Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
June 18, 2017

When AP Spreads #Fakenews - A Forensic Appraisal

Non factual, false news reporting has political consequences. This especially when it is picked up by partisan propagandists to push their agenda. It is often not easy to forensically follow the trail of fake news but here is a recent example "caught in the wild".

The Associated Press is a nonprofit and political neutral news agency financed by U.S. newspapers and other media outlets of various political stripes. Its wide range of customers (mostly) prevents it from partisan domestic reporting. It takes on international issues are different. The selection of the news items it reports on is driven by customer interests and thereby slanted in its selection. But the factual reporting on news items is generally straight forward - or supposed to be such. Political decisions are sometimes based on its reports. It is therefore causing concern when it spreads obviously fake news.

Yesterday the AP pushed out this item:

The Associated Press ‏Verified account @AP
Russia claims it has killed IS leader al-Baghdadi. https://apnews.com/...
7:51 AM - 16 Jun 2017

NY Daily news, FOX News, Politico and many, many other outlets reedited and/or republished that AP piece. The Politico version reads:

Russia claimed Friday it killed the leader of the Islamic State group in an airstrike targeting a meeting of IS leaders just outside the group's de facto capital in Syria.

The Russian Defense Ministry said Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was killed in a Russian strike in late May along with other senior group commanders.

The AP item seemed wrong to me. Russia is usually very cautious with such claims and tends not to make such absolute statements. ( The U.S. military though ...)

I checked with the official Russian agency TASS and it indeed reported something different: IS top leader may have been killed by Russian airstrike in Syria

MOSCOW, June 16. /TASS/. Russia’s Defense Ministry has said it is verifying reports that the Islamic State terrorist group’s leader Ibrahim Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was killed by a Russian airstrike on the southern suburb of Syria’s Raqqa in late May.

Other Russian news-sources reported likewise. The Russian Defense Ministry never claimed that its forces killed Baghdadi. It only said that it is looking into such claims. The NY Times, with its own reporter in Moscow, also reported more carefully: Russian Military Says It Might Have Killed ISIS Leader

MOSCOW — Russia’s military said on Friday that it was looking into whether one of its airstrikes in the Syrian desert had killed Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the self-declared caliph of the Islamic State.

In a statement, the Defense Ministry said that the Russian Air Force struck a meeting of Islamic State leaders on May 28 outside Raqqa, Syria, the group’s de facto capital, possibly killing Mr. Baghdadi.

Obviously the Associated Press report, distributed widely, was factually wrong. I was concerned that this false reporting would have consequences:

Moon of Alabama‏ @MoonofA
Moon of Alabama Retweeted The Associated Press
Tass says Russia only investigating such a claim. @AP exaggerating here? Blame Russia when claim turns out false?
http://tass.com/world/951708
8:43 AM - 16 Jun 2017

My concern for a "blame Russia" slant turned out to be justified when hacks started to use the false AP report to push their political agenda.

Paul Cruickshank is a:

Editor-in-Chief CTC Sentinel ○ CNN Terrorism Analyst ○ Co-author international bestseller Agent Storm ~ Guardian's Top Ten Spy Books of all time

Cruickshank immediately followed up on the false AP story without having checked its veracity:

Paul Cruickshank‏ Verified account @CruickshankPaul
Five reasons why we should be deeply sceptical of the Russian Baghdadi claim.
9:47 AM - 16 Jun 2017

Russia never made the claim Cruickshank thought it had made but he uses the false AP item to push his own false narrative:

Paul Cruickshank‏ Verified account @CruickshankPaul
5. It's coming from the Russians who have every interest in being seen as taking fight to ISIS (when most of focus elsewhere)
9:54 AM - 16 Jun 2017

For the record: Russia (and Syria and its other allies) have fought ISIS whenever and wherever they possibly could. It was the U.S. that did not fight ISIS but used and uses it for its own purpose. Obama and Kerry publicly admitted such (scroll down for their quotes). Only after Russia pointed out that thousands of tanker trucks moved oil from ISIS areas to Turkey without U.S. interference did the U.S. join in to destroy them. Cruickshank is using the fake news from AP to spread his own false claim that Russia and Syria did not and do not fight ISIS.

Another such hack is the Gulf paid promoter of Takfiri "rebels" in Syria, Charles Lister: Russia's Baghdadi Claim Needs Verification

By Charles Lister
Russia’s claim to have killed ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in an airstrike in Raqqa on May 28 should be taken with a heavy grain of salt.
...
Russia has a long track record of issuing fake claims and deliberate misinformation during its campaign in Syria.
...
Beyond Russia's likely bogus claim, ...

Cruickshank and Lister both spread factless propaganda sold as conclusion of the news content of an AP report. But the AP report was fake news.

If there was a need to take the report "with a heavy grain of salt" why not go back and check the original reporting in the first place? Lister and Cruickshank obviously did not do that.

The Associated Press has meanwhile corrected its false original reporting. It now headlines under the same link: Uncertainty over Islamic State leader’s fate after airstrike. (The link to the piece still says "Russia-claims-it-has-killed ..".)

BEIRUT (AP) — Uncertainty and confusion surrounded the fate of the head of the Islamic State group Friday as Russia announced it may have killed him ...
...
Apart from Moscow’s claim that he may have been killed in the May 28 airstrike along with more than 300 militants, there was not much else to back it up. The Russian Defense Ministry said the information about his death was still “being verified through various channels.”

While AP corrected its report neither its original tweet nor other media reports derived from the original AP one received any correction. The hacks that made their false political points based on the fake news will certainly not update and correct their claims.

Fake news can be dangerous. But it is not the fake news from some blog or little read partisan outlet that is a danger to the public. It is fake news spread by  mainstream media and big news agencies that is of real concern.

Note that the original AP report, seen in the AP screenshot above, has "Moscow" as the dateline. The corrected one is datelined from "Beirut". The original author of the AP fake news was its Moscow correspondent Vladimir Isachenkov. It is certainly fair to say that Isachenkov's other reporting from Moscow is rarely sympathetic to the Russian viewpoint on the issues in question. His reporting is always a reflection the unquestioned predominant U.S. view - be that right or wrong. The Russian standpoint is never analyzed for its own value but always in relation to the U.S. position which is a-priori taken as the ultimate truth.

One wonders how it is serving the knowledge and judgement of the U.S. public and its policy makers to have its premier news agency deliver such slanted, if not fake, news reporting from Moscow.

Posted by b on June 18, 2017 at 04:14 AM | Permalink

Comments

I don't think the US public is generally in a fit enough state of mind to discern fact from fiction.

Posted by: jezabeel | Jun 18, 2017 4:19:03 AM | 1

... crookshank .. lives up to his name

"One wonders how it is serving the knowledge and judgement of the U.S. public and its policy makers to have its premier news agency deliver such slanted, if not fake, news reporting from Moscow."

Grist for the mill within the matrix.

Posted by: anon | Jun 18, 2017 4:36:42 AM | 2

AP

Associated Presstitutes.

That dip shit heading up CNN takes the cake though.

Ugly turd of a thing he is...a vile mistake of a human being.

Armageddon occurs in Syria...and the sceptic tanks think they will be fighting on the side of Christ...lol

Posted by: Amanita Amanita | Jun 18, 2017 4:47:42 AM | 3

This is a useful dissection from MoA of a case that exemplifies the deceitful, primitive and erroneous culture of disinformation that has become accepted by the majority as “news media”.

Posted by: Bagration | Jun 18, 2017 4:53:58 AM | 4

b, 'it is not the fake news from some blog or little read partisan outlet that is a danger to the public. It is fake news spread by mainstream media and big news agencies that is of real concern'

... and always has been. news of 'fake news' is fake. it's been with us forever. millions in the us wake up everyday and read the nytimes / its cronies to find out what they think. i did it myself for 30 years. the wen ho lee frame up woke me up. judith miller and pinch put me over the top. now i watch the ap stories stories roll out on khao sod english here in thailand in amazement. if you're not immersed in this stuff everyday the discordance with 'reality' is jarring indeed. and amanita2 is right, cnn is even worse. i read an article on the fitzgerald today that was the weirdest thing i've seen in 'first rank' news medium. my fellow americans live on a continent of their own - soon to be walled off from mexico - and in a provincial world of their own as well. it's not going to end well for us.

Posted by: jfl | Jun 18, 2017 5:03:40 AM | 5

AP was fake news before there was fake news. AP reports have always parroted the globalist deep state line since before 9/11.
At least now there seems to be an awakening of a lot of people to that fact. I know many now who immediately dismiss any article by AP, Wapo, CNN or the NYT as less than truthful. Unfortunately, the ones who still do read and listen to them seem to have dug in deeper, like a parasite.

Posted by: insanity | Jun 18, 2017 5:05:55 AM | 6

b - "The AP item seemed wrong to me. Russia is usually very cautious with such claims and tends not to make such absolute statements."

Absolutely; Russia has been clear from the start; "may" have killed Al Baghdadi.
Sputnik and RI have both reported may have; further stating, more time will be needed to be certain about Baghdadi's death in that airstrike.

Posted by: V. Arnold | Jun 18, 2017 5:16:30 AM | 7

If it turns out that Russia indeed killed Baghadadi, US politicians and the US propaganda machine will throw a mega-hissy fit. For them, the only solution to Russia's presumptuous disregard of self-awarded US prerogatives will be to double down on the psychotic anti-Russia campaign blitz. A sight to behold: mirabile visu.

Posted by: Quentin | Jun 18, 2017 5:47:59 AM | 8

@5 jfl

Did you see the bizarre and entirely evidence-free story about a supposed 2011 Iran-sponsored attack on Thailand that was stymied by Thai "special branch" in today's on-line edition?

http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/general/1270751/how-bangkok-came-close-to-the-big-one

Why exactly Iran and it's allies would want to attack Thailand is entirely unexplained in the article, especially since Thailand and Iran have a very long history of peaceful relations. The writer of this story is Alan Dawson, an American who has a very "colorful" history in the region, and Bangkok Post is a well known agency shop (right from the beginning). But man this fake news really looks desperate and just plain amateurish.

Posted by: Sad Canuck | Jun 18, 2017 6:34:35 AM | 9

If Baghdadi is in fact dead, then we need to send condolences to Senator McCain. The poor guy must be distraught.

Posted by: lysander | Jun 18, 2017 7:15:50 AM | 10

@9, 'The United States has revealed for the first time that the chief danger came from Hezbollah.'

that says it all. i don't follow the bkk post, although i do have the 'politics' rss feed page bookmarked. the bkk post is pure mis- dis-information.. this guy is apparently the in-house steno for state/the cia. he was probably cleared to push this fantasy because he mentioned Thai Special Branch ... the bkk post is a stalwart supporter of the coup - any coup - and so of this dic as well. 2011 .. the year yingluck was elected.

Posted by: jfl | Jun 18, 2017 7:28:28 AM | 11

All main stream media in the West lies to support the globalist agenda, whatever it is at a given moment in time.

The US Empire has committed crimes and atrocities all across the globe for decades and yet the MSM portrays the US as the "good guys" fighting for peace and democracy. What a joke that is.

The US is actively preventing peace on earth every minute of every day.

Posted by: Mark Stoval | Jun 18, 2017 8:11:26 AM | 12

The ‘top’ news - ‘wire’ - agencies are incredibly powerful and nobody ever challenges, questions, contests them! They furnish the gospel.

Who-what is Associated Press? Wiki, mysteries and obfuscations:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Associated_Press

Their own site is Corp. garbage flash, filled with moving images, not about them:

https://www.ap.org/en-gb/

What about Reuters? Who are these cos? As for Agence France Presse, AFP, never believe one word of it (personal judgement.) It is now 50 yrs. ppl have been asking and …no answers?

Why / how do they control World News? Why aren't there bitter accusing exposés? (As e.g. against Banks.)

A list of news agencies with ‘web’ ranking.

http://www.4imn.com/news-agencies/

Posted by: Noirette | Jun 18, 2017 11:10:41 AM | 13

AP has long been the leader of the top three wire services in terms of obfuscation and misinformation, with AFP and Reuters not far behind. They are essentially all privately owned versions of Radio Liberty or Voice of America, existing solely to shore up and reinforce Washington's, Israel's and Nato's narratives and policy goals.

After working for a news paper in the middle east for a few years that used wire services for regional reporting, I learned a useful rule of thumb: Whenever and wherever the blame could plausibly (for your typical mainstream audience, not at all for anyone with knowledge on the subject) be put on US/Israeli adversaries, it was. Where adversaries clearly were not responsible, they used phrases like "hostilities broke out", "tensions flared", "a crisis arose" as if they were reporting a change in the wind and not conscious actors.

Td;lr If AP can at all blame official 'enemies', it will. When it can't, it'll blame the weather.

Posted by: Don Wiscacho | Jun 18, 2017 11:52:29 AM | 14

Development of an alternative media "fake news" identification and tracking strategy.

In the parlance of software that works something like the algorithmic crawler methods bitcom uses, to implement discover, identify, and track from origin to destination "Fake_News" stories with, IP addresses, authors and publishers appended?
Another strategy might host fake-news contests.. awards of the week .. faker of the week. Lier of the century awards. Audience members would in anonymous fashion, submit names, authors, and publishers and ip addresses, etc. and story details and circumstances to a set of crawler algorithms that could capture and process the inputs from each website, and derive a conclusion or a set of conclusions (something maybe Wikileaks could implement), which could be anonymously published to all of the participating websites thereby picking for nomination fake news publishers, fake news originators, fake news writers for
(most outlandish) fake news of the (week, month, or year) award.

Posted by: hozey | Jun 18, 2017 12:18:20 PM | 15

When politicians are cornered in a lie/deceit, they say they "misspoke." AP might say the same. Ages ago I thought (bought into the image) of the AP as an independent source. It was the early years of GWOT that had me putting them in with the rest of the MSM. It doesn't take much for them to slant or steer a story. The industry has had decades to polish the skill. When McClatchy became one of the few at that level to question the Iraq War of 2003, I cheered only to realize they all let out little bits of the truth amid the lies.

Somewhere I've got a political cartoon from around 100 years ago about the AP with the image of them throwing bundles of papers from a horse-drawn delivery carriage. From the captions I recall, there was a fear of consolidation of news from a single, dominating source.

Posted by: Curtis | Jun 18, 2017 12:18:46 PM | 16

While AP corrected its report neither its original tweet nor other media reports derived from the original AP one received any correction. The hacks that made their false political points based on the fake news will certainly not update and correct their claims.

I think this is a problem with Twitter - even though the link now takes you to the correct article, Twitter has probably cached the image on the original Tweet so you see the old one. This is just laziness by Twitter who should know and do better.

Posted by: Ghostship | Jun 18, 2017 12:21:28 PM | 17

@Sad Canuck

haha, Iran attacking Thailand,thanks for the laughs. Unfortunately the global media routinely publish garbage like that and because of apathetic, dumbed down populations they constantly seem to get away with it.

Posted by: Nick | Jun 18, 2017 12:22:29 PM | 18

AP can call itself a non-profit all it wants. AP's ownership by those who use/contribute remove any illusion of non-bias. It's like the Federal Reserve being owned by the banks it serves and helps while calling itself Federal. It's like the 9/11 Commission hailed as bipartisan; that only meant it was partisan for both parties and not independent in any way.

Posted by: Curtis | Jun 18, 2017 12:45:25 PM | 19

At risk of shocking and offending with CRIMETHINK: it seems to be empirically, verifiably true that a very disproportionate amount of zealously anti-Russia/Putin propagandalists, like Vladimir Isachenkov, are Jewish.

Why is that? And might it relate to broader corporate MSM hysteria, and in turn relate to the fact Putin largely broke the power of 'oligarchs' who raped Russia financially under and after Yeltsin, and who were, as objective fact, mostly, indeed nearly all Jewish? And so were many, perhaps most of the US/Western economic 'advisors' who did manage to actually extract tens of billions in wealth before Putin?


http://www.fpp.co.uk/online/05/11/Oligarchs_061105.html
http://www.fpp.co.uk/online/05/04/Putin_extraditions.html

Note the original sources will be deemed by one and all as credible (AP and Herusalem Post) but also on the economics-as-warfare see:

Harvard Mafia, Andrei Shleifer and the Economic Rape of Russia: Chronicles of Harvard University Russian Economic Team Scam and Deep Corruption of Academic Economics for, more broadly, the 'Economic Hitman' motives of the Anglo-Zionist Empire

http://www.softpanorama.org/Skeptics/Pseudoscience/harvard_mafia.shtml


Most A are B does not imply most B are A, right?

In that vein, it should not be controversial to say, as comports with historical fact, that most neocons are Jews and indeed it was engendered as a Zionist, militarist worldview under Strauss and Irving Kristol. I mean the termhas come to be conflated with warmongers (Cheney, Rumsfeld... McCain) generally through semantic drift, but it is inarguable that its sine qua non is the a priori conflation of US and *Likud* interests.

http://www.voltairenet.org/article178638.html

Strauss doesnt strike me as an intellectual powerhouse; mostly a lazy apologist for statism, war, and deception y an 'elite' (who are presupposed as intellectually and ultimately ethically superior) ruling over cattle/cannon fodder. One wonders where he got that outlook from - it wasnt actually Plato or Machiavelli, I think, just as Marx was likely more influenced by his Dad than Hegel.

in any case, us/saudi/israeli support for Al Qaeda and ISIS seems to be obvious, and the Potemkin initial war on ISIS as it expanded territory and oil sales until Russia really attacked them:

https://www.counterpunch.org/2015/10/12/us-caught-faking-it-in-syria/

and see:

https://www.sott.net/article/326282-What-the-media-misses-in-the-Syrian-bloodbath-a-thank-you-to-Hillary-from-Israel

To understand (part of) why the vast 'deep state' effort at soft coup right after they failed to rig the election for hrc, and the antipathy of the neocons, and frankly much of the media.


Take or leave anything above as you see fit but presuming you agree with me that evidence of US support, indirect ertainly, and directly, very probably... is fairly abundant, and that a good detective would suspect, at a minimum, that isis enjoyed significant state support from the US and allies...

Are you frightened that the corporate media does not report on this at all, and ISIS is merely presented as a terrifying 'Islamic' foe?

Not nearly frightened enough- what will they do to lie us into war with Iran?

A war being pushed not by the same war profiteers and 'neocons' who seem incapable of anything but lies and bias when it comes to Russia.

B


Posted by: Mike K | Jun 18, 2017 1:41:12 PM | 20

Russia has always been very careful in making claims like this possibility that al-Baghdadi had been killed. I saw the first report in RT. My read on it was that Russian intelligence had some indications that in fact al-Baghdadi might have been present at that location and that he might have been hit. I guessed they released the story in order to get a response from ISIS or some locals close to the strike that might confirm the Russians suspicions. That is to say they were fishing for more information.

Of course, it only goes to say that Western news would distort the story for their own propaganda purposes.

Posted by: ToivoS | Jun 18, 2017 1:47:43 PM | 21

b, thanks for another excellent take down of this crap...

that money for propaganda wars, goes directly to these major msm news outlets... these hyenas/leechs continue to prey on an ignorant and pliable public and have no shame in any of it... either that, or they swallowed the cool-aid without so much as a thought..

thanks to the many good comments, beginning @1 as well..

Posted by: james | Jun 18, 2017 3:20:28 PM | 22

Well, this AP fake news is generated from the Russian maybe news. Garbage in, garbage out.

Posted by: hopehely | Jun 18, 2017 3:20:51 PM | 23

It was sometime around 1980 I says to my hippie friends "You know, The New York Times is all a bunch of bullshit" (paraphrase). They were mostly all shocked and disturbed. That was then...

However, back then I really had no idea how insanely dishonest the Weaponized Media Apparatus truly is. I have recently unearthed a couple of glaring examples. Here's one where the globalist propaganda drills deep down into a supposedly politically disinterested scientific journal -ScienceAlert- that "features cool and interesting science news and entertainment worth sharing":

/~~~~~~~~~~
ScienceAlert -- Russia Has Developed a Cyber Weapon That Can Disrupt Power Grids, New Research Finds -- 6/15/17
http://www.sciencealert.com/russia-has-developed-a-cyber-weapon-that-can-disrupt-power-grids-new-research-finds

The malware, which researchers have dubbed CrashOverride, is known to have disrupted only one energy system - in Ukraine in December. In that incident, the hackers briefly shut down one-fifth of the electric power generated in Kiev.

But with modifications, it could be deployed against US electric transmission and distribution systems to devastating effect, said Sergio Caltagirone, director of threat intelligence for Dragos, a cybersecurity firm that studied the malware and issued a report on Monday.

And Russian government hackers have already shown their interest in targeting US energy and other utility systems, researchers said.

"It's the culmination of over a decade of theory and attack scenarios," Caltagirone warned. "It's a game changer."

The revelation comes as the US government is investigating a wide-ranging, ambitious effort by the Russian government last year to disrupt the US presidential election and influence its outcome.

That campaign employed a variety of methods, including hacking hundreds of political and other organisations, and leveraging social media, US officials said.
\~~~~~~~~~~

(It sounds British.) Note the part:

/~~~~~~~~~~
The revelation comes as the US government is investigating a wide-ranging, ambitious effort by the Russian government last year to disrupt the US presidential election and influence its outcome.

That campaign employed a variety of methods, including hacking hundreds of political and other organisations, and leveraging social media, US officials said.
\~~~~~~~~~~

I guess what (unidentified) "US officials said" must be science. The only ostensibly sourceable "scientific research" mentioned was the output of "Dragos, a cybersecurity firm". And who are they?

/~~~~~~~~~~
https://dragos.com/

[Dragos, Inc.] Developed by cybersecurity experts from national security, manufacturing, energy, and utilities, and guided by experienced security analysts, Dragos has built the first industrial cybersecurity ecosystem, the ultimate security defense.
\~~~~~~~~~~

They begin with "experts from national security". So they must be quite scientificky. So that's where we learn about "science".

At the other end of the Weaponized Media Apparatus spectrum we find The Late Show with (supposedly "liberal") Stephen Colbert:

/~~~~~~~~~~
RT America -- Stone's 'Putin Interviews' offend a US establishment drunk on its own exceptionalism -- 6/16/17
https://www.rt.com/op-edge/392566-oliver-stone-putin-colbert-us/

The interview the filmmaker did with liberal US talk show host Stephen Colbert on his project is a prime example.

Colbert’s line of questioning amounted to a regurgitation of the very caricature that Stone had set out to move beyond in over 20 hours of interviews on an abundance of topics with Putin – his upbringing, family history, career, thoughts on leadership, the challenges Russia faced during the dark days of the 1990s, his relations with various US presidents, NATO, and so on.

Yet for the likes of Mr. Colbert it’s much easier to go with the official narrative, contained in his first question of the interview: “What do you say to people who say that yours [Oliver Stone’s] is a fawning interview of a brutal dictator?” Not only the question, but also the casual and insouciant way in which it was delivered, confirmed the dumbing-down of news information, analysis and commentary that has been underway in the United States over decades.

The result is a culture so intellectually shallow it is frightening to behold, one in which ignorance is celebrated rather than scorned, in which national exceptionalism and arrogance is exalted rather than rejected. And woe betide anyone, such as Oliver Stone, who dares try to penetrate this fog of ignorance and sense of exceptionalism that has so corroded US cultural values.

Listening to Colbert’s studio audience laugh at Stone in response to his statement that Putin had been unfairly treated and abused by the US media, I was minded of the treatment meted out to the ancient Greek philosopher Socrates. Such a comparison is not as outlandish as some may think on first impressions.
\~~~~~~~~~~

It is very odd to hear so much of the audience laughing at Roger Stone in what one would expect to be a sophisticated venue at the Ed Sullivan Theater in New York City. Here is a YouTube of the interview:

Stephen Colbert grills Oliver Stone over his new Vladimir Putin documentary
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m2j0gtxJHlg

Posted by: blues | Jun 18, 2017 3:27:51 PM | 24

It's Oliver Stone, not Roger. Sorry

Posted by: blues | Jun 18, 2017 3:40:16 PM | 25

Right on b,
I thought exactly the same when I read the stupid MSM headline on this.

On ahother note, there is now news that US have shot down a syrian airplane, the sick Mattis aid the ISIS holy war once again.

Posted by: Anon | Jun 18, 2017 4:01:02 PM | 26

Yes, anon, now reported in several places. Also, Iran fired ground-to-ground missiles from inside Iranian territory against militant bases inside Syria (crossing Iraqi airspace). The American "deconfliction" invasion could well lead to the regional war that the U.S., Saudi, and Israel so hunger after.

Posted by: chuckvw | Jun 18, 2017 4:37:10 PM | 27

The above two items are being reported by RT America:

US-led coalition downed Syrian army plane in southern Raqqa - Syrian army statement
https://www.rt.com/news/392941-us-led-coalition-downed-syrian-plane/

Iran fires missiles against 'terrorist bases' in E. Syria in retaliation for Tehran attacks (VIDEO)[Goes to article with video within]
https://www.rt.com/news/392940-iran-fires-missiles-syria/

RT America also reports:
"US MILITARY CONFIRMS IT SHOT DOWN SYRIAN GOVT WARPLANE"

Posted by: blues | Jun 18, 2017 4:45:24 PM | 28

Perhaps the Syrian Government will declare a no-fly zone?

Posted by: blues | Jun 18, 2017 4:52:38 PM | 29

The above two links are being updated (without mention) by RT America.

Posted by: blues | Jun 18, 2017 5:07:14 PM | 30

And the doomsday clock moves to two minutes to midnight...

Posted by: WG | Jun 18, 2017 5:38:21 PM | 31

Those missiles probably killed quite quite a few 'embedded' US SF. Unsurprisingly, they're angry...
Damascus won't respond other than verbally, maybe call the UN. In the medium run, this further undermines the legitimacy of US presence in Syria...shot their own foot once again.

Posted by: smuks | Jun 18, 2017 6:24:15 PM | 32

Here we go again:

"The incident took place in southern Syria near a base where the U.S.-led coalition was training Syrian rebels fighting the Islamic State group...earlier, the U.S. bombed Syrian government and allied troops and marked a sharp escalation."
==============================
The place is a desert; no Syrians live there, the Jihadis the USA trains there are not from Syria, they are not rebels, they are foreign terrorists aligned with Al Qaeda being trained in US combat techniques and advanced weapon systems.

Since 2011 the USA has been training terrorists in Jordan and on it's border with Syria. Syria is not a "civil war" it is a US led Regime change using ISIS/Al Qaeda proxies. The US is providing air cover for Al Qaeda.

The lessons of 11 Sep 2001 remain unlearned.

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/nation-world/world/article156864929.html

Posted by: S Brennan | Jun 18, 2017 6:44:52 PM | 33

...and down the stretch they come!

So in Hama, Deir Ezzur, at tanf, now Raqqa, looks like the US colalition has finally reached under the wrong rock. Syria and Iran flex muscle & pounce.

Things going badly, US throws panic tantrum. "Our precious Kurdis". Is this the beginning of the end or the end of the beginning?

Iran says the missiles on Deir Ezzur were to avenge the bombings in Tehran.

Have to admire their restraint.

All along it seemed to me the R+6 was slow to attack, but now I see the wisdom in waiting for the enemy to mass for attack or escape by convoy, like ants on a gumdrop.

Posted by: stumpy | Jun 18, 2017 6:55:52 PM | 34

shooting down syrian planes proves, once again, that the aim is ... still ... regime change in syria. always was, remains so. this latest act of aggression is the direct result of the rump's attempt at washing his hands of syrian blood, giving 'his generals' free-rein in syria. and where else ... ?

the vacuum at the top, where a potus is supposed to be, is going to prove deadly indeed.

Posted by: jfl | Jun 18, 2017 7:16:38 PM | 35

@jfl,

So, say the US coalition Lybianizes Syria, according to neocon plan -- the military still needs orders -- the neocon Bush League still running the game, so the six Islamic States finally fall, except for Iran. Troop movements in eastern Europe and Afghanistan sets up the logistics for the Iranian move, eventually.

Whither Turkey and Qatar, with backstops Russia and China? Maybe the vacuum will be occupied by the surprise of a significant resistance to any moves by the coalition, then the initiative, as now, belongs to the Iranians.

Posted by: stumpy | Jun 18, 2017 7:39:58 PM | 36

U.S. military shoots down Syrian government plane?

Anyone still doubting that Donald Trump is a Hillary Clinton clone on foreign policy agenda issues?

Posted by: nonsense factory | Jun 18, 2017 7:45:10 PM | 37

MS @ 12 said:"The US Empire has committed crimes and atrocities all across the globe for decades and yet the MSM portrays the US as the "good guys" fighting for peace and democracy. What a joke that is."

"The US is actively preventing peace on earth every minute of every day."

No "fake news" here, absolutely true statements..

No matter the source, whenever I hear of a commander of "ISIS" being eliminated, my eyes glaze over.

Posted by: ben | Jun 18, 2017 7:54:45 PM | 38

Although US Navy ships that don't pay attention to what's going on around them points to some dark humor as things develop.

Posted by: stumpy | Jun 18, 2017 7:56:09 PM | 39

@36 stumpy

yes, the vacuum i was speaking of was of human leadership at the top of the usofa ... the geopolitical vacuum doesn't exist. there are states in every region ready and vying to take charge of their own affairs. and in the us the vacuum is filled by the bureaucracy, the 'intelligence' community, the deep state, the neocons ... whatever it's termed ... but it's just inertia ...more of the same. there is no real human intelligence capable of charting a new course ... looking 25 to 50 years ahead, as putin says. at least there is no such human intelligence anywhere near power, it's transnational neolibraconian corporations, all the way down.

Posted by: jfl | Jun 18, 2017 8:05:22 PM | 40

(OT -- but KEEP QUIET!)

Al Masdar News reports -- breaking news:

/~~~~~~~~~~
Al Masdar News -- 6/19/17
https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/breaking-intense-clashes-break-syrian-army-us-backed-forces-west-raqqa/

Breaking: Intense clashes break-out between Syrian Army and US-backed forces in west Raqqa

BEIRUT, LEBANON (12:50 A.M.) – Intense clashes have broken out between the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in the western countryside of Al-Raqqa, tonight, a military source informed Al-Masdar.

According to the source, units from the Syrian Arab Army attempted to cross SDF front-lines in order to rescue their fallen pilot; however, they were turned away by the latter.

This resulted in a fierce confrontation that is currently ongoing between the two entities near the key town of Resafa in western Al-Raqqa.

The pilot in need of rescue was identified as ‘Ali Fahd, an officer in the Syrian Air Force from the city of Salamiyah in the eastern countryside of the Hama Governorate.

More details to come…
\~~~~~~~~~~

Posted by: blues | Jun 18, 2017 8:19:35 PM | 41

Always boils down to the Yinon Plan. Balkanize the MENA. Who's been balkanized already and who is on the list?

Posted by: fast freddy | Jun 18, 2017 8:36:57 PM | 42

@41 blues... thanks.. definitely ramping up... trust the usa to do all this shit.. it is what it's known for round the globe... liars, thru and thru...

Posted by: james | Jun 18, 2017 9:30:09 PM | 43

Talking about Media bs, the conversation in this thread reminded me of a brief exchange with one of my parents circa 60 years ago. In my early teens I had the guts of a commercial diode-based 'crystal set' in my bedpost. It had an earplug instead of headphones and I used to listen to radio broadcasts before I went to sleep most nights. At night, reception was so good, and the discrimination of the tuner so poor, that in most of its tuning range one could hear many radio stations at once. One of the few solitary stations one could receive, with careful tuning, was VOA.
One day I mentioned to (my mother?) something I'd heard on VOA and she asked
"Where did you hear that?"
"Voice of America" said I.
With mild exasperation she said "You'd be much better off getting a good night's sleep than listening to that rubbish."
"What's wrong with it?" I asked.
"Ohh ... it's not reliable. Not everything they say is true."

That was it. She didn't tell me to stop. I didn't care what she thought because it was interesting. And the subject was never raised again.
Now I'm wondering if, even way back then, there was a feeling that official bs was pervasive and inescapable?

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jun 18, 2017 11:38:19 PM | 44

@44 hoarsewhisperer... good story! hard to know what your mom thought, as you were too young to know.. but it is true official bs is pervasive and hard to avoid - maybe even more so thanks the internet.. maybe on the other hand it has always been a level playing field, dependent on critical thinking - something that is generally in short supply when it comes to the media..

Posted by: james | Jun 19, 2017 12:09:48 AM | 45

Which came first, the Iranian missiles or the plane shootdown? This being the first time Iran has fired missiles makes it seem likely that they are intended as a reminder to the US that all its forces in Syria Iraq are within range of clouds of accurate Iranian missiles.

Posted by: anon | Jun 19, 2017 12:22:42 AM | 46


Cynthia McKinney PhD‏
Tweet
Holy Cow!! US shoots down a Syrian government plane IN SYRIA!! The US is NOT invited; what are they doing there? Provoking WAR with Russia.

Posted by: fast freddy | Jun 19, 2017 12:24:03 AM | 47

Regarding the news of the shooting down by the US, of a SyrAAF Fighter Jet:

Just to re-iterate a couple of points made in the comment section of b's latest, in a long line of, "Syrian War nearly over" posts:

Each time "b" makes such a declaration ["Syrian War nearly over"] the war kicks off into a new phase of higher intensity.

Each and every time.

I'm not going to even bother providing any links to back up these statements because regulars here, and even b himself, will know it to be true even if they haven't got the level of honesty required to actually admit it (and few of them have)

I'm not sure what shape the new higher intense phase of this war will take, but there are lots of possibilities, especially with the US Military now setting up "training camps" (lol) in the south of Syria and openly running around looking to create provocations with both the SAA and the russians.

"b", could you please stop declaring the war "nearly over"?

Your predictive capabilities regarding when this war will end are provably 100% crap.

Posted by: Just Sayin' | Jun 15, 2017 5:48:25 AM | 74

&

PS: a mere glance at the map provided by "b" himself shows anyone with even the slightest understanding that this war is far from over.

If you looked at that map and then found yourself agreeing with b's "nearly over" statement, you should probably just give up on any pretence that you might ever have clue about military matters.

We in fact entered the new phase a week or two back when the US established/acknowledged its "training base" (lol) in Sth Syria.

Southfront recently reported that the US moved Heavy artillery near the vicinity of that base just a day or two ago.

Posted by: Just Sayin' | Jun 15, 2017 5:58:32 AM | 77

And now we have, for the first time, a direct US attack on a Syrian Air Force Jet.

So, b, please don't declare the war is "nearly over" or "winding down" any more. Because every time you do, see what happens?

Posted by: Just Sayin' | Jun 19, 2017 3:29:30 AM | 48

@15
A closer look on Syria does something like that, trying to publish news based on a consensus of stories, it still comes down to a human making an assessment.
The idea of a tracking algo is nice - you could weight the source on the basis of its track record.

Posted by: Dadda | Jun 19, 2017 8:00:10 AM | 49

@Just Sayin' | Jun 19, 2017 3:29:30 AM | 48

I don't think the escalation is b's fault...or should we petition him to write 'Much worse ahead, all this was just the beginning!' instead? ;-)

In principle, I agree with b:
The general outcome of the war was decided 2 years ago, with the liberation of Aleppo, Ankara's shift and the SAA reaching the Iraqi border being important strategic steps on that predetermined path.

However, there are still powerful factions within the US & allies which refuse to accept defeat, trying to delay the inevitable through ever more desperate actions. They now seem to be dropping any pretence that 'Syrian rebels' are fighting the govt, instead opting for ever more direct US military intervention. Dropping the veil...thereby losing any diplomatic credibility that may have been left.

So yes, I underestimated the staying power of Neocon "hold-outs" and the duration of the 'endgame'(?) of the war. But I still believe that the bigger strategic picture is more important than individual tactical steps or phases, so unless Damascus, Tehran and Moscow commit a major blunder, the general course of events shouldn't change.

On that downed Syrian plane:
Sometimes it says 'in southern Syria', sometimes 'in Raqqa province' - that doesn't really add up geographically, does it...?

Posted by: smuks | Jun 19, 2017 8:04:02 AM | 50

as b points out in his most recent post ...


Our last summary said that the end of the war in Syria is now in sight:

Unless the U.S. changes tact and starts a large scale attack on Syria with its own army forces the war on Syria is over.

There are a few civilian lunatics in the White House who push for widening the war on Syria into an all out U.S.-Iran war.


the us could pump syria up to wwiii if it wanted to ... it seems to be taking a shot at it in fact ... with the military given free rein by the zero in chief, they might be successful. they can always snatch a pyrrhic 'victory' - wherein death devastation and destruction reigns supreme - from the jaws of 'defeat' - wherein the us just goes back home and ends its criminal reign of dd&d.

i'm an american and am rooting for my country's 'defeat' in syria, and for the war to end. but the same evil crew is in power there that's been in power from the turn of the new american century. could be ashes, and 'victory' yet.

Posted by: jfl | Jun 19, 2017 8:38:54 AM | 51

should we petition him to write 'Much worse ahead, all this was just the beginning!' instead? ;-)

Well given that the exact opposite seems to happen whenever he predicts the war is "winding down" or "nearly over" that might not be a bad idea.

B's predictions of wars end remind of a joke told about that Bono idiot from U2.

    Standing on stage in Glasgow, audibly clicking his fingers about once every second, Bono says:
    "Everytime I click my fingers a child dies of hunger in Africa."

    A voice from the crowd pipes up
    "Well stop clicking yer fingers then, ya c**t!"


Posted by: Just Sayin' | Jun 19, 2017 12:41:15 PM | 52

.On that downed Syrian plane:
Sometimes it says 'in southern Syria', sometimes 'in Raqqa province' - that doesn't really add up geographically, does it...?

Posted by: smuks | Jun 19, 2017 8:04:02 AM | 50

In meta-terms, does it really matter? - its significance is that it took place at all, and signifies a new, more intense, phase of the war.

Posted by: Just Sayin' | Jun 19, 2017 12:44:03 PM | 53

AP is known by me since Vietnam Era as All Propaganda. Some called it American Pravda. Cross referencing sources for veracity is a fundamental chore for any journalist, historian, editor, teacher, and such; but it certainly seems most editors and teachers have abdicated, and we now have "story writers" for TV and Radio media, sort of like script writers or screen play artists--all of whom must be akin to those idiot savants writing "conservative" legislation. Interesting that perhaps the most perceptive piece of writing that describes our current state of affairs was written in 1865, its sequel in 1871--Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There--although it seems Charles Dodgson didn't use the pen name Lewis Carroll to escape persecution as even Queen Victoria liked the story.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 19, 2017 6:09:00 PM | 54

S Brennan 33
Ha ha.
"collective self-defense" (from the article)
That's a good one. It's like R2P (responsibility to protect) being used to destroy Libya. Now if only they would name ALL of the "coalition-partnered forces" and which ones are for regime change since the US now claims "the coalition does not seek to fight the Syrian regime."

That's like Andrea Mitchell (aka Mrs. Alan Greenspan) on NBC tonight talk about Russian threats to target US planes and how some wonder how the US could allow the Russians to operate in Syria like they do. Such arrogance.

Just Sayin 52
Thanx. The joke about idiot Bono helped after a long day.

Posted by: Curtis | Jun 19, 2017 7:34:40 PM | 55

Why doesn't AP or other MSM sources report on things like this:
http://www.globalresearch.ca/hillary-emails-reveal-nato-killed-gaddafi-to-stop-libyan-creation-of-gold-backed-currency/5594742

Posted by: Curtis | Jun 19, 2017 8:04:43 PM | 56

Media Use Attack on Mosque to Smear Mosque


CNN national terror analyst Peter Bergen said the Finsbury Park neighborhood has a large Muslim population and the nearby mosque had a notorious reputation as a place where Islamist militants used to gather.

If you were interested in targeting a group of Muslims at a mosque that was notorious, this would be the mosque you would do it at. I think it’s significant that they had the reputation historically of being one of the most militant mosques in London.


that's not 'fake news' its a most vile spin of a terrorist attack on innocents into something 'logical' and 'understandable'.

cnn and the like are an integral part of the us/uk 15 year campaign of death, devastation, destruction, and deceit.

perhaps may will give darren osborne a medal for 'independent' action in 'defense' of the empire?

on that syrian plane ...

Syrian Su-22 Was Downed By US Warplane Despite Presence Of Russian Aircraft Western Raqqa – Media


The Su-22 was reportedly downed just 15 minutes after it took off from the airfield, before the warplane was able to carry out any airstrikes.

if that assertion were true then southfront certainly buried the lede ... should have been the headline! i think if it were true the russians would have announced it already.

New Data About Fate Of Pilot Of Syrian SU-22 Downed By US Warplane


According to pro-government activists, sources close to the Ali family claimed that he had been captured by the Syrian Democratic Force (SDF).

However, none of these reports can be officially confirmed now. No official source from the Syrian government or the SDF has announced anything related to the fate of the missing pilot.

Posted by: jfl | Jun 19, 2017 8:07:27 PM | 57

Down the Dead Rabbit Hole (Again): The Multiple Resurrections of Baghdadi
http://www.newnationalist.net/2017/06/20/down-the-dead-rabbit-hole-again-the-multiple-resurrections-of-baghdadi/

Posted by: thenewnationalist | Jun 20, 2017 1:52:50 AM | 58

that's not 'fake news' its a most vile spin of a terrorist attack on innocents into something 'logical' and 'understandable'.

Posted by: jfl | Jun 19, 2017 8:07:27 PM | 57

Peter Bergen is an especially odious creature, with a reputation for saying what his masters want to hear. CNN regularly have been rolling him out to parrot Zio-con talking points since 2001.

Calling him an "analyst" causes me to think that they left out a "c" in the middle of the word "anal yst"

Posted by: Just Sayin' | Jun 20, 2017 2:22:20 PM | 59

News reports say that on 17 June 2017 , US Bomber shot down Syrian regime plane that bombed coalition backed fighters. Russia has reacted to this incident by saying that it will treat US or coalition aircraft that fly over any of its operating areas in western Syria as targets, while suspending its use of military hotline for avoiding incidents in Syrian airspace. This scenario could be construed to be a potential step towards escalation or flare up of hostilities in times that follow. This scenario in the Middle East happens to be in line with this Vedic astrology writer's alerts, submitted on 16 May 2017 , in article - " Is World War lll round the corner ?" - scheduled to be published in Summer 2017 issue of The Astrologer's Notebook , a quarterly Newsletter in print from North Port , Florida, likely to be out by 21 June 2017. Closely related to the said scenario which could impact the world affairs , this writer's prediction in the article reads as : -" The global events predicted in the article could begin to show up in mild measure from about 24 June and after in present year 2017 to grow up gradually for a final show during 19 August to 4 September with peak hype on 30 August ( it could be 29 in the west)". Briefly speaking , the global events predicted in the article include WW3 , global economic crisis or even collapse and huge natural disasters. However , more human care and appropriate strategy could minimize the said happenings.

Posted by: kushal kumar | Jun 21, 2017 7:38:24 AM | 60

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