Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
March 14, 2013

Those Reuters Sources

In an Exclusive Reuters reports of regular weapon transfer from iran to Syria: Iran steps up weapons lifeline to Assad

How does Reuters know this you might ask. Here are its sources:

... Western diplomats said ... Western officials told Reuters on condition of anonymity. Iraqi and Turkish officials denied the allegations. ... the envoys said ... envoys say ... A Western intelligence report seen by Reuters in September said ... Iraq denied that report ... diplomats say ... a senior Western diplomat said this week ... the senior diplomat said ... He added ... Ali al-Moussawi, Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's media adviser, strongly denied the allegations ... diplomats said ... The diplomats cited by Reuters made clear ... They also said ... intelligence report .. seen by Reuters in September ... One Western diplomat cited intelligence reports ... said the Western intelligence report ... the report said ... the report said ... Other Western officials confirmed ... the source told Reuters ... Western diplomats say ...
All allegations in the report come from anonymous western sources. It must have been a lot of work to stenograph than many dictations. Five journalist and editor and "others" worked on that report.

I once thought that journalism takes more than just writing down what anonymous government sources say. Alas. I was wrong.

Posted by b on March 14, 2013 at 09:54 AM | Permalink


Don't blame them, blame the Sheeple buying their rotten goods. Reuters out of all other agencies should stop working in journalism and its editors and journos better work in a vegetable market, they are good in fabrications with style out of their extensive experience.

Hope you can find a report from the early days of the Syrian Crisis which was aired by the Syrian State TV and led to the arrest of the Jordanian Reuters reporter in Syria Khaled Oweis. He made an interview with a wounded soldier who received a bullet from the protesters side and the reporter put words in his mouth saying the soldier received a bullet from his officer first then from a security officer for refusing to shoot at the protesters. Oweis's bad luck, Syrians and the truth good luck there was a Syrian TV reporter with a cameraman who caught the interview on their own camera as well and played the real story told by the injured soldier. Oweis was arrested for a couple of days or more before expelling him and many others from the country, and that was the best decision the Syrian ministry of information ever did in its entire history.

Posted by: Arabi Souri | Mar 14, 2013 10:50:27 AM | 1

That's a nice analysis of that Reuters news story by 'b'. But the lesson of it is that 'b' shouldn't have been reading it in the first place. I learned that lesson a long time ago.

Posted by: Parviziyi | Mar 14, 2013 11:21:53 AM | 2

Even if true, so what? Iran can't arm a legitimate government but everybody else can arm Al Ciada terrorists?

Posted by: Lysander | Mar 14, 2013 11:37:10 AM | 3

"Don't blame them, blame the Sheeple buying their rotten goods."

True, and I can't see any change for the foreseeable future, at least here, in the US. Our corporate media feeds us buckets full of celebrity worship BS daily. With very few exceptions, the public gets little information on hard news. For the most part, the 4th estate has abdicated its responsibility to the people. Those who still want to be informed, at least there's the internet, and even here, there's a mountain of BS to wade through to be informed.

I don't have an answer.

Posted by: ben | Mar 14, 2013 11:38:25 AM | 4

this reuter hack should know better, he opens his big mouth n get a roasting ;-)

Paul Eckert
*Are we sure this is not another PRC commenter hiding behind a fake Western name? This reads like a Global Times editorial and the dearth of factual analysis and logical conclusions -- the very reason it appeals to the usual suspects below -- are a real red flag to anybody who is actually following developments*

following developments ?
whom is he kidding ?
i've been following developments for the past ten yrs at least.

banned by reuter n atimes

Posted by: denk | Mar 14, 2013 11:43:59 AM | 5

"I once thought that journalism takes more than just writing down what anonymous government sources say. Alas. I was wrong."

Nah, you weren't wrong. The government bit is only a fraction of what the the modern propagandist must sell. It also consists of making corporate advertising look like news and social engineering the right view among the populace.

Posted by: вот так | Mar 14, 2013 11:46:27 AM | 6

International law? Right.

Posted by: ben | Mar 14, 2013 11:50:55 AM | 7

Arabi Souri - 1

Thanks for that info about Reuters in Syria. Their deception there is typical of western reporting, and a good reason why these clowns should be treated as criminals and war criminals once they show their hand like that.

Posted by: вот так | Mar 14, 2013 11:53:27 AM | 8

These mainstream news articles are BS. As pointed out as well in the below Why do they Report Defense as Offense?

What is hard to judge is the impact of this kind of crap.

...The old Pravda (“Truth”) was ridiculed for its lies, ppl did not believe the content as Pravda was correctly perceived as a prop arm of an all powerful Gvmt. Not so the MSM in the US-W ...?

It appears that fact and fiction, myth and reality, trivia and weight or importance, have become melded to an extraordinary degree.

Even wikipedia has said it doesn’t publish correct info, but the accepted, standard, pov.,_not_truth

see also:

Films, documentaries, fake docs, ‘reconstructions’ are taken as presenting ‘reality’. Lying news articles are just accepted as weird incomprehensible stuff that happens far away, or the message retained is about 'savages'..

The purpose, as I see it, is twofold.

1) The wankers push their prop and turn about amongst themselves. Along the way, taking a big part of the financial pie, increasing their income, power, influence, which is the whole point.

2) The public is misinformed, confused, out of the loop, and afraid; the valiant supporters and vassals (the 20%) are kept on board as the Paper of Record (or whatever) tells them what line to spew.

Posted by: Noirette | Mar 14, 2013 12:05:36 PM | 9

Excursions via boat can cause mal de mer.
Excursions via Reuters can, and often do, cause mal de merde.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Mar 14, 2013 12:15:06 PM | 10

In his book "Inside the Company" the late CIA agent Philip Agee described how he was able to place stories in American newspapers by simply writing the story himself and handing it over to a journalist at a hotel bar. Typically the disinformation would appear in print verbatim. Some things never change.

Posted by: Gareth | Mar 14, 2013 12:29:16 PM | 11

On 10 Mar 2013 Syria's supreme Sunni Muslim clerical body, the Dar al-Ifta Council, headed by the Grand Mufti, issued a call for "jihad for Syria" against the foreign-supported subversives. The Council's statement was read out on Syrian State TV. The media maven known as "Arabi Souri" (3arabi Souri) uploaded the TV clip with English subtitles at (4 minutes). (My thanks to Arabi Souri for that and many other uploads).

Here's a summary of what the Council's statement says: (1) defending Syria is a DUTY for EVERY Syrian citizen, (2) everyone must get in line in support of the Syrian army and security forces, (3) citizens are urged to join the army to defend the nation against the foreign-supported subversives, (4) the soldiers in the Syrian army are urged to uphold the word of God and abide by God in their Jihad, (5) the Syrian army is fighting for the preservation of the humane cultural, economic and historical heritage of the nation of Syria, as well as fighting for citizens' safety and security, (6) it says in the Koran "do not weaken and do not greive and you will come out on top if you are believers [in what is virtuous and true]", (7) may God support the army unto victory.

FOOTNOTE. The Council's statement also contains one incidental, off-topic item that I want to pick a bone with. It says: "The strength of the Syrian army was and is prepared for the decisive battle against the Zionists and their allies." I am strongly of the opinion that everybody in Syria should completely forget about the goddamned Zionists and completely focus on exterminating the (anti-Zionist) armed rebels. I am also now strongly of the opinion that there's never going to be a "decisive battle against the Zionists" and if such a "decisive battle" happened the Syrian army would get trounced. The Syrian army has proven itself unable to decisively deal with the rag-tag rebel gangs on its home turf and it has been suffering high casualties in trying. The Zionists don't want to butt into Syria's internal affairs and don't want to acquire any of Syria's territory except the Jolan, and the Jolan is not worth the fight, especially not a losing fight.

Posted by: Parviziyi | Mar 14, 2013 1:04:00 PM | 12

The text of Syria's supreme Sunni Muslim clerical council is at

Posted by: Parviziyi | Mar 14, 2013 1:19:50 PM | 13

Well today is the 2 year anniversary of the war in Syria. A good time to bring up Obama's quote from 2011 that the war would last "days not weeks" which must go down in history along with Bush's "Mission Accomplished" banner as proof of American hubris or just plain old stupidity.

Frankly I wouldn't be suprised if we see the 3 year anniversary of this war. It's obvious that the FSA are getting the money and manpower to continue it from the Gulf. However looking back a year ago its obvious to see what direction the war is going.

On the 1 year anniversary of the war probably 40% of Damascus had been seized by the rebels. Today Damascus is secure apart from the occasional bombing and the fighting has moved to the rural countryside to the East of the capital. Aleppo a year ago was in the midst of a massive rebel offensive to capture the largest economic city. Again today the picture is of Aleppo secured and most of the fighting moved up to Idleb and the Turkish border.

Homs, which was the rebel stronghold, is now under Syrian control except for the Old City which is surronded in a siege. The taking of Raqqa city (or parts of Raqqa) by the rebels earlier this month shows they are moving back from the chain of cities (Damascus up to Homs up to Hama up to Aleppo) and are instead trying to consolodate there grip on the Sunni rural heartland.

Overall seems obvious that the FSA have been pushed back on all fronts this year. But at the cost of great devastation to Syria and increased sectarianism in Lebanon and Iraq.

Posted by: Colm O' Toole | Mar 14, 2013 2:13:14 PM | 14

Iranian weapons continue to pour into Syria from Iraq but also increasingly along other routes, including via Turkey and Lebanon, in violation of a U.N. arms embargo on Iran, Western officials told Reuters on condition of anonymity. Iraqi and Turkish officials denied the allegations.

I don't think Turkey would be happy if Iran was smuggling weapons to Syria/Lebanon through its borders (like with Russia although, if I recall correctly, no actual weapons caches were discovered). So what is with the denial? Unless they're being totally honest, in which case; this faceless western diplomat is lying. The question is; why.

That this so happens to coincide with the news of Britain & France planning to arm the opposition inside of Syria, as early as this summer , even going so far as p*** all over the EU if the arms embargo isn't lifted by then, might be a reason to. The mere accusation of Iran & Russia, smuggling weapons to the Assad regime, would be enough justification (in the minds of some) to start arming the rebels.

It seems like Qatar & Saudia Arabia had their shot, now Britain & France will need to show them how it's done.

It will only go south from here.

Posted by: never mind | Mar 14, 2013 4:01:32 PM | 15

Q:I once thought that journalism takes more than just writing down what anonymous government sources say.

R: Fortunately this and this are not based on gossip or anonymous government sources, but still don't make it into MSM's easily digestible, daily ballyhoo.

Posted by: Daniel Rich | Mar 14, 2013 5:08:56 PM | 16

Colm O'Toole is dreadfully misinformed and clearly he was not himself paying attention to events in Syria one year ago. A year ago Aleppo city was peaceful and quiet; it was not until 21 July 2012 that the rebels started to take the fight to Aleppo city. A year ago inner Damascus was like Aleppo, totally normal. A year ago some of the suburbs of Outer Damascus were violent but the scope and scale of it wasn't half or a quarter as intense as it became late in year 2012. This time last year the great bulk of the violence was in Homs city and a number of towns in Homs province, and Idlib province, plus a couple of towns in the western part of Aleppo province near Idlib.

Posted by: Parviziyi | Mar 14, 2013 5:25:53 PM | 17


Considering many statements and policy papers from Israel Lobby thinktanks and pundits banging the drums for armed intervention, as well as words and actions by Israeli leaders for intervention (including just days ago by Shimon Perez), The Mufti's warning about preparation to defend against Zionists and their allies appears to point clearly to a source of current belligerence and potential invasion of Syria. Especially since the statement refers to Israel's allies, there's no reason to assume that its call to struggle for Syria is a threat to wipe Israel off the map (or even to retake the Golan Heights by force).

Posted by: Rusty Pipes | Mar 14, 2013 5:28:46 PM | 18

@ Rusty Pipes: I agree with all of what you said.

But what you said does not directly address or contradict what I was complaining about. Here's two more examples of what I'm complaining about:

21 Jan 2013. The Syrian Minister of Religious Endowments, Dr. Mohammad Abdul-Sattar al-Sayyed, said that what Syria is facing is a war waged by Israel through proxies against Syria, adding that Israel recruited the wahabi takfiri mentality to be its slave in this war.

21 Jan 2013. The Syrian Minister of Defense, General Fahd Jassem al-Freij, said the Zionist enemy is the main enemy and the essential mission of the Armed Forces is to liberate the occupied Arab territories. He said Syria is the only Arab state which strives to liberate Palestine and all the occupied Arab territories.

Posted by: Parviziyi | Mar 14, 2013 5:43:30 PM | 19


I was responding just to your quote: "The strength of the Syrian army was and is prepared for the decisive battle against the Zionists and their allies." I have not read up on the Mufti's long history of statements on the subject.

Even so, Al Nusra's cannon fodder may be anti-Zionist youth recruited from all parts of the world to fight a Holy War against Zionists. Some of the recruits interviewed have actually thought that they were fighting Israelis. However, Saudi Arabia, Al Nusra's main funder and supplier, has intentions which appear to dovetail comfortably with those of neocons and the Israeli right.

Posted by: Rusty Pipes | Mar 14, 2013 5:57:35 PM | 20

Totally off topic: Wheel in justice.

Posted by: Daniel Rich | Mar 14, 2013 6:01:28 PM | 21

In continuation from #19, here's a more pointed quote from Syria's Minister of Defence. In a statement to the Syrian Army soliders on the occasion of the annual Army Memorial Day on 1 Aug 2012, he said: "your battle [against Syrian rebels] is an integral part of the battle of destiny in the main conflict with the Zionist enemy and its supporters and of foiling their schemes in fragmenting our country." He also said -- and on this I can totally agree with him -- the Army has a moral responsibility to preserve the homeland's security and unity against the criminal terrorist groups.

Posted by: Parviziyi | Mar 14, 2013 6:01:37 PM | 22

@ Hoarsewhisperer [#10],

Nice wordplay there, good sir. Funny and original jesting. Hurray!

Posted by: Daniel Rich | Mar 14, 2013 6:36:22 PM | 23

And now, for something completely different..., H.R. 938. "That chunk of dessert has been useless for years," - Anonymous source, that wasn't allowed to discuss this subject in public.

Posted by: Daniel Rich | Mar 14, 2013 9:17:13 PM | 24

The Sunni Supreme Iftaa Council of the Syrian Arab Republic issued a solemn religious declaration or "fatwa" on 10 Mar 2013 that was summarized at #12 above. On the same day the head of the Council, the Grand Mufti, did an interview on Syrian State TV. A few months ago the Grand Mufti said that Syrian Islamic history and culture are the enemies of the US and Wahhabism, as the US and Wahhabi movements seek to undermine the Syrian Islamic culture. That I understand. In the interview on 10 March he said there is an attack against Syria's religious history and against Syria's national identity, and Syria is threatened by some regional countries [read: Khaleejis], and he said the Syrian army is "protecting the homeland and its history and its future". I understand all that. But then he said something I don't understand: "The Syrian Army not only protects the homeland, but it also defends the Arab and Islamic nations." He also said that the attack on Syria is an attack against the Arab and Islamic nations. What does that mean? The phrase "Arab and Islamic nations" does not make good sense. It is not the right phrase for whatever he is trying to say with it.

Posted by: Parviziyi | Mar 14, 2013 9:42:58 PM | 25

Parviziyi - 25

"What does that mean?"

Probably that this Wahhabi terrorism and sectarianism foments is designed to eventually attack and dismember all Muslim dominated nations in the region. It's quite clear that this sectarian campaign is coming from Tel Aviv and New York, and these sectarian terrorists are in their service and that these terrorists are there to wreck countries and keep them in turmoil as the west (mainly Israel leading here) then does what they want. Syria not falling to the Wahhabis, is Syria not falling to western machinations of dismemberment, and serving as a rallying point for others to fight back. Much like Venezuela is doing in Latin America.

Posted by: вот так | Mar 14, 2013 10:48:48 PM | 26

why is it 'Assad' this and 'Assad' that?

as for arming Assad., the media doesnt seem to worried abot arming real bad guys: the jihadis

At France’s request, EU again examines arming Syria rebels: French President Francois Hollande has called on t...

Posted by: brian | Mar 15, 2013 2:50:10 AM | 27

Even so, Al Nusra's cannon fodder may be anti-Zionist youth recruited from all parts of the world to fight a Holy War against Zionists. Some of the recruits interviewed have actually thought that they were fighting Israelis. However, Saudi Arabia, Al Nusra's main funder and supplier, has intentions which appear to dovetail comfortably with those of neocons and the Israeli right.

Posted by: Rusty Pipes | Mar 14, 2013 5:57:35 PM | 20

Al-nusra, and its clueless brigades, is fighting a holy war FOR the zionists

Posted by: brian | Mar 15, 2013 2:52:07 AM | 28

Posted by: Parviziyi | Mar 14, 2013 5:25:53 PM | 17

what 'rebels'? you mean the USraeli foreign legion the FSA? theyre not'rebels'

Posted by: brian | Mar 15, 2013 2:55:06 AM | 29

Whether you agree with him or not, the late Hugo Chavez spoke from the heart.

Posted by: Daniel Rich | Mar 15, 2013 3:20:53 AM | 30

some good news:
journalist Anhar Kochnevas escape from FSA

Posted by: brian | Mar 15, 2013 4:02:59 AM | 31

LiveStreams from Syria.

Posted by: Daniel Rich | Mar 15, 2013 4:08:10 AM | 32

Posted by: Daniel Rich | Mar 15, 2013 3:20:53 AM | 30

odd phrasing...most free people do

Posted by: brian | Mar 15, 2013 4:08:24 AM | 33

Think tank podcast on Syria options

Posted by: tom_d | Mar 15, 2013 4:23:27 AM | 34

@ brian [#33]

Q: odd phrasing...most free people do...

R: 'twas predicted on this site that we could expect a smear campaign to denounce Chavez's successor and return Venezuela to unca Sammy's fold. Notice the wording and phrasing in this lopsided unbiased reporting:

"Chavez's designated successor, Nicolas Maduro, and his ruling clique have repeatedly circumvented the constitution and exploited their monopoly on power to all but crush an opposition already crippled by years of government intimidation.

The odds are so stacked against opposition candidate Henrique Capriles that he has compared his run to being "led to a slaughterhouse and dropped into a meat grinder." Link

In not using Henrique Capriles' full name [in this article - he does use it in Venezuela's campaign] the illusion is created that he's very local. Henrique Capriles Radonski is his full name. If you listen to Chavez's clip, Hugo accuses Israel of funding the opposition. Henrique claims he's a devout Catholic, but as his maternal grandparents were Jewish, so was his mother and thus, so is Henrique [no problem]. According to him, if/when elected, during his first day in office:

"On his first day in office, he said, he would halt the "gifts" of free or heavily-subsidised oil to Mr Chavez's left-wing ideological allies in Cuba and Nicaragua. Nor would there be any more discount deals to sympathetic Western leaders such as Ken Livingstone, a Chavez admirer who as London mayor negotiated cheap oil from Caracas for the capital's buses.

The cosy relationship with Iran would end, Mr Capriles added, and he would also review the land expropriations conducted under Mr Chavez's agrarian reform "fiasco" - including the seizure of estates from Britain's Vestey Group." Link.

That doesn't sound like he's Chavez's biggest supporter and his possible actions are much more in line with US/Israel policies. [link to Venezuelan statistics under Chavez's reign]

Posted by: Daniel Rich | Mar 15, 2013 5:02:06 AM | 35

A speculative frenzy in the US housing market

Posted by: niggaplease | Mar 15, 2013 7:36:44 AM | 36

Brian @ 31 -- Thanks much for the info. I've been wondering what had happened to her, feared she'd been killed.

Since October...150 days. Ooof.

Posted by: jawbone | Mar 15, 2013 9:20:56 AM | 37

Don't blame them, blame the Sheeple buying their rotten goods

The misinformation and/or lack of info is so pervasive, so well organized, one can hardly blame the consumer. Moreover - I don’t have any numbers to hand - consumers don’t actually pay much to obtain ‘news’ - print media are losing money, TV doesn’t cost much, basically TV / radio is a small part of household budget, the Internet, which copies MSM news is ‘free.’ OK there is the BBC license and similar. Add on, the MSM is often supported and aided directly by the State, or is so in occult fashion by Finance/corps. All that could be discussed, it would be interesting to know how much Joe and Jane actually pay to be exposed to the propaganda.

I’m saying nobody is gobbling this stuff up and shelling out good money for it. It is just part of the environment. It works because ppl are paid to tout the lies, many earn a good living, they turn into vassals; and the 20% in charge use their personal influence on ppl in their control or necessarily under their influence to push the same garbage. That is the basic function of the type of ridiculously false (or just partial and slanted, spun) news.

Trickle-down! It works! (Money only trickles up, which the 20% understand.)

Posted by: Noirette | Mar 15, 2013 9:22:12 AM | 38

Daniel Rich @ 32-- your link isn't working for me.

Posted by: jawbone | Mar 15, 2013 9:22:59 AM | 39

@34 the podcast with all due respect was a precious waste of 45 minutes. The entire talk was a re-hash of the shallow talking points that we have been bathed in for two years but in academic garb. Had there been a counter-point view that addressed the same issue, the stark propaganda of this talk could have been even more apparent.

Posted by: thirsty | Mar 15, 2013 10:51:33 AM | 40

I know this, it's Chuck Norris, it's his mantra!

But this is utter absurdity, even if you are an Evil Overlord type;

According to a statement by Pentagon Press Secretary George Little, on Mar. 12, an IRIAF (Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force) combat plane attempted to intercept a U.S. MQ-1 drone flying in international airspace.
Nov. 1, 2012, when two Sukhoi Su-25 attack planes operated by the Pasdaran (informal name of the IRGC – the Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution) attempted to shoot down an American MQ-1 flying a routine surveillance flight in international airspace some 16 miles off Iran, the interception of the unmanned aircraft failed.
Escorting the drones involved in intelligence gathering missions are fighter jets (either F-18 Hornets with the CVW 9 embarked on the USS John C. Stennis whose Carrier Strike Group is currently in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility.

OK - A billion dollar+ battle group to protect the two F-18’s Phantom jets are used t protect a $50+k drone that takes pictures (cheaply); that it is more than moronic…

There must be some irony or logic somewhere in there but my head is too full of WTF's and Washington’s stupidity, even if this if just a ‘cover statement’ is just WTF.
Wait; use drones to escort their drones! Even that is stupidity, more so since this is supposed international territory - Ah, now I see, then it can be armed under the RoL – Clever!

Posted by: Kev | Mar 15, 2013 11:06:16 AM | 41

@ jawbone [#38]

Try this:

I think I f***** up somewhere down the line, sorry.

Posted by: Daniel Rich | Mar 15, 2013 11:21:53 AM | 42

@ brian [#33]

Sorry, dude. Wrote a lengthily reply with many links, but it got lost in cyberspace. Tomorrow no time, will report back to you on Sunday.

Posted by: Daniel Rich | Mar 15, 2013 11:35:35 AM | 43

Unbreakable US/Israeli Ties

"Longstanding US/Israeli ties remain firm. Obama's visit reinforces them. It does more.

It assures continued support. It endorses hardline extremism. It affirms occupation harshness. It lets Israel do what it pleases.

America's special relationship does more harm than good. It's wrongheaded. Israel is more strategic liability than asset. So are other regional allies.

Flynt and Hillary Leverett are former insiders. Their views matter. Their book titled "Going to Iran" discusses why Washington "must come to terms with the Islamic Republic."

It shows no signs of doing so. It's decades overdue. An entirely new approach is needed, they argue. America's regional position is disastrous. It's delusional.

After "failed wars-cum-occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan; a war on terror that has turned Muslim societies ever more firmly against U.S. policy; and de facto support for open-ended Israeli occupation of Arab populations, America’s (regional) position is in free fall."...

Posted by: вот так | Mar 23, 2013 2:11:19 AM | 44

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