Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
September 09, 2017

The Intercept Mistranslates Assad Speech - Smears Syria As Neo-Nazi

There have long been attempts in the anti-Syrian media to claim alignment of the socialist and anti-sectarian Syrian government with western fascist and religious supremacist elements. The latest in this propaganda genre is the just published Intercept piece Why White Nationalists Love Bashar al-Assad.

The Intercept is a rather dubious news outlet founded by Pierre Omidyar, a major owner of the auctioning site eBay and its PayPal banking division. It most recent remarkable moment was its betrayal of a NSA whistle-blower who fatuously had trusted The Intercept to act professionally:

The Intercept published a leaked five page NSA analysis about alleged Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. elections. Its reporting outed the leaker of the NSA documents. That person, R.L. Winner, has now been arrested and is likely to be jailed for years if not for the rest of her life.

As we noted back in June when the above incident happened:

The Intercept pieces are usually heavily editorialized and tend to have a mainstream "liberal" to libertarian slant. Some are highly partisan anti-Syrian/pro-regime change propaganda. [...] Some of its later prominent hires (Ken Silverstein, Matt Taibbi) soon left and alleged that the place was run in a chaotic atmosphere and with improper and highly politicized editing.

The new Intercept piece published yesterday insinuates that the Syrian government under President Bashar Assad is liked by white supremacists because it somehow is itself fascist. Here is how the outlet announced the piece:

full tweet

The screed, written by one Mariam Elba, has a rather crude thesis. Its core is solely based on a false translation of a speech Bashar Assad held on August 20:

It shouldn’t be surprising that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has become an idol among white nationalists in the United States.
Assad’s authoritarianism uses the same buzzwords as the far-right to describe the society he’s trying to build in his own country — a pure, monolithic society of devotees to his own power.
As the chaos of Charlottesville and its aftermath was unfolding, Assad addressed a group of diplomats in Damascus about the ongoing war in Syria. “We lost many of our youth and infrastructure,” he said, “but we gained a healthier and more homogenous society.”

Whereas white nationalists aim to create a healthy and homogeneous society through racial purity, for Assad it means a society free of any kind of political dissent, excluding any Syrian living outside the territory his regime controls. Anyone who does not fit Assad’s specific definition of what it means to be Syrian is up for execution.

The assertions in that last quoted paragraph are obviously baloney.

1. It is not the aim of "white nationalists aim to create a healthy and homogeneous society through racial purity". Those people want "their kind" to rule absolutely while all "other" people are to be their slaves. They are (sectarian) racists. The society the white supremacists want would neither be "healthy" nor "homogeneous".

2. The Syrian government has not excluded anyone. Indeed the Syrian government continued to pay its employees, like teachers, even when those sided with and worked under its enemies. Where possible it continued to supply all its citizens in enemy held areas. The Syrian government did not and does not execute anyone for merely having or voicing an opinion. It even reconciles with ten-thousands of "rebels" who once fought against it. None of these get executed.

The assertions made by the Intercept writer are unfounded. Moreover they are based on a false translation. Assad never called for a "more homogeneous society" as it is interpreted in the piece. See these remarks by knowledgeable Syrians and Arabic speakers made shortly after Assad's speech and before that Intercept screed was written:

EHSANI2‏ @EHSANI22 - 7:05 PM - 21 Aug 2017

1-Of the 53-minute important speech by #Assad yesterday nothing seemed more important for Opp than a single word he uttered - "Homogeneous"

2-Many in Opp pounced are presumably pointing to this as confirmation that Assad is equating a more homogenous society as being less Sunni

3-Reading transcript of his speech in more detail rather than pouncing on a word though seems to give a different interpretation.
10-What #Assad presumably meant is that when the whole society agrees on one identity that is less sectarian, it becomes more "homogenous"

11-Homogenous as opposed to co-existence is a more durable state that can allow society to survive future wars and struggles.

Moreover - the speech was held in Arabic. Assad never said "homogenous" as it is understood in the English language:

Sophia‏ @les_politiques - 1:48 AM - 22 Aug 2017

1/ 'Homogenous' is a poor translation for 'moutajaness'.

2/ 'Tajannouss' means existence of similarities. But existence of similarities (resemblances) doesn't logically imply homogeneity. (Pics 1, 2 of lexicon entry)

3/ 'Jeness' (category) is subdivided into 'espèces' (kinds). (Arabic-French translation by Kazimirski.)

4 /It is clear that the similarities #Assad mentioned are attitudes toward sectarianism in Syrian society...

5/ In the sense that the war has purged sectarianism from Syrian society therefore making it coalesce as one category against sectarianism.

While the white supremacists in the U.S. and elsewhere want a society where one race (and its dominant religion) rules supreme, the Syrian president called for the opposite. A society that is non-racist and non-sectarian. The homogeneous aspect of that envisioned society is its common rejection of racism and sectarianism. Assad essentially called for "e pluribus unum", the opposite of what white supremacists want to achieve.

The radical (willful?) misinterpretation of Assad's speech in the Intercept is in line with other propagandist claptrap in U.S. media. It is highly opinionated nonsense  based on the factually false translation and interpretation of a speech, which expressed the opposite of what the Intercept author asserts.

The publishing of the piece confirms again that the Intercept is in not the "fearless, adversarial journalism" it set out to be, nor is it a leftish-progressive outlet as some had expected. It is just a minor rag flogging narrow U.S. mainstream nonsense with pinches of neocon claptrap in-between.

Caitlin Johnstone adds to the criticism of the Intercept piece: ‘The Intercept’ Tries To Conflate Opposition To US Syria Intervention With Neo-Nazism.

Posted by b on September 9, 2017 at 12:13 UTC | Permalink


I think Assad meant "united", as in "united we stand, divided we fall"...

Posted by: ProPeace | Sep 9 2017 12:22 utc | 1

white nationalism is a different animal than white supremacism. think less subjugation and more segregation. they basically want their own indian reservations.

Posted by: Cahaba | Sep 9 2017 12:28 utc | 2

I gave up on The Intercept when they began looking more like the NYT edited by Bezo from WAPO. Their editorial policy (lf they have one) looks like a bicycle with a wrapped front wheel...wobbling down the road.

Posted by: ger | Sep 9 2017 12:29 utc | 3

b, excellent analysis. used to be a die-hard Glen Greenwald supporter during his association with Salon and Guardian days and soon found he's no better than his master Pierre Omidyar. Glen Greenwald uses people (Julian Assange) to propels his stardom as a fake progressive. Intercept avoided topics on Ukraine (Petro Poroshenko) and Brazil (Michel Tamer) both are NeoCons.

Posted by: OJS | Sep 9 2017 12:43 utc | 4

Arab socialism is very threatening to the global order of western financial hegemony. The Arab countries may actually try to use their resources for their own benefit.

Posted by: financial matters | Sep 9 2017 12:44 utc | 5

The vast majority of Syrian Shias, Alawis, Christians, secularists, Druze, and Sunnis are united against the jihadi rebels and support Syria's war against them. If "united against jihadis" means homogenous so be it. The Intercept doesn't have a clue apparently.

Posted by: sleepy | Sep 9 2017 12:59 utc | 6

It's fortunate few people read The Intercept but this is the type of crap that gets picked up by Huffington, yahoo, google, etc

Posted by: Alaric | Sep 9 2017 13:38 utc | 7

The screed:

"There’s a simple explanation for how the American far-right became curiously infatuated with the Arab totalitarian leader: Their hearts were won over by the Assad family’s years-old propaganda campaign at home in Syria. Assad’s authoritarianism uses the same buzzwords as the far-right to describe the society he’s trying to build in his own country — a pure, monolithic society of devotees to his own power. American neo-Nazis see Assad as a hero."

In the context, the author seems like a school/college girl who rather hastily wrote her homework, ignoring basic facts about Assad and the white nationalists she watched (in person or on videos). Let focus on the Americans who were described. There is no trace that they knew ANYTHING about Syria except standard fare from our media. In particular, they admire the use of barrel bombs and chemical weapons. The major theme is "if you have enemies, hit them with everything you can", and additionally, the enemies of Assad are Islamist radicals whom our right wing radicals hate too. And in so happens that they are not wrong on that particular point -- Islamist radicals are bad news. As far as "whack them hard" attitude, recall the maniac who is "Fox News defense and foreign policy analysis" waxing poetically on the deep wisdom of cave dwellers attacking a hostile cave, and using them as an inspiration to nuke North Korea. This is a widely spread meme.

If our right wing yahoos were inclined to read Assad speeches, they would perhaps also know the denials of the use of chemical weapons, although they could dismiss them. Like when US government denies the use of torture, but they think that it is very good they torture is used ("of course, they deny it, but they do the right thing"). I admit that I am sceptical about the owners of the T-shirts discussed by Miriam Ebla being voracious readers. Regardless, their tropes come from American mainstream media, the factual statements are not doubted too much, but the perspective is very different.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Sep 9 2017 13:40 utc | 8

What Assad was trying to do is give the Syrian war some sense so people can feel good about what their family died for and what their areas got destroyed for - looking at the bright side.

Obviously there isn't any and Syrians should replace him simply for not having been able to prevent the war.

The analogy to US racism is stupid - a true analogy would be Mormons going to war against Evangelicals, or Evangelicals against Catholics which everybody in the US would consider ridiculous but not in Ireland.

When a history of repression and resistance is handed down generations the fault lines can be reactivated by interested parties - in the US, Ireland, Syria or Ukraine. The fault lines can be anything, sect, language, race.

Right wing nutters admire any dictatorship or authoritarian regime. It is psychological.

The US deep state however still dreams of inciting a "Sunni uprising" against Russia. That Al Qaeda defeats the object does not enter their thick brains.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 9 2017 13:56 utc | 9

Good call I to read GG when all he had was his blog.

Thanks b

Posted by: jo6pac | Sep 9 2017 14:01 utc | 10

There have been a lot of posts here that highlight how little the West understands the history, culture, politics or even the language of the Middle East, which makes it possible for news agencies to broadcast and report anything they wish to say on the subject.

Posted by: ralphieboy | Sep 9 2017 14:13 utc | 11

This line of attack against Syria has been remarkably effective with liberals who wanted a reason to say Syria was bad while it fights against ISIS and Al Qaeda. Thank you for the thorough debunking.

Posted by: Pespi | Sep 9 2017 14:18 utc | 12

Whenever anybody "seriously" uses the alleged term "white nationalism" I instantly tune them out. What about "black internationalism"?

No time to go into details. But there simply is no "white nationalism". If people actually use terms that mean nothing, and merely trigger some emotional response, then those people are going to be incapable of any actual thought. Crimethink. "1984".

Posted by: blues | Sep 9 2017 14:35 utc | 13

@Piotr Berman "their tropes come from American mainstream media"

Wow, I can't believe you are really so naive?

In my comment on the Syria thread that brought that Intercept piece into Moa's attention I wrote:

"I've long suspected Charlottesville was a false flag provocation where the alt-right was led into a trap"

It's shocking that anybody reading MoA at this time and day could not recognize that simple fact, that those guys displaying slogans in support of lies about Assad crimes are not his supporters, neither they support Syrian, or in general, anti-imperialistic cause. They are agent provocatours, paid by the same "global deep state" forces who control imperialist propaganda outlets like NYT, WaPo, and apparently The Intercept. It's a PSYOP rooted in research by Freud, Bernays, Pavlov, a part of the Tavistock agenda. That ridiculous, absurd slogans were displayed purposefully to taint the anti-imperialist movement, supporters of Assad, Syria, Russia, to give them a bad name by associating with "Nazis", to "poison the well" if you will. Steered, coordinated, instigated, payrolled by the smae people who sent terrorists to Syria, Libya, Iraq and the rapefugees (the heinous crime in Rimini on a Polish couple being the most recent example) to the EU.

Clearly the group of well meaning nationalists was set up for a false flag by their suspicious leader - that was discovered by commenters, investigators on other fora, I gave an example in the other thread.

The whole point of me bringing that hit piece to the attention of MoA was to emphasize the fact that "Charlottesville" was an operation of special services, and the propaganda in The Intercept is a strong proof of that.

Posted by: ProPeace | Sep 9 2017 14:57 utc | 14

Understanding different cultures is difficult, and I am a bit surprised to what extend it is difficult. For example, sad canuck posted somewhat lengthy explanation of Russian thinking, and it in my perspective, his knowledge was strangely fragmentary and he focused on aspects that were "strange" and often false. E.g. that if insulted, a Russian would reply with a single syllable. ?! Now, that is possible, but the Russian word cited by sad canuck was somehow missing one vowel. Moreover, it is a fragment of a longer expression that (a) means get out of here! or "get away" (b) is used as a foreign, mis-accented expression in Polish. The bad language that an offended Russian may use is very rich and to some extend, admired in other nations for its creativity.

For example, the full expression in question is "poshol von!", and recently the leader of the currently ruling party in Poland adressed a member of parliament that was shouting a question to him with a single syllable, "von!", which is Russian for "away", rather than using Polish "precz [prech]".

In any case, Intercept is not "evil" in my perspective, but it shows both good and bad aspects of "well meaning liberal thinking". One bad aspect is that they do not understand societies like Libya, Syria, Russia or Ukraine and yet they feel obliged to write "expert stuff". Slightly more surprisingly, they do not understand "deplorable" fellow citizens. While a trip to Ukraine or Syria may be expensive, and there is a language problem etc., preparing a discussion with a "deplorable" person is not equally hard.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Sep 9 2017 15:04 utc | 15

The Intercept article is even more of a jaw-dropper than I thought it would be from reading b's post. She also gets in some digs at, who else, the dark lord himself, by way of an eminent scholar from Portland State:

"Alexander Reid Ross, a lecturer of geography at Portland State University and author of the new book, “Against the Fascist Creep,” said Assad is a figure that is central to a realization of “Eurasianism.” The notion “holds that Russia will lead the world out of a dark age of materialism and toward an ultranationalist rebirth of homogenous ethno-states federated under a heterogeneous spiritual empire,” Reid Ross said.

In other words, the Assad dynasty, with the strong backing of Vladimir Putin’s authoritarian state in Russia, is the Middle East’s leading force toward creating a society that is spiritually, socially, and politically “pure.” Cosmopolitanism, with diversity in political thought and social identity, is an obstacle for those aiming to realize this vision."

Did the readers of this blog know that ISIS and Nusra Front are the primary exponents in the Middle East today of Cosmopolitanism? I bet you didn't, mired as you are in the toils of obscurantist "Eurasianism". My guess is that the linebacker of Portland State's football team has more valuable geopolitical insights than does Professor Reid Ross.

Posted by: xpat | Sep 9 2017 15:08 utc | 16

The whole point of me bringing that hit piece to the attention of MoA was to emphasize the fact that "Charlottesville" was an operation of special services, and the propaganda in The Intercept is a strong proof of that.

Posted by: ProPeace | Sep 9, 2017 10:57:12 AM | 14

I rather doubt it. You postulate a rather elaborate attention to detail, like special T-shirts etc., but in my opinion, all of that could happen spontaneously, I recall even worse incidents in the past, and I do not see who and how could think to benefit -- in the putative secret services.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Sep 9 2017 15:17 utc | 17

Really too bad that another promising site has apparently been co-opted by the corporate empire. Not the first, and won't be the last, to fall into that category.

Posted by: ben | Sep 9 2017 15:27 utc | 18

The Intercept is ta-rah! the ‘new media’ trying to take the place of for ex. the NYT. Greenwald was read and respected when he stuck to a ‘lawlerly’ line and critized Obama, Ok. Then.… These ppl only go where they feel they can swing a ‘novel’ line, where the money might be, and where they are safe. A supreme example of self-held starry-snowflake narcissim combined with blunt, vicious venality, which perforce implies deals with the PTB, even if the deals are silent. So they publish total BS made-up rubbish.

Imho, even in the genre, the Intercept is lousy. I wouldn’t be surprised if it folded very soon. I presume it is limping along. Huff Po is probably the success story here, but my knowledge about all this is not broad, so just ‘impressions’….

Posted by: Noirette | Sep 9 2017 15:59 utc | 19

thanks b.. if i only read the tweet, that would be enough to know what a deceptive operation the intercept is... too bad greenwald had to latch his pony to that group.. i guess the money is really good.. bad karma though...

Posted by: james | Sep 9 2017 16:09 utc | 20

@4 OJS, 10 jo6pac

I used to read Greenwald too back in his blog days. I loved his Constitutional analyses, and they seemed like a labor of love coming from him. I thought him very righteously wired back then.

I hate to talk about people rather than facts, but Greenwald's case is kind of scary to show how a man of apparent integrity can change when options open up to move to a new level of wealth, or fame - I'm not sure which, perhaps both. I find it sad.

We've discussed here before how Snowden trusted Greenwald to release the files he took from NSA, but only a fraction have appeared, and the rest are presumably lost now forever, or perhaps sealed at Pierre Omidyar's discretion.

The Intercept is a strange kind of psy-op, a wolf in sheep's clothing, I'm sure of that. I think it was an attempt to co-opt real journalists to the dark side simply using money, without ideology, and I think the result we see is the mediocrity of money, and also its love of the established status quo.

I feel sorry for that other NSA leaker who trusted this nest of vipers. And I didn't know but I'm glad to read here that Matt Taibbi quit the rag.

Posted by: Grieved | Sep 9 2017 16:09 utc | 21

Marium, Marium ... is she Welsh, lol?

Posted by: Chipnik | Sep 9 2017 16:12 utc | 22

Greenwald is good at following the money.

With regard to the far right and Russia and Syria, both countries are religiously and ethnically diverse. Two seconds of research would have told the writer that Assad, an Alawite, commands the SAA, a predominately Sunni Arab organization. That alone would show the diversity of Syrian society and governmental functions, as would the blanket amnesty for rebels who lay down their arms and reintegrate with society.

Posted by: WorldBLee | Sep 9 2017 16:12 utc | 23


Matt Tiabbi got suckered away from RS by a Juds billionaire under the ruse he would have his own rag, so don't defame Greenwald, he has to wiporry about whether he'll wake up dead, you don't. Matt, by the way, hasn't published anything of substance since Vampire Squid.

Posted by: Chipnik | Sep 9 2017 16:16 utc | 24


Charlottsville was USAs Maidin Lite.

Posted by: Chipnik | Sep 9 2017 16:20 utc | 25

@19 noirette.. huff post is a real piece of crap too as i see it..

Posted by: james | Sep 9 2017 16:21 utc | 26

thanks also for the additional link of caitlin johnstones article... she's a good writer and is hitting the nail on the head.. to quote
"I’m writing against this article because I know its sentiment will be used as a weapon against people like me who speak out against western interventionism in Syria. The propaganda campaign against the Syrian government has failed, and it’s getting desperate, and now because of arguments like this which arise from that desperation it’s only a matter of time before people who contradict the establishment Syria narrative start getting shouted down as Nazi sympathizers.

and her tweet here is good too - 'Omidyar has gone full Bezos. This disgusting propaganda smear piece is designed to paint all opponents of the US war machine as Nazis.' that sounds about right... another media outlet turned piece of crap... why am i not surprised?

Posted by: james | Sep 9 2017 16:31 utc | 27

Intercept knowing or unknowing published a propaganda piece; twisting the facts to justify horrific US foreign policy. Destroying nations to 'save' them.
Given how unsuccessful these projects have been and their numbing repetition, one has to conclude the ruling elite just like to break stuff.
A CIA mop up job; justifying what are and always will be war crimes.

Posted by: CD Waller | Sep 9 2017 17:21 utc | 28

Actually, white supremists have NOTHING in common with Basharism (pluralism) and EVERYTHING in common with ethno-centric israelism.

The compromised Intercept, Mondoweiss, Alternet etcetera... are now very sophisticated Controlled Opposition projects - dingdingding!!

You can easily tell who was a genuine supporter of the terrorists in Syria all along by the tone and intent of their media articles coming out AFTER the decisive Deir-el-Zor victory by Bashar and co. The terrorists have lost the war and their western pals are eating bleak crow: beak, feather and claw.

Normal black and white people and all manner of islamophobe supremists love the Syrian army cuz they're mowing down islamist-head-chopping motherfucking terrorists. It's that simple: even baddies love to see baddy ass get kicked at the end of a movie.

... Sour-grapes much, Intercept?

Posted by: Taxi | Sep 9 2017 17:36 utc | 29

Right now and for the past couple of hours, I've been watching Al-Mayadeen news TV with live coverage of the Deir-el-zor victory: spontaneous dusty-field interviews with soldiers and generals under starry skies - all expressing their feelings and thoughts about their work and its rewards. So very touching. Really, they're all poets dressed in camouflage.

Posted by: Taxi | Sep 9 2017 17:51 utc | 30

@21 Grieved
Think about the guy 'brown moses' of bellingcat fame. He was an internet forum moderator and stay at home dad, who had a shitty little blog where he looked at google maps and youtube, then had an opportunity to sell out completely in service of spreading the syrian chemical attack lies. Now he's got the Atlantic Council paying big (I hope it's big, for his sake) money to spread disinformation.

The powers that be are always looking for shills. And if you leverage your previous honesty, you can make a decent dollar at it.

Posted by: Pespi | Sep 9 2017 18:30 utc | 31

@15 Piotr Berman

The longish piece was a direct quote from Dmitry Orlov (as cited) and not my own words.

Posted by: Sad Canuck | Sep 9 2017 18:46 utc | 32

Hey MoA,

Sharmine Narwani Retweeted Moon of Alabama @MoonofA 6h6 hours ago

Sorrie dunno how to tweet nor account..

Posted by: OJS | Sep 9 2017 18:54 utc | 33

btw, what's going on in Libya? French media says the king steps in again
is the ksa/qatar rift related to Libyan money?

Posted by: Mina | Sep 9 2017 19:24 utc | 34

It seem SDF this very minutes speeding toward Deir Ez-Zor before SAA and Hezbollah able to cross the Euphrates river. What is the end games will Assad and Iran cede 3/4 of Syria's oil fields to SDF?

Posted by: OJS | Sep 9 2017 19:24 utc | 35

@35 ojs - it was the usa that blew those bridges up in the past, raising questions that have a pretty clear answer here now.. as always, the usa as destroyer of others countries and well being is at work here again.. could they help with deiz ezzor? well, they knocked off about 100 saa personal over a year ago.. how much more can they help isis, or whoever to destroy syria? what a pathetic country the usa is..

Posted by: james | Sep 9 2017 20:08 utc | 36

@33 OJS

Further down her feed she also took on Glenn Greenwald directly, telling him the Intercept represents the NATO/GCC viewpoint on Syria and always has.


Sharmine Narwani also has a great article on Israel published Wednesday. It details how "A once favorable balance of power has shifted, clipping Tel Aviv's wings."
Israel’s Geopolitical Gut Check

It's a good read, and it stands in contrast to Andrew Korybko's latest piece that tries to make a case for Russia and Israel having an alliance greater than Russia's alliance with, say, Iran. Sharmine quotes Putin and reliable reports from the Kremlin regarding Netanyahu's trip to Moscow, to show that Russia cleaves more strongly to Iran at present than to Israel.

I was going to wait for an open thread, but since Narwani has retweeted MoA, I figure it's fair game. Highly recommend her article.

Posted by: Grieved | Sep 9 2017 20:11 utc | 37

I'm getting fascism-fatigued keeping up with the REAL fascists' accusations of everyone else. Syria? Venezuela? Iran? What say we shift the focus to the globalists for a change, the ones who keep pushing for a nationless, borderless world. The EU was their first experiment, now the ME region. They've given up on the North American Union FOR NOW, but that'll recycle in the headlines again. When ANTIFA began chanting "No Nations, No Borders..." that was a dead giveaway that the globalists were behind that engineered group.

Great article below on the formation of the EU by none other than the remnants of the Nazi regime.

Walter Hallstein and Walther Funk are the link to furthering this imperialist agenda post WWII:

"When Gerard Batten, a member of the European parliament with the UK Independence Party (UKIP), referred to Funk’s past in a posting on his blog, Labour Party MP Chuka Umunna described these claims as “crackpot conspiracy theories.” But are they? “Europaische Wirtschaftsgemeinschaft,” with Funk as one of the co-authors, is readily locatable today. Daniel J. Beddowes and Flavio Cipollini, who together authored a book titled The EU: The Truth About the Fourth Reich – How Hitler Won the Second World War, argue that Funk put the finishing touches on the plans for what is today the EU.

According to Beddowes and Cipollini, “[i]t was Funk who predicted the coming of European economic unity. Funk was also Adolf Hitler’s economics minister and his key economics advisor.” The authors indicate that Hitler’s post-war plans foresaw a federalized, economically integrated European Union free of “the clutter of small nations,” and that these plans were themselves based on a belief held by Lenin, that “federation is a transitional form towards complete union of all nations.” Therefore, argue the authors, it is not by chance that the EU closely resembles Hitler’s blueprint for a unified Europe, and that most EU member-states are getting poorer while Germany is continuously getting richer."

Posted by: Flamingo | Sep 9 2017 20:52 utc | 38

This is the nail in the coffin for me. Off with Omidyar's pseudo progressive rag..

Posted by: Lozion | Sep 9 2017 20:59 utc | 39

The Intercept is performing a valuable service for the Democratic Party: muddy the waters.

Democratic Party establishment wants to ignore MIC/Empire issues. They want to focus on healthcare.

<> <> <> <> <> <> <>


Our discussion from the last thread is relevant here. Hillary's attack on allows Sanders to recover some of the prestige that he lost by supporting Hillary. Sanders can now help the Democratic establishment (of which Sanders is a part) to keep control by throwing his support behind a candidate that is acceptable to the Democratic Party.

Our political system isn't broken. It's fixed.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 9 2017 21:12 utc | 40

Re: @15 Sad Canuck

I am guilty of the very thing that I accused you, building an argument of misinterpreted syllables. "Pshol" is indeed a "word", obtained from "poshol" by skipping a vowel, and online it is listed as part of the slang of the young people (people of my generation would keep a short first vowel, and with Polish accent, that vowel is actually stressed. But monosyllabic retorts borrowed from Russian are used even in our Parliament.) Nevertheless, connections that Orlov made are quite specious. What I would be interested in are the attitudes of the elite to the population and foreign countries and the "common people" to the elite and the government. And they are quite different when you look at Russia, Belarus, Ukraine and Poland in spite of similar population density at the time of forming those nations/ethnic group and linguistic similarities (a peculiar thing about Belarus is that they are not certain if they form a separate nation or not, my impression is that they are the "nicest" nation in their region, and in the words of their own contemporary bards, "we are a very small but a very smart country". Given that Belarus is formed from regions historically called "white Rus" (bela = white) and "black Rus", they should be born relativists -- black can turn into white as we all know.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Sep 9 2017 21:31 utc | 41

This is yet another attempt to demonize the Alt-Right, which is not "white supremacist" but rather omni-nationalist. Check out the #15 of the Alt-Right's 16 principles:
The Alt Right does not believe in the general supremacy of any race, nation, people, or sub-species. Every race, nation, people, and human sub-species has its own unique strengths and weaknesses, and possesses the sovereign right to dwell unmolested in the native culture it prefers.
Assad is defending the right of Syrians to dwell unmolested by the CIA, the Israelis, the Saudis and other foreign interlopers.

Posted by: Fidelios Automata | Sep 9 2017 21:38 utc | 42

Ms Elba appears to have overlooked the fact that the that the Assads are Alawite.

Posted by: Electric_I | Sep 9 2017 21:50 utc | 43

It is funny that some people have high hope in eBay founder and its PayPal buddy. This second one is quite a Nazi minded and ultra-reactionary.

Both of them being "self-made" (not only them two) in the era of high flying tech-sector that crashed later and being close to circles of the Deep State I wonder what makes those people think in "progressiveness" on the Iranian Jew who mysteriously ended up in US after France?

Is it religious background only the criterion to be close to the Deep State and being "successful" entrepreneur? In (fascist) country such is US it apparently is.

Mariam Elba has something to do with Egypt while no any detail of her life is available (just like sketchy details like her boss of Pierre Omidair) her name is not definitely a Muslim one unless she shorted of modified it in some way. Maybe she is idealistic and naive about politics in a way, and maybe she is looking for "own place under the sun". But definitely she is very much like the Native Informant character.

Looking in context I would say she and the Intercept is only follow-up in the light of Trump's statement few days ago: "As far as Syria is concerned, we have very little to do with Syria other than killing ISIS...."

In his desperation and powerlessness he de facto is admitting defeat of murderous US (NATO, GCC, KSA) foreign policy in Syria and wider. Cheers.... I'll celebrate that as my second birthday.

Bravo to the Axis of Resistance and I salute the brave Syrian soldiers.

Posted by: Chauncey Gardiner | Sep 9 2017 21:51 utc | 44

@36 james - They not only blew bridges, power plants and "evacuated a group of nearly two dozen Daesh (ISIS) field commanders and militants from Deir Ez-Zor".

My hunch Syria will be partitioned into Swiss cheese and slices similar to Palestine's West Bank.

@Grieved, 37 - Thanks, dunno how to tweet (learning to read tweets) and updating fast events in Syria.

Posted by: OSJ | Sep 9 2017 22:12 utc | 45

@41 Piotr Berman

No worries. Orlov simply give non-natives a rough idea of the national character, but these ideas clearly cannot be sustained beyond broad generalizations or applied to the individual or even regional level. Thank you for the kind words toward Belarus. A modest country which has suffered greatly, does it's best to walk its own path, and wisely tries its best to avoid the drama surrounding it.

Posted by: Sad Canuck | Sep 9 2017 22:35 utc | 46

Some guy on twitter pointed out that Nazis hate liberals and liberals hate Assad. Which points to the logic. And the Irony.

Posted by: ruralito | Sep 9 2017 23:52 utc | 47

reply to Posted by: Flamingo | Sep 9, 2017 4:52:26 PM |38
"When ANTIFA began chanting "No Nations, No Borders..." that was a dead giveaway that the globalists were behind that engineered group."
I realized they were an engineered group, I just hadn't decided specifically whose tool they were. I had no idea that was something they were saying. Yes, they are globalists aka Agenda 2050. How chilling, thank you.

Posted by: frances | Sep 9 2017 23:57 utc | 48

Here it is. Simple. Insightful.

Posted by: ruralito | Sep 9 2017 23:59 utc | 49

FWIW, I want to add a concurrence to the comments by OJS | 4, Grieved | 21, WorldBLee | 23, and a few others.

I became a Glenn Greenwald (GG) fan in 2005 or so, just when he moved his independent "Unclaimed Territory" blog to Salon.

I cooled off somewhat when GG adopted, or independently reached, Chomsky's position that the 9/11 events were best left out of political discussion. That's GG's call, but he began capriciously censoring his comments threads by deservedly banning obstreperous Truthers, but conspicuously declining to also "discipline" equally obstreperous Trutherphobes who gloried in mobbing and trashing any commenter who so much as referenced the 9/11 events.

I did return to GG's "fold" for a while when he moved to the Guardian. But, like many others, I was put off by the way GG set himself up as the sole authority over Snowden's trove of leaked data, especially because he used what might be called his "civic stewardship" of the leaked material as leverage to establish a lucrative career niche for himself.

My crap detectors began humming at the beginning of GG and associates' involvement with Snowden. GG was the principal, perhaps sole, "curator" of the Snowden material. In order to reassure and placate nervous "patriots"-- and GG calls himself a "patriot"-- he repeatedly emphasized that great care was being taken to vet the leaked information before releasing it.

Moreover, GG asserted that he was reviewing the material with government officials to ensure that none of the released material would compromise or jeopardize government operatives and/or national security.

WTF? Perhaps he's enough of a "patriot" to be indifferent or oblivious to the prospect that this sounded a lot like appointing the foxes as "egg inspectors" of all the eggs that leaked out of the chicken coop. The metaphor is a bit cracked, or scrambled, but the point remains. ;)

To me, there was clearly a disturbing subliminal message: don't worry, we're conscientious, patriotic leak-masters. We're not going to irresponsibly disclose anything too radical, or politically/socially destabilizing.

In effect, GG was telling the world that it simply had to trust his judgment in this crucial role.

Apart from the fraught question of GG/Intercept's exact "working relationship" with US/Western governments and security services, they are blatantly and shamelessly commercial: GG and the Omidyar Group sell themselves as an independent "brand" in the new field of whistleblower/hacker leak-broker.

Like only buying NFL-approved merchandise, or fox-approved eggs, the public is being encouraged to only buy (into) Intercept-approved Snowden Leaks™. It's a going concern, which lends itself much more to the "modified limited hangout" approach.

All this gives the name "Intercept" a connotation that GG, Pierre Omidyar, and their circle may not have envisioned.

I became much more skeptical and wary of GG/Intercept's "mission" and output, but still wanted to respect GG for his cogent civil-liberties critiques of US government and politics.

Now that his organization is a party to geopolitical chicanery, I fear that even his redeeming qualities aren't redemptive enough.

Posted by: Ort | Sep 10 2017 0:00 utc | 50

United we stand , divided we fall . That's a more likely interpretation

Posted by: Brian | Sep 10 2017 0:07 utc | 51

@Taxi 29 and 30

Absolutely agree with you and loved what you wrote about the Syrian Soldiers. These are genuine people, authentic and there is only one decision for them to make: It is either them or us. Nothing in between. Either the head choppers masters take over or the right side, the Syrian Army which is defending the Syrian homeland and the Syrian people of all faiths and all ethnical background.

That IS and its masters in ISrael are losing the war in Syria makes them go crazy.

By the way @ Noirette "Huffington Post" is Soros funded.

Posted by: Demeter | Sep 10 2017 0:09 utc | 52

@45 OSJ

No worries. Syria will not be partitioned or do you think they would have fought for 6 years to get crumbs?

Posted by: Demeter | Sep 10 2017 0:22 utc | 53

@ Fidelios Automata 42


This is one important point which Trump and Putin agree upon. Focus and priority lies on the improvement of the life and prosperity of the own nation. No interference in the affairs of another country. Strengthening of nation states and bilateral relations. Reform and strengthening of the UN.

These attempts to discredit president Assad are not new but they will increase now where they realise that they have lost the war and the zionists can not pull the US into more disastrous adventures in the Middle East. "Wag the dog" no more Israel.

Posted by: Demeter | Sep 10 2017 0:34 utc | 54

The Intercept has been notably absent when it comes to the Deep State and corrupt mainstream media's pro-terrorists ruses in Syria. They have never investigated or reported upon the obvious White Helmets terrorist ruse (including their Hollywood Oscar travesty), the Bana Alabed child exploitation ruse or the US supported FSA terrorists ruse. All of these have been ignored by the Intercept.....completely ignored. Like TruthOut, they have chosen to skirt around the truth and misrepresent the facts when it comes to the Syrian war. Now all of a sudden they put out a propaganda piece that is so pathetic in its composition and misrepresentation of the facts and false conflation that it boggles the mind. Greenwald owes his readership a serious explanation and apology, and that writer and the editors that approved the piece should be sent packing. To know the truth about those terrorists ruses look here:

The White Helmets Terrorists – Further Extensive Evidence of Direct Collusion with Islamic Terrorist Groups – (Set 4)

Posted by: liam | Sep 10 2017 1:22 utc | 55

Not sure why people spend so much time analyzing elite media.

It is what it is.

Intellectuals have always sought service to elites.

Who else wants their dexterous discourse and magics.

Rare it is, I'm afraid, the intellectual who devotes himself to the poor and huddling masses.

Other than in a kind of George Soros way.

Which may not have their best interests at heart.

Posted by: Timmy | Sep 10 2017 2:07 utc | 56

I still consider Glen Greenwald an excellent reporter. He has done many good things over the years. I respect him for the good he has done. He has done a lot of work debunking the anti-Russian hysteria that has swept the US over the past year.

However, it has been clear for many years that he has some serious weak points when it comes to foreign policies. He has completely missed the main issues concerning Ukraine but for the most part he has avoided saying too much about it. He also fell for the phony Syrian spring story from the very beginning but after the first year or so that is an issue that he has mostly avoided. I doubt he has any understanding of what happened in Libya. That is disappointing. The fact that his outlet, the Intercept, published this current bullshit on Syria is also disappointing but he is the editor not the writer of that piece.

We should also remember that many good Western people on the left who support justice for the Palestinians turned against the Syrian government in 2011 because the Hamas wing of Palestinian refugees located in Syria joined the jihadis in the rebellion against the Assad government. At the time I thought they were fools but have been somewhat pleased that by 2013 most of these leftists became silent on the issue. Many remain confused but at least they have dropped their earlier support. I remain hopeful that Glen will realize his errors.

Posted by: ToivoS | Sep 10 2017 4:29 utc | 57

"It is not the aim of "white nationalists aim to create a healthy and homogeneous society through racial purity". Those people want "their kind" to rule absolutely while all "other" people are to be their slaves."

Written by someone who has no inkling of what white nationalists want apart from the lies spoon-fed to her from the msm. No one wants the return of slavery. Not even David Duke or Richard Spencer. What they want is "safe spaces" for white people.

Posted by: Gary G | Sep 10 2017 4:44 utc | 58

With the bizarre situation of those buses stranded in the middle of the desert and the utter futility of the ISIS strategic position, it's getting very obvious that the only remaining objective of the forces fighting the SAA is to destroy as much infrastructure as possible and kill as many people as possible. Perhaps it always was the only objective but I'm actually not looking forward to the victory with Syrians regaining control of a country consisting of a smoking pile of rubble. They never deserved this and it really makes you the humanity/sanity of the people who organized it.

Posted by: Sad Canuck | Sep 10 2017 5:01 utc | 59

@ 58

"... pile of rubble" is just bricks and mortar, just bricks and mortar, Sad canuck. Syrians will now get much needed new housing so what's so sad about that?! I for one will be utterly satisfied with the predicted and imminent Syrian victory. Especially that now the battle-hardened Syrian army has re-connected with the battle-hardened Iraqi army as well as the mighty Lebanese resistance.

The diabolical foreign plan was to divide Iraq, Syria and Lebanon but as the Arabs say "the magic has turned on the magician" and now we have an essential and fundamental military union between the three aforementioned countries, backed by the power-trio of Russia, China and Iran.

Posted by: Taxi | Sep 10 2017 5:21 utc | 60

@45 ojs.. i kinda see it like @52 demeter.. i could be wrong, but i think the kurds are on shaky ground here, in spite of their subservience to the usa, which by extension is a subservience to saudi arabia and israel... i just don't think it swings either way..

Posted by: james | Sep 10 2017 6:01 utc | 61

As far as Greenwald goes he acknowledges the Intercept needs more "pro Assad" views.

Posted by: Bob | Sep 10 2017 7:10 utc | 62

I'm not sympathetic to Greenwald. Just because someone has "redeeming qualities" doesn't excuse them from selling out. Oh wait, he only partially sold out . . .

Posted by: Perimetr | Sep 10 2017 8:13 utc | 63

Bob #62 In that twitter thread Glen also denies being the editor for the offending article. The criticism he has received on this Mariam Elba article has definitely put him on the defensive.

I think I spoke too soon (#57) in defense of G Greenwald. On his twitter feed he recommended this article in CNN praising some Russian political operative who is part of the anti-Putin movement in Moscow.

Posted by: ToivoS | Sep 10 2017 8:25 utc | 64

from twitter thread that ruralito posted:

"wouldn't say Intercept publishes "a wide range of views on Syria. Sadly, it publishes within the mainstream media parameters on Syria."
asad abukhalil‏

Right on point.

On the matter where "Islamic" or "muslim" cause prevail (god forbid being victorious) over the US or Western (Israel) strategic ones there is no doubt that journalists from the US will implement self-censorship. Regardless of media outlets so-called independent of regime's one.

Like Bush after downing the Iranian jet flight 665 and 290 dead.

Or, publisher will find the Native Informant who will happily penned article like this.

Since GG is western liberal (I use this in extreme pejorative sense) he is trying to deflect criticism on house that feeds him. Ideological they may not relate to his publisher but "cultural" i.e. tribal associations prevent him to see the things in objective way. Anyway number one tenet of western journalism when comes to domestic issues is, they have to be Balanced.

Now there are many varieties of Balanced Journalism. False Balanced, Positively Balanced etc. and GG deftly playing with it according to publisher needs while receiving seven figure salary. After all no politicians, or even commoners, like to hear the truth.

Posted by: Chauncey Gardiner | Sep 10 2017 11:03 utc | 65

thank you for your great website
very nice

Posted by: novin | Sep 10 2017 11:53 utc | 66

"Huffington Post" is Soros funded. Demeter @ 52.

The Huffington Post was ‘founded’ by Andrew Breitbart, Ariana Huffington, Kenneth Lerer, and Jonah Peretti. (.. > wiki - others.) Andrew B. (deceased) was good friends with Ariana. Andrew also had some highish (?) role at the Drudge report.

BuzzFeed was founded by Peretti and John. S. Johnson, and K. Lerer soon played an important role. (wiki, news, co. descriptions, etc.) Breitbart a mainstay at Buzzfeed.

Both are part of the news show - entertainment industry.

Politically ‘right’ Breitbart vs. the ‘liberal’ left HuffPo present as direct competitors. A sordid trick.

HuffPo is owned by AOL (Verizon - I read, idk from personal knowledge) and Buzzfeed might go public in 2018.

We see the exploitation of a fake left-right division, much like that touted between black-white, men-women, etc.

What Soros has to do with it idk. Marginal at best. Maybe he owns some shares and made noises? Referring to outside evil figures is a staple to avoid even looking briefly at home...

Posted by: Noirette | Sep 10 2017 14:14 utc | 67

Posted by: Taxi | Sep 10, 2017 1:21:49 AM | 60

Sure. But two alliances forming and preparing for war against each other is part of the problem and not the solution.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 10 2017 14:14 utc | 68

Mariam Elba - "Recent Baruch College graduate and aspiring writer."

Up until 5 minutes ago, an intern at The Nation.

This is her first foray -- into what I'd call some ridiculously obvious Zionist propaganda.

Posted by: Benu | Sep 10 2017 14:19 utc | 69

Correction: by 'first foray' I mean first for The Intercept.

Posted by: Benu | Sep 10 2017 14:22 utc | 70

Ot, sakashvili, who has been deprived of his ukrainian citizenship last july, blocked in a train at the poland-ukraine border, denied entry. He is wanted in georgia too.

Posted by: Mina | Sep 10 2017 15:02 utc | 71


The idea behind the re-connection between the various armies of the Levant is to prevent another catastrophic, violent conspiracy against these countries by a cabal of vicious outsiders. I see this new border-cooperation as a good thing. It establishes a much needed independent, regional security apparatus, instead of bondage and dependency on the imperial West.

And as far as the common enemy, israel, is concerned: well, tel aviv is clearly the very source of terrorism and instability in the region and must be dealt a crushing blow on the battlefield. Negotiating with them is but a ruse devised by them to gobble up more land that doesn't belong to them - and this we have seen happen with our own eyes. Israel requires force to be stopped as euro-jew implants have shown no intention of changing their diabolical behavior or abiding by international law. They will be crushed out of existence in the Levant sooner or later. And I support this too.

Posted by: Taxi | Sep 10 2017 15:22 utc | 72

Noirette@67 re Huffpost, Breitbart, Buzzfeed

Thanks for searching all that out and trying to untangle it.

What a complex con game the human experiment has become.

Great irony. The species with the highest intelligence on the planet and maybe in the universe, develops the technology to tie itself up in mental knots until no one can know anything for sure. Lies layered on lies layered on lies.

The subterfuge by now is so pervasive even those like Soros who fancy themselves the Great Puppet Masters are in the dark as to where "reality" is or where we are headed.

Posted by: Ken Nari | Sep 10 2017 15:52 utc | 73

For people accusing The Intercept of repeating establishment neocon talking points. You are right on for this particular article. As a commentator at the site pointed out, the article is a basically a repeat as an earlier WAPO article at:

I am not down on Greenwald as it appears that the editing and day-to-day operations are done by other people. Whoever approved this article apparently wasn't aware that it was a near copy of an WAPO article and should have been rejected if only to avoid plagiarism charges.

Some of the articles and hirings look to be suspect such as hiring Russ Grimm from Huffpost who before he left wrote an article smearing Benrie supporters as Russian dupes--something which Greenwald has decried. And then there is the absolutely atrocious Rusiaphobic article which lead to the arrest of Reality Winner. Or even Dayen's utter smear of the single payer movement in CA.

Posted by: Erelis | Sep 10 2017 20:12 utc | 74

@74 erelis... intercept is a bullshit media site and greenwald is a sell out.. no getting around that..

Posted by: james | Sep 10 2017 20:21 utc | 75

This is a bad interpretation of the Intercept article and is very biased itself.
1) The Intercept article is quite clear that they understand what Assad means by "homogeneous". They are saying it is fascist in that it demands ideological purity. In other words, yes, you get your job back and won't get killed, as long as you conform to Assad's Ideology. In theory, non-sectarianism is a noble pursuit. I believe people take issue with the way Assad is pursuing it through violence. White Supremacists too demand a certain ideological conformity. They will even allow minorities and Jews to live in their Utopian society as long as they conform to the ideological structure they demand gets imposed, and they don't shy away from saying they will use violence if necessary to achieve and maintain their vision. So yes, there is a parallel with Assad and the White Supremacists. It is also why White Supremacists are attracted to Assad's tactics.

2) Moon says that if White Supremacists had their way their society would not, in fact, be healthy and homogeneous. Well, no duh! But that's not the point. They are still aiming to achieve that goal through their beliefs. One could argue that Assad, while claiming to use violence to achieve a non-sectarian state, would not be, in fact, healthy and homogeneous.

I think this is a case of both the Intercept and Moon using their own biased lens to see what they want to see from Assad's assertion. Let's face it, it is a bit strange that White Supremacists and Russians would get excited about a non-sectarian project in the middle-east. White Supremacists want to form a Christian state and Russians are very anti-homosexual. Anti-homosexuality stems largely from the religious right (of many religions).

Posted by: Banality of Reason | Sep 11 2017 15:33 utc | 76

I think Assad just meant less extremism.

. As in less of the nazi head-chopping, heart-eating raping.

Posted by: Shyaku | Sep 11 2017 21:56 utc | 77

Thanks b for pointing out that the nationalism of Assad is not the neo-nazi version amnd has nothing to do with race OR religion. He is for the nation as a whole. That was a major point in one of the books I read about the war (that included defenses of US/West accusations against Assad as an Alawite, etc). It's part of the media smear campaign.

Posted by: Curtis | Sep 11 2017 23:13 utc | 78

The Western media is working hard to conflate opposition to global capitalism and neoliberalism with fascism and/or white supremacy.

If you don't support Hillary, Merkel, Macron, Trudeau et al. and hate Iran, Russia and Syria and cultivate a NYT/WAPO approved world are obviously a racist, Islamophobe anti-Semitic fascist white supremacist neo-Nazi goon.

The Intercept is not to be trusted. It pretends to be "alt" media but is fully behind the status quo and the neoliberal world order.

Posted by: Temporarily Sane | Sep 12 2017 1:08 utc | 79

@76 banality... stick with intercept then... your post ('there is a parallel with Assad and the White Supremacists' and more stupidity in your last paragraph) is a lot of bullshite..

@/78 curtis and @ 79 t sane... i agree with you both...

Posted by: james | Sep 12 2017 2:19 utc | 80

Erelis | Sep 10, 2017 4:12:08 PM | 74

I agree with your take. When it comes to a number of foreign policy issues Glen Greenwald is very weak. But he deserves our support on local issues. He is definitely resisting the anti-Russian hysteria that has dominated American politics over the past year. For that alone I continue to support him.

Posted by: ToivoS | Sep 12 2017 5:13 utc | 81

The Intercept article is quite clear that they understand what Assad means by "homogeneous". They are saying it is fascist in that it demands ideological purity. In other words, yes, you get your job back and won't get killed, as long as you conform to Assad's Ideology. Posted by: Banality of Reason | Sep 11, 2017 11:33:09 AM | 76

I can see banality, but the reason eludes me. There is a postulate of "Assad's Ideology" without a hint of what this ideology is. A pseudo-hint was the word "homogenous", which is rather vague. Single race is rather moot in Syria (Mediterranean types slugging it out with Armenoidal?), single religion is manifestly not "Assadist". Honestly, that seems a reference of belief in a single Syrian state and nation and solidarity against enemies, which is ordinarily not something to object. Of course, one can try to dig if "enemies" include "innocent victims". (My favorite description of an enemy: Schumer (D-N.Y.) said in 2013, “Russia has stabbed us in the back, and each day that Mr. Snowden is allowed to roam free is another twist of the knife.”) But in the case of Syria, the enemies take money, weapon and mercenaries from abroad to kill and destroy within Syria, so Assad does not seem to be a raving maniac, unlike the senior senator from the great state of New York.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Sep 14 2017 3:08 utc | 82

"While the white supremacists in the U.S. and elsewhere want a society where one race (and its dominant religion) rules supreme"

You're a moron. There are no white "supremacists" in the US. White Nationalists* want *nothing to do* with non whites. How can someone be a "supremacist" when they don't even want to interact with another group, let alone dominate them? Moon is #FakeNews

Posted by: Old Ez | Sep 14 2017 18:53 utc | 83

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