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There Is More Than One Truth to Tell in the Terrible Story of Aleppo
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Western politicians, “experts” and journalists are going to have to reboot their stories over the next few days now that Bashar al-Assad’s army has retaken control of eastern Aleppo. We’re going to find out if the 250,000 civilians “trapped” in the city were indeed that numerous. We’re going to hear far more about why they were not able to leave when the Syrian government and Russian air force staged their ferocious bombardment of the eastern part of the city.

And we’re going to learn a lot more about the “rebels” whom we in the West – the US, Britain and our head-chopping mates in the Gulf – have been supporting.

They did, after all, include al-Qaeda (alias Jabhat al-Nusra, alias Jabhat Fateh al-Sham), the “folk” – as George W Bush called them – who committed the crimes against humanity in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania on 11 September 2001. Remember the War on Terror? Remember the “pure evil” of al-Qaeda. Remember all the warnings from our beloved security services in the UK about how al-Qaeda can still strike terror in London?

Not when the rebels, including al-Qaeda, were bravely defending east Aleppo, we didn’t – because a powerful tale of heroism, democracy and suffering was being woven for us, a narrative of good guys versus bad guys as explosive and dishonest as “weapons of mass destruction”.

Back in the days of Saddam Hussein – when a few of us argued that the illegal invasion of Iraq would lead to catastrophe and untold suffering, and that Tony Blair and George Bush were taking us down the path to perdition – it was incumbent upon us, always, to profess our repugnance of Saddam and his regime. We had to remind readers, constantly, that Saddam was one of the Triple Pillars of the Axis of Evil.

So here goes the usual mantra again, which we must repeat ad nauseam to avoid the usual hate mail and abuse that will today be cast at anyone veering away from the approved and deeply flawed version of the Syrian tragedy.

Yes, Bashar al-Assad has brutally destroyed vast tracts of his cities in his battle against those who wish to overthrow his regime. Yes, that regime has a multitude of sins to its name: torture, executions, secret prisons, the killing of civilians, and – if we include the Syrian militia thugs under nominal control of the regime – a frightening version of ethnic cleansing.

Yes, we should fear for the lives of the courageous doctors of eastern Aleppo and the people for whom they have been caring. Anyone who saw the footage of the young man taken out of the line of refugees fleeing Aleppo last week by the regime’s intelligence men should fear for all those who have not been permitted to cross the government lines. And let’s remember how the UN grimly reported it had been told of 82 civilians “massacred” in their homes in the last 24 hours.

But it’s time to tell the other truth: that many of the “rebels” whom we in the West have been supporting – and which our preposterous Prime Minister Theresa May indirectly blessed when she grovelled to the Gulf head-choppers last week – are among the cruellest and most ruthless of fighters in the Middle East. And while we have been tut-tutting at the frightfulness of Isis during the siege of Mosul (an event all too similar to Aleppo, although you wouldn’t think so from reading our narrative of the story), we have been willfully ignoring the behaviour of the rebels of Aleppo.

Only a few weeks ago, I interviewed one of the very first Muslim families to flee eastern Aleppo during a ceasefire. The father had just been told that his brother was to be executed by the rebels because he crossed the frontline with his wife and son. He condemned the rebels for closing the schools and putting weapons close to hospitals. And he was no pro-regime stooge; he even admired Isis for their good behaviour in the early days of the siege.

Around the same time, Syrian soldiers were privately expressing their belief to me that the Americans would allow Isis to leave Mosul to again attack the regime in Syria. An American general had actually expressed his fear that Iraqi Shiite militiamen might prevent Isis from fleeing across the Iraqi border to Syria.

Well, so it came to pass. In three vast columns of suicide trucks and thousands of armed supporters, Isis has just swarmed across the desert from Mosul in Iraq, and from Raqqa and Deir ez-Zour in eastern Syria to seize the beautiful city of Palmyra all over again.

It is highly instructive to look at our reporting of these two parallel events. Almost every headline today speaks of the “fall” of Aleppo to the Syrian army – when in any other circumstances, we would have surely said that the army had “recaptured” it from the “rebels” – while Isis was reported to have “recaptured” Palmyra when (given their own murderous behaviour) we should surely have announced that the Roman city had “fallen” once more under their grotesque rule.

Words matter. These are the men – our “chaps”, I suppose, if we keep to the current jihadi narrative – who after their first occupation of the city last year beheaded the 82-year-old scholar who tried to protect the Roman treasures and then placed his spectacles back on his decapitated head.

By their own admission, the Russians flew 64 bombing sorties against the Isis attackers outside Palmyra. But given the huge columns of dust thrown up by the Isis convoys, why didn’t the American air force join in the bombardment of their greatest enemy? But no: for some reason, the US satellites and drones and intelligence just didn’t spot them – any more than they did when Isis drove identical convoys of suicide trucks to seize Palmyra when they first took the city in May 2015.

There’s no doubting what a setback Palmyra represents for both the Syrian army and the Russians – however symbolic rather than military. Syrian officers told me in Palmyra earlier this year that Isis would never be allowed to return. There was a Russian military base in the city. Russian aircraft flew overhead. A Russian orchestra had just played in the Roman ruins to celebrate Palmyra’s liberation.

So what happened? Most likely is that the Syrian military simply didn’t have the manpower to defend Palmyra while closing in on eastern Aleppo.

They will have to take Palmyra back – quickly. But for Bashar al-Assad, the end of the Aleppo siege means that Isis, al-Nusra, al-Qaeda and all the other Salafist groups and their allies can no longer claim a base, or create a capital, in the long line of great cities that form the spine of Syria: Damascus, Homs, Hama and Aleppo.

Back to Aleppo. The familiar and now tired political-journalistic narrative is in need of refreshing. The evidence has been clear for some days. After months of condemning the iniquities of the Syrian regime while obscuring the identity and brutality of its opponents in Aleppo, the human rights organisations – sniffing defeat for the rebels – began only a few days ago to spread their criticism to include the defenders of eastern Aleppo.

Take the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. After last week running through its usual – and perfectly understandable – fears for the civilian population of eastern Aleppo and their medical workers, and for civilians subject to government reprisals and for “hundreds of men” who may have gone missing after crossing the frontlines, the UN suddenly expressed other concerns.

“During the last two weeks, Fatah al-Sham Front [in other words, al-Qaeda] and the Abu Amara Battalion are alleged to have abducted and killed an unknown number of civilians who requested the armed groups to leave their neighbourhoods, to spare the lives of civilians…,” it stated.

“We have also received reports that between 30 November and 1 December, armed opposition groups fired on civilians attempting to leave.” Furthermore, “indiscriminate attacks” had been conducted on heavily civilian areas of government-held western as well as ‘rebel’ eastern Aleppo.

I suspect we shall be hearing more of this in the coming days. Next month, we shall also be reading a frightening new book, Merchants of Men, by Italian journalist Loretta Napoleoni, on the funding of the war in Syria. She catalogues kidnapping-for-cash by both government and rebel forces in Syria, but also has harsh words for our own profession of journalism.

Reporters who were kidnapped by armed guard in eastern Syria, she writes, “fell victim to a sort of Hemingway syndrome: war correspondents supporting the insurgency trust the rebels and place their lives in their hands because they are in league with them.” But, “the insurgency is just a variation of criminal jihadism, a modern phenomenon that has only one loyalty: money.”

Is this too harsh on my profession? Are we really “in league” with the rebels?

Certainly our political masters are – and for the same reason as the rebels kidnap their victims: money. Hence the disgrace of Brexit May and her buffoonerie of ministers who last week prostrated themselves to the Sunni autocrats who fund the jihadis of Syria in the hope of winning billions of pounds in post-Brexit arms sales to the Gulf.

In a few hours, the British parliament is to debate the plight of the doctors, nurses, wounded children and civilians of Aleppo and other areas of Syria. The grotesque behaviour of the UK Government has ensured that neither the Syrians nor the Russians will pay the slightest attention to our pitiful wails. That, too, must become part of the story.

Robert Fisk writes for the Independent, where this column originally appeared.

(Republished from The Independent by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: American Media, ISIS, Syria 
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  1. So what happened? Most likely the CIA provided ISIS intelligence on when and where to hit Palmyra.

    • Replies: @Longfisher
  2. utu says:

    “In three vast columns of suicide trucks and thousands of armed supporters, Isis has just swarmed across the desert from Mosul in Iraq, and from Raqqa and Deir ez-Zour in eastern Syria to seize the beautiful city of Palmyra all over again.”

    But Sputnik had another story:

    “Syrian terrorists use a very sophisticated tactic of moving in small groups, so-called ‘cloud tactic.’ Disguised as Bedouins, locals or even personnel of the Syrian Army, they arrive from different directions and concentrate in one unremarkable location. As a result, a powerful militant force suddenly forms in one place,”

    • Replies: @Che Guava
  3. Greg Bacon says: • Website

    Let’s talk about the BIGGEST LIE about Syria, the lie that it was a civil war. When you get foreign nations, like the USA sending in trainers, money, weapons and importing thugs from all over the ME, Africa and SW Asia, then training them in Jordan and Turkey, then sending in these savages into Syria with orders to destroy Syria, in order to take down Assad, and giving them political support and air cover, that is not a civil war, it is an invasion.
    That’s something that journalists like Fisk and others, refuse to recognize.

    • Agree: Ace
  4. When I see Arabs killing other Arabs my reaction is to hope that neither side runs short of ammunition. I do wish that outside forces would withdraw and let the Arabs get on with what they do best.

    • Replies: @WhatsKarma
    , @schmenz
  5. “the days of Saddam Hussein – when a few of us argued that the illegal invasion of Iraq would lead to catastrophe and untold suffering, and that Tony Blair and George Bush were taking us down the path to perdition”

    My memory of those days is that the anti-war argument in British media and from the left was that Iraq would be another Vietnam, Baghdad another Stalingrad – the US would find itself taking huge casualties and that the war would drag on and on.

    I don’t remember anyone saying that victory against Saddam’s forces would be militarily relatively straightforward, but that then the people of Iraq would respond to the removal of the Saddam yoke by turning on each other – Sunni against Shia, Shia against Sunni, both against Christians and other minority faiths – and that the chaos thus produced would keep the US there (and taking low-level casualties) for a decade or more, while producing a wave of refugees.

    It’s interesting that I didn’t read this, because there was a recent locus classicus before us – post-Tito, post-Iron Curtain Yugoslavia.

    (Diversity Heretic – Arabs are people too. I want them to live long and prosper – in the Middle East.)

  6. Miro23 says:

    Very good video – Thanks. It’s about “regime change” at the behest of Israel with the US/ UK / Saudia Arabia + the media being lined up as usual to support the agenda.

    Like she says, the Syrian people voted for Assad because the alternative was much worse.

    So, at some point the West has to gain its independence from all this, since the next Zionist pack of lies/False Flag is going to drag them into war against Iran or maybe even Russia.

  7. @Diversity Heretic

    Why are you wishing that other people keep killing each other?

    Do you know that many of these rebels are US employees and they are doing exactly what you are advocating?

    Is your comment motivated by Exceptionalism?

    • Replies: @Diversity Heretic
  8. Will someone explain to me why I need to invest my emotions in this story?

    The corporate media keep running this breathlessly urgent, emotionally-laden messaging about Aleppo (and before that, Mosul and before that….yeah, you get it) but no matter how hard they try, they’re not getting me to see how I have a dog in that fight.

    Is this larger system of “Foreign Policy” corruption, where “Non”Government Organizations get the loot to do–well–whatever it is those organizations do (which is mostly pay their executives handsome salaries, I’m sure) such a lucrative gig that they have their own PR firms producing the stories that justify it all?

    EVERYTHING today is bullshit. It’s all a basket of UN-esque criminals robbing Nation-State treasuries by con artistry, and the so-called News Media are just part of the con, while the pitiable people caught up in the slaughter are just backlot extras who don’t get paid under the SAG union contract.

    • Replies: @Anonymous Nephew
  9. Andrei Martyanov [AKA "SmoothieX12"] says: • Website

    Is this too harsh on my profession? Are we really “in league” with the rebels?

    Yes, if the vast decades-long record of siding with jihadists is any indication.

  10. OldMan says:

    Seems that I’m the outsider who has to show up every once in a while to set you folks straight on some basics.
    Last week it was the fantasy harbored by many here that the relatively tiny population of “Rural Whites” caused Trump to win the election.
    This week it’s Mr. Fisk’s ignorance of where the Pentagon is located. Sir, the Pentagon is in VIRGINIA, Northern Virginia to be more precise. When I was in grade school, five hundred years ago, we were taught these things. Even you can learn it, if you try.

    • Replies: @Hunsdon
  11. @WhatsKarma

    Why do I hope (certain) other people keep killing each other? That way there are fewer of them. I said outside powers should get out of Arab affairs and that includes the U.S. The U.S. is not an exceptional nation–it should identify and pursue its vital national interests, of which I see few in Syria or elsewhere in the Middle East.

  12. Andevro says:

    An utterly disgusting failure of humanity!

  13. anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    And we’re going to learn a lot more about the “rebels” whom we in the West – the US, Britain and our head-chopping mates in the Gulf – have been supporting.

    I’m not very sanguine about that. The mainstream media, which holds the commanding heights of transmitting information to the public, will just continue to misrepresent everything. To get at the real picture people have to actively seek it out on the internet or in smaller stories in the press, something most people seem to be incapable of doing.
    It takes a huge amount of ammo, replacement weaponry and constant supply to conduct warfare as AQ, IS, FSA, or whatever alphabet acronym these so-called ‘rebels’ happen to carry at the moment, have been doing. They do not own any ammo or weapons factories so therefore they’ve been receiving steady supplies from various outside sources. This should be apparent even to those with no expertise. Not to mention the stolen oil trafficking with Turkey that gained them hundreds of millions in revenue. Without all this outsider support they wouldn’t have lasted three days.
    The ‘rebels’ are jihadi fanatics from whom nothing good can come. The only way for people of the region to progress and enter the 21st century would be through secular nationalism similar to that outlined by the tenets of the Baath party. Assad may be imperfect but he’s the war leader right now who has stunningly fought off this army of fanatics, forged his own coalition and thwarted the aims of the jihadi’s moneybag paymasters.

    • Replies: @Parbes
  14. utu says:

    I haven’t seen hard hitting exposing the lie of the MSM about Syria articles by Mr. Fisk earlier. Did he vacillate? Where was he?

  15. Rurik says:

    The grotesque behaviour of the UK Government has ensured that neither the Syrians nor the Russians will pay the slightest attention to our pitiful wails. That, too, must become part of the story.

    I’m glad you said “our”, because the British controlled media is just as under the thrall of the Fiend as the British government has been for a hundred years or more.

    If you’re going to write about Syria, then you should point out why the West is there in the first place.. … for the same reason the West destroyed Iraq and Libya; to bolster Israel. Duh

    now what’s interesting and salient, are the reasons Israel wants Assad to go, and then for Syria to come apart at the seams. For some like myself, it seems like the main motivation is so that Israel can steal the Golan Heights all proper like, without any concerns that the world community might one day tell them to get out of Syria’s ancient territory.,7340,L-4893553,00.html

    But others have suggested that the main reason is to prevent Iran from supplying Hezbollah in Lebanon through Syria.

    These are the questions thoughtful people should be asking, not the minutia over the liberation of a city here or there. We all know that Russia is trying to keep Syria intact and why. We all know that the West is a sniveling toady to the Zionist bankers who order her (your government) around like a dog. We don’t need to be told the obvious. So it would be preferable if men like Fisk, IMHO, would give us a much needed glimmer into some insights that we don’t already know!

    How much of Syria does Turkey plan on stealing?

    How much is Israel planning on stealing?

    Why is Saudi Arabia so keen to see her fall? Is the Sunni-Shiite rift that intractable, that they’d see (even more of) their fellow Arabs ground under a Zio-boot for perpetuity? I guess when you see how content they are to watch the Pals suffer generation after generation, perhaps they really are that corrupt (Satanically rotten to the core)

    Is there one Western politician (or journalist) with the mettle to tell the truth about all of this?

    What are the chances that Trump will make some kind of complicated deal to mollify all the players here? Vs. the chance that Trump will do an Eisenhower and tell Israel (and the rest of them) to get out?

    (can you even imagine?!)

    These are the questions we should be pondering. As NATO is amassing on Russia’s borders.. is there any doubt that ALL of this is a direct response to Russia’s thwarting of Israel’s agenda vis-a-vis Syria?

    Who doubts for one second, that if Putin were to agree that ‘Assad has to go’, and that Syria could be carved up, that the conflict on Russia’s borders and the Ukraine would disappear overnight?

    It’s a no-brainer man, and yet so few people seem to be paying attention, or more likely, are simply (and simperingly and snivelingly) adhering to their zio-script. We can get that from the NYT.

  16. @dc.sunsets

    “Is this larger system of “Foreign Policy” corruption, where “Non”Government Organizations get the loot to do–well–whatever it is those organizations do (which is mostly pay their executives handsome salaries, I’m sure) such a lucrative gig that they have their own PR firms producing the stories that justify it all?”

    It would appear so.

  17. schmenz says:
    @Diversity Heretic

    Didn’t I hear similar sentiments from that Great Humanitarian, Benjamin Netanyahu?

  18. Che Guava says:

    That is an article for which you do not even give the source account.

    The more common account, which makes more sense, considering that they had an armoured colunn (tanks), plus many lorries, armed pick-up trucks, and many personnel, is that they were unleashed from Mosul, with the direct collusion of the Obama regime, precisely to make trouble.

    In the terrain they were traversing, it is impossible that they were not spotted by satellites and aircraft, and that their objectives were not at least vaguely understood by US military intel.

    Utu. I now understand your username, it is based on that of the hypocritical moron Bono from U2.

    • Replies: @utu
  19. utu says:
    @Che Guava

    “the hypocritical moron ” – What is your problem?

    In my comment to which you responded irrationally I did not give my opinion. I gave one quote and a link.

    Take back what you said about me and apologize.

    I linked to the article that cited Sputnik. The account of how ISIS regrouped there was entirely different than that of Fisk. I like Fisk’s version but I wonder why a Russian source gives a version that is more favorable to Americans that they were not implicated in ISIS moving to Palmyra. On the second though one may wonder where was Russian intelligence? They did not see the columns of ISIS? Do they cover their own ass as well with the story of ISIS pretending to be Beduins?

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    , @Che Guava
  20. Sean says:

    At least Saudi autocrats pay for their toys, manufacture of which constitutes what is left of advanced manufacturing in the UK. I don’t care what position May takes in front of Saudis.

    If the US wanted to overthrow Assad it could have and would have with airpower in 48 hours. Only if third generation armies be easily distinguished from the population can the war against ISIS can be won without killing an awful lot of innocent people.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  21. Is there anyone out there who understands that UNCLE RIFAAT AL ASSAD presently resides in France and was the commanding officer of the Hama 1982 gas attacks. A real softball, his wife”s sister is married to King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia- must have some diplomatic cover, otherwise he seems a good candidate for the ICC.

  22. Hunsdon says:

    Sweet Jesus, OldMan, this isn’t the HuffPo. You can’t bring that weaksauce here and expect it to work.

    Here’s an article about Syria, and your masterful rebuttal is limited to pointing out that the Pentagon is in NoVa, not DC? C’mon, man, that’s not even trying.

    • Replies: @OldMan
  23. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    If the US wanted to overthrow Assad it could have and would have with airpower in 48 hours.

    Do you think there was tension between Obama and Ash Carter, Obama urging restraint, Carter eager to bomb?
    Do you think the episode when 82 Syrian army troops were killed was Carter-gone-rogue?

    • Replies: @Sean
  24. KA says:

    Editorial board of NYT is wailing in unison,shredding tears together and rambling incoherently while the front page bears the pictures of sad Syrian boy poke marked with sharpness . What missing in the gallery is the entire Iraq,Libya, Yemen, Afghanistan .

  25. @utu

    If he wasn’t saying “I am an excitable Latin so expect erratic rocket attacks” CG (who may or may not be Latin) would have dubbed you Gary Powers, shot down over the Soviet Union on his U2 and required to say all sorts of embarrassing things to escape the consequences 🙂

    • LOL: utu
  26. joe webb says:

    I have personal experience with Robert Fisk. When he spoke in Palo Alto, CA. about 10 or so years ago about Iraq and the ME in general, he resisted my comment ( at a church event ) that the whole thing, the war, the sanctions, etc. was just a war for Israel.

    Fisk is a jew and I suspect that he is a left zionist…like the jewyorktimes, not a foam-at-mouth likud type. His great book on the Lebanon, etc. war stands as a monument to his good reporting.

    He has risked his life many times, like when he was accused of being President Bush on a bus in Pakistan, if memory serves. He fought his way off the bus.

    I do not trust him however and after all this is a decades plus past the good old days of the Butcher of Beirut, etc. Maybe he is more zionist than before.. I offer this in the spirit of ‘not sure’ but something to consider..

    Making a villain out of Assad, is easy. But you can make a villain out of any Arab these days, or any Persian. The Arabs with their average IQ of about 84 will never submit to elections, etc.
    So, the best deal is the Strong Man, who can bring relative peace, and…from an anti-Israel point of view, continue to harass Israel without bring US or jew nukes into play, etc.

    It seems pretty unlikely that the US or any other Western country would put troops on the ground. Russia is another story. I hope Putin is as realistic as his critics allege.

    The Arabs, or better the muzzies are fundamentally theocratic, like the Jews, neither ever having invented a republican form of gov’t. Israel, will either be gone in a few years, or revert to rabbinic rule.

    Joe Webb

    • Replies: @RobinG
  27. annamaria says:

    Kenneth Roth, the executive director of Human Rights Watch, is hysterical about Russia, but he is totally silent about Saudis’ bloody support of ISIS:
    The Saudis have been the factual sponsors of Al Qaeda and similar terrorist organizations. “A WikiLeaks released memo from the United States Secretary of State sent in 2009 asserted that the primary source of funding of Sunni terrorist groups worldwide was Saudi Arabia.”
    The whole wailing & squealing about Russians affecting the US elections has been choreographed to take attention from the scandal of the US-Saudi relationships on the highest levels, both civilian and military. Considering the continued existence of Guantanamo Bay prison where the inmates have been tortured, and some even murdered, because of the alleged and often unsubstantiated connections to Al Qaeda, the Saudi’s influence (via Mrs. Clinton and others) on the US government is beyond contempt. This is more than insult to the soldiers maimed and died in the illegal wars in the Middle East: this is Treason.
    Mr. Roth, like other Israel-firsters, prefers ISIS to a sovereign and peaceful Syria; hence his vicious hatred of Russians that have been helping the government of Syria to eliminate ISIS in Syria. That Mr. Roth is an executive director of Human Rights Watch shows an extraordinary level of cynicism and opportunism: Mr. Roth’ blindness towards the violations of human rights in and by Saudi Arabia (the main sponsor of terrorism in the Middle East) betrays Mr. Roth true loyalty: this is a loyalty to Israel for the expense of truth and integrity and loyalty to the US .

  28. RobinG says:
    @joe webb

    But Joe, we already have boots on the ground in Syria, 500 pairs. Special ops, but boots nonetheless.

    Are you still in Palo Alto? Go and see Eva Bartlett – that would be a novel meeting. Check out her video at comment #3 above.


    Thursday, Dec. 15, 7 PM
    Humanist Hall, 390 27th St., Oakland, CA (between Broadway and Telegraph, 19th St. BART)
    $10-20 sliding scale. No one turned away for lack of funds.

    Friday, Dec. 16, 7 PM
    Eric Quezada Center, 518 Valencia St., San Francisco, CA (16th & Mission BART)
    Admission: $10-20 sliding scale. No one turned away for lack of funds.

    Saturday, Dec. 17, 7 PM
    International Action Center Harriet Tubman Center for Social Justice
    5278 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90019
    No admission charge, free will donations gratefully accepted

    • Replies: @joe webb
  29. Parbes says:

    “The mainstream media, which holds the commanding heights of transmitting information to the public, will just continue to misrepresent everything.”

    The “mainstream media” in the West today should be smashed. The lying propagandists that comprise most of the “journalists” therein, need to be prosecuted and punished. It should be a criminal offense to knowingly construct fake narratives in service to somebody’s warmongering or political/financial agenda, and try to pass them off as “news” to the unsuspecting public; to omit, distort, misrepresent events, issues and people. The ONLY task of real “journalism” (other than clearly-labeled opinion pieces) is to inform the public of what is really transpiring through truthful reporting of facts. Anything else is basically deliberate deception of the public and a crime – and should be treated as such.

    Until this is achieved, not much can change for the better on the information/media front.

  30. Che Guava says:

    “Syrian terrorists use a very sophisticated tactic of moving in small groups, so-called ‘cloud tactic.’ Disguised as Bedouins, locals or even personnel of the Syrian Army, they arrive from different directions and concentrate in one unremarkable location. As a result, a powerful militant force suddenly forms in one place,”

    I really do apologise for my earlier post, you are generally sensible. The words you quoted above make no sense, it is not possible to move armour etc. In the way described.

    My reply should have been only to point out the obvious disinfo in the quote.

    Although ‘different directions’ may be likely (but I think it not in the case of the vehicles, other than tanks, and very difficult for those vehicles, too),
    ‘one unremarkable location’ is rubbish. Palmyra is clearly a remarkable location. I think Sputnik was tricked into posting that article. I don’t read it, but I would guess that whoever wrote it won’t be writing another for them.


  31. OldMan says:

    My objective was to set our illustrious author straight on an elementary fact, which an educated American should have known; if that bothers you, sir, tough shit.

    • Replies: @Hunsdon
    , @Daniel Chieh
  32. Sean says:

    Most of the Syrians who are fighting in in the Civil, war are fighting against Assad. The US didn’t really want to overthrow Assad which it could easily have done. (an excuse could have been manufactured) but they didn’t want to do it, they just wanted himm to stop slaughtering his people. The Russians since they started have consistently hit non ISIS targets (rebels) and denied it, and the US has done it once (Assad’s men) and apologised and desisted.

    • Replies: @utu
  33. joe webb says:

    Robin G. sounds interesting….and thanks for the reference to her video. I might do it.

    The problem with Valencia St in SF is mexers and communists. I am not particularly welcome to the commie scene (Trotskyist..Becker Bros. since years I ago I trashed their ME position (not Israel but Oil Thesis) with my Uncle Sam capers (see Joe Webb, Uncle Sam in your search engine.)

    What more can you tell me about Eva Bartlett? thanks, JW

    • Replies: @RobinG
  34. Sean says:

    Only crazies are willing to fight according to the New Yorker satirist. Yes Syrian men so crazy they are battling without hope of victory against Russian machines and Iranian cannon fodder cannot be considered moderate by our standards.

    But it was Assads who made this people crazy, ordering the 80% Alawite officered army to open fire on popular demonstrations, thereby behaving against their own as they had externally, because those same Assads had already used suicide bombers against the Israelis and US marines in Beirut and then Iraq. Assad will lead a rump state, and Syria largely a WW1 creation of Russia* is finished.

    • Replies: @Miro23
  35. RobinG says:
    @joe webb

    Hi Joe,

    I’m not going to pretend I know all about Eva. I met her last week when she came to DC. Nice lady. From what I see, she’s honest and independent. Perhaps would consider herself a leftist, but hopeful that Trump will bring better policy (so she’s not a shell-shocked whiner, or a useful idiot like the Greens). She lived 3 years in Palestine, including Gaza, and she’s fluent in Arabic, even colloquial Syrian, so not a prisoner of translators or official minders. She’s friends with Vanessa Beeley, and also Alison Weir. Here’s her website-

    Yeah, the Becker brothers are busy planning their counter-inaugural in DC. I suppose they’ve got to go through the motions. Eva is being hosted in CA by Rick Sterling, so a somewhat different crowd.

    • Replies: @joe webb
  36. RobinG says:

    You’re wasting your time. Sean is hooked on some rare vintage Kool-Ade.

  37. Miro23 says:

    Israeli propaganda 101. Check through the download for “points to cover” and “expressions to use ” and post to Unz. Also use an Anglo or Irish handle.

    Link Israelis and US Marines.

  38. Hunsdon says:

    Robert Fisk is not an educated American, but hey, knock yourself out.

  39. joe webb says:

    RobinG, So I just returned from the gig in SF with Eva Bartlett. She did a good job running down of what she discovered amongst public opinion in Syria as well as identifying the various terrorist operations with ties to the US and Saudi Arabia. She says that average Syrians support Assad, etc. and I would conclude that she is probably correct.

    I did not know who was the sponsoring outfit for Eva’s talk. Turns out it is the old trotskyist outfit, International Action Center, with Becker and Mackler.

    She managed to get thru her talk without mentioning Israel, Jews, or Neoconservatives.

    I was the first to speak up and so noted the above , and that IAC is a communist organization and that they ran the SF demos a decade plus ago over the Iraq sanctions, etc. and maintained the Oil War thesis. I said that it was all a war for Israel, that oil is not the issue since it is for sale cheap all over the world..

    A bit later, Becker said that no way could tiny little Israel control the US hegemon, etc. I rose again and stated that Becker was a jew, and that the communist line is to keep the jews out of it. (I should have remarked too that it was an old jewish tactic of controlling the opposition)

    The 30 to 40 person, middle aged whites and jews, crowd howled over the “Jew” word.
    The last woman to speak up called on the group to censor the anti-communist and anti-semite guy.. I had to bite my tongue…you mean White Male right? Nothing came from the crowd in the way of a response to the proto lynch appeal. Maybe the words needed to sink in.

    I had taken my pepper-spray along, along with my fists. Mackler and Becker kept eyeballing me. I fucked them up real good back in the early 2000s anti-war demos. My Uncle Sam routine made a big dent in the SF peacenik community…O…it’s Israel.

    Eva did mention PNAC finally but did not identify it as jewish, neocon. So, I don’t know if she is naive, or just making use of anyone who will hear her, or a communist herself. I gave her my card and told her I could inform her of various SF Bay Area leftist politics. I also told her that I was the guy that outed Steve Zunes as a zionist back @ 2003. ( I also outed Chomsky as a zionist about the same time….it was right there in his Fateful Triangle, about p. 30)

    So, Eva is very good, persuasive, and too bad if she is going to allow herself to be used by the Trots who are dragging the very Red herring across the trail of the jews.

    She should get ahold of the Arabs here. Last time I looked, it is the American-Arab-anti-discrimination committee in SF. Of course they also cooperated with the Becker jewboys way back then, and got very upset with me for telling the truth…might disrupt their careers….getting tough with the Jews.

    Allison Weir is not a commie, and does a very good job. Don’t know the other gal.

    I noticed a guy Paul Garude, or something like that, from the old days. also probably not a commie. Rick Sterling may be the other guy there, dunno anything about him. These guys are willing to use the commies Mackler and Becker . Probably more correct is the opposite.
    Makes me wonder where the Jews get their money….probably from Israel…control the opposition. Keep the Oil War Thesis going…good for the jews.

    Joe Webb

    • Replies: @RobinG
  40. RobinG says:
    @joe webb

    This is terrific, Joe, just terrific! You have their number and you shook them up a little. Bravo! Glad I mentioned this to you. Yes, oil is a Red Herring, pipelines too, but they keep selling this crap. And using each other is normal politics, especially among the little marginalized groups.

    Did those IAC guys make any introduction? IAC is part of the Hands Off Syria Coalition which includes the US Peace Council, which is the group that invited Eva to do the tour, possibly funded her trip. USPC is also stacked with Communists. Don’t know if they’re Trots, I don’t keep track of the various shades, but I can assure you that they, and Eva, are well aware of the Zionist connections to PNAC, Syria, and the rest.

    Vanessa Beeley is a British independent journalist. She was going to come with Eva, but didn’t because of a visa problem. (Brits who have travelled to Syria can no longer have a visa waiver.) Vanessa is now back in Syria, and has been reporting from east Aleppo for several days. I think this is Vanessa’s most recent report –

    • Replies: @joe webb
  41. joe webb says:

    yeah it is the 1950s and 1960s Peace Peace Peace anti-imperialist USA yakkity yak of the Communist Party. Will these commie terrorists ever die off?

    I forgot to mention that one of the crazies in the audience called me a faggot. That is funny. The old CP did not care for queers at all, etc.

    An antiwar movement should dispense with the commies, especially the Trots. The group close to Eva with the old activist, Paul Lagarde, or whatever his name is, and the other guy you mentioned, should go it alone.

    The peacenik community in SF is probably ready to accept a leadership that is anti-communist and anti-zionist since the latter has become more fashionable.


  42. @OldMan

    You sound like a rambling angry old man, which I suppose, you are.

  43. What I really don’t understand is how the msm can admit the rebels are led by Al Qaeda yet the crocodile tears flow.

  44. @landlubber

    I believe U.S. momentum towards creating a Sunnistan in eastern Syria so as to build gas pipelines from the Gulf states is still considerable, despite the election of Mr. Trump who’s promises to defeat ISIS would directly deflate that momentum.

    So, with time, I think the people of Syria will be rid of this civil war…for the good.

    Regrettably, to believe this I have to trust in Mr. Trump’s statements so far even though many of his campaign promises have already been reversed (Lock Her Up, being primary).


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