll of film in, and you’re in the darkroom and you’re developing the film and you see it’s all some person’s face making duck lips. You would think this was sent over by a psychiatric ward for review or something.

And now its on everybody’s camera roll. It’s common. Photos of themselves in the mirror with the toilet behind. It’s disgusting. And nobody says anything about it. Then me, I’m the guy that’s shouting in the sky about it and I get banned for it. I’m the problem, somehow.”

We also discuss the blind, unquestioning, obedience of many these days, and the nonsensical “health” measures they obey (while politicians do the opposite).

As bizarre as some of the things discussed are, this was a really enjoyable, and disturbingly insightful, conversation.

Follow Joey B:

Odysee: https://odysee.com/@joeybtoonz:9
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCCzK4LJkDl73MQMbr8Lrcww
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/joeybtoonz
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/joeybtoonz
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/joeybtoonz
Joey B vs. the World Podcast: https://spoti.fi/31nSe9n
Patreon: https://bit.ly/2P7Vd3c

RELATED LINKS:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TJ9o4fxmL9c
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xIHKZLZfaTE&list=RDTJ9o4fxmL9c&start_radio=1
https://twitter.com/joeybtoonz/status/1432576326456729600
https://odysee.com/@joeybtoonz:9/milk-crates-and-idiocracy:a
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mLvUL08yQsshttps://twitter.com/joeybtoonz/status/1333402568853217283
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WXLdu89G8rw
https://www.rt.com/op-ed/515756-canadaian-politicians-flout-covid-saftey-rules/
https://twitter.com/EvaKBartlett/status/1339211717272891396
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P_Uk3nUpiWk

The media’s addiction to Covid-19 ‘fear porn’ is perpetuating an ever-worsening cycle of societal damage across the world

 

Eva Bartlett

Aug 28, 2021, RT.com

moi

-by Eva K Bartlett

Over the past year and a half, hysterical media reporting on matters Covid-19 has reduced some people to a fearful state of unquestioning compliance – including a great number of otherwise critically-thinking journalists.

With screaming headlines in bold and large font such as, ‘Will this nightmare ever end?’ and ‘Mutant virus skyrockets…’ and ‘Fear grows across the country: VIRUS PANIC’, and ‘Coronavirus horror: Social media footage shows infected Wuhan residents ‘act like zombies’, it is no wonder many people are in a state of panic.

In times when many are suffering mentally and physically under unnecessary and prolonged lockdowns, the incessant fear porn is causing excessive anxiety, which in turn will affect the health & mental well-being of some, if not many. 

In government documents from the UK’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) dated from March 2020 advice was given saying: “The perceived level of personal threat needs to be increased among those who are complacent, using hard-hitting emotional messaging… This could potentially be done by trained community support volunteers, by targeted media campaigns, social media” 

I’d say the UK media campaigns certainly did the job, and other Western nations got similar directives. The UK government also became the nation’s biggest advertiser in 2020, make what you will of the potential ramifications that could have on cash-strapped newspapers and their supposed ‘independence’.

Having myself been deeply focused on exposing war propaganda and other media lies around Syria, Palestine, Venezuela, and elsewhere over the years, my default position has become one of deep cynicism on mass media reporting. Yes, you can find nuggets of truth, or even excellent journalists in mainstream publications, honestly challenging the narratives.

But those are few and far between, generally you find copy-paste propaganda emanating largely from the bowels of the USA and the UK.

A study by Swiss Propaganda Research (SPR) noted“most of the international news coverage in Western media is provided by only three global news agencies based in New York, London and Paris.” 

Those agencies are AP, Reuters, and AFP. SPR notes:

“The key role played by these agencies means Western media often report on the same topics, even using the same wording. In addition, governments, military and intelligence services use these global news agencies as multipliers to spread their messages around the world.”

Given all of this, I’ve come to believe that with regard to media reporting on Covid-19, my cynicism is well-deserved.

Covid-19 reporting has increasingly been utterly absurd, with stories of people dropping dead in the streets, ice rink morgues to cope with the mountains of bodies, footage of an overcrowded New York hospital (that just happened to be of an Italian hospital), claims of animals testing positive for SARS-CoV-2, and more recently reports of people dying post-jab but we are told ‘it could have been worse!’

This campaign of fear caused the public to massively overestimate the lethality of Covid-19, which as un-alarmist voices note has a survival rate of over 99%. 

When months into the outbreak it became apparent that SARS-CoV-2 was far less lethal than first predicted, the media and talking heads moved from talking about ‘Covid deaths’ to ‘positive cases’. 

Although relatively early on a goat and pawpaw tested positive for Covid-19, instead of then scrutinizing the accuracy of the PCR test as a means of ‘detecting Covid-19’, the media continued to hype the rise in Covid ‘cases’. 

In lockstep, ‘Covid testing’ was increased dramatically using the PCR test (recently revoked by the CDC). This inevitably pumped up the number of ‘cases’, which mass media have in turn promoted non-stop, this in turn gave ammunition to those enforcing lockdowns and vaccines.

By now hundreds of vocal doctors, nurses, virologists, immunologists, and other professionals actually worth listening to, whose data and experience counter the hype pumped out in media have very quickly disappeared from social media, or otherwise deemed quacks, and are thus largely silenced. This leaves the general public mainly getting their information via hyped-up media. 

Alongside this, there have been relentless ad hominem attacks on journalists who pose legitimate questions and uncomfortable truths about the official narratives around Covid-19. 

For offering perspectives which contradict the standard narratives around Covid-19, journalists have been deemed conspiracy theorists, pandemic-deniers, right-wingers, selfish… I’m sure I’ve missed quite a few slurs. 

When it comes to matters Covid-19, it is suddenly unacceptable to question ‘The Science’, question the authorities, or question the same media that sold us WMDs in Iraq and chemical attacks in Syria.

Media are the drivers of Covid hysteria, and it is the daily bombardment of fear porn that confuses average people and enables tyrannical powers to be brought in, largely unchallenged. 

As it is the responsibility of journalists to expose lies around wars of aggression, it is also the duty of journalists to do so around Covid-19. For some journalists who have stubbornly refused to hold power to account, instead toeing the line on all things Covid, it appears their fear is of losing an audience and not of a virus.

Whether or not you agree with dissenting voices’ questions and criticisms, we have the right to ask and make them. We do so, knowing that remaining silent in the face of the brutal Covid measures is a guaranteed path to tyranny.

Israel’s airstrikes in Syria are not newsworthy for Western media, as a result status quo continues & civilians suffer — In Gaza

moi

-by Eva K Bartlett

Israel again illegally bombed Syria last week, violating Lebanese airspace to do so and putting at risk the lives of untold numbers of civilians. And following this, crickets in the media, again.

On Thursday, just after 11pm, Israeli missiles targeted the vicinities of Damascus and Homs, according to a statement from the Syrian army. Russia’s Reconciliation Center for Syria said Israel did so via six planes which fired 24 guided missiles at Syria.

In its attack on Syria, Israeli missiles put two passenger airplanes in Syrian and in Lebanese airspace at risk, particularly the 130 civilians and flight crew on a Middle East Airlines flight coming from Abu Dhabi to Beirut. Flight trackers show the plane abruptly changed course to avoid being targeted.

Flashback to 2018, when Israel attacked Syria using the cover of a Russian plane – whose presence was legal in Syria, having been invited by the Syrian government, contrary to the invading Israeli plane. Syrian air defense missiles responded to the threat, downing the Russian plane.

Just last month, Israel attacked Syria on multiple occasions, including during Eid al-Adha, one of the holiest times for Muslims.

The reality is that Israel’s bombings of Syria are so routine that this latest attack is hardly ‘news’ and it is hard to make it newsworthy to write about. I’ve written about such attacks before, including noting (February 2021): “Israel’s military chief of staff boasted earlier about hitting over 500 targets in just 2020 alone.

But each attack is, in my opinion, newsworthy, because each of them affects, if not kills, civilians.

Surely, it would be newsworthy if the routine bombings of a neighboring sovereign country were committed by, say, Russia or China. The entirety of Western media and all of the internet would be livid and demanding accountability.

Israel’s pretext when bombing Syria is usually that it is, “targeting Iranian-backed fighters,” a charge gleefully reprinted in media and by sources supporting the fall of the Syrian government.

The psychological terror

British journalist Vanessa Beeley, who lives in a heavily populated suburb on the outskirts of Damascus, tweeted of feeling the impacts of the bombings.

Now imagine all of the people in the vicinity feeling that impact, not knowing if that night they would finally be struck. That’s the thing we don’t hear much of if these attacks even make any media coverage: how they impact on civilians, even those not directly injured but terrorized by them.

I know very well of the terror of being near a site Israel has just bombed. And although I have many anecdotes from my three years of living in Gaza, one rather poignant incident involved me sleeplessly musing on the rooftop of the simple central Gazan home I lived in on a hot August 2011 night. I wrote:

I am watching sporadic shooting stars when the first F-16 appeared from the direction of the sea. Three more follow. The roar is normal, F-16s are normal, and reading in the news the next day that some part of Gaza was bombed is normal. They continue eastward and a bombing seems imminent. It is. A thick cloud of black smoke blots the dim lights of houses in eastern Deir al Balah where the F-16s have struck.”

I went on to write about the planes attacking the city of Khan Younis to the south, and suddenly, bombing close to me.

Two massive blasts, the house shakes. They’ve bombed somewhere near the sea, which is only a few hundred meters away. Concrete dust flutters down upon us. There is a sustained honking in Gaza that everyone recognizes as make way, we’ve got another victim here.”

And, if I may dwell on this one simple anecdote, I remarked on how the men in the house tried to appear calm and cool but, while we were all accustomed to such random bombings and either put on a brave face or genuinely stop flinching, they do still affect you deeply.

“Every time one of those f***ing F-16s flies over us, it’s a reminder of the last war, or of previous attacks, or of random bombings, or of friends and family martyred in their sleep, cars, homes… Every time those F-16s intentionally break the sound barrier to create a bomb-like sonic boom, everyone within range instinctively remembers their own personal horror at whichever Israeli war or attacks.”

I have more terrifying, all night long bombing memories, with massive bombs landing nearby, including just tens of meters away. Those were during the 2008/9 war on Gaza. With the above account, I want to emphasize how these terrors occur on any random day, but will never be heard of in the media.

But it isn’t just the already bad enough bombings. The psychological terror aspect includes the near-continuous presence of drones overhead.

After Israel’s latest bombing of Syria, I spoke with Lebanese journalist Marwa Osman. She emphasized how Israel’s violation of Lebanese airspace is an almost daily occurrence.

All day, you can hear them [Israeli drones]. It causes a nervous breakdown for any human to keep listening to this all day. I can’t even imagine what they feel in Gaza when they have them all the time overhead.”

If you haven’t ever been under one, much less tens, of military drones, you won’t know how deeply disturbing hearing them is. It is hard to concentrate with such an ominous cacophony constantly overhead.

When in early August, in what the Israel army claimed was a “retaliation” attack, Israel fired artillery shells at the Khiam region of southern Lebanon, Osman was at her home less than one kilometer from the bombings. She spoke of the terror of her children. “I found one of them hiding under the sink, I found two of them hiding in my bedroom near the closet because they thought this was the safest place to be.

Limited condemnations, but continued status quo?

Lebanon’s minister of defense condemned Israel’s recent attack and has, “called on the UN to deter Israel from carrying out airstrikes on Syria using Lebanese airspace.” Russia and Iran have on more than one occasion condemned the attacks, rightly noting they violate international law and Syria’s sovereignty. And of course the Syrian government condemns such attacks every time they occur.

But in spite of this, the condemnations get limited notice and the status quo continues. In a day or two, or a week or month, there will be another such Israeli attack that will, again, be deemed not newsworthy.

RELATED LINKS:

Israel violates international law anew, again bombing Syria…to further indifference of Western media

stars and bombs: random israeli bombing a few hundred metres from home

dangerous nights in Jabaliya and throughout Gaza

wreckage trail from Jabaliya to Gaza

I’ll likely only see my family on a screen from now on, because I don’t want the Covid jab. What happened to ‘my body, my choice’?

August 17, 2021, RT.com

Segregating Canadians who choose not to get the experimental jab
moi

Like many people around the world, as of mid-2021, I have had to come to terms with the sordid likelihood that the only way I will ever see my family again is online.

My country, Canada, has chosen to implement increasingly draconian and frankly unscientific policies in the name of ‘protecting’ people. What Canadian authorities are really doing is ensuring an uptake of the experimental jabs. Don’t want to take them? No worries, but you’re not welcome in Canada. 

Recently, my RT colleague, Rachel Marsden, described her anguish at being forced to turn away from her country and family because Canada has decided it is the ‘science police’ and has decided which ‘science’ matters. 

She wrote, “I committed the apparent violation of trying to re-enter my own country with proof of naturally acquired Covid-19 antibodies made by my own immune system post-recovery rather than those generated by the manmade Covid-19 vaccine about which much is still to be learned.” She noted that even her doctor had advised her against vaccination. But, for Canada, that is apparently irrelevant. 

In an email, she explained that Canadian customs demand a positive PCR test taken more than two weeks ago and less than three months ago as proof of having had Covid, thus having immunity.

In her case, she didn’t have that positive PCR test because she didn’t notice symptoms at the time. 

Instead, my immunity was confirmed post-recovery via two laboratory tests for Covid antibodies taken nearly 5 months apart and proving that my Covid antibody levels are significant and also haven’t budged at all between the two tests. My doctor certified this result last month in a note with the heading, ‘Covid immunity certificate’.”

Marsden was ordered to comply with a three-day stay at one of Canada’s Covid internment hotels, costing roughly Can$2,000, plus two weeks’ quarantine. The other two options were to pay a roughly $6,000 fine if she simply walked out of the airport, or to book a flight back out of Canada – the cheapest option.

The anti-science aspect of Canada’s policies in refusing her natural immunity indicates that Canada is more interested in pushing vaccinations than public health.

And, as she wrote, “The Canadian government, by behaving in this manner, is routinely criminalizing those with Covid antibodies that are not derived from a manufactured experimental vaccine.”

Why I might never be able to return to Canada

When all of this started early last year, I had just left Canada for what I thought would be a maximum two-month absence. That has turned into over a year and a half. Perhaps at Christmas I could have tried to return for a visit. But with Ontario (winner of the longest lockdown) so unpredictable, I was dissuaded by the thought of getting stuck there.

Six months prior, I had given up my apartment and had my belongings put into storage. Being stuck in Ontario would have meant a whole slew of logistical problems.  So, I opted to wait, hoping the lockdowns and quarantines would be lifted for a future visit.

That was my decision and I’ll have to live with it, and the realization that maybe I could have visited and seen my mother once more, but now I don’t see how that is going to be possible, the way Canada is heading.

Recently, travellers coming to Canada have been required, by law, to be vaccinated, which I have no intention of doing. My immune system is excellent. I spent half of last year walking around Damascus, including in extremely crowded marketplaces where there was no physical distancing and few masks. I did not get sick, and as such I am completely confident my own body could fight off Covid. 

On the other hand, let’s assume I was exposed to Covid but did not suffer symptoms. According to Canada’s logic, and Rachel’s experience, my natural immunity would be void, because I did not obsessively get PCR tests every week in case I was positive (never mind that the test can give false positives).  

Were I to be vaccinated, it would be with Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine. And although Sputnik V has been approved for use in 69 states and territories, Canada does not accept it, instead pushing Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, and Johnson & Johnson. I have no intention of taking any of those anytime soon, for good reason. My choice is not about being anti-vaccines, it is about being properly informed on the potentially serious risks the rushed experimental jabs being pushed on Canadians could pose. 

Even the CBC reported on Canadians who are concerned about safety and side effects of vaccines, particularly the long term effects of the mRNA Covid shots, as they haven’t been put through years-long clinical trials. Pfizer, for example, hasn’t even been fully okayed by the US Food and Drug Administration. A point not emphasized enough, but which CBC inadvertently shed light on with its inclusion of a particular photo in its article, is the exemption vaccine makers have from liability.

We also learned in early August, according to the CDC, “Covid-19 vaccines no longer prevent transmission.”  In Iceland, four out of five in intensive care for Covid-19 are fully injected. And around the world, there are examples of adverse reactions, injuries, and deaths post-jab that could at the very least give pause to many people, were these reactions covered in media in the same hysterical way everything else to do with Covid has been. 

As reported (via data released by the CDC), “411,931 reports of adverse events from all age groups following COVID vaccines, including 6,985 deaths and 34,065 serious injuries between Dec. 14, 2020 and June 25, 2021.” This doesn’t mean that everyone who gets the jab will experience side-effects, but some will, and wishing to avoid that risk is a choice I should be free to make.

Furthermore, we have incessantly been told to “trust the science,” but one doesn’t need to be an ‘anti-vaxxer’ to see the way government scientists have been elevated to the status of secular bishops, and those who disagree with them are spurned like heretics, and be a tad suspicious that their convictions might not be as indisputable as they claim. There are numerous experts speaking out against the experimental jabs, including epidemiologists, immunologists, virologists, vaccine researchers, and even the former vice president of Pfizer.

Those are enough reasons and concerns for me to make the decision to not take the jabs but, in a sane world, my refusal to not take a vaccine for a disease with a 99% survival rate should not bar me from the country in which I was born and raised. None of this is to say that anyone who wants to take the vaccine shouldn’t do so, but whatever happened to “my body, my choice?

RELATED:

My own country of Canada just kicked me out because my Covid immunity was acquired naturally and not from a vaccine

Trust The Science! (video)

Ontario has had the longest lockdown in North America – which has been so successful it’s just gone into another one

Canada’s mandatory Covid-19 hotel stays are not ‘internment camps’ but they are costly forced detention

Science, Salvation and Heretics: From Monsanto to Pfizer it’s the same old playbook

Continued lockdowns are a ticking time bomb that will cause a global health crisis in the near future

MPP Randy Hillier on Canada’s increasingly totalitarian Covid measures, and resistance to them

moi

August 9, 2021

Source

Recently, I spoke with Mr. Randy Hillier, an Independent Member of Provincial Parliament for Lanark-Frontenac-Kingston, Ontario.

We discussed Canada’s increasingly totalitarian measures over the past year plus, under the pretext of keeping Canadians safe from Covid, as well as the incessant fear-mongering of the government and media, the utter lack of logic to the public health policies put forth, the hypocrisy of people in positions of power saying to do one thing but doing another (clearly indicating they do not believe in the rules they impose), and the Canadian public’s shocking embrace of harmful totalitarian policies.

Randy Hillier has been an MPP for nearly fourteen years and is thus well-experienced and well-versed in the inner workings of politics that most normal Canadians might be unaware of. He sheds light on how many of the anti-science Covid policies that have been enacted over the past year are the result of lobbying on behalf of powerful corporations, and are protected by Canada’s bureaucracy, where it becomes nearly impossible to hold an elected member, or a non-elected Chief Medical Officer, accountable, even if one has evidence of wrong-doing.

Read more about MPP Hillier here:
https://www.randyhilliermpp.com/about

Follow him on Twitter: https://twitter.com/randyhillier

Support the discussion (counter the trolls, they are many):

-Lockdown brutalities:
https://www.rt.com/op-ed/520504-ontario-lockdown-north-america/
https://www.rt.com/op-ed/521016-continued-lockdowns-ticking-time-bomb/
https://www.rt.com/op-ed/519837-covid19-lockdowns-mask-wearing-isolation/
https://off-guardian.org/2020/12/05/together-but-falling-apart/
https://off-guardian.org/2021/04/28/what-will-we-lose/

Related Links:

-Hypocrisy of leadership:
https://www.rt.com/op-ed/515756-canadian-politicians-flout-covid-saftey-rules/
https://www.thestar.com/politics/provincial/2020/12/31/returning-from-caribbean-vacation-ontario-finance-minister-rod-phillips-apologizes-for-dumb-dumb-mistake.html-on

-Big Pharma’s influence:
https://twitter.com/elleprovocateur/status/1285927259036160001
https://twitter.com/elleprovocateur/status/1390068403830992897
https://twitter.com/elleprovocateur/status/1418990225993474055
https://twitter.com/surveyorX/status/1422797129286836224
https://canucklaw.ca/ford-still-lobbied-by-political-operatives-on-behalf-of-vaccine-companies/

-Censorship of critical voices:
https://www.rt.com/op-ed/522630-twitter-censoring-accounts-establishment/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YKIY-khAA54

-Pushing back:
https://www.libertycoalitioncanada.com/
https://www.libertycoalitioncanada.com/end-the-lockdown-caucus
https://www.nomorelockdowns.ca/lawnsign
https://twitter.com/nml_canada
https://www.niagaradeclaration.ca/
https://www.randyhilliermpp.com/20210512_pr_royalcommcovid
https://www.rt.com/op-ed/518596-canada-draconian-covid-restrictions/

Residential schools are a stain on Canada’s history that won’t be erased simply by appointing an indigenous Governor General

moi

July 30, 2021, RT.com

-by Eva K Bartlett

Governor General, Mary Simon, has spoken of reconciliation and moving forward. But such talk is meaningless until Canada owns up to the extent of its crimes against the indigenous peoples.

Recently, I wrote about the sudden emergence of media attention to the horrific issue of the Canada-wide “residential schools”, where starvation, torture, sexual and physical and mental abuse were rife.

In spite of this being raised for decades, and largely ignored in media, recent months has seen interest rise around the globe and suddenly the news awash with reports on the mass graves of native children interned at those institutions.

After publishing my thoughts on the matter, I received an email from Roland Chrisjohn, a PhD-educated clinical psychologist. He is also a professor heading the Native Studies department at St. Thomas University in Fredericton, New Brunswick.

His email was lengthy, for good reason. For decades, he has been, “fighting to get these issues in front of the public. And I admit it has been frustrating.”

Following our email correspondence, I spoke with Dr. Chrisjohn.

I was contacted in about 1986 by the Caribou Tribal Council in Williams Lake, British Columbia. One of the First Nations in the Council was Alkalai Lake, which had experienced a lot of deaths and suicides. They attributed that to the fact they had a 97% alcoholism rate, including children as young as 10 years old.”

At some point, Chrisjohn said, local women decided to fight this, in just a few years radically tipping the scale to 97% sobriety.

Like many who drink, they had good reasons to, Chrisjohn said. “It was a form of self medication, to forget what happened to them in the Williams Lake residential schools.”

He went on to describe a nearly three-year-long study conducted by residents of Williams Lake, with his guidance, and published in 1991, “Faith Misplaced: Lasting Effects of Abuse in a Native Community.”

It’s still the only real study of the lasting effects of residential schools. Everything else in the literature is simply reminisces of individual people, autobiographies, not data.”

According to Chrisjohn, the Caribou Tribal Council wanted to expand the study, and needed funding to do so.

The Catholic Church, he said, agreed to help with funding, “if the Council & nations would sign an agreement that there would be no litigation, no charges brought, no suing of the Catholic Church. She quite naturally decided to walk away from that agreement. This was the late 1980s, the church was already covering up what it knew would be a problem.”

When the Council didn’t agree, Chrisjohn said, the Church succeeded in disrupting the study by calling potential participants and threatening excommunication.

We finally got 187 people. We were targeting 500 people (in the study). The Church pulled the plug as best they could.”

In 1993, Chrisjohn was contacted by The Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (RCAP), to conduct a psychological and social study which he noted, never intended to address residential schooling; in fact, they were quite explicit about not conducting any kind of investigation of it.”

Chrisjohn explained that eventually he wrote The Circle Game, a book rejecting the predominant narrative that the schools were, “a well-intentioned mistake, that had caused Indians to come down with ‘residential school syndrome’, which (3) modern western psychiatrists, psychologists, and (especially) social workers could (and would) cure (for lots of money), and which (4) would clear up all the muss and fuss that was associated with Canada’s long history with Indian residential schooling.”

While, according to Chrisjohn, the feedback was “it is brilliant”, and an executive summary was requested, after providing it, he never heard officially from any member of the RCAP.

Not merely neglect, but torture

I asked Professor Chrisjohn about torture, having previously come across articles detailing grotesque methods employed at residential schools to discourage indigenous children from speaking their language and retaining their culture.

He spoke of a native man named Fred he had interviewed, who when he was a child said a word in a native language. The nuns stuck a knitting needle through his tongue, which he had to endure all day, to make an example of him for speaking in a native language.

He spoke of children in Fort Albany, northeastern Ontario, being tortured with electric shocks.

What could a kid have done to force you as a disciplinarian to electrocute their genitals?”

Lest this seem one-sided, I refer to other sources incriminating the Canadian government and churches for their role in torture and murder of indigenous peoples.

A recent article by Quebec-based journalist, Robin Philpot, cited former Chief Medical Officer of the Department of the Interior—responsible for the health of Indigenous children in the residential schools—Dr. P.H. Bryce, who became an early whistle-blower, publishing as early as 1922 about the crimes against indigenous kids.

At the time, Tuberculosis was rampant, and Bryce was attempting to bring attention to it.

Philpot wrote: “In the residential schools, the death rates were devastating, continually on the rise. The Indigenous population was plummeting each year because of tuberculosis, but each of Dr. Bryce’s reports was snuffed out. Worse yet, representatives of the Indian Affairs Department did everything possible to prevent Bryce from speaking out in public.”

According to Chrisjohn, the Tuberculosis epidemic was portrayed as an issue of natives being genetically predisposed to getting.

Tuberculosis is exacerbated by nutritional deficiency. “If you don’t get sufficient protein in your diet [and the bacteria which causes it is present], you will get it,” Chrisjohn told me. “When you’re feeding children desiccated, five-year-old, oatmeal with ground up cardboard added to it as filler, when you give that to native kids, they’re not getting B vitamins, not getting adequate nutrition, then they come down with Tuberculosis.”

Why the poor-quality oatmeal?

Indian agents were given a per capita budget. Anything that they don’t spend out of the budget, they get to keep. So while they had enough money to buy real oatmeal, dessicated oatmeal is free. It appears on the books as oatmeal. And the Indians die.”

He referred to a book written on the matter, “Enough to keep them alive,” noting that was the instruction given to an Indian Agent. “Enough to keep them alive, that’s what your job is. As long as we can deny that we actually killed them, then we’re good.”

I can’t continue without noting this reminds me of the strikingly similar Israeli policy of drastically limited imports into Gaza, to enforce a starvation diet, something revealed by Israeli journalist Amira Hass.

A 1998 report submitted to The Law Commission of Canada cites a number of researchers, including Chrisjohn. It begins:

Several generations of native people over the past one hundred and fifty years attended residential schools. Many children were subjected to horrific physical and sexual abuse, sometimes lasting over periods of year, and many of them died. Far more children experienced a standard level of brutality, in an environment characterised by forced labour, poor and inadequate food, harsh discipline, little or no medical attention, the absence of family and community ties, and a complete lack of emotional nurturing.”

Citing Chrisjohn, the report’s section on abuses includes highlighting: “forced sexual intercourse between men or women in authority and girls and/or boys in their charge; Forced oral-genital or masturbatory contact between men or women in authority and girls and/or boys in their charge; Arranging or inducing abortions in female children impregnated by men in authority; Sticking needles through the tongues of children, often leaving them in place for extended periods of time; Inserting needles into other regions of children’s anatomy; Burning or scalding children; beating children to the point of inflicting serious permanent or semi-permanent injuries, including broken arms, broken legs, broken ribs, fractured skulls, shattered eardrums; Using electric shock devices on physically restrained children; Forcing sick children to eat their own vomit…”

And, according to that report, beatings were administered with “Leather and rubber straps (used on children as young as four years old); Straps with tacks, nails, or wires embedded in them; Studded belts; Whips…”

As for the accusations of genocide, it noted: “Knowledge of the genocidal intent of the colonisers is well entrenched in aboriginal consciousness, but is still unknown and unrecognised by the larger Canadian public.”

Media silence, empty words

Chrisjohn’s work has now been noticed but, in general, the media has been predictably silent, save the recent flareups.

Following our interview, he commented in an email that the news has already gone completely dead on this, after inundating us with “’tragedy’, ‘healing’ (healing the dead? they’re going to get better?), and a ‘new page’ (aren’t we skipping huge sections of a book no one has been allowed to read?).”

And, he rightly noted that while there was talk of “healing” there was, “no discussion of the pursuit of justice.

As for justice, as complicated as it might seem, the first step is fairly straightforward.

My ninth recommendation in The Circle Game is: come clean. Stop temporizing, stop evading, stop covering up. Covering up is a crime as big as the crime. You’re an accessory after the fact.”

Back to our initial correspondence, Chrisjohn wrote, “You ask, ‘why this is happening only now?’ Short answer, based on my experience: it had been systematically suppressed and misdirected.”

Indeed.

I asked his opinion about the recent Governor General appointment of Mary Simon.

It is symbolic.”

I have to agree thus far. When appointed, she spoke about the need to balance the “tension of the past” with the “promise of the future,” and vowed to carry out her work with “humility and purpose.”

Words are cheap, and untold number of indigenous are waiting for actions, justice, not more words.

RELATED:

Media is FINALLY covering immense crimes against indigenous peoples in Canada that were known about DECADES ago. So why now?

-Roland Chrisjohn’s writings

Dr. Roland Chrisjohn on the barbaric “residential schools” & Canada’s coverup of murder & torture within

moi

 

Eva Bartlett

After I wrote about media finally covering the horrific issue of “residential schools”, I was contacted by Roland Chrisjohn, who is Onyota’a:ka of the Haudenaushaunee (Oneida of the Six Nations Confederacy), originally from the Oneida of the Thames reserve in southern Ontario and now living/working in New Brunswick.Chrisjohn is a clinical psychologist and a university Professor. He heads the Native Studies department at St. Thomas University in Fredericton.

He author of numerous studies and books, notably “The Circle Game: Shadows and Substance in the Indian Residential School Experience in Canada.”

Related:

“The Circle Game: Shadows and Substance in the Indian Residential School Experience in Canada.” (also here)

-Media is FINALLY covering immense crimes against indigenous peoples in Canada that were known about DECADES ago. So why now?

https://www.rt.com/op-ed/528360-crimes-indigenous-canada-children/

Larry Sangar is right, Wikipedia has become the establishment thought police – just look at my entry on there

moi

July 12, 2021, RT.com

-by Eva K Bartlett

For some years now, Wikipedia has had a libellous smear entry on me that cannot be edited to be less of a smear. So, imagine my surprise to learn a co-founder of the site accuses it of not being neutral.

In February 2021, Larry Sanger, one of the founders of the online encyclopedia, said“The days of Wikipedia’s robust commitment to neutrality are long gone.” This was not his first time speaking out against Wikipedia. Personally, I was surprised to learn that Wikipedia was ever neutral. 

In his more recent post, ‘Wikipedia Is More One-Sided Than Ever’, Sanger wrote:

“Wikipedia, like many other deeply biased institutions of our brave new digital world, has made itself into a kind of thought police that has de facto shackled conservative viewpoints with which they disagree. Democracy cannot thrive under such conditions: I maintain that Wikipedia has become an opponent of vigorous democracy.” 

I would extend his criticism to note that it is not only conservative views that are censored, but anti-Imperialist views, health care, and, specifically in the case of Syria, voices who have reported extensively from on the ground and contest official narratives about the country. These include me and British journalist Vanessa Beeley. Not coincidentally, we have both been subjected to relentless smear pieces from the Western media and the self-proclaimed fact checkers of Snopes, branding us cheerleaders for terrorists in Syria. 

Unsurprisingly, the bulk of the wiki-smears on us consists of those character assassination articles. 

There are of course many more voices who have reported honestly on Syria but, for some reason, I couldn’t find smear entries on them. On the contrary, some have what appear to be glossy PR entries of a more biographical nature, lauding their work. 

But for Vanessa Beeley and I, although much biographical information on each of us is widely available online, the Wiki entries remain devoid of the usual bios and instead are just designed to discredit us. 

Sanger noted that, “All encyclopedic content on Wikipedia,” declares a policy page, “must be written from a neutral point of view (NPOV).”

He went on to detail what this “neutrality” means or should mean. 

“From a truly neutral article, you would learn why, on a whole variety of issues, conservatives believe one thing, while progressives believe another thing. And then you would be able to make up your own mind.

Is that what Wikipedia offers? As we will see, the answer is No.”

He went on to give numerous examples of Wikipedia’s stark lack of neutrality on critical issues. For the sake of brevity, I would encourage readers to check out on Sanger’s article for the full list.

However, let’s look at the entries on myself and Vanessa Beeley. 

Mine refers to me as “a Canadian activist and blogger who is known for promoting conspiracy theories about Syria.” Relegating me to a “blogger” was clearly intended to dispute my credentials as a journalist. Credentials which the Mexican Journalists’ Press Club deemed journalistically credible enough to award. Likewise, award-winning journalist and filmmaker John Pilger more recently deemed my latest article on the Douma chemical hoax an “outstanding report.”

This outstanding report from Syria by Eva Bartlett penetrates the ‘iron dome’ of Western propaganda, also known as news.
It is about a chemical attack that never happened in a country attacked, subverted and blockaded in your name.https://t.co/AX1Zwbg0g0— John Pilger (@johnpilger) May 27, 2021

The Wiki smear also states that I “write op-eds for the television network RT.” For a while, that line read“She blogs for the Russian-controlled outlet RT”, a bogus claim that many journalists (including the fact checkers of Channel 4) have copy-paste repeated without bothering to see that, like tens of other journalists, what I write is actually for the op-edge section of RT’s website.

The entry goes on to cite from the litany of smear articles against me since 2016, smears which I have refuted, and which always read the same: copy-paste character assassinations that whitewash terrorism in Syria. 

Then, there is the clear instance of libel: Wikipedia’s assertion that I, “went on a government-sponsored trip to North Korea.”

In fact, my August 2017 trip to the DPRK was not paid for by any government, but by myself, with some support from a colleague who knew I lived on a shoestring.

This lie was most recently regurgitated by British journalist (and I use that term generously) Brian Whitaker.  

A flat out lie, which “journalist” @Brian_Whit has likely lifted from the wikipedia smear entry on me. I paid my way. I should sue them both.

And my crime of being impressed that the DPRK has re-built after being decimated by bombing, and sanctions…gosh, how bad of me… pic.twitter.com/D5YDWt0jDG— Eva Karene Bartlett (@EvaKBartlett) July 4, 2021

Any defamation lawyers out there? 

Similarly, the Wiki smear entry on Vanessa Beeley relegates her to mere “blogger” status (although John Pilger thinks highly enough of her, and myself, to have highlighted our “substantiated investigative work”) and in 2018 she was included on a list of the most respected journalists in the UK.

It includes the same“conspiracy theories and disinformation” line that mine does, as well as the usual, predictable anti-Russia rhetoric. 

But even I was shocked to see Wikipedia’s claim that Beeley has, “been a frequent guest on InfoWars.” When I asked her about this, she replied:

“This is an outright lie. I have never been a guest of Infowars. I challenge Wikipedia to publish the multiple interviews they claim exist. They can’t.” 

So there we have it. Not only are the entries not even close to neutral, each contains outright fabrication in addition to the character assassinations. 

At some point in 2018, I shared an email I had received from a Wikipedia editor, which noted: 

“Dear Eva, I’m writing to inform you that we have taken action against a banned user who evaded their ban to create an article about you. The article has been removed. I do not have the full context here, but the content seems to have been extremely problematic and from your Twitter and the flood of supporter emails we received yesterday, I gather this has been an issue for some time.” 

And indeed, supporters told me they had contacted Wikipedia to challenge the smear entry on me and were successful in making changes to read more fairly. Yet, in short time, the entry returned to nearly exactly as it had originally been. 

The Wikitalk portion of the smear entry on me points out: “Contentious material about living persons that is unsourced or poorly sourced must be removed immediately from the article and its talk page, especially if potentially libellous. If such material is repeatedly inserted, or if you have other concerns, please report the issue to this noticeboard.” 

But no, that hasn’t happened in my entry.

On the same page, supporters called Wikipedia out: “It’s bordering on WP:ATTACK. Nothing about her early life, education or volunteer activities etc, which you’d expect to find in a Biography. It’s just a monologue of critical opinion pieces, with a couple of lines thrown in at the end to cover her response & with a selective focus on the usual slanted key words used to disparage.” 

Another critic of the entry pointed out the sources used were “questionable”, including noting that one source, Al Jazeera, is, “owned by the Qatari Royal family…and Qatar has been funding some of the Salafi rebels in Syria. Seriously, does anyone think they will report even remotely fairly on Eva Bartlett?” 

In his June post on Wikipedia, Larry Sanger wrote:

“Democracy requires that voters be given the full range of views on controversial issues, so that they can make up their minds for themselves. If society’s main information sources march in ideological lockstep, they make a mockery of democracy. Then the wealthy and powerful need only gain control of the few approved organs of acceptable thought; then they will be able to manipulate and ultimately control all important political dialogue.” 

Similarly, Vanessa Beeley had this to say on the matter: “The Jimmy Wales Wikipedia enterprise is little more than a McCarthyite echo chamber that is weaponized to discredit journalists and academics who are influential in challenging US or UK Imperialist policies. There is virtually no redress for the targeted individuals, ‘editors’ scrub any corrections almost immediately. Wikipedia is effectively a gatekeeper for the ruling class.” 

In any case, for those interested in a fairer rendition of who is Eva Bartlett, someone created an entry on a site called Everpedia, and otherwise I have an about me section on my blog. 

Thanks for this honest (and very detailed!) entry on me (also: https://t.co/ZeTyVZTOfQ).https://t.co/fSZMM8NQW7— Eva Karene Bartlett (@EvaKBartlett) July 14, 2018

Unfortunately, many will first come across the wiki entries on myself and colleagues, and many will stop there.  But, after all the smears, my skin has grown thick and I’m at peace with the fact that I know I’ve reported honestly. 

I highly doubt the editors behind such Wiki smears can say the same of their edits.

RELATED:

Douma: Three Years On How independent media shot down the false “chemical attack” narrative

How Google and Wikipedia Brainwash You

A Personal Reply to the Fact-Challenged Smears of Terrorist-Whitewashing Channel 4, Snopes and La Presse

How the Mainstream Media Whitewashed Al-Qaeda and the White Helmets in Syria

-Everpedia entry on me

About me

-Everpedia entry on Vanessa Beeley

-Vanessa Beeley’s blog

Media is FINALLY covering immense crimes against indigenous peoples in Canada that were known about DECADES ago. So why now?

moi

July4, 2021, RT.com

-by Eva K Bartlett

The reprehensible issue of what many deem “mass murder” of indigenous children in Canada’s Catholic school system has been in global headlines in recent weeks. But this should have been in the headlines decades ago.

The nearly 1,000 bodies of indigenous children in mass graves were recently found by ground-penetrating radar, said the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous First Nations (FSIN) and the Cowessess First Nation.

A reported 150,000 indigenous children were abducted and imprisoned in the Catholic schools, where they were tortured with the intent of erasing their culture and language, as were also sexually abused, had needles driven through their tongues for speaking their own language, were sterilized, among many other horrific practices.

After these findings made the news, people were rightly outraged. Catholic churches in British Columbia and Alberta have since been vandalized and set afire, including churches currently used by indigenous communities as meeting places, acts met with disgust by many indigenous, saying vandalism isn’t justice.

The vandalism continued on Canada Day, with another 10 churches in Calgary targeted.

The premier of Alberta, Jason Kenney, denounced the vandalization of an African Evangelical Church, noting that the congregation is “made up entirely of new Canadians, many of whom came here as refugees fleeing countries where Churches are often vandalized & burned down.”

While some have justified the vandalization of the churches as a push for justice, others questioned whether vandalized or burned mosques or synagogues would also receive the same approval.

Would you say that if it was a mosque or synagogue being torched?— Max Parry (@MaxRParry) July 4, 2021

After Prime Minister Trudeau spoke of “reconciliation” and how “our relationship with indigenous peoples” has evolved, people rightly called out the government of Canada for empty talk, noting indigenous communities around the country frequently lack clean drinking water. Then, there’s the issue that aside from an official apology, the government hasn’t charged or tried anyone for these crimes.

A report first published in March 2016 by the International Tribunal for the Disappeared of Canada (ITDC) has since apparently been heavily censored and removed from Google search results.

It addressed the “Truth and Reconciliation Commission” carried out by the government and churches, calling it “a rapid in-house response by church and state designed to present their own self-serving narrative of their Indian residential schools crimes,” noting it “was created by the same institutions of church and state that were responsible for the residential school crimes being investigated.”

The synopsis notes that the crimes were “legally authorized, sanctioned and protected by every level of government, church and police in Canada,” and “amounted to deliberate genocide.”

It refers to horrifying facts that the average Canadian likely doesn’t know, including that “Native children began dying in droves the very first year the residential schools opened in 1889, at an average death rate of nearly 50%.” This, it emphasized, continued for the next five decades, “despite constant complaints and reports by doctors who inspected the schools.”

The deaths were caused by “a continual denial of regular food, clothing and proper sanitation to children interned in the schools, amidst a regime of routine and systemic rapes, beatings, tortures and killings: conditions that continued unabated for over a century, from 1889 to 1996.

Why now?

While I fully stand with the push for justice for the manifold crimes committed against the indigenous peoples in what is now Canada, I do wonder, why is this making headlines now? It’s not like these are new revelations.

Ostensibly the reason these mass graves are in the news now is due to their recent discovery. But, others point out that indigenous have for decades said there were mass graves, but were met with silence.

As more bodies are “discovered” in unmarked mass graves at Indian Residential Schools, you must understand that Indigenous people have been saying there are mass graves for DECADES yet NOT ONE journalist, archaeologist, or detective investigated this genocide until 2021— Spencer Latu (@spencerlatu) June 24, 2021

Indeed, an article first published in May 2008 – and according to the author, rejected by Canadian media – spoke of a 1996 lawsuit launched by residential school survivors on the issue of the death and torture at residential schools. It noted that “residential school children were being buried ‘four or five to a grave’, and that the death rate in these schools stayed constant at fifty percent for over forty years.

It rightly asked: “Why is the disappearance of tens of thousands of native children in these schools not the subject of a major criminal investigation?

That was 13 years ago, the lawsuit over two decades ago.

This is just one of, I’m sure, countless examples over the years, decades even, of calls to investigate the missing children and the criminal practices of the schools they were forced into.

So, while it would seem a good thing that the media is highlighting the issue of the barbaric ‘residential schools’, the fact that the media – and not just Canadian, but global media – is covering this should make us take pause. These are the same outlets that sold us WMDs in Iraq, chemical weapons in Syria, and innumerable lies to justify wars and invasions against sovereign nations.

Again, for me, the question is, why now is Canada discussing this issue? I don’t know the answer to that, but before getting swept up in toppling statues for ‘justice’, it is worth considering this and whether justice is really served by vandalization and the PM’s empty words.

RELATED:

First Nations: Why an Apology is Wrong, and Deceptive: Bringing Humanity to Bear on the Residential School Atrocity

Murder by Decree: The Crime of Genocide in Canada. “The Indian Residential Schools”: A Counter Report to the “Truth and Reconciliation Commission”

Canada’s government is seeking to silence Canadian journalists at home and abroad with a draconian censorship bill

moi

 

Eva Bartlett

RT.com

As a Canadian journalist, I could be subject to a censorship bill which, if passed in Senate, means the government in Canada can effectively shadow-ban and censor my voice into oblivion, along with other dissenting voices.

After seeing his tweet on the issue of Bill C-10, recently passed in the House of Commons, I spoke with Canadian journalist Dan Dicks about this. He explained that the bill is being presented as being about Canada bringing Big Tech companies under the regulation of the CRTC (Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission), to have them display more Canadian content.

“But what people are missing,” he cautioned, “is that there were clauses put into this bill, protections for certain publishers and content creators that would protect people like myself and yourself.”

Those clauses, he said, were recently removed from the bill, leading many content-creating Canadians aware of the bill to worry they will be treated the same as a broadcaster or a programmer, subject to the regulations of the CRTC.

The bottom line is that, beyond the mumbo jumbo of the government, this is the latest attack on freedom of expression, and on dissent. 

“It really appears that it’s a backdoor to be able to control the free flow of information online, and to begin to silence voices that go against the status quo,” Dicks said, warning that fines for violators could follow.

“It’s not looking good for individual content creators. Anybody who has any kind of a voice or a significant audience, where they have the ability to affect the minds of the masses, to reach millions of people, they are going to be the ones who are on the chopping block moving forward.”

Names like James Corbett come to mind. Although based in Japan, as a Canadian he would be subject to the bill. And with his very harsh criticisms of many issues pertaining to the Canadian government, he is a thorn they would surely be happy to remove under the pretext of this bill.

Or Dicks, who likewise creates videos often critiquing Canadian government actions.

Or researcher Cory Morningstar, authors Maximilian Forte, Mark Taliano, Yves Engler, or outspoken physicist Denis Rancourt, to name a handful of dissenting voices. Agree or not with their opinions, they have the right to voice them.

Or myself. I’ve been very critical of Canada’s Covid policies and hypocrisy, as well as Canada’s whitewashing of terrorism in Syria, support to neo-Nazis in Ukraine, and unwavering support for Israel which is systematically murdering, starving, and imprisoning Palestinian civilians–including children.

An article on the Law & Liberty website, which describes itself as focussing on “the classical liberal tradition of law and how it shapes a society of free and responsible persons,” notes the bill enables “ample discretion to filter out content made by Canadians that doesn’t carry a desirable ideological posture and [to] prioritize content that does.”

The article emphasizes that the bill violates Canadians’ right to free expression, as well as “the right to express oneself through artistic and political creations, and the right to not be unfairly suppressed by a nebulous government algorithm.”

It noted that Canadians with large followings, like Jordan Peterson, Gad Saad and Steven Crowder, “each enjoy audiences which far exceed any cable television program.”

As with my examples above, these prominent Canadian voices likewise risk shadow-banning under this bill.

But, worse, there is another bill, C-36, that also portends heavy censorship: the “Reducing Online Harms” bill. This one not only involves censorship, but hefty fines and house arrests for violators

The same  Law & Liberty article notes, “Canada is also expected to follow the template of Germany’s NetzDG law, which mandates that platforms take down posts that are determined to constitute hate speech—which requires no actual demonstrated discrimination or potential harm, and is thus mostly subjective—within 24 hours or to face hefty fines. This obviously will incentivize platforms to remove content liberally and avoid paying up.”

The Canadian Constitution Foundation (CCF), rightly, contests this bill, noting, “the proposed definition of hate speech as speech that is ‘likely’ to foment detestation or vilification is vague and subjective.” 

Maxime Bernier, leader of the People’s Party of Canada, is likewise extremely critical of the bills.

Trudeau has made every issue about race, gender and religion since his election. Now he wants to criminalize everyone who disagrees with his tribalist vision.C-36 is the worst attack ever against free speech in Canada.https://t.co/6Z5EefmviP— Maxime Bernier (@MaximeBernier) June 25, 2021

The CCF points out the potential complete loss of Canadians’ fundamental rights with these bills.

It should be common sense that these bills are extremely dangerous to Canadians, however cloaked in talk of levelling playing fields and of combating hate speech they may be.

Kinzer: “The great curse of our press in the West is willingness to accept the official narrative. So many people in the American press who write about the world are merely stenographers.”

moi

 EVA BARTLETT

Here is the video interview I did with award winning journalist & author Stephen Kinzer.

My article on it was published yesterday.

‘Many US commentators have never BEEN to countries they comment on, see entire world from Washington perspective’ – Stephen Kinzer

moi

June 27, 2021, RT.com

-by Eva K Bartlett

Much of Western media is a mixture of sensationalist accusations and fear mongering about ‘enemy’ states. It is difficult to find perspectives divorced from US foreign policy, American journalist Stephen Kinzer has told RT.

I asked the author and journalist Stephen Kinzer how the corporate media came to be so devoid of honest content and discussed the rise of censorship by Big Tech.

Kinzer is a Boston Globe columnist and formerly a correspondent for the New York Times. With over two decades of experience reporting from around the world, including areas being targeted by American imperialism, Kinzer can offer a much needed critique on the state of journalism today.

He started as an independent journalist in Central America in the mid-70s, when few journalists were going there, later reporting from Central Asia, Turkey, the Caucasus, and Europe.

I’m sometimes asked why I developed a different perspective on the world than many other people who comment in the American press,” he told RT. “I always seem to be the skunk at the foreign policy garden party. Why is that?

Upon reflection, I think it has to do with the way that I learned about the world. Many people who write about the world in the United States learned about the world the same way: they went to international relations schools, they went to work on congressional staffs, then they worked at think tanks. And they’re very steeped in this Washington-centric view of the world.”

Unlike such journalists and commentators, Kinzer learned journalism by going places and writing firsthand what he saw and heard.

I learned about the world from the perspective of the people who were the victims of American foreign policy. I was in the places where people were getting bombed. I saw American foreign policy from the perspective of the rest of the world.”

Having myself learned journalism the same way, I appreciated his words. And I had a followup question about the concept of journalistic qualifications, something my detractors have claimed I lack.

According to Kinzer, there are many qualifications for being a journalist that are much more important than what school you went to or what you studied.

The most important one is independent thinking. The great curse of our press in the West is willingness to accept the official narrative,” he said. 

In his view, many American journalists are merely stenographers. 

They’re sitting down at a press conference, they write down what some government spokesman says, then they go and print that in a newspaper. You hardly even need to have a sentient human there, you can get an algorithm to probably put most of those stories together.

And when you want to have a story that’s very well-sourced, they call the State Department, and the Defense Department, and several think tanks, and some congressmen. And they think, ‘Well I sure covered the landscape on this one!’”

But that, Kinzer argues, is not what covering the landscape is about. 

The great qualification you need for a journalist is the confidence to go out and see for yourself, and believe that your eyes are actually telling you more than press releases from some other country.

Indeed, much of the lies and war propaganda about Syria, for example, have come from journalists situated in Istanbul, Beirut, or North America, most who have never been to Syria, or if they have – not in the past decade.

It’s amazing to see how many people have built reputations as commentators on foreign countries and world affairs who have never been there, have no idea, beyond vague tropes, of what those countries are,” Kinzer said. “It’s because they are seeing the entire world from Washington’s perspective, and don’t think there is any other perspective worth having,” he added.

It’s truly amazing, I’ve seen the decline of this profession into such willing subservience. We don’t have any core of regular columnists or people trying to challenge established narratives. We do have voices that pop up periodically, but they’re so drowned out by the regular columnists who just voice the same tropes over and over again,” Kinzer said. 

The intellectual laziness of the American press in covering the world has never been as extreme as it is now. It’s just as dangerous in most of what’s called NATO countries to be contradicting the narrative as it is in the United States.”

Tremendous desire of CIA to control news 

In 2014, German journalist and editor, Udo Ulfkotte, told RT he had been forced to publish works not written by him under his own name (or risk being fired), including things “written by agents of the CIA and other intelligence services, especially the German secret service.” 

According to Kinzer, the CIA “has had a massive, long-term effort to influence” the Western media dating back to the Cold War era. 

The CIA has placed its own people, people who are on its payroll, in the offices of major news outlets over many decades. There was a large project the CIA called ‘Operation Mockingbird’ aimed specifically at trying to influence the US press, and particularly what the US press writes about the world,” he said. 

He recalled that in 1954, “when the CIA was planning to overthrow the government of Guatemala… because its president was ‘communist’, a New York Times reporter there started writing stories saying that actually the president is not communist and that land reform is only answering a desperate need of starving Guatemalans.” 

At CIA Director Allen Dulles’ request, the publisher agreed to keep the correspondent, Sydney Gruson, out of Guatemala. 

Now that’s an extreme example. But, the motivation behind it is still there. There is a tremendous desire on the part of the CIA to control news.” 

While not surprised that the CIA would interfere in journalism, Kinzer was emphatic about his disgust that journalists toe the line.

What I don’t like is that journalists go along with this! Power has so many levers, why should journalists become yet another one of them. We are the ones that are supposed to be questioning. It’s the job of reporters not to submit themselves to that.

‘Press a button, and the narrative changes’

Kinzer also noted how media narratives can suddenly change, like a switch has been flipped. 

It’s so interesting that when power decides to change the narrative, it happens right away.

I can remember just six months ago turning on my PBS News Hour, in the US, and seeing a very longreport with General Dunford and Kelly Ayotte and a bunch of these right wingers who had come up with a big report about Afghanistan. And it was about why we can’t leave Afghanistan, we have to stay. It was a 10-minute report, and no other voices, nobody came on to say, ‘Wait a minute, that’s nonsense.’ Everybody was saying, ‘We have to stay in Afghanistan forever.’

Suddenly, the president of the United States decides, OK, we’re gonna withdraw. And now, suddenly, it’s acceptable to say, ‘That whole Afghanistan thing was a disaster.’ Somebody just has to press a button, then the narrative changes, then everybody is allowed to say what the president said. But if you had said it one day before, you would have been in a lot of trouble.

You have to wait for the general narrative to change, then you can change your narrative, but don’t do it until power tells you it is acceptable to change.”

Later in our conversation, he gave the example of writing about Israel, which he said was hard to do, until recently.

Suddenly, in recent weeks even, it’s become a little more OK to be critical of Israeli policies, because some people in Washington are now a little more critical.

Big Tech censorship on the rise

In the past several years, there has been an increase in social media giants deciding what content is acceptable and what “violates” so-called “community standards.” And as I wrote recently, it has gotten to the point where Twitter issues scary warnings about “unsafe” or “spammy” content from websites the social media platform deems dangerous, potentially scaring readers away. 

Commenting on the matter, Kinzer said that “the power of private companies to decide what people see and don’t see is greater now than ever.

As for censorship by the outlets he has written for, Kinzer said he was lucky to be writing from places that editors really didn’t have the knowledge to tell him how to report. “Nobody called me and said ‘I know everything about Uzbekistan and this is wrong.’”

That said, he does maintain that in writing his columns, some subjects are either taboo or you would have to frame them in the usual anti-Russia manner common in Western media.

It’s very hard to get a story in the American press about Russia that’s anything other than fitting into the cliches. I’ve had trouble writing about Russia, because the narrative that Putin is something other than a killer is not welcome in the United States. And I’ve had trouble writing about Syria. And of course, it’s very difficult to write about Israel.

Lather, rinse, repeat

On the 10-year anniversary of the war on Syria, I wrote about how, mind-bogglingly, Western media and pundits continue to repeat the cliched and debunked rhetoric and lies that have been recycled year after year.

Kinzer addressed this technique, the repetition of narratives.

I had an editor at the New York Times years ago who told me: A lot of journalism is about repetition. And boy does the American press do that. We have been told certain things about certain countries so many times over. And it just seems like the truth.

“‘The evils that have taken hold of Russia. The daily genocide that’s happening under the killers in Syria…’ You don’t need to go, you don’t need to check, it’s just like the air, it’s like an obvious fact.

I even see it in what’s happened to the Pulitzer Prize for International Journalism,” he said, adding that in 2020 it “predictably” went to a series of reports on “how evil Russia is” and this year – to a series of reports on “how evil China is.” 

The Pulitzer, he argued, is supposed to encourage original reporting, “not people that just scribble down what officials say, and then put it in nicer prose, and use phrases that are calculated to make people believe that government opinion is actual fact.

The job of journalists is to rebel against the narrative. We are out there as the eyes and ears of the world. If you don’t want to do it, fine, but don’t pretend that you’re doing it, and sit in your little cubicle and think of the stereotypes you’ve been fed and just regurgitate them. That is not journalism, it’s just public relations.”

In conclusion, Kinzer recalled a quote by Mark Twain: “The majority is always wrong. When you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to reform.”

Indeed, time and again when the majority has written about “weapons of mass destruction,” “chemical attacks,” Iraqi troops “killing babies in incubators,” and other Washington-contrived narratives, those courageous few who have stood up against those lies-based-narratives have proven to be honest journalists. 

If only more journalists would follow.  

Syria is suffering a devastating wheat shortage the media claim is due to drought – but the truth is a lot more complicated

Syria is suffering a devastating wheat shortage the media claim is due to drought – but the truth is a lot more complicated
Eva Bartlett

-by Eva K Bartlett

Eva Bartlett is a Canadian independent journalist and activist. She has spent years on the ground covering conflict zones in the Middle East, especially in Syria and Palestine (where she lived for nearly four years). Follow her on Twitter @EvaKBartlett23 Jun, 2021 18:01

June 23, 2021, RT.com

Syria is back in the news again. This time, it’s not about hospitals allegedly being bombed, but a drought devastating Syria’s wheat harvest. But there’s a lot more to the story than a simple ‘Act of God’.

A recent article on Reuters would have readers believe the current Syrian wheat shortage mainly due to drought. The article makes a passing reference to the crippling Western sanctions choking Syrians, but doesn’t emphasize how those sanctions contribute to the wheat shortage, as well as the fuel shortage, massive hyperinflation, and an all-round worsening of Syrian lives. 

On June 16, Prensa Latina reported on wheat theft by US occupation forces noting, “a convoy of 32 trucks and containers loaded with looted wheat left for Iraq… The column was guarded by vehicles of the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (FDS).” 

Corporate media en masse is a criminal entity with zero integrity. It operates to protect power & to start & maintain wars, it is more than “state media” it is a homogenized narrative management cartel, offering PR for war. This article never mentions FUKUS economic terrorism or pic.twitter.com/VPlet3glzU— vanessa beeley (@VanessaBeeley) June 22, 2021

theft of wheat and barley by US Coalition contra forces across Syria, nor does it mention deliberate burning of crops by Trump administration. Again, we have the reductionism of human suffering inflicted by neocolonialist regimes led by UK & US. Disgusting.— vanessa beeley (@VanessaBeeley) June 22, 2021

There are a host of other factors that have plagued Syria’s crops in recent years, largely ignored in Western reporting. 

In May last year, Syrian state media, citing civilian sources in southern Hasaka (northeastern Syria), reported,“a US Apache helicopter dropped a number of thermal balloons while flying close to the ground, setting a number of fires and burning more than 200 dunums (200,000 square metres) of wheat fields in Adla village, in Shaddadi countryside.” 

In June, Syria’s then-Permanent Representative to the UN, Dr. Bashar al-Ja’afari, spoke of “thousands of hectares of wheat fields” set ablaze, and further noted the US’ theft of Syrian oil, cotton and sheep. 

And, as I wrote“Civilians from affected areas near Turkish occupation posts likewise blame Turkish forces for setting fires and firing live ammunition upon those who attempt to extinguish the fires, farmers literally watching their livelihoods go up in flames. The Hasakah Agriculture Directorate director likewise blames Turkey for arson of the crops.” 

In July 2020, British journalist Vanessa Beeley wrote of the crop fires and the US economic war against Syria, noting: 

“According to estimates, 130,000 hectares of wheat and 180,000 hectares of barley have been destroyed by these fires to date.

At the same time, Turkey is reported to be forcing Syrian farmers to sell their wheat to Turkey in exchange for Turkish currency and US-backed Kurdish contras have restricted the sale of wheat to Damascus and are stockpiling reserves in areas they control, which account for an estimated 70 percent of total Syrian wheat production.”

The year prior, 85,000 hectares were burned. 

In June 2019, Reuters reported that even the UN admitted the possibility that terrorists had set fire to wheat crops, although it also pushed the line that “both sides” were accused of having done so. This is an utterly illogical claim, just as illogical as the claims of the government starving its people in AleppoMadaya, and in Ghouta, etc. – as I learned by going to those areas and speaking with civilians – turned out to be lies, obfuscating the terrorism of ‘rebel’ groups occupying those areas. 

DID THE GOVERNMENT IGNORE THE DROUGHTS? 

Critics of the Syrian government claim that it did not address the issue of droughts seriously. But is that true? 

Writer Louis Allday, in 2015, wrote of his 2009 experience as a research intern at the British Embassy in Damascus. He spoke of a UN briefing he attended in Damascus in July that year, saying that the UN Drought Joint Needs Assessment Mission (JNA) “praised the response of the Syrian Government more than once,” and, “summarised the measures that the government had already taken, these included the following: 

  • A food assistance programme that was supplementing the World Food Program’s efforts. 27,000-30,000 families were guaranteed support until December 2009.
  • Livestock feed had been subsidised.
  • Outstanding loans of farmers had been re-scheduled and micro-credit loans offered to them.
  • New teachers had been hired for affected regions.
  • Establishment of a government fund specifically for agricultural subsidies and support.”

Allday wrote of Syrian government representatives who had “openly asked for financial assistance (both short- and long-term) from international donors and stated that the Syrian Government’s efforts alone would not be sufficient to cope.” 

He finished by stressing that such attempts to claim the Syrian government had ignored drought issues was “at best, an unfair and inaccurate simplification of how the Syrian Government actually responded to the drought. At worst, it is an intentional and dishonest attempt to obscure the government’s evident attempts to solve the crisis and mitigate its impact.” 

In May 2021, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) offered further nuance. It noted that, aside from drought, “high costs of inputs hinder agricultural activities.” 

The FAO reported that “the high cost of fuel and its widespread shortage have constrained the use of irrigation, especially during the crucial development stages for the wheat crop in the spring.

Increases in transportation costs hamper marketing activities. High production costs may also induce farmers to not harvest the entire area planted with cereals and lease out the fields for grazing, usually by sheep and goats, whose owners remain under pressure from high feed prices. Leasing out the fields is likely, particularly in the rainfed areas where expected yields are lower.” 

The report spoke of Syria’s economic crisis increasing production costs and hampering “the access of farmers to agricultural inputs, which are mostly imported.”  

In June 2019, I met with a representative from Syria’s Ministry of Agriculture to discuss wheat and other agricultural issues. I was later emailed a report, ‘Reality of Wheat Production and Marketing up to 17/6/2019’, which noted some other reasons for poor crop production, including: 

  • Damage caused to state-run irrigation networks in some provinces and regions.
  • Shortage of power supplier equipment due to unilateral coercive measures imposed by some Western countries.
  • The tendency to grow barley at the expense of growing rain-fed and irrigated wheat, due to the low cost of barley cultivation.

In a September 2020 article, Beeley also noted the difficulty of fighting fires in Syria, noting that the Syrian Civil Defence is using badly outdated equipment in need of maintenance. 

“Equipment is maintained by local engineers who do their best to repair and restore machinery which is old and tired. Much of their equipment was stolen by the terrorist groups and the White Helmets when they invaded and occupied areas of Syria from 2011 onwards.

“Under the sanction regime imposed by the US Coalition, it has been impossible for the authentic Syria Civil Defence to replace the stolen equipment.” 

While negating these various factors, and only in passing mentioning the sanctions, Reuters’ report was actually fairer than most others in recent years on issues of drought and wheat. Most outright blame the ‘Assad regime’ for a wheat and bread crisis, with no mention of the above considerations. 

However, according to Human Rights Watch (HRW), (which never misses an opportunity to blame Syria!), the wheat and bread shortage is due to “bakeries destroyed” and “discriminatory policies” but none of the host of reasons I’ve listed! 

For their report, in addition to collecting information online, HRW noted they spoke to (a whopping!) “10 residents in government-held Syria.” Wow, definitive!

Regarding the discrimination claim: the report’s authors claim there are separate bread lines for members of the military and members of the public. But in my many experiences in Syria, walking past the bakeries providing the ridiculously inexpensive bread, among the long lines of people waiting I’ve seen civilians and soldiers in the same queues. 

On the note of subsidized bread, remind me when HRW’s America offered that to its impoverished citizens. I won’t hold my breath… 

Accusing Syria of depriving civilians of bread is an old theme. Last year, when a curfew was briefly implemented in Syria, an Istanbul-based war propagandist took to Twitter to claim that the government wasn’t providing subsidized bread. 

So, being in Damascus, I started documenting volunteers (often Ba’ath Party) distributing bread door-to-door in districts around the city. And for the sake of getting a wider scope on the situation, I asked friends in other provinces.

Volunteers distributing bread to homes, 50 SYP/bag of 7 pieces. pic.twitter.com/1m4ysOwFrb— Eva Karene Bartlett (@EvaKBartlett) April 3, 2020

That the media continue to push illogical lies about Syria, ten years on, is unsurprising. The bottom line, once again, is that those screaming that Assad is the reason for these crises don’t actually care about Syrians and actively avoid the truth for the sake of their own twisted narrative. 

As I wrote recently, “If America truly wanted to alleviate the suffering of Syrians, all sanctions against the country and people would be immediately lifted.” 

RELATED LINKS:

A Western-backed war couldn’t destroy Syria, now sanctions are starving its people

America’s Scorched Earth Policy Ensures Food Insecurity

Wildfires Rage Across Syria in Wake of Increased US-Led Economic Warfare

Western nations want ‘democracy’ in Syria so badly they close embassies and prevent Syrians from voting in presidential elections

Syrians filled the polling stations to defend their sovereignty and now fill the streets to celebrate the result

It’s 10 years since the war in Syria began, and Western media & pundits are still eager to keep it going

Western media quick to accuse Syria of ‘bombing hospitals’ – but when TERRORISTS really destroy Syrian hospitals, they are silent

This outstanding report from Syria by Eva Bartlett penetrates the ‘iron dome’ of Western propaganda, also known as news.
It is about a chemical attack that never happened in a country attacked, subverted and blockaded in your name.https://t.co/AX1Zwbg0g0— John Pilger (@johnpilger) May 27, 2021

A Western-backed war couldn’t destroy Syria, now sanctions are starving its people

June 16, 2021, RT.com

moi

-by Eva K Bartlett

A little over a decade ago, Syrians lived in safety and financial security. After ten years of war on Syria, while safety has largely returned, Syrians are struggling to exist under increasingly crippling Western sanctions.

As Syrian analyst Kevork Almassian noted“Were it not for the CIA regime change war, arming & training tens of thousands of multinational terrorists, draconian sanctions, foreign occupation of North & East, looting the oil & burning the wheat, Syria would’ve now a brilliant economy & high standard of living.”

When I first visited Syria in 2014, and in the years following, mortars and missiles fired from terrorist groups occupying eastern Ghouta pummeled Damascus on a daily basis. Likewise in government-controlled areas of Aleppo, and elsewhere around Syria.

Parents never knew if their children would return from school, or be shelled while at school. Untold numbers of Syrian civilians have been maimed over the past decade by such shelling, untold numbers more killed.

So one might expect that in 2021, with most of the terrorism in Syria eradicated, Syrians would have begun returning to the normal lives they had ten years prior. But the brutal sanctions have truly wrought hell on Syrians over the years, and under the latest ones, life has gotten exponentially worse.

Last year, I was in Syria for half of the year, after the borders closed due to Covid confusion. With ample time on my hands, I walked for hours around Damascus daily. One afternoon, wanting to get a good view of the city, I walked along narrow lanes going up the side of Qasioun mountain, encountering locals who spoke of community and supporting one another in hard times.

I had stopped to take a photo of the vista when a young girl’s voice called out to me. Shortly after, I was seated in her family’s humble sitting room, drinking cold water and talking with the family.

Only by chance did I learn that the father was ill with prostate cancer and suffering greatly for a want of affordable medications, increasingly difficult to get a hold of due to the sanctions. And that was in April, before the sadistically-named Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act came into effect months later.

I say sadistically, because these sanctions, while ostensibly intended to target the Syrian government and its allies in order to punish and discourage supposed “war crimes” against civilians, in reality inflict endless misery on those same Syrian civilians. This is, as I wrote, something former US envoy for Syria, James Jeffrey, boasted about, reportedly saying that the sanctions “contributed to the collapse of the value of the Syrian pound.”

It’s a pattern we’ve already seen with Western sanctions – in Venezuela, they have not only made people’s lives hell, but as I also wrote, have killed up to 40,000 Venezuelans in the span of one year, according to the Center for Economic and Policy Research.

A recent guest article in the Financial Times addressed Syria’s ongoing (and orchestrated) economic crisis, with particular attention to the sanctions, noting that 60% of Syrians are suffering from food insecurity.

That number might actually be significantly higher, as in a July 2020 article detailing the illegality of the sanctions, the author cited 83% of the population living below the poverty line. That article noted, of the Caesar sanctions:

“Unlike the pre-existing sanctions, they apply to transactions anywhere in the world that engage the Syrian Government or certain sectors of the Syrian economy, even when those transactions have no connection to the United States.

“Such sanctions cripple a state’s economy; disrupt the availability of food, medicines, drinking water, and sanitation supplies; interfere with the functioning of health and education systems; and undermine people’s ability to work.”

These are not unintended effects – they are the whole idea.

The FT article notes that after the Caesar Act came into effect, the Syrian pound, “lost almost 70% of its value against the dollar in the following months. This spurred an inflationary spiral affecting food prices, which more than tripled in 2020.”

And, in contrast to how the US pretends to “protect” Syrians with these sanctions, the Caesar Act is, “severely affecting the local economy especially in the construction, energy, and financial sectors, blocking any possibility of reconstruction in this phase of lower-intensity conflict.”

Although I continued to follow events in Syria after leaving in late September 2020, when I returned in the last week of May this year, even I was surprised at the skyrocketed cost of basic things. About half a kilo of hummus that was 400 Syrian pounds last year is 2,200 now. At the current official exchange rate of 2,500 that’s slightly less than a dollar – but the average salary in Syria is around 50-60,000 Syrian pounds/month.

The FT article noted a kilogram of beef “costs about a quarter of a public employee’s average monthly salary. For perspective, in Italy this translates as €700 per kg. In the UK? £300 per lb.”

I chatted with a friend who has just one child. He described spending 15,000 (about $6) on vegetables, that would last several days. That’s a quarter of his salary gone, and many expenses still to pay.

In the Midan district of Damascus—an area usually brimming with shoppers coming for the famous sweet shops there, but not crowded the day I went—a cigarette vendor I spoke with described how he struggles to provide food for his wife and two sons. Like the majority of Syrians, selling cigarettes is a second job for him. Some are working three jobs, morning to late evening, and still can’t make ends meet.

He spoke of the self-sufficiency Syria had prior to the war, how everyone had work, but now, people are suffocating.

“We are rationing! I used to buy a kilo of meat every month, but now I buy 200 grams. My salary is 55,000, and if I can earn 50,000 from this second work, I will have 100,000 Syrian pounds. But, this amount is still not enough.”

“Yesterday, I bought some yogurt, cheese, a box of mortadella (meat), and a box of tissues. I paid 11,000 Syrian pounds. This is for one day, and just breakfast.”

He said a dearth of fertilizers and insecticides, due to sanctions, is directly impacting the agricultural sector.

While in Damascus, I also met with French humanitarian, Pierre Le Corf, who has lived in Syria for six years, most of that time in Aleppo. Le Corf, working and living with some of the poorest and most affected Syrians in Aleppo, spoke of how the sanctions are designed to kill hope, in addition to killing civilians.

“You might not see people starving in the street, but that’s not what suffering is. People are suffering in silence. More and more, the youth are leaving the country, not because they want to leave Syria or feel oppressed, but because they feel that they have no hope anymore.

The currency went from 50 Syrian pounds [for a dollar, before the war] to 4,000 Syrian pounds. People work from morning to night, and at the end of the day, their kids might ask for a banana. One kilogram of bananas is 5,000 Syrian pounds. When you earn 60,000 a month…”

He spoke of the pressure the US puts on every company and person who deals with Syria, that they can be imprisoned, fined. “They are forcing companies to not work with Syria,” to isolate Syria.

“I know families for who I’m trying to figure out how to bring them medicines that they can’t find any more. A week ago, I went to bury a guy who we had been bringing medicine, because we couldn’t find it any more. It became 90,000 pounds a box, he needed four boxes a month. He needed more medicine and better treatment that we can’t have, because it’s forbidden. Forbidden why? Because they pretend it’s ‘double use’, maybe it could be used for the army. The people are paying the price, no one else.

In an interview on Syria Insider, British journalist Vanessa Beeley condemned the sanctions against Syria, saying:

“Western governments are starving the Syrian people. They are depriving them of their right to return home, because the rebuilding process is being delayed. They are punishing the Syrian people for the resistance of the Syrian people against what they want to impose upon them. It’s nothing to do with the Syrian government or President Assad.”

Sanctions are never ever non-lethal practises. They are almost the most lethal of all weapons used in the hybrid war against the people of a targeted nation.

“At the same time as the sanctions are in place, the West is stealing the oil, burning the food resources, selling the food resources outside of Syria, all to deprive the Syrian people of their own resources, of the abundance of their own country.”

In a recent, detailed, presentation focussing on the sanctions, Beeley highlighted their effects not only on incomes, food, medicines, but also on fuel, industry, agriculture, health care and hospitals, electricity and water.

She aptly noted: “One could argue that the US Coalition is responsible for genocide in Syria under Genocide Convention article II (e) – deliberately inflicting on the group, conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part.”

“The US Coalition is effectively following a policy of collective extermination of the Syrian people by military and economic means. This is a crime against Humanity, a war crime and a flagrant violation of the right to life & a life of dignity.”#Syria https://t.co/m8YxqIlUHR— vanessa beeley (@VanessaBeeley) June 14, 2021

In US President Joe Biden’s meeting with Russia’s Vladimir Putin today, perhaps among the scripted talking points there was tut tutting of Syria and Russia’s alleged preventing of humanitarian aid, a tired old trope debunked but still trumpeted by hypocrites in the West.

And while such integrity-devoid Western representatives launch accusation after accusation at Syria and Russia, it is abundantly clear that the suffering of Syrians is a product of the illegal war on Syria and the deadly, criminal, sanctions against the Syrian people.

RELATED:

Western leaders, screw your ‘Sanctions Target the Regime’ blather: Sanctions KILL PEOPLE

US sanctions are part of a multi-front war on Syria, and its long-suffering civilians are the main target

I’m on a ‘hit list’ Kiev allows to silence dissent & journalism. That’s all you need to know about Ukrainian ‘democracy’

June 12, 2021, RT.com

Address issues which Ukraine, the West’s client state, does not like and you could end up on a ‘hit list’. Because that’s apparently how flourishing democracies roll…

Last week, photojournalist Dean O’Brien participated in a United Nations meeting to give his perspective on the war in Donbass, Ukraine’s breakaway region in the east. Shortly after the discussion, O’Brien came under fire from the Ukrainian embassy in the UK.

However, smears from Ukrainian officials are nothing compared to what the controversial ‘enemies of Ukraine’ database, the Mirotvorets (Peacekeeper) website, could bring.

In May, O’Brien and I discussed this hit list, noting that we were both on it, with photos of us published on the witch-hunt website.

It’s a website called ‘Peacemaker.’ It’s anything but, really. It seems to be a hit list, a target for journalists or anybody that goes against the grain in Ukraine. If you’re reporting on them, they see you as some kind of threat and put you on this list,” he said. 

The platform was created in 2014, shortly after Crimea was reabsorbed by Russia and the Kiev government’s military campaign in eastern Ukraine was launched. As TASS noted in 2019, Mirotvorets “aims to identify and publish personal data of all who allegedly threaten the national security of Ukraine. In recent years, the personal data of journalists, artists or politicians who have visited Crimea, Donbass, or for some other reason have caused a negative assessment of the authors of the site, have been blacklisted by Peacemaker.

Talking about the horrors that Donbass civilians endure under Ukrainian shelling is, according to this rationale, a threat to Ukraine’s national security. As is going to Crimea, maintaining that Crimeans chose to be a part of Russia (or, as many in Crimea told me, to return to Russia) and criticising the influence neo-Nazis wield in Kiev.

The most worrying thing is that they seem to be able to get a hold of people’s passports, visas,” O’Brien told me. “The fact that they can get ahold of your passport photo, your visa photocopies, these can only come from official government offices in Ukraine. This is a governmental website, it’s been discussed in parliament, to close it down. They’re not interested in closing it down. This website is kind of like a hit list, really.

That might seem like an exaggeration, but people listed on Mirotvorets have been targeted and even killed.

A report by the Foundation for the Study of Democracy titled “Ukrainian War Crimes and Human Rights Violations (2017-2020)” gave the example of a Ukrainian journalist assassinated in 2015 after his personal details were published on the website.

A few days before his death, Oles Buzina’s details, including his home address, had been posted on the Canadian-based Mirotvorets website, created with the initiative of Anton Gerashchenko, the Ukrainian deputy minister of internal affairs. The people listed on it are recommended for liquidation and arrest, and the total number of people listed are in the tens of thousands.

According to many experts, it was the listing on the site and the publication of the home address that prompted the murder of Oles Buzina, Oleg Kalashnikov, and many other opposition figures by members of the Ukrainian ‘death squads’.

Back in 2015, Georgiy Tuka, who participated in the creation and operation of the site, stated that, of the people listed on the site, “more than 300 were either arrested or destroyed,” the report states. 

When in April 2015 the Ukrainian parliament’s Commissioner for Human Rights Valeriya Lutkovskaya launched an effort to shut the list down, the then-adviser to Minister of Internal Affairs Anton Gerashchenko threatened her position and stated that the work of the site was “extremely important for the national security of Ukraine.” He said that “anyone who does not understand this or tries to interfere with this work is either a puppet in the hands of others or works against the interests of national security.” 

So the website remains active, with Ukraine’s security service reportedly stating that it did not see any violations of Ukrainian law in the activities of the Mirotvorets website.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, too, has refused to have the website shut down, ironically claiming that it’s wrong to interfere with the work of websites and the media.

Let’s remember that in Ukraine, untold numbers of journalists, activists and civilians have been imprisoned, and killed, for their crimes of voicing criticism of the government and neo-Nazi groups.

Ukraine isn’t the only country to host such a hit list. Although Stop the ISM (International Solidarity Movement) – the project of crazed US-based journalist, Lee Kaplan – named activists, including myself, for our crimes of reporting on Israel’s brutal bombardment of Gaza in 2008/09, the website has since changed format and is far less detailed. But cached versions show the extent of its insanity, including a clear call for our murders:

ALERT THE IDF MILITARY TO TARGET ISM

Number to call if you can pinpoint the locations of Hamas with their ISM members with them. Help us neutralise the ISM that is now definitely a part of Hamas since the war began.”

Others on the kill list were named for their crimes of reporting Israel’s systematic abuse and killing of Palestinians. Their personal details, including passport information, were published.

An article on this heinous website noted: “The dossiers are openly addressed to the Israeli military so as to help them eliminate ‘dangerous’ targets physically, unless others see to it first.”

Although arguably that website was the project of one lunatic and their allies, the fact that for many years it stayed active and called for the murders of international peace activists speaks volumes on America’s own values.

I’m sure these two hit-list examples are not isolated ones. Quite likely, there are similar lists targeting journalists reporting on the crimes of other countries. But they are the height of absurdity, and fascism: targeting people whose reporting aims to help persecuted civilians.

Meanwhile in Donbass, Ukraine reportedly continues its shelling of civilian areas. Recently in Gorlovka, a northern city hammered by Ukrainian bombing over the years, a mine blew off part of a woman’s leg as she gathered mushrooms.

This is the woman who was earlier blown up by a mine in Gorlovka. She had her left leg torn off when the mine exploded whilst she was innocently picking mushrooms. Yet again, another innocent victim caught up in this brutal conflict. #Donbass pic.twitter.com/DBQGD2h8J9— Dean O’Brien – BA (Hons) (@DeanoBeano1) June 6, 2021

In spite of the hit list, journalists, rightly, continue to report on these war crimes.

Related:

Seven years after Maidan divided country, Ukraine intensifies shelling of Donbass to sound of deafening silence from Western media

Donbass War Diary Feature photo Donbass War Diary Under Fire from Ukraine and Misperceived by the West, The People of the DPR Share Their Stories

Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) playlist

Accused of Treason and Imprisoned Without Trial: Journalist Kirill Vyshinsky Recounts His Harrowing Time in a Ukrainian Prison

On Israel’s war crimes against the Palestinians of Gaza (interview)

moi

 Eva Bartlett

Interviewed by Marwa Osman on the latest Israeli bombardment of Gaza. I speak about previous wars on the Palestinians of Gaza, two of which I witnessed, on the ground, and the horrific war crimes Israel committed.

I come in ~18 minutes into the program.

Related:

Marwa Osman on Israel’s genocide of Gaza, and the new precedent of united regional Resistance

Israel is deliberately obliterating media buildings in Gaza to cover up the war crimes that will follow

Laith Marouf on Palestinian legitimate Resistance to Israeli occupation & to the bombardment of Gaza

The suggestion Turkey was smuggling weapons to Al-Qaeda in Syria shows why Russia’s desire to halt ‘aid’ was a good idea

moi

June 4, 2021, RT.com

-by Eva K Bartlett

New allegations that aid trucks to Syria from Turkey carried weapons for terrorists have surfaced. But it’s unlikely to convince those in the West to change their tune that Russia was wrong to want border crossings closed. 

In July 2020, there were those who self-righteously railed at Russia for allegedly denying humanitarian aid to Syrians. They screamed that in calling for crossings to be closed, Russia was attempting to starve and choke civilians in need of assistance. 

The Russian mission to the UN, however, maintains that ample aid is delivered from within Syria, via various agencies, including the UN. It argues that delivering aid from outside of Syria is no longer necessary, since most of the country has returned to peace and security. I haven’t come across a Russian representative who has stated so, but wonder if another reason Russia wanted cross-border ‘aid’ from Turkey halted was because it knew weapons were being smuggled to terrorists in Syria? 

On May 30, Sedat Peker, a Turkish mobster and former ally to Turkish President Recep Erdogan, published a new video in a series he has been releasing on criminal activities among Erdogan’s inner circle. In this latest video, Peker spoke of the weapons and vehicles sent to Al-Qaeda in Syria, and that the contractor behind these shipments was a company called SADAT, run by Erdogan’s former chief military advisor.

Turkish mobster Sedat Peker, former ally to President #Erdogan, revealed he shipped arms, military supplies, drones, vehicles to al-Nusra front in #Syria at the request of #Sadat, Turkish contractor run by Erdogan’s former chief military advisor Adnan Tanriverdi. pic.twitter.com/AdqUxSyVVO— Abdullah Bozkurt (@abdbozkurt) May 30, 2021

Our trucks went under the name of Sedat Peker Aid Convoy. We knew other trucks that went on my behalf carried weapons. This was organized by a team within SADAT. No registration, no paperwork applied to these shipments that crossed directly [to Syria],” said Peker.

The revelations should not come as a surprise. In January 2013, the late journalist Serena Shim, as I wrote, exposed how terrorists and arms were smuggled into Syria from Turkey, noting World Food Organization trucks were being used. In October 2014, Shim was killed in a car accident, shortly after telling Press TV she feared for her life and that Turkish intelligence had accused her of being a spy. Her family, and inquiring journalists, believed it was down to Turkish foul play, noting the official story of Shim’s death changing. The US government didn’t investigate the suspicious death of one of its citizens in Turkey. 

As Shim reported, if WFO trucks were at one point used to smuggle arms into Syria, can you blame Russia or Syria if they are indeed sceptical of supposed ‘aid’ entering from Turkey?

But whenever the issue of aid crossing into Syria is brought up at the UN Security Council, the narrative is usually to ‘blame Russia’. Hysterical headlines aside, is it really likely that Russia, with the world’s eyes on its every move, is actually trying to starve civilians in Syria? It is Russia, remember, that has demined vast areas of Syria formerly occupied by terrorist factions in order for local people to be able to return to their areas. It is also Russia that delivered aid to Raqqa, the city completely flattened by the US and allies in the pretext of fighting terrorism. 

Syria’s cross-border mechanism (CBM) began in 2014, when – due to the presence of terrorist groups – aid couldn’t be delivered from within the country. The Security Council established the CBM, with four crossings into Syria: two from Turkey, one from Iraq, the last from Jordan. In December 2019, all except the Bab al-Hawa crossing from Turkey were closed down, with aid being coordinated via Damascus. 

But as Russian representatives at the UN pointed out in a statement in July 2020, by then the situation had changed, with most of Syria back under the control of the government. Sending aid to those who need it can be done from within the country. Western media suggested that Syria would use the closure of crossings to starve its civilians, but the reality is that Damascus has consistently cooperated in sending aid, while the US has in the past stymied aid delivery. 

Russia’s statement also noted, “The UN still has no presence in Idlib de-escalation zone which is controlled by international terrorists and fighters. It’s not a secret that the terrorist groups control certain areas of the de-escalation zone and use the UN humanitarian aid as a tool to exert pressure on [the] civil population and openly make profit from such deliveries.”

But amid a round of finger pointing, the West and allies continued to criticise Russia for wanting to end the CBM. In response, the Russian Federation’s representative to the UN Security Council wondered whether the UN’s OCHA (Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs) could go to Idlib to see if terrorists occupying that region were respecting the Declaration of Commitment some had signed regarding aid deliveries. 

This was a valid point, given that in areas previously occupied by terrorists, most civilians never saw the ample aid sent in by Syria and agencies. Terrorist groups controlled and hoarded the aid, from east Aleppo to Madaya to al-Waer, to eastern Ghouta. So it was by no means a stretch of the imagination to assume the same might play out in Idlib, particularly since the terrorists included factions from the aforementioned regions, who were bussed to Idlib as the cities and towns finally returned to peace. 

The Russian statement also addressed frenzied Western claims that the other closed crossings were the only means to send aid to civilians in the north-east of Syria. It read“In total, since the beginning of 2020 when ‘Al Yarubiyah’ was closed, more humanitarian aid has been delivered to the north-east of Syria than in previous years.” 

Still the narrative continued, though, and in March 2021, the dictator of Human Rights Watch, Ken Roth, tweeted about “Putin starving Syria”, resurrecting the cries over the unnecessary, and closed, crossings. But his claim prompted an angry response from some.

🇷🇺

So who is actually starving civilians in Syria? Aside from terrorists hoarding food and denying it to the local people, there are more significant reasons for their preventable suffering. And these are the West’s sanctions against them, particularly the June 2020 Caesar Act. 

Last year, James Jeffrey, the then US Special Representative for Syria Engagement, was quoted as saying the latest sanctions would contribute to the fall of the Syrian pound. What a wonderful way to “protect” Syrians. In US parlance, “protect” means “starve.”

As I walk around Damascus, I ask about the cost of food, and whether people can afford to feed their families. Most say their salaries aren’t sufficient: food prices have skyrocketed, salaries have not. Most describe adopting a more vegetarian diet – chicken and meats are too expensive to have more than once a month, or at all. 

Furthermore, there is the US occupation forces’ thieving or destroying of Syrian resources. On that, Dr. Bashar Ja’afari, in his former post as Syria’s permanent representative to the UN, in June 2020, said“When the United States daily steals 200,000 barrels of oil from the Syrian oil fields, 400,000 tons of cotton, 5,000,000 sheep and sets fire to thousands of hectares of wheat fields, and deliberately weakens the value of the Syrian pound, and when it imposes coercive economic measures aiming to choke the Syrian people and occupying parts of the Syrian lands, and when the US representative expresses her concern over the deteriorating situation of the Syrian citizen’s living conditions the logical question will be are not these acts the symptoms of political schizophrenia?”

But as usual the US and its allies blame Russia and Syria for the suffering in Syria, whitewashing their own very long litany of crimes there. 

Although the smuggling of weapons and terrorists via Turkey has been openly known for years, it’s rather amusing that it takes a petty mobster, and not Western media or leadership, to draw new attention to it. No, as terrorists use those weapons to fight the Syrian government (and rival terrorist factions, and civilians), the West is only concerned about blaming Russia and Syria. Ten years of lies and war against the people of Syria just aren’t enough for America and its allies.

Previous Articles:

Syrians filled the polling stations to defend their sovereignty and now fill the streets to celebrate the result

Today I saw Syrians dancing and celebrating life, and a return to peace – but, of course, the Western media won’t report that

Western nations want ‘democracy’ in Syria so badly they close embassies and prevent Syrians from voting in presidential elections

Douma: Three Years On, How independent media shot down the false “chemical attack” narrative.

It’s 10 years since the war in Syria began, and Western media & pundits are still eager to keep it going

American Journalist Killed in Turkey for Revealing the Truth Regarding ISIS-Daesh: No Investigation Two Years After Suspicious Death of American Journalist Serena Shim

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