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Atrocities in the Middle East

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  • Atrocities in the Middle East

    I was interested to learn why we, the UK and others are quite so keen to rescue al-Qaeda from Aleppo and deliver them, armed, to Idlib in order to continue their campaign of rape, murder and repression. Then I read about the discovery among the population of East Aleppo, of a group of US, UK, Qatari, Saudi military advisers, who appear to be helping al-Qaeda in their campaign. Unearthed as the safe space for AQ has diminished to nothing. Oops.

    But AQ have burned the buses which were to rescue civilians from the counterparty villages which were to be evacuated at the same time, and have murdered the drivers. That might affect rescuing the US, UK etc miltary advisers. Oops.

    Also interested to read this, not the kind of thing I imagine gets much prime time coverage in the West.

    ''

    Coverage of the Syrian war will be remembered as one of the most shameful episodes in the history of the American press. Reporting about carnage in the ancient city of Aleppo is the latest reason why.

    For three years, violent militants have run Aleppo. Their rule began with a wave of repression. They posted notices warning residents: “Don’t send your children to school. If you do, we will get the backpack and you will get the coffin.” Then they destroyed factories, hoping that unemployed workers would have no recourse other than to become fighters. They trucked looted machinery to Turkey and sold it.

    This month, people in Aleppo have finally seen glimmers of hope. The Syrian army and its allies have been pushing militants out of the city. Last week they reclaimed the main power plant. Regular electricity may soon be restored. The militants’ hold on the city could be ending.

    Militants, true to form, are wreaking havoc as they are pushed out of the city by Russian and Syrian Army forces. “Turkish-Saudi backed ‘moderate rebels’ showered the residential neighborhoods of Aleppo with unguided rockets and gas jars,” one Aleppo resident wrote on social media. The Beirut-based analyst Marwa Osma asked, “The Syrian Arab Army, which is led by President Bashar Assad, is the only force on the ground, along with their allies, who are fighting ISIS — so you want to weaken the only system that is fighting ISIS?”

    This does not fit with Washington’s narrative. As a result, much of the American press is reporting the opposite of what is actually happening. Many news reports suggest that Aleppo has been a “liberated zone” for three years but is now being pulled back into misery.

    Americans are being told that the virtuous course in Syria is to fight the Assad regime and its Russian and Iranian partners. We are supposed to hope that a righteous coalition of Americans, Turks, Saudis, Kurds, and the “moderate opposition” will win.

    This is convoluted nonsense, but Americans cannot be blamed for believing it. We have almost no real information about the combatants, their goals, or their tactics. Much blame for this lies with our media.

    Under intense financial pressure, most American newspapers, magazines, and broadcast networks have drastically reduced their corps of foreign correspondents. Much important news about the world now comes from reporters based in Washington. In that environment, access and credibility depend on acceptance of official paradigms. Reporters who cover Syria check with the Pentagon, the State Department, the White House, and think tank “experts.” After a spin on that soiled carousel, they feel they have covered all sides of the story. This form of stenography produces the pabulum that passes for news about Syria.

    Astonishingly brave correspondents in the war zone, including Americans, seek to counteract Washington-based reporting. At great risk to their own safety, these reporters are pushing to find the truth about the Syrian war. Their reporting often illuminates the darkness of groupthink. Yet for many consumers of news, their voices are lost in the cacophony. Reporting from the ground is often overwhelmed by the Washington consensus.

    Washington-based reporters tell us that one potent force in Syria, al-Nusra, is made up of “rebels” or “moderates,” not that it is the local al-Qaeda franchise. Saudi Arabia is portrayed as aiding freedom fighters when in fact it is a prime sponsor of ISIS. Turkey has for years been running a “rat line” for foreign fighters wanting to join terror groups in Syria, but because the United States wants to stay on Turkey’s good side, we hear little about it. Nor are we often reminded that although we want to support the secular and battle-hardened Kurds, Turkey wants to kill them. Everything Russia and Iran do in Syria is described as negative and destabilizing, simply because it is they who are doing it — and because that is the official line in Washington.

    Inevitably, this kind of disinformation has bled into the American presidential campaign. At the recent debate in Milwaukee, Hillary Clinton claimed that United Nations peace efforts in Syria were based on “an agreement I negotiated in June of 2012 in Geneva.” The precise opposite is true. In 2012 Secretary of State Clinton joined Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Israel in a successful effort to kill Kofi Annan’s UN peace plan because it would have accommodated Iran and kept Assad in power, at least temporarily. No one on the Milwaukee stage knew enough to challenge her.

    Politicians may be forgiven for distorting their past actions. Governments may also be excused for promoting whatever narrative they believe best suits them. Journalism, however, is supposed to remain apart from the power elite and its inbred mendacity. In this crisis it has failed miserably.

    Americans are said to be ignorant of the world. We are, but so are people in other countries. If people in Bhutan or Bolivia misunderstand Syria, however, that has no real effect. Our ignorance is more dangerous, because we act on it. The United States has the power to decree the death of nations. It can do so with popular support because many Americans — and many journalists — are content with the official story. In Syria, it is: “Fight Assad, Russia, and Iran! Join with our Turkish, Saudi, and Kurdish friends to support peace!” This is appallingly distant from reality. It is also likely to prolong the war and condemn more Syrians to suffering and death.


    ''

  • #2
    ''Journalism, however, is supposed to remain apart from the power elite and its inbred mendacity'', herein lies a part of the problem with the brexit vote. The media these days are intrinsically linked to the establishment, brexit is a part of divide and conquer, vilification of Russia is part of a plan (with public support) to install puppet governments to easily access oil....like in Saudi. None of their human rights are ever discussed, none of their war on Yemen starvign millions of people is ever frowned upon in a serious way.

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    • #3
      Is that John Pilger?

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      • #4
        I've seen it as a secondary source without details of its origin, but I follow news sources from different regions and it is clear we are given a less than transparent story, the BBC is as bad as others for this especially when it come to foreign affairs.

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        • #5
          This is from Peter Oborne, and another eye-opener on the mistruths the media sell us for their own agenda. Remember the media owners are all billionaires, the sort that hangout with the Rothschilds and the Royal family.
          ''
          It’s time to judge Assad’s Aleppo campaign by the standards that we set ourselves in Mosul

          For the past few weeks, British newspapers have been informing their readers about two contrasting battles in the killing grounds of the Middle East. One is Mosul, in northern Iraq, where western reporters are accompanying an army of liberation as it frees a joyful population from terrorist control. The other concerns Aleppo, just a few hundred miles to the west. This, apparently, is the exact opposite. Here, a murderous dictator, hellbent on destruction, is waging war on his own people.

          Both these narratives contain strong elements of truth. There is no question that President Assad and his Russian allies have committed war crimes, and we can all agree that Mosul will be far better off without Isis. Nevertheless, the situations in Mosul and Aleppo are fundamentally identical. In both cases, forces loyal to an internationally recognised government are attacking well-populated cities, with the aid of foreign air power. These cities are under the control of armed groups or terrorists, who are holding a proportion of their population hostage.

          In Mosul, fewer than 10,000 Isis fighters control about a million people. In eastern Aleppo, it is estimated that about 5,000 armed men, the majority linked to al–Qaeda, dominate a population of about 200,000. In each case the armed groups use the zones they occupy to attack government areas with rockets, mortars and other weapons.

          So Prime Minister al-Abadi in Iraq and President Assad in Syria face the same dilemma. Should they do nothing for fear of killing civilians? Or do they take air action and eliminate the so-called rebels, but at terrible cost in innocent blood as they wage merciless war against ruthless insurgents?

          In both cases, enormous bloodshed could be prevented if the terrorist groups let the civilian population leave. Last month the UN special envoy to Syria, Staffan de Mistura, pleaded with Jabhat Fateh al-Sham (formerly al-Qaeda, but now decoupled and rebranded) to do just that: ‘One thousand of you are deciding the destiny of 270,000 civilians.’ He pointedly used the word ‘hostage’ to describe the way these civilians were being held by the rebels and not by Assad.

          This episode highlighted the double standard about western reporting of these terrible problems. In Mosul, western reporters travelling with the invading Iraqi army publish pictures of joyful populations liberated from the jihadists. In Aleppo, the attempt to free the city from al-Qaeda control is portrayed as a remorseless attack on the civilian population.

          Assad and his allies have carried out war crimes. But that is not the whole story. When I visited the government-held areas of Aleppo earlier this year, I met scores of people who had fled for their lives from al–Qaeda or Isis in the east of the city. They told me hideous stories of how these jihadists, very few of whom were Syrian, had enforced a brutal form of sharia law, abolished education in schools and forced women to wear burkas and stay at home.

          In western Aleppo, I found a woman in a government building where she had come to collect her salary as a teacher (government employees in rebel-held areas are still paid by the regime, even though they are no longer allowed to work). She told me how she was preparing to return home to rejoin her husband and children. She had no doubt at all what fate awaited her: ‘The fighters are preparing ambushes with explosives. They are moving their wives and families out. They are keeping us as human shields.’

          Western reports about the fighting in Mosul have made much of the liberated churches. Yet exactly the same narrative applies across Syria. Two years ago I joined Syrian government forces as they freed the eastern city of Maaloula (where Aramaic, the language of Christ, is still spoken). The famous monastery above the town had been dreadfully desecrated by al-Qaeda. In Aleppo, the Christian community has collapsed from 200,000 before the war to maybe 25,000 today. This is because Christians in Aleppo know that if the British and US-backed jihadists in the east win the war, they will be slaughtered.

          A further double standard concerns the reporting of Russian and Syrian atrocities. Much has — rightly — been made of the so-called barrel bombs dropped on Aleppo by the Russians. Yet rebel commanders in eastern Aleppo use equally hideous weapons. Last April, fighters from Jaish al-Islam, backed by Saudi Arabia and considered moderate enough that American diplomats retain relations with them, admitted to using chemical weapons against the Kurds in Aleppo. This attack received almost no attention from the media, and failed to generate the faintest outrage in Britain.

          Jaish al-Islam employ a so-called ‘hell cannon’ to fire gas canisters and shrapnel weighing up to 40 kilograms into civilian areas. These are every bit as murderous as the barrel bombs. Reports in the western press have suggested that hell cannons are examples of the engineering ingenuity of plucky rebels. Few journalists have dwelled on the fact that these improvised weapons have been deliberately used to kill hundreds of Aleppo civilians.

          Yet another double standard applies to the destruction of hospitals. When I was in Aleppo, I interviewed Mohamad El-Hazouri, head of the department of health, at the Razi hospital. He told me that when rebel groups entered the city they put six of the 16 hospitals out of service, as well as 100 of the 201 health centres, and wiped out the ambulance service.

          An Aleppo eye hospital, which had been one of the greatest treatment centres in northern Syria, had been turned into a jail for detainees by the rebels. He said that his workers went to great lengths to supply hospitals in the rebel areas. Often they were rebuffed.

          There is a wider pattern at work here. When opponents of the West try to reclaim urban areas from terrorists, they are denounced. When our allies do the same — think of Israel in Gaza or the Saudis in Yemen — we defend them. We judge Assad by one set of rules, and ourselves and our own allies by another.
          ''

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          • #6
            Well , Tok me sum time to read this .

            VillaGuy , have you ever fought in a war? I mean, do you have experience with that kind of stuff?

            Do'nt get me wrong , it is not a criticism toward your statement.
            It's just a question . And you do'nt have to answer if you do'nt want to .

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            • #7
              Atrocities in the Middle East

              He stated at the beginning that these were another's words/thoughts.

              Not sure why he didn't just put a link up instead of copying and pasting large sections of prose at a time.

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              • #8
                People need to stop watching BBC,SKY news etc
                It's hard to pot balls with a Chimpanzee tea party going on in your head

                Wibble

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                • #9
                  I always find it amazing these rebels are known in the media as 'moderate rebels'. Imagine if hispanics in the USA were armed with rockets and grenades and wanted to take over parts of that country, they wouldn't be labelled as moderate anything. It's another part of the propaganda war, almost excuses these atrocities as being a non serious thing. Clearly the West wants a puppet government in Syria, and this would have bad consequences for stopping having a multipolar world which is necessary to prevent corporate domination that already dominates great swathes of nations.

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                  • #10
                    Hey Villaguy.
                    Do you like or play snooker? Or any other cue sport..?
                    "I got injected with the passion for snooker" - SQ_FLYER
                    National Snooker Expo
                    25-27 October 2019
                    http://nationalsnookerexpo.com

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by the lone wolf View Post
                      Hey Villaguy.
                      Do you like or play snooker? Or any other cue sport..?
                      I thought off topic chat was to do with anything non snooker. Of course I play snooker and English pool....

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by GeordieDS View Post
                        People need to stop watching BBC,SKY news etc
                        Do'nt think that's gonna happens . not for ordinary citizens anyway.

                        Those who really have gone through the war and have fought and saw their friends die in their arms ( I'm not talking about people who have been sitting on a boat in Navy for 3 months because that's just picnic ) . they would know that there are No winners and losers in a war.

                        The only true winner in a war is the war himself.

                        In fact, if you go and try talk to them about war/politic / or that kind of stuff , they'll ignore you.

                        Hence my question in my first post . I was just curious , what kind of guy we're dealing with here.


                        And @ VillaGuy, Yes this is off the topic section. You do'nt have to talk about snooker all the time . ( unless the forum rules has been changed of crs ).

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          The destruction of entire states and social systems in the Middle East is the direct and unarguable consequence of US (and Saudi, Israeli etc) foreign policy.

                          That has created enormous resentment and hostility among both the people personally and directly affected, and others too. Similarly (for example), many Irish people have been brought up to resent the conduct of the British state because of the conduct of the Black and Tans. People don't have to be the personal victim of a direct act of oppression for that to be the case.

                          The actions of the US and others, including us, have created both the material conditions (collapse of the social order, proliferation of weapons, absence of rule of law) and more than enough motivation to strike back. Where those material conditions apply, we see the rise of militias, sometimes ant-west, sometimes pursuing more local grievances, sometimes supported and funded by western states in order to harm Assad and others. Where only the motivation exists, we see random acts of terror.

                          The reason that Isis dress people in orange jumpsuits before beheading them is not because they have a poor sense of fashion, or they have a job lot they bought at discount. It is an obvious reference to Abu Ghraib and other acts of torture, to signal that it is an act of revenge which will stir the sympathy of many people who themselves have not been individually oppressed, but who quite naturally bitterly resent the actions of the self-declared world policeman.

                          Western interference in the ME has created deep opposition, and among the many millions who see that this warmongering interference is utterly morally wrong, a tiny number will choose to take direct action by murdering at random. When these acts of terrorism happen, the general reaction seems to be astonishment, and a refusal to accept that there could be any connection between what we have been doing, and how people react to our serial invasions. To deny the connection frankly seems perverse. And yet we are told that these acts of terror happen not because of our actions, but because "they hate our freedom".

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Ramon View Post
                            Do'nt think that's gonna happens . not for ordinary citizens anyway.

                            Those who really have gone through the war and have fought and saw their friends die in their arms ( I'm not talking about people who have been sitting on a boat in Navy for 3 months because that's just picnic ) . they would know that there are No winners and losers in a war.

                            The only true winner in a war is the war himself.

                            In fact, if you go and try talk to them about war/politic / or that kind of stuff , they'll ignore you.

                            Hence my question in my first post . I was just curious , what kind of guy we're dealing with here.


                            And @ VillaGuy, Yes this is off the topic section. You do'nt have to talk about snooker all the time . ( unless the forum rules has been changed of crs ).
                            I know what the question is, but I don't get the relevance. I mean you could have a grandad in the war and not agree with it, or you could want revenge on the opposition. Same as being in the war, you can follow blindly your instruction, or think those instructions are not what you think yourself. The closest I've come to war is having a fight with a fellow brit over something stupid or my work experience in the BBMF squadron. My grandad on my mums side fought in Burma and was in a japanese POW camp, that's it. I don't support war in the Middle East because before Western companies started drilling oil there and paying for royalty/puppet governments there weren't any wars and the people lived an equal lifestyle. Since this the west has tried to influence things in the region greatly and look what has happened. Yeah the puppet government of Saudi is portrayed as brilliant, I'd like to know what those getting their hands off for shoplifting or women getting stoned to death think about it. I think the whole thing reeks of imperialism and I'm 100% with russia on this debate. Things have gone way to far, we need a secondary power to try and restore freedom before the ME is turned into a capitalist playground with everyone else left in shanty towns.

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                            • #15
                              I don't think the atrocities are due to oppresion, afterall Syria before the war was a upper middle class income nation. Fairly well off for the region in fact. But the war started by the pretence the Syrian government dealt out oppresion, like a psychological weapon by the west. I think the average wage in Syria was $17,000, not too bad compared to neighbouring regions. There was definitely an infiltration of negativity and weapons that led to the war, the rebels are there for a reasion, they are getting weapons from someone afterall! The whole thing is dirty, but watching the BBC blame it on Russia is even dirtier, it's not them who have tried to dethrone an elected leader. Ukraine is a similiar crisis, in Crimea the election was seen by overseas observers, at the time it was democratic, over time it's not

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