Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
October 16, 2017

How The Washington Post Deceives Us About The War In Syria

by Ahab Jezebel

One of the most prestigious US medias, The Washington Post clearly has no built-in review mechanism for monitoring the quality and veracity of its source material relating to the coverage of war zone news. This is particularly apparent with regard to the reporting of the ongoing war situation in Syria. At present these professional standards have slipped and the paper has placed itself outside the ranks of real journalism and professionalism on which it built its enviable reputation - long before the war in Syria.

Spreading propaganda, and relying only on activists, is not professional. It resembles paid publicity, designed to affect public opinion, and it takes advantage of less informed readers and politicians.

We can open a small window into one of the latest articles on Syria by The Washington Post entitled:”Civilian casualties spiral in Syria as air raids target areas marked for cease-fire”. The article was not written from Syria but from Beirut (Lebanon), although it speaks authoritatively about Syria in great detail – and this from a journalist who has never been to Syria, and certainly not during the six years of the war.

In its second paragraph the newspaper talks of "groups monitoring the conflict": but every single human being on Earth interested in the Syrian war is monitoring the conflict - including my 87 year-old neighbour, Louise (her name). She is able to tell me stories about daily bombing and "Daesh" (The "Islamic State" – ISIS) attacking "every day and maybe coming to Europe," according to her conclusions drawn from monitoring mainstream media. She believes Syria is a country of ghosts and that Assad, Daesh and the US are "working together against evil Russia".

The Washington Post further undermines its own credibility by quoting the “White Helmets,” who apparently report that “80% of ... attacks targeted civilian areas”. Not everybody knows how biased the White Helmets are: in fact some of their histrionic performances have been said to rival Shakespeare. Professional journalism by a reputable newspaper should be ill at ease when quoting “a fake professional exhibitionist group.” And where, indeed, in Syria were the White Helmets based? In an al-Qaeda controlled city, working very closely with that terrorist group- the very same group responsible for 9/11!

The newspaper doesn’t stop at that: it insinuates - according to its title and introduction - that "pro-government forces launched hundreds of bombing raids across areas marked for international protection": yet the same journalist who wrote that article re-tweeted that "there were also 1,278 declared Coalition strikes in Syria last month".


So how that is possible to sustain a title (usually not under the control of the individual journalist) and an introduction stating the opposite? Readers absorb and trust the newspaper they are faithfully attached to, trusting that the information is reliable, corroborated and trustworthy. General readers find the truth hard to come by when "professional journalists" distort it.

The article continues, quoting the "Syrian Observatory for Human Rights Monitoring Group". This group is based in London with many sources on the ground, including activists. It is known to be biased and its orientation is anti-Syrian government. Any information provided by this partial source may be taken into consideration – provided there is serious corroboration and first hand trustworthy information. In fact, no such corroboration is presented: the information seems to be thrown together in an article to support the journalist’s idea or "newspaper policy," with the risk of misleading the readers.

But the problem persists: in the next paragraph, Tim al-Siyofi, defined as an activist from the besieged Damascus district of Douma, is quoted - as a way of consolidating the introduction. But why on earth would readers buy a newspaper to read what an activist is saying when the social media are full of them - and free?

But that is not the end of the article (only the beginning!): "Analysts took the violence as a sign that the piecemeal ceasefires struck in the Kazakh capital of Astana have done little to change the core objectives of the Syrian government" - whatever these are, or were (unstated). The "Analysts" are dead wrong, misleading and probably expressing wishful thinking. Astana stopped the war in three huge parts of Syria and allowed the Syrian Army to liberate tens of thousands of kilometers in al-Badiya (semi-desert) and to lift the siege of Deir-Ezzour by concentrating the majority of forces against the "Islamic State" (ISIS) group. The Syrian Army, supported by Russian Air Force, bombed for more than a week and killed dozens of al-Qaeda militants for violating the Astana de-escalation agreement related to the city of Idlib, when the group carried out several attacks on three different fronts. Simply, al-Qaeda wanted the war to carry on: an important detail the journalist perhaps ignored for being far from Syria.

In fact, the same article contradicts itself further down when quoting a former Syrian General based in Istanbul who says: "These de-escalations freeze the problem". So the question is: how it can be - according to the analyst quoted in the article - that Astana has done little, yet the Syrian anti-regime General believes it has frozen the problem? Is The Washington Post asking too much from the reader’s brain, or not enough! Is it relying on a lack of critical mind on the part of its readers? Difficult to know with such contradictions.

The article is using once more the same old rhetoric used in the last six years of the war, accusing the Syrian government (and now Russia) of "targeting hospitals" without quoting a source, any source, and omitting the U.S.’s own revelations that Jihadists in Syria and Iraq keep their headquarters in hospitals, if such information is correct.

But worse is to come: "Interviews with civilians in the area". Is it the journalist who is in Beirut who is running these interviews in the northern Al-Qaeda controlled city of Idlib? Of course, of course: it is "Abdulhamid"…. It sounds quite exotic.

Further down, the article goes on to deal with the human side of the war: "We just want to eat, to let up the siege, and to live in peace and not get bombed." The atrocities of the war in Syria are not up for discussion. In point of fact the city of Idlib is wide open to Turkey and fully supplied on a daily basis: the transit of goods is/was one of al-Qaeda’s main incomes. No one is actually starving these days in Syria: the besieged cities have shown themselves, after liberation, to be packed with food supplies and ammunition.

Generally speaking, the war in Syria has mushroomed all kinds of fake analysts and "journalists", who put bits and pieces together according to their (wishful) thinking, and call it an article. The problem would stop there, except that a very respectful newspaper, careless about the quality of its material and professional standards, allows this "cut and paste" journalism to happen, and endorses it.

But the world is not completely stupid. Dan, the pizza delivery driver, seems much more critical, and aware of the complexity of the war in Syria than The Washington Post with its misleading articles (not the first time neither surprising when ISIS is not indicated as a terrorist group but “local militia”).

Maybe readers are not as naïve as the newspaper apparently believes them to be.

Posted by b on October 16, 2017 at 13:21 UTC | Permalink


"But why on earth would readers buy a newspaper to read what an activist is saying when the social media are full of them - and free?"
This is exactly why mainstream media will die, and pretty soon.
People don't need to pay to see what people rant about on Twitter, they can just go there. They don't need to read what social activist say on social media, they can just read them there for free. As long as "journalists" were doing what looked like actual work, reporting stuff readers couldn't get easily in other ways, the job had some meaning. Now that journos are just rehashing propaganda in the most blatant ways and to add insult to injury are mostly dealing with social media circlejerks - or reporting through social media circlejerk what should be important topics -, more and more readers will see very few justification to waste their hard-earned limited money on mainstream paid media.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Oct 16 2017 14:27 utc | 1

Yes, they do have editors, but the function of the editor is not what it used to be. Today's editor edits for style, not content. Today's editor makes sure that the piece is written to entertain rather than to inform, and thereby assures that it does neither.

Posted by: Bill H | Oct 16 2017 14:33 utc | 2

The WP is only good for telling us the current CIA narratives.

Posted by: AriusArmenian | Oct 16 2017 16:00 utc | 3

Yes, they do have editors, but the function of the editor is not what it used to be. Today's editor edits for style, not content. Today's editor makes sure that the piece is written to entertain rather than to inform, and thereby assures that it does neither.

Posted by: Bill H | Oct 16, 2017 10:33:23 AM | 2

I guess this false supposition is based on the observation that "reputable newspapers" seem to have superior style, as compared, say, to New York Post, but the content is so-so or mediocre. Yet we discussed on this very website that typically the writers prepare articles (with guidelines from the editors), and editors decide on the headlines and may change the order of presentation etc., and sometimes they use it to suggests stuff very different from the content. In general, the most objective news in NYT (I am less familiar with WP) are in Business Section where the readers who are crucial to "advertising demographics", those who actually may be interested in apartments in NYC, mansions in the vicinity etc., want to find actual news. Gardening section is typically reliable as well, Weather -- spotty record, but understandably so.

Foreign news are a bit of compromise between the need to further patriotic goals of the editors, presenting the world as it should be, where good guys are good and bad guys are bad, and supplying news to the important readers in the extend that they wish to see them. (They get very irate when Israel gets bad image, but they tend to have more sophisticated view of what Israel needs than right wing propaganda.) This explains "articles with split personality", some content directed to satisfy readers who perceive themselves to be sophisticated, and a frame to further the patriotic goals. I say "patriotic" because the owners and editors view themselves as good guys, they do not have to be threatened to do what they do.

Anyway, professional journalists have to strive to keep the advertising demographics on healthy levels, and to further the goals of their native (or adopted country) country as defined by the consensus of their peers and bosses. Amateurs like b or Robert Parry can do what they want (actually, they may need revenue too, but very little of it).

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Oct 16 2017 16:37 utc | 4

Robert Parry is no amateur. He is a former AP reporter that broke Iran-Contra stories. He has his own website, and has been blacklisted by the establishment outlets because he had the courage to contradict their narratives. Same goes for Seymour Hersh, he used to publish in the New Yorker etc, but has been blacklisted and now publishes in the London Review of Books and other places. Thank god for B, Parry, Hersh and all the other real investigators trying to pierce the establishment's propaganda narratives and get the real stories out.

Posted by: Tennis Fan | Oct 16 2017 17:27 utc | 5

Robert Parry is an amateur in the good sense of the word, he does what he does because he likes it, and not to satisfy various important demographics and stakeholders. And I do not expect to see "Consortium News Tower/Office Campus".

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Oct 16 2017 17:38 utc | 6

A message from Robert Parry:

"Thank You, Readers!

Thanks to the generosity of our readers we have reached our $35,000 target for our fall fund drive!"

I am one of those readers. Interestingly, during the drive he wrote that a donor offered 20,000 if the target is achieved.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Oct 16 2017 17:45 utc | 7

Some of us have known for awhile now that Jeff Bezos, owner of WAPO, is doing big business with the CIA, and is therefore beholden to them for said business. It's also well known that the CIA has had its tenticles in the WAPO for generations and can get the stories they want, the spin that they need; whether lies or truth, is of no consequence to government sociopaths.

Posted by: JSonofa | Oct 16 2017 17:46 utc | 8

Piotr Berman@4

I would take the independent journalism of “b” and Robert Perry (winner of the I.F. Stone medal) over the MSM journalists any day.

The widespread yellow journalism of the MSM “Fake News” outlets is a product of a poor quality college education, the “Overton Window” of self censorship by journalists along with bias or actual censorship by editors, DoD and Google:

Journalism in America is also biased by funding sources with many of the schools of Journalism being funded by NSA/CIA linked NGOs such as Soros.

A great example of the incompetence of Journalists and their editors can be found at the New York Times (aka the Grey Lady). The combined NYT “brain trust” thought that Aleppo was the capital of ISIS, and when proven wrong claimed that Aleppo was the capital of Syria.

The NYT editors also confused the words what and where when attacking Gary Johnson’s comment “What is Aleppo?”. They had forgotten the basic rule of journalism which is to report what, when , where, why, and how. What could be more basic?

Basically, “Are the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, et al, lying knowingly? Not exactly. The news media doesn’t have to invent the lies, only repeat them. They are mainly the stenographers of governmental agencies that provide the raw material to be quoted, invariably substantiating the validity of the official position. The owners of those news outlets likely believe that narrative, but mainly they want you to believe it.”

Posted by: Krollchem | Oct 16 2017 18:18 utc | 9

Tired of sick propaganda? watch an old Russian movie instead. At least they had style.

Posted by: Mina | Oct 16 2017 18:21 utc | 10

@5, Parry is wrong when he says Israel runs the US. It's the other way around, even SG Nasrallah has said so. Israel is a yipping terrier to Merka's Bull Mastiff when it comes to wealth and power. Look at a map.

Now don't start accusing me of pro-Zio tendencies. Read my quips: nobody loathes, reviles, detests and abominates the Shetl "State" as much as I do.

Posted by: ruralito | Oct 16 2017 18:28 utc | 11

"The article was not written from Syria but from Beirut (Lebanon), although it speaks authoritatively about Syria in great detail – and this from a journalist who has never been to Syria, and certainly not during the six years of the war."

That paragraph alone should send up a "red flag" to anyone reading the article...

Posted by: ben | Oct 16 2017 19:13 utc | 12

It's worth looking at the change in Washington Post reporting after the Aug 05, 2013 announcement that Jeff Bezos (Amazon's CEO) was going to buy the paper for $250 million. Amazon had another deal with the CIA for $600 million implemented at the same time:

In early 2013, after weighing bids from Amazon Web Services, IBM and an unnamed third vendor, the CIA awarded a contract to AWS worth up to $600 million over a period of up to 10 years. The deal, handled in secret, was first reported by FCW in March 2013, sending ripples through the tech industry.

The CIA's history in Libya and Syria during the tenure of Hillary Clinton and Leon Pannetta is not something the U.S. government likes to see analyzed in depth - weapons shipped into Libya end up in the hands of everyone, including those opposed to the installation of Clinton's pet, Jibril; other weapons are loaded on ships headed for Turkey and Syria rebel groups (including ISIS).

After Bezo's purchase, the WaPo editorial board drops much of its coverage of the CIA in Syria and Libya, particularly any coverage of CIA gun running out of Benghazi, in favor of regurgitating offical PR lines like this:

The CIA base in Benghazi was collecting intelligence about groups running weapons to Syria but was not itself running guns, the report says.

This is not very credible. For example, UK Telegraph:

. . .a CIA team was working in an annex near the consulate on a project to supply missiles from Libyan armouries to Syrian rebels.

What it really comes down to is that the centers of power in Washington don't want any public understanding of what they got up to in Libya, Syria, and in the Arab Spring in general, nor why. American popular support for their foreign policy games is based entirely on the myth of the U.S. government "promoting humanitarian and democratic agendas" abroad.

For the Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia, this means no coverage of the struggle to control the region's energy resources, no coverage of petrodollar recycling in alliance with the Saudis and GCC members, no discussion of the agenda behind fomenting 'civil war' in Syria (which is rather like the 'civil war' in Vietnam), which mostly revolves around the Iranian alliance with Syria on oil & gas transit, electricity deals, airport and railroad construction.

That's really the heart of the problem - the Washington Post just won't honestly cover the U.S. government and its corporate partners and its Saudi and Israeli allies and what their shared interests in the region are. If they did, they'd have to admit that it has nothing to do with "humanitarian and democratic" ideals - it's all about the cash flows - and that's not a story you can sell to the American public to whip up popular support for continued military interventions overseas. Simple as that.

Posted by: nonsense factory | Oct 16 2017 19:47 utc | 13

@13 Simple as that.

Posted by: Lozion | Oct 16 2017 20:03 utc | 14

And where, indeed, in Syria were the White Helmets based? In an al-Qaeda controlled city, working very closely with that terrorist group- the very same group responsible for 9/11!

An otherwise keen analysis is tainted by this bit of propaganda. We know that the White Helmets are CeyeA Frauds. We do not know with any certainty by whom or what entity is responsible for 9/11. Occam's razor, cui bono, and other principles and factoids may be applied that point to a far more reasoned, logical hypothesis.

Posted by: fastfreddy | Oct 16 2017 20:10 utc | 15

@14, Indeed, and that's also why the whole Arab Spring story isn't discussed anymore. If you believe the WaPo, of course we'd be supporting democratic uprisings in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, rather than helping to crush them - and we wouldn't be trying to infiltrate pro-democracy movements in Libya and Syria, promoting civil war (Intended to create new autocratic regimes that answered to Washington). One of the very few honest discussions of that:

https://www.japantimes. . . 2012. . how-the-arab-spring-was-hijacked

The democratic awakening has fallen prey to murky geopolitics that has cleaved the Arab Spring into two parts, with the oil monarchies escaping change but the other republics coming under varying degrees of pressure.

And, for laughs, here's the Wapo Oct 2016 editorial endorsement of Hillary Clinton

Ms. Clinton also understands the importance of U.S. leadership in the world, her campaign-year anti-trade epiphany notwithstanding. Inside the Obama administration, Ms. Clinton was a voice for engagement on behalf of democracy, human rights and stability.

The same Hillary Clinton who sent angry emails to the US Embassy in Bahrain because they had met with some of the pro-democracy protesters outside the embassy - and then in rolled the Saudi tanks.

Posted by: nonsense factory | Oct 16 2017 20:45 utc | 16

"In an al-Qaeda controlled city, working very closely with that terrorist group- the very same group responsible for 9/11!"

WTF??? You pretend telling the truth about how the WP deceives us but while at it dare repeating the most ridiculous lie ever? 9/11 was perpetrated by anyone BUT Al Qaeda unless these so-called terrorists named after a CIA database were from a certain zionist apartheid state and cooperating with the US deep state...

Posted by: Jac Cuse | Oct 16 2017 21:54 utc | 17

In his article, b asserts that social media is free, as do numerous commentators. Trouble is that notion is false--the hardware costs money, as does the software that runs it; then one must be connected somehow, as through an ISP, and that costs money. So, there's no free info unless one goes to a library--but even that carries an opportunity cost. Sure, I don't "feel" the cost coming out of my wallet, but it gets withdrawn monthly regardless. And in some nations, people are forced to pay a media fee regardless of using it; so, it's entirely possible to pay for info you never get to hear/read/see.

So, please, enough of this Info is free claptrap. Classic economics is very clear that everything has a cost associated with it--an opportunity cost at the very least. Even the contributions made via comments like this have a cost since I chose to type this instead of doing something else. There's an excellent reason for the maxims "Knowledge is Power" and Wisdom is Wealth--it's that their attainment comes at a cost that few are actually willing to pay, which is why propaganda is so effective.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 16 2017 22:01 utc | 18

In his recent article, The Legacy of Reagan’s Civilian ‘Psyops’, Parry says:

"...Over the years, I’ve obtained scores of documents related to the psyops and related programs via “mandatory declassification reviews” of files belonging to Walter Raymond Jr., a senior CIA covert operations specialist who was transferred to Reagan’s National Security Council staff in 1982 to rebuild capacities for psyops, propaganda and disinformation..."

Raymond and the NSC's motivation for creating the 'new' US propaganda machine are summed up nicely in a 1983 Army War College paper found in Raymond's NSC files (cited by Parry) and produced by Col. Alfred Paddock, Jr. (it's an interesting read in its own right):


Paddock pretty much argues for the US to create a national-level committee to coordinate "...a coherent, worldwide psychological operation strategy."

Paddock, in turn, cites Steven Possany's paper "The PSYOP Totality". I have not been able to locate a copy of this paper either online or in print. A search on Possany did lead me to another Consortium News article from May by John V. Walsh, The Existential Risk of Trusting ‘Intel’. I found this part intriguing:

... Agenda-Driven Intel

Then there were the “experts” who had their own agenda. A striking example is the “Special Studies Group” set up in the early 1950s in the Air Force Directorate of Intelligence.

Henry Kissinger, former National Security Advisor and Secretary of State.
Johnstone writes: “It was headed by Steve Possony, a Hungarian émigré who professed to be an expert on Communism in general and the Soviet Union in particular. Steve was the first of several Central European émigrés I met in the next few years who passed as experts on Communist Europe. … Others were Stausz-Hupé, Kissinger, Brzezinski and many lesser lights such as Leon Gouré and Helmut Sonnenfeldt. In every case I felt that they were thinking, consciously or otherwise, as representatives of a lost cause in their native land, and I always believed that they were used by the military because their ‘obsessions’ were so useful.” (FTFM, p.80)

Of course it is not clear who was using whom here. But we can think of a latter day equivalent in Bush 2 time when neoconservatives like Paul Wolfowitz dominated the Pentagon. As they ginned up the War on Iraq, it was all too clear that their loyalty to Israel came into play. For while the wars in the Middle East and North Africa did little to advance the interests of the U.S., costing it blood, treasure and new enemies like ISIS, those wars left in ruins potential adversaries of Israel in its neighborhood. There can be little doubt that the interests of Israel were served by these American “strategic thinkers.”

Johnstone goes on: “The one product of Possony’s group that I most distinctly remember was an annual appraisal of the strategic situation. And the reason I remember it, perhaps, is that every year that appraisal forecast a massive Russian land attack on Western Europe the following year. Several of us began to laugh about it after a while, but the forecast was always intoned awesomely and with superficial plausibility. I do not know whether many people who heard the briefings really believed the forecasts. I suspect many doubted it would really be next year, and thought it more likely the year after or even later. But even doubters approved the forecast because, they reasoned, it was better to err in this direction than to minimize the danger. Above all, it was good to say things that emphasized the need for strong defenses.” (FTFM, p. 80)

So the NYT and WaPo are merely fragments of our current PSYOP Totality. And we really can't blame the CIA or US military for NYT propaganda today. Their efforts are only part of a larger effort orchestrated and directed by national-level PSYOP organizations in the Five-Eyes nations, especially the US. The US public has been conditioned by those PSYOPS for the ForeverWar© against 1) anyone Israel doesn't like, and 2) Russia (because it's just the Soviet Union in disguise). The ForeverWar© against commies lost most of its steam and isn't used much, anymore.

I draw a very short line between that ForeverWar© mentality and old, pissed-off East European cold war era US-immigrant oligarchs (Jewish or not) and/or the more recent crop of parasitic Russian Jewish oligarch immigrants (the ones Putin kicked out). The Five-Eyes intelligence agencies still do their part, but higher-level government organizations manage the PSYOP Totality© today.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Oct 16 2017 22:16 utc | 19

"The ruling elites, who grasp that the reigning ideology of global corporate capitalism and imperial expansion no longer has moral or intellectual credibility, have mounted a campaign to shut down the platforms given to their critics. The attacks within this campaign include blacklisting, censorship and slandering dissidents as foreign agents for Russia and purveyors of 'fake news'. [......] "

It's the opening text of: 'the-silencing-of-dissent' Sept. 17 2017, by Chris Hedges on truthdig

It has all been said there, nothing is exaggerated. And many people already know.

Important thing is: how can honest and critical news platforms survive this attack and reach the public even more then they do now.

Centainly not by trusting the (search-)index of their articles to the three big Internet search services Google, Yahoo, Bing/msn. (NB: All remaining others are just proxies of those three). They always went for the money, were taken over by the elite, and never deserved our trust.

All honest writers and publishers that check facts, should create a cooperative global index together and give access to that index on each of their websites.

It is technically very easy to do. It has not been done yet, because EInet, Altavista, Yahoo, Google and other corporations exploited this feature, to get very rich and powerful without writing any article themselves. When they openly change their ranking policy to silence dissent, we should no longer consider them as a service to us and to our public.

We did some experimenting: In less then a week we’ve created a test Index of 40 sites, with the available web-search app YaCY (great product of the German open source software developer community, based on apache-SOLR. It's not perfect yet, but good as a demo: (try it out!)
It allows for crawling (as we did) and for importing local indexes (which imho is better) to create the initial global index. Daily rss-feeds can keep it up-to-date.

Conclusion: Publishers and writers should really unite and create an index together, preferable by combining their locale SOLR indexes into a big global one, and put a search-tool for it on their websites. The more different sites join, the more widespread available this search-index will be, and the real news be spread.

Posted by: Iano | Oct 16 2017 23:16 utc | 20

PavewayIV @19--

Your comment immediately brought to mind a scene from the 5th Star Wars film when the Jedi enter a bar following a terrorist and the masses aren't fazed in the least being entirely absorbed by the content displayed on the Mega Screen. And writing that brings to mind all the TVs within airports blaring the latest propaganda, as well as the creeping militaristic advertisement content inundating sports broadcasts of all types that's very noticeably escalated since the advent of Bu$hCo in 2001. I must also mention the various and seemingly very popular Dead series on cable's AMC and how its being used to mold perceptions about reality--and it's not the only one doing so. I occasionally look back on my youth to appraise how popular TV shows were used to shape impressions about important aspects of State--particularly the spooks, but also all entities having coercive power.

And given the PsyOp nature of our world today, how do crypto currencies fit; and does Russia's decision to launch a state-backed Crypto-Rouble change that game any?

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 16 2017 23:17 utc | 21

For while the wars in the Middle East and North Africa did little to advance the interests of the U.S., costing it blood, treasure and new enemies like ISIS, those wars left in ruins potential adversaries of Israel in its neighborhood. There can be little doubt that the interests of Israel were served by these American “strategic thinkers.”

ISIS, armed and financed by the west has been used by the west in an effort to topple Assad (to name one example). If ISIS had been left to their own devices, they might still be goat herders. If ISIS is an enemy of the west, one would not expect such a complicated relationship.

Posted by: fast freddy | Oct 16 2017 23:52 utc | 22

I don't understand this article...

Since when does anyone think of the WaPo as 'respectable' and part of 'journalism'...?

While reading this I felt like maybe I was in a time warp to 20 years ago, when some people still actually believed the lying media...

Why bother dissecting these so-called 'articles'...?

We all know it's pure bullshit...Paul Craig Roberts long ago stopped doing this...he simply dismisses the entire MSM as 'whores' and 'presstitutes'...

The only thing I find interesting in this particular WaPo story is that it appears to be boo-hooing about the recent wipeout of idlib Nusra terrorists that the Russians recently carried out with such fury...

This tells me someone at Langley is pissed...which probably means some Langley scumbags were in the 'wrong' place at the wrong time when those furious Russian Sukhois [and Kalibrs] tore those Nusra hangouts to shreds...

That's actually great news...

See...the WaPo is still doing a great service to just have to know how to 'read' it...

Posted by: flankerbandit | Oct 17 2017 0:08 utc | 23

@23 flankerbandit

You answered your rhetorical question. Why we bother to dissect these things is to produce new understanding, and to find ways to refine the dross into gold, as you did.

We're still looking at the symptoms because they are still rich in information that leads us to the disease, and thence to the antidotes and the cure.


@19 Paveway IV

Thanks for the illustration of the disease. These are parts of the actual nuts and bolts that put together a cultural psyop totality.


@20 Iano

Wow, interesting site, Nice experiment. Think about building something on - a peer-to-peer, decentralized internet. The SAFE network, described by a top geek friend as "about the most NSA-proof platform seen yet."

The SAFE network even rewards its peers with its cryptocurrency SafeCoin for the use of its computing power. The cure is our own information platforms and our own money.


@21 karlof1

I was heading here all along. The Crypto Rouble - hallelujah!

Russia just took the global lead in the sovereign issue of crypto currency. I have no doubt that the world has just been shocked into a very sharp alertness. There will be much analysis and reflection to come, which I look forward to studying.

Speaking off the cuff, at first glance, I have to think that this indicates an entire doctrine regarding the blockchain that Russia has formulated. If I look at its weapons development, and any other process I've observed Russia executing, I have to think there must be a body of thought that has reached certain conclusions regarding crypto currencies and all of the related blockchain undertakings - the work of months and perhaps years of analysis. This is an exciting development, and it came about a year before I expected it.

How does it fit in a discussion about information? Perfect markets are said to comprise perfect information. We know the western markets and their information sources are both equally rigged. Comes now true money from Eurasia, to a wallet near you - can the true information be far behind? What's the distance from the Rouble to the Shanghai Gold Exchange? The world just shrank.

Posted by: Grieved | Oct 17 2017 1:41 utc | 24

Grieved @24--

Thanks for your reply! China will be next, IMO, followed by Iran, the wave eventually overtaking the entire swath of nations of Eurasia. The overall plot is fantastical and easily one of the best kept secrets of all time. The Outlaw US Empire's financial house of cards and Ponzi schemes will melt like the Wicked Witch it was portrayed as, although in slow motion, agonizingly convulsing as it chokes on itself.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 17 2017 2:45 utc | 25

When the greedies cannot bribe bully or blackmail others to ensure, theirs is the dominant point of view, they don't mind something a little more medieval.
Daphne Caruana Galizia, the Malta based journo responsible for chasing down, investigating and publishing the Panama Papers revelations, was blown to smithereens Monday afternoon.
Even more vomit inducing that the assassination itself has been the crocodile tears of Malta PM Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and his predecessor Lawrence Gonzi, both of whom had been exposed by Ms Galizia's tireless investigation.

The citizens of Malta understood precisely who & what they had lost thousands of citizens assembled to mourn the journo within hours of the murder.
I notice that Julian Assange has offered $20,000 for information leading to the arrest of Ms Galizia's murderer - also that 'The Times of Malta' have torn down the article about the reward very fast and one cannot help but wonder why.

On the other hand it is great to see Mr Assange putting the profit from his enforced bitcoin investments to good use.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Oct 17 2017 2:52 utc | 26

@5, Parry is wrong when he says Israel runs the US. It's the other way around, even SG Nasrallah has said so. Israel is a yipping terrier to Merka's Bull Mastiff when it comes to wealth and power. Look at a map.
Posted by: ruralito | Oct 16, 2017 2:28:01 PM | 11

I don't agree with your opening statement, but don't lose any sleep over it. A huge amount of Christian Colonial energy has been expended on keeping the waters muddied and the issue "debatable". I'm fond of Walt & Meirsheimer's paper on The Lobby, for which they've recently given themselves a pat on the back for its continuing relevance.
On the other hand, the opinions of Nasrallah should never be lightly dismissed.

There's an interesting brief comment in SST's "Scenarios for the Third Lebanon War" thread, October 10, from Sylvia 1 which, despite her claim of military ignorance, reads like an accurate forecast of the way LebWar III will unfold. More interestingly, none of the resident and visiting pundits etc at SST sought to quibble with her prediction.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Oct 17 2017 3:22 utc | 27

Posted by: Debsisdead | Oct 16, 2017 10:52:30 PM | 26

Payback news?
Vengeance is Ours sayeth the Masters of the Universe...

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Oct 17 2017 3:50 utc | 28

Sylvia 1 said:

"Hezbollah has surely improved their rocket technology since 2006 re both accuracy and payload. These rockets are well hidden and hardened against aerial assault. I would think the objective would be 2 fold--close Ben Grunion Airport and all port facilities. Leave the urban areas mostly alone unless Israel decides to carpet bomb Lebanon--then all bets are off. If Hezbollah can do that, the Israeli economy will be brought to it's knees. Given the experience of 2006, I doubt Israel would be begin a ground assault against Hezbollah. Despite all the bravado--the reality is that Israel has lost ground against Hezbollah since 2006. I am saying this as someone with zero military experience. I would be interested in hearing from people who actually know what they are talking about!!!"

One should ask oneself what it would take for US forces to engage directly with Israel's "enemies"... and then ask oneself if such an eventuality is being prepared.

Posted by: Castellio | Oct 17 2017 4:48 utc | 29

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Oct 16, 2017 11:22:27 PM | 27
Who is in charge, USA or Israel? Simple answer: Israel.
How can you tell? USA is giving Israel $3.8 Billion every year, instead of spending it in the USA on education, teachers, healthcare, highways, bridges, etc.
If USA were in charge, Israel would be paying USA.
Israel is not a poor country, it is richer than many USA counties which do not even have medical care.

Posted by: mauisurfer | Oct 17 2017 5:24 utc | 30

Posted by: Castellio | Oct 17, 2017 12:48:50 AM | 29

Yep, that's what Sylvia said. This bit, in particular, grabbed my attention...
"These rockets are well hidden and hardened against aerial assault."

That is true. 4Corners devoted a program to Leb '06 before the smoke and whingeing had died down. Much of the report cited eyewitness visitors from Oz whom the 'war' stranded so they watched it unfold from their lodgings. According to these witnesses, the IAF pounded Hezbollahs bunkers for circa 48 hours to NO EFFECT on Hezb's missile blizzard on the S.L.C. So they bombed the crap out of South Lebanon in angst and frustration. War Nerd had a hearty laugh about Israel's "strategy" (and humiliation) in the aftermath.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Oct 17 2017 5:25 utc | 31

Thanks b! People better get used to government propaganda, because that's what the future holds in store for us mortals. Beside the "business" relationship between CIA and Bezos revealed higher up the thread (nonsense factory's & PavewayIV's posts), Operation Mockingbird and NDAA's authorization of propaganda for domestic audiences (RIP Michael Hastings) are the ultimate indicators of that.

Case closed!

Posted by: LXV | Oct 17 2017 8:50 utc | 32

#20 Thx! The ruling elite can even decide what ppl read and what they won't find in unilibrary catalogues. Ever heard of the exlibrisgroup and their alephcatalogue?

Posted by: Mina | Oct 17 2017 8:54 utc | 33

Re: nonsense factory | Oct 16, 2017 3:47:25 PM | 13

It would seem the CIA (and other similar 3-letter agencies) are effectively the 'Federal Reserve' equivalent to the information economy: aka as much 'QE' as it takes to bend the amoral arc of the media universe to their deceitful ends. Presstitution is a thriving business model in the 21C it seems.

Posted by: x | Oct 17 2017 10:51 utc | 34

Do any of you knowledegable people here have any idea what this could be about:

"Syrian forces seize communication equipment bound for rebel militias in Daraa"

Assuming it's not just satellite dishes for a clearer signal of CNN... ;-)

Posted by: Scotch Bingeington | Oct 17 2017 11:14 utc | 35

A big problem is the consolidation of the media allowed by President Bill Clinton. Basically all the mass media is owned by like six companies (whose CEOs all have lunch together), and they typically have much bigger business interests than news.

Like the Washington Post, now owned by Amazon - which just got likea half billion dollar contract to provide computer services for the CIA. How objective to you think the Post will be anyhow?

I would suggest that the mass media needs to be broken up, and not allowed to be owned by a parent company with other business interests (Amazon, GE, etc.). Let them rise and fall based on their journalism, let them not all be reading from the same centrally approved script, and I think that would help enormously.

Posted by: TG | Oct 17 2017 12:30 utc | 36

A hint of the extent and depth of the CIA's involvement in this sort of stuff is given in Frances Saunder's 'Who Paid the Piper?'

Posted by: Anonymous | Oct 17 2017 12:47 utc | 37

Speaking of Robert Parry, he wrote an article on Consortium that starts out with an interesting premise but then I get lost ...

It’s the 1980’s, the press doesn’t trust the govt, Reagan co-ops NGO’s to create an alternative feed to get the govt narrative out to the press that isn’t tainted by untrusted govt sources. This makes sense but when did the MSM go from being the 1970’s bulldogs who are skeptical of the govt narrative to becoming Stepford Wives who fiercely protect it? This is the part I am missing. It feels like there is more to the story.

Did the CIA take over all of the journalism schools? I am being facetious but quite frankly, it might as well have been.

If anyone has an opinion no this I'd appreciate it.

Posted by: Christian Chuba | Oct 17 2017 13:12 utc | 38

Parry covers most of how it was done in this article

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 17 2017 13:59 utc | 39

"This makes sense but when did the MSM go from being the 1970’s bulldogs who are skeptical of the govt narrative to becoming Stepford Wives who fiercely protect it? This is the part I am missing. It feels like there is more to the story."

Sometime during the Clintoon years, it would seem, the controlling agencies and the liberals came to terms with a compromise between global wars and social justice.

We'll give you your press for your social justice but stay away from critical press about our engineered economic chaos and our subsequent wars.

Posted by: JSonofa | Oct 17 2017 15:02 utc | 40

@40 Something like that. Then they came up with the 'right to protect' idea that made war more palatable even noble.

Posted by: dh | Oct 17 2017 15:11 utc | 41

Thanks Peter. Yes, that is another piece of the puzzle. I'll call it 'lazy MSM Syndrome'.

A 'foreign policy expert' from the Heritage Foundation or the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (or whatever), spoon feeds them the govt narrative, 'Russia is attacking bunnies', 'Iran is a terrorist state', ...

I still think that there is another piece of the puzzle. The MSM hosts are not just dupes, they are Commissars. After hearing the govt crony, masquerading as an independent expert, praise Trump's decision to decertify the Iranian nuclear agreement, I heard the host add, 'and don't forget the #1 state sponsor of terrorism'. Thanks Einstein, I haven't heard that for at least 45 minutes.

On the Trish Regan show, there was a former Intelligence Analyst who she sensed was on the wrong side of the issue and asked him, 'do you favor decertification?'. He gave the wrong answer, I don't think that I'll ever see him again.

I recall reading an article where the govt actually cultivated contacts to plant stories in the MSM. This would create an incestuous relationship and destroy the 'watchdog press'.

Posted by: Christian Chuba | Oct 17 2017 16:24 utc | 42

@35 Scotch,
That looks like microwave (wireless, cell-phone spectrum) communications gear for relatively short-range transmission and a few satellite dishes for long-range communication. If you wanted to create "stay-behind" networks inside Syria with contacts to external powers (given that the Syrian army looks likely to regain control over the entire country) that would be a way to do it. Probably something the CIA, Jordan, Saudi, Israel would be interested in doing.

There's also the "internet in a suitcase" possibility. Back in 2011-2012, there were all these major media articles about this approach, which would allow groups to post-high resolution video taken in "hostile zones" where they couldn't access the normal network. . . Now about all those ISIS videos that were circulated around the world in 2013, 2014? Did the CIA give the "internet in a suitcase" to ISIS? That would be bad PR if it came to light.
Forbes. . . 2012/03/08/internet-in-a-suitcase-the-web-technology

The U.S. State Department awarded the group a US$2 million grant to develop innovative ways to sustain an Internet infrastructure in virtually any type of environment. Dubbed "Internet-in-a-Suitcase," by newspapers, the project basically aims to pioneer ways to make the Web available anywhere with added security layers, even in the event of an official shutdown.

The weird thing is, you can't find much discussion of "internet in a suitcase" since 2012. Which probably means it was developed and deployed around the world, and ISIS was using it to spread their hi-res PR videos globally. Those pictures, that could be part of such a package.

Posted by: nonsense factory | Oct 17 2017 17:28 utc | 43

43 "internet in a suitcase"?

All thats required in the way of hardware to access internet anywhere is satellite dish and modem. An account with a service provider or some way of accessing their service is more difficult.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 17 2017 18:09 utc | 44

@44 It's a build-your-own-local-internet approach, completely disconnected from any external monitoring system and not easily monitored or controlled by any national government. Probably not the kind of thing the NSA would like to see inside the USA. Look up "mesh-networked cell phone system" for something similar. In that system, each cell phone acts as a wireless base and transmitter - so hundreds of cell phones spread across a wide region can form a cellular network because each phone acts to pass on messages from other phones to their final recipient. Since there are no central control points, it is difficult to monitor or shut down. They were first developed for military communications ("Frequency hopping mesh networking").

The problem for the CIA is that if, for example, Saudi dissidents got their hands on it, they could communicate without the Saudi government being able to spy on them. They passed it out in the Ukraine prior to the coup, I think. The sponsor of the project, the New America Foundation, is partially funded by the Omidyar Network. You'd actually expect the CIA to have passed it around in Syria, however.

Posted by: nonsense factory | Oct 17 2017 18:54 utc | 45

Scotch Bingeington@35 - The comm guys here say it looks like stuff for a long-range microwave (5GHz) MIMO wireless network. Basically like a home WiFi network on steroids with better antennas. nonsense factory@43 - I almost forgot about 'Internet in a suitecase'. Haven't heard that in ages; the guys in the comm shop were in tears. You're basically right, though - except this system isn't meant to be portable. So, JihadiNet© in a crate.

The parabolic antenna in the picture isn't satellite, just WiFi. Maybe 25km range for the parabolic antenna talking to another one. It isn't 'plain' simple-channel 5GHz home WiFi, but MIMO: Multi-Input Multi-Output. Great for high-throughput WiFi in your typical multi-jihadi environments. The range is sufficient to connect to various CIA/MI6/Mossad operations networks just across the Jordanian border (not that anyone would do that - just saying). You could download the latest US military high-res satellite imagery of SAA positions from your 'friends' in Jordan in just minutes and share it with your jihadi pals. That's just a completely random example. MIMO is pretty secure, but jihadis always write their passwords on their left arm with a Magic Marker. Head-choppers are the absolute worst at COMSEC.

The parabolic dish and land-mine antennas look pretty much like some of Latvia's MikroTik products. Not mil grade by any means. This is the 'affordable' version for head-choppers on a budget. MikroTik only sell through distributors, so you have to click on one of them here to see what products they offer. Here's an example showing the 20-pack of land mines - and it's well below the manufacturer's suggested retail price! A typical setup would be point-to-multipoint, so each dish talking to a few land mines. The land mines have an ethernet connection on the back. Just plug in your iWahhabi laptop and your ready to start uploading vids to Rita Katz.

The rest of the stuff is anyone's guess. Looks to small to me to be typical cell tower sector antennas. I'll guess wireless access points to go along with everything else.

I'll also remind MoA readers that the MikroTik User Meeting in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia is only five days away! Keep in mind this friendly warning from your hosts:

Insurance Please, note that organizers cannot provide any type of insurance for participants. Participants of the Symposium are recommended to arrange individual insurance.

It would also be a good idea not to mention the Daraa seizure unless you've taken care of the insurance thing above. Tell them Langley says 'Hi'.

nonsense factory@45 - We already have backdoors into both the microprocessors and ethernet comm chips in this stuff. It's really no problem for us to listen in (when we're not busy watching porn).

Posted by: PavewayIV | Oct 17 2017 22:09 utc | 46

nonsense factory
Recalled reading about US supplying moderate terrorists with local propaganda net after posting.
I got a bit sidetracked because ISIS/AQ cannot access WWW unless US allows it. Amaq used to publish through wordpress but has now moved to cloudflare, a California based company.

Paveway, you are a mine of information. Checked out the comms through sites that sold various brand names, pics at AMN all matched MikroTik
One dish looking up at a www. sat would connect them all to the world.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 18 2017 6:06 utc | 47

Poster child @bana in Aleppo, raqqa24, deirezzor24, aleppo24, white helmets in Idlib, all connected to the internet and twitter.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 18 2017 6:19 utc | 48

‘Independent’ or ‘investigative’ or just ‘bloody opiniated doing their best’ journalism is terminally dead, as far as MSM like WaPo etc. is concerned.

Such papers are super controlled by owners who have a stake in corps. Buyers of the press think acquiring newspapers will be a great propaganda boost, plus it awards ‘stature’ to the owners; and that the fakelorum of the ‘establishment’ will see them reap some benefits, positives, returns.

Rich criminals also fund art, orchestras not to mention orphanages, etc. to gild their mugs on the socialite scene and ‘infiltrate’ what they see as the wielders of social power, I need not go on.

Journalists are today just poor dopes who painfully try to grind out the cr*p with hackneyed bewildering prose. There are very few of them, they are paid peanuts because the information-function of the MSM newspapers no longer exists. (Though working for a newspaper still affords some social kudos .. in a bar with sexy ..)

The WaPo and the like should just have robots produce the columns, that would be cheaper and maybe more entertaining, like there might be leaps involving Kardashian, Karzakstan, Kardamon, or whatever.

Interesting though that many scoundrels believed the paper MSM was worth controlling. In a way that *holds* as there are many ppl who will buy/read not to get news, but to construct what message they, as subservient minions in the 15%, are supposed to opine, adhere to, quote, etc. to remain amongst the lower tier subservient to the top dogs.

Posted by: Noirette | Oct 18 2017 16:14 utc | 49

Peter AU 1@47 - MikroTik makes a lot of the hardware/firmware, but the head-choppers were probably building a Ubiquiti network. The end-user access points (white rectangular box on two brackets) look like their M-series line, and the best I can make out the logo on the front, I would say it's the LocoM5 flavor. Ubiquity rebrands the MikroTek stuff, and the parabolic antennas look like what Ubiquity sells as the PowerBridge (big dishes in front) and PowerBeam (smaller set of dishes in back).

Ubiquity does not sell the land mine narrow-beam antennas, but you can use them on a Ubiquity network. They're better (and far cheaper) than anything comparable in the Ubiquity line. Takes a bit of a network geek to set this stuff up and configure it - especially the land-mines - but the networks are amazingly resilient and fast. People use these kind of setups in the states to resell internet access (like a mini-ISP) in rural areas or at vacation rentals. If you have a fiber or other broadband connection, you can get maybe a dozen or two customers. Each of them won't have simultaneous broadband speeds, of course. And an IP phones also work fine on these networks.

Not legal in the states and an ISP would go ballistic if they found out, but I know guys who do it for spare cash and would use the "I was just helping my brother-in-law" excuse. Doubt an ISP would even notice. I'm sure the head-choppers are more interested in city-wide, secure communications than anything else, but it's no problem to have a line out to an ISP as well. Now I mention Jordan because I wouldn't think there's much broadband IP service to Daraa. A sat link, cell phone IP or 'friends in Jordan' are probably it.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Oct 18 2017 17:02 utc | 50

I noticed in recent years that the MSM said that some stories came from "activists." That was more honest but they had to know that most people getting their stories did not know what this meant for the credibility of the content.

Posted by: Curtis | Oct 18 2017 23:12 utc | 51


A team at Flinders uni in Australia developed a free Android app after bushfires knocked out the phone system.

Serval is a telecommunications system comprised of at least two mobile phones that are able to work outside of regular mobile phone tower range due thanks to the Serval App and Serval Mesh.

Posted by: Bolt | Oct 19 2017 3:54 utc | 52

@46 PWIV “The comm guys here”??
Who & where pray tell?

Posted by: Lozion | Oct 19 2017 4:37 utc | 53

Paveway 50.
a lot of info there. Thanks.
In Syria/Iraq, I think some of the ISP's are knowingly in on the deal. The bullshit comming out of the so called US led coaltion about defeating ISIS propaganda when ISIS have no problems getting an account with wordpress or cloudflare. AQ don't seem to have a problem posting pics and statements to the internet either.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 19 2017 5:50 utc | 54

Lozion@53 - Langley, WV of course, headquarters of our 'company'. I'm the asset (mole) assigned to MoA. I'm actually assigned to monitor James. We never did trust the Canadians and someone said they have oil. Regime-changin' time! Besides, they're right across the Atlantic from Russia. Tell me *that's* just a coincidence!

Posted by: PavewayIV | Oct 19 2017 15:12 utc | 55

@PavewayIV | Oct 17, 2017 6:09 Looks like something easy to detect and destroy.

Posted by: PeacefulProsperity | Oct 19 2017 16:35 utc | 56

@55 Humor works well for plausible denialibility.. ;)

Posted by: Lozion | Oct 20 2017 22:52 utc | 57

As a general comment, you need to understand that western media have one ideal: they are intent on one thing, and that is to only to make profits for their lords and masters. Nothing else.

Western journalists are usually not there to inform and educate. Just to sell headlines.

Which represents a fail of democracy, since a sensible democracy must rely on unfiltered truth, in order for the citizens to have an un-bigoted view, an intelligent opinion, not an simply an externally defined attitude.

This is why have I have little respect for democracy, it's become a system of bullshit, lots of self-important declarations, with does not represent reality, just a set of over-civilized opinions. As an example, what do you really think the general term 'Freedom' actually means?

Nothing. The concept of Freedom only applies to particular actions. You have the freedom to do this thing, or that thing. It's not a word that defines anything, into or unto itself. When a politician declares freedom, what do they actually mean? Usually, it means a limited concept, you have the right to vote for THEM.

Unfortunately, too many people can't figure that out, simply think that 'Democracy' actually means something real, that their individual vote is somehow meaningful. Well, that generally isn't the case.

It's a system of confidence tricksters: Believe in me! Because I spend billion of dollars on promoting myself via my good mates that own our commercial media outlets! Nod, nod, wink, wink! Paid for double-plus-good-think!

Really, think about what you believe, and why, not just what you feel. Just feeling good is not a necessarily a good survival instinct.

Posted by: Ant. | Oct 21 2017 13:00 utc | 58

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