latest, media watch, Propaganda, Syria

A Tale of Two Aleppos

by Bill Purkayastha

Going on CNN and other free and truth-telling Western media, you discover a horrifying Aleppo apocalypse, where the evil tyrant Assad is massacring untold thousands of civilians, with the help of even more evil Russian air strikes, which invariably hit hospitals, schools, and bakeries. You discover a city where people would rather die than give themselves up to the tender mercies of this regime, with its torture camps and jails, and where a tiny handful of brave rebels and White Helmets stand between them and annihilation.

Going on the Russian paid fake news sites, like for example 21st Century Wire, The Duran, Al Masdar News or Moon of Alabama, strangely enough, you discover a different Aleppo altogether – one in which the “White Helmets” are fake propaganda, the rebels are actually headhunting jihadi terrorists who have been holding tens of thousands of civilians hostage, and where the legitimate government of Syria is liberating them with Russian military aid. You find an Aleppo where the people are grateful to the government forces for defeating the terrorists, and for feeding and liberating them.

Obviously, the former are the ones to believe, because the latter are just paid Russian sites, right? Quite true, you think, and sit back complacently to see the evidence laid out by the former to blow the latter away.

And then you have a little problem, because the former have nothing – no evidence at all, none whatever, except the “statements” of “activists” and the burblings of “UN officials” who contradict themselves each time they open their mouths. On the latter side, though, you have video after video of people celebrating at their rescue; you have visuals testifying to the brutality of the terrorists, and the depravity with which they starved the people while keeping back food and medicine for themselves; you have the testimony of actual reporters right on the ground, following on the footsteps of the troops.

You have, in other words, evidence.

There is only one way you can make your way out of this conundrum with your reality intact. Close your eyes and look away from those videos!  Block those annoying people on Fakebook and Twitter who insist on inflicting unpleasant evidence on you! Tell yourself, a thousand times over, that Assad is a tyrant, Putin is evil, and cuddly little moderate rebels are battling for freedom against them. That is the only way to sanity.

Fail to do so, and you are well on the way to becoming a Paid Russian Fake News Troll yourself.

You have been warned.



  1. Kaiama says

    An article at the Graun comparing Aleppo to the Srebenica massacre is currently open for comments. It is being heavily moderated. ated Any attempt to point out the complete lack of evidence of any ‘massacre’ at Aleppo beyond twitter style evidence. Cameras don’t work in Aleppo apparently.

    • Alessandro says

      Interesting how you never offer counterarguments, all you ever have is “but in America you are lynching negroes!” type responses. Where’s your evidence, Louis?

    • Some hospitals will have been damaged but that would be normal in any conflict. I wonder how ‘people like you’ actually have the brass neck to try to give credibility to the claims of dozens of hospitals being in a tiny area and can you explain the vast stores of medicines and food that your terrorist friends were withholding from the people of East Aleppo?

    • Thomas Horton says

      Typical Louis Proyect. He calls himself “the unrepentant Marxist” but strangely always seems to be on the side of power and privilege (with suitable progressive trimmings of course). Funny, that.

    • Sav says

      Did you bother to check the videos on youtube where the US state dept can’t even back up their claims of hospitals being bombed? Or the published ‘letter from doctors’ that doesn’t even have qualified names on it.

  2. michaelk says

    Apparently one of the people who pushed for the CiF innovation was Sheamus Milne. He’s now gone over to Labour as an advisor to Corbyn. I’ve heard that the Guardian was somewhat taken aback by the level of ‘ungratefulness’ and criticism expressed by so many people ‘taking advantage’ of the platform provided by the Guardian.

    If the opinons expressed reflect how many Guardian readers feel about the quality of the articles, the huge swathes of loyal readers are deeply critical and dissatisfied with the Guardian’s ‘new direction’ or lurch to the right since Viner took over the helm. At times like these, to alienate so many people, so often about so much; doesn’t make commercial sense. It’s also dangerous, part of a wider sickness in society and public life, where, increasingly core institutions are becoming detached from the population and are losing legitimacy.

    The mainstream/corporate/state run media, which is really what it is, reminds one of Westminster, where the MPs are just as detached and unrepresentative of popular opinion in the country. Unrepresentative democracy, that doesn’t sound so good.

  3. We have been engineered into a perception prison of belief.
    “We’ll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false.” William Casey CIA Director
    (from 1st staff meeting 1981)

    The CIA used their journalist assets to put ‘conspiracy therorist’ into the meme to delegitimize anti-war activists and now it is ‘fake news’ being used.

    General Wesley Clark was told after 911 by a high ranking general in the Pentagon, “We’re going to take out seven countries in 5 years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off, Iran.”

  4. Having obscured those crazy 9/11 truthers from mainstream media, the Americans have decided to create their own wild conspiracy theory after claiming Russian interference in their elections. Blacklisting websites and being able to record our every digital movement reassures the masses, after all computer forensics can’t be manipulated , can they? If they can, it’s all for our own good and because of our water tight, error proof justice system we can rest assured that the old saying ‘if you haven’t done anything wrong, you have nothing to be afraid of’ will soothe our suspicious minds. Parallel universe springs to mind.

  5. Manda says

    Today in the western land of the western US led ‘exceptionalists’ their word is the truth, no evidence required. If you question or offer evidence to show it is untrue or not the whole truth you will be burned at the metaphorical stake as a heretic or dunked in the freezing river until you repent and accept the TRUTH. This is the western world we live in today.

    Meanwhile in an alternative universe… UN press conference of the Permanent Mission of the Syrian Arab Republic. Might have to refresh the page.

  6. Alan says

    There appears little evidence, rather plausibility based upon testimony. The evidence we are presented with, by virtue of presentation cannot be objective. The only evidence is foreign intervention within a sovereign state, death, destruction and subsequent profiteering. All involved are guilty of this irrespective of their purported aims. The only criticism for the article is that it provides false hope for an understanding with an inferred solution in sight, in that respect it differs not from those it opposes.

  7. michaelk says

    Will Hutton’s piece in the Guardian about Aleppo was… appalling, even by the Guardian’s dismal standards. It symbolises why the liberal media is going down the toilet and why liberal/left politics has had it more broadly. They are more interested in moralising, preaching and expressing outrage about something, than they are in actually looking at what’s happening in the world. It’s the ‘triumph’ of dogma, close to totalitarian, over reality.

  8. James Carless says

    Read Will Hutton’s regurgitating of NATO newspeak in today’s Guardian and then read the more articulate comments which haven’t been censored yet,which challenge the inconsistancies and outright hypocracy.
    Channel 4 news have found a pet terrorist in the fast crumbling East Aleppo enclave,and have rebranded him as a ‘journalist’.
    We all know how genuine reporters are treated by the head choppers.
    As for Peter Tatchell’s embarrassing demo attacking Corbyn in front of the cameras !
    Has he been bought? Suffered recent concussion or is he genuinly that naively stupid ?
    Words fail me.

    • Peter Tatchell is a deeply dangerous individual. Look back over his career.

      • Manda says

        I am wondering how influential he is in the Green Party… it appears to have changed somewhat especially Lucas re foreign affairs. I tend to agree he may be a disruptive and possibly dangerous influence to the causes he claims to support. His attack on Corbyn at his speech on human rights and domestic violence being an example.

      • Sav says

        Tatchell is deeply concerned about…………himself. I used to feel bad for him years back when he was being derided by the press but it seems he is obsessed with being someone and that is all. Good chance Whitehall has recruited him and given him what he needs.

    • Curiosity got the better of me and I went to read Hutton’s article. It was the typical regurgitation of utter nonsense, but Judging by the scathing comments I read it would appear more and more people are waking up to the fact we’re being sold a load of garbage.
      Also it would appear that moderators are either not deleting negative comments… or have simply given up due to the sheer volume of them.

      • Manda says

        Quite a few comments deleted but I only read one before deletion which was critical of Guardian and very robust. I note the re worked version, which I replied to, has also gone this morning along with my reply.

  9. I once wholeheartedly believed the Western media, believing the West to be a beacon of democracy and freedom until 911. I now no longer believe the corporate owned media and the lies they tell. I now take time to do my research and decipher the truth for myself. Here is what I have learned about the Syrian war:
    The Dirty War in Syria:
    USA Peace Council address to the UN on the Syrian War: (via In July 2016, the US Peace Council sent a delegation to Syria for a week in order to meet with Syrian secular and religious leaders. What they discovered there shocked even those members of the peace movement who had assumed a certain level of US propaganda. They returned to the US to speak at the UN where they denounced the entire US/western depiction and narrative of Syria as a propagandist lie.
    To hell with the war mongering lunatics in the Pentagon & their rogue allies such as the UK, Germany, France…

  10. American media serves the military industrial complex !!!!!!! It is owned by a half dozen of corporations. America has engaged in war and empire building since independence. Perpetual war is good for the American arms industry !!!

  11. John Deehan says

    Recently I tried to post a comment in the Guardian relating to the accusations made by the American State Department of Russia bombing 5 hospitals in Syria. When this statement was challenged by a RT reporter to either name the hospitals or to provide the names of the people purporting to have supplied this evidence, Mark Toner, the State department spokesman became very agitated and began to verbally abuse the RT reporter. I posted this on the Guardian comments section why they had not reported this. For my troubles they are now pre moderating every comment I make. Needless to say none of comments are being permitted. I accused them of censorship to date they have not replied. Censorship does not officially exist in the UK or des it?

    • Manda says

      I thought they had given up pre moderating and were just deleting comments. I was often on pre moderation when I began posting. Perhaps I have been re framed? You must be very dangerous indeed.

    • Sav says

      I’ve been through all the same with the Guardian. Early days I was put on pre-mod for simply questioning something over Libya or Syria. All the while I had trolls personally attacking me and nothing was done about their posts. Even their precious Brownmoses made personal attacks.

      Someone posted back in 2011 that the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights was one guy in Coventry – immediately the post was deleted. How did that break commenting rules? Just total censorship.

      What you’ll notice is that when some new story hits they censor big time. Then on later articles once they’ve already sold the BS, they’ll be more lax.

      They put me on a pre-mod again for questioning an article about an injured girl in Aleppo, trying to raise funds for her medical treatment. Instead the whole article was just a psy-ops boiler room anti-Syrian government propaganda piece. The article claimed to be written by her pseudonymous Aunt in Aleppo. With ‘additional reporting by Fadah Jassem’.

      When I looked into it, the Aunt being quoted previously was Fadah Jassem – who lives in the UK. I also find out that she has previously worked for Al-Jazeera, ITN and Channel 4 News.

      Further, the young girl had already been treated after being evacuated to a free government hospital in Damascus well before this article. I tweeted Fadah Jassem about this (where she couldn’t delete my questions) and she claimed the raising of funds was for physiotherapy in a private hospital.

      Here’s the article:

  12. Brian Harry says

    Having “alternative news sites” has opened my eyes to my own naivety over the years, reading Australian Newspapers(Murdoch#@%&*) and watching commercial TV, and even the Aust Broadcasting Corp(govt tv) and I how realise we have been fed utter propaganda year after year.
    I now know how easy it is for “News Wholesalers” (Reuters etc) to feed rubbish into the ‘retail outlets’ the MSM, so that we are fed ‘verbal and visual vomit’ every day of our lives.
    As a teenager, I cheered when the USA Carpet Bombed millions of “Communists” in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, in the name of “Freedom and Democracy”, but now know they were slaughtering innocent peasant farmers and fishermen, struggling to feed their children.
    To HELL with the MSM, the MIC, and the war mongering lunatics in the Pentagon/White House, and the Presstitutes who provide cover for them.

    • That was brave of you Brian Harry to admit you were cheering the US on in Vietnam. It also provides a window on the relative isolation of Australia since young people in Europe and the Americas were doing exactly the opposite. Even the British PM Harold Wilson refused to back the Americans (a different world then!).

      • Brian Harry says

        I was completely naive and in my ’20’s. I’m ashamed of it now, but I trusted the people above me. Experience is a tough teacher……..I now have lots of contempt for the liars who rule us.

Comments are closed.