Martin Chulov needs a little help getting the narrative straight on Syria. Here are the portions of his article in today’s Guardian we think most in need of work:
A large convoy of Russian vehicles was reportedly on the move through central Syria on Wednesday, sparking new claims that renewed Russian support for the ailing Assad regime could lead to Moscow effectively running the war.
Separately, the citizen journalism project Bellingcat said on Wednesday that photographs of a Russian communications-jamming vehicle in Latakia region proved that a military buildup was under way.
“Newly published images showing a Russian R-166-0.5 (ultra) high-frequency signals (HF/VHF) vehicle driving through Syria’s coastal region now leaves little to no doubt on Russia’s intentions in Syria,” the report said. “The R-166-0.5 provides jam-resistant voice and data communications over a long range, enabling Russian troops to communicate with their bases in the coastal strongholds of Tartus and Latakia while operating far inland.”
“The whole package is being presented by Putin as part of a global and regional endeavour to stop IS,” said Middle East analyst and associate fellow at Chatham House, David Butter. “And, as such, it should provide the basis for cooperation between Russia, the US, the Europeans and the Arabs.
“They are doing more than supplementing the Syrians,” said a senior western official in London. “They are taking over the air war for them. The Syrians are not good at attacking ground forces.”
The Russian intervention comes at an especially complicated time in Syria’s civil war. Battle lines between the regime and a largely homegrown opposition have remained mostly static around Damascus and Aleppo, but have been fluid elsewhere.
However, senior Russian officials have repeatedly told counterparts in the Arab world that their stance stems largely from the US-led intervention in Libya in 2011, which Moscow saw as a trick and a threat to its influence.
“They are very much disrespectful of the regime as a partner and an ally,” said Harling. “But they completely share its view of the war’s cause and structure. They are anti-Islamist, anti-west and anti-democratic.
“They have been fighting a Cold War on their own, which naturally they have been winning in different ways. It plays well at home, where people have nothing but nostalgia to cling on to. They position themselves as standing up to western designs, as exemplified by Syria, and are saying to the region itself that [they] are a power to be contended with.”
Here’s how we think this should read, if we remove the spin (our modifications in italics):
“A large convoy of Russian-built vehicles was reportedly on the move through central Syria on Wednesday. Although Russian-built vehicles have formed a significant part of Syria’s military hardware for many years, some commenters are claiming these particular vehicles imply an increased level of Russian support, though they do not say why.”
Separately, the self-styled one-man “citizen journalism project” Bellingcat, whose “research” has been rejected by many professional analysts and attracted widespread ridicule, said on Wednesday that photographs of a Russian communications-jamming vehicle in Latakia region proved that a military buildup was under way, and used as evidence a photograph of some Russian-made hardware, claiming it “[enabled] Russian troops to communicate with their bases in the coastal strongholds of Tartus and Latakia while operating far inland.”
However, he appears to have forgotten that a Russian-made vehicle doesn’t necessarily have “Russian troops” inside it, and has made an idiotic leap of inference that overlooks the crucial fact Syria is full to bursting with Russian-built military hardware, all being used by Syrians.
“The whole package is […] part of a global and regional endeavour to stop IS,” said Middle East analyst and associate fellow at Chatham House, David Butter. “And, as such, it should provide the basis for cooperation between Russia, the US, the Europeans and the Arabs.”
“They are doing more than supplementing the Syrians,” said a senior western official in London. “They are taking over the air war against ISIS for them. The Syrians are not good at attacking ground forces.”
The Russian intervention comes at an especially complicated time in Syria’s civil war. Battle lines between the regime and a largely western-trained and supplied opposition, consisting almost entirely of radical jihadists have remained mostly static around Damascus and Aleppo, but have been fluid elsewhere.
However, senior Russian officials have repeatedly told counterparts in the Arab world that their stance stems largely from the US-led intervention in Libya in 2011, when the US used a UN mandated no-fly zone as a cover to launch an unsanctioned attack on the Libyan government, which Moscow saw as a trick and a violation of international law.
“They are very much disrespectful of the [Syrian] regime as a partner and an ally,” said Harling. “But they completely share its view of the war’s cause and structure. They are anti-US hegemony and anti-ISIS.
There Mr C, fixed it for you.
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[…] Off Guardian | […]
What is it with their pickup trucks, anyway? When you see them in colour shots they are all orangey with rust, but in the shot that accompanies this article it looks strongly as if all the paint was deliberately stripped off it with a grinder. Is that because orange camo is so happening this year for desert environments, or to conceal where the truck originally came from?
TBH when you look closely at that truck it looks like a bit of image-editing might have been done. The surface does not look entirely authentic.
We know where at least one of those trucks came from. The deep, inscrutable mystery of where you acquire a fleet of identical late model white Toyota pick-ups has yet to be solved. Like ISIS and their orcs they appear to have sprung fully formed out of nowhere. This is clearly the work of Suaron.
Lying by omission. All part of “forming” opinion”, “informed opinion”.
And most people are too stupid, complaisant, trusting etc. (choose your adjective) to notice. Otherwise, more people might read this exercise of yours. I’ve linked it to friends who read the Guardian, all of them “educated” people of course…but I’m not hopeful.
Coping with non-linear thinking and integrating feedback-loops somehow seems to be beyond most people’s intellectual capacity, despite all their “formal” education. What a waste of time “formal” education has turned out to be.
In my experience, for most people, educational qualifications are laurels to rest on. There, they can sit pretty, be “cultured” and not be curious about the world. Unfortunately, that’s how it is for most people.
The standard of journalism at the Guardian is a disgrace…its worse than at the Daily Mail who they regularly denigrate.
I used to comment regularly on Comment Is Free (CiF) until I was to all intents and purposes ‘banned’ several months ago. Whenever I try and log on to comment my page just ‘hangs’ and never goes any further, either that or I get one or two different ‘error’ messages advising me that my browser is no longer compatible or supported or any one of several other reasons. In total over several years I made about 2000 comments under the same username as i’m using here…most of them were at odds with prevailing editorial sentiment and that expressed by the hacks it commissioned. A totally corrupted rag. Nothing more than a propaganda sheet for the Globalists, masquerading as a Socialist paper.
Can’t really understand how the paper is still in business giving its poor circulation…maybe it has ‘friends’ with deep pockets?
I started with the guardian about 2000. This is when I was waking up to the corrupt nature of mainstream media and the guardian appeared to represent a balancing world view compared to Murdoch and the other zionist rags. 1 year ago I got banned for being honest..(may have been longer but cant remember)….thats all I can say. When I asked “why” , I never got a reply apart from being referred to their “terms” etc.
Just like the “economist” and the “Daily Beast” other “great” rags I have been removed “from comment”, the guardian is just a Zionist social Marxist piece of crap.
…Anyway, back to the article. BlackCatte…..very good response.
I just cannot believe they get away with their shit…….but then again I can believe. I have seen it. I have complained about it. I have been banned because of my honesty about it. Fucks me off big time. But at least we have websites like yours where we can talk true and , even though I think its a bit late in the latter part of the final scenario, people are starting to truly wake up. This means we will have more troops on our side for the final battle…..but the front is too wide and involves too many aspects.
#Separatists Referendum #Ukraine: Putin’s Line in the Sand: No Regime Change in #Syria | by MIKE WHITNEY http://ukrainereferendum.blogspot.com/2015/09/putins-line-in-sand-no-regime-change-in.html?spref=tw #Russia #War
The only help Martin Chulov’s article needs is a big boot on one side and a wastepaper bin on the other side.
There, Mr C, I fixed the article for you!
[…] OffGuardian | September 17, 2015 […]
Like their reporting on events in Ukraine, (have to declare an interest, my family used to own a lump of it… those were the days), the Guardian’s coverage of the conflict in Syria is both a disgrace and shameful. In my innocence, before I was exciled to pre-moderation Siberia, (oh, the irony), I imagined the Guardian wanted qualified comments by someone, me, who actually knew something about Ukraine. How wrong I was, my illusions smashed. What is it about knowing something that the Guardian finds so threatening? In truth the Guardian and the rest of the media, learned absolutely nothing from the media catastrophe that was their collective coverage, or cowardice, relating to the attack on Iraq, based on a raft of lies, transparent lies that were never scrutinized properly, if at all. Then we had Libya, which if anything, was even worse than Iraq. More lies and propaganda designed to dupe the public into supporting yet another regime change attack. Now there’s Syria and the same model is followed. Instead of it getting harder, given the disasterous record, attacking foreign countries is getting easier, and this is despite growing oppostion from the general public who don’t understand the logic of sending our armies half-way around the world in order to protect the homeland, or should that be the Fatherland? Sometimes one feels like we’re living in a virtual fascist state, only our leaders are more subtle and wear business suits not uniforms and riding boots. Which makes a big difference, I’m told.
I think they’re so committed to Elliott Higgins’ lies that they can no longer step back. That’s why.
No comments allowed in the Guardian for this article as sure sign that they do not want their lies challenged.
Why on earth do they use bellingcat?
“Why on earth do they use bellingcat?”
Ever since people caught on to the ‘Syrian Observatory for Human Rights’ scam, what else have they got?
I have you know Elliot Higgins is no longer a dilettante nor an amateur. He has a proper job now.
With the Atlantic Council, you mean?