Decoding the Pentagon’s online war against Iran

October 01 2022

From a click of a button in the US to violence on the streets of Tehran, the latest protests in Iran are being engineered and provoked from outside.
Photo Credit: The Cradle

Source

By Kit Klarenburg

The civil unrest in Iran in response to the recent death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini while she was waiting at a Tehran police station, although rooted in legitimate grievances, also bears the hallmark of a western-sponsored covert war, covering multiple fronts.

Mere days after the protests erupted on 16 September, the Washington Post revealed that the Pentagon had initiated a wide-ranging audit of all its online psyops efforts, after a number of bot and troll accounts operated by its Central Command (CENTCOM) division – which covers all US military actions in West Asia, North Africa and South and Central Asia – were exposed, and subsequently banned by major social networks and online spaces.

The accounts were busted in a joint investigation carried out by social media research firm Graphika, and the Stanford Internet Observatory, which evaluated “five years of pro-Western covert influence operations.”

Published in late August, it attracted minimal English-language press coverage at the time, but evidently was noticed, raising concerns at the highest levels of the US government, prompting the audit.

While the Washington Post ludicrously suggested the government’s umbrage stemmed from CENTCOM’s egregious, manipulative activities which could compromise US “values” and its “moral high ground,” it is abundantly clear that the real problem was CENTCOM being exposed.

#OpIran

CENTCOM’s geographical purview includes Iran, and given the Islamic Republic’s longstanding status as a key US enemy state, it’s perhaps unsurprising that a significant proportion of the unit’s online disinformation and psychological warfare efforts were directed there.

A key strategy employed by US military psyops specialists is the creation of multiple sham media outlets publishing content in Farsi. Numerous online channels were maintained for these platforms, spanning Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and even Telegram.

In some cases too, fake journalists and pundits, with numerous “followers” on those platforms emerged, along with profile photos created via artificial intelligence.

For example, Fahim News claimed to provide “accurate news and information” on events in Iran, prominently publishing posts declaring “the regime uses all of its efforts to censor and filter the internet,” and encouraging readers to stick to online sources as a result.

Meanwhile, Dariche News claimed to be an “independent website unaffiliated with any group or organization,” committed to providing “uncensored and unbiased news” to Iranians within and without the country, in particular information on “the destructive role of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in all the affairs and issues of Iran and the region.”

Their respective YouTube channels pumped out numerous short-form videos, presumably in the hope they would be mistaken for organic content, and go viral on other social networks. The researchers identified one instance in which media outlets elsewhere had embedded Dariche News content into articles.

An army of bots and trolls

Some of the fake news organizations published original material, but much of their output was recycled content from US government-funded propaganda outfits such as Radio Farda and Voice of America Farsi.

They also repurposed and shared articles from the British-based Iran International, which appears to receive arm’s length funding from Saudi Arabia, as did several fake personas attached to these outlets.

These personas frequently posted non-political content, including Iranian poetry and photos of Persian food, in order to increase their authenticity. They also engaged with real Iranians on Twitter, often joking with them about internet memes.

Pentagon bots and trolls used different narrative techniques and approaches in an attempt to influence perceptions and engender engagement. A handful promoted “hardliner” views, criticizing the Iranian government for insufficiently hawkish foreign policy while being excessively reformist and liberal domestically.

One such bogus user, a purported “political science expert,” accrued thousands of followers on Twitter and Telegram by posting content praising Shia Islam’s growing power in West Asia, while other “hardliner” accounts praised the late General Qassem Soleimani of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), slain in an illegal US drone strike in January 2020, as a martyr, and encouraged the wearing of hijabs.

The researchers state the purpose of these efforts was unclear, although an obvious explanation is the Pentagon sought to foster anti-government discontent among conservative Iranians, while creating lists of local “extremists” to monitor online.

Orchestrated opposition

Overwhelmingly though, Pentagon-linked accounts were viciously critical of the Iranian government, and the IRGC. Numerous Pentagon bots and trolls sought to blame food and medicine shortages on the latter, which was likened to ISIS, and posting videos of Iranians protesting and looting supermarkets captioned in Pashto, English, and Urdu.

More sober posts criticized Tehran for redistributing much-needed food to give to Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement, while others highlighted embarrassing incidents, such as a reported power outage that caused the country’s chess team to lose an international online tournament.

Furthermore, multiple fake users claimed to seek “justice for the victims of #Flight752”, referring to the Ukraine International Airlines flight accidentally shot down by the IRGC in January 2020.

Using hashtags such as #PS752 and #PS752justice hundreds of times, they blamed Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei personally for the incident.

Following the outbreak of war in Ukraine in February, these accounts used Persian versions of widely-trending hashtags #No_To_Putin and #No_To_War – themselves overwhelmingly disseminated on Twitter by pro-Ukraine bot and troll accounts, according to separate research.

The users condemned Khamenei’s verbal support of Putin and accused Iran of supplying drones to Moscow, which it was claimed were used to kill civilians.

They also pushed the narrative that Iran’s collusion with Russia would result in adverse political and economic repercussions for Tehran, while making unflattering comparisons between Khamenei and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

“One has sold Iran to Russia and ordered their peoples’ murder,” one account tweeted. “The other is wearing a combat uniform alongside his people and has stopped the colonization of Ukraine by Russia with all his might.”

Scattershot fury

There were also cloak-and-dagger initiatives intended to damage Iran’s standing in neighboring countries, and undermine its regional influence. Much of this work seems to have been concerned with spreading panic and alarm, and creating a hostile environment for Iranians abroad.

For instance, accounts targeting audiences in Afghanistan claimed that Quds Force personnel were infiltrating Kabul posing as journalists in order to crush opposition to the Taliban. They also published articles from a US military-linked website that claimed on the basis of zero evidence that the bodies of dead refugees who’d fled to Iran were being returned to their families back home with missing organs.

Yet another damaging false narrative perpetuated by this cluster in late 2021 and early 2022 was that the IRGC was forcing Afghan refugees to join militias fighting in Syria and Yemen, and that those who refused were being deported.

Iraq was a country of particular interest to the Pentagon’s cyber warriors, with memes widely shared throughout Baghdad and beyond depicting IRGC influence in the country as a destructive disease, and content claiming Iraqi militias, and elements of the government, were effective tools of Tehran, fighting to further Iran’s imperial designs over the wider West Asia.

Militias were also accused of killing Iraqis in rocket strikes, engineering droughts by damaging water supply infrastructure, smuggling weapons and fuel out of Iraq and into Syria, and fuelling the country’s crystal meth epidemic.

Another cluster of Pentagon accounts focused on Iran’s involvement in Yemen, publishing content on major social networks critical of the Ansarallah-led de-facto government in Sanaa, accusing it of deliberately blocking humanitarian aid deliveries, acting as an unquestioning proxy of Tehran and Hezbollah, and closing bookstores, radio stations, and other cultural institutions.

Several of their posts blamed Iran for the deaths of civilians via landmine, on the basis Tehran may have supplied them.

Laying the ground

Other CENTCOM psychological warfare (psywar) narratives have direct relevance to the protests that have engulfed Iran.

There was a particular focus among one group of bots and trolls on women’s rights. Dozens of posts compared Iranian women’s opportunities abroad with those in Iran – one meme on this theme contrasted photos of an astronaut with a victim of violent spousal abuse – while others promoted protests against the hijab.

Alleged government corruption and rising living costs were also recurrently emphasized, particularly in respect of food and medicine – production of which in Iran is controlled by the IRGC, a fact CENTCOM’s online operatives repeatedly drew attention to.

Women’s rights, corruption, and the cost of living – the latter of which directly results from suffocating US sanctions – are all key stated motivating factors for the protesters.

Despite the rioters’ widespread acts of violence and vandalism, targeted at civilians and authorities alike, such as the destruction of an ambulance ferrying police officers away from the scene of a riot, they also claim to be motivated by human rights concerns.

Establishment and fringe journalists and pundits have dismissed as conspiracy theories, any suggestions that protests in Iran and beyond are anything other than organic and grassroots in nature.

Yet, clear proof of foreign direction and sponsorship abounds, not least in the very public face of the anti-hijab movement, Masih Alinejad, who for many years has encouraged Iranian women to ceremonially burn their headscarves from the confines of an FBI safehouse in New York City, then publicizes the images online, which travel round the world and back via social media and mainstream news outlets.

A regime-change war by other means

Alinejad’s activities have generated a vast amount of fawning and credulous media coverage, without a single journalist or outlet questioning whether her prominent role in the supposedly grassroots, locally-initiated protest movement is affiliated with foreign hostile interference.

This is despite Alinejad posing for photos with former CIA director Mike Pompeo, and receiving a staggering $628,000 in US federal government contracts since 2015.

Much of these funds flowed from the Broadcasting Board of Governors, the US government agency that oversees propaganda platforms such as Radio Free Europe, and Voice of America, the latter of which has produced a Farsi-language show fronted by Alinejad for seven years.

These clusters of social media posts may appear innocuous and authentic in an age of click-bait and viral fake news, yet when aggregated and analysed, they form a potent and potentially dangerous weapon which it turns out is one of many in the Pentagon’s regime-change arsenal.

Tehran reminds US of its own killings by race, provides proof

 September 23, 2022

Iran, through its Foreign Ministry Spokesperson, calls US human rights records despicable and slams claims on human rights abuses in the country as baseless.

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Nasser Kanaani

The Iranian Foreign Ministry responded to the US Secretary of State’s claims on human rights issues in Iran and slammed them as baseless, reminding the US of its own record of killings and human rights abuses committed racially, with Black people making the majority of those killed.

Following how the West, spearheaded by the US, took advantage of the death of Mahsa Amini, claiming that it was the result of a brutal arrest by the Iranian police, and the fact that the western and Arab-monarchy-backed media outlets quickly jumped to the trend of covering anti-Iran protests, picturing them as large rallies, when in fact, they included far fewer numbers than depicted, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Nasser Kanaani reminded the US of its “despicable” human rights record across the world. 

“With a despicable human rights record both at home & abroad, how does the US have the audacity to give itself higher moral ground to lecture the world?” Kanaani tweeted on Friday.

Millions of people supporting the regime came out in the Iranian provinces to reject the sedition
Between Mahsa Amini and Zainab Asim: How do political agendas manipulate people?
The axis of resistance.. messages of deterrence and a coup in the scales

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A guide to the AngloEuroZionist Establishment Lexicon

September 17, 2022

Source

by Eric Arthur Blair

Neoliberal economics:

Establishment version: modern free market freedom, practised by freedom loving people, to freely create freedomaceous wealth everywhere! Woohoo!

Real World Translation: rigged system to funnel wealth from the poor to the rich by imposition of slave wages and debt servitude = economic enslavement of the 99%

Disinformation:

Establishment version: anything contrary to the “truthiness” narrative espoused by Western Mainstream Media Patriots. Is Israel an apartheid state? That’s disinformation!

Real World Translation: anything which portrays the AngoEuroZionist Empire in a bad light and their enemies du jour (Russia, China, Iran etc) in a neutral or favourable light. Absolutely nothing to do with truth or facts.

National Endowment for Democracy:

Establishment version: benevolent fund by the USA to promote rule by, for and of the ordinary people in foreign countries. Yay!

Real World Translation: CIA cutout to finance astroturf campaigns to destabilise foreign governments that do not bend to the US will, in order to install US puppet regimes that will funnel wealth to the USA.

US invasion of Iraq in 2003:

Establishment version: act of “liberation” to save the world from Saddam’s WMDs and bring democracy to the Iraqi people.

Real World Translation: WMD story was a fucking LIE, invasion was done to preserve the US petrodollar and control Iraqi oil assets and give massive contracts to US corporations. Killed more than a million Iraqis by 2010, so I guess you could say those Iraqis were “liberated” (from life).

Russian invasion of Ukraine:

Establishment version: unprovoked aggression by Russian dictator Vlad-the-Impaler Putin on 24 Feb 2022 because he is just plain crazy (also a vampire). So naturally the West needed to ban Russian cats and Tchaikovsky in response.

Real World Translation: belated response by Russian Duma (democratic parliament) to relentless aggression by the US/NATO since 2014 – including the murder of 14,000 civilians in Donbass, ie Russia was forced to intervene to protect Russian speaking Ukrainians from genocide by the US proxies. Also more than 30 bio-pathogen labs funded by the USA (by Victoria Nuland’s own admission) were discovered in Ukraine, so there WERE WMDs in-the-making in Ukraine.

International “Rules based order”:

Establishment version: even the USA cannot properly define WTF this crapulent term means.

Real World Translation: USA makes up their one-sided rules (to always benefit itself) and orders everybody else about, otherwise foreigners face sanctions or coups or assassination of their leaders or invasion. Nothing to do with United Nations International Law.

Far too many Newspeak and Doublethink terms to itemise here!!

Commenters can think of many more!!

WAR IS PEACE

FREEDOM IS SLAVERY

IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH

  • Speaking Truth is an act of Treason in an Empire of Lies.
  • Putin called the USA an Empire of Lies.
  • Who is the most prominent Truth speaker in the Empire?
  • Julian Assange – who is now being suitably punished for such Treason.

EAB.

A footnote

13 Sep 2022 16:32

Source: Al Mayadeen English

Bouthaina Shaaban 

Because they cannot stop igniting wars in one part of the globe or another, that is the most pending danger NATO countries constitute to the welfare of human beings everywhere. 

Professor John Mearsheimer said the war in Ukraine will be a footnote in the history books written about the world changes this war has triggered. This remark may provide the best explanation of the huge noise the NATO countries have made about providing Ukraine with more sophisticated armaments and with billions of dollars in order to prevent a Russian victory. It also explains the big media campaign led by the West about the so-called advance made by the Ukrainian army against the Russians in Kharkov area. The press conference by NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg, and the US Secretary of State, Antony J. Blinken, has to be seen and understood in light of the dire economic crisis which is biting into Europe. 

Despite the iron fist laid on Western media, it is an open secret today that the sanctions imposed by the West against Russia have backfired on the West itself, and it has become clear that Western people are the ones suffering because of these sanctions, and not the Russian people as the western governments planned. In addition, the Eastern rapprochement between China and Russia is treading fast steps toward an alliance, and the Shanghai organization is attracting more member states, which in a short while, will become one of the most important world alliances that NATO countries do not want to see at all. Both China and Russia have announced that their future dealings and trade are going to be in Yuans and Rubles, which will start to weaken the dollar and shake its world status. 

During the week and contrary to the expectations of Western media, the Chinese President, Xi Jinping, announced that he is going to Kazakhstan for a Shanghai meeting with the aim of meeting with President Putin. Every time these two leaders meet, they add another brick to the fortified base of their alliance whose grand announced aim is to change the world system into a multipolar system after getting rid of Western hegemony once and for all.

Of course, western experts and planners know all this and dread it, but instead of mentioning it or trying to address it in the real world, these jumped to the domain that they know best; i.e. the military claiming to their audiences that “Ukrainian forces have been able to stall Moscow offensive in the Donbass strike back behind Russian lines and retake territory.” On this narrative, they built the argument that NATO countries should send more support to Ukraine, with more billions of dollars and with the most sophisticated arms. Their imagination was set free to imagine that this is a very important moment for the Ukrainian people and army, and we should support them in order to prevent a Russian victory in Ukraine, as per their illusions.

First, there is no doubt that the press conference and all the media fever that came in its aftermath hailing progress made by Ukrainian forces against Russian forces was meant to change the focus of the Western people’s attention from the horrible consequences of the war on Ukraine on their daily lives and to stop the masses from taking to the streets to forcefully object to these policies, which proved to be disastrous to most of them.

Second, NATO countries have a history of supporting wars that have nothing to do with their geography or history. They now claim that they have to send hundreds of thousands of soldiers to protect the Eastern borders of NATO. What about Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria; are those also bordering NATO, or threatening its power? And what about Taiwan now; is it on the borders of NATO too?

The history of these countries proves without a shadow of a doubt that the military industry is at the core of its survival and continuity, and that is why they cannot survive and keep their hegemony over the world without this industry being well and prosperous, knowing that for this industry to be well and prosperous, it can only feed on wars. That is why they cannot stop igniting wars in one part of the globe or another, and that is the most pending danger NATO countries constitute to the welfare of human beings everywhere. 

What we have to remember is that we are dealing with two different worlds, two different systems of thinking, two different histories, and two very different objectives. The West, which has subjugated and colonized many countries across the world over centuries, has perfected the usage of media and psychological wars to keep people as its subject. Throughout history, Western colonial powers gave no thought to civilian casualties. A reminder of the answer of Madeleine Albright about millions of Iraqi children being killed; she said, “But it was worth it,” whereas Eastern powers represented by Russia in this war pay so much attention to avoiding unnecessary loss of civilian lives. They change their plans and their tactics if they can save lives in their military or on the adversary’s civilian lives. In fact, the Eastern attitude always believes in taking time. They are not in a hurry, and they do not rush to launch a media or psychological campaign because their objectives are far-reaching and by far nobler than those of the party whose main concern is to sell arms and accumulate more capital. 

For those reasons and many others unlisted here, we have to take the Hollywood postures made by the NATO Secretary-General and the US Secretary of State with a huge pinch of salt. Their major aim was to divert attention from the huge disaster they have created to their people through this uncalculated and misconceived adventure. It would have been much wiser and historically correct to review their decisions and decide whether they should continue in this futile endeavor or acknowledge the new realities on the ground born from the rise of the East and its determination, supported by the majority of people on Earth, to put an end to Western hegemony and remap the world on the basis of equal integrity and mutual respect. This may take a bit more time than what most people desire, but the train has left the station and it will undoubtedly reach its abode. The rest are insignificant details that no one will mention in the future.

The opinions mentioned in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Al mayadeen, but rather express the opinion of its writer exclusively.

Germany’s energy suicide: an autopsy

September 08, 2022

by Pepe Escobar, posted with the author’s permission and widely cross-posted

When Green fanatic Robert Habeck, posing as Germany’s Economy Minister, said earlier this week “we should expect the worst” in terms of energy security, he conveniently forgot to spell out how the whole farce is a Made in Germany cum Made in Brussels crisis.

Flickers of intelligence at least still glow in rare Western latitudes, as indispensable strategic analyst William Engdahl, author of A Century of Oil, released a sharp, concise summary revealing the skeletons in the glamour closet.

Everyone with a brain following the ghastly Eurocrat machinations in Brussels was aware of the main plot – yet hardly anyone among average EU citizens. Habeck, Chancellor “Liver Sausage” Scholz, the European Commission (EC) Green Energy VP Timmermans, EC dominatrix Ursula von der Leyen, they are all involved.

In a nutshell: as Engdahl describes it, this is about “the EU plan to de-industrialize one of the most energy-efficient industrial concentrations on the planet.”

That’s a practical translation of the UN Green Agenda 2030 – which happens to be metastasized into crypto Bond villain Klaus Schwab’s Great Reset – now renamed “Great Narrative”.

The whole scam started way back in the early 2000s: I remember it vividly, as Brussels used to be my European base in the early “war on terror” years.

At the time, the talk of the town was the “European energy policy”. The dirty secret of such policy is that the EC, “ advised” by JP MorganChase as well as the usual mega speculative hedge funds, went all out into what Engdahl describes as “a complete deregulation of the European market for natural gas.”

That was sold to the Lugenpresse (“lying media”) as “liberalization”. In practice, that’s savage, unregulated casino capitalism, with the “free” market fixing prices while dumping long-term contracts – such as the ones struck with Gazprom.

How to decarbonize and destabilize

The process was turbo-charged in 2016, when the last gasp of the Obama administration encouraged massive export of LNG out of the US’s huge shale gas production.

For that one needs to build LNG terminals. Each terminal takes as much as 5 years to build. Within the EU, Poland and Holland went for it from the start.

As much as Wall Street in the past invented a “ paper oil” speculative market, this time they went for a speculative “paper gas” market.

Engdahl details how “the EU Commission and their Green Deal agenda to ‘decarbonize’ the economy by 2050, eliminating oil, gas and coal fuels, provided the ideal trap that has led to the explosive spike in EU gas prices since 2021.”

The creation of this “single” market control implied forcing illegal rule changes on Gazprom. In practice, Big Finance and Big Energy – which totally control anything that passes for “EU policy” in Brussels – invented a new pricing system parallel to the long-term, stable prices of Russian pipeline gas.

By 2019, an avalanche of Eurocrat energy “ directives” by the EC – the only thing these people do – had established a totally deregulated gas market trading, setting the prices for natural gas in the EU even as Gazprom remained the largest supplier.

As lots of virtual trading hubs in gas futures contracts started popping up across the EU, enter the Dutch TTF (Title Transfer Facility). By 2020 the TTF was established as the real EU gas benchmark.

As Engdahl points out, “TTF is a virtual platform of trades in futures gas contracts between banks and other financial investors. Outside, of course, of any regulated exchange.

So LNG prices soon started to be set by futures trades in the TTF hub, which crucially happens to be owned by the Dutch government – “the same government destroying its farms for a fraudulent nitrogen pollution claim.”

By any means necessary Big Finance had to get rid of Gazprom as a reliable source to allow powerful financial interests behind the Green Deal racket to dominate the LNG market.

Engdahl evokes a case very few know about across Europe: “On May 12, 2022 although Gazprom deliveries to the Soyuz gas pipeline through Ukraine were uninterrupted for almost three months of conflict, despite Russia’s military operations in Ukraine, the NATO-controlled Zelensky regime in Kiev closed a major Russian pipeline through Lugansk, that was bringing Russian gas both to his Ukraine as well as EU states, declaring it would remain closed until Kiev gets full control of its pipeline system that runs through the two Donbass republics. That section of the Ukraine Soyuz line cut one-third of gas via Soyuz to the EU. It certainly did not help the EU economy at a time Kiev was begging for more weapons from those same NATO countries. Soyuz opened in 1980 under the Soviet Union bringing gas from the Orenburg gas field.”

Hybrid War, the energy chapter

On the interminable soap opera involving the Nord Stream 1 turbine, the crucial fact is that Canada deliberately refused to deliver the repaired turbine to Gazprom – its owner – but instead sent it to Siemens Germany, where it is now. Siemens Germany is essentially under American control. Both the German and Canadian governments refuse to grant a legally binding sanction exemption for the transfer to Russia.

That was the straw that broke the (Gazprom) camel’s back. Gazprom and the Kremlin concluded that if sabotage was the name of the game, they couldn’t care less whether Germany received zero gas via Nord Stream 1 (with brand new Nord Stream 2, ready to go, blocked by strictly political reasons).

Kremlin spokesman Dmity Peskov took pains to stress

“problems in [gas] deliveries arose due to sanctions that have been imposed on our country and a number of companies by Western countries (…) There are no other reasons behind supply issues.”

Peskov had to remind anyone with a brain that it’s not Gazprom’s fault if “the Europeans (…) make a decision to refuse to service their equipment” which they are contractually obligated to do. The fact is the whole Nord Stream 1 operation hinges on “one piece of equipment that needs serious maintenance.”

Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak, who knows one or two things about the energy business, cleared up the technicalities:

“The entire problem lies precisely on [the EU’s] side, because all the conditions of the repair contract have been completely violated, along with the terms of shipping of the equipment.”

All that is inscribed into what Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov describes as “a total war declared against us”, which is “being waged in hybrid forms, in all areas”, with “the degree of animosity of our opponents – of our enemies” being “enormous, extraordinary.”

So none of this has anything to do with “Putin weaponizing energy”. It was Berlin and Brussels – mere messengers of Big Finance – which weaponized the supply of European energy on behalf of a financial racket, and against the interests of European industry and consumers.

Beware of the toxic trio

Engdahl has summarized how, “by systematically sanctioning or closing gas deliveries from long-term, low cost pipelines to the EU, gas speculators via the Dutch TTP have been able to use every hiccup or energy shock in the world, whether a record drought in China or the conflict in Ukraine, to export restrictions in the USA, to bid the EU wholesale gas prices through all bounds.”

Translation: casino capitalism at its finest.

And it gets worse, when it comes to electricity. There is a so-called EU Electricity Market Reform in progress. According to it, producers of electricity – from solar or wind – automatically receive “the same price for their ‘renewable’ electricity they sell to the power companies for the grid as the highest cost, i.e. natural gas.” No wonder the cost of electricity in Germany for 2022 increased by 860% – and rising.

Baerbock incessantly parrots that German energy independence cannot be secured until the country is “liberated from fossil fuels.”

According to Green fanaticism, to build the Green Agenda it’s imperative to completely eliminate gas, oil and nuclear power, which happen to be the only reliable energy sources as it stands.

And it’s here that we see the toxic trio Habeck/Baerbock/von der Leyen ready for their close up. They pose as saviors of Europe preaching that the only way out is to invest fortunes in – unreliable – wind and solar power: the “answer” from Providence to a gas price debacle manufactured by none other than Big Finance, Green fanaticism and Eurocrat “leadership”.

Now tell that to struggling pan-European households whose bills will surge to a whopping, collective $2 trillion as General Winter knocks on the door.

Fake Neutrality: How Western Media Language Misrepresents Palestinians, Shields Israel

August 24, 2022

A vigil near the graves of Palestinian children who were killed in the latest Israeli war on Gaza. (Photo: Mahmoud Ajjour, The Palestine Chronicle)

By Ramzy Baroud

While US and western mainstream and corporate media remain biased in favor of Israel, they often behave as if they are a third, neutral party. This is simply not the case.

Take the New York Times coverage of the latest Israeli war on Gaza as an example. Its article on August 6, “Israel-Gaza Fighting Flares for a Second Day” is the typical mainstream western reporting on Israel and Palestine, but with a distinct NYT flavor.

For the uninformed reader, the article succeeds in finding a balanced language between two equal sides. This misleading moral equivalence is one of the biggest intellectual blind spots for western journalists. If they do not outwardly champion Israel’s discourse on ‘security’ and ‘right to defend itself’, they create false parallels between Palestinians and Israelis, as if a military occupier and an occupied nation have comparable rights and responsibilities.

Obviously, this logic does not apply to the Russia-Ukraine war. For NYT and all mainstream western media, there is no question regarding who the good guys and the bad guys are in that bloody fight.

‘Palestinian militants’ and ‘terrorists’ have always been the West’s bad guys.  Per the logic of their media coverage, Israel does not launch unprovoked wars on Palestinians, and is not an unrepentant military occupier, or a racist apartheid regime. This language can only be used by marginal ‘radical’ and ‘leftist’ media, never the mainstream.

The brief introduction of the NYT article spoke about the rising death toll, but did not initially mention that the 20 killed Palestinians include children, emphasizing, instead, that Israeli attacks have killed a ‘militant leader’.

When the six children killed by Israel are revealed in the second paragraph, the article immediately, and without starting a new sentence, clarifies that “Israel said some civilian deaths were the result of militants stashing weapons in residential areas”, and that others were killed by “misfired’ Palestinian rockets.

On August 16, the Israeli military finally admitted that it was behind the strikes that killed the 5 young Palestinian boys of Jabaliya. Whether the NYT reported on that or not matters little. The damage has been done, and that was Israel’s plan from the start.

The title of the BBC story of August 16, ‘Gaza’s children are used to the death and bombing’, does not immediately name those responsible for the ‘death and bombing’. Even Israeli military spokesmen, as we will discover later, would agree to such a statement, though they will always lay the blame squarely on the ‘Palestinian terrorists’.

When the story finally reveals that a little girl, Layan, was killed in an Israeli strike, the language was carefully crafted to lessen the blame on her Israeli murderers. The girl, we are told, was on her way to the beach with her family, when their tuk-tuk “passed by a military camp run by the militant group Palestinian Islamic Jihad”, which, “at the exact moment, (…) was targeted by Israeli fire”. The author says nothing of how she reached the conclusion that the family was not the target.

One can easily glean from the story that Israel’s intention was not to kill Layan – and logically, none of the 17 other children murdered during the three-day war on Gaza. Besides, Israel has, according to the BBC, tried to save the little girl; alas, “a week of treatment in an Israeli hospital couldn’t save her life”.

Though Israeli politicians have spoken blatantly about killing Palestinians children – and, in the case of former Israeli Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, “the Palestinian mothers who give birth to ‘little snakes’” – the BBC report, and other reports on the latest war, have failed to mention this. Instead, it quoted Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid, who reportedly said that “the death of innocent civilians, especially childr is heartbreaking.” Incidentally, Lapid ordered the latest war on Gaza, which killed a total of 49 Palestinians.

Even a human-interest story about a murdered Palestinian child somehow avoided the language that could fault Israel for the gruesome killing of a little girl. Furthermore, the BBC also labored to present Israel in a positive light, resorting to quote the occupation army’s statement that it was “devastated by (Layan’s) death and that of any civilians.”

The NYT and BBC have been selected here not because they are the worst examples of western media bias, but because they are often cited as ‘liberal’, if not ‘progressive’, media. Their reporting, however, represents an ongoing crisis in western journalism, especially relating to Palestine.

Books have been written about this subject, civil society organizations were formed to hold western media accountable and numerous editorial board meetings were organized to put some pressure on western editors, to no avail.

Desperate by the unchanging pro-Israel narratives in western media, some pro-Palestine human rights advocates often argue that there are greater margins within Israel’s own mainstream media than in the US, for example. This, too, is inaccurate.

The misnomer of the supposedly more balanced Israeli media is a direct outcome of the failure to influence western media coverage on Palestine and Israel. The erroneous notion is often buoyed by the fact that an Israeli newspaper, like Haaretz, gives marginal spaces to critical voices, like those of Israeli journalists Gideon Levy and Amira Hass.

Israeli propaganda, one of the most powerful and sophisticated in the world, however, can hardly be balanced by occasional columns written by a few dissenting journalists.

Additionally, Haaretz is often cited as an example of relatively fair journalism, simply because the alternatives – Times of Israel, the Jerusalem Post and other right-wing Israeli media – are exemplary in their callousness, biased language and misconstruing of facts.

The pro-Israel prejudices in western media often spill over to Palestine’s sympathetic media throughout the Middle East and the rest of the world, especially those reporting on the news in English and French.

Since many newspapers and online platforms utilize western news agencies, they, often inadvertently, adopt the same language used in western news sources, thus depicting Palestinian resisters or fighters, as ‘militants’, the Israeli occupation army as “Israeli Defense Forces” and the Israeli war on Gaza as ‘flare ups’ of violence.

In its totality, this language misinterprets the Palestinian struggle for freedom as random acts of violence within a protracted ‘conflict’ where innocent civilians, like Layan, are ‘caught in the crossfire.’

The deadly Israeli wars on Gaza are made possible, not only by western weapons and political support, but through an endless stream of media misinformation and misrepresentation. Though Israel has killed thousands of Palestinian civilians in recent years, western media remains as committed to defending Israel as if nothing has changed.

– Ramzy Baroud is a journalist and the Editor of The Palestine Chronicle. He is the author of six books. His latest book, co-edited with Ilan Pappé, is “Our Vision for Liberation: Engaged Palestinian Leaders and Intellectuals Speak out”. Dr. Baroud is a Non-resident Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Islam and Global Affairs (CIGA). His website is www.ramzybaroud.net

As West blames Moscow for ‘food crisis’, ships sail from Mariupol with Moscow’s help while Ukraine holds vessels in its ports

 

Eva Bartlett

Western media and state officials keep blaming Russia for the ‘food crisis,’ but Moscow is trying to reopen Ukrainian and Donbass ports

July 1, 2022, RT.com

-by Eva K Bartlett

Russia’s Defense Ministry on May 20 announced the liberation of the Azovstal plant from Ukraine’s Nazi Azov Battalion, and some days later stated that sappers had demined an area of one and a half million square meters around the city’s port.

In early June, the ministry declared the facility ready for use anew. “The de-mining of Mariupol’s port has been completed. It is functioning normally, and has received its first cargo ships,” Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said at the time. 

Russia promised to give ships safe passage, and on June 21, the Turkish ship Azov Concord left with a Russian escort. At Mariupol port that day, prior to setting off, the captain of the ship, Ivan Babenkov, spoke to the media, telling us that the vessel, without cargo, was heading to Novorossiysk for loading, and then on to its destination.

Rear Admiral Viktor Kochemazov, commander of the Russian naval base in Novorossiysk on the Black Sea’s northeastern coast, down the Kerch Strait from Mariupol, explained that while the corridor has been operational since May 25, the nearly one-month delay in departing was because “ships were significantly damaged during the conduct of hostilities.” Notably, he also said that some ships were deliberately damaged by Ukrainian forces in order to prevent them from leaving. 

From aboard a Russian anti-sabotage forces boat, media watched the Azov Concord leave port. Further on, the ship would be met by warships of the Novorossiysk base and escorted to the Kerch Strait where FSB border control ships would continue to escort the ship.

A Bulgarian ship, the Tsarevna, was readying to depart the port next, “also following the same humanitarian corridor to its destination in accordance with plans for the use of the court by the owner,” Rear Admiral Kochemazov said.

Western press ignoring developments

Predictably, just as the Western media continues to ignore Ukraine’s war crimes against the Donbass republics, including not only the bombing of houses, hospitals, and busy markets –  plus the killing and maiming of civilians – so too do they omit coverage of anything positive emanating from areas where Ukrainian forces have been ousted and stability restored.

Instead, Western media continues to spin the story that it’s Russia that’s blocking ports and preventing grain exports, and blame Moscow for “aggravating the global food crisis” – when in reality, it is Ukraine that has mined ports and burned grain storages.   

In fact, according to Russia’s Ministry of Defense, “70 foreign vessels from 16 countries remain blocked in six Ukrainian ports (Kherson, Nikolaev, Chernomorsk, Ochakov, Odessa and Yuzhniy). The threat of shelling and high mine danger posed by official Kiev prevent vessels from entering the high seas unhindered.”

While Russia maintains it has opened two maritime humanitarian corridors in the Black and Azov Seas, Kiev is apparently not engaging with representatives of states and ship-owning companies about the departure of docked foreign ships.

Meanwhile, in the same vein, media outlets like the New York Times (writing as always from afar) claim that Mariupol is “suffering deeply” under Russian rule (citing the runaway former mayor, nowhere near the city for months, who is the source of previous war propaganda) even describing the Azov Neo-Nazis as “the city’s last military resistance.”

Yet, what I’ve seen in multiple trips to Mariupol in the past couple of weeks is rubble being removed so that the rebuilding process can begin, newly established street markets, public transportation running, and calm in the streets.

The people of Mariupol have indeed suffered, but now that the Azov Nazis and Ukrainian nationalists no longer reign, they can live without fear of persecution, execution, rape, torture, and all of the other ‘democratic values’ of the forces backed by the West.

The rebuilding will take time, but with the port functioning anew, and the possibility now of also bringing reconstruction materials by sea, it can begin, ship by ship.

RELATED LINKS

Western media and politicians prefer to ignore the truth about civilians killed in Donetsk shelling

Ukrainian strike on Donetsk market was a terrorist act

Here’s what I found at the reported ‘mass grave’ near Mariupol

Lugansk PR liberated. 3M22 Zircon as strategic factor

July 03, 2022

Please visit Andrei’s website: https://smoothiex12.blogspot.com/
and support him here: https://www.patreon.com/bePatron?u=60459185

Gonzalo Lira: Russian Default Hurts The West—Not Russia

June 29, 2022

Maria Zakharova speaks to RT at SPIEF 2022

June 16, 2022

https://rumble.com/v18n532-russian-fm-spokeswoman-maria-zakharova-speaks-to-rt-at-spief-2022-exclusive.html

SMO is an excellent demonstration of Operational Art

May 17, 2022

Please visit Andrei’s website: https://smoothiex12.blogspot.com/
and support him here: https://www.patreon.com/bePatron?u=60459185

Rebranding Nazism

May 09, 2022

Source

by Roddy Keenan

As a teacher of history, the topic of Nazi Germany is always one which generates numerous questions from students. How were the Nazis able to convince the public to vote for them? How did they convince the people to go along with their fascist agenda and barbaric policies? How was the Holocaust allowed to take place?

Despite discussing the role of propaganda and censorship, as well as the fear of opposing the Nazi regime, one still finds students often somewhat bemused. Moreover, many invariably argue that nowadays, due to social media, the Internet, and other methods of communication, the evils of Nazism could never succeed in flourishing again.

However, that is about to change. One only has to look at the manner in which the Azov Battalion, a fully-fledged Ukrainian Nazi militia, with significant influence, has been whitewashed in the space of ten weeks. Whereas prior to February 24th 2022, they were recognised as a neo-Nazi battalion, these fascists are now being portrayed as valiant defenders of an oppressed people, fighting bravely against insurmountable odds.

In the past, we have become only too well aware of the role played by the media and big tech in propagandising and manufacturing consent. Whether it’s the mainstream media parroting establishment talking points, Facebook, Twitter and Youtube censoring dissenting views, or Paypal denying media outlets access to their own accounts apparently due to their political stances, Western disinformation full-spectrum dominance appears to be at its zenith.

Yet, the perennial Western purveyors of fake news, such as The New York Times, CNN and the BBC, declare themselves to be gatekeepers of truth, integrity and morality. And this, despite their lies which facilitated the slaughter and deaths of over a million men, women and children, in the invasion and occupation of Iraq.

But still it goes on, right up to the present. From the Ghost of Kiev to Snake Island, the Collective Western media has acted as stenographers for the Western and Ukrainian regimes. The examples are too numerous to mention, but the media coverage of the air strike at a railway station in Kramatorsk provided a striking example of the overt and cynical propaganda role the western media has played throughout this conflict.

The missile strikes that killed over fifty people and injured more than one hundred were initially widely reported, with images on front pages across the Western media. However, within forty-eight hours the story had disappeared and barely received a mention. This was due to an Italian news team identifying one of the missiles as being of the type used by Ukrainian forces. The narrative of Ukrainians killing civilians obviously didn’t fit into the propaganda of the Collective West, and consequently, the dead and injured found instant irrelevance.

Now the Western media has turned its malevolent myth-making to the Nazi Azov battalion in the Ukraine. An overtly Nazi formation, descended from the Fascist Banderites of World War 2, it is now being staunchly defended by the Collective West.

Interestingly, it had been previously accepted that the Azov were a far-right, Nazi militia, and indeed, their presence and influence was widely viewed as a dark force within the Ukraine. It’s fascist rituals and regalia, worship of the fascist Stepan Bandera, and its adherence to Nazi ideology, left nobody in any doubt that these were committed fascists, and they were commonly described as neo-Nazis in numerous Western media outlets.

However, since February 24th there has been a stunning shift.

Now, the fact that the Azov battalion is a Nazi organisation is glossed over. The BBC, a propaganda arm of the British State, ran a nine-minute puff piece, arguing, almost pleading, that the Azov fighters were not fascists, but simply a battalion integrated into the Ukrainian army. Meanwhile, MSNBC interviewed Azov Nazis teaching elderly women how to use weapons, and newspapers from the Financial Times to the New York Times are now portraying the Azov as brave defenders of the Ukraine.

An obvious aim of this shameless media operation is to delegitimise the Russian claims of denazification, by arguing that there is no Nazi problem in the Ukraine. Even on the rare occasion that the media refers to the ideology of the Azov units, and indeed, the presence of other fascist and far-right groups such as C14, Right Sector and Svoboda, it claims they have minimal impact on the politics of the Ukraine, pointing to their weak electoral performances. What they fail to point out, is that the mainstream’ parties are implementing policies that the fascists support. Moreover, the notion that parliamentary representation is a metric of influence is absurd when one looks at the likes of Al Qaeda and Isis.

In fact, a leader of the fascist group C14, Yevhen Karas, described the 2014 Maidan coup as a ‘victory of nationalist ideas’. He went on to assert that without the influence of fascist groups, Maidan would have been nothing but a ‘gay parade’.

But this is now an inconvenient truth for the Collective West. Consequently, Azov and their fellow travellers are no longer Nazis or fascists. Instead, they are merely ‘misunderstood patriots’.

Of course, this is nothing new. When it comes to hypocrisy, the Collective West has it in spades. Whether it’s supporting the Mujahedeen in Afghanistan, ISIS and AL Nusra in Syria, or the fascists in Ukraine, the Collective West has shown itself to be devoid of any morality when it comes to serving their own interests.

Now, just as Isis and Al Nusra are ‘moderate rebels’, the fascists of Azov are well-meaning nationalist warriors.

So, according to our so-called liberal democracies, even though there might be bad Nazis, there are also good fascists, whose adherence to Nazism is just an ideological quirk. Obviously, those who are on our side are the good Nazis. And it’s the Collective West that always gets to decide who is who.

But one thing is now evident – the blatant manner in which Nazism has been made palatable due to an unrelenting, systematic propaganda campaign, will answer those questions posed by students regarding how German Nazis were able to attain power in 1933 and to subsequently pursue the policies that they did.

‘Scratch a liberal and a fascist bleeds’, I was once told many years ago.

The events of the past months have proven just how accurate that old adage is.


Originally from Ireland, Roddy Keenan is a teacher and freelance reporter based in the UK. Roddy specialises in international politics and is the author of US Presidential Elections 1968-2008: a narrative history of the race for the White House’.

1788. China to Make Electric Tumbrils

April 23, 2022

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By Fred Reed

We—I, and my spousal unit, Violeta—pulled into DC after a conventionally miserable flight from Guadalajara in seats apparently designed for dwarves with our feet almost in our pockets and Delta trying to sell us beer at seven dollars a can. I didn’t get it. If you can sell watery brew at seven balloonishly inflating greenbacks a can, why do you need an airline?

The occasion was a visit to a woman with whom I immediately became involved, though with Violeta’s permission. She weighs seven and a half pounds and has a smile that would make a dead man weep. This may have little geopolitical importance, though.

Anyway, the proud father celebrated having produced, or coproduced, a baby who probably deserves a world run by psychiatrically less fascinating adults, by taking about a dozen of us to Fogo da Something, a Brazilian restaurant on Pennsylvania across from the Trump Hotel. This costs $64 a head for all the meat and salad bar you could eat, desserts and drinks extra, so with tip you can crawl out, stuffed and economically depleted, for about $90. Salad bar good, desserts swell, meat tasteless. You can do better for a sixth the price at La Carreta, down the lake from us in Mexico.

The meal was a pre-guillotine experience, especially the restaurant. Or I hope so. The waiter says, “Hi! I’m Bruce and I am going to be your waitperson and do everything I can to make sure you have a wonderful, wonderful dining experience. We are orgasmically delighted to see you and….” When a waiter oozes like that, sure, he’s looking for tips, but I wonder, tips of what?

In Mexico waiters are courteous but you can tell they don’t want to sit in your lap or have a long-term relationship. In New York a waiter says, “What’ll it be?” and you say, “Eggs over medium, bacon on the side, cuppa mud,” and he says, “You got it.” Human. It gets the job done. You couldn’t write a Proust novel about it.

Anyway, the place was big, I’d guess between seventy-five and a hundred people doing the squat-and-gobble, likely disgorging on average a C-note per. This is DC, with the five richest counties in America, Montgomery, Loudoun, Fairfax, that kind of place, a city where the graft never stops, recession proof, where bribes run in freshets. Out there in Flyover Land, in Appalachia and the Rust Belt and the rural Deep South, families think going to Mickey D’s is a treat. And the swarming derelicts in the warm states increase in their medieval Ly diseased hordes.

Guillotine stocks. It’s the way to invest.

Washington is a rerun. In Paris in 1788 , creeping toward the Terror, the aristocracy was, like Washington’s upper crust, wealthy and schooled and cultured and cared not a withered farthing about the peasantry, as neither does Washington. Marie Antoinette didn’t really say, “Let them eat cake,” but they all thought it, and Hillary Antoinette, with her contempt for the Basket of Deplorables, expresses the same sentiment. There will be a price. Maybe anyway.

I spent two weeks in this diseased city wondering, “What are they thinking? The country is disintegrating internally, inflation growing like kudzu on a Georgia roadcut, living standards falling, the schools going to hell, and Washington is worried about…the Ukraine? Things crumble, resources are desperately needed domestically, and Washington buys the B-21, which Aviation Week prices at $640 million a copy of which, by design, you have probably never heard.”

It’s nuts. The racial situation is an intensifying disaster with continent-wide rioting, burning cities, ghetto kids graduating illiterate, desperate white people offing themselves with opioids, the rabble storming the Bastille—wait, this time I think it was the Capitol–but we need to raise prices by tariffs on China and Russia.

One night we went to eat with old friends from an earlier life. Like so many in DC, they were ninety-ninth percentile in intelligence, well educated, and decent people. We pondered, “Thai? Chinese? There’s a new Turkish place that’s supposed to be good.” Again, good people, though living in million-dollar houses, but…but…for much of the country Turkish, in some spiffy joint on Cap Hill or upper Connecticut Ave, would be the adventure of a lifetime. Washington has an ampleness of evil people, the Bidens, Blinkens, Victoria Newlands, Trump at one remove, but so many are just out of touch. There’s a new Turkish place in the city, and when was the last time they dined in Flint?

The media, a salt mine in which I once labored, are an embarrassment, utterly partisan, ranting and howling about Russia. OK, in war it is usual to cut the public off from information and to keep them stirred up with accounts of rape, human shield, “genocide,” chemical war, massacres, torture, a rule of television being to get a woman to cry and fill the frame. In Vietnam the media ran all over the country and actually reported what was happening, which eventually ended the war. This error is not being repeated.

{what bothers me is the apparent lack of curiosity, of doubt of official sources. Contrary to belief in some quarters, reporters are not given orders to adopt a particular point of view, though they know better than to contradict the publication’s line. No scribbler at the Washington Post will discuss racial differences in intelligence. But they are herd animals.}

Violeta, whose cynicism toward government—anybody’s government—would peel paint from a wall, watched a video clip purportedly of a Russian tank crushing a car occupied by Ukrainians. She noticed after research that the Russian tank was black without markings, like Ukrainian tanks, instead of green with markings, like all other Russian tanks. OK, maybe it was an undercover Russian tank. She also noticed in some of the Russian-destruction video, street signs are blurred out. Uh…, why dat? Anyone want to guess?

Why do reporters not pay attention? First, again, they are creatures of the pack. They live in the Beltway Terrarium, talk to each other, read each other, and so know they are right. Don’t their colleagues all say so? Second, they are painfully ignorant of matters military, knowing chiefly the bureaucracies involved in policy, contracting, and so on. This includes those for the WaPo, whom I knew—Gerge Wilson, Molly Moore, etc. As a comparison with the coverage of the Washington media, here is a piece by Scott Ritter, a former American intelligence officer stationed in, among other places, Moscow. It is long but contains the kind of knowledge that not one of the Beltways reporters, squalling, screeching, preening and yodeling has an earthworm’s grasp.

Why did Russia attack? Anyone who can read a map can see that since 1991 the US has been trying, with considerable success, to encircle Russia militarily. Russia has said over and over that it was not going to have American missiles on its border in the Ukraine any more than America would allow Chinese missiles in Tijuana. I encountered no one in DC who had even heard of this, though it has been going on for years. This is journalism?

Yes.

All things end, except those that don’t. On a cold rainy predawn morning we caught an Uber to Reagan National, returning to a country that has just left the Third World to one energetically returning to it. A stewardess aboard read the boilerplate about have a wonderful flight. She didn’t explain just how that laudable goal might be achieved. Remember, cometh the guillotine. Kachunk. Kachunk. Kachun.

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Andrei Martyanov: Mariupol, Dmitry Medvedev, West’s suicide, incompetence as a virtue. Narcissism of the West.

April 21, 2022

They Saw and Heard the Truth — Then Lied About It: Media on Donbass Delegation Omitted Mention of Ukraine’s 8 Year War on the Autonomous Republics

 

Photos from site of Ukraine’s March 14 missile attack on Donetsk. Photo: Eva Bartlett, March 24, 2022.

Source

-by Eva K Bartlett, April 5, 2022

*Following is a lengthy overview of my recent re-visit to the Donbass, on a two day media delegation, with a brief critique of some of the media’s slanted reporting. It is also a follow up from my 2019 visit to hard hit areas of the Donetsk People’s Republic. It is now 8 years of Ukraine’s war on the people of the Donetsk & Lugansk Republics.

Point of impact of March 14 Ukrainian missile attack on Donetsk. Photo: Eva Bartlett, March 24, 2022.

In the last week of March, I stood on a central Donetsk main street next to two of the impact points of a Ukrainian missile attack that had killed 21 civilians and injured nearly 40 more on March 14. The Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) maintains that their military intercepted Ukraine’s Tochka-U ballistic missile, and that not all of the cluster munitions inside had exploded in the city streets, thereby lessening the already terrible bloodshed it caused. Indeed, if all of the munitions had exploded, it would have been a bloodbath more horrific than the 21 killed.

Photo: Eva Bartlett, March 24, 2022.

Near the ATM, there were flowers and candles laid in memory of the civilians murdered that day, with haunting photos nearby depicting the aftermath of the bombing, the grisly scenes of the dead and the maimed—scenes you will generally never see blasted across Western corporate media, just as the same media were silent when terrorism struck civilian areas in Syria.

I’m intimately familiar with war zones, and with Western corporate media’s white-washing of the perpetrators’ crimes (Israeli crimes against Palestinians; Western-backed terrorists’ crimes against Syrians; Ukrainian military and Nazi crimes against the civilians of the Donbass—and also against Ukrainians proper), so the lack of media coverage on this recent Ukrainian war crime doesn’t surprise me.

They don’t report on it, or the myriad Ukrainian war crimes prior, because it doesn’t suit their narrative, a narrative that erases the eight years of Ukraine’s war against the four million people of the Donbass republics, killing at least 14,000 people, to give a modest estimate.

War crimes investigator, Ivan Kopyl, spoke about Ukraine’s March 14 attack, noting, “The warhead of a Tochka-U missile contains 50 cassettes of cluster munitions. We managed to find 28 traces of cluster explosions on the soil…A Tochka-U missile changes its orientation just before landing, so after it flies on a trajectory it makes a turn and falls vertically down before detonating at a certain height. The fragments then shower the surface in a radius of approximately 150 meters.”

I have one of those cluster fragments, a twisted and jagged square-shaped piece of metal—seemingly harmless looking on its own, but deadly when flying through the air at high speed, in great numbers.

The attack occurred around noon, when this central city street—not a military area, but a civilian one—would have been busy. Photos show a gutted bus and gutted cars. Pensioners, Koply noted, would have been lined up at the ATM right where the blasts occurred. “There was also damage to a yard where there are two kindergartens – there were several craters there,” he noted.

The strike on the heart of the city is among the latest in Ukraine’s litany of war crimes.

Ukraine again bombed Donetsk following the March 14 attack. Donetsk News Agency reported on March 30 that the Ukrainian forces’ bombing had killed one person and seriously injured four others. One of the girls injured in that attack fell into a coma, the DPR Ombudsman noted.

And just now, there’s been news of another Ukrainian Tochka-U attack. According to RT, at least 50 people (including 5 children) were killed at a railway station in Kramatorsk, where thousands of people were waiting for evacuation trains. Eduard Basurin, a representative of the DPR People’s Militia, stated that the attack was a missile containing prohibited cluster munitions.

Gonzalo Lira writes:

“This is a fragment of the missile that hit the Kramatorsk train station…The AFU has blamed the Russians, but this picture of the missile shows that it is indisputably a Tochka-U rocket — used exclusively by the Ukrainian side. It’s the same kind of missile that two weeks ago hit the center of Donetsk and killed 27 civilians.

What’s that saying? Once is an accident, twice is a coincidence, three times . . .”

As of March 31, the Ombudsman reported that there’s been 6,010 deaths, including 96 children, since Ukraine’s war began in 2014. And that’s only with regards to the DPR. In the Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR), which has also been under Ukrainian fire since 2014, as of late February, 1,762 civilians had been killed, including 35 children.

During my 2019 visit to the DPR, I went to the northern city of Gorlovka, of which I wrote:

“Gorlovka was hardest hit in 2014, especially on July 27, when the center was rocked by Ukrainian-fired Grad and Uragan missiles from morning to evening. After the dust settled and the critically-injured had succumbed to their wounds, at least 30 were dead, including five children. The day came to be known as Bloody Sunday.

A monument commemorates the Gorlovka victims of Ukrainian bombings and sniping from 2014-2017. Near a sculpture of an angel, over 230 names fill the marble slabs, the first dedicated solely to children, 20 of them.”

Photo: Eva Bartlett, March 24, 2022.

At the site of the March 14 bombing, DPR head Denis Pushilin spoke, outlining the chronology the last 8 years, from the violent coup in Ukraine and subsequent increase in radical Ukrainian nationalism, to the two republics’ decision to push for autonomy, to Ukraine unleashing hell on the 4 million people and continual violations of the (2014 & 2015) Minsk Agreements and the massive amounts of weapons pumped from the West to Ukraine (see also). [*Note: I’ll be adding a subtitled clip of his words in the next day or two.]

School and Hospital shelled by Ukrainian forces

The town of Volnovakha—on the road between Donetsk and Mariupol further south—was secured by DPR forces nearly two weeks prior to our visit. Entering the town, we passed destroyed homes and buildings, which was expected, as there was heavy fighting to liberate the area held by the Ukrainian forces.

As they did in their copy-paste reporting on liberated areas of Syria, most Western media reports on Volnovakha focus on the destruction, without any context as to why it occurred—these residential areas were occupied by Ukrainian forces, and not all of the destruction was from DPR forces’ fighting against the Ukrainian forces: the Ukrainian forces themselves fired on homes, and according to hospital staff, on the hospital itself.

In addition to not giving this context, most Western media in general depict the liberating forces as deliberately and wantonly destroying everything in sight. Some media went as far as to claim that Putin himself had destroyed the town. This cartoonish narrative, so prevalent in Western reports whitewashing terrorism in Syria and now in whitewashing Ukrainian forces’ crimes, unfortunately does achieve its intended effect: duping Western viewers into believing the opposite of reality–that the liberators are the war criminals.

Again, just as terrorist factions in Syria occupied schools and hospitals, so too do Ukrainian forces, including in Volnovakha. When DPR forces had liberated the city, they found foreign weapons used by Ukrainian forces inside the hospital. [See also: Western Media Quick to Accuse Syria of ‘Bombing Hospitals’ – But When Terrorists Really Destroy Syrian Hospitals, They Are Silent]

In a central area of Volnovakha, Russian soldiers handed out humanitarian aid to lines of residents, including: bags of canned goods, fresh bread, water.

According to Alexander Yurievich Kachalov, the interim mayor, Ukrainian forces used civilians as human shields. “They made sure to destroy as much infrastructure as possible. They bombed buildings in order to leave ruins after they left, to make it harder for us to restore.”

This was common in Syria. Terrorist factions destroyed buildings and vehicles when fleeing, while leaving mines and booby traps on streets and in houses, to kill still more civilians and soldiers.

A woman waiting in line for humanitarian aid said, “They say Russia did this. This wasn’t Russia, Ukraine did it, destroyed everything here! They shot at our hospital. I work there. The new children’s and infection units have been destroyed. The outpatient clinic was destroyed. And then they left. They took the medical staff’s car and went away.”

At the destroyed hospital, Chief Physician, Viktor Fedorovich Saranov, said:

“[The Ukrainian Army] were there. There were tanks on our territory. There were guns and Grads outside the territory.  I asked them to act in accordance with the Hague and Geneva conventions. I asked them to leave the hospital. They said it was war.

Many people come to us from nearby houses under fire. About 500-600 people came to our basement. We gave everyone three meals a day.

The second and third floors were occupied here. We were preparing for a long siege, and then it turned out like this: they conducted an attack. They evacuated the soldiers. And they mined the entrance to the intensive care unit. On the last day, when they were leaving, they shot at the intensive care unit.” The ICU, he said, had already been evacuated.

A woman who said she had worked at the hospital as a nurse for nearly 58 years said:

“On the 28th I was home alone. They soon started shelling. How can they do it with their local hospital? With patients here. They were laying in corridors, as they had been evacuated. They said there was no one in the hospital, no staff, no patients. This is a lie.”

Later, researching, I came across this news (*warning, graphic video at the link):

“Foreign mercenaries who were wounded in the Volnovakha hospital were shot by their own before leaving the city so that they could not tell anything. All the wounded have a control shot in the temple or the back of the head.”

On the road back towards Donetsk, we stopped at a school that had been shelled in late February.

According to Victoria Terichenko, head of the Dokuchaevsk city administration’s Department of Education, the shelling was by Ukrainian forces.

“Of course, Ukraine. There were only Ukrainian troops there. We had no military here, we were only civilians here.”

Fortunately, children weren’t at school at the time of the shelling, but Terichenko said a nursery school in the area had been shelled, with children inside, but again, fortunately, not on the side of the building shelled.

Horrors of Ukraine’s War on the People of the Donbass Republics

Ukraine’s relentless bombing and sniping of the people of Donbass is bad enough, along with it being ignored by Western press and politicians.

But in its eight years of warring on a people who rejected the rule of ultra-nationalists and Nazis, who just wanted to live autonomously, speak their own language, remember their history (Ukraine has rewritten history to glorify Nazis and Nazi collaborators and to vilify those who defeated Nazism, namely the Soviets), Ukraine has committed war crimes as heinous as ISIS and their co-terrorists in Syria, with more and more testimonies coming out of mass graves, rapes, torture of civilians and Donbass soldiers, beheadings. None of this shocking given the crimes these extremists commit against even Ukrainian civilians and journalists.

Along a sidewalk flanking a central park, there is a row of photos containing incredibly disturbing images of murdered LPR civilians.

Elders slaughtered on benches and in wheelchairs, the corpse of an infant, mass graves, a room used to imprison and torture people, the insignia of the notorious rapists and murderers of the “Tornado” battalion.

One photo shows Nazi graffiti left on a wall.

These are similar to the graffiti I saw in January 2009 left by Israeli soldiers who occupied the home of a Palestinian family, half of which had been killed by Israeli-fired White Phosphorous. One of the slogans written in Hebrew was: “Next time it will hurt more.” This, to the family whose infant had burned alive due to the White Phosphorous bombing, and whose surviving family members were badly mutilated from the prohibited weapon. In another house in eastern Gaza, likewise occupied and desecrated by Israeli soldiers, more hate and death graffiti had been left for the traumatized inhabitants.

Different people and places–same violent hatred of the population being targeted.

In the same park area, there is a monument to two journalists killed in 2014 by Ukrainian forces. Had these journalists been killed by Russia or Syria, their names would have been on the front pages of news sites and TIME magazine covers. In Syria, dozens of journalists have been killed by terrorist forces, to the silence of not only Western media but also of the groups supposedly advocating for journalists’ rights and safety.

In Shchastia, north of Lugansk, more civilians received humanitarian aid in the liberated town.

Humanitarian aid being handed out in Shchastia, a town north of Lugansk, liberated in early March.

Western Delivered Weapons on Display

In the two republics, we saw some of the vehicles and weapons captured from Ukrainian forces. Telesur journalist Alejandro Kirk spoke to me about these captured weapons and vehicles, noting the many foreign made weapons sold to Ukraine. Western countries continue to sell weapons to Ukraine.

On March 20, journalist Alexander Rubinstein wrote of the West’s exorbitant shipping of billions of dollars in weapons to Ukraine over the years. He noted:

“At least 32 countries have announced their intention to ship billions of dollars in weapons into Ukraine for use against Russian forces in Ukraine. Photographic evidence shows that these weapons have already ended up in the hands of neo-Nazi paramilitaries – units which have already received training and arms the US and its NATO allies.

All of this builds on $3.8 billion in military aid from the United States to Ukraine, the training of 55,000 Ukrainian soldiers by Canada and the United Kingdom, and a longstanding CIA program aimed at cultivating an anti-Russian insurgency.

…weapons furnished by NATO allies have been placed in the hands of the Azov Battalion, a neo-Nazi former paramilitary organization incorporated into the Ukrainian National Guard.

The governments of Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom have presided over a massive program to train and equip Ukrainian soldiers for a full-scale war with Russia. Trainees have included top commanders of the Azov Battalion.

In late February, the European Union opened the floodgates of weapon shipments to Ukraine, approving financing through the aptly-named “European Peace Facility” to reimburse countries sending weapons to the country to the tune of $500 million USD. Another $55 million USD is earmarked for non-lethal military aid.

This February, the State Department announced $350 million in additional military aid to Ukraine, bringing “the total security assistance the United States has committed to Ukraine over the past year to more than $1 billion.”

Another $200 million was sent in early March, and following Zelensky’s March 16 appeal to Congress for more weapons, Biden is reportedly set to dole out another $800 in military aid including 800 Stinger anti-aircraft systems, 9,000 anti-tank systems, 5,000 rifles, 1,000 pistols, 400 machine guns, 400 shotguns, 400 grenade launchers, 20 million rounds of ammunition, 100 tactical drones, 25,000 sets of body armor and 25,000 helmets. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

These figures add to the $2.5 billion in military aid the US delivered between 2014 and the summer of 2021, bringing the total to $3.8 billion.”

Missing Context: What the Donbass People Have Endured In 8 Years of Ukraine’s War

After my September 2019 visit to the DPR, I wrote about the mostly elderly civilians I met who were living in battered homes damaged by Ukrainian shelling and heavy machine gun fire just 500 meters and 600 meters from Ukrainian forces. They remained there, they told me, mostly because they had nowhere else to go. Some spoke to me on camera, others were afraid of Ukrainian retaliation were they to be interviewed.

But their stories were all pretty much the same: at night, when the observers of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) left, the Ukrainian terrorizing began, with shelling throughout the night.

I also met a couple who had been living for 6 years in the stinking, dank, basement of a battered school, after Ukrainian bombing destroyed their home.

The DPR press officer who accompanied me and provided translations, spoke of how Ukrainian forces used weapons prohibited under the Minsk Agreements.

Irina Dikun, head of the administration of Zaitsevo, another frontline village, spoke at length on the Ukrainian bombing that erupted nearly every night.

“They are destroying street by street in the town. They take one street and destroy it house by house. Then they turn to another street. There was a school, and a nursery school, before, but they were both destroyed by Ukrainian artillery.”

As in Syria, when schools and hospitals are actually destroyed (in Syria by terrorist factions), the same media that howls over militarized hospitals being targeted, the same media that also manufactures stories that never even occurred, is silent when the destroying is actually done, by Ukrainian forces.

In Zaitsevo, Irina explained fire trucks and medics couldn’t reach targeted homes, because the ambulances themselves became targets for Ukrainian forces (as happens in Gaza, where medics are targeted by Israeli forces, as I myself witnessed).

During that 2019 visit, I also interviewed some of the defenders of the DPR, painted by Western media as “separatists”, “pro-Russian forces” and other such descriptions meant to dehumanize. The same Western media so quick to humanize terrorists, including one who chewed the organ of a dead Syrian soldier.

One more relevant note from that visit: Dmitri asked what people in the West think about the fact there is a Nazi state in Europe. I replied that most people don’t know, because of the media whitewashing.

Which brings me to my recent return to the Donbass: I was curious to see whether the journalists on the same delegation as me would report truthfully, partial truths, or fabricated lies. As it turned out, my skepticism was warranted.

Distortions and Omissions of Some Western Media on the Ground in the Donbass

Telesur’s report gave the historical context needed to understand the present, including the coup in Ukraine, the active neo-Nazis in Ukraine (many of whom re entrenched in the Ukrainian army), the past eight years of Ukraine’s war on the Donbass, the 14,000 killed during these years, and the media blackout on the suffering of the Donbass people.

Sky News’ report was good, mentioning the civilians killed in Donbass by Ukraine’s war, including the March 14 attack and the school shelling, while also giving air time to the DPR’s Pushilin.

Neither of the two French channels’ (FranceInfo and TF1Info) reports on the delegation’s visit mentioned the March 14 Tochka-U attack, even though we visited the site & Pushilin spoke of it at length, much less the roughly 8,000 civilians killed in the two republics alone. I couldn’t find mention of the Azov or other Nazi battalions participating in the atrocities against the Donbass people, even though we heard about them and saw the graphic photo display in Lugansk. Their reports were framed as, “this is what Russia wants us to see,” regarding the humanitarian aid and reclaimed towns.

And of course, they focused greatly on the destruction, but not on the reasons for it, the implication being that the Russians and the “pro-Russian separatists” were responsible.

The chief physician of the hospital in Volnokava spoke at length and did specifically state the Ukrainian army had occupied the hospital, as did the nurse I cited, both of whom addressed the group of journalists.

FranceInfo’s mention of the hospital was framed as, “The Russians accuse the Ukrainians of having bombed it.” They included a few seconds of the chief physician saying he didn’t know who had done it, there were soldiers in the area, he didn’t know who.

But actually, the physician spoke to us for about several minutes, during which—as I wrote earlier—he did specifically talk about the presence of the Ukrainian army in the hospital.

One journalist asked: “Why did such destruction happen?” To which the chief physician replied, “I don’t know. They were military. And who they were: military, national battalions, army? I don’t know.”

That’s the bit France TV cherry picked, omitting his previous words about the Ukrainian army occupying the hospital, as well as omitting what he said afterwards: “There was Ukrainian territory on that side and the rockets were from that side. They mined the entrance to the intensive care unit. On the last day when they were leaving, they shot at the intensive care unit.”

Likewise, TF1Info included just a few seconds of the physician’s words on the Ukrainian cannons and machine guns at the hospital, but then followed up with the presenter’s caveat: it is one of the arguments often presented by the Kremlin—in spite of the fact that not only he, but the nurse and many people I encountered in the town specifically blamed the Ukrainian army for occupying the hospital and attacking it themselves when leaving.

If there were any further TF1Info reports from their journalist’s visit which might have included mention of Donbass’ dead, I couldn’t find them. Likewise, of FranceInfo.

This tactic of cherry picking quotes and omitting information is a standard corporate media war propaganda tactic and, unfortunately one seen over and over in Syria and elsewhere.

Journalist Vanessa Beeley wrote of one particularly horrific and sadistic terrorist massacre of 200 Syrian civilians, including 116 children, in April 2017, killed by an explosion as they were being evacuated from their terrorist besieged villages. She wrote of one traumatized woman who lost 20 family members (10 dead, 10 missing) having witnessed the attack.

“Then, after the filming session (by various agencies, including Dubai based Orient News & Qatari Al Jazeera) which lasted approximately ten minutes, she and the other parents were forced back onto the buses, at gunpoint, and locked inside. They had to watch, while the armed militia collected the dead, dying and mutilated bodies of their community’s children and flung them in the back of trucks and Turkish ambulances, before driving them away from their families in Rashideen.

Not one western media outlet questioned why these injured, dying and disoriented children were being piled on top of one another in the back of a truck that obviously belonged to Nusra Front.”

In fact, as they did routinely in their Syria coverage, media essentially relegated these dead civilians as unimportant, because their deaths didn’t fit the corporate narrative, even when civilians were repeatedly targeted by horrific terrorist bombings, mortars and missiles.

Global Media Abusing the Suffering of the Donbass to Further Anti-Russia War Propaganda, Just as They Did in Syria…

It is already bad enough that Western media generally don’t report on Ukraine’s relentless shelling of the Donbass, but all the more disgusting when it depicts a scene from the March 14 bombing of Donetsk as if it was a bombing of Lvov by Russia.

“The aftermath of the bombing of Donetsk by Ukrainian “Tochka-U” missile, used by Italian newspaper “La Stampa” as an image from Lvov
*Propaganda noted in this article: The Hard Facts about Ukraine and Donbass
At the site of the Tochka-U missile attack in Donetsk, photos of the moments after the bombing, including the scene depicted in Western media as in Lvov. Photo: Eva Bartlett, March 24, 2022.

This isn’t the only instance. More recently, various Western media have used footage showing a multi-story apartment building in Donetsk that was bombed by Ukraine on March 30 to infer that the scene depicted was actually of Ukrainian areas that had been bombed by Russia. If you followed the war propaganda around Syria, you would be aware that this practice is common, not accidental.

New York post using Donetsk bombing photo to infer the scene was Kiev or elsewhere, under Russian bombing. The article has since been updated, photo removed. They would say it was a mistake. With corporate media, it never is. Luckily, at the time, some observers caught the lie.

And as with war propaganda on Syria, some media will use footage not even from Ukraine:

I could add paragraphs of examples of how Western media did this in Syria, but for the sake of brevity will state simply that this is one of many deceitful and deliberate propaganda tactics used to both downplay the hell civilians are suffering under Ukraine’s bombing, and instead to pretend Ukraine is the victim. How the journalists that propagate such lies live with themselves, I’ll never understand.

Finally, a word to some in independent media who feel the need to denigrate Russia’s denazification operation in Ukraine by snidely putting “special operation” in quotation marks, or others who took to social media to tell the world they don’t like war, and denounced Russia for its military operation (to stop a war): The people of the Donbass don’t like war, they didn’t ask for Ukraine to unleash hell upon them. Such posturing disrespects the at least 14,000 killed by Ukraine’s war.

As journalist Roman Kosarev, who has covered the war eightyears, said: “Russia isn’t starting a war, Russia is ending one.

Video: Leaked Recording Allegedly Confirms Massacre in Bucha Was Staged by Ukrainian Militants

Global Research, April 08, 2022

South Front

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***

On April 7, another evidence reportedly confirmed that the ‘Bucha massacre’ was staged by Ukrainian military.

As soon as Ukrainian journalists reached the area of the Kiev region left by Russian forces, the streets of Bucha turned out to be covered by corpses of Ukrainian civilians. Obviously, Russian servicemen are blamed of mass murders when leaving the area.

Numerous evidences from the area confirmed that the Bucha massacre was another propaganda provocation by the Kiev regime.

On the video from Bucha, one of alleged corpses of civilians is seen getting up from the ground. Another argument confirming that the video is fake was the fact that there were no women allegedly killed by Russian servicemen, seen on the streets. More information here: LINKLINKLINK

New Evidences Shed Light on Alleged Massacre in Bucha, Kiev Region

Video Player

On April 7, an audio recording of the alleged negotiations between the militants of the unit of the so-called territorial defence under the command of Ukrainian Nazi Sergei “Bossman” Korotkov. This unit was one of the first to enter Bucha after Russian forces left the area and they were free to kill civilians without a blue handband, as a sign for Ukrainian military.

Some of the MSM have already tried to present the recording as a conversation between Russian soldiers who were allegedly preparing a provocation in Ukraine. However, it is evident that the servicemen are speaking Ukrainian, they discussed the exact video staged in Bucha, and that ‘Sergey’ mentioned during the conversation is likely the notorious Ukrainian commander.

At the same time, the sources of the recording have not yet been confirmed, and there is a possibility that this is nothing but another fake spread by any of the warring sides within the ongoing information war.Audio Player

Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.

Swear words are written with ****

– Hello.
– Hello Vasya, are you talking?! Can you f**ing hear me right now?
– Yes, I hear you well. Yes.
– Vasya, can you f** answer me one question. What the ***, Vasya, are you all really f**ed up there. Could you do anything well to me or not?!
– That is, what?!
– Shut up, Vasya. Why *** are they moving on camera, tell me, Vasya, ***. Can’t they *** lie down for five minutes?! Sergey Sergeevich f***ed me for half an hour now in front of everyone.
– I understand everything, this will not happen again.
– Don’t *** do it anymore, Vasya. Do you understand or not?! Next *** time, you’ll follow that Russian ship, ***. And I will go with you.
– Taras Grigoryevich, I understand everything, everything. Next time it will be different.
– How *** is there any other way?! Was difficult to put a woman on the road? You tell me! There was no *** normal woman?! You have *** only men in the frame lying, *** ***. I found some *** idiots in a civilian settlement.
– I assure you, Taras Grigoryevich, next time we will definitely do it well.
– That’s a *** (failure) , Vasya. I’m telling you, it’s just a f*** (failure). And tell Feder *** too, he is gonna get from the office now, ***. That’s it, ***.

*

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Journalist Roman Kosarev: “It’s not Russia starting a war, it’s Russia ending the war that’s been happening here the last 8 years”

 

Eva Bartlett

Eva Bartlett is an independent writer and rights activist with extensive experience in Syria and in the Gaza Strip, where she lived a cumulative three years (from late 2008 to early 2013). She documented the 2008/9 and 2012 Israeli war crimes and attacks on Gaza while riding in ambulances and reporting from hospitals. In 2017, she was short-listed for the prestigious Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism.

While in Donetsk a few days ago, I met RT journalist Roman Kosarev, who has been based in the Donbass republics, covering Ukraine’s war on the people, a war ignored by Western media and politicians.

Follow Roman’s work:

https://t.me/corrkosarev

https://www.rt.com/search?q=roman+kosarev

https://www.facebook.com/rkosarev

Related Links:

*My (2019) Donbass war report & interviews:

More by Eva Bartlett

Get Your Facts Straight First Then You Can Distort Them as You Please

April 4 2022

By Fatima Haydar

Beirut – Researching is the act of studying a subject in detail, especially in order to discover new information or reach a new understanding. It takes hard work to come up with a comprehensive and well-written research. In the process, the researcher should be skilled with the ability to search for, find, collect, analyze, interpret and evaluate information that is relevant to the subject being studied.

This being said, the foundation for an eloquent piece of writing has been laid. During the process of writing, the writer is a researcher/historian/copy-editor in a single person. One of the writer’s various tasks is getting his facts first – but not any facts, the correct ones.

In an article in the National Interest’s Blogs section titled “Hezbollah’s Turning Point Came in 1992”, Sean Durns presents extensive information on what he – and namely the West and western media – believes to be a summarized history of Hezbollah from its initiation until the year 1992 which he says was a major date in the resistance group’s history.

Clearly, Durns has done his homework well. He provides his article with quotations and excerpts from well-known figures in the Western world; Matthew Levitt – the director of counterterrorism and intelligence for the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Magnus Ranstrop – a noted terrorism analyst, Ronen Bergman – a historian and journalist, Richard Armitage – former US deputy secretary of state, are a few of those figures cited by Durns in his article.

To make his article more credible, Durns cites findings by the Central Intelligence Agency [CIA] on a Hezbollah operation in 1984. He also adds details from media reports on the same operation and others that would reinforce his beliefs on the resistance group.

However, what Durns missed throughout the entire process of writing is to make sure to proofread his article. In the article, Durns mentions twice the name “Hussein Abbas al-Musawi”, who he later defines as “Hezbollah’s secretary-general, leader”.

This is an unforgivable mistake for a well-informed analyst in the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting and Analysis [CAMERA].

In fact, “Hussein Abbas al-Musawi” is the youngest son of martyred Hezbollah SG Sayyed Abbas al-Mousawwi. Sayyed Abbas, his wife and his six-year-old son had been assassinated by an “Israeli” Hellfire missile fired from an Apache helicopter on February 16, 1992 while they returned home after commemorating the martyrdom anniversary of Sheikh Ragheb Harb in Jibchit.

Furthermore, Durns fails to give a more realistic depiction of details which are not based on American or “Israeli” reporting of events. He fails again when he intentionally ignores details that shed light on the importance of Sayyed Abbas’ actions and their impact on the society back then, and how they resonate to the present day.

Sayyed Abbas was aware of his nation’s pains and concerns, namely, the occupation by the “Israeli” entity which was created by the tyrannous Western powers of Lebanese land.

The concerns of Sayyed Abbas were not restricted to the affairs of the oppressed in Lebanon, and the resistance against the enemy in the south Lebanon. He was striving to create a union headed by Muslim clerics in the world including the forces that believe in fighting the powers of oppression.

In this sense, Durns is going in circles. An endless loop of misinformation and details that are distorted to satisfy the American / “Israeli” / Western scenarios.

He concludes his article by implying that Hezbollah is not an inevitability. Here, again, he fails badly. His failure here is not in related to facts or writing, but rather it’s related to a belief – a doctrine – that Hezbollah, its current and former secretary generals abide by: A right is never lost, as long as someone strives to claim it”.

Media Beats War Drums with Russia Over Ukraine While US/Saudis Kill Hundreds in Yemen

January 28th, 2022

By Mnar Adley

Journalists Benjamin Norton and Alan MacLeod join Mnar Adley to discuss how the mainstream media spent the last week beating drums of war with Russia while ignoring a new deadly US-backed Saudi onslaught in Yemen.

Journalists Benjamin Norton and Alan MacLeod join Mnar Adley to discuss how the mainstream media spent the last week beating drums of war with Russia over Ukraine with headlines and talking heads funded and sponsored by Lockheed Martin and NATO.

Meanwhile, there wasn’t a single article covering how the US-Saudi-UAE coalition cut off the internet to Yemen for several days while dropping hundreds of bombs on civilians resulting in hundreds dead and over a thousand injured. Guess which story CNN covered? Both conflicts were brought to you by weapons manufacturers.

“Shame on You, New York Times!” Scientists Speak Out Over Media Disinformation on China

By Alan Macleod

Source

“Our quotes are intendedly twisted casting shadows over important scientific work.” — Danish epidemiologist Thea Kølsen Fischer

ATexas teenager has been forced to use her entire college savings to prevent her single mother from being evicted after she lost her job amid a raging pandemic. Alondra Carmona of Houston made the appeal on crowdfunding site GoFundMe, noting that she had been accepted into prestigious New York university Barnard College, but that she used the money she had saved for tuition in order to save her mother.

Some of the world’s top scientists are condemning The New York Times for what they describe as a highly misleading hit job on their recent visit to Wuhan, China.

New York Times Wuhan

The Times latest hit piece on China | Feb 12, 2021

On Friday, the Times published a bombshell report titled “On WHO Trip, China Refused to Hand Over Important Data.” The article, subtitled, “The information could be key to determining how and when the outbreak started, and to learning how to prevent future pandemics,” claims that Chinese authorities put up “continuous resistance” to the group’s attempts to understand the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic that has now killed over 2.4 million people worldwide. China, it says, “stymied” their progress, “refusing to hand over raw data” that the Times implies would show that the outbreak began earlier than December 2019, a finding that “would leave China open to more criticism” and another example of a supposed Chinese “cover up” of the outbreak. China’s obstinance, it claimed, was so overwhelming that it led to shouting matches between the international team and local authorities.

Yet the report was immediately lambasted by many of the world’s leading scientists, including some who the Times spoke to and quoted in the article. “This was NOT my experience on the WHO mission,” said Peter Daszak, the president of EcoHealth Alliance in New York. “As the lead of the animal/environmental working group, I found trust and openness with my China counterparts. We DID get access to critical new data throughout. We DID increase our understanding of likely spillover pathways.” Daszak went on to explain that he was given a very wide range of data and his investigation was unvetted throughout.

Danish epidemiologist Thea Kølsen Fischer, another source on which the Times’ report was based, chimed in with a similar message:

This was NOT my experience either on the epidemiological side. We DID build up a good relationship in the Chinese/international epidemiology team! Allowing for heated arguments reflects a deep level of engagement in the room. Our quotes are intendedly twisted casting shadows over important scientific work.”

“Hear! Hear!,” replied Daszak. “It’s disappointing to spend time with journalists explaining key findings of our exhausting month-long work in China, to see our colleagues selectively misquoted to fit a narrative that was prescribed before the work began. Shame on you, New York Times!”

Dr. Hume Field, an epidemiologist and veterinarian who co-led a previous WHO investigation into the origins of the 2002-2004 SARS pandemic, also condemned the Times’ reporting. “Collaboration is all about mutual trust and respect. If you don’t have that, no one is going to share data with you,” he stated, “we urgently need to jettison the political crap. Hopefully there is enough enduring personal goodwill for us to effectively proceed.”

“Political crap”

Unfortunately, “political crap” has been getting in the way of an effective COVID-19 response since the outbreak began in late 2019. While most of the media, including The New York Times, has constantly claimed China intentionally covered up the coronavirus for political gain, the world’s medical and scientific community has been adamant that Beijing’s response was exemplary. A statement published in The Lancet, often considered the world’s most prestigious medical journal, commended China’s “remarkable” effort in “working diligently and effectively to rapidly identify the pathogen behind this outbreak, putting in place significant measures to reduce its impact, and sharing their results transparently with the global health community.”

It also condemned the “conspiracy theories” about a possible man-made COVID-19 origin, noting that the “overwhelming” evidence for this strain of the coronavirus originates in wildlife. Dr. Michael Ryan, Executive Director of the WHO’s Health Emergencies Programme, also lauded China’s actions, claiming he had “never seen the scale and commitment of an epidemic response.” “The challenge is great, but the response has been massive and the Chinese government deserve huge credit for that response and for the transparency in which they have dealt with this,” he added.

This is not how COVID-19 has been presented in Western media, with China overwhelmingly presented as having failed to contain its international spread. An October poll of 14 developed countries found that in every one, citizens believed their own government’s response was superior to that of China’s, even in countries with over 500 times the per capita deaths. The upshot of the coverage has been a surge in anti-Chinese sentiment worldwide and an increase in hate crimes against Asians. Amid growing tensions, both the Trump and Biden administrations have pushed forward with aggressive actions towards China, leading to what many have described as the beginning of a second Cold War.

The New York Times has spent much of 2020 covering and condemning COVID conspiracies and fake news. For their next article on coronavirus misinformation, perhaps they could look a little closer to home for inspiration.

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