Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
June 03, 2012

The Guardian Readers Don't Feel Well Served

The British Guardian with its orientalist accounts of the Houla massacre is one of the most anti-Syrian news outlet. It now, laughably, tries to explain that Syrian pro-government forces are responsible for the Al-Qaeda style killing of whole families of government supporters by throat cutting and beheading. This when it is well known that there are AlQaeda like forces active in Syria and that the area where the massacre happened was and is under rebel control.

But such obvious lying about and manipulating such events and witness accounts has its consequences.

The most recommended comment to today's Guardian editorial on Syria is this one by 44kicks with, as of now, 50 recommendation from other readers:

44Kicks
2 June 2012 9:48PM

I don't believe a single f**king word the guardian has to say about Syria.

Similar reader sentiment can be found at other western news sides that fabricate the current anti-Syrian narrative.

One would think that writers and editors of mainstream media like the Guardian would somehow feel discomforted over such feedback from their readership. But that does not seem to be the case. If it is neither the truth nor their readers who do they then serve?

Posted by b on June 3, 2012 at 9:18 UTC | Permalink

Comments
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the Grauniad is completely useless as source of information, they can't spell, they don't know geography, they can't translate (Grass' poem) and they invent allewi dialects.


"cbarr

2 June 2012 9:17PM

It is not unsurprising then that neither political elites nor their voters is clamouring for another war in a difficult neighbourhood bordered by fragile Lebanon on one side and Iran on the other, and one that would involve a modern army well equipped by its principal ally, Russia.

Iraq on the other! Who on earth taught Guardian jounalists geography?

An intervention is underway though by Iran and the Al-Qud's on behalf of Assad. Which does complicate things just a little.

Posted by: somebody | Jun 3 2012 9:45 utc | 1

If it is neither the truth nor their readers who do they then serve?

It would be nice to hear from someone with the answer to this question. Are all mainstream "jounalists" in lockstep with their owners?

Posted by: DM | Jun 3 2012 10:09 utc | 2

If it is neither the truth nor their readers who do they then serve?

Look at who are the current major shareholders, I think you know the answer!

Posted by: hans | Jun 3 2012 10:10 utc | 3

Striking, I saw it too, that is a fitting comment. The western press has lost all credibility. Except for some of those journos who were in the UN-convoy bombed by rebels, those guys might have needed the wake-up call.

Posted by: Alexander | Jun 3 2012 10:34 utc | 4

'The British Guardian with its orientalist accounts of the Houla massacre is one of the most anti-Syrian news outlet'

which is why some bodies like to quote it

Posted by: brian | Jun 3 2012 11:30 utc | 5

when Press TV was posting anti Gadafi articles, 90% of the commenting readership were outraged....now that press TV is no longer acting as unpaid PR agents for NATO on syria the readers now support them

Posted by: brian | Jun 3 2012 11:36 utc | 6

I just visited guardian.co.uk to give thumbs up to the comment I don't believe a single f**king word the guardian has to say about Syria. Then I promptly effed off from the site because I don't believe a single f**king word the guardian has to say about Syria.

Posted by: Parviziyi | Jun 3 2012 12:12 utc | 7

The comment is up at 72 recommends an climbing, outclassing the other comments.

Posted by: Alexander | Jun 3 2012 12:22 utc | 8

brian , PressTv's support for the NATO rebels wasn't because they loved the rebels, but because Iran saw an opportunity to destroy a threat that was Gaddafi..

You see, what people don't tell you is how Gaddafi became the main sponsor of anti-Iran Arab separatist terrorist groups inside Iran after their main benefactor, Saddam was overthrown..

You see, Iran's foreign policy is not dictated by emotions but by brute pragmatism - unlike that of the Persian Gulf monarch who think they're indispensable to the US and get all emotional about US interests..Iran helped the US overthrow the Taliban because it served their interest. Back then, bulk of the Taliban where the hardcore Jihadi types..Again, they saw and opportunity to get rid of a threat and they did..

In Syria, Iran supports Assad not because he's Shia or Sunni..Iran sees Syria as one of her strategic depth..One of many defence front-lines. From the very beginning of this conflict I stated that Assad will stay..It's been over a year and he's still there..Ali Larijani has already warned any international intervention in Syria will engulf Israel..Wonder why the US hasn't been too comfortable with the idea of intervention and has rather resorted to using Saudi/Qatari backed Jihadis?? They can kill a lot of Syrian but they'll never gain power in Syria..

Posted by: Zico | Jun 3 2012 12:24 utc | 9

'You see, what people don't tell you is how Gaddafi became the main sponsor of anti-Iran Arab separatist terrorist groups inside Iran after their main benefactor, Saddam was overthrown.'

youre right people havent told me that cause its not true.....

And iran did support the war on Libya cause Gadafi had angered the ayatollahs with this giving women more favorable laws...they isse a fatwa over this.

Posted by: brian | Jun 3 2012 12:27 utc | 10

'You see, what people don't tell you is how Gaddafi became the main sponsor of anti-Iran Arab separatist terrorist groups inside Iran after their main benefactor, Saddam was overthrown..'

thatd be the MEK..whos main benefactor is USrael

Posted by: brian | Jun 3 2012 12:31 utc | 11

Bashar Assad give a speech at the Syrian parliament today. Among other things he said:

"Separation between terrorism and political process is essential to reach a solution to the crisis.... Since the first day we have known that the political track will not lead to a solution but we did it because the Syrian people need it regardless of the crisis.... The crisis is not internal, rather it is a foreign war with internal tools and everybody is responsible for defending the homeland." http://www.sana.sy/eng/21/2012/06/03/423127.htm

I read the above words as a re-declaration of intent to fight the rebels with the "iron fist" as he put it in January. It's an acknowledgement that nothing except military attack is going to subdue the rebels. He acknowledged the same thing in his long speech on 10 Jan 2012; http://www.sana.sy/eng/21/2012/01/11/393338.htm .

I am one of the many Syrian government supporters who say the government hasn't been aggressive enough against the rebels. A question still not properly answered for me is why the government agreed to the Annan plan, the terms of which you know prevent the government from solving the rebel problem the only way it can be solved.

Bashar says today: Since the first day we have known that the political track will not lead to a solution. I think they agreed to the Annan plan primarily to get the UN observer mission on the ground, in expectation that their observations would help get the foreigners to take a more neutral, less hostile stance. But we see now from how the foreign governments are handling the Houla massacre story that they are not going to be easily converted to neutrality, even if the UN observer mission's upcoming reports are neutral.

Bashar also said in his speech today words to effect that if Syria were to be destroyed it would have to be by the Syrians themselves. The foreigners can't intervene militarily and destroy Syria if the Syrians remain largely united and the rebels remain weak. "If we be united today, I confirm that the end of this situation will be soon regardless of the foreign conspiracy.... Today we, our honorable citizens, national institutions and the bravery of our army, are drawing together the lines of inevitable victory."

Posted by: Parviziyi | Jun 3 2012 12:53 utc | 12

Brian, which is the reason Iran was against Gaddafi? In one post, you said it was because the Ayatollahs were angered by his having given so much to women. In another, it was because he was financing the MEK. In yet another, you said that PRESS tv was acting as a PR agent for NATO. Zico got on your bus with a reason of his own with his Taliban story. BTW, Hezbollah and the rest of the Middle East's Shia were rooting more than the Americans for the downfall of Gaddafi. Look up Imam Musa al-Sadr if you want to know the reason behind the Shia's hate for Gaddafi.

Posted by: www | Jun 3 2012 13:27 utc | 13

>>>Bashar says today: Since the first day we have known that the political track will not lead to a solution. >>>

Yeterday in reply to someone's question asking if Syria lied when it said it believed in the Annan plan, I said that yes, it did and that it agreed to it to buy time in the same way Annan floated it to buy time for NATO. Now Parviziyi has more or less also said so.

Posted by: www | Jun 3 2012 13:37 utc | 14

'Brian, which is the reason Iran was against Gaddafi? In one post, you said it was because the Ayatollahs were angered by his having given so much to women. In another, it was because he was financing the MEK'

show me evidence where Syria financed the MEK? Please done make me say what i never said

Posted by: brian | Jun 3 2012 13:59 utc | 15

lets hear from Assad himself..:

News About Syria - English shared a link via Syria 24 English.
2 hours ago
#Syria #RealSyria - President Bashar Al Assad's Speech To The People's Assembly
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-hTmujxTJNI&feature=youtu.be

#Syria #RealSyria - DAMASCUS, SANA_ President Bashar al-Assad on Sunday said the sensitive circumstances which our country is passing through necessitate us to be more courageous, strong and more responsible.

" We pay tribute and honor the souls of innocent civilian and military martyrs," President al-Assad addressed the people's Assembly on the occasion of its 1st legislative term, saying that the martyrs blood will not be wasted.

Addressing the Parliament President al-Assad said "Performing your legislative and supervising duties can't be done in best way unless possessing a clear developmental vision based on constructive dialogue and communication with the citizens,"

The President added that concentrating on the supervising role of the Assembly should not ignore its partnership role with the executive authority.

The president said: " We confront a big part of the campaign against Syria with reforms and building a strong fortress in the face of regional and international ambitions,"

He added: "It is our duty towards our people who proved their ability and succeeded to overcome very difficult national tests to upgrade our performance to the level of its awareness and steadfastness,"

He stressed that conducting people's Assembly elections as scheduled slapped those who wanted that Syria closes in on itself, drowns in the blood of its people.

President al-Assad said "A year and a half after the crisis has begun, things became clear and masks were removed… the international role in what is taking place was exposed since decades ...colonialism remains unchanged but its methods and faces are changing and the regional role exposed itself,"

President al-Assad added that after all the pure blood that were shed, we need a lot of reason and to learn from the people who were able to decode the conspiracy from the beginning.

President al-Assad said: "We are moving forward with the political process, yet the terrorism is escalating,"

" Not distinguishing between political process and terrorism is a great mistake that grant terrorism a legitimacy. Separation between terrorism and political process is essential to reach a solution to the crisis, " the President added.

He went on to say: "We are facing a real war and dealing with war is different from dealing with internal issues. When we boycott election, we boycott the people. Any political process that is not based on popular state has no popular value,"

President al-Assad said " Since the first day we have known that the political track will not lead to a solution but we did it because the Syrian people need it regardless of the crisis.

President al-Assad added:" Syria is open to whoever wants a genuine reform and an honest dialogue; we welcome the participation of any honest Syrian in the process of developing the country,"

The president stressed that the national security is a red line and we can't be tolerant with whoever tries to tamper with it.

President al-Assad said "Chaos brings but chaos and the society can be built only on high moral standards."

The President added: " The issue is not reform or democracy but undermining Syria's resistant role, its support to the resistance and its adherence to its rights,"

" There is no justification for terrorism under any pretext and no tolerance for it or those who support it unless they give up. Difference in viewpoints means richness but differences about the homeland means destruction," President al-Assad said.

He added: " I am not talking about an agent inside or a conspirer outside, rather I admonish the Syrian who loved his country but he didn't know how to defend it and unintendedly contribute to undermining it,"

"We should differentiate between the political haziness and the national one as the national haziness is unacceptable. When the issue is national, I'm certainly with my country," the president said.

He added that no institution could have been able to make sacrifices as the armed forces have done without the existence of faith that directs its members to the right track.

" Mistakes committed by some individuals from time to time have been exploited and exaggerated to appear as an approach adopted by the state and its institutions in general," he said.

President al-Assad added:" Our armed forces have built the homeland and have always preserved its independence. No one is allowed to undermine a symbol that represents our unity and dignity. " The crisis is not internal, rather it is a foreign war with internal tools and everybody is responsible for defending the homeland,"

President al-Assad: "If we united today, I confirm that the end of this situation will be soon regardless of the foreign conspiracy. We will not allow those who have nothing to do with history to write something that hasn't been written before by the history which is that the Syrians destroyed their homeland by themselves,"

The President went on as saying "We should work together to achieve the citizens' needs of social justice represented in a just distribution of the resources, an equality in the opportunities and obtaining the basic services."

President al-Assad said: "Today we are drawing together with the arms of the honorable citizens, national institutions and the bravery of our army the lines of inevitable victory,"

Posted by: brian | Jun 3 2012 14:01 utc | 16

if president Assad wasnt a good leader and man he'd not be under attack by USRAEL and the saudis and their minions!

Posted by: brian | Jun 3 2012 14:05 utc | 17

>>> show me evidence where Syria financed the MEK? Please done make me say what i never said>>>

Brian, I didn't say that you said Syria financed the MEK; I said you said Gaddafi did and this is why the Iranians hated him. See your post #11

Posted by: www | Jun 3 2012 14:27 utc | 18

The position of The Guardian is interesting. This is a very recent transformation. There has long been a Zionist/CIA clique at the paper, which was one of the founts of Blairism but this whole hearted editorial endorsement of the neo-cons is new.
I can almost date it. It was a matter of months ago that a good friend, who was a very regular commenter, started being censored every time he defended either Assange or Atzmon.
The rumours are that a very large Hedge Fund investor has put much needed millions into the enterprise which has now gone the way of the BBC.
I cannot bring myself to return to The Guardian Comment is Free site but otherwise I'd agree with 44kicks because
"I don't believe a single f**king word the guardian has to say about Syria" or Libya, or Julian Assange, or Putin, or Israel Shamir, or Gilad Atzmon, or Belarus, or Ukraine, or Srebrenica, or Ruanda or, for that matter, does anyone remember the hatchet job they did on Noam Chomsky.
The truth is that The Manchester Guardian was founded by liberal utilitarians who made money out of American slavery and the equally brutal exploitation of "free" factory labour and it is just back where it started. Capitalism has taken its kid gloves off, removed that benign mask, that the challenge of Communism and the post war strength of the working class made it put on and we are getting back to where we started, when Engels left Elberfeld and moved to Manchester, right around the time that Beatrice Webb's grandpa (or great uncle) was starting The Guardian.

Posted by: bevin | Jun 3 2012 14:38 utc | 19

>>> if president Assad wasnt a good leader and man he'd not be under attack by USRAEL and the saudis and their minions! >>>


Brian, there's nothing wrong with your man, he's a good guy but he's not the one ruling the country. The real power is in the hands of the old Baathists that have been around for decades and running the country with an iron fist from the days of his father. President Assad has been talking about making the necessary changes from his first day on the job and I'm sure he was sincere, but the other guys that control everything aren't letting him. Even if Assad leaves, nothing would really change in the same way nothing really changed when Mubarak left and it became obvious that the real power was in the hands of the military that are still there as before.

Posted by: www | Jun 3 2012 14:40 utc | 20

www, nobody believes in the Annan plan, yes the Annan plan is buying everybody time. the suspicion is that the Syrian government has cracked down on non violent dissent deliberately pushing the opposition to violence. So yes the logical conclusion is that they fight it out now.

there is visual demonstration on the net why witnesses were sure the attackers were shabiha

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q7tFn0nvF2M (via telegraph, der spiegel)

as one of the commenters says "side effects of steroid abuse are psychotic rages"

http://www.lb.boell.org/downloads/Yassin_al-Haj_Saleh-The_Syrian_Shabiha_and_Their_State.pdf

Posted by: somebody | Jun 3 2012 14:44 utc | 21

www....i never said gadafi backed the MEK..please read my posts more carefully..and notice where i use ""

the idea that Gadafi backed islamic terrorists is afurfy...the nearest youd come is his alleged support for the IRA.

Posted by: brian | Jun 3 2012 14:46 utc | 22

'The position of The Guardian is interesting. This is a very recent transformation. There has long been a Zionist/CIA clique at the paper, which was one of the founts of Blairism but this whole hearted editorial endorsement of the neo-cons is new.'


who would this clique be....its worth keeping in mind that being a 'free' press does not mean being upright and embued with integrity...They can still have sociopaths in the top echelon.

Posted by: brian | Jun 3 2012 14:47 utc | 23

Bashar has given a handful of lengthy prepared speeches broadcast live on Syrian State TV during the past year. Today's speech was another. It was one hour and six minutes long. SANA has translated all of the others to English and put them up at SANA.SY and so I suppose SANA will do the same for today's speech later today. The other lengthy prepared speeches were on 10 Jan 2012, 20 Jun 2011, 16 Apr 2012, 30 Mar 2011.

Assad said today regarding the Houla massacre, "we would remain feeling ashamed whenever we recall this brutal crime.... The human language is incapable of describing what we saw in Houla. If we don't feel pain squeezing our hearts, as has happened to me, from the cruel scenes, especially the children, then we are not human beings." Regarding who the Houla perpetrators were, one of Assad's comments was "we are living in a climate of fraud." http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-06/03/c_131628484.htm

PS @ www #14: You have misunderstood me and misunderstood Bashar.

Posted by: Parviziyi | Jun 3 2012 14:52 utc | 24

They serve the monsters of Zion.
And have lied syrially since pre WW2 about anything and everything related to Hitler,Stalin,Pol Pot,or any of our designated self made(probably every one of them directly or indirectly) enemies,while mimicking the crimes of said evil monsters(equality of lack of soul) and our miseducated leaders by backing the of killing multitudes of Koreans,Cambodians,Vietnamese,Laotians,Arabs,black Africans,South Americans,et al,while pushing their anthem of death,disguised as freedom,all the while their Ziomic globalization(other than weaponry-Krupps) scheme of American destruction continues unabated,and actually is in overdrive while we helplessly type away.
The Guardian was quoted today by antiwar as saying a defector from the Syrian army claimed government attack on Houla,but a visit to the Guardian had no article of such.Retracted?

Posted by: dahoit | Jun 3 2012 15:22 utc | 25

this is it - no name, understandably, no statement how the reporter came to interview him, you have to trust the reporter ...
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jun/02/massacre-children-syrian-officer

Posted by: somebody | Jun 3 2012 15:35 utc | 26

Major Jihad Raslan from the Syrian Air Force in Tartous who defected last saturday a week ago, and a first leutenant from Homs without a name who also defected last weekend. I wouldn't trust these guys exist though.

Posted by: Alexander | Jun 3 2012 16:43 utc | 27

The massacre though is very real, and if I understood the speech by Assad correctly, he is absolutely, completely, thoroughly horrified, and asks Syrians to stand united and look ahead. Seems like the culprits will not really be presented to the public, nor prosecuted.
And though he talked about national security being a red line, he did not seem to mention personal security.

Posted by: somebody | Jun 3 2012 16:56 utc | 28

The Gardyouan (sp) simply tries to rope in righteous mildly caring upright ppl to hate foreignors not because of their color, bad BBQ smells, weird dress, color, hair style, strange religion, customs, or anything like that, oh no! ...

Ah, I have a friend who is muslim, but she is so smart works for /big Co./ and just LOVES her kids, and they celebrate Xmas and give to charity, her hubby is delightful and so handsome..

...but because elsewhere ‘these people’ abroad just carry out ‘horrific massacres’, they are forces to be reckoned with, it is not per se Muslims but the Evil Gvmt, Dictators, Al Q etc. Saddam, 9/11, etc.

That is the G’s audience, I guess, those who pay for paper subscriptions or buy at the newstand. Is it still and independent Co?

It would be nice to hear from someone with the answer to this question. Are all mainstream "jounalists" in lockstep with their owners?

Yes.

They are expected to keep up with ‘trends’, or ‘changes in opinion’, so as to be ‘up to date’, they are expected to be ‘innovative’ etc. Efforts have to be made to keep and an re-interpret in function of new ‘memes’, which have to be re-cycled to conform to Gvmt/Corp/Big Finance positions. So some ‘creativity‘ is obligatory, some ‘new lines’, ‘new positions’, have to put forward.

Those who refuse the game quit or are fired.

That is one of the reasons the G and the like have comments sections. They watch and analyze them, though they often disregard as ‘minority rant’.

Posted by: Noirette | Jun 3 2012 17:19 utc | 29

@bevin #19 - interesting synthesis; any ideas who this hedge fund might be?

Posted by: claudio | Jun 3 2012 17:52 utc | 30

the Grauniad seems not just geographically, linguistically, culturally and logically challenged, I would also recommend not to be accompanied by any of its reporters in a war zone, according to the original article here:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jun/01/houla-massacre-reconstructing-25-may?CMP=twt_gu
you can safely attack under the cover of shell fire

Posted by: somebody | Jun 3 2012 18:11 utc | 31

Damn good question (# 109) at Syria Comment, b.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jun 3 2012 18:13 utc | 32

OK, something's up. I went there, and the 'Recommend' count was at 137. I clicked the 'Recommend' link left of the counter, but the counter didn't refresh. I reloaded the page...and the counter went to 136!!! What the holy bloody fookin'ell?!?!?!?!

Posted by: Dr. Wellington Yueh | Jun 3 2012 18:53 utc | 33

"...any ideas who this hedge fund might be?"
No. I did know, but I forgot: evidently the Guardian Media Group lost $40 million last year. I'm not sure how it all works: the paper is meant to be owned by The Scott Trust but there are all sorts of offshoots; for years the Manchester Evening News was the moneymaker, now I believe there is a string of other businesses career and classified mags(Autotraders??)which are, of course, not protected from either the market or advertising pressures.
I seem to recall that the investment was made at the time that a new CEO or Board Chairman was appointed. And that the woman in question has links to a government whose headquarters are in the suburb of Jaffa known as Tel Aviv.

Posted by: bevin | Jun 3 2012 19:32 utc | 34

Yes it's true that the Guardian has become markedly anti-Asad, though to accuse them of ignorance of geography on the basis of the error of a commenter seems harsh (re 1).

One explanation is that the Guardian is losing tons of money, and they have had to look for refinancing from dubious sources (as referenced by 3). It's a well-known problem; print newspapers are losing money hand over fist. Maintaining the wide range of comment lists that they do costs money but is done for free to the user.

The Guardian's solution has been to look for finance from external sources, including evidently dubious ones. Inevitably pro-Israel ones.

The rise in pro-Israel tendencies has been slow. I was banned some time ago, for anti-Israel remarks. And I had to start a new user name. Evidently they have many moderators; some are more pro-Israel than others.

The question is, does pro-Israel equal anti-Asad?

Probably it is true, but I would also like to draw attention to the role of one of their senior Middle East reporters, Brian Whittaker. He seems determinedly anti-Asad. The other day he recalled a slanted piece of Israeli origins as proof that Iran was intervening in Syria. As a Middle Eastern specialist, is he bending the knee to the owners, or has he decided that the rebel side is good? There are plenty of Middle Eastern specialists who are like that. He will certainly have influence at the Guardian.

Posted by: alexno | Jun 3 2012 19:37 utc | 35

OK, something's up. I went there, and the 'Recommend' count was at 137. I clicked the 'Recommend' link left of the counter, but the counter didn't refresh. I reloaded the page...and the counter went to 136!!! What the holy bloody fookin'ell?!?!?!?!

Someone's playing games.

The technique of how to add multiple recommends on the Guardian is relatively well known, though I don't know it.

Yesterday, all the anti-anti-Asad remarks (I do not say pro-Asad, as they weren't) were having multiples of 50 recommends added.

I think it was a way of discrediting those comments, as they were in the majority.

Posted by: alexno | Jun 3 2012 19:54 utc | 36

alexno, you are right, on the internet we get the news for free,
and what we get is decided by who pays.
all we can do is compare competing stories.

Posted by: somebody | Jun 3 2012 19:59 utc | 37

brian, have you heard about the group called Ahwazi Arab separatist movement? Look it up..The MEK is just one of the three main seditionist movements in Iran..All with foreign backing..

And please, don't compare Libyan women with Iranian women..Just do a quick Google search on the male/female ratio in Iranian universities before you make such nonsense statements..The number of women in universities in Iran surpasses that of all the Arab countries combined.. But why do I bother? You're a product of msm brainwashing so you wouldn't know this. Iranian women are presented as dumb, oppressed uneducated etc. and therefore need to be "liberated"..

Try and do a bit more reading before spewing nonsense dribbles here..

Posted by: Zico | Jun 3 2012 20:22 utc | 38

I remember that NOT too long back in the day, you denounced the presence of AQ in Iraq. vociferously. But now, according to you, chunks of Syria are "controlled" by AQ!! The only reason you make this claim is because adding this spicy datum to your homebrew calculus helps youwrite your private fantasy book about the erstwhile kingdoM of Syria. You're a dick.

Here is what happened in Houla according to Fisk, P. Cockburn, Landis, P. Lang: Bashir & his bro hold an Ariel Sharon and, under cover of Syrian artillery, let a bunch of paramilitary pro-regime assholes into the town to enjoy an evening of throat slitting and baby bashing.

You're a fucking dick.

Posted by: slothrop | Jun 3 2012 20:55 utc | 39

How the hell do you get cover by artillery?

Posted by: Alexander | Jun 3 2012 21:17 utc | 40

re 39

I've always thought that the 'new' slothrop was a troll. and thus not worth replying to. But this time he gets the argument wrong. 'b' is indeed anti-al-Qa'ida, but in the case of Syria, AQ is on the side of the West, and should be supported by Slothrop. Evidently a bit too much for S.

Posted by: alexno | Jun 3 2012 21:19 utc | 41

Slothrop also know that Al Quaida wasn't in Iraq before the US invaded, they only appeared years later after the American had got well established. Show me where b has said otherwise. Who pissed in your bed dude? So bitter..

Posted by: Alexander | Jun 3 2012 21:43 utc | 42

Dr Y @ 33

Yeah, if you vote, and then come bac and vote again, it's an un-vote. It's at this point at 166 votes

Posted by: Alexander | Jun 3 2012 21:49 utc | 43


ZICO 38:

on libyan women :
All over the Arab world—from Yemen to Jordan to Saudi Arabia to Iran— fathers and brothers decide what age a young woman will be given away in marriage, usually as soon as she hits puberty— She has no choice in the most important decision of her life. Frequently a young girl gets married off to one of her father's adult friends or a cousin. Throughout the Arab world, it's socially acceptable for a shopkeeper to ask a young Muslim girl if she has started to menstruate. A good Islamic girl is expected to answer truthfully.
Not in Libya. To his greatest credit, bucking all Islamic traditions—from the first days of government, Gadhaffi said No Way to forced marriages. Libyan woman have the right to choose their own husbands. They are encouraged to seek love marriages. Under strict Libyan law, without exception no person can force a Libyan woman to marry any man for any reason.
Forced marriages have been such a problem throughout the Arab world, that in Libya, an Imam always calls on the woman if there is an impending marriage. The Imam meets with her privately, and asks if any person is forcing her to marry, or if there's any reason she's marrying this person other than her desire to be with this man. Both Najat and Imam Tentoush were very adamant on these points.
In Libya, the Imams are expected to protect the woman from abuse by relatives.
etc

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=25806

try to keep up, zico...

Posted by: brian | Jun 3 2012 22:15 utc | 44

re 41

While the "new" version doesn't seem to be spoofing other people's usernames as often, the deliberate mischaracterising of other people's arguments has been entirely consistent throughout. I wasn't aware that there was supposed to have been any change. Is this one of those situations akin to Madonna putting on a new bra and declaring herself "reinvented?"

Posted by: Monolycus | Jun 3 2012 23:33 utc | 45

Monolycus - Ha ha - that was funny!

Posted by: Maxcrat | Jun 3 2012 23:54 utc | 46

the Guardian insists to make his story stick by visuals -
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/interactive/2012/jun/01/houla-massacre-syria-interactive
when there is an interactive it must be true :-))


Posted by: somebody | Jun 4 2012 4:59 utc | 47

@brian #44

Throughout the Arab world, it's socially acceptable for a shopkeeper to ask a young Muslim girl if she has started to menstruate. A good Islamic girl is expected to answer truthfully.

dumbest story ever heard

Susan Lindauer, author of the article you cite, seems to know enough about Lybia, but nothing about the "Arab world" (which doesn't include Iran)

Posted by: claudio | Jun 4 2012 6:59 utc | 48

it's probably an anecdote she picked up in Libya by someone (rightly) eager to exalt the virtues of Libyan's civil law

Posted by: claudio | Jun 4 2012 7:03 utc | 49

>>> In Libya, the Imams are expected to protect the woman from abuse by relatives.
etc>>>


Brian, the Global Research article vaunting the rights of Libyan women is dated July 2011. On October 23, 2011, Libya's new leader, nicknamed Mustapha Abdel-Nato, decreed the new Libyan independence, the forthcoming instituting of sharia law and the return of polygamy that had been outlawed by Gaddafi. With that, your tirade to Zico about the good life enjoyed by Libyan women is no longer valid.

Posted by: www | Jun 4 2012 7:11 utc | 50

yes claudio...and libya is part of the arab as well as african worlds

'dumb' is a word more commonmly used to prefix American

Posted by: brian | Jun 4 2012 7:14 utc | 51

www.50

naturally the Lindauer article refers to Libya under Gadafis influence...thats the whole point...NOW the UNSC US EU regimes etc have all united to return Libya to the middle ages...sans 100000 people...their policy now is silence on events in libya

Posted by: brian | Jun 4 2012 7:17 utc | 52

Victims of Houla massacre were candidates of Syria's elections, and some were part of parliament http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2012/06/03/the-houla-hoaxsters/

Posted by: brian | Jun 4 2012 7:40 utc | 53

Brian, I can understand where you're coming from and your holding Qaddafi in high regard as some hero..

Don't get me wrong but the man was a fool - and a BIG one too. All his actions proved he lacked strategic vision/depth and only survived because the West allowed him to..Libya today will no different from what it was under Qaddafi. I neither supported Qaddafi nor do I support the NATO rats..I believe, like the Mujahideen in Afghanistan back in the days, they were used to destroy their own country to further keep them backwards. In due time, the West will find another excuse to get rid of Abdel-NATO and his Jihadi gangs.It's just a matter of time..When that time comes, they'll call for another Jihad and nobody will come to their help.

If Qaddafi was wise, he wouldn't have stashed his loot in Western banks and finance the elections of their governments who will end up bombing him to bits. He wouldn't have bagged his nuclear program and shipped it away to the West for promises of non aggression towards him.He wouldn't have deliberately kept his army weak for fear they might have funny ideas. There's no point praising his glory days.He's dead now..DED!!!!!

Posted by: Zico | Jun 4 2012 7:57 utc | 54

This here is the heart of Assad's speech, which demonstrates the catch22 any Syrian actor is placed in by the Syrian system's calculations of which Assad is part
http://resistance-episteme.tumblr.com/post/24355919856/my-translation-of-select-parts-of-assads-speech-today (in fact the international community)
He addresses the terrorism of armed groups but is silent on the terrorist methods of the Syrian regime towards intellectual dissenters whose only weapon is a pen.
The armed groups politically work in Assad's favor when he is calling for patriotic defense (remember 9/11 anyone). At the same time the threat of sectarian massacre is very real, the more Saudi and Quatari money is invested into Salafi groups in Syria. Those Salafi groups have a social base. That would threaten Syrian middle classes. I think somewhere in his speech Assad riffs on that.
The argument that violence happens always before Annan/the UN visits cuts two ways. The Annan/Russian/Chinese plan is designed for transition, not for regime survival. Guess who does not like the plan. There are bound to be different opinions on all this in the regime itself, however as this is played my side or your side no third side (remember George W. Bush?), this will be a fight of two sides, and as there are Salafis on one side, that side will not have full support.
The regime bets on the international community (that is real international in this case) not allowing a - dangerously uncontrollable - failed state next to Israel.

Posted by: somebody | Jun 4 2012 9:16 utc | 55

>>> Libya today will no different from what it was under Qaddafi. >>>


No, Zico, Libya, thanks to the West is going the way of sharia law and and back to the Middle Ages. Same is underway in the other countries where elected fundamentalists have become the parliamentary majority like in Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco or at least the opposition as in Jordan and Kuwait. You can add Syria to the list if the West has its way in toppling the regime. Gaddafi may have been a despotic fruitcake, but his people had among the highest living standards in the Arab world. His foolishness was in his declaration of war on the American dollar.

Posted by: www | Jun 4 2012 9:56 utc | 56

200

Posted by: Alexander | Jun 4 2012 10:22 utc | 57

somebody 55 shows he is pro-terrorist FSA

'He addresses the terrorism of armed groups but is silent on the terrorist methods of the Syrian regime towards intellectual dissenters whose only weapon is a pen.'

this is why he keeps quoting the MSM (R.I.P.)

his use of 'regime' for any target govt, also shows his demonising tactic commmon to US and its allies...

Slopsd is not thee only troll here...some are more subtle

Posted by: brian | Jun 4 2012 10:56 utc | 58

ZICO 54

this site is becoming troll central!

ZICO Gadafi had no loot to stash in EU banks...as even your remarks testify.

'Libya today will no different from what it was under Qaddafi'

..Libya is already different or are you unaware the genocide of black libyans , the prevalence of armed terrorist groups hunting people down. ... the turning syria over to the EU banks etc?

Posted by: brian | Jun 4 2012 11:02 utc | 59

I realise this doesn't obviate guardian editorial staff's crimes against the people of Syria, but has anyone else noticed that they are at least calling oblamblam to task for his murderous attacks upon the children of pakistan?

From a grauniad report on drone killings today:

The US and Pakistan are deadlocked in difficult negotiations for the reopening of overland supply routes to Nato forces in Afghanistan. No breakthrough is in sight.

Islamabad blocked the routes in November 2011 after 24 Pakistani soldiers were killed by cross-border "friendly fire" from Nato aircraft. To reopen the roads Islamabad wants an apology and an end to drone strikes but the US president, Barack Obama, is taking a hardline stand.

The latest attack followed closely on the heels of another drone strike on Sunday that killed 10 suspected militants. Two Pakistani intelligence officials said in that attack, four missiles were fired at targets in the village of Mana Raghzai in South Waziristan near the border with Afghanistan.

At the time of the attack, suspected militants were gathered to offer condolences to the brother of a militant commander killed during another drone strike on Saturday. The brother was one of those who died in the Sunday morning strike.

And from Clive Stafford-Smith's comment in Saturdays guardian:

During the day I shook the hand of a 16-year-old kid from Waziristan named Tariq Aziz. One of his cousins had died in a missile strike, and he wanted to know what he could do to bring the truth to the west. At the Reprieve charity, we have a transparency project: importing cameras to the region to try to export the truth back out. Tariq wanted to take part, but I thought him too young.

Then, three days later, the CIA announced that it had eliminated "four militants". In truth there were only two victims: Tariq had been driving his 12-year-old cousin to their aunt's house when the Hellfire missile killed them both. This came just 24 hours after the CIA boasted of eliminating six other "militants" – actually, four chromite workers driving home from work. In both cases a local informant apparently tagged the car with a GPS monitor and lied to earn his fee. . . .

. . .It is easy to understand how the CIA slaughtered Tariq and many other innocent victims. Those who press the Hellfire buttons are 8,000 miles away in Nevada and are dependent on local "intelligence". Just as with Guantánamo Bay, the CIA is paying bounties to those who will identify "terrorists". Five thousand dollars is an enormous sum for a Waziri informant, translating to perhaps £250,000 in London terms. The informant has a calculation to make: is it safer to place a GPS tag on the car of a truly dangerous terrorist, or to call down death on a Nobody (with the beginnings of a beard), reporting that he is a militant? Too many "militants" are just young men with stubble. At least 174 have been children.


How does this work? what is going through the heads of the editors? - that Syria can be beaten up into an invasion whereas the drone slaughter cannot be effected in the slightest by disapproving remarks in an english newspaper? I'm not so sure this is so, many amerikans read the lame P.O.S. that is the guardian and Obama may be playing the wrong game in competing with Romney for the swinging voters while shitting on his base.

Sure I know he's polled the crap outta all the positions but polling was extremely imperfect when everyone was connected and contactable via hard wired phones, now that mobiles are the sole means of telephonic communication for increasing numbers of humans entire sub-groups of voters are left out of all polls.
The best Obama can hope for is that those peeps won't vote, but the correct shove could get chunks of disaffected young people mobilised against oblamblam in a way we haven't seen since young people mobilised for him in 2008.

I just don't believe that the peeps calling the shots at the guardian are that across the community pulse they can get this stuff on the money most of the time let alone all of the time.
playing an pseudo-intellectual pseudo leftie could be a fraught business, where the prime currency is hope, not accurate knowledge of an intricate situation.

Posted by: Debs is dead | Jun 4 2012 11:52 utc | 60

I'm thinking individuals in the WH are watching closer MoA than Guardian for what's what in things to come and where to go. They'd be better advised basing their future by that, and I suspect they do.

Posted by: Alexander | Jun 4 2012 12:33 utc | 61

Debs it dead - I guess the new funding comes from Quatar ... :-))

there is a new story out now on the Houla massacre - it is as unconvining as the others but different - written from Washington and New York desktops (the Washington post is quality journalism, they reveal those things :-)))

"But interviews conducted by telephone and on Skype make it clear that, even by the standards of the brutal Syrian revolt, what happened in Houla on May 25 was extraordinary, an act of hatred and perhaps revenge that exposed the depth of the animosities tearing the country apart."
http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/brutal-killing-of-at-least-108-in-houla-marked-new-low-in-syrian-uprising/2012/06/03/gJQACTUECV_story_2.html

It does not rhyme with the Guardian account, and does not really account for what the FSA did in a supposedly FSA controlled area

Still nobody seems to wonder who are all these 5000 women and children who fled to
Burj al-Qa’i, and how come they consider Burj al-Qa’i more secure than the massacre site which is just 5km away, and how come the Red Cross says they fled fighting instead they fled a massacre?

http://www.icrc.org/eng/resources/documents/update/2012/syria-update-2012-06-01.htm

Posted by: somebody | Jun 4 2012 12:45 utc | 62

The complete transcript of Bashar Assad's one-hour speech at the Parliament is now available in English at SANA at http://www.sana.sy/eng/21/2012/06/04/423234.htm .

Posted by: Parviziyi | Jun 4 2012 12:52 utc | 63

www @ 56: " Gaddafi may have been a despotic fruitcake, but his people had among the highest living standards in the Arab world. His foolishness was in his declaration of war on the American dollar."

Yep, just another country that had the misfortune of opposing the West's banking hegemony.

Posted by: ben | Jun 4 2012 13:58 utc | 64

brian @ 53 -- The Antiwar.com piece you link to says a newly elected legislator, loyal to Assad, was actually killed in the massacre along with his family. In other reports on this, it seemed to me that his family had been wiped out, but it was not clear that the legislator himself was killed.

A Bloomberg article has this information:

Among the dead in Houla was the family of a lawmaker who refused to withdraw his name from the parliamentary vote, Haddad [Syrian ambassador to Moscow] said. Several hundred militants carried out the killings in Houla, General Qassem Jamal Suleiman, who heads the Syrian investigation into the killings, said May 31.

The use of "among the dead in Houlsa what family of a lawmaker who refused to withdraw his name form the parliamentary voter" could mean the lawmaker was killed with his family or just that his family was killed.

Has anyone found info which explicitly states whether the lawmaker was among the dead? T/U.

Posted by: jawbone | Jun 4 2012 14:04 utc | 65

>>> his use of "regime" for any target govt, also shows his demonising tactic commmon to US and its allies...>>>


Brian, why does use of the term "Syrian regime" annoy you? It's not a dirty word.

Posted by: www | Jun 4 2012 14:10 utc | 66

>>> Yep, just another country that had the misfortune of opposing the West's banking hegemony.>>>

Yes, Ben, like Saddam did and his lights were put out, Chavez tried and was put in the dog house, and Nejad has been making the same noises and next on the list once Syria is out of the way.

Posted by: www | Jun 4 2012 14:15 utc | 67

from Assad's speech @parviziyi 63

Then, we do not fear the confusion which has struck some people who wanted to mould the crisis in a manner that suits their ideas instead of reshaping their ideas and their logic to be in line with the reality surrounding us.

Lovely bit, that.

Posted by: ruralito | Jun 4 2012 14:32 utc | 68

The Gadaffi was a peculiar character, with his bizarre 1970s-style propaganda-segments, and his faded glam-rock image, he was an easy target for the western psy-campaign. The name Assad on the other hand, leaves a unpleasent taste when uttered by western tounges, like Osama - Gadaffi - Saddam - Satan, but still not bad enough to bring him down, all this from a name? Yes, I'm making that case, for real. Even with the western character-asasination of Bashar al Assad, he stands a chance to recover, but who knows if the west will let him? I fear it has reached a point where its either them or him. Someone is going down after this Syria-buiseniss, and we can only hope in all fairness that it is the western media.
And the word 'regime', is a very stigmatizing label for any government.
The accurate dictionary definition of 'regime' would be, a governing entity - often autocratic, allways unsympathetic - seldom democratic.

Posted by: Alexander | Jun 4 2012 14:32 utc | 69

>>> And the word 'regime', is a very stigmatizing label for any government.>>>

Alexander, you probably associate it with former Iron Curtain countries that had pictures of the top leader in every room, every government office, on buildings and on street poles. You're probably thinking of those countries that had a single political ruling party in a rubber-stamping parliament or that had a vast secret service apparatus that kept the overall population in a constant state of spook. But this definition you provided does not describe the country we are discussing so it wouldn't apply to it and it shouldn't be a troubling term.

Posted by: www | Jun 4 2012 15:39 utc | 70

Well, those former examples you mentioned have stuck as the defining characteristics of the word regime.

Posted by: Alexander | Jun 4 2012 15:51 utc | 71

A very good transcript and analysis Of Assad sppech

Posted by: hans | Jun 4 2012 16:00 utc | 72

"Tyrant!" nothing wrong with a good tyrant, by defintion, eg Cinncinatus. "Regime!" is a set of rules. "Rhetoric!" ie flow(of words), quite harmless.

Posted by: ruralito | Jun 4 2012 16:07 utc | 73

"regime" or "government", recurring debate here

it doesn't matter what they mean in theory, it's obvious that "regime" has a negative connotation and is used systematically in the western MSM when referring to governments the Us doesn't like

it's ridicolous to pretend it's casual, or that it doesn't have an impact on the clueless readers/viewers

Posted by: claudio | Jun 4 2012 16:54 utc | 74

indeed

Posted by: Alexander | Jun 4 2012 16:59 utc | 75

The Guardian’s reporting on Pakistan is different because Pakistan does not have a ‘dictator’, leader, Chief of State, who is nationalist, baathist (some kind of socialist), and overall pretty well accepted and liked by a large constituency.

Posted by: Noirette | Jun 4 2012 17:00 utc | 76

If you go by the definition of the word, it means only "A form of government". It could be a tyranical one, a benevolent one, a fascistic one, a democratic one and so on. In the case of Syria, it's a socialist Baathist regime.

Posted by: www | Jun 4 2012 17:04 utc | 77

>>> it doesn't matter what they mean in theory, it's obvious that "regime" has a negative connotation and is used systematically in the western MSM when referring to governments the Us doesn't like>>>

It's odd that the US always referred to it as the Syrian Regime", yet it entertained excellent relations with it from the early 70s until 2005 when it broke off relations with it. A couple of years later, relations were temporarily patched up with the exchange of ambassadors. The same was seen with the Gaddafi regime that also had good relations with the US. Looks like the US can turn these relations with regimes on and off as it pleases.

Posted by: www | Jun 4 2012 17:17 utc | 78

Here's from Assad's speech yesterday, as quoted by Ruralito at #68 above:

We do not fear the confusion which has struck some people who wanted to mould the crisis in a manner that suits their ideas instead of reshaping their ideas and their logic to be in line with the reality surrounding us.

Assad is a big believer in figuring out what reality is, before all else. That's one of the things that makes Assad a good leader and strong political competitor. In general, figuring out reality is not easy. Anybody who thinks it's easy is actually not working hard enough at doing it reliably.

The following is from Assad's speech on 20 Jun 2011, a speech in which he used the word "reality" a dozen times:

As to practice, however, it should be based on reality; and when we talk about reality we need to talk about people. That is why I started a long series of meetings which have included all sections of society from Syrian regions and governorates in order to see this reality and understand it as it is or to have as close an idea as possible about reality from the different perspectives of the Syrian people and in a manner which helps us arrange the priorities of state institutions in line with the priorities of our citizens.... As I said, I aimed, through these meetings, to have a more in depth knowledge of reality.... These channels have formed a rich source of information on the reality with all its facts, and this is what any official needs. http://www.sana.sy/eng/337/2011/06/21/353686.htm

Here's from Assad's speech on 10 Jan 2012:

If logic contradicts reality, we go with reality. http://www.sana.sy/eng/21/2012/01/11/393338.htm

A lot of people commentating on the Syrian crisis are framing it in a way that suits their conception of the reality, when they're badly mistaken about what the reality is. That's especially true of American commentators, I find. Assad himself is a good analyst of the reality.

Posted by: Parviziyi | Jun 4 2012 18:20 utc | 79

'regime' : clearly native english speakers are uncommon here

the words use in english and why you dont see it used by the MSM for the US govt is because it suggests unsavoury illegitimate nasty

Posted by: brian | Jun 4 2012 18:20 utc | 80

And the word 'regime', is a very stigmatizing label for any government.
The accurate dictionary definition of 'regime' would be, a governing entity - often autocratic, allways unsympathetic - seldom democratic.

Posted by: Alexander | Jun 4, 2012 10:32:35 AM | 69

yes indeed..the word 'democratic' means rule by the people..the biggest fraud is to use this of regimes like US or EU..note EU often is a threat to national govts in europe and is so remote as to be very UN democratic

Posted by: brian | Jun 4 2012 18:23 utc | 81

Last year, western media portrayed a Bashar al Assad in deep denial of reality, who refused to admit he had ordered shooting civilian demonstrators - saying only a madman would shoot his own citicens, who was paranoid in believing foreign countries had conspired against the Syrian government, and believing terrorists were roaming the streets. What do you know, he's been proven right.

Posted by: Alexander | Jun 4 2012 18:35 utc | 82

And we should remember this, and bear witness to the extreme disconnect western society had in portraying the reality, both media and top-level politicians. I hope the history-books doesn't let this one slide, because it is really phenomenal how bad the media has been on the case of Syria.

Posted by: Alexander | Jun 4 2012 18:38 utc | 83

Alexander, it's not just the Western media and politicians, if you want to talk about reality or lack of it, you have to include Syria that for over a year kept insisting it did not have any major problems from within and that these minor roadbumps would be settled in a few days. It was either that the government did not have a accurate assessment of the situation or it was not describing it accurately. In the same vein, it has been saying that it knew who were the bad guys and would soon expose them, as with the Houla massacre, but it never does.

Posted by: www | Jun 4 2012 19:26 utc | 84

Well, there is reality, and there is reality, and there are downright delusions.

Posted by: Alexander | Jun 4 2012 19:30 utc | 85

The subjective experience of pain: Where expectations become reality

http://www.pnas.org/content/102/36/12950.long

"The experience of a sensory event is highly subjective and can vary substantially from one individual to the next (1). Much of this individual variation may result from the manner in which past experience and future predictions about a stimulus are used to interpret afferent information. Consistent pairing of environmental cues with sensory events provides a learned historical context that is critically important for the prediction and processing of future sensations (2, 3). However, expectations that are inconsistent with sensory information can dramatically alter the sensory experience. In the case of pain, positive expectations can powerfully reduce the subjective experience of pain evoked by a consistently noxious stimulus, whereas negative expectations may result in the amplification of pain (4-7). Furthermore, expectations in which there is a high degree of certainty as to the outcome may activate descending control systems to diminish pain, whereas expectations associated with uncertain outcomes may amplify pain (8). "

Posted by: somebody | Jun 4 2012 19:38 utc | 86

Is "delusions" a polite substitute for "lies"?

Posted by: www | Jun 4 2012 19:40 utc | 87

no I think its substitute for "thinking he will win this"

Posted by: somebody | Jun 4 2012 19:58 utc | 88

www @ 87

You can substitute one of the 'reality' for 'lies', then I think you're there.

Posted by: Alexander | Jun 4 2012 19:58 utc | 89

sometimes it is a folie a deux

http://www.voanews.com/policy/editorials/middle-east/Massacre-In-Houla-157018195.html

"The United States stands in solidarity with the Syrian people and the peaceful marchers in cities across Syria who have taken to the streets to denounce the brutal Assad regime."

Posted by: somebody | Jun 4 2012 20:04 utc | 90

It's clear that, as an epithet, "regime" is but a mere projection used by the NATO enforcers, the purveyors of brute violence, the patrons of lawless cruelty and sadism; which they use whenever they aim at overthrowing governments. Therefore, it's no surprise that the rude hierarchy implied in such a word is not intended as a flattering description of government. A secular government--and especially a government on a course of economic autonomy,--or a government that wants public ownership of utilities, or a government that is averse to globalist hegemony; it is such a government worldwide that is becoming the new target of economic and military aggression.

The corrupt media is a kind of regime with strings attached, isn't it?--or a piece of that regime? And its masters are busy subverting governments, and humiliating government of the people. The Big Regime that is worked by wires and strings is most like a criminal confederation; and behind its mask are the psychopaths responsible for its day to day decisions. And its appendages are transnational now; and do not exist, in point of fact, in the service of the nation states, or the people. It is the hierarchy, the order, the regime, that is being enforced now. Legitimate governments are destroyed, in order for the regime to hook up its wires.

And finally, as governments succumb to this Octopus (if they do), its tentacles of wires may extend even farther. Its computers will soon be validating its policies: its Hellfire missiles and robot drones, its minders who extract or monitor our public and private communications, and its planners of demonic war "the serpent that charms to destroy", will become more swollen than ever, until they all burst like a huge psychopathic pustule. But the people are more numerous than their tormenters.

The people must prevail against depravity, against militarism and economic despotism, if they are to survive.

The people are flesh and blood and genius.. The people are minds and hearts increasing in solidarity, created through renewal and new generations. And the reactionaries, the corrupt, are all those who are deteriorating on the inside of themselves, leaving their humanity behind, and going on to become more machine than human. The charnel house is what they made: the sweatshop, the dripping slaughterhouse, all the atrocities of war, financial instruments, compound interest, the gulags, and all the instruments of inhumanity including the new paramilitaries being rolled out into our streets. But the people are stronger and will overcome this tyranny.

Posted by: Copeland | Jun 4 2012 20:31 utc | 91

Somebody, re your posted Voice of America article on Syria and Annie's Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty one on Syria too, the 3 of them are organs of the US State Department just like SANA is the organ of the Syrian government. So, like with all regime organs, you have to take what is reported in them with a grain of salt. There are people denouncing Assad in the streets of Syria but these are in very small numbers in comparison to the huge crowds demonstrating in favor of the regime. Syrians are not all necessarily in admiration of Assad but they are fully aware what Western democracy has done to Iraq and Libya and they want none of it. Any sane person would rather keep Assad.


Posted by: www | Jun 4 2012 20:54 utc | 92

Words of wisdom by Copeland.

Posted by: www | Jun 4 2012 20:59 utc | 93

www, yeah it is the politics of fear.

Posted by: somebody | Jun 4 2012 21:25 utc | 94

Alexander #83 said:

"I hope the history-books doesn't let this one slide, because it is really phenomenal how bad the media has been on the case of Syria."
That's what I think too. But I am pessimistic about the hope coming true. Syria's history over the past 15 months is a disputed history, and you know what the mainstream of opinion is. Experience from a variety of other disputed histories shows it's very difficult for "revisionist historians" to overthrow a widely disseminated pre-ensconced history, even when the revisionists have got almost all the reliable facts on their side. The mess that the non-Syrian news media are in about Syria is by no means unprecedented in mass media history, and unfortunately in all the best examples I have in mind of similar messing up on a grand scale the facts are still much disputed and controversial.

Information gathered by pro-government Syrians is poo-poohed by the enemies of Syria as unreliable and deceitful. What about neutral parties collecting information in Syria? Here's a comment I made on 21 Nov 2011 (on another blog) about the news media of Jordan:

Newspapers in Jordan can get authorization from Syrian regulators to send reporters into Syria. But they haven’t done it. Instead they’ve been buying highly unverified reports from Reuters, AFP, etc. Thus Jordanian newspapers don’t have brains or knowledge of their own about Syria and, worse, they aren’t even trying to develop any. The largest-circulating Jordanian daily newspaper is “Al-Ra’i”, originally founded and still largely owned by the government — http://alrai.com/section/international . Another large-circulating daily paper that’s partially owned by the Jordanian government is “Al-Dustour” — http://www.addustour.com/Section.aspx?sec=2 . Another Jordanian daily is “Al-Ghad” — http://www.alghad.com/index.php/portal/arab-w-alam Two other Jordanian daily newspapers are http://www.alarabalyawm.net/index_section.php?section_id=3 and http://www.alanbat.net/ In all of those Arabic-language newspapers, all the reports about Syria that I saw at their websites are credited to Reuters, AFP and “Agencies”. The Jordanian newspapers aren’t producing substantive news reports of their own about Syria. I see some of them have published opinion pieces by individual chatterers about Syria, which I haven’t read, and which I confidently presume are not worth reading because nobody can have worthwhile opinion from such an impoverished knowledge base. To repeat, the newspaper readers in Amman are not getting better quality information about Syria than their counterparts in Hicksville or Brisbane. They’re getting the same info, from the same agencies.

The same is also true of the news media of Egypt.

Here's a recycle of a comment I made on 5 Dec 2011 on another blog:

The world will have enough defenders of today's pre-ensconsed history to keep the revisionists from winning bigly in the argument about what happened in Syria. Let's just consider the Arab World in this regard. The non-Levantine Arabs have not been independently collecting information of their own about Syria, with the notable exception of the scurrilities collected by Al-Jazeera and Al-Arabiya. I am discouraged by the fact that the governments of Lebanon and Iraq rejected trade sanctions against Syria on the grounds that the sanctions would have an adverse effect on the ordinary people in Syria and Lebanon or Iraq -- and not on the grounds that the Syrian government's security policies have been virtuous. The foreign ministries of Lebanon and Iraq felt they didn't have enough compelling facts to be able to defend themselves publicly against what the rest of the world was saying about Syria's security policies. Outside Lebanon and Iraq, the generality of the Arabs, besides lacking quality information of their own about what actually happened in Syria, appear to have political prejudices against the Syrian government. What independent thinking I've seen from the Arabs includes the rubbish independent thinking at Al-Jazeera and Al-Arabiya, the Qatar prime minister's statement that he welcomes the transition of power to Islamists in the Arab World, the Kuwaiti government's statement that the Syrian situation warrants outside intervention to protect Syrian civilians, and the Saudi government's statement that the Syrian government has lost its reasoning faculties. The Islamic parties coming to in power in Egypt and across North Africa are antagonistic towards the Syrian government's commitment to banning religious political parties. In summary I think the generality of the Arabs are unlikely to adopt a revisionist history about this year's events and that's because of (a) their poverty of independent knowledge about Syria, (b) their political predispositions and prejudices, and (c) the influence of the West on their thinking.

Another point is that Western military power is strong enough that, if exercised in Syria, it can "create its own reality". If the US did to Syria what it did to Iraq, with the successor government in Syria outlawing the Baath Party, etc., as happened in Iraq, then the scurrilous stories about today's Syrian government would never be convincingly refuted. We'd have a "victor's history" in which the stuff the news media has been reporting over the past year would've been said to've been the truth.

If Bashar Assad remains president of Syria until 2028 with the support of the people of Syria (as I hope and expect he will) we'll have a different "victor's history" within Syria. But in the non-Syrian world this history won't be easily accepted.

Posted by: Parviziyi | Jun 4 2012 21:34 utc | 95

the hand wringing has started

http://edition.cnn.com/2012/06/04/world/meast/syria-un-meeting/index.html

remaining president till 2028? you think this is a good idea? you really think governing a country should be a family business, posts and employment given on the basis of connections and family ties? without competition, transparency and accountability? You really think people should have a choice between bad, worse and worst case? you enjoy living in a security state? with torture?

Posted by: somebody | Jun 4 2012 21:47 utc | 96

With the fatigue of the Libya-conflict, I didn't absorb enough on Syria to make an informed opinion. With that moderate interest, I was prepared to accept the western media narrative on the matters, thankfully, b presented the matter in a way I found appealing, and persuasive in challenging what I thought I knew. I can only guess what impression the general public has on the case, actually we see it every day in other media. Now, with the labourously aquired notion of the truth, MoA readers are in a somewhat special position to challenge other socalled intellectuals and even historians, when the official history of Syria is told for the next generations of westerners. And, Parviziyi, thanks for sharing, your input on Syria is always valued.

Posted by: Alexander | Jun 4 2012 22:04 utc | 97

And thanks to www, brian, Horsewisperer and you all.

Posted by: Alexander | Jun 4 2012 22:04 utc | 98

somebody #96, hey, which country are you referring to?

Posted by: claudio | Jun 4 2012 22:24 utc | 99

Journalist Neil Clark is a contributor to the UK's Guardian newspaper. He says in an interview with Russia Today dated 3 Jun 2012: "We've got democratic reform in Syria. So there's no real need for people to be using violence. And what the West is doing is criminal.... It's up the [West and Khaleeji] people who are backing the violent rebels to rein them in." http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PHm-kSMhejI

'b' asks about the editors of the Guardian newspaper: "If it is neither the truth nor their readers they serve, who do they then serve?" I'm not at all qualified to answer because I never read the Guardian myself. But still, I'd bet Neil Clark would answer along the lines of the wise old saying "never ascribe to bad faith what can be explained by incompetence" and in other words the editors think in good faith they are serving the truth and their readers.

Posted by: Parviziyi | Jun 4 2012 22:58 utc | 100

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