Sunday, September 06, 2015

CNN and the NYT mis-report the Syrian refugee crisis. (Added note: And here comes The Guardian...!)

(Readers, I ask you to spread the word about this post. Do what you can to counter the propaganda.)

While dining at a fast food restaurant yesterday, I caught a bit of a CNN report on Syrian refugees in Europe. CNN's hideously slanted reporting was almost as horrifying as the plight of the refugees.

Basically, CNN intercut footage of the bedraggled refugees with shots of "central casting" protestors holding up anti-Assad signs. Since all of the signs were in English, we may safely presume that the central casting protestors were filmed in America, not in Hungary.

This was not a news report. This was a scene from Wag the Dog.

In reality, the protestors are not fleeing Bashar Assad. Assad has been running things in Syria since 2000; there were no refugees until Al Qaeda (aka al Nusra) and ISIS conquered large amounts of Syrian territory and began to persecute all non-Sunnis.

What the refugees are fleeing is not the government of Bashar Assad but the vile behavior of ISIS -- the maniacs who are trying to topple Assad.

Don't take my word for it. That's the way NBC calls it:
Syrian Refugees Escaping ISIS Put Lives at Risk on Dangerous Seas

The brutality of ISIS and the ongoing war in Syria has triggered the biggest wave of refugees in modern history.
And here:
Migrants Who Escaped ISIS, War and Syria Chant 'We Are Human'
I was not able to see the entire CNN report, so I don't know if it got better as it went along. But the part that I did see was so outrageously biased I nearly choked on a french fry.

The only way to solve the refugee problem is to end the Syrian conflict, which can be done rapidly and simply. The United States should join forces with the governments of Russia, Syria and Iran in their heroic fight against ISIS. The insufferable nations of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey and Israel should be directed to stop aiding ISIS and Nusra (and to get the hell out of Yemen). If those bellicose governments refuse to comply, these countries should be attacked and conquered military, and their current leaders should be made to face an international tribunal.

A blogger can dream, can't he?

The New York Times is just as bad.  Nicholas Kristof's NYT piece on the refugee crisis is, in its subtle way, every bit as deceptive as CNN's exercise in Orwellianism.
In any case, let’s be clear that the ultimate solution isn’t to resettle Syrians but to allow them to go home.

“Stopping the barrel bombs will save more refugees dying on the route to Europe than any other action, because people want to return to live in their homes,” noted Lina Sergie Attar, a Syrian-American writer and architect.
There's nothing here about the true causes of the Syrian war. Nothing here about ISIS. Nothing here about the aid ISIS and Nusra have received from Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey (and indirectly, from the United States and Israel). Nothing here about the largely fictional nature of both the "Free Syrian Army" and those alleged "moderate rebels" we keep hearing about. (You know: The ones who are always described as "vetted.") Nothing here about General Petraeus' insane suggestion that America should aid Nusra/Al Qaeda. Nothing here about Israel's mad determination to see Assad overthrown.

Let's talk about Lina Sergie Attar, who was cited by Kristof. She is another neocon propagandist -- albeit one who knows how to make herself attractive to American liberals and intellectuals. These are her words:
People believed that documenting repeated chemical weapons attacks would eventually end them. Instead, Obama’s “red line” became a green light for the Assad regime to continue using chemical weapons, including chlorine-laden bombs, even after a United Nations Security Council resolution to ban them. People believed that more than 55,000 smuggled images of tortured, skeleton-like corpses in Assad’s prisons would create an international outrage that would finally send Assad and his regime where they belonged—a trial at The Hague. Instead, Syrians were left alone to battle Assad, Al-Qaida and ISIS
Can you believe this nonsense? It has been established beyond the point of rational debate that the rebels, not Assad's forces, were the ones who used chemical weapons.

And as for those photos: Before you believe Attar and her fellow neocons, you should read this. I've written two previous posts about those photos, the number of which keeps growing with each telling. (That fact alone indicates the bogus nature of this atrocity tale.) See here and here. Bottom line: The source for those photos is a defector named Caesar, who gives every indication of being another "Curveball."

(Remember him? Remember how this government -- and our pundit class -- decided that Curveball was a credible source? Remember what happened?)

Caesar's handler appears to be Mouaz Moustafa, who links up with WINEP (a front for AIPAC). Moreover, Caesar's report was brought to us by the Saudis and the Qataris -- the same people who funded ISIS!

One measure of Caesar's believability is the fact that he has relentlessly pushed the "Assad created ISIS" disinformation meme. That propaganda line was so ludicrous that the propagandists soon had to abandon it.

With that in mind, let's take another look at Attar's last sentence -- "Syrians were left alone to battle Assad, Al-Qaida and ISIS." These words have been cleverly designed to give uneducated Americans the impression that Assad is somehow allied with Al Qaeda and ISIS. Is Attar trying to resurrect Caesar's "Assad created ISIS" horseshit? I think she is.

In fact, ISIS and Assad have always been enemies, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. ISIS and Nusra are trying to conquer Assad's government. Lina Sergie Attar knows full well that if Assad were to fall, ISIS would rule in Damascus.

Let's be crystal clear: There is no third choice. Even President Obama used the word "fantasy" to to describe other possible outcomes. Either ISIS and Nusra will rule Syria, or Assad will win. PERIOD. Anyone who tells you otherwise is a paid liar.

Attar may claim to be anti-ISIS, but her stance is objectively pro-ISIS. She is a staunch supporter of a revolution which can end only with the installation of the Islamic State in Damascus.

In this piece, Attar praises the Libyan revolution. Nobody has any fond memories of Khaddafy, of course -- but who are the rebels? Why doesn't Attar mention their ties to Al Qaeda? Most importantly, how is Libya doing now?

I'll save you the trouble of Googling the answer: Libya is a complete nightmare -- a failed state. Libya's current predicament offers a foretaste of what will happen to Syria if Assad falls.

"I write, tweet, and breathe the Syrian Revolution," Attar says on her Twitter page, knowing full well that this revolution is precisely what caused the refugee crises.

And yet Kristoff dares to cite this woman in a piece about the refugees! Nicholas Kristoff, you are the one who needs an empathy transplant.

Then again, what can one expect from someone who writes about foreign affairs for the NYT? In recent years, that publication which has become a liberal analog to Fox News, relentlessly trying to sell neoconservatism and war to moderates and progressives.

Added note: In the UK, The Guardian fulfills the NYT's function -- selling the latest neocon horseshit to liberals. The Guardian told its readers "bomb Assad and save the refugees," knowing full well that the refugees were created by ISIS and Nusra, not by Assad, a secular leader who has pursued a policy of tolerance for all religions and ethnic groups in Syria.

This morning, we are being inundated with headlines telling us that we must solve the refugee crisis by getting rid of Assad and replacing him with ISIS. We've not seen such a propaganda barrage since 2003.


Hildy said...

I love the way you're keeping it real in regard war and killing people.
Thanks again for packing more truthful information in a blog post than most war reporters could write in a book.
Floods of refugees all over the world and floods of homeless in the good ol US of A.
Displacement seems to be an end game of sorts.

Joseph Cannon said...

Just a "heads up" to the reader: One of the conspiratards at Rigorous Intuition linked to this story. I supposed I should be grateful for the extra hits. But I'm angry that my comment about "central casting" protestors was used to buttress the right-wing fantasy that news events (such as the Sandy Hook shooting) are created with "crisis actors."

That is NOT what I meant. Leave it to the towering intellectuals at R.I. to transform a serious post into something asinine.

Look, I'm not exactly sure where CNN got that footage. Only CNN knows for sure. Maybe the protestors in that CNN newspiece were legitimate anti-Assad activists; maybe they were a front group of some sort. At this point, it doesn't matter.

What matters is that CNN intercut file footage of a (rather tiny) anti-Assad streetside protest with footage of the Syrian refugees.

In other words, CNN used deceptive editing to convey the impression that all of those refugees have all been running from Assad. In fact, they are running from Assad's enemies.

THAT was what I was trying to say.

If you are one of those right-wing conspiracy-addled assholes who thinks that every school shooting is an exercise in theater created with "crisis actors," please do NOT link to this blog. I do not like you and I do not want you as a reader. Go away, idiot.

Today's subject is Syria. Not anything else. SYRIA. Understand?

And if any readers now want to hijack this post and transform it into a discussion of "crisis actors" -- well, save your energy. Don't expect your comments to show up. I will not allow this important story to be commandeered by fools and trolls.

Terry said...

I wholeheartedly agree. The only way is to help Assad. Certain stipulations could be agreed upon in exchange for full support, perhaps even get Israel in on it. And if the latter were the case, Congress and the Senate would come on board. If Obama really wanted to make a difference in his last term, close cooperation with Russia on a number of issues would really blow some minds.

And then there's this:
"Turkish TV interviews Syrian refugees : 'We Didn't Leave Because of Assad ' (English Translation)"

Those anti-Assad signs perhaps can be attributed to CIA influence, ala Mockingbird, at the production/editing level. The "Cold War" is still on. Every interest of Russia is undermined by the US and vice versa. It's only the main battlefield that has shifted from Europe to the Middle East.

Alessandro Machi said...

Is it safe to presume that every middle eastern government that was toppled over the past several years has resulted in terrorist groups who are even worse taking their place?

James said...

I'd be willing to bet that this seemingly spontaneous mass emigration is actually being carefully orchestrated by the same forces responsible for financing and directing the terrorist armies currently tearing Syria apart. I'd also be willing to bet that within ranks of legitimate refugees are swarms of battle-hardened ISIS fighters eagerly following orders and preparing to bring the battle to their western enemies.

What better way to transfer your terrorist army than to trojan horse it into those nations you wish to further destabilize under the auspices of humanitarianism? Notice which of the nations in the Middle East are also abjectly refusing to welcome any refugees from their wars.

Anonymous said...

al jazeera america probably has the best coverage of the refugee crisis. They make the point that yes, Asad is a dictator who oppressed the people of Syria, but ISIL (how Al jazeera prefers to refer to them) are the ones causing this massive refugee crisis (and not just in Syria but throughout the region) and if we allow Asad to be taken down the horrors in Syria will become even worse.