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Comments 25

Syria: The Guardian View on…Things they Just Made Up

by Kit

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The Western MSM are all a flutter: Russia are pulling out of Syria (sort of). They can’t quite decide if it’s a victory, or a defeat. They don’t know if it’s because they ran out of money, are giving up, or it’s all a big lie – but they all agree on two things: 1) Russia have not achieved anything and 2) This is a massive surprise.

Such a surprise that Putin announced the plan five months ago, in a story printed in the Telegraph. This is what the Western world has come to, I suppose, if a politician SAYS he’s going to do something and then actually DOES IT, this is…surprising. How sad.

The Guardian are firmly of the belief that this is “A Bad Thing” – in fact they are so against Russia leaving Syria, that one almost forgets they were just as strongly against Russia entering Syria in the first place. Because Russia and reasons.

Whether in the petulant and childish summation “written” by Shaun Walker, or this one of their ridiculous “Guardian view” editorials (written anonymously, of course), the battle lines are being drawn: The fight is with reality.

The Walker piece is standard Walker-fare. Long on snide one-liners, short on content. Long on narrative, short on evidence. He describes the withdrawal as a move “analysts never saw coming” – presumably because none of them read the Telegraph. It’s threaded throughout with dishonest and inappropriate things:

…the end forever of the burgeoning bromance between the Turkish and Russian presidents…”

A less creative reporter, one with a sense of shame perhaps, would have used the phrase “worsening of Russia-Turkish relations. Walker is above such things – there is nothing so serious it can’t be livened up with mockery and snarkiness. Not even war. He continues:

Not to mention the repeated insistence that the Syria bombing has not resulted in any civilian casualties, despite ever-mounting evidence to the contrary.”

The link to this “mounting evidence”? It’s a Guardian aticle from 4 months ago – about a family who got bombed. The rebel commanders and American “experts” (the only sources quoted) know it was the Russians because “it happened at night”.

Oh and then this:

But if there is indeed now a withdrawal, it will prevent the Syria mission from turning into a long, drawn-out affair with rising Russian casualties.

Rising…from three. Who were all killed by Turkey.

For while it is true the mission of defeating Isis has not been accomplished…

And here, here we come to the most insidious and important lie. It’s a theme that is repeated in “The Guardian View..”. The headline proclaims:

Russia’s Syria U-turn: no kind of victory”

Which is, literally, as factually incorrect as a statement can be. It is not a U-Turn, observe the Telegraph link above, and it is certainly a kind of victory.

If there is one thing that Mr Putin’s announcement makes plain, it is that Russia’s claim that it was moving into Syria to combat Islamic State”

This has been a favorite line in the press since the Russian operation began – it is a lie. Russia never made such a claim. Sergey Lavrov, on fighting terrorism in Syria, famously said:

If it looks like a terrorist, walks like a terrorist, acts like a terrorist…it’s a terrorist”

The stated aim of the Russian intervention was assisting their ally in combating terrorism and bringing a negotiated settlement to the region – as they have been trying to do since 2012. Additionally, the Russian air force is continuing to bomb ISIS and provide air support for the SAA advance on Palmyra, and then Raqqa. To deny this – when evidence abounds – is to be insane.

More and more we see the Western, neocon narrative being propped up with utterly baseless statements. From Obama’s foolish description of a Syrian “quagmire”, to the ridiculous idea Russia were trying to unseat Merkel by flooding Europe with refugees. The collapse of analysis and rhetoric into hysteria betrays the inherent dishonesty of the position. As a friend of mine is fond of saying: If they honestly believed the truth to be on their side, they would not feel the need to lie.

Maybe, with Vietnam and Afghanistan and Iraq, western journalists have forgotten that wars are not meant to last – maybe years of reporting on American interventions, designed to prolong conflict for the sake of profit margins, have scrubbed out of our collective mind the idea that an action can be brief, decisive and efficient.

The following are a list of facts totally ommitted from the Guardian articles on Syria the last few days:

Huge gains on the ground, destruction of the enemy supply lines, destruction of enemy materiel, extended peace talks, refugees returning home and a ceasefire agreement. This, in the Guardian view, is “no kind of victory”. Which makes you wonder whose side they are on.


25 Comments

  1. The Saucer People says

    I remember on the very first night of the Russian air campaign in Syria, Radio 4 were awash with ‘live’ news reports from Syria, of civilians being killed and maimed as a result of ‘indiscriminate’ Russian air-force attacks. Curiously, when I tried to find other sources for these reports, aside from the BBC, there was none, or they all came from the one-man, European Union and British government funded, propaganda machine that is the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which The Guardian and other proxy NATO psychological warfare loudspeakers love to quote from:

    “Russian air strikes killed 4,408 people including 1,733 civilians (39%) between September 2015 and early March 2016 (c. 185 days), according to the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights”

    Syrian Observatory Website from today:

    “SOHR documented the death of at least 4643 people since the beginning of the U.S led coalition airstrikes on Syria in September 23, 2014, until this morning March 23,”

    Such accuracy from a guy based in Coventry, England, though the figures quoted above don’t really seem to add up when compared to each other , unless we are asked to believe only 200 or so people were killed in the space of a year (September 2014 to September 2015) during the US airstrikes, before the Russians got involved.

    The fact that the Syrian Observatory can give such unusually accurate figures, coupled with the fact he is based in Coventry, England, thousands of miles away from Syria, should send alarm bells ringing in any media organisation that quotes those numbers, yet The Guardian has used him as their primary source from day one – yet another example of their flight from any factual reporting and their descent into being nothing more than a proxy wing of NATO’s psychological warfare division.

    Like

  2. LES DITTRICH says

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/mar/20/lgbt-festival-in-ukraine-abandoned-after-far-right-protest

    I admit to choking (with laughter) over my breakfast cereal at another Shaun Walker piece which reports on the intimidation of the participants of an LGBTQ+ festival in Ukraine. Somehow, far right groups just doesn’t cut it when by naming those groups, it would show that some are represented in the Rada and even part of the Kiev authorities…
    You get the picture.

    Like

  3. Deschutes says

    So glad to have found this site. The Guardian has sold out, it is no news website for the Left. At least during the Iraq war in the noughties (2000s) the Guardian was critical of Bush and Blair (well mostly), but now they’ve gone way to the right wing with ‘liberal interventionist’ schtick. Like NPR in the states, tries to posture itself as ‘liberal’ or ‘left of center’ but actually neo-liberal or Council of Foreign Relations-esque. Can’t bear to read the Guardian any longer, switched to Huffpo😀

    Liked by 1 person

  4. “Because Russia and reasons.”

    Hilarious. That is really the level of reasoning of The Guardian but expressed much more succinctly and to the point. They would have at least a bit of my respect if they wrote things like that instead of their juvenile diatribes or their pretentious but insubstantial and dishonest (and sometimes outright idiotic) “analyses”.

    In the meantime, my very respectful e-mail asking them about the reasons for banning me from commenting on their site was followed by a sudden outburst of e-mails that I never requested: Guardian´s box office, pleas to give them money and other “promotions”. I sense desperation.

    Liked by 1 person

    • LES DITTRICH says

      Speaking as another banned commenter who questioned the lack of moderation of anti-Russian trolls using BTL to make appalling jokes about bulimia under an article on disability benefit cuts in reality caused by Saudi/US oil price manipulation and US inspired sanctions, I can only say that I have resisted paying 16p per day to read twaddle.

      Like

      • In my case I decided to add an ad blocker plug-in to my browser for the occasional visit to their site, and, for my delight, they did notice and asked me (for the hundredth time…) if I want/could support them in any other way.

        But of course, not the laughs nor the morbid pleasure of reading their flabbergasting nonsense is worth 1p., specially if they ban you for calling out the liars and the xenophobes that abound in their CiF section.

        I would encourage people to do the same when visiting MSM websites.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. It is worth mentioning that the much-quoted Syrian Observatory for Human Rights was the source which told the world over the course of a week that Omar “The Chechen” Shishani was (a) dead, (b) critically wounded and clinically dead, and (c) not dead at all, although the same source knows with such lightning speed how many civilians have been killed by Russian air strikes – including how many among them are children – that it sometimes reports the stats before the strike has even been completed.

    https://www.rt.com/news/317188-putin-civilian-casualties-syria/

    But for a whole week it was not even sure that the atttack which the USA asserted had killed Shishani had done so, and fed its broadcasters all three possibilities at different times.

    https://marknesop.wordpress.com/2016/02/25/european-gas-demand-is-decreasing-a-dutch-fairy-tale/comment-page-8/#comment-136415

    As Fort Russ has astutely observed, a unilateral withdrawal now by Russia takes all the wind out of the Syrian opposition’s sails at Geneva. Had the withdrawal occurred later, the Syrian opposition would claim to have negotiated it at Geneva, and forced Putin to skulk off with his tail between his legs. What are they going to say now?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Les says

    Before I digest this, spare a thought for Paul Daniels, the magician who died yesterday. The Guardian’s Mark Lawson wrote such a hatchet job obituary on him, it sent CiF into orbit. The comments have closed already and its easy to see why. Editorial standards do not exist at the Guardian. What they allowed to be printed was appalling. I wouldn’t be surprised if his family file a complaint or even sue them.

    Like

  7. Thanks Kit for pointing out Shaun “the Cheese” at work. Does anyone still read the Graun with anything but disdain? What editorial policy does it have? Nothing any more as critical writers have largely abandoned it.

    I see now they’re trying to fund their discredited style of jingo journalism by asking for money – and having the gall to lie about their journalist’s ability to be critical!

    The donkey is definitely dead!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. passerby says

    From the comments in The Grauniad:
    “If Putin walked on water the Guardian would attack him for his inability to swim.”

    Liked by 2 people

  9. fredjc says

    Israel has a lot to answer for in this war – it seems they are about to invade Lebanon again – I pray that Hezbollah have seen this coming and are prepared.

    Like

  10. The Guardian view? Since when has talking out of your arse with your head up your arse and sitting on your arse ever qualified as a view(unless it is referring to bowel contents?

    Like

  11. Brad Benson says

    Russian casualties are rising…”up from three”. Now that was funny!

    Well done. You ate their lunch.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. JJA says

    And the Guardian is still citing the guy from Coventry and bellingcat as sources.
    However, what is heartening is that about (unscientific estimate) 90% of the posts below the line call out the Guardian for its ludicrous propaganda. The remaining 10% simply resort to childish ‘putinbot’ slurs apart from the obvious GCHQ/NATO etc., plants.
    One of the more famous ‘Colemanballs’ I remember in Private Eye was by a long gone football manager bemoaning poor defending by his team saying ‘If you are going to commit suicide, you don’t do it yourself”.
    Time, the Guardian is certainly committing suicide with its editorial line, and doing it itself.

    Liked by 3 people

  13. I too read the Graun editorial and couldn’t believe what I was seeing: the ultimate triumph of Newspeak I suppose. This followed a piece the day before on the unacceptable levels of civilian casualties cause by Russian bombing:- “Russian air strikes killed 4,408 people including 1,733 civilians (39%) between September 2015 and early March 2016 (c. 185 days), according to the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.” The SOHR is notoriously subjective to put it mildly so we can assume that these figures, even if they were true, represent an absolute maximum number of civilian casualties. The Graun has been running with a NATO-inspired subtext that Russian bombs are indiscriminate compared with “smart” NATO ones. It’s very difficult to get any comparative figures for civilian casualties in Syria and Iraq of NATO bombs so I turned to the most reliable source I could find for comparable civilian casualty figures for US made smart bombs, dropped recently by people who were mindful of causing “collateral damage.” In fact so mindful were the IDF during their 2014 attack on Gaza, they prompted US Army General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to say that Israel Defense Forces had gone to “extraordinary lengths” to limit civilian casualties in the recent war in Gaza and that the Pentagon had sent a team to see what lessons could be learned from the operation (REUTERS 06.11.2014). According to the UN in the 50 days of IDF operations against Gaza 2,104 Palestinians were killed of whom 1,462 (69%) were civilians, including 495 children. For comparison, casualties on the Israeli side were 66 soldiers and 7 civilians (10%). As my father used to say, “why let the truth get in the way of a good story?”

    Liked by 3 people

    • fredjc says

      An Israeli mouth has more teeth – malnutrition – the Palestinians are being starved to death – and the UN does nothing, the US does nothing, the world does nothing – who would want to live in this world?

      Like

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