Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
December 03, 2016

Roy Gutman's Hakawati

The so called "journalist" Roy Gutman is marketing an old fairy tale in three acts. It was the Syrian President Assad who created ISIS. Assad also faked the Al-Qaeda bombings in Syria to get sympathy in the "west". The Daily Beast even paid Gutman to publish this nonsense:

This series charts Assad’s major role in the rise of Islamic extremism from the inside.
...
the regime likely staged bombings of its own security facilities in 2011 and 2012 to foster the impression that al Qaeda had an armed presence in Syria long before it did.
...
Syrian intelligence received orders to stand by when al Qaeda fighters crossed from Iraq into Syria in 2012.

But where did Gutman get such extraordinary information? On would think that some very credible witnesses were needed and on-the-ground research would be necessary to verify these claims. But as he himself writes:

Raed Ilawy, an Islamist recruit from Hama, was among the Syrians who traveled to the mosque. Some of the trainers, he recalled in an interview at an Istanbul café, ...

and

Dendal was introduced to this reporter by a former regime judge from Aleppo who deserted to the opposition. Interviewed in a café in Istanbul’s popular Fatih district, ...

Deserters and Islamist activists telling stories which blame their declared enemies - excellent witnesses. Those stories then must be true. Right? Gutman himself writes that the CIA does not believe the fairy tales he was told over coffee in Istanbul, nor does anyone else who is knowledgeable about the issue. Gutman is unable to get any official confirmation for his claims. Indeed the DNI refutes his tales:

The CIA declined to comment but did not dispute the validity of the question. “I looked into this, and there is nothing we can add,” a spokeswoman said.
...
The CIA declined to comment.
...
After bombings in Damascus Jan. 6 and Aleppo Feb. 10, 2012, James Clapper, the director of National Intelligence, told Congress in mid-February that the explosions “had all the earmarks of an al Qaeda-like attack.” He added: “And so we believe al Qaeda in Iraq is extending its reach into Syria.

In 2012 Rania Abouzeid interviewed Jabhat al Nusra (al-Qaeda) fighters in Raqqa and wrote about it for Time. They confirm that many came from Iraq and were silently in Syria even before the "revolution".

But whatever - activists say the Syrian government did it ... - is all the validity Gutman needs.

In the second act of the farce Gutman meets another witness:

the actual numbers were smaller, according to Abdullah Hakawati, an activist who helped organize anti-government protests in Aleppo ... Hakawati provided the name of the officer, but he could not be reached to verify the account.

Elijah Magnier urged Gutman (who does not speak Arabic) to find out what that activist's alleged surname means.

From the description of a book titled The Hakawati we learn:

As the family gathers, stories begin to unfold: Osama's grandfather was a hakawati, or storyteller, and his bewitching tales are interwoven with classic stories of the Middle East.

So this was one of Gutman's witnesses?


Pic: Syria: ‘al-Hakawati’ – the Storytelling Tour in Sweden 2015

Ha! Some Syrian activist made a joke over duping a gullible journalist over coffee in Istanbul by giving his name as Mr. Storyteller! Dumb as bricks the journalist and his editors at the Daily Beast fall for it.

Gutman stenographed a great fairy tale just as the various hakawatis in Istanbul's cafes tell it. With that he vividly demonstrated how "fake news" are created. I doubt though that this was his intention.

(Edited Sun, Dec 4, 0:45am, CIA part corrected with added quotes - b.)

Posted by b on December 3, 2016 at 10:27 AM | Permalink

Comments

So, fake journalists create fake news from clever activists' ploys, the media pays for it, the government supports it, and the general public is worried about To Kill a Mockingbird containing a literary depiction of actual history. Will re-writing history bring us a better future, the question is.

Posted by: stumpy | Dec 3, 2016 10:53:12 AM | 1

thanks b... this guy ought to get a promotion to the nyt, or wapo with journalist skills like this!!!

Posted by: james | Dec 3, 2016 11:30:29 AM | 2

He will be welcomed as a "specialist" on German TV ("Tagesschau", and the like)

Posted by: Thomas Bargatzky | Dec 3, 2016 11:35:13 AM | 3

Porosity between FSA and Daesh? Brother of FSA commander blew himself up against Iraqi soldiers in Mosul
https://t.co/BLfNlwmyNu

Posted by: Mina | Dec 3, 2016 12:34:50 PM | 5

http://www.rtp.pt/noticias/mundo/missionaria-que-viveu-em-alepo-conta-as-atrocidades-do-conflito_v966288
can anyone who know portuguese give a summary?

Posted by: Mina | Dec 3, 2016 1:00:09 PM | 6

It was Roy Gutman in the 1990's that wrote the story about the Serb rape camp in Bosnia where many thousands of Muslim women were being assaulted. Except that the rape camp didn't exist. Four journalists decided to set out to find that camp. As they traveled toward the camp the stories from the locals about how many women were in camp decreased. When they arrived the locals there said four women were raped. They couldn't find any camp.

Roy Gutman received a Pulitzer Prize for reporting on a rape camp that didn't exist. Most of the reports by western journalists was agitprop to demonize the Serbs.

Historians are still writing books about the wars in Yugoslavia in the 1990's that still harp about the Serbs based on disinformation promoted by idiots like Roy Gutman and lies from western intelligence agencies.

There are many examples of this from WW2 to today. It is part of what the US and its Anglosphere and EU vassals does continuously in its drive to hegemony over the rest of the world. Its purpose is to plow and plunder all others. But the Eastern powers have drawn a line in Syria telling the West they will no longer bend their knee. If the West doesn't relent it will break on the East.

Posted by: AriusArmenian | Dec 3, 2016 1:06:21 PM | 7

Gutman himself writes that the CIA (or anyone else) does believes the fairy tales he was told over coffee in Istanbul

well, afterall, Al-Qaeda was hatched at a late night poker game in Langley back in the 70s or 80s, wasn't it? and it's grown into a full-blown rallying cry for all kinds of semi-literate medieval fuckwits all across the fanatical fringe of the muslim world, as well as for our legions of lying sophers, it being purely coincidental that since the attacks on 911 Al-Qaeda has expanded exponentially alongside the exponential expansion of the US security complex, its bloated budgets, its flooding of weaponry across the greater ME interfaced with cynically meddlesome political monkey business. oh yes, ten years in Afghanistan, keeping opium production at the max while on the trail of the intrepid bin Laden, who our faithful scribes tell us finally met his maker in Abbottabad in 2011, except that Seymour Hersh told us that that's all "...one big lie, not one word of it is true."

it's astonishing that any of this fakery still sticks.

are the bin Laden wars coming to an end, anyway?

Posted by: john | Dec 3, 2016 1:23:58 PM | 8

re Mina 6. I don't know portuguese, but you can decipher most from the subtitles. I don't think she says anything unexpected. 'muchos abusos', 'terroristas' and that sort of thing. I imagine you got all that yourself. The video clips though were stock from the library, including some White Helmets clips, which rather reduced credibility.

Posted by: Laguerre | Dec 3, 2016 2:23:54 PM | 9

re Mina 4

but I talked with a Kurd today and he said the Turks are bombing/slaughtering freely in Iraq.
Is that the PKK as usual? Erdogan has become a modern version of Mad King George.

Posted by: Laguerre | Dec 3, 2016 2:26:33 PM | 10

In case anyone isn't convinced about the massive U.S. propaganda machine's 'power' over social media, i.e., outright manipulation, astroturfing and censorship, I offer today's example: the collections of tweets under hashtags for Aleppo and Mosul.

Twitter for #Aleppo - Russia's bombing causing plenty of maimed and dying children
Twitter for #Mosul - U.S. bombing equals happy children and dead ISIS terrorists - YAY!

There is ALWAYS profound civilian suffering that results from an army - any army - taking back enemy-occupied urban territory. The U.S. is no stranger to whitewashing the suffering we cause. The battles of Falluja are a textbook example of Goebbels-style media control and censorship of U.S. collateral damage. One look at Twitter for the above two campaigns, and you can see the success the U.S. has in 'bleaching out the bad' when we blow apart scores of Mosul civilians. Twitter is hardly journalism, but I think it pretty much parallels the coverage and intensely-steered narrative in Western mainstream media: Aleppo = child holocaust; Mosul = happy, 'liberated' children.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Dec 3, 2016 2:55:50 PM | 11

Franco-Tunisian da'esh leader killed in Syria
http://tinyurl.com/z7nwwsr

Posted by: Mina | Dec 3, 2016 3:14:03 PM | 12

I'm sure if your average cafe in Istanbul is anything like the average cafe in Sydney (or in any other large city around the world), you really would not conduct serious interviews in such a venue. There'd be too much noise, too much loud music and everyone talking loudly all at once, along with background noises and other potential sources of disruption (waiters pushing past you, people at the next table staring at you with funny expressions on their faces).

Plus how freely would Syrian refugees and Islamist activists be allowed to move in Istanbul? Sultan Erdogan would surely not want potential suicide bombers to roam freely in the city where he was once mayor and where all his relatives and other cronies have built their shopping malls.

Posted by: Jen | Dec 3, 2016 3:26:25 PM | 13

re 13

Plus how freely would Syrian refugees and Islamist activists be allowed to move in Istanbul?
The last time I was in Istanbul a year ago, admittedly before the coup, Syrians were begging in the streets. 2 million refugees. If you don't provide for them, you can't control them.

Posted by: Laguerre | Dec 3, 2016 3:48:39 PM | 14

Middle East "expert" (((Roy Gutman)))

Posted by: Alieu | Dec 3, 2016 5:02:21 PM | 15

@6 Mina

The nun they interview is Argentinian and she speaks in Spanish during the report. She asked to be assigned to Aleppo before the conflict. She described it as a calm place where Christians and Muslims lived together in peace, especially compared to other parts of the Middle East she had been in. In a nutshell, the opposition was foreign, terrorist, and mercenary, funded by Arab States (Saudi Arabia), and the West (no specifics). The only thing that kept Syria from falling was the army, and later Russia.

She states that is not a civil war, and that the western media created propaganda to make it seem like it was Syrians uprising against Assad. She also points out what she saw from her window were demonstrations in support of Assad, but the media manipulated this fact.

Christians were being crucified and decapitated, children buried by missiles and projectiles... every day. In Europe, these attacks would be treated completely differently.

She says that supporting the moderate rebels needs to stop because there are no moderate rebels, that the West is directly supporting terrorists. She also mentions that war is war, and all sides commit crimes. However, the atrocities committed by the West and the terrorists are completely ignored.

This last point reminds me of the Nuremberg tribunal:

To initiate a war of aggression, therefore, is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.

I suspect that this whole "fake news" propaganda campaign (congratulations for making the list b) is in preparation for when the real voices of Syria start to trickle out. The West is in for an existential crisis. You just can't destroy four countries and not expect severe consequences.

Thank you for the link. What do you think the the chances of Sister Maria de Guadalupe appearing on Democracy Now! are?

Posted by: Tobin Paz | Dec 3, 2016 5:03:35 PM | 16

Damn, b, this, once again, is a great find. This site is worth more than any established online newspaper. "the hakawati", lol, thanks to the guy himself for taking this alias. man, this is one of the very few blogs/newssites where the articles are worth the read and where I don't just fast forward to the comment section.

Posted by: radiator | Dec 3, 2016 5:31:45 PM | 17

@ mina
The nun confirms that people support the government, that it's not a civil war, that the terrorists are paid, by Saudi and Qatar, and are largely not from Syria, and that they receive support from the West. She arrived in Syria in January 2011, and two months later the war started.

Posted by: No | Dec 3, 2016 5:42:41 PM | 18

@7 AA, 'disinformation promoted by idiots like Roy Gutman'

Gutman is not the idiot, he's getting paid for providing 'stories' to the tnc msm. The tnc msm are not idiots, they are attracting subsidies from neo-con plutocrats who support 'our' imperialist governments, now that the 'news' is no longer a profitable business. They are a collection of vile liars, but not idiots.

We are the idiots, if we pay any attention to the steady stream of lies they spew.

Speaking of the steady stream of lies they spew, 'the Russians hacked the election' meme may have a point to it? Anything seems possible these days.

Posted by: jfl | Dec 3, 2016 5:58:09 PM | 19

Posted by: Mina | Dec 3, 2016 1:00:09 PM....Thanks to Mina for posting that very important link....

Posted by: Tobin Paz | Dec 3, 2016 5:03:35 PM....At 3:19 the good sister starts to explain in plain language what is really happening in Syria specifically Aleppo.....she is totally unknown in the halls of the MSM....bastards....

RTP News

Posted by: notlurking | Dec 3, 2016 6:18:34 PM | 20

Interesting from Voltairenet: Les missiles mer-sol russes, par Valentin Vasilescu


...After the success of the operation, the Syrian Arab army's offensive in West Aleppo, which resulted in more than 1,000 deaths among the Fatah al-Sham and Jabhat Jaish al-Fatah fighters, created large gaps In the devices of the Islamist mercenaries. The Syrian Arab Army was thus able to massively introduce armored vehicles through these breaches and managed to achieve considerable progress.

The only obstacle to the success of the Syrian Arab army could be the influx of reinforcements to the Islamic mercenaries by their comrades concentrated in an area of ​​the governorate of Idlib, located 30-40 km from the city of Aleppo. About 20,000 Islamic mercenaries are stationed in this concentration zone, some of them being armed and trained for operations covered by the CIA and the Pentagon. To avoid the influx of Islamic mercenaries west of Aleppo, Russia has decided to increase its tactical air force deployed in Syria with a naval group capable of ensuring high-precision strikes.

The Russian naval group recently deployed in the eastern Mediterranean consists of the aircraft carrier Amiral-Kuznetsov, the Pierre-le-Grand nuclear-powered cruiser, the Severomorsk and Vice-Admiral-Kulakov destroyers and the Admiral-Grigorovich frigate. The Russian aircraft carrier has a displacement of 60,000 t, with on board 14 multi-role aircraft Su-33, four Mig-29K (among the 20 Mig-29K / KUB that can be shipped), 4 school and attack aircraft On the ground Su-25UTG / UBP and 14 Kamov Ka-27PLO anti-submarine helicopters. Each aircraft on board is armed with two Kh-29 L / T and Kh-25 T air-to-ground missiles (guided by laser beam and camera) launched from an altitude of 10,000 meters and at a distance of 10- 12 km from the target.

The aircraft carrier Amiral-Kuznetsov is armed with other offensive means such as ship-to-ship missiles P-700 Granit, with a radius of 625 km, flying Mach 1.6-2.5 and which can be used against targets Terrestrial. The Pierre-le-Grand cruiser is also armed with P-700 Granit missiles, while the Severomorsk and Vice-Admiral-Kulakov destroyers have P-270 Moskit missiles with a range of 250 km and a Mach 2 speed , 5 (2,800 km / h) and which can also be used against ground targets. The frigate Admiral Grigorovich is armed with Kalibr cruise missiles (range 1400-2500 km) and Oniks missiles with a range of 600 km and a Mach 2.5 speed.

On board the Russian warships that make up the group deployed in the eastern Mediterranean, there are about 1,000 missiles that can be used against Islamic mercenaries. Due to the improved relations with Turkey, Russia has the capacity to replace daily the missiles launched by its ships thanks to transport ships that pass through the Straits of the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles. The distance between the concentration zone of the Islamist mercenaries in the governorate of Idlib and the position of the Russian naval group is 100-150 km. Thus, the Islamic mercenaries of Idlib are within reach of the Russian naval group, as well as east of Aleppo, detained by the same Islamist mercenaries. While the two Russian light bomber squadrons that remained in operation at the Hmeymim Syrian base have the capacity to launch 72 to 80 bombs or missiles daily, the Russian naval group can launch as many bombs or missiles on a daily basis with the two Aircraft squadrons embarked on the aircraft carrier. In addition, 100 other ship-to-shore missiles of various types can be launched from the aircraft carrier Amiral-Kuznetsov, the cruiser Pierre-le-Grand, the destroyers and frigates of the naval group. In the end, the Russians succeeded in completing their missions without bringing back the three bomber squadrons they had withdrawn on March 14, 2016 from the Syrian base at Hmeymim.

Posted by: ProPeace | Dec 3, 2016 7:56:10 PM | 21

L'armée libanaise détient un émir de Daesh


The Lebanese army, on its own initiative, took advantage of the local political situation to attack the headquarters of Daesh in Ersal. After a punching operation, she managed to arrest alive the emir Ahmad Youssef Amoun (photo) and 10 of his men.

It is the first time, globally, that an emir of Daesh is arrested. Wounded during the assault, he was hospitalized, but should be promptly questioned.

At the end of December 2013, the Lebanese army had identically managed to arrest an emir of Al-Qaeda, Majed al-Majed. The latter had deposed before a military magistrate revealing the ties between Prince Bandar ben Sultan and many Arab political leaders. However, an agreement had been reached between the Lebanese government and Saudi Arabia. The latter had then promised to offer $ 3 billion in armaments in exchange for the destruction of this deposition. Majed al-Majed was then opportunely dead from his wounds and his deposition misplaced [1]. The Saudi promise has not been met - but many bakchichs have been paid - some Lebanese politicians seek to profit from the arrest of Ahmad Youssef Amoun to relaunch it.

In the event that the Lebanese army manages to keep its prisoner, it could reveal the links between the terrorist organization, the Saudi royal family, Turkish President Erdoğan and former CIA director David Petraeus.

Posted by: ProPeace | Dec 3, 2016 8:37:41 PM | 22

b, if you don't see a doctor soon, we're going to start making you ingesting large amounts of raw garlic.

Posted by: Wwinsti | Dec 3, 2016 9:08:18 PM | 23

L'Arabie saoudite ne peut ou ne veut plus payer de troupes étrangères


Saudi Arabia told the troops of President Hadi of Yemen - including BlackWater / Academics - that they had to find another sponsor and stopped paying them, said the Iranian television channel in Arabic language Al-Alam.

This decision could be motivated either by the financial crisis shaking the kingdom or by a realistic view of the conflict recognizing the victory of the opposition. This second hypothesis would allow for a warming of relations between the Saud family and the United States.

Whatever its motive, if this decision was extended to the jihadists in Syria and Iraq, it would mark in the medium term the end of the regional war.

Posted by: ProPeace | Dec 3, 2016 10:47:33 PM | 24

@ mina, Tobin Paz, No

For me, the most important part of the interview:

Maria de Guadalupe - What happens in Syria is not a civil war, it is not the people who rose against the government, that is a lie from those that promote this war and use and manipulate the media and information to make the people in the west believe this is the syrian people fighting in the streets.

spinning journo - Who is it?

Maria de Guadalupe - Armed groups from outside of Syria, terrorist groups, mercenaries, simply hired for an economic issue, that is to say, those that are financing this war, gulf countries like Saudi Arabia and the western countries that are supporting the rebels are definitely supporting terrorism.
Therefore, precisely, enough with selling weapons, enough with selling weapons to the "moderate opposition" for said "moderate opposition does not exist and never existed.

spinning journo - About Bashar al-Assad the missionary has a particular opinion and a very different vision of the syrian people support of its president.

Maria de Guadalupe - Since the beginning of the conflict, since 2011, the syrian people has supported its government, and that, no one broadcasts it.
The demonstrations we saw from the windows of our house, we saw thousands of people with flags and signs supporting the government, were comented in the media exactly as the opposite - "The demonstrations continue, the syrian people is in the streets, peacefully, to ask its president to resign" - The opposite of what the people were demonstrating.

The government has certainly many things it should improve, many things to correct, many abuses, certainly also government aberrations, but the way to correct them was not to destroy a country. Therefore the bishops say that it is an error, in this moment, to bring down this political leader because it's the people itself that supports him. And why? It's difficult for an westerner to understand it. But there, in the Middle East one does no live in the circunstances of the West. You can't judge the Middle East by western standards, and to want to export democracies and apply them there doesn't work.

spinning racist supremacist journo - What Guadalupe says works goes against the position sustained by the international community.

Maria de Guadalupe - The only defense of the syrian people in these 5 years. it's only defense has been its own national army, and now lately Russia.

spinning racist supremacist journo so idiot that she must ask it in English - Anyway, they kill civilians, or not?

Maria de Guadalupe - Escuse me, in war there are allways abuse from both parts, allways. Evidently there are abuses by the government, as there are abuses by Russia, by the rebels and the coalition and the terrorists.
What happens is that here (the west) only the errors of one party are broadcast, and not of the other.
I'm not an expert on the conflict in the Middle East, no,no,no. I spek of what I've lived through, of what I saw with these eyes, not of what I read or watched on tv.

Posted by: estouxim | Dec 3, 2016 11:02:55 PM | 25

Sorry about the formatting.
The above is the translation of the 2nd half of the interview

Posted by: estouxim | Dec 3, 2016 11:34:48 PM | 26

Thank you, b, an even more amazing than usual tale of how easily people will believe absolutely anything so long as it accords w their pre-existing belief.

Posted by: Penelope | Dec 3, 2016 11:54:37 PM | 27

Propeace@ 22, You mention "if the Lebanese can keep their prisoner." I wonder if the Israeli bombing outside Damascus could have anything to do w the case.

Posted by: Penelope | Dec 4, 2016 12:00:50 AM | 28

@John - @8 major editing error by me: the correct text is:

Gutman himself writes that the CIA (or anyone else) does NOT believe the fairy tales he was told over coffee in Istanbul.

Sorry.

Posted by: b | Dec 4, 2016 2:00:25 AM | 29

b

no problem. my little rant tolerates believers and non-believers alike.

Posted by: john | Dec 4, 2016 8:10:55 AM | 30

@ Mina 6.
Thanks for pointing me in that direction. I found this:
http://www.miamiarch.org/CatholicDiocese.php?op=Article_As%ED+viven+los+cristianos+perseguidos_E

And thanks to those in the open thread for the links to other voices on Aleppo and the War on Syria.

Posted by: Curtis | Dec 4, 2016 9:21:28 AM | 31

Roy Gutman(Goodman)is just another zioliar intent on propaganda for the Israeli state and small minded duped Americans.
The daily beast is shite,a bunch of Israeli serial lying scum,as is politico,TD,TO,alternet CDs and most of the web.
Hopefully they'll drop dead from lie exhaustion.

Posted by: dahoit | Dec 4, 2016 10:14:19 AM | 32

Angry Arab on the Daily Beast fairy tale:

Daily Beast: your first source on foreign affairs now tackles Syria
How Charles Lister documented the Syrian regime's role in the creation of ISIS and Al-Qa`idah
Did the Syrian regime "create" Salafite Jihadism? Did the Jordanian regime "create" Salafite Jihadism?

He points out that the Syrian government let Takfiris enter Iraq after the U.S. invasion 2003.

Syria was warned by SecState Powell in 2003 that should kotau to Washington and Israel or it would be next. Former General Wesley Clark said that plans were made to invade Syria and a number of other countries.
After that Syria of course did its best, as did Iran, to make the U.S. project in Iraq fail. That was a necessity. But does not mean in any way that Syria created these groups (which btw were financed by the U.S. ally Saudi Arabia).

Posted by: b | Dec 4, 2016 11:18:57 AM | 33

Thanks God.. the Austrian nazi did not make it.

Thanks Robin for the list of twitter accounts to look at! I always appreciate organized ppl. Will never be one of them but cooperation and solidarity work fine!

Posted by: Mina | Dec 4, 2016 12:01:57 PM | 34

ref b and angry arab
it's true that Syria was letting all sort of anti US ppl pass through its border to go to Iraq. First among these were Hezbollah. The Saudis role was different. They had what amounted to training camps for djihadists in some villages (i've heard of Zabadani... maybe other places), but hard to know which part of the governement actually let that happen and kept it going.

Posted by: Mina | Dec 4, 2016 12:05:38 PM | 35

.

Posted by: micawber | Dec 4, 2016 1:57:14 PM | 36

@33 b... fascinating to read a cbs news article from 2003 on the usa's position with regard to syria.. i guess the thing about assad being a tyrant / dictator only came to light when he didn't 'kowtow' to the usa... seems pretty plain from reading the article.

wonder what happened to robins post?

Posted by: james | Dec 4, 2016 2:47:20 PM | 37

@ james | Dec 4, 2016 2:47:20 PM | 37

Have you considered President Assad may be a witness to U.S. activities, particularly interrogation for some letter agencies? Look what happened to other assets in Afghanistan the Taliban and OBL; in Iraq Saddam; in Egypt Mubarak on ice in a military hospital; Libya lost their President Gaddafi. Each had stories to tell, all but one can tell no more tales. Seems to be a pattern going on.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Dec 4, 2016 3:04:11 PM | 38

@ former t bear. absolutely... they have to take out the first hand witnesses, whether they be saddam, gaddafi, noriega and etc. etc. etc... definitely a pattern, but what shocks me is the short memories of so many folks.. they appear incapable of seeing any pattern in any of it.

Posted by: james | Dec 4, 2016 3:50:38 PM | 39

@Penelope | Dec 4, 2016 12:00:50 AM | 28 Yes, good observation.

And thanks to Vasilescu piece above I now clearly see the goal of all that moves on the Syrian chessboard - to collect all the terrorist vermin in Idlib, where the Russians can eliminate them swiftly and cheaply from a 100-150 km distance, and testing their new weapons and military operations at the same time.

That recount scam is worrying me though... Jill Stein appears to be bought and paid for shill for the cabal - did not ask for recount in the states where Killary barely "won". That's really sad...

Posted by: ProPeace | Dec 4, 2016 5:35:19 PM | 40

Conference by Sister Maria de Guadalupe in San Sebastian, Basque country, December 2015.
For Spanish speakers, unfortunately no subtitles. 96 minutes.
Very impressive.

Posted by: estouxim | Dec 4, 2016 8:51:16 PM | 41

Gutman is the author of the book "How We Missed the Story. Osama bin Laden, the Taliban, and the Hijacking of Afghanistan", published 2008. Has anybody read the book? Is it of the same quality as his article? Opinions appreciated.

Posted by: Thomas Bargatzky | Dec 5, 2016 11:11:37 AM | 42

New post by Ehsani
addresses Gutman's article
http://www.joshualandis.com/blog/assad-author-isis-iran-blow-assef-sawkat-tall-tales-ehsani2

Posted by: Mina | Dec 5, 2016 3:27:15 PM | 43

Great back and forth between comments with good links posted as well.

Posted by: Susan O'Neill | Dec 7, 2016 12:31:11 PM | 44

Daily Beast: "Assad made ISIS to kill his army". Makes sense - the name: 'Daily Beast'

Posted by: Lars Jorgensen | Dec 20, 2016 1:32:05 PM | 45

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