Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
May 03, 2016

The "Free Syrian Army" Media Efforts Are A British Government Operation

The U.S. government, via its CIA, has financed the "moderate" anti-Syrian mercenaries fighting against the legitimate Syrian government with at least $1 billion a year. The Wahhabi dictatorships in the Middle East have added their own billions to finance al-Qaeda's efforts against the Syrian people. The U.S. continues to purchase and transport thousands of tons of weapons and ammunition to feed the war against the Syrian people. It also pays the various fighters and opposition groups. The U.S. efforts for regime change in Syria have been running since at least 2006 when the U.S. government started to finance anti-Syrian exile TV stations and held intensive planning talks with various anti-Syrian Islamist elements.

Together with the British government it also runs the current pro-mercenary public relation show to influence the "western" public to support its imperial meddling in Syria.

The Guardian now unveils one of the British government efforts to effectively run the complete "Free Syrian Army" media show:

The British government is waging information warfare in Syria by funding media operations for some rebel fighting groups, ...
...
Contractors hired by the Foreign Office but overseen by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) produce videos, photos, military reports, radio broadcasts, print products and social media posts branded with the logos of fighting groups, and effectively run a press office for opposition fighters.

Materials are circulated in the Arabic broadcast media and posted online with no indication of British government involvement.
...
Through its Conflict and Stability Fund the government is spending £2.4m on private contractors working from Istanbul to deliver “strategic communications and media operations support to the Syrian moderate armed opposition” (MAO).

The contract is part of a broader propaganda effort focused on Syria, with other elements intended to promote “the moderate values of the revolution” ...
...
The documents call for contractors to “select and train a spokesman able to represent all the MAO groups as a single unified voice”, as well as providing media coaching to “influential MAO officials” and running a round-the-clock “MAO central media office” with “media production capacity”. One British source with knowledge of the contracts in action said the government was essentially running a “Free Syrian army press office”.

The British and the U.S. media also run various "civil" groups to further their regime change goals.

The "White Helmets", known for fake "rescue" videos and their strong cooperation with al-Qaeda (vid), are financed with $23 million by the U.S. government through USAID, with £18.7 million by the U.K. Foreign Office and with several millions more from other governments. But are the "White Helmets" not "moderates" who only want to help people? The U.S. government does not seem to believe that. It just banned the head of the "White Helmets" from entering the United States even though it finances his activities.

Many social media accounts like @raqqa_sl, which are promoted in "western" media, also distribute fake pictures and videos as part of these propaganda efforts.

But even when these media manipulation campaigns and fake "moderates" get exposed their operations continues unabated. The Guardian, after publishing the above, will not for one moment reflect on how its own publishing on Syria was influenced by the government financed fakes. It is, just like other mainstream media, an integrated part of the campaign.

No unveiling of the truth about the "western" attack on the Syrian state and its people seems to any effect on the ongoing media operations. On April 20 the U.S. military spokesperson for the anti-Islamic State coalition told some truth about the role of al-Qaeda in the "rebel" occupied eastern Aleppo city:

That said, it's primarily al-Nusra who holds Aleppo, and of course, al-Nusra is not part of the cessation of hostilities.

Only two weeks later the NYT propagandist Anna Barnard has the Chutzpah to claim that al-Qaeda only

has a small presence in Aleppo

Lies get repeated even after they have been debunked again and again. The relentlessness of the propaganda onslaught is effective in suppressing any larger opposition to it.

Posted by b on May 3, 2016 at 12:26 PM | Permalink

Comments

Influencing the "western" public to support Western imperial meddling in Syria is a big job!

Naturally, the UK government has to underwrite and underpin the massive, sustained infoganda program required to keep the public adequately misinformed.

After all, the "Syrian Observatory for Human Rights" is essentially a one-man disinformation factory; one can't reasonably expect Mr. Abdulrahman to fool all of the people all of the time.

Posted by: Ort | May 3, 2016 1:04:55 PM | 1

The western pundits are pushing hard on social media against Syria's legitimate gov't as usual but it's ramped up even worse with the link of agreements between Assad and Isil - it makes total sense to me that Syria would focus on other groups rather than ISIS given that Isil is D.C.'s problem and since the U.S. are bombing them, why not attack other equally wicked groups? It was smart on Assads part - also noticing increased infowars centered at Russia. The hospital bombing was bad, I'll give the pundits that but it's the fog of war which is something the U.S. surely knows about all to well in Afghanistan.

Posted by: Au | May 3, 2016 1:14:24 PM | 2

Turkish Parliament goes full "Lord of the Flies" ...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gX1ldPNcWT0

Posted by: ALberto | May 3, 2016 1:14:30 PM | 3

Alberto - wow, I haven't heard a lick about that here in the States but maybe i haven't been paying close enough attention.

Posted by: Au | May 3, 2016 1:16:10 PM | 4

US withdraws troops Sinai in anticipation of Egyptian coup ...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AI19qoXt1Bw

Posted by: ALberto | May 3, 2016 1:16:43 PM | 5

National Security State propaganda is what makes up the "news" these days in the West. I no longer trust *anything" I read in mainstream media.

Likewise, what is being taught in Western schools plays the same supporting role in producing an obedient working class. George Carlin summed it up quite well https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ILQepXUhJ98

It is no longer possible to have an intelligent conversation with anyone who gets all their news from the NY Times and Washington Post, which specialize in promoting the official party line from Washington. The world view created by Western MSM is so biased and contorted by propaganda that it makes constructive dialogue impossible.

Forward to WWIII.

Posted by: Perimetr | May 3, 2016 1:19:46 PM | 6

Perimetr - totally agree, it's really infuriating watching western news pundits spout off dangerous opinions and the blatant one sidedness and you're right - it is extremely difficult to have a conversation with my fellow comrades who gulp up the nytimes / c. lister crap. +1 for anything george carlin related. Damn near all of Syria would be a caliphate if not for some very harrowing moves by what we are led to believe are our enemies.

Posted by: Au | May 3, 2016 1:23:51 PM | 7

Of course the Outlaw US Empire and its vassals must lie for the truth breaks their own laws. If you pay taxes to any Western government, you're supporting terrorism, which is against the law world-wide.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 3, 2016 1:56:14 PM | 8

b - thank you for articulating all this.. your site is like a light in the wilderness of msm bullshite..

further to your post, syrian perspective left a few good videos on the 'white helmets' and the kurdish being interviewed in shaddadi.... both videos are worth watching for greater understanding on just how thick the bullshite is and how it doesn't sync with reality..

the us and the uk need to be held to account for making life such a pool of suffering or worse in syria.. they and there asshole friends sa, qatar, turkey and all the rest of the rot need to be held to account as well..

Posted by: james | May 3, 2016 1:58:00 PM | 9

@4 au - you won't hear shit in the usa media on anything that is going on.. that is given..

Posted by: james | May 3, 2016 2:01:42 PM | 10

@10 james - preach it brothah, for that is the truth.

Posted by: Au | May 3, 2016 2:04:54 PM | 11

Fact is MSM, being controlled by the usual suspects, are more radical than Western Govt. Maybe a redicalization program for them would be a good thing ;)

Posted by: jeanv | May 3, 2016 2:34:52 PM | 12

May 3, 2016 - You cannot make this stuff up ...

A report says US Special Forces have arrived in Yemen to fight alongside Emirati forces in alleged operations against al-Qaeda militants in the country’s south.

Yemen’s al-Masirah television channel on Sunday quoted Tom Bawman, the National Public Radio’s Pentagon reporter, as saying that the troops had arrived in Yemen on April 25.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/us-forces-arrive-in-southern-yemen-allegedly-to-fight-against-al-qaeda/5523153

Posted by: ALberto | May 3, 2016 2:36:26 PM | 13

All MSM are blatant imperial propagandists and obvious war criminals. If any of these the immmoral evil criminal freaks in politics or the media, were charged and taking into court of their home countries, let alone International judicial bodies, the corrupt cowardly judges would be complicit in not charging them for crimes.

Posted by: tom | May 3, 2016 2:41:11 PM | 14

”The U.S. gov spends at least $1 billion a year to feed the war against the Syrian people. It also pays various fighters and opposition groups.”[.]

b. Thanks for this expose.

No money for water supply infrastructure, schools, pot holes, citizens’ general well being as we conduct nation building and regime overthrow in far off lands.

Exceptional insanity.
Do the Puerto Ricans know? Does Detroit? Californians? U.S. retirees’ pensions at risk, payments slashed?

End the insanity. Divert this MIC/CIA budget, likely in multiple $trillions. Oh Wait:


Puerto Rico, a U.S. owned territory, defaulted on Monday – unable to pay most of a $422 million debt payment.
And here is TS Jacob Lew in his letter to Congress:
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/03/business/dealbook/puerto-rico-defaults-on-principal-of-422-million-debt-payment.html?_r=0

”Mr. Lew, in Monday’s letter and in an interview last month with the Spanish-language television station Univision, cited signs of mounting woes, including the closing of hospital facilities on the island and the struggle to contain the spread of the Zika virus with scant financial resources available. “The human costs for the 3.5 million Americans in Puerto Rico are real. And they are escalating daily,” Mr. Lew wrote.”

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Central States Pension fund has submitted an application to Treasury for approval to cut member benefits. Hard earned dollars contributed to the fund for their retirement years. In essence a contract renege.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-04-30/ups-braces-38-billion-charge-treasurys-pension-benefit-decision-looms

"in an effort to remain solvent the Central States Pension Fund has submitted an application to the Treasury for approval to cut member benefits. While some plan participants could see pension incomes cut in half, the fund projects that it will become insolvent by 2025 if nothing is done."

Guns before butter in endless wars are not without unintended consequences. ZIRP. NIRP and pension cuts all should end well. Note this: like the disappearing middle class, U.S. retirees are an endangered species.


Posted by: likklemore | May 3, 2016 3:01:32 PM | 15

likklemore - a re-appropriation of u.s. tax dollars is desperatly needed but alas instead we just grapple for ways to raise tax revenue here as opposed to pursuing more noble goals like helping our neighbors in P. Rico at the very least.

Posted by: Au | May 3, 2016 3:20:43 PM | 16

The recent posting in the Saker http://thesaker.is/nine-theses-about-the-war-we-are-engaged-in/ relates how Colour revolutions are engineered step by step. The analysis seems to describe most stages of the war in Syria and confirms for me the cold blooded nature of the people who have plotted against Syria since 2006.

Websites such as this do hold some hope of giving a different narrative and the hosts are to be thanked for providing this forum. Sadly as other posters here say, the lies and mental gymnastics of the mass media beggar belief, but for most of the population of the West, the preconceptions have already been formed eg Arabs equals terrorists. It just takes a few more lies and deceptions to refresh the product.

This is why as readers of this site, we need to counter the mass media, by telling our networks about the bull being spread and give a counter narrative to support the nations being screwed over

Posted by: midan | May 3, 2016 3:24:41 PM | 17

No media propaganda can change the fact that western populations don't like what there governments are doing in the Middle East and elsewhere. Almost everybody is aware of the big problems the financial system is facing, and many see that the whole thing is close to failing terminally. This makes 'em angry and they start to look out for an alternative. In Europe there is nothing left on the left so they go for the right. And that's really worrisome.

Posted by: Pnyx | May 3, 2016 3:44:44 PM | 18

The 0.01%ers have won battle after battle to cut their taxes, and they don't care that what they and Big Corporattions don't pay has to be paid by those far from even top 10%ers. And they like it that way.

They who have the gold make the rules in the USA.

They also believe that those who are not in the top wealth and earning quintile really are not necessary and perhaps should just go away and die.

Posted by: jawbone | May 3, 2016 3:51:39 PM | 19

Oh, and zombie lies is what they're called, at least on the web. So far nothing has much worked to kill them once and for all.

Posted by: jawbone | May 3, 2016 3:54:25 PM | 20

Thanks. Stay strong, and keep exposing these charlatans.

Posted by: Andy V | May 3, 2016 4:20:42 PM | 21

b, valuable work you’re doing pointing this out. Keep repeating it. This body of work should be collected for kids for the future with copies of the articles at the links. Please keep it up. Please. (And deeply appreciated.)

Posted by: MRW | May 3, 2016 4:55:18 PM | 22

All of these operations proceed via deficit financing, with the average taxpayer ultimately responsible. A few billion a year earmarked for Syria, a few billion for Ukraine, a few billion into the Baltic states... What does each "freedom of navigation" operation in the South China Sea cost? The answer is, as others note above, ultimately it costs your pension, safe water, an education system for your kids, etc.

Posted by: jayc | May 3, 2016 4:57:35 PM | 23

Now we understand the chimera of the FSA -- I can find no recent cites as to it's size now, then, at peak// wiki says "Strength 10,000-60,000 (disputed)" cites are old ...

Another kind of bizarre "coincidence" FOREIGN AFFAIRS: Quitting ISIS: Why Syrians are Abandoning the Group. Rather like that BBC link with an interview with an US commander of a couple of days ago suggesting that American efforts had seriously degraded ISIS. And reports of (what might be mass) migration to Libya I haven't read it all ... can't right now, but it suggests that Syrians are disillusioned that ISIS isn't what they'd hoped ... etc.

I've never seen "reliable statistics" as to what percentage of ISIS fighters in fact are Syrians ... versus Iraqis versus the mobile jiahadi army ... Wouldn't any Syrian nationalist be a bit aghast to have Syria and it's borders simply ERASED ... as Al-Baghdadi and ISIS intend?

American press seems to be revising ISIS in Syria as a paper tiger ... however, I think ISIS in Iraq is still supposed to be formidable or why hasn't Mosul been liberated??

So confusing.

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | May 3, 2016 5:16:26 PM | 24

The @raqqa_sl account announced today that it had won a "Press Freedom 2016" prize from Reporters Without Borders (@RSF_RUG)

https://twitter.com/Raqqa_SL/status/727565014840782848

Amazing.

Posted by: Joanne Leon | May 3, 2016 6:02:50 PM | 25

The 'Free Syrian Army' officially ceased to exist in the spring of 2015, "when the last U.S.-backed rebel faction, Harakat Hazzm, disbanded, its members joining extremist groups such as the Nusra Front, the al Qaeda offshoot in the country."

http://www.ibtimes.com/four-years-later-free-syrian-army-has-collapsed-1847116

The organization that actually never was - the 'Free Syrian Army' - has merged with Jabat al-Nusra, which is al Qaeda in Syria. They are not subject to the restrictions of the cease-fire. The fighting arm of what called itself the Free Syrian Army pretty much always was comprised of radicals, and what the public saw was a hundred or so irregulars who were paraded before the cameras whenever western journalists wanted a show.

Posted by: Mark | May 3, 2016 6:09:12 PM | 26

b, 'The Guardian, after publishing the above, will not for one moment reflect on how its own publishing on Syria was influenced by the government financed fakes. It is, just like other mainstream media, an integrated part of the campaign.

'No unveiling of the truth about the "western" attack on the Syrian state and its people seems to any effect on the ongoing media operations.'

This article in the Guardian is most probably an effort to draw attention away from the fact of Guardian corporate complicity with the Torey terrorists of the UK, so in that respect, 'unveiling of the truth' does have an effect on the Guardian's own complicity - it distracts from it.

  'Don't look at him! don't look at me! Look over there! behind the tree!'

@2 Au, 'The western pundits are pushing hard on social media against Syria's legitimate gov't as usual but it's ramped up even worse with the link of agreements between Assad and Isil - '
@7 Au, '- it is extremely difficult to have a conversation with my fellow comrades who gulp up the nytimes'

Could you post a link detailing the 'link of agreements between Assad and Isil' please ? Didn't come from the NYTimes, did it ?

@17 pynx 'In Europe there is nothing left on the left so they go for the right. And that's really worrisome.'

That goes double for the USA : Trump + Clinton. And what's left of the 'left' will be campaigning for Clinton after July. That's more than worrisome.

@23 SS 'American press seems to be revising ISIS in Syria as a paper tiger ... however, I think ISIS in Iraq is still supposed to be formidable or why hasn't Mosul been liberated?? '

Because the Syrians, Iranians, Hezbollah, Palestinians, and the Russians are not fighting ISIS in Iraq. The USA and its fake Iraqi army are ... pretending to do so ... while Turkey, KSA, and the GCCs are arming and funding them under US/CIA cover.

Posted by: jfl | May 3, 2016 6:35:36 PM | 27

I guess if there is a silver lining in this particular dense cloud, it is that for all the money the British government is throwing at this "Make Free Syrian Army Warm and Cuddly" media circus, the more money and spin thrown, with very little result, the more desperate it gets, and the more obviously transparent the whole ruse becomes to the general public.

It's not much of a silver lining but at least the money wasted is not money wasted somewhere that we would not be able to find any information about.

Hopefully when the British government PR spin set-up collapses, we can discover who the agencies and businesses behind it are, and consign them to prison gang hard labour.

Posted by: Jen | May 3, 2016 7:16:31 PM | 28

@23 jfl
ISIS goes between unstoppable terror octopus spreading around the globe and completely pathetic weak, dying, on the verge of death group so often, they're always hitting us with the full spectrum of falsehoods.

Posted by: Cresty | May 3, 2016 7:17:18 PM | 29

WHY DOES PUTIN NOT PAY HIS TROLLS?

I have never heard of the British government waging information warfare in Syria, but I daily hear hysterical cries about the Russian government waging information warfare on Ukraine, on Europe, and on the United States. Despite my best efforts I have never managed to meet or even identify a paymaster or organizer of this wast infowar operation. Nor have I ever found an outlet for this massive propaganda effort. Does Putin's Troll Army have a Facebook page and a Twitter account, like every "moderate" Syrian armed group?

As far as I know, the main sources of "Kremlin's propaganda" in the West are web pages run by Western volunteers without any government or corporate financing, namely Fort Russ, The Saker, South Front, Russia Insider, Truth about situation in Ukraine, Oriental Review. I have contributed to most of these and have been and administrator or editorial team member of two of them. I have never seen anyone get paid for their propaganda work.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | May 3, 2016 7:44:57 PM | 30

@27 jen - yes.. i agree with you.. however as psychohistorian likes to point out in the nature of money.. they can continue to print the shit up until they don't.. this is why it is so important that the us$ remains the dominant world currency...

@23 susan sunflower.. bullshit to your last few sentences... any syrian who is out of work and has someone demanding they join isis will do it.. they might get their head chopped off otherwise.. watch the 2nd video i shared @9 'interviewed in shaddadi'.. there a few syrian guys syrian who explains the rationale for joining.. money can buy a lot of things and trumps nationality, or decency as we see in the bought and paid for msm...

one of the reasons isis remains strong in iraq - where it started thanks all the help from the usa - explains part of the reason why it continues to dominate mosul and other areas of iraq.. that is the usa's mess which they broke but have yet to fix..

it's only confusing cause you follow/swallow too much of the bullshite western media lies and propaganda..

Posted by: james | May 3, 2016 7:49:02 PM | 31

Not sure if I can master the codes needed to post links, so here goes.Interesting piece in the Saker

thesaker is nine theses about the war we are engaged in
Shows the coldblooded step by step takeover of countries like Syria. May the authors of these policies find no mercy in this or the next life.
The mainstream Western media has a key role in shaping narratives not only in the target country but also in the West. Sites such as MOA & others have a critical role in providing a credible counter narrative. Thank you B and posters for that information. It is my task to use this information to challenge the world view of people in my networks. Maybe they will not change their views significantly, but a seed of doubt is better than absolute certainty.

Posted by: Midan | May 3, 2016 8:40:43 PM | 32

Yes, being a soldier is their job and there are no other jobs, being a soldier is their identity... all those tiny militas likely exist for the purpose of getting not only money but arms and other goodies (to be sold on the blackmarket for cash) ... wherever 2 or 3 fight together, they are a militia and can volunteer to fight for whoever is interested in supporting them. Yes, if they opted out of fighting they'd be nobody, with nothing and quite likely dead ... I have said this before.

The conundrum in Syria to me is that those who would depose Assad likely have their own plans for Syria ... I question how many want to depose Assad to hand Syria over to ISIS. Similarly, Iraqi Sunnis who support ISIS want autonomy but for how long will they be willing to be ruled by ISIS, rather than creating the Iraq of their vision.

Isis has said it wants erase borders and merge territory into their caliphate. That may be their goal ... and the goal of the international mobile jihadi army ... but are the locals on board? I doubt it.

Al-Qa’eda in Iraq in early days had a rocky start ... the Sunni Iraqis did not like the policing of personal habits and behavior. In Afghanistan, the Saudi snobbism grated... National identities are larger than transient borders and even governments. In multiple reports, Iraqi Sunnis in ISIS areas are fed up with ISIS and it's policing and it's ever changing and tightening controls. They appear to be wearing out welcome even in insurgent areas. (Took longer than I would have expected).

The citizens living in ISIS controlled areas aren't fighters ... they're people living their lives. They appreciate the services, the electricity, a functioning economy, but they're not being paid, in fact they are being taxed. They are glad for the relative peace but I suspect their allegiance to the caliphate would evaporate if something better came along.

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | May 3, 2016 9:14:44 PM | 33

b, I agree with MRW @ 21. Thank you for your work.

Thank you, the commentariat, too.

...and miss you wherever you are, Chipnik, ya crazy fool. :-)

Posted by: dumbass | May 3, 2016 9:42:20 PM | 34

@31 susan sunflower - quote from your post: "The conundrum in Syria to me is that those who would depose Assad likely have their own plans for Syria ..." that is very true.. lets start with the usa's goal of regime change which can be looked at in retrospect with regard to iraq and libya - 2 countries where the usa disposed of 2 leaders which have ultimately been replaced with isis in large quantities.. i mostly think of the usa's agenda here with regard to getting rid of assad...

in reading an article in today's nyt, i see a few quotes from kerry i would like to focus on.. "He said the U.S. rejects violence against civilians..." taken at face value - it sounds good on paper, but the reality is the usa totally supports violence against the civilians and citizens of countries that it is seeking regime change.. here is the full quote "He said the U.S. rejects violence against civilians, whether it's by Assad's government or Western-backed opposition groups. the usas role of overthrowing the leaders of sovereign countries is not a part of his sentence or thinking.. so, i think it is good to consider what the usa's plan for syria is, so long as we cross off the list the idea that the usa is actually interested in democracy, freedom and all that kind of cheap talk.. nice democratic tone to the title of the nyt article as well :"Kerry Warns Assad to Start Transition by Aug. 1 _ or Else"... i guess it goes without saying that the leadership in the free world is given over to bullying and threats more then it is anything else.. these are the words and views of an ''exceptional nation'' in someone's mind only.. they don't translate in the reality on the ground here on planet earth..

Posted by: james | May 3, 2016 10:53:14 PM | 35

Moon of Alabama, it's been more than 10 years now.

Thanks for each and every one of your researches and analysis and posts.

Thanks for your open door policy and for all good and strong souls that kept top class discussions going on and on.

Best bar on this whole side of the galaxy.

Posted by: citizen X | May 4, 2016 12:28:52 AM | 36

@30 Midan

Posted by: Grieved | May 2, 2016 1:03:15 AM | 149

Grieved had posted that article as well. No problem finding it by its title, googled 'Nine theses about the war we are engaged in' and there it was. The Saker was number three from the top. Funny how reposters bubble up to the top, isn't it?

Thanks for the link.

Posted by: jfl | May 4, 2016 12:31:29 AM | 37

@149 grieved, @30 Midan 'I would like to remind you that by Helsinki accords (which are now rules of OSCE and UN) the defense of human rights cannot be an exclusive internal business of any state.' - Thesis three

This seems to me to be a point worth repeating. The Helsinki accords were the beginning of this 'hybrid war' business. HRW is one of the longest-lived, most mature weapons of the era of 'hybrid war' begun at Helsinki.

Another point that's important to make is the ascendancy of the CIA with the age of 'hybrid war', beginning with Bush and Cheney's 'dark side' regime, and in full bloom now with Obama and Daddy John Brennan.

Now, in the West, 'hybrid war' is accepted as ... acceptable ... as though it were an advertising campaign, or football game, on steroids. Hurrah for our 'brand'.

I hope we can seize control and bring our "west", and our world, back to our senses. This is a horrid way to live. Much worse than the original 'cold war'. There were hot wars then, but nothing like the studied death, devastation, destruction, and deceit we have now. And the complete detachment of those - us - who inflict so much pain on so many innocents.

And don't underestimate the depravity involved with that detached deceit. The entire US presidential campaign is being undertaken with our continuing export of death, devastation, destruction, and deceit unattached - an 'externality' as we Neolibraconians say - absolutely unquestioned. We have to snap out of it. I'll spare you yet another link to my prescription, but we have to do something.

Posted by: jfl | May 4, 2016 1:15:52 AM | 38

b, I agree with MRW @ 21. Thank you for your work.
Thank you, the commentariat, too.
...and miss you wherever you are, Chipnik, ya crazy fool. :-)
Posted by: dumbass | May 3, 2016 9:42:20 PM | 32

Cheer up! Things are never as bad as we thought...
Go to Open Thread 17 and skim this comment:

Posted by: Chipher | Apr 30, 2016 9:20:58 AM | 207

If that's not Chipnik, I'm a monkey's uncle.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | May 4, 2016 1:34:04 AM | 39

@149 grieved, @30 Midan 'Only the support of the legitimate authorities of the victim-country by another superpower able to confront the aggressor-country with equal force in any way with any means can stop color aggression.' - Thesis eight

This is another 'unintended' consequence of the 'plans' of the Neolibraconian brain trust. They have made Russia into Antaeus. Every time they throw Russia to the ground, Russia gets back up, stronger and wiser than before, and rejoins the match. And everyone watching the match is rooting for Antaeus, their champion battling the Herculean Evil Empire, because they are well-versed in their own fates in imperial hands. In the Greek version of the myth Hercules holds Antaeus up, off the ground and crushes him in a bearhug. Well, we know who's the bear and master of hugs in this particular contest.

'As often happens with Russia, we started with defeats of the 1990s, then came to our senses, learned to fight, and have been fighting successfully in the last two years.' - Thesis nine and the conclusion

Posted by: jfl | May 4, 2016 1:39:01 AM | 40

Lies within lies, the epitaph of the West.

Posted by: AriusArmenian | May 4, 2016 2:17:36 AM | 41

Excellent, and timely, post b.
It would be impossible to overstate the level of predatory scumbaggery being perpetrated by US/UK against the people of Syria. The first thing your post brought to mind was this episode of ABC(au) Lateline broadcast on September 17, 2015. The entire program was devoted to Syria and the following covers most of the content.

Each of these links is to video + transcript.

Russia boosts its military presence in Syria (3-40)
The crux of this short clip is a Russian interview with Assad in which he questions American and Turkish support for terrorism in Syria. The subject is Yankee "concerns" about possible direct involvement in Syria, by Russia (2 weeks before the Russians arrived in Syria).
http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2015/s4314915.htm

Interview: Dr Bouthaina Shaaban, President Assad's key advisor (11-47)
In between being interrupted and contradicted by Tony Jones (who used to be one of the world's best anti-bullshit interviewers), Dr Shaaban manages to respond to all of the Yankee myths about Syria including the UK-fabricated UN dossier of Assad's ficticious 'crimes against his own people'. She also passionately questions the Fake International Community's right to decide what's best for Syria and/or who should be President of Syria.
http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2015/s4314916.htm

Interview: David Kilcullen (an Oz conflict expert)(11-51)
This interview is preceded by a very short clip of Robt Fisk being completely wrong about ISIS (etc). Fisk thinks ISIS (etc) is a guerilla force and it isn't - it's a proxy army with all the attendent command & control, and supply & logistics, paraphenalia an army needs in order to function. And that is why Russia was able to shred AmeriKKKa's "rebels" so efficiently and quickly (imo).
Anyway, the Kilcullen interview pours a lot of cold water on Yankee Full Spectrum Dominance/ Dumbfuckery/ (Dumbinence).
http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2015/s4314918.htm

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | May 4, 2016 3:05:45 AM | 42

@James #33 -- Kerry seems to be announcing that he is sticking to the agreed-upon negotiating timeline below from Wiki:

The UN Security Council in its resolution 2254 (2015) of 18 December 2015 which unanimously passed, again commended “a Syrian-led and Syrian-owned political transition based on the Geneva Communiqué” of 30 June 2012, and endorsed the "Vienna Statements" and transitional plan of the ISSG of 30 October and 14 November 2015 (see below): wiki.

A first required step was the UN Secretary General to convene representatives of the Syrian Government and opposition for negotiations on a political process, preferably in January 2016.
Followed by “credible governance” before July 2016, the drafting of a new constitution, and fair elections under that new constitution before July 2017.

This would appear to be both aggressive bullshit and absurd ... more likely actually sop to the "rebels" and KSA as toughness or, perhaps a warning to them as well. Can't meet the negotiating deadlines if no negotiations. Time's awasting.

O/T rather gratifying to hear talk this week about how much of the power sharing issues in Iraq are a result of the rushed inadequate constitution writing process ... we were so eager to end the official occupation (we were utterly failing our responsibility as a occupying force), we rushed the process and first national vote (purple fingers) on an unfinished document (among other things, as I recall, division of oil profits amongst provinces allowed to be left unfinished) ... so we could then elect officials, who exploited the boycott and chaos ... and the flawed unfinished document never really got fixed. (the purple revolution).

I wonder and marvel about the plan to write/re-write Syria's constitution ... oh well, wait and see.

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | May 4, 2016 3:17:40 AM | 43

@37 hoarse

2016-16 @207 Might be him, on a bad day. Cynic with a chip on his shoulder. Chipnik had a lot of bad days.

Who are the Stackers?

Posted by: jfl | May 4, 2016 5:10:32 AM | 44

Posted by: jfl | May 4, 2016 5:10:32 AM | 44

It's just my guess. (I don't have humble opinions) :-)
...and thanks for correcting the thread from #17 to #16.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | May 4, 2016 6:04:56 AM | 45

Speaking of media shows that disinform ...

Why Obama Silenced bin Laden


President Obama likes to point to the killing of Osama bin Laden as a proud part of his legacy. Actually, the “hit” on bin Laden allowed the U.S. to dramatically increase its deployment of jihadists as foot soldiers in U.S. proxy wars against Libya and Syria. Al Qaida was symbolically beheaded, so that it could be re-born as “freedom-loving political dissidents and patriotic ‘moderates’ deserving of U.S. arms, financing, and air support.”

In short, bin Laden had to die so that al Qaida could live to fight another day for U.S. imperialism in Libya and Syria. The U.S. is still arming and protecting al Qaida, whose Syrian affiliate, al Nusra, is the main force holding the so-called “rebel” lines in Aleppo, Syria’s largest city. The U.S. would be protecting the al Qaida off-shoot ISIS, as well, if ISIS had not decided to fight its own war, for its own reasons. Even so, the U.S. did not mount serious attacks against ISIS in Syria until the Russians intervened, which showed the whole world that Washington had been collaborating with the terrorists, all along – something that we might have learned of in great detail, if Osama bin Laden had been captured and put on trial.


Another hidden in plain sight observation on the activities of Public Enemy Number 1 in the White House and the gang that pulls his strings.

Posted by: jfl | May 4, 2016 8:15:37 AM | 46

I found a link to this at Black Agenda Report.

Capitalism's Depleted Reserves


When the next global downturn arrives, the period between that crisis and 2008 will mark a watershed period in the history of the capitalist system. It will be characterized as one in which the system, far from developing, burned away many of the reserve layers at its disposal, economically, socially and politically, which had acted as “cushioning” in 2008.

This will give the class struggles of the not-too distant future a far sharper character. The struggle on the part of the bourgeois will be far more desperate. The struggle on the part of the working class will take place after a period in which sick and enfeebled capitalism has been able to do nothing to solve its fundamental problems. Illusions that previously existed have been burned away, many defenders of the old system discredited. This is something we must prepare for, and intervene in, to build the forces of Marxism.


Yes, something we must prepare for. Marxism is a wonderful school of analysis ... for government, not so much, in my opinion.

My choice is democracy, straight up, no chaser. The 'real' socialists claim an identity between socialism and democracy.


There cannot be true democracy without socialism, nor can there be true socialism without democracy.

I don't know what 'socialism' is. I think it's one of those terms used to describe something after the fact, and I'm willing to call whatever develops democratically, from a real, participatory democracy, socialism on that basis. Going the other way is easier and more intuitively obvious.

In fact I think our only choice, long term, is democracy; the only antidote to the rule of the deafest, dumbest, and blindest. We just cannot afford them any longer. The only really hard part is accepting that its up to ourselves, that there's no one gonna save us.

After accepting responsibility for ourselves, the actual exercise itself will be a relief, a shared project that unites us. Maybe 'fun' is too optimistic a word, but hardship can be borne in the light of common struggle to put things right and in the belief that we have what it takes to do so. And we do. Our world is a very rich place, still, in the under-appreciated things, the truly miraculous things, that money cannot buy. Appreciation for those very things is growing, if not by leaps and bounds then by steady plod and elimination, day after day, every day.

Posted by: jfl | May 4, 2016 9:14:27 AM | 47

I got banned from commenting at the Guardian for pointing out, very politely, that Kurdistan was not a country, and 'family' meant mother, father, wife, husband, children, brothers and sisters, not cousins, as they are covered under the term 'relative'. I wrote them to explain their reasons behind the ban but no response so far.

Posted by: mischi | May 4, 2016 9:20:22 AM | 48

more info on that last comment of mine - it was a story about a 'refugee' from 'Kurdistan' who was trying to come into the UK on the 'family reunification program' but was refused.

Posted by: mischi | May 4, 2016 9:30:55 AM | 49

Hoarsew @ 42: Links are excellent. Thanks. Syria 101..

Posted by: ben | May 4, 2016 9:39:07 AM | 50

Erdogan recently lashed out against US policy regarding Syrian Kurds.
http://russia-insider.com/en/politics/us-russia-compete-woo-syrian-kurds/ri14186

Posted by: Anna | May 4, 2016 9:41:03 AM | 51

@27 "Could you post a link detailing the 'link of agreements between Assad and Isil' please? Didn't come from the NYTimes, did it?"

I looked for a full list and came up with this link from the ever dependable Daily Mail. They even have a document and an ISIS defector in a balaclava so it must be true.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3569934/Leaked-documents-ISIS-headquarters-terror-group-Syrian-dictator-Assad-colluded-city-Palmyra.html

Posted by: dh | May 4, 2016 10:37:50 AM | 52

46;The gang in the WH?The Stern Gang?Jeez,of course.
As far as misinfo,check out all the ziorags on BS defeating the hell bitch in Indiana.They've annointed her already,despite her losing.And look for more losses to come.
She's 10 points up on Trump!sheesh.
Whistling in the graveyard of lost minds.

Posted by: dahoit | May 4, 2016 10:40:54 AM | 53

For Noirette, some interesting comments, from people living in areas where the French extreme right is around 30% for more than 20 years
http://www.franceculture.fr/emissions/les-pieds-sur-terre/quelque-part-dans-le-var

Posted by: Mina | May 4, 2016 10:52:37 AM | 54

Hoarsew @ 42: Unfortunately Dr Shaaban doesn't give a convincing answer to the question about the "Caesar" photos, simply dismissing them as fabrication. They can't simply be dismissed. The photos show more than 6000 bodies, almost all male, many of them starved and mutilated. Some are laid out in the open and the site can be matched to the military hospital in south Damascus, where "Caesar" says he worked as the clinical photographer till August 2013.

Adam Larson at

http://libyancivilwar.blogspot.co.at/2016/04/upside-down-terrorist-crimes-on-display.html

has made a detailed study of these photos, with help from some of us at A Closer Look on Syria. The most plausible explanation of these photos is that the victims were captives of the opposition, starved, gassed and then dumped for the army to find. Some were still alive when found, and were treated in the intensive care unit of the military hospital (central venous catheters and other signs of intensive medical intervention are seen in some of the victims). Many were religious minorities or Assad loyalists: Shia, Christian or Assad tattoos can be seen. The most likely perpetrators are the group led by the late Zahran Alloush. The gassing may have been a rehearsal for the managed massacre of captives in the Ghouta sarin false flag.

It's unfortunate that the Syrian government didn't publicize these killings when they were happening, as it makes it look as if they had something to hide. They did in Maybe they didn't want people to panic at the news that the opposition was exterminating religious minorities only a few miles from the centre of Damascus.

Posted by: pmr9 | May 4, 2016 10:53:13 AM | 55

@ jfl 46.


He did not. Recently it was postulated as OBL's double and why was {it] buried at sea?
Was this all in keeping with disinformation by western media efforts?

Ask – Ms. Benazir Bhutto. Oh wait..
Ask – Gen. Pervez Musharraf, former Pakistan President. I watched his interview with BBC in confirmation. Oops they moved to impeach and remove him.
Ask OBL's handlers. Oops - all files gone!
Ask – Fox News why they reported his death on December 26, 2001
http://www.foxnews.com/story/2001/12/26/report-bin-laden-already-dead.html

Cited Obit. Notice on 12/26/2001 in Arabic
http://www.globalresearch.ca/osama-bin-ladens-obituary-notice/5358889

Paul Craig Roberts wrote extensively on the BHO lie.
http://www.globalresearch.ca/pakistan-tv-report-contradicts-us-claim-of-bin-laden-s-death/25915


Posted by: likklemore | May 4, 2016 10:54:29 AM | 56

Correction to my last post: the Syrian state new agency reported in August 2012 that a gang was abducting, torturing and killing civilians and dumping their bodies in the northeast Damascus suburbs. After that no more reports. The large-scale killings in the Caesar photos timeline appear to start around November 2012, soon after Alloush's group had taken full control of Douma.

Posted by: pmr9 | May 4, 2016 11:00:50 AM | 57

jfl @47

I came across this yesterday: How Syrian Kurds dropped Marx and adopted communalism

Link to thesaker

It is brief but this is the first time I've heard of "communialism" and it seems to have merit.

"From Abdullah Öcalan to the Kurds who were recently fighting ISIS in Kobane, all threw Marxism over their shoulders to embrace your father’s philosophy: Communalism. What is Communalism?

Communalism is the idea that democracy works best when citizens make decisions together on the local level, in assemblies. They meet face-to-face with their neighbors and discuss issues of importance to their communities. They send recallable delegates to councils to make regional decisions; but power always resides at the local level, rather than with the nation-state. My father believed that these local assemblies would transform, and be transformed by, an increasingly enlightened citizenry. People could reclaim and redefine politics as something we do for ourselves rather than just voting for someone and hoping for the best. Communalism also envisions what my father called a “moral economy” in which people make collective decisions about how to use natural resources for economic production, with the ecological impact in mind.

In this vision there is no money, no market: how is it possible?

Today we take capitalism for granted. But God didn’t ordain capitalism. In much of human history societies functioned without it. As my father first pointed out in the early 1960s, capitalism is on a collision course with nature that threatens our survival as a species. Capitalism’s “grow or die” ethos demands the ceaseless exploitation of natural resources. The rapacious growth and individualism that it has fostered has led to global warming, that is on the verge of making our planet uninhabitable for our grandchildren. Is capitalism so sacred that we are willing to destroy the planet for future generations? There are many examples in history of people working cooperatively to make decisions for the benefit of a community without using money – from primitive societies to large Israeli kibbutzim. Communalism assumes that in a free society, people with different skills, interests, and desires, will contribute their labor to the well being of society. And given the advanced technology of the modern age, it means that we would all have to work less and have more leisure time than we do today."

There is more in the full text.

Posted by: Dean | May 4, 2016 11:06:06 AM | 58

@42 hoarsewhisperer and @55 pmr9.. thanks for drawing my attention to that interview hw and pmr9.. i agree with pmr9 after reading the transcript - BOUTHAINA SHAABAN appears to not have had enough time to address the last question properly.. thanks for the additional link @55 pmr9.. this is important information that seems ignored by the same forces intent on getting rid of assad... i agreed with what shaaban said in this link .. quoting shaaban -"It is Syria that has been targeted, it is not President Assad."

Posted by: james | May 4, 2016 11:22:26 AM | 59

Alberto @ 3, mélée in Turkish Parlaiment.

As I suppose many here know, nevertheless to point out, as Turkey is heavily involved in the Syria matter: Turkey is itself in a state of rumbling quasi-overt civil war.

There are already about half a million displaced within Turkey itself. How many killed nobody seems to want to say. MSM is silent.

One article from Politico, March 15, 2016.

Politico

Fox news actually had some coherent reports, March 2016. (As is sometimes the case, not that I’m praising them..)

Fox

Heh, news about Erdogan’s Neo-Ottomania cum Sultan-in-Chief propensities and various all over the board crack-downs plus his delicate or paranoid sensitivities to German / other insulting satire re. his august person, occupy front stage.

Effectively covering up that Turkey is coming apart, because of Erdogan/Syria and the long-time fight against Kurds.

Posted by: Noirette | May 4, 2016 11:41:49 AM | 60

As long as these poor people have no other income and a way to support themselves they will fight under whatever "flag" pays the most.

It's like one large game of Risk for the psychopaths that run these "Game Wars".

Posted by: shadyl | May 4, 2016 11:53:48 AM | 61

I suspect -- if there is reality behind it -- Al-Qa’eda is rising because ISIS has been stalled for over a year, slowing losing territory, but more importantly losing swagger ... and Al-Qa’eda is the Original Coca-Cola ... which may have never gained territory, has "endured" ... Again in Paris/Brussels, the AQAP connection, even if they flew the Banner of ISIS. Youthful jihadis seeking adventure and glory may be opting to live longer, even as long as possible, working for Al-Qa’eda (rather than martyring themselves for an apparently waning ISIS)

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | May 4, 2016 11:54:53 AM | 62

Additional facts further supporting my claim that the headquarters of the Global Empire of Evil is in the City of London: the MI6 operations "SOHR" and "Bellingcunt/BrownNoses" are run from there.

And now also this:
Despite the death of a US Navy SEAL on Tuesday while training Iraqi troops, UK Defense Secretary Michael Fallon says hundreds more British troops could be sent to the war-torn country to advise local forces. Fallon made the comments ahead of a meeting of ministers in Stuttgart on Wednesday, where he will discuss a further "package" of troops […]

The greatest trick the (Zio) British Empire ever pulled was convincing the world it ceased to exist.
That's been its power.

Posted by: ProPeace | May 4, 2016 12:03:37 PM | 63

The main, and actually disqualifying, flaw of capitalism is that achieving monopoly is optimal situation for a business.

At the same time it's detrimental to the society, as we can see recently with e.g. Google.

Posted by: ProPeace | May 4, 2016 12:20:20 PM | 64

Good read: How the European Union is manipulating the Syrian refugees, by Thierry Meyssan

Posted by: ProPeace | May 4, 2016 1:12:11 PM | 65

Posted by: pmr9 | May 4, 2016 10:53:13 AM | 55

Thanks for the results of your supplementary sleuthing. I agree with your opening statement. Dr Shaaban is denied the opportunity, during the interview, to elaborate on her accusations of UK's hand in the fabrication of anti-Assad evidence.

However, it is QED for me that her accusations would have been a bit too persuasive for Mr Jones/My ABC to have survived airing such evidence without attracting severe repercussions from Oz's Zio-AmeriKKKan Govt (and Opposition).

I've watched the ABC slowly evolve, in recent years, from a wholly reliable embracer of Investigative Journalism principles, to a "don't rock the boat" outfit obliged to tip-toe around contentious issues - all the way through to "toeing the Party Line" on anything to do with the Fake War on Terra.
Happily, there is a price to pay for this part-time obedience - the slightest whiff of political corruption and the ABC is all over it boots and all. No perp has survived any of these corruption allegations / the ensuing inquiries. It's a spectacularly entertaining variation on the theme of Creative Cannibalism; the arseholes hate it but if they don't crucify the clowns who get caught, they'll all be tainted. It's beaut. They have to pretend that they like it and there's NOTHING they can do to stop it.

But thanks, again for giving the good Doctor's reputation a helping hand

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | May 4, 2016 1:27:08 PM | 66

Does the CIA have a video of Putin diddling a little boy or something? What's with these ceasefires

Posted by: aaaa | May 4, 2016 3:02:33 PM | 67

It's about control. Kerry "warning" Assad (or Putin) wrt the negotiation schedule "deadlines" would be absurd on the face of it ... even if there were weren't all these walk-outs (by the rebels) ...

De Mistura is the UN's envoy ... who also knows that the rebels walked out on the last round of peace talks (refused to negotiate with Assad and because they couldn't stand each other - pre-ISIS) ... and I'd be really really surprised if he would, could or would desire to "punish" Assad for deadlines not met because rebels refused to negotiate. Kerry admonishing Assad that he "can't win" by taking territory, by a military victory is also laughable given Assad's recent gains (with and without Russian assist). It translates crudely into "we won't let this war end except on American terms"

Anyone who cites tiny percentage of territory controlled by Assad" is ignoring that 70% of Syria's population is located in government territory as of January 2015 (vast amounts of Syria are very lightly or unpopulated -- inhospitable). ISIS has controlled ROADS or portions of roads which have made Syria's fight difficult. The Russian campaign helped in this without the ground-troops needed to capture territory -- it's not about the dirt.

Of vague interest and questionable significance, Al-Zawakiwi issued 3 directives in January saying that participating in the negotiations and with KSA were grievous betrayals of jihad ... actually having anything to do with KSA was a betryal of jihad ...
I don't know the provenance of Long War Journal Long War Journal.

The third statement, titled “The Levant is Entrusted Upon Your Necks,” includes Zawahiri’s written condemnation of Saudi Arabia and its role in the Syrian war.

The al Qaeda leader claims that a recent Saudi-sponsored conference for rebel groups opposed to Bashar al Assad’s regime is really “one of Saudi Arabia’s attempts to distort the path of jihad in general, and in the Levant in particular,” according to a translation obtained by The Long War Journal. Zawahiri warns others that “Saudi Arabia will not provide you freedom, dignity, or glory.”

Some Islamist groups fighting alongside Al Nusrah Front, al Qaeda’s branch in Syria, have praised Saudi Arabia and participated in its rebel conference in Riyadh. But Al Nusrah’s leader, Abu Muhammad al Julani, said late last year that participating in the conference was an act of “treason.” Therefore, Zawahiri’s message adds additional support for Al Nusrah’s anti-Saudi stance and draws a contrast between Al Nusrah and some of its allies.

elsewhere apparent conflicts between Al-Qa’eda and ISIS in Pakistan wrt the killing of infidels campaign, in Afhganistan they are reportedly working "together" ... I'm beginning to wish we had different names for the Iraqi ISIS and Syrian ISIS and Pakistani ISIS, etc. For more than a decade Afghan taliban and Pakistani Taliban have been blurred ... conveniently.

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | May 4, 2016 4:02:38 PM | 68

Oh, meant to mention ... think Kerry was absolutely nixing Merkel's idea of Syrian administered and defended safe zones for Syrian Refugees inside Syria ... the border is apparently still closed ... fasten your seatbelts as things get worse.

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | May 4, 2016 10:29:30 PM | 69

@65 propeace.. thanks for the link and read..

Posted by: james | May 5, 2016 1:35:50 AM | 70

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