How far will they go to propagandise for war?

by Catte Black

Yesterday (August 26) marked the third anniversary of the alleged incendiary attack on the alleged school in Urm al-Kubra. The news of this event was broadcast on the BBC 10 O’Clock News on August 29, just as MPs were voting on whether the UK would begin airstrikes against the Syrian government. On that occasion the push for war ultimately failed for various reasons, not least of which was the unexpected rebellion of a large portion of the House of Commons. But given that the propaganda for (more) Western intervention is still ongoing, and indeed has ratcheted up recently to a point of potential direct war between the US and Russia, it’s never been more important to remind ourselves about the nature of war-propaganda and indeed of the reality sold to us through the corporate media.

We can all agree that such reporting is deliberately timed, a co-ordinated promo intended to win a surge of easily-directed emotional outrage. Omran’s alleged rescue was selected out of the numerous un-reported stories of child-suffering in Aleppo,  and publicised without investigation, because it told the right story at the right time. But people are less willing to think it might go further than that, into outright fakery of atrocities. That a casus belli might not be merely manipulated, but entirely fabricated, from the ground up, as a completely imaginary, fictional event.

So, let’s remember at this important juncture that the alleged “chemical attack” so fortuitously reported by the Beeb both on the nightly news and in its flagship documentary series Panorama, under the title “Saving Syria’s Children,” has never received any substantive independent verification, and that many people such as respected commenter Craig Murray, consider it to have been an outright fake.

images such as this have persuaded many that the BBC documentary “Saving Syria’s Children” does not represent real events or real injured people

It’s not a popular or easy point of view to sell, and not many even in the alt media like to go there. But for the brave and persistent efforts of Robert Stuart probably no one would have ever learned about the questions and lacunae surrounding this one alleged terror attack. Even those of us who could see its exploitation as propaganda would never have considered questioning whether or not it really happened.
But Stuart has asked the questions, and continues to ask the questions. And the answers that ought to be easy to find if the event was real have not so far been in evidence. In fact the more one digs, the stranger and less well-defended the narrative seems to become.

We’ve already aired portions of Stuart’s research (see sidebar), and must once again urge everyone to visit his site and explore it at length. In particular see:

Stuart has recently been asked to appear Syrian TV to discuss his research, and he’s particularly keen to highlight the following and encourage other people to make their own enquiries:

… a key aspect that has yet to be pursued, namely the identification of one the actors/volunteers who participated in the events of 26 August 2013. I would like to remind journalists… that I can provide this woman’s name and approximate location in Amsterdam in order that she may be traced and interviewed. This person may well be able to shed light on the identities of the other participants in what appears to be a historic breach of trust between the BBC and its global audience.

As the push for catastrophic intervention in Syria and other acts of equal insanity are being supported with ever more media hysteria, based on ever more dubious, implausible narratives, we need to be prepared to question way beyond our comfort zones. If we allow avowedly or actual “distressing” images or appeals to sentimentality or outrage to deflect us from rational investigation then we are behaving in exactly the way expected of us by those for whom human suffering, real or feigned, is just another useful tool for manipulation.

Please watch the original BBC Panorama program Saving Syria’s Children. Decide for yourself what you think about its honesty and the reality of the images and story it presents. And if possible invite your friends, family, colleagues to do the same.

OffG co-founding editor. Writer. Opinionated polemicist.

Filed under: featured, Other Media, saving syria's children, Syria

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OffG co-founding editor. Writer. Opinionated polemicist.

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Norman Pilon
Reader

Reblogged this on Taking Sides.

writerroddis
Reader
writerroddis

I recommend this investigation by Who What Why on the use of Sarin nerve gas in Syria. It’s impartial and a rare example of good, critical inquiry. More generally, Herman Goering hit nail on head at his Nuremberg trial: “Why of course the people don’t want war. That is understood … But after all it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can… Read more »

Frank
Reader
Frank

Homage to Catalonia was partly a novel and partly autobiographical. Where I find Orwell’s insights into the nature of totalitarianism most penetrating is in his various essays, namely, Politics and the English Language, Notes On Nationalism, Not Counting Niggers (his words not mine) Marrakech for starters, My favourite Orwell novel was written when Orwell served in the Indian Imperial Police, Burmese Days was a product of this formative experience. In Spain Orwell served in the Pardido Obrero Unficacion Marxista (Workers Party of Marxist Unity) which was affiliated to the British Independent Labour party, which he later joined, and the German… Read more »

apocalypse29
Reader

Reblogged this on News For The Blind.

John
Reader
John

In fairness to the BBC Panorama Unit, their usual sphere of operations is domestic. They usually equip whistle blowers with covert camera recording technology to expose elder abuse or abuse of young people in UK care homes. Within their own area of expertise, the Panorama Unit does a good job but they are out of their depth in foreign ones. They will have been spoon-fed the information about Syria and lack any independent expertise in these areas. So why do they do it? Because they are told to do it. The BBC is a “brand” and has an enviable international… Read more »

Frank
Reader
Frank

In fact there was a very good documentary on BBC Panorama – October 2013 – entitled ‘The War Party’ It was an investigation into the neo-con establishment based in the DC beltway, and included interviews with Richard Perle, Meyrav Wurmser (who has a distinct resemblance to Luticia Adams of the Addams Family) and Michael Leeden. These were not the type of fawning interviews I was expecting but the interviewer simply asked awkward questions which elicited the predicable lunatic response from the above mentioned. They were simply condemned out of their own mouths as semi-insane. And I am not even sure… Read more »

Kit
Moderator

For those of you interested, I found “The War Party” episode of Panorama on youtube:

I have to say, I found it to be a little soft, the interviewer too often lets assertions and declarations go unchallenged.

John
Reader
John

Kit: Thank you for finding the video.
I will send the link on to others I know.

John
Reader
John

Actually, the Panorama programme “The War Party” is ten years older than you say.
It was first broadcast in 2003, not 2013.
The programme is no longer viewable on-line but a transcript o the programme is available at http://news.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/spl/hi/programmes/panorama/transcripts/thewarparty.txt.
It looks worth reading……

Mick McNulty
Reader
Mick McNulty

I never watch British news or “war” documentaries anymore because I can’t sit through their lies, but if that brief clip shows the quality of the lies they’re trying to feed people with today then they’ve really lost the plot. It’s abysmal.

mohandeer
Reader

Reblogged this on Worldtruth.

Willem
Reader
Willem

What impresses me from this story is that atrocities are believed in or disbelieved in solely on grounds of political predeliction. Everyone believes in the atrocities of the enemy and disbelieves in those of his own side, without ever bothering to examine the evidence. In the present war in Syria we are in the curious position that our ‘atrocity campaign’ was done largely before the war started and done mostly by the Left, the people who normally prize themselves on their incredulity. But unfortunately, the truth about atrocities is far worse than that they are lied about and made into… Read more »

Catte
Reader
Catte

While it’s easy to agree with the general point of this exercise, it’s not at all easy to see how you think it applies to this article, which certainly doesn’t try to claim that only the alleged atrocities of one side are real. I’m pretty sure Orwell would agree that the general claim “they happen” cannot be a refutation of the specific allegation that this specific event did not happen. I’m pretty sure he’d agree that while atrocities do happen, so does media fakery, and the only way to differentiate one from the other is to interrogate each event separately… Read more »

David Macilwain
Reader

I think we’re probably all more or less on the same page here, in that we can see and agree that the BBC Napalm story was fabricated and totally egregious propaganda in support of the UK government – regardless of the actual mechanism of how this came about at such a critical time. But I’m personally a little worried at the suggestion that ‘both sides are responsible for atrocities’. I am not aware of credible reports of true atrocities carried out by the SAA on the orders of the government or leadership. All the widely reported atrocities have a cloud… Read more »

Willem
Reader
Willem

Because it is very difficult…. To do that you need to know the truth. I think you and Stuart do a good job by exposing the lies. Thing is: I do not like to see lies, they make me angry. So instead I read books and when I find that they report about the same things that are discussed here, I report them. It shows to me that it is difficult to fight the obvious and the lies. It also shows to me that it is not impossible. The end of Homage to Catalonia is hopefull…

Willem
Reader
Willem

I think I should make myself a bit more clear why I compared abovementioned article with Orwell’s book and why I think it matters. There is no other way for me to comment on abovementioned article other than to say that all that you expose, is true. The BBC documentary is a lie, what more is there to say? – Well that it is very good that you report this as such, and I really like to thank people from OffG, and others, who expose lies as such to an interested reading audience. But acknowledging that is not enough to… Read more »

John
Reader
John

I am not sure about your analogy to the voice of the people as it links to events like the so-called Arab Spring. The first event of this type that took place – in Tunisia? – may have been authentic but I think the following events were stage-managed by the Egyptian military and – with western support – other actors elsewhere afterwards, as in the Ukraine, and the colour and umbrella “revolutions”. President Erdogan of Turkey is, I believe, of a similar mindset: that the attempted military coup in Turkey was supported by western elements who hoped that the initial… Read more »

John B
Reader
John B

John has it correct in this case Willem.
Speaking about Arab Springs and how they differ from country do country, i had heard that the uprising in Syria came about from a group of youngsters throwing some kind of prank protest which naturally caused the Syrian regime to go into a panic. They arrested one of the group and treated him so badly, they pulled all this toenails and fingernails out before throwing him out into the street, that they actually caused a revolution against themselves.

Frank
Reader
Frank

”The end of Homage to Catalonia is hopefull …”
Yes, but the end of 1984 isn’t. I’m sure you remember ‘He (Winston Smith) loved Big Brother’

tommytcg
Reader

West can’t go to war. War with whom? Nato ally Turkey? Pres. Erdo had lost his supporting military officers , as Gulen’s boys were promoted above them. The PM and Intel head were in Gulen’s pocket. I don’t think Pres. Erdo had a hand in the supply to IS, good rebels, bad rebels, and he couldn’t go after the Kurds.. as the yanks were using them them to divide Sy. After the failed US coup, direction became clear. Bomb the good and bad rebels, IS and Kurds. That’s what secret meetings were all about with Sy, Ir, Rus.

falcemartello
Reader

The Washington consensus is pushing for war. Wolfowitz doctrine “WAR IS GOOD”. The western world economies r virtually on stand still. The western stock markets are over leveraged at 500 percent. Every aspect of western society has been financialised. The western politicians are morally and intellectually bankrupt. The Russians having been asked to help the Syrians via the legitimate government have exposed the western duplicity and hypocrisy with the middle east . The Petro-dollar is dying. Iran China and Russia have basically stated via their diplomatic moves in the world that they will not be extorted by the western oligarchs.… Read more »

cerumol
Reader
tubularsock
Reader

Reminds Tubularsock of Nayirah al-Ṣabaḥ, called “Nurse Nayirah” in the media, a fifteen-year-old Kuwaiti girl, who alleged that she had witnessed the murder of infant children by Iraqi soldiers in Kuwait. In verbal testimony to the U.S. Congress, in the run up to the 1991 Gulf War. Later it was “discovered” that she was a member of the Kuwaiti Royal Family and she LIED. Oh my, by then we had already bombed the hell out of them!

It is difficult to stay awake but only if you stay asleep!

John
Reader
John

At the time, we in the west were told that “we” had to invade Kuwait to kick Saddam Hussein’s forces out in order to protect a “little” country [shades of the “poor” “little” Belgium and Hunnish atrocities’ propaganda, which drew Britain into the First World War? – which just goes to show that such propaganda is hardly new or original]. We were also told it would result in a more democratic regime being installed by the Emir of Kuwait. What ever happened to that new more “democratic” regime? As far as I know, nothing at all has changed in Kuwait… Read more »

Brian Harry, Australia
Reader
Brian Harry, Australia

“Netanyahu must be having one long belly laugh at the stupidity of western populations”.
Netanyahu is not noted for his ability to laugh at anything. He is deadly, pathologically serious about what he has achieved, using his “anaesthetized donkey” the USA to do his dirty work.

LES DITTRICH
Reader
LES DITTRICH

Thank you for being one of the few real journalists left. I was recently asked by a bright 16 y/o daughter of my wife’s girlfriend about what to study at which University> I asked her what she wanted to study and become – journalism/ist was the response. I told her that if she was prepared to follow instructions and write what she was told to write even if she didn’t agree with it or knew it to be an outright lie AND she was prepared to do as she was told AND could still sleep at night then she’d be… Read more »

elenits
Reader
elenits

Excellent Catte, keep at it.

Brian Harry, Australia
Reader
Brian Harry, Australia

The floor where those ‘victims’ are is remarkably ‘blood free’………..

cerumol
Reader

Ian Pannell was careful to state in his initial BBC report: “There were no shrapnel injuries or loss of blood, typical of most aerial bombs”. (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-23892594)
However, even accepting that, the bizarre swaying and lurching of the figures in the “tableau” sequence (further analysis of which is here http://t.co/ZSimuq1kqV) and that of the “teacher” seen in ‘Saving Syria’s Children’ (http://bit.ly/1FcaK3Q) bear little resemblance to the pained, traumatised but otherwise composed demeanour of genuine napalm victims:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nS4srZ_iWzM

cerumol
Reader

As for how the simulacra of napalm/thermite burns may have been achieved in the BBC report, note the personal connection between one of the doctors featured in Saving Syria’s Children and an army officer who runs highly sophisticated injury simulation training exercises:
https://youtu.be/lu6TlmHnd4c?t=1h3m30s
https://bbcpanoramasavingsyriaschildren.wordpress.com/hospex-macro-simulation-techniques/
The website and Facebook pages of one of the companies which works with the Ministry of Defence on “HOSPEX” exercises demonstrates the astonishing realism that can be achieved for military training purposes:
https://www.facebook.com/TraumaFXUK
http://www.traumafx.co.uk/actor-services/
This same company states on its website: “we can easily travel international as we are a mobile team and can work in any location.” http://www.traumafx.co.uk/industry-services/international-military