conflict zones, latest, Propaganda, Syria
Comments 117

Eva Bartlett on Syria: Responding to Buzzfeed

by Eva Bartlett
Last Friday, December 9, just as the liberation of East Aleppo was taking place on the ground, the Permanent Mission of the Syrian Arab Republic to the United Nations held a press conference at which Eva Bartlett, Canadian journalist well known for her first-hand reporting about the proxy war in Syria, presented an outstanding analysis of the deliberate disinformation and propaganda campaign the Western mainstream media have carried out since 2011, part of their countries’ regime-change agenda in Syria.  Following her appearance at the UN, widely publicized across social media, Bartlett was contacted for an email interview by Buzzfeed’s Ishmael N. Daro.  We are posting here the full text of Eva Bartlett’s response, followed by the full text of Daro’s email to her.

Hello.  You have a number of facts wrong.  I will spell them out.

— [The] Press Conference was only meant to be a report back by myself and the others on the panel.  Yes, Ambassador al-Ja’afari was originally going to be present but solely to introduce me.  Due to the meeting in the GA that morning, he apologized to me that he could not be present.

— I was not speaking at the UN at the behest of the Syrian government but rather at my own request to present some of my findings, and also via the organizing of the US Hands Off Syria coalition.  Your question is clearly meant to imply that I am a mouthpiece for the Syrian government and that is indeed poor journalism on your part.

You are extremely wrong here, and I quote: “You wrote on your blog that your trip to Syria in November was organized by a member of the Syrian parliament.   Was your trip paid for by the Syrian government, or did you pay your own air fare, accommodations, and other expenses? ”

No, I wrote on my blog that the November 2-5 trip to Aleppo was organized (for the other foreign journalists of the NY Times, BBC, LA Times and others) by the Aleppo MP.  No, my trip was NOT paid for by the Syrian government.  I applied for and paid for my visa and my own travel expenses and accommodations.  The SOLE exception is that for the November 2-5 trip with the other foreign journalists the bus was provided, thus none of us paid for transportation on that short trip.  On prior and subsequent trips, I paid for transportation, accommodation, travel.

Your question: “Do you believe you were able to gain an unvarnished look at the country, or do you believe there were efforts by the Syrian government to present a specific narrative?”

I requested to go to Aleppo and to specific areas of Aleppo.  I requested to go to other areas of Syria (Homs many times, Latakia, Jableh, Tartous, Yarmouk, Masyaf, Sweida, Maaloula, Palmyra); these requests were fulfilled.  I had genuine one-to-one encounters with Syrians in Aleppo, and everywhere I travelled, on my own and without government representatives interpreting unless and when I asked for their assistance.  I speak Arabic and spoke directly with the people I encountered, and at other times had a translator not provided by the government with me.  The “narrative” I saw and presented is that of the Syrian people in Aleppo.

See:
www.mintpressnews.com/aleppo-how-us-saudi-backed-rebels-…/…/

http://www.strategic-culture.org/…/western-corporate-media-…

https://www.sott.net/…/327727-Eva-Bartlett-photo-essay-Alep…

http://ahtribune.com/in-depth/882-palmyra.html

http://www.strategic-culture.org/…/overcoming-savagery-trea…

Your question: “You made a few claims in your exchange with the other journalist that might strike people as odd.  For example, you said nobody in Eastern Aleppo had heard of the White Helmets.  Can you elaborate?”

None of the IDPs I met at a shelter in greater Aleppo had heard of the White Helmets, although they had family members who were at the time (early November) trapped in eastern areas by the terrorists and who were complaining to the people I spoke with that terrorists were hoarding food and not allowing them access to medical care.  They had not heard of the White Helmets, nor had IDPs I met who had recently escaped from al-Helloq, eastern Aleppo.  Nor had any doctors I spoke with in Aleppo.  Nor had any citizens I spoke with in Aleppo (who likewise had family members in those eastern areas).  More recently, since the December 9 Press Conference, Aleppo has been nearly completely secured.  Testimonies from countless civilians who were saved from the terrorists inhabiting those areas show that they also had not heard of the so-called infamous White Helmets.

For more recent on the ground updates on this, I suggest you read the writing of Vanessa Beeley, who just spent three days in liberated eastern areas talking with evacuees.

“During my time in Hanano East #Aleppo I spoke with many civilians who had been liberated from their four year imprisonment by NATO and Gulf state terrorist brigades.  I asked them all if they knew of the #WhiteHelmets.  All of them looked puzzled and most of them replied that no they did not know them at all.

Some said they knew of the workers who called themselves “civil defense” and worked with the terrorists.  I asked if they also helped civilians; one man only said that yes sometimes they did help him and his family.

I interviewed the Syrian Arab Red Crescent workers who were on the scene in Hanano. They had never come across the White Helmets in all the time they had been working in East Aleppo since the area was invaded and occupied in 2012.”

Your question: “You also said the will of the Syrian people could be gauged by the results of the 2014 elections.  It’s my understanding that voting only took place in government-controlled areas, and no credible election observers supported its outcome.  Do you stand by your statement?”

In fact, I never inserted the word “only”.  I said this was a great indicator.  I also mentioned that Syrian civilians in government secured areas braved torrents of bombs fired by terrorist factions on voting day, and that I had experienced going with throngs of Syrians in Lebanon walking to the embassy to vote, of their free will.  You might be interested to note also that Syrians from around the world flew to Damascus airport solely to vote as embassies in the countries they were residing in had been closed by those governments.

http://www.ipsnews.net/…/05/syrians-flock-vote-lebanon-west/

http://orientalreview.org/…/international-observers-endors…/

http://www.sott.net/…/313862-Syria-Dispatch-Most-Syrians-Su…

http://www.ipsnews.net/…/liberated-homs-residents-challeng…/

To your last question, my comments are mine alone, based on extensive travels throughout Syria, spending months in the country and having countless one-on-one interactions with Syrians. The views I expressed are mine and also reflect the views on these Syrians I met.

https://ingaza.wordpress.com/…/university-hospital-damascu…/

http://zeroanthropology.net/…/the-terrorism-we-support-in-…/

http://zeroanthropology.net/2014/10/26/useful-atrocities/

Regarding propaganda, please see that of the UN, including how it distorts truth and silences the Syrian voices:

http://theduran.com/idlib-school-attack-and-how-the-un-cov…/

http://www.globalresearch.ca/not-tweetworthy-un-sel…/5501694

https://www.rt.com/…/229215-united-nations–syria-ambassad…/

http://english.al-akhbar.com/…/syrian-ambassador-un-bashar-…

I don’t expect that you will appreciate this as the tone of your questions reflects your own alignment, which seems to be with that of the media, which is determined to obfuscate the truth on Syria and instead promote war propaganda.  Let’s say that I will be pleasantly surprised if you prove me wrong.

I would add, since you asked, that you can find my writings here:

https://ingaza.wordpress.com/…/my-published-articles-and-o…/

Blog postings from Syria and from Lebanon where I’ve spent roughly half a year collectively in between visits to Syria or while waiting for visas to be granted:

https://ingaza.wordpress.com/…/my-published-articles-and-o…/

And can find many video clips with Syrians here:

https://www.youtube.com/user/InGazaUpdates/videos

Best regards,

Eva Bartlett

Ishmael Daro’s email in full follows:

From: Ishmael Daro <ishmael.daro@buzzfeed.com>
Sent: December 15, 2016 3:24 PM
To: evabartlett@hotmail.com
Subject: Viral video of your comments at the UN
Hello Ms. Bartlett,

I’m a reporter with BuzzFeed News, based in Toronto.

I’m writing about the video of your comments at the UN that has gone viral in the last few days. I just wanted to ask you a few questions, for a story on our website.

The Norwegian journalist you addressed told me that reporters were led to believe they would hear comments from the Syrian ambassador Bashar Jaafari. However, he was not present. Were you speaking at the UN at the behest of the Syrian government? How did you come to be at that press conference?

You wrote on your blog that your trip to Syria in November was organized by a member of the Syrian parliament.
Was your trip paid for by the Syrian government, or did you pay your own air fare, accommodations, and other expenses?

Do you believe you were able to gain an unvarnished look at the country, or do you believe there were efforts by the Syrian government to present a specific narrative?

You made a few claims in your exchange with the other journalist that might strike people as odd. For example, you said nobody in Eastern Aleppo had heard of the White Helmets. Can you elaborate?

You also said the will of the Syrian people could be gauged by the results of the 2014 elections. It’s my understanding that voting only took place in government-controlled areas, and no credible election observers supported its outcome. Do you stand by your statement?

Last question: Even if this was not your intent, your comments at the press conference appear to track with Russian and Syrian government messaging. Do you have any concern about seemingly aligning yourself with those governments? How do you respond to concerns that your video is serving as propaganda for Russia and Syria?

If there’s anything else you’d like to add, please feel free to include it. Thanks.”

Ishmael N. Daro
BuzzFeed
Social News Editor

 

117 Comments

  1. John says

    Bart has stated he visited Palestine-Israel on a number of occasions and that the situation there is complicated.
    This suggests some sort of equivalence between the Israelis and the Palestinians.
    That just is not so.
    The Israelis are foreign colonists who have nuclear weapons and the most heavily armed and modernised army, navy (now including German-supplied submarines with a reported nuclear capability) and air force in the area.
    The Palestinians – by contrast – have no nuclear weapons, no modern army, navy or air force.
    The Israelians are but the latest hostile power to occupy Palestine.
    Before them, it was the British; before them, the Ottomans; before them, the Arabs; before them, the Romans; before them, the Greeks.
    To date, the people living in the Palestine area have known nothing but militarised occupation not just for centuries but for millenia.
    When will they finally be allowed to be free?
    What really needs to happen there now is that Palestine or Israel or whatever name is decided upon – from the Sea to the River – will have – like former apartheid South Africa – to become a single secular state.
    The zionists – with their crazy so-called “settlements”policies – have made a two-state solution impossible.
    The entire world must now treat them just as the former racist supremacists in apartheid South Africa were.
    All the Palestinians and their descendants forced out by the Nakba must be allowed to return to their country.
    The human and civil rights of the Palestinians must be respected.
    They too are human beings who have suffered the oppressive yoke of zionist occupation and domination.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I knew Eva Bartlett would come under attack from the MSM. In Libya, Lizzie Phelan was given the same treatment by the MSM including one interview by Robert Mackey of the New York Times. He now writes for The Intercept I believe.

    One journalist in the Rixos hotel even tweeted that Phelan should be grateful to be alive having been evacuated. Implying that his darling rebels should have caught up with her. Real scumbag.

    Like

  3. Hello people,

    For some days now, I have been researching the Eva Bartlett story. I am not a journalist, but I do have a well functioning and open mind and it is important to me to get my facts straight before I form an opinion. Furthermore, I am a firm believer in Carl Sagans popular quote that extraordinary claims should be backed up by extraordinary evidence.

    So, when Bartletts extraordinary claims surfaced on social media, I meticulously sifted through her links and arguments to establish if there is indeed extraordinary evidence for her statements. I realise that what she says is extraordinary to me, by the way – when I read the general consensus among writers and commentors on this site, her claims might not be all that out of the ordinary for this audience.

    So I’d like to stress that I am not trying to discredit Eva Bartlett – I am just trying to figure out if I can believe what she claims.

    Reading her story, and also her replies to the avalanche of smear poured over her head in the wake of the viral video, I have to say I believe she is not a puppet of the Syrian regime. I think she genuinely tries to make sense of what she has seen in Syria. As we say here in the Netherlands: her heart sits in the right place.

    I do hesitate though to accept her views wholesale. After much thought, my conclusion is that she is a very concerned activist, who rightfully questions the established narrative on Syria. An activist more than a journalist, which means in essence that she has chosen a side and has a bias as a consequence. (Again, this is not to say that she lies or cheats, not even that she is wrong, but a simple fact – one cannot be a rights activist and not chose a side).

    Starting out years ago as a rebellion against Assads regime, the conflict in Syria has deteriorated into a gordion knot of interests and proxy warmongering, of mainly four parties:

    1) the Syrian regime, backed by Russia, Iran and Hezbollah
    2) ISIS
    3) the rebels, backed by the US, Turkey and the Gulf States
    4) the Kurds

    So, if Bartlett would be biassed, which of these sides (including their narrative) would she most closely resemble? I put her in the storyline of Assad (allthough, again, that is not a problem in itself).

    Arguments:

    1) use of language
    Bartlett consequently used the word terrorist for the rebel-side and the word liberation for Assads military actions. This is not neutral language.

    2) affinity with Hezbollah
    The main part of Bartletts activism has taken place around another complicated conflict: Israel/Palestine. Bartlett repeatedly and explicitely supports the Palestinian side, and is a supporter of Hezbollah. (Again and again, I am not judging anything here, just researching facts)

    3) affinity with Russian media
    Bartlett has often published articles on the Russia Today, a state funded television network. At the risk of sounding like a broken record: this is not a problem in itself, merely observation.

    If I add all this up, I’d be surprised if she would NOT rail against the narrative written by western main stream media (media based and serving news in countries that back the rebels).

    In conclusion, I find more evidence for Bartlett to be representative of one side of the story than evidence that she is an ‘independent journalist’ (as she is mostly called by others, not by herself).

    In any quest for truth, it is crucial to take into account all different sides – and not to find evidence for one possible story. To me, this as much true for Bartlett as it is for Main Stream Media, be they western or russian.

    Like

    • Much also depends upon where you start out from.
      Who were the initial belligerents? Answer: the US and Saud elites.
      They recruited, funded, trained and supplied weapons, vehicles and other military hardware to the terrorists.
      Therefore, Eva Bartlett and the Syrian regime are correct in describing these vicious killers as terrorists.
      Assad and most of the Syrian people are fighting to free their people and country from Islamist terrorists.
      How else can the situation be described as?
      You are right that the conflict has drawn in many more actors over time but always remember who started it.
      Also remember that the US – the sponsor of ISIS – also exercise massive control over the global media.
      They have been behaving in a similar way long before their illegal invasion of Afghanistan.
      The Gulf of Tonkin Resolution was a bald-faced lie – but it took the US to war against the people of Vietnam.
      The equally illegal invasion of Iraq was also another act of state terrorism – again with Saudi support.
      Throwing their military might around and sponsoring terrorism as weapons of war is what the US does.
      All the examples I have given are examples of purely objective reality.

      Liked by 1 person

      • It’s not just what words the government uses, the so-called “rebels” are called simply “terrorists” by the people of Syria, and Aleppo in particular. And it’s the Syrian people who celebrated “liberation” of eastern Aleppo. That’s corroborated by other reporters who simply went there and talked to the people in the street. They don’t distinguish between “moderate opposition” and “Al-Nusra” or other groups, the word used by the majority of Syrian people to describe them is just “terrorists”.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Hi ijon70,

          The fact that large parts of a population call another part terrorist, does not a terrorist make. It happens all the time in conflicts, sometimes rightfully so, sometimes not.

          25 years ago, I studied journalism. The journalistic tool of using ‘unnamed activists’, ‘anonymous bystanders’, etc. as a source, I learned to distrust. In this age of social media, we’d do well to remember that.

          I wrote before that it is not my intention to debunk or smear Eva Bartlett. Not at all. To me argument ‘I have spoken to a lot of people in Syria and they all etc’ has some value, but does not automatically lead to unbiassed truth.

          I have seen a lot of footage of celebrating Syrian people, and I tend to believe they are truely happy about the Assad regime bringing the conflict to some sort of close.

          I’ve also seen gruesome footage of war ravaged children, millions of refugees and war tactics that rape human decency with gusto.

          I’ve witnessed verifiable propaganda rear it’s ugly head, social media fuelled, on both sides.

          To be sure, I don’t buy the western narrative of the poor and assaulted rebels who so bloodily and atrociously were crushed by the evil regime of Assad.
          I also don’t buy the opposing narrative that all rebels are in fact CIA trained terrorists and that Assad is a soft-hearted benign dictator.

          My opinion is that the conflict started as a true revolt, in the wake of the Arab spring. Questionable, I know, since some people are convinced that the revolt itself was started by the west, but I haven’t seen any conclusive evidence that changes this view up till now.
          Quickly the US, Western Europe, Russia, China, Iran – the whole shebang – interfered, fuelling the Gordian knot that the conflict now turned into.
          The revolt turned into a civil war, and all bets were off.

          But mostly, I realise that I can’t really know.

          Kind regards,

          Bart

          Like

          • Bart, thanks for your reply.

            All I want to stress is that it’s not a choice of words originating with the government, it’s the prevalent attitude in Syria towards the so-called “rebels”. It’s true that the term “terrorist” is loaded, but so is “rebel” (not to mention “revolutionary” sometimes also used in this context). Yes, it looks emotional, but you can hardly escape emotions when the contrast between what you’re told and what you see is that big.

            I’m glad you pay attention to journalistic standards: you must have noticed by now how much of the “information” coming from Syria is sourced from a few usual suspects: the SOHR, some “activists”, often anonymous and always dispatching from “rebel-held territories”, the White Helmets. In contrast, everything that happens on the government-controlled areas is as good as ignored. A case in question: for the last two weeks about 100 thousand civilians passed through the reconciliation centre in Jibreen, eastern Aleppo. They were registered, given food, medical care, and new documents if necessary. You might think media would naturally be interested in what the evacuated dozens of thousands have to say, but you’d be wrong. Vanessa Beeley is there, collecting interviews, filming, documenting — when you hear the voices of her interlocutors, you will know their names. Revd Andrew Ashdown was there: saw the people, talked to them, described the atmosphere of relief and hope among them. But they didn’t see any BBC crews. BCC posted a heart-breaking report about traumatized, hungry and dirty children being evacuated from Aleppo hell by buses (read: “rebels” families), but ignored thousands that went through the Jibreen centre. Why do you think it is so?

            As far as the origin of the conflict is concerned, I don’t think you’ll find a better summary than Stephen Gowans well-resaerched analysis here:

            https://gowans.wordpress.com/2016/10/22/the-revolutionary-distemper-in-syria-that-wasnt/

            No, that was not a popular uprising. Right from the beginning it was a sectarian, violent attack against the state incited by third parties. For a year or two you could find traces of the “authentic” Syrian sectarian minority that were used to justify calling them “opposition”, at the moment a vast majority of the “rebels” are terrorist mercenaries (yes, they get paychecks for shelling civilians).

            This has nothing to do with democracy and the will of Syrian people. That abominable Al-Assad, since the beginning of the conflict, has ended the almost 50 years old emergency state (caused by Syria still formally being at war with Israel), which gave the state more authoritarian powers, called a referendum for a new constitution which does away with the privileged position of the Baath party and introduces term-based presidential position, got it accepted in the referendum, entered elections and got elected. If the “opposition” were about democracy, they’d be sitting now with Assad talking about forming a representative government. But it’s never been about democracy. It’s about death to the Alawii infidels and their blasphemous Shiite allies.

            Al-Assad might not be an angel, but quite a lot of what’s attributes to him is lies and smear. And in my book, not being an angel is not a reason for third parties to breach the UN Charter and pursue “regime changes” in sovereign countries. We know how well it ended for Iraq and Libya, don’t we.

            Liked by 2 people

            • Thanks Ijon,

              Haven’t got much time to write you a well deserved longer reply but for now it suffices to say that you gave me exactly what I ask for: good arguments. Especially the article you referred to about the beginning of it all.
              Discussing subjects like this more than often lead to heated discussion wherein opinions flower and reason suffers.

              Not so with you, for which I am grateful. I really am trying to discern what to think, and plain good arguments, researched opinions and courteuous explanations are what I need for that.

              When I’ve read en researched more, I will come back here.

              In the mean time I wish you all that is good!

              Bart

              Liked by 2 people

          • Bart, I’ve followed this from the start including Libya. It didn’t start with a mass revolt or even peaceful demonstrations. Events unfolded in the same way as Libya – religious extremists/armed men attacking police/army…even ambulance workers.

            This was all planned. And along with it were the same dodgy NGOs and fake footage used in Iraq and Libya. As these nutters were killing people it was all blamed on the Syrian government. As usual the MSM have to claim that the government are being opposed but using militias to corner the people. In Libya they pretended Gaddafi was paying African migrants to go around shooting people. In Syria it was the ‘Shabiha’.

            If you studied journalism, maybe you should go back and study how every US regime change is run the same way. The same old tactics. Then study every single MSM article of propaganda and the persons quoted to provide it, then see how much of it was true. You will find that it was all bullshit.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Barbara McKenzie says

            Bart

            The problem with your approach is that it is not enough to ‘research the Eva Bartlett story’, you have to have some understanding of the Syrian war.

            1) You say, ‘My opinion is that the conflict started as a true revolt’. There is substantial evidence of the intention of NATO powers to bring down the Syrian government at least from 2001, see Wesley Clark revelations, Clinton emails etc. Furthermore there is substantial evidence of violence and external forces in the early demonstrations, including the presence of terrorists newly arrived from Libya. I myself see as conclusive:
            – the fact of more policemen than demonstrators being killed in the early demonstrators (well-reported)
            – the complete failure of the Day of Rage in Syria, (likewise well reported)
            – the huge demonstrations in favour of the government (largely ignored by the corporate media, but I’m afraid there is plenty of evidence)

            2) You divide the opposition to Syria into two groups: ISIS and the rebels. Which is what Obama does – he talks all the time about going after ISIS, giving the impression that even the other branch of al Qaeda, al Nusra, is somehow more moderate.
            The evidence shows that all these groups are equally barbaric, and all see themselves as aligned with al Nusra and/or ISIS. RT’s Murad Gazdiev videoed from western Aleppo into the eastern part of the city and the only flags he saw were al Nusra and ISIS. And before you sneer at this report because it comes from the Russian state broadcaster instead of the British one, I would point out that neither the BBC, CNN nor anyone else has made any effort to produce their own footage to refute that of RT.
            One of the groups that the West regards as moderate, al Zinki (the ones that gleefully sawed off the head of 12 year old Abdullah Issa), photographed themselves posing in front of an ISIS flag which appears to hang behind their leaders desk.
            Anyone who insists on using the Kerry terms ‘moderates’ and ‘legitimate opposition’ for the barbaric extremists that oppose the Syrian government, or opposes these barbaric extremists being referred to as terrorists, is not objective.

            Like

      • Hi John,

        Thank you for answering.

        You claim to know ‘purely objective reality’. Interesting and easily falsifiable in and of itself, see for example a nice explanation of this on wikipedia: “A proposition is generally considered objectively true when its truth conditions are met without biases caused by feelings, ideas, opinions, etc., of a sentient subject.”

        But that is quite beside the point, and frankly a bit corny. What I will do instead is understand your ‘objective truths’ as views formed and backed up by what I hope you have studied carefully and as neutrally as you can.

        To me, you make two extraordinary claims:

        1) The US and Saud elites started the conflict in Syria
        2) The US sponsors ISIS

        So I humbly ask you to take the time to explain to me what facts bring you to these 2 conclusions. Of course I can google myself, which I did, only deepening the rift between ‘established’ views and ‘outlying’ views.

        The burden of proof, as it were, lies with you in this specific case.

        Kind regards,

        Bart

        Like

    • Hi, Bart,

      Your so called three arguments against Bartlett’s reporting of her on-the-ground observations are to me rather odd.

      Essentially, they can be boiled down to this: she appears to be biased in favor of the military intervention of one side to this conflict, as it happens, that of, in the all so neutral parlance of the mainstream corporate media, the Assad “regime.” Consequently, whatever claims she may be making, they are tainted by this bias, and to the degree that they are, depart from a neutral and what by definition would be a more objective assessment of the incredibly complicated reality in Syria. In other words, if we cut through the obfuscatory buzz-phrase of “journalistic neutrality,” your objection to Eva’s reporting is that she is not being sufficiently “objective,” neutral, dispassionate or disinterested, and her language consequently embodies a propagandistic purpose, namely to sway her reader’s allegiance in favor of the Assad “regime” and its allies.

      As you yourself underscore, however, in your somewhat condescending reply to John, “objectivity,” especially of the “neutral” or “pure” kind, is an unachievable standpoint for humans, burdened as they always are by feelings, ideas, opinions, etc.

      So your “journalistic neutrality,” of which you make such a great deal, since it is the only criterion you adduce by which to assess and dismiss Eva’s work, is a vacuous criterion because, as on your very own admission, a “neutral” or “pure” or “objective” standpoint on the world is simply a human impossibility.

      In other words, it would appear that your assumptions about the role of “neutrality” in judgement, journalistic or otherwise, are somewhat circular, different points on your circle of assumptions being invoked or ignored at your selective convenience, to object to anything that on the face of it strikes you as “extraordinary,” which is only another buzzword for “something I hadn’t considered before because it stands outside of the orthodoxy in which my opinion on the matter is firmly rooted.”

      Since you can always argue that a person isn’t being sufficiently neutral about complex, multifaceted events, invoking your all-purpose “journalistic neutrality” is all you ever need to do to discredit their journalistic reports or testimonies. But since your criterion is an all-purpose rhetorical and rarefied academic objection of the kind that can’t be countered, it actually fails as a criterion by which to judge any testimony whatsoever.

      But things are actually quite different than the way in which you frame them with your criterion of “journalistic neutrality,” Bart. Within limits, you can indeed very “objectively” determine whether something is or is not the case, and that “truth” may coincidentally happen to vindicate or admittedly stand as cover for someone’s political and admittedly venal purposes.

      John has provided you with a list of statements that in “fact” do have an “objective” dimension and that can be verified to be true or false. And you are quite right: the burden of proof is always on the person who makes the claim. But the burden of following up the links which will disclose to you the truth or falsehood of the claims being made rests upon the person who finds the claims “extraordinary” and therefore doubts them.

      You ask for evidence? Did Eva not provide you with links to follow up? Did you even bother to follow them up before invoking your accusation of impartiality? And what of her impartiality if what she claims is true? Did you explore the treasure trove of information at her website? What about that of Vanessa Beeley? Did you bother to look at the ‘evidence’ already, so to speak, placed in front of you? Or do you want us to do your research for you? You know, we can’t read for you, Bart. Did you notice people leaving links behind in the comments? You can’t both ask for evidence and then refuse to look at it, and then expect us to believe that you have ‘an open mind,’ Bart.

      Let me make a claim: the White Helmets are a front serving two functions. On the one hand, it is a propaganda operation to demonize Assad and all that he represents; and on the other hand, it is a money laundering operation designed to funnel funds to the mercenaries in Syria. What do I base myself on? Well, among many others, the research summed up in a piece by Daniel Margrain, titled Who are the White Helmets & what is their role in Syria? I refer to this piece because not only is it well referenced, but because it nicely sums up in a succinct essay what I would argue is the essence of the “White Helmet fraud” as I myself have established to my satisfaction by all of the sifting I myself have done on this issue over these last few years.

      You want proof, well you are going to have to get off your ass and go and read where we ourselves have read. And if those sources are lying to us, why don’t you show us where and in what respects they are lying. Show me where Margrain is wrong in the claims of “facts” he makes, and if not Margrain himself, then his sources. You see, I claim Margrain is telling the truth. If you counter my claim, you also have a burden of proof, eh, namely to prove the falsehood of Margrain’s claims.

      Finally, I can’t let this go by without remarking on it:

      “The main part of Bartletts (sic) activism has taken place around another complicated conflict: Israel/Palestine. Bartlett repeatedly and explicitely (sic) supports the Palestinian side, and is a supporter of Hezbollah. (Again and again, I am not judging anything here, just researching facts)”

      Well, you are not judging, but you are. You are judging as well as highlighting Bartlett’s bias. In this instance, in favor of Hezbollah, a party to the conflict in Syria, and you clearly see an allegiance by proxy between Hezbollah and Bartlett because of her support for the Palestinian cause.

      But here is the source of my irritation as pertains to that ‘argument’ of yours and your own very flagrant biases: another complicated conflict: Israel/Palestine.

      Really? How complicated is it, really? It’s about land. It’s about a now established state permitting and actively engaging in the dispossession of a people who had long been living in Palestine before the beginning of the European Zionist inspired expropriation of the Palestinians. Or is it something else, Bart? You know on whom the burden of proof rests, here. For I find your claim simply breathtaking, simply and utterly “extraordinary.”

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hi Norman,

        It’s been a while since I’ve been able to take time to have this discussion. First, thank you for the time you take to explain your own and even my position in this. (The latter, of course, is slightly weird, because you seem to have concluded a few things about me that are, frankly, just not true. But that happens and is, I think, unintentional. Although you do not hesitate to use language like ‘yours and your own’, which I did not deserve, and tells me a lot about your own bias in this.)

        First I will give you my PERSONAL opinion on a few things. It may help you to invent a new category for what I am and think, in stead of putting me in an existing one you have a problem with.

        1) The Israel/Palestina boils down to illegal Israelian activity in an occupied territory. In that sense, it is very uncomplicated. The reason I call it complicated is because I actually visited Israel and Palestine multiple times, spoken to a lot of people from both sides and concluded that it is complicated on the ground level. If you think that puts me in the pro-israel camp, well so be it. I am most definitely not.

        2) Eva Bartlett to me is not an independent journalist. As soon as a journalist describes herself as an activist, from a professional viewpoint, she crosses a line. This does not mean she cannot tell the truth. This does not mean she’s a propaganda puppet. And it most certainly does not mean that I shouldn’t listen to what she has to say. I’ll put it even stronger: a journalist that becomes an activist is to be admired, because she cares enough about a certain issue to take action.

        3) I am convinced that main stream media are not a defining source of truth. More precisely: they are in essence corporations producing the product news, and whose true raison d’etre is shareholder value. So if CNN, The Guardian, or any of them bring me news, I take it with a big grain of salt (as we say in Dutch). On the scale of things, people like Eva Bartlett as a source are way more important to me than the glittering anchorman of a major news outlet.

        But let me drop a bomb here. I did click all the links provided by the people here, and I did read. And guess what? They convinced me, and I changed my perspective of what is happening in Syria.

        So thank you for the enlightenment.

        Bart

        Liked by 3 people

        • Granted, Bart, that I may, as you put it, “seem to have concluded a few things about [you] that are, frankly, just not true.”

          But how could I not, given that all I had to go on was a) a comment that was yours and that you most certainly wrote and b) the prefigurations and biases and assumptions that comprise the interpretive framework of my perceptions?

          Aren’t we all in this respect more than a little guilty?

          For example, you write:

          ” If you think that puts me in the pro-israel camp, well so be it. I am most definitely not.”

          Now why would you think that I would automatically think that because you think the situation on the ground in Israel is complicated, then that must surely put you in the pro-Israel camp?

          Might you be putting me in a category that you yourself have invented for what I actually am and think?

          I sincerely suspect as much, at least in this particular instance.

          So you see, people really are ridden by all sorts of biases that in spite of themselves distort their perceptions about reality.

          And that is something always to keep in mind, although fortunately, our initial misjudgments about a person can to some degree be mitigated if not entirely overcome.

          How often, for example, has it happened in your experience that between your first impressions of someone and those that you eventually come to ‘invent’ after a long acquaintance, there is very little to sometimes no semblance whatsoever?

          In this respect, then, we are all cursed, and to be apologetic for it is to misunderstand something important about human perception.

          But I’m happy to hear that after much due diligence, since you apparently did follow up on all the links provided, your understanding of the catastrophe that is still unfolding in Syria is now likely closer to the actual reality than it formerly was.

          Kind regards,

          –N

          Like

    • Dear Bart,

      Looking at your initial post, so much of what you say looks like putting the cart before the horse. I think you are making many assumptions (of which you might not be aware) about the nature of journalism, what passes for “objectivity” and what role that should (or should not play) in journalism and being a journalist, and what journalists should do.

      I should think very few people become journalists without having a clear objective about what they want to achieve through journalism. This means that they enter the journalist profession with clear tendencies or biases if you like. A truly “neutral” journalist is a very rare creature and might just be a figment of the imagination. “Objectivity” is more likely to be a concept the Western MSM promotes as a cover for its own prejudices and agendas.

      You say Bartlett describes the rebels as terrorists and uses the word “liberation” for Assad’s military actions. Your judgement on what Bartlett says might say more about your biases and what you believe “neutral language” should be than about Bartlett’s prejudices. Unless you are on the ground in Syria yourself, have spoken to Syrian people in Aleppo who have first-hand experience of the war, how can you say that Bartlett’s choice of vocabulary is not neutral or is biased?

      You say Bartlett has an affinity with Hezbollah. What does that mean? Simply supporting Hezbollah’s actions is not the same as agreeing with Hezbollah’s aims and agenda (which have changed quite a lot since the 1980s). What do you know of Hezbollah, do you know who is in charge of Hezbollah and how that organisation developed? And what leads you to say that Bartlett’s support for Palestine is linked to her support (if that exists) for Hezbollah? Does everyone who supports Palestine also support Hezbollah? I think such an assumption about Bartlett’s opinions is baseless and again further evidence of bias on your part.

      You say Bartlett has an affinity with Russian media on the basis that her articles have been published by Russian-based or supported media. That in itself does not imply affinity: it might simply mean that her articles were rejected by other media (because they did not follow a preconceived narrative about Syria) and the only media that would agree to publish her articles happen to be Russian-based media.

      The tone of your comment is very disturbing and condescending as well. I think you have some way to go before you can convince us here that you are not trolling.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Only one person here is seriously questioning the veracity of Eva Bartlett, even though she has been identified by many people globally as one of the few journalists still capable of bringing truthful accounts to us.
    The US peace council press conference at the UN can also be seen at http://uspeacecouncil.org/?p=3019.
    He should watch, listen, mark and inwardly digest.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. One can’t blame the ICC. The architecture is such that the ICC itself is wholly dependent upon the UNSC for referrals when the atrocity crimes & affected populations/victims are concentrated in non-state parties to the Rome Statute. The ICC’s hands are tied. Even the UN Secretariat’s flabbergasted. Another avenue for international justice is the creation of a specific international criminal tribunal in the likes of ICTY & ICTR. The appeal judgment & sentencing judgment in Dusko Tadic (Jurisdiction) [1996] 35 I.L.M. 35 & Momir Nikolic (IT-02-60/1) are highly lucid & discernible. Atrocity crimes have been committed & thus, the principle of primacy of international law in a competent & established international tribunal must prevail. The suffering and loss of the victims of such crimes must thereby be internationally recognized and acknowledged in a competent & established International Criminal Court or an International Penal Tribunal. The initiation of criminal proceedings sends the message to all persons – that any violations of international humanitarian law – and particularly the practice of “ethnic cleansing” – would not be tolerated and must stop. Due to the failure & prevention of the 1st UNSC Resolution on the referral of the Syrian situation to the ICC, the lucid options are to have another UNSC Resolution for the same or the creation of a specific ICT as a commitment to end impunity in Syria etc. that would promote respect for the rule of law globally.

    http://www.ejiltalk.org/justice-for-syria-opportunities-and-limitations-of-universal-jurisdiction-trials-in-germany/

    http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=47860#.WFaiZ-jmhDs

    Like

  6. Going slightly off-topic here – or maybe not, given the way the comments thread has developed – but a number of websites (Fort Russ, Southfront, 21stcenturywire among them) have now published the names and nationalities of 14 mercenaries among the jihadis found in east Aleppo by Syrian special forces.

    Drum roll, please!

    Mutaz Kanoğlu – Turkey
    David Scott Winer – USA
    David Shlomo Aram – Israel
    Muhamad Tamimi – Qatar
    Muhamad Ahmad Assabian – Saudi
    Abd-el-Menham Fahd al Harij – Saudi
    Islam Salam Ezzahran Al Hajlan – Saudi
    Ahmed Ben Naoufel Al Darij – Saudi
    Muhamad Hassan Al Sabihi – Saudi
    Hamad Fahad Al Dousri – Saudi
    Amjad Qassem Al Tiraoui – Jordan
    Qassem Saad Al Shamry – Saudi
    Ayman Qassem Al Thahalbi – Saudi
    Mohamed Ech-Chafihi El Idrissi – Moroccan

    Latest news is that the UN Security Council has convened a secret meeting, presumably to discuss this discovery (meaning that the US, the UK, France and their current non-permanent fellow Security Council members have some explaining, horse-trading and hand-wringing to do).

    Now if this news doesn’t convince the Doubting Thomases among us that the US and its allies are indeed conducting a regime change operation in Syria, then I guess nothing short of a total brain transplant will.

    Who doesn’t want to be a fly on the wall to see Vitaly Churkin smirking at Samantha Power now?

    Liked by 2 people

  7. The Norwegian journalist looked rather silly and seems his only comeback was Al-Jafari not being there. How is that relevant?

    Like

    • “How is that relevant?”

      Exactly, But if you are a mandarin, as corporate journalists tend to imagine themselves to be, well, it’s all about procedure and form — above all. So you can see how Al-Jafari absence completely undermined Eva’s journalistic integrity in the eyes of the “real” journalist.

      And yes, he did look embarrassed, didn’t he, at least a little, like he had farted or something, and he was kind of all alone in his part of the room, making it kind of obvious to everyone present who it was that had ‘erupted.’

      Like

  8. Ahmed says

    How can u have no food water and electricity and still have twitter Facebook and a perfect internet connection in a City where power has been cut off for months ? All lies and that girl is real baña abedin but in idlib and they are filming there so it looks like Aleppo let’s be honest they the rebels terrorists using her as propogenda to get world attention like Syria Danny remember that one people? All lies and deception

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Ahmed, I’m with you on electricity/internet connection – Vanessa Beeley made the same point – no 3G/no electricity in Aleppo – how do they broadcast – from Idlib or Turkey?
      It was subtle, but the BBC showed a family in Aleppo contacting their son on “Aleppos intermittent internet.” #PropOrNot?
      The same BBC had a tame terrorist called Basel this week – I don’t speak Syrian, but in two separate pieces they interviewed him and a white helmet – who (via the translation) word for word both gave exactly the same speech. #FakeNews?
      They can’t even be bothered to lie coherently anymore.

      Like

  9. Ahmed says

    Hello i must say i as a muslim man support Russische and assad to liberate Syrië from usa and EU created sponsored terroriste no one is buying That rebels are sweet guys please they cut peoples heads and ny times and Washington post usa today reuters all Liers …. real news is infowars rt drugdereport prisonplanet breitbart because i am müslim does not mean i support terrorism i choose world peace over everything i even support trump as a muslim because he speaks the thruth … do you See muslims getting media attention if they say they support trump or That russia killing terroriste is a good thing? Its all lies we are finally awakening

    Like

  10. Since when does a journalist speak on behalf of a government at a press conference? You can deny it all you like, but that’s exactly what you did. You’re no journalist. You’re a PR hack posing as one, which is frankly, disgusting. Worse, you’re representing a dictatorial regime that has been indicted by the UN for war crimes against its own people.

    Like

    • Presumably if Eva Bartlett had spoken on behalf of the “Syrian opposition”, you would not have seen her as prejudiced towards a particular political agenda.

      Where is your evidence to back up your accusations against Bartlett and the government of Syria? Simply saying that being indicted by the UN for war crimes is proof enough is insufficient as we are all aware that the UN is, and has been for a long time, a highly politicised forum.

      Liked by 1 person

      • It is indisputable that she appeared with the Syrian mission the UN at a press conference.

        It is also indisputable that by appearing with the Syrian mission, and speaking to the press in such a manner, that she was representing the interests of Assad’s government. Especially since she used terms like “liberate” when discussing Aleppo. That’s the kind of language a government uses when they want you to think they’re doing somebody a favour.

        Never have I seen a journalist of any stripe do something like this. Ever. The reason is because if they did that, they wouldn’t be acting as a journalist, but as a public relations specialist. Most journalists, even bad ones, recognize that this would be a severe breach of journalistic ethics. But not Bartlett, and not some of you here.

        As for Syria… every major media outlet from across the political spectrum has reported on the horrific actions of Assad’s regime. Those reports are backed up by the NGOs operating on the ground throughout the war. As for the UN… the organization has issued countless resolutions, which you can read here:

        http://www.securitycouncilreport.org/un-documents/syria/

        And you can read all about the UN Human Rights Council’s plan to identify war criminals here:

        http://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-syria-warcrimes-idUSKCN12L0VX?il=0

        I know this won’t convince you guys. You’re cut from the same cloth as climate change deniers. No amount of evidence will ever shake your belief that Russia and Syria, both authoritarian nations, are the good guys here. But I gotta try.

        Liked by 1 person

        • If you want to question her facts, fine. This site was set up by people who think that getting at the facts and finding the truth is important.

          If you are just going to post ad hominem attacks, I can see no reason why anyone would be interested in reading your comments.

          Liked by 1 person

            • Okay:

              “And since she is trying to pass herself off as a journalist, I am absolutely going to question her integrity, or rather, lack-there-of.” — John Paolozzi.

              That’s hitting below the belt, there, John. Eva would never try to pass herself off as what in your mind and by your standards constitutes a “journalist.” Please try to moderate your insults or we will simply have to start ignoring you.

              You’re welcome, eh.

              Like

              • Yarg. I’m back, because somebody keeps Tweeting at me. I figured I may as well clear this up.

                #1 My Cloud Cuckoo comment was directed to the person who insinuated I was a state actor. That was in fact and ad hominem attack. My response was not an attack against their person. It simply answered a ridiculous charge with an equally ridiculous answer.

                #2 Climate change deniers cite a tiny handful of experts as proof that their view is somehow more rational than a consensus achieved by thousands of scientists. You guys are doing the exact same thing when you reject reports from practically every major media outlet on the planet, whether they’re progressive, conservative, corporate, or public, as well as countless NGO’s and the United Nations. That behaviour is indicative of individuals who are not interested in actually seeking facts, but in confirming their biases.

                3# Once again, journalists do not speak at press conferences on behalf of governments. Especially governments that have been accused of committing war crimes against their own citizens by the UN. You might be able to get around this fact, but that’s because you are seeking to confirm your biases and you are not thinking critically about what she did. It’s not ad hominem to call a person out for things they actually did.

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                • John,

                  I understand perfectly the points you are making.

                  Do you appreciate that Eva, although she may have, according to you, broken with “journalistic” protocol, may in ‘fact’ be reporting truthfully about what is happening in Syria?

                  You do not seem to want to engage with her message, but with Eva’s apparent breach of, as you understand it, journalistic integrity.

                  As for the tweets, just ignore them. I don’t understand why people insist upon hounding others if only for their opinions. I hope you don’t fancy that I have anything to do with that. I would never engage in that sort of thing.

                  Regards,
                  –N

                  Like

                • You need to stop projecting. It is you that won’t deal with the arguments and simply dismiss everything out of hand.

                  Try actually debating the points or don’t bother.

                  Like

                • @Norman

                  First let me just say, I don’t feel hounded on Twitter, but thanks for your comment. I don’t hold you personally responsible for the tweets of others. 😉

                  And it’s not according to me the Eva broke with journalistic protocol. It’s a universal thing where a journalist would never align themselves in such a way with a government. And certainly not a dictatorial government such as Assad’s.

                  As for her message. I’m not really interested in going through her points. How could I prove or disprove them conclusively, either way? I’m judging comments her points on three key issues.

                  1) She is affiliated with RT, which is a Russian propaganda outlet. Russia is notorious for its lack of press freedom. You can look this up on a number of journalistic indexes.
                  2) She claims that she was not touring Syria as a guest of the government, but she was touring government areas. Syria is also not a fan of freedom of the press, so she saw what they wanted her to see.
                  3) I’m more inclined to believe all of the other media outlets combined, (which I view critically), plus the NGOs, plus the United Nations observers, than I am her.

                  Like

                • Yarg. I don’t know where I got the impression that you felt hounded. And because your post seemed to be addressed to me, I thought that maybe you somehow held me responsible for that darn persistent Tweeting. Good that we got that cleared up and out of the way.

                  Well at least you admit that you don’t have the inclination nor the wherewithal to verify any of Eva’s claims or pretensions.

                  By implication, that’s also an admission that you don’t have the inclination nor the wherewithal to verify the claims or pretensions of “every major media outlet from across the political spectrum” who have “reported on” what they allege are “the horrific actions of Assad’s regime.”

                  In other words, you admit quite candidly if obliquely that you don’t know either whether the “major media outlets” are telling the truth about Syria any more than Eva, but you choose to believe them rather than her, well, because they are many and “major” and span an entire spectrum of presumably politically discordant opinions (sic), for otherwise it wouldn’t be a spectrum, and, moreover, because they are staffed by “real” journalists who don’t do naughty things like betray their true political allegiances or biases, at least not as publicly and blatantly as Eva did, preferring to create instead an ersatz impression of neutrality in an attempt to camouflage their actual partiality toward the muted vested political and economic and private interests of their corporate masters.

                  Someone once left a comment here, at OffG, about the “ring of truth.” I guess that that’s where you hang your hat, eh, John. And it doesn’t strike you as in the least odd that all of the corporate media, none of whom have any journalists on the ground in Syria, despite being from across the entire spectrum of the corporate media, all speak with one voice, which only coincidentally also happens to be that of the U.S. government, which sets the tone on all things geopolitical for all of its allies, subordinates and subalterns, whether in the West or the Middle East?

                  By the way, there is a piece written by a guy. If you follow up his sources, you will actually be able to determine whether he is alluding to ‘facts’ or merely fabricating lies. I’ve already taken the time to look him up for you, you will recall.

                  On the off chance that you ever experience even the slightest twinge of curiosity about the actual truth of Syria, in contrast to a mere seeming ringing of it in mass corporate unison, I’ll save you having to scroll down to where I first provided you with a link:

                  Who are the White Helmets & what is their role in Syria?

                  Don’t mention it.

                  No, it’s okay.

                  You are most welcome. No, really, eh.

                  –N

                  P.S.

                  Remind me again about “individuals who are not interested in actually seeking facts, but in confirming their biases.”

                  Liked by 1 person

                • Oh, and this just in about the “major media outlets:”

                  THE CIA AND THE MEDIA, by Carl Bernstein, whom you can’t accuse of not being a “real” journalist, eh.

                  And then there is this piece,

                  Yet another highly informed analysis of the CIA story — another Niqnaq post . . .

                  I’m adding these links merely to emphasize that the mainstream media is, er . . . uh . . . what’s the expression? Oh, yes: “severely compromised” — as BigB suggests (below).

                  Like

            • John, I refer you to the link I posted below re: Bezos, the CIA and the Washington Post. One could equally argue that the Post is, if not actual state propaganda, severely compromised.
              America is not a big fan of press freedom either, but there is not enough room to go into that here. You could start by researching Operation Mockingbird if you want.
              What you call journalistic protocol, others call ’embedding’ – whereby journalists are vetted and attached to a press corps that is only shown what the Armed Forces want them to see. Over our coffee back home, we tend to get a rather one sided and sanitized view of the warzone. Some may call that propaganda too. John Pilger writes about it here:- http://johnpilger.com/articles/why-are-wars-not-being-reported-honestly
              If John Pilger hadn’t risked his life and done what you accuse Eva of doing (independent investigation) – the world may never have heard of Pol Pot or the genocide in East Timor.
              When you allude that Eva is biased by only touring Government areas and not touring rebel areas, really? Have you heard of the Yazidis and what Daesh do to their women?

              Liked by 1 person

        • “No amount of so-called evidence generated by Vested Interests will ever shake your belief that destabilizing Syria in order to depose Assad, for frustrating the schemes of an authoritarian Empire, is a bloody bundle of War Crimes.”

          Fixed that for you.

          “I know this won’t convince you guys. You’re cut from the same cloth as climate change deniers.”

          Ouch! That school-yard taunt (remember when they used to say “Ghey!” instead?) will totally work and inspire me to submit to the 2+2 =5 logic! Yep.

          “But I gotta try.”

          Paid on commission, eh?

          PS Now will you Fuck Off? Tip: Try a softer target like a HuffPo comment thread.

          Like

          • My dear Easter,

            Aren’t you the guy who only several comments ago was berating someone for trying to police this comment section, that readers were capable of deciding for themselves which comments were worthy of their assent or dissent?

            We should welcome John’s critique of our standpoint and see if we cannot demonstrate to him how woefully misinformed he actually is if he is relying solely on the corporate media for his intellectual sustenance.

            On the other hand, it may be that “we” are wrong about some things. And maybe John is just the guy we need to enlighten us further about what is really happening in Syria, and to explain to us exactly what Assad and Putin are really on about. Maybe, albeit not likely … The people around here tend to be rather well informed on a pretty broad range of issues.

            (I like your magazine (website), by the way, though I haven’t yet been able to really sample a whole lot of what on the face of it appears to stylistically brilliant essays and other pieces. (No, I’m not plugging for Easter, Those are my honest first impressions of his site. He may not be anybody else’s cup of tea.) There is so much to read, and not enough time to get to everything that may deserve a serious read. I will make an effort, however. I’m sure I’ll be delighted.)

            Regards,

            –N

            Liked by 1 person

            • Norm:

              At no point did I (or do I) encourage ad hominem-slinging programs which mirror mainstream propaganda. I take exception to Paolozzi’s slur against Ms Bartlett (and her work) as “disgusting”.

              To maintain an “open mind” to absolutely everything, when we are no longer wide-eyed teens with an alibi, is the most decadent sophistry, Baby! Likewise would I tell a pro-Hillary commenter to “fuck off”… especially if the comment reeks of paid disinfo. If I’m wrong about it being orchestrated disinfo, the beauty of it is: all (mine and the other) comments remain, for all to see, in any case. The “fuck-off” is rhetorical. I’m merely expressing my opinions like everyone else and can’t make anyone’s disappear… nor would I want to, as what would I say “fuck off” to, then?

              PS Thanks for having a look at my mad stuff, N!

              Liked by 1 person

              • Hey, Aug,

                Between me, you, and the fence post (if there was a post and so to speak), I do get the intent of your telling John, here, to “fuck off,” and to be honest, telling him to “fuck off” was also my first impulse, and I did privately cheer your comment.

                But it would be interesting to see if John is as open minded as he postures himself to be, and whether the “crowd” here at OffG, that from John’s perspective seems to be mindlessly running together, isn’t in fact mired in group-think.

                To some degree, of course, we are. But do we have the cojones to interrogate ourselves, to question our apparent grasp of the “facts,” to systematically trot out our “facts” into the light of day to examine them critically “with” John?

                The danger of telling John to “fuck off” is that he may not engage us and our “facts,” and if we don’t get him to engage on the presumption that he cares as much as we do about what the truth of the matter is, he will go away having missed an opportunity to be disabused of his illusions, as likewise we ourselves perhaps.

                Manners matter, I think, although I do agree: John was name-calling, gratuitously attacking Eva’s integrity as a journalist and investigator and truth-teller, instead of actually engaging the content of her reportage, and for that his rudeness is certainly deserving of contempt, and a bit of roughness might indeed have been his due.

                But lets try to have a ‘conversation’ with him if that’s what he wants and is capable of having.

                Bartlett’s work is wasted if it doesn’t help to pull at least some people out the depths of “our” collective brainwashing, which is the undeniable purpose of the all too ubiquitous corporate press, allied as it is with the capitalist oligarchs against the “masses“.

                More than just knowing the truth, once we have more or less adequately ascertained the “facts,” we need to learn how to effectively proselytize this truth among ourselves, our perceptions being the target of the ruling class’ efforts to control, ultimately to covertly and collectively manipulate us to their murderous ends.

                And yes, I agree, a perpetually open mind is indeed a perpetually empty mind, to echo Bertrand Russell. There is, however, the equivalent danger while being decisively closed on any given issue: if your stance should be wrong, it is devoid of truth and thus equally empty. When the issues are matters of life and death, we do well to revisit them time and again.

                Like

                • I repeat: People who speak on behalf of governments at press conferences are NOT journalist. Especially when what they say is what that government wants them to say.

                  And since she is trying to pass herself off as a journalist, I am absolutely going to question her integrity, or rather, lack-there-of.

                  Like

                • Dear John,

                  How is one to judge the integrity of a “journalist?” By the manner in which the “information” is made public, or would it not rather be a matter of the “veracity” of the information?

                  You are coming off in the way that the American establishment is about the “incriminating” evidence that are grounds for indicting Hillary Clinton: you see, by their reasoning, what is important is not that Clinton has been playing a game of graft or that in Libya, to hearken back to another more egregious crime against humanity, she condemned many tens of thousands of people to unspeakable misery, torture and death, but rather and quite irrelevantly the motives and the source of the leak that exposes the crimes.

                  The gauge by which you are measuring Eva’s integrity is simply and utterly spurious, and exactly mirrors the ‘spin’ as a mode of thought that the corporate media has obviously imprinted as a reflex in your mind.

                  What does it matter that Syria sponsored the press conference IF what Eva reports is true? Isn’t the veracity of Eva’s testimony the real issue rather than whether that truth happens to vindicate or serve as cover for Assad’s cause?

                  Now go and read Margrain’s piece and detail for us, exactly and precisely, where he gets his ‘facts’ wrong as pertains the underpinnings, origins and purpose of the “White Helmets,” that Nobel Prize worthy band of heroes now famously known worldwide for their selfless sacrifices in aid and succor to Assad’s victims, all thanks to the all so politically neutral Western corporate press.

                  And after you do that, show us how Margrain’s piece, though it does in places rely on Bartlett’s work, fails to corroborate her own and independent narrative.

                  Be sure to follow up the references, and then the references of those references. Because that, following up on references and leads, it seems to me, is the more reliable way of establishing a person’s integrity for telling the truth.

                  Like

                • Norm!

                  My working theory on these matters has evolved, over the years, since I went online in 1998. I’m recently of the opinion that it’s a total waste of time/ energy attempting to “convert” a commenter like John. We don’t have the resources to undo his programming; we are out-gunned as Propagandists. We can only enrich the information that’s in the possession of others who see as we do (and, in turn, be enriched) … perhaps there’s a hardwired element of “skeptic” versus “believer” at play (for example, I believed in “climate change” until a friend sent me the entire trove of “climate gate” emails; I’m always open to information; my positions are not aligned in Maginot lines of “sports team loyalty” formations). I’ve interacted with people who were “on the fence” before and that’s quite another matter: we owe it to such people to tell them what we know, But John? Why bother? He’s a waste of resources, in my honest opinion. The real challenges will involve consolidating and organizing the “Skeptics”. In itself a Herculean task.

                  John will faithfully regurgitate the war machine’s pro-war machine propaganda. I really don’t see us short-circuiting his programming. Ever.

                  Like

                • I suspect you are right. But there are others reading these comments, perhaps a few inclined to skepticism, but as yet under the influence of the corporate hypnosis. By observing the interaction with John, perhaps they may be sufficiently intrigued to delve into the matter more deeply.

                  I’m no masochist. There is a limit to the number of times I’ll permit myself to beat my head against a brick wall.

                  Liked by 1 person

          • Paid on commission? I’m not the person posting anonymously to the internet. Feel free to google me. I’m a real person, standing behind my real opinions.

            And no. I don’t think the entire western media, which ranges from left to right, and from corporate to public, were all in cahoots, along with aid agencies like Doctors Without Borders, Amnesty International, and Human Rights Watch. And I don’t think that they were also all working with the United Nations to assault the poor Assad regime. That sort of collusion simply isn’t possible, or likely, and it completely ignores what Assad is, which is a multi-generational dictator.

            I stand by my climate change denier comment. In the face of overwhelming evidence from multiple sources, you guys insist on believing in a narrative that aligns with your ideology. That’s what climate change deniers do.

            Like

            • Yeah, because HRW, Amnesty and the US government have never spouted the same lies over previous regime change actions, right?

              Like

            • “In the face of overwhelming evidence from multiple sources…”

              How many venues for disseminating Propaganda do you think NATO/WASHINGTON/SOROS control… two? Three? Several thousand?

              Do you mean “overwhelming evidence” such as what they had regarding “WMDs”? Or Gaddafi? Or Lee Harvey Oswald?

              Gullible John. Credulous John. That’s why the Propaganda is aimed right at you, John. You’ll never let them down.

              Liked by 1 person

              • @Norman

                “What does it matter that Syria sponsored the press conference IF what Eva reports is true? Isn’t the veracity of Eva’s testimony the real issue rather than whether that truth happens to vindicate or serve as cover for Assad’s cause?”

                Because regardless of whether or not something is “true”, journalists simply do not work directly with governments to convey information. Journalists work for the media. PR people work with governments. It’s the job of journalists to question pr people.

                Now I won’t say what she has done isn’t very clever on her part, that of Syria and their sponsor, Russia. It is. Because obviously inviting somebody up who claims to be a journalist, and who spouts their party line gives them credibility, as has happened here. And what is particularly gross, is that she’s working for Assad. Even if you refuse to believe the piles of evidence against the guy from a diverse range of sources, you should at least be able to see that the guy is a dictator. And since you guys seem to believe that people should be empowered, you should automatically reject the very notion of his government, no matter how benign it might be. (Which it is NOT.)

                Like

                • “Because regardless of whether or not something is “true”, journalists simply do not work directly with governments to convey information.”

                  They’re certainly never EMBEDDED in the US Military.

                  Like

                • “Because regardless of whether or not something is “true” . . .”

                  See, there you go, eh. Let’s just slide over and blink the part where the information is solid, because what really matters is how it came to our attention. It wasn’t vetted by the corporate boxtops, see, so it has no business ringing in our ears, eh.

                  What a good little CBC employee you must have been, eh, John? What a good little boy you are, John.

                  Thank you for getting back to us as pertains to the truth or falsehood of Eva’s testimony, for clarifying for us the complete irrelevance of that distracting detail.

                  Liked by 1 person

                • “Even if you refuse to believe the piles of evidence against the guy from a diverse range of sources, you should at least be able to see that the guy is a dictator. And since you guys seem to believe that people should be empowered, you should automatically reject the very notion of his government, no matter how benign it might be.”

                  WRONG. It is neither my place nor yours to “reject” a government we disagree with to the extent that we empower our respective governments to invade and/ or destabilize and spill blood. There are plenty of corrupt governments, including most of “our” West. Thing is, I just don’t believe in invading countries and/or destabilizing governments to “fix” them. Who gave NATO the mandate? When did invasion/destabilization become a global Social Justice default? (A: when the NeoCons realized they could hide behind “humanitarian interventions” to get away with just about anything… it helped that they were working with a profoundly dumbed-down Electorate… no offence, John).

                  You’ve been well-conditioned by warmongers who use blitzkrieg against defenseless nations as the first option, without a shred of circumspection or regret, and who think their military machine is above the law (and it is: who will punish their grievous infractions?). Which should be obvious from the ever-growing piles of millions of “oopsed” civilians. These citizens meant NOTHING (less than meat) to the war machine you do free PR for.

                  So, Gaddafi was a “dictator”, right? But under Gaddafi, as Dr. Michael Parenti writes, “1) There was no electricity bill in Libya; electricity was free for all its citizens, 2) There was no interest on loans, banks in Libya were state-owned and loans given to all its citizens at zero percent interest by law, 3) Having a home was considered a human right in Libya, 4) All newlyweds in Libya used to receive $60,000 dinar (U.S.$50,000) by the government to buy their first apartment so to help start up the family,” etc. Brutal! Sounds like a successful hybrid form of Socialism, doesn’t it? Horror!

                  Well, “we” fixed that “guy”, didn’t we, John? We “empowered” those people so much that their leader was raped/murdered on camera and their country now looks like it was painted by Hieronymus Bosch. Bravo.

                  You have no idea how morally bankrupt your worldview has become to accommodate the goals of your masters , but I can see it clearly.

                  Liked by 2 people

                • Whether she was invited by the government to speak or not – argue the points made. It’s that simple. You refuse to do so because you can’t.

                  If you prefer to delude yourself with the thin veil of smoke and mirrors presented by corporate media of not towing the government line, go right ahead. Fill your boots.

                  Whether someone uses their real name on here or not does not alter the argument one iota. Not one.

                  Liked by 1 person

                • “… Journalists work for the media. PR people work with governments. It’s the job of journalists to question pr people …”

                  John Paolozzi, you have no direct evidence that Eva Bartlett is working for the Assad government. Simply appearing together with Syrian government representatives at the UN due to a shortage of chairs and rooms to hold press conferences is not evidence in itself. By your standards, Hillary Clinton appearing together with Donald Trump on a stage together would be evidence of Clinton being a secret Russian agent (working in Russian public relations perhaps).

                  Your view of what journalists do or don’t do is astonishingly naive. Equally your knowledge of Syrian politics over the last 15 or 16 years is so superficial as to be considered squat. I think at this point you really should give up because the more you say, the more you reveal your ignorance about the issue under discussion.

                  Liked by 1 person

            • Hi John, how is the weather in Nelson, BC? I honour your right to your opinions and accept that they are genuine.
              About the Assads, can’t argue much about the dad but Bashar – if he is such a ‘dictator’ – how come he still has the support of his people? (I’m not going to post links as there are about 20 on this page – follow them and see what Syrians in Syria think of him. Brutal dictator or ‘Mr Soft Heart?’)
              The real issue at stake here is that a sovereign country – with its own right to self determination and self defence – was invaded – yes invaded – by a disparate coalition of Western and Middle Eastern countries – for the sole purpose of regime change – in violation of international law. There was no mandate from the UN for this action.
              Check the wording of UN Resolution 2254 – “the only sustainable solution to the current crisis in Syria” is for a “Syrian-led political process that meets the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people…” Where does it say invade or ouster their leader?
              You see, it does not matter what you or I think of Assad – it only matters what the Syrian people think of him – and my understanding is that if there were elections tomorrow – Assad would win.
              By what authority did the coalition countries take it upon themselves to invade and violate Assads democratic mandate to rule? Certainly not by the authority of a UN mandate – which renders the whole venture both illegal and immoral. And criminal.
              And what precedent is being set by the international community – whereby if they do not like the democratic leader of any country they can be changed by forceful means – foregoing diplomacy and usurping international law?
              On one thing we can agree, however, that climate change is real – but that sort of blows your climate change denialist groupthink theory though. Namaste.

              Liked by 1 person

              • Can’t wait for when OffG decides to explore the issue of climate change. It’s really not as cut-and-dried as the “corporate press” would have us believe. But that’s all for another thread — hopefully.

                Liked by 1 person

            • Peter says

              John, when you criticise Eva Bartlett, you’re just the pot calling the kettle black. You’re the one that’s ‘believing in a narrative that aligns with your ideology’. Do you actually know anything about Syria? You could start by finding out instead of making irrelevant comparisons with climate-change deniers.

              Like

            • Daniel Margrain says

              “Addressing media myths by reiterating the fact that Assad’s secular government won the first contested presidential election in Ba’athist Syria’s history on July 16, 2014, which was reported as having been open, fair and transparent, USPC delegate, Joe Jamison stated:

              “By contrast to the medieval Wahhabist ideology, Syria promotes a socially inclusive and pluralistic form of Islam. We met these people. They are humane and democratically minded…. “The [Syrian] government is popular and recognized as being legitimate by the UN. It contests and wins elections which are monitored. There’s a parliament which contains opposition parties – we met them. There is a significant non-violent opposition which is trying to work constructively for its own social vision.”

              Jamison added:

              “Our delegation came to Syria with political views and assumptions, but we were determined to be sceptics and to follow the facts wherever they led us”, he said. “I concluded that the motive of the US war is to destroy an independent, Arab, secular state. It’s the last of this kind of state standing.”

              In other words, the claim by Israel’s far-right defence minister, Avigdor Lieberman, that Assad’s removal is the empires “ultimate goal”, would appear to be consistent with the notion that the aim of the U.S government is to stymie the non-violent opposition inside Syria. Washington has been engaged in this strategy since early 2012 after having deliberately helped scupper Kofi Annan’s six point peace plan.

              Members of the Syrian opposition within a newly reformed constitution who wanted to participate in democratic politics have instead been encouraged by the Western axis – by bribing government forces to defect and through funding the Free Syrian Army – to overthrow the Assad government by violent means.

              As commentator Dan Glazebrook put it:

              “Within days of Annan’s peace plan gaining a positive response from both sides in late March, the imperial powers openly pledged, for the first time, millions of dollars for the Free Syrian Army; for military equipment, to provide salaries to its soldiers and to bribe government forces to defect. In other words, terrified that the civil war is starting to die down, they are setting about institutionalizing it.”

              https://cultureandpolitics.org/2016/10/05/the-ongoing-media-propaganda-war-against-syria/

              Liked by 1 person

              • BTW, Daniel, though I had read your piece and even re-blogged it on my site, it had momentarily slipped my mind . . .

                Truly, a masterful piece. It needs exposure. I hope that people take the time to follow your link and then let other people know where they can find it.

                Well written. Wide ranging. Refined in both its details and references.

                It completely blows the lid off of everything we’ve been told about Syria by the mainstream press.

                Liked by 1 person

        • “As for Syria… every major media outlet” cites a tee-shirt shop in Coventry as a major source and uncritically quotes Rami Abdulrahman – a man who has not been in Syria for 15 years – as authoritative.
          As opposed to Eva, Vanessa Beeley and Lizzie Phelan who have been or are on the frontline in Syria talking to Syrians.
          “Those reports are backed up by the NGOs operating on the ground” such as the White Helmets – a terrorist propaganda machine that hardly any of the ‘liberated’ Syrians of East Aleppo have even heard of.
          Watch the unscripted chant for Assad of two kids (in the Vanessa Beeley piece I linked below.) It may open your eyes.

          Liked by 1 person

            • Sorry, Not Buying It says

              Does it give you pause that your beliefs are exactly in alignment with the imperialist bourgeoisie? Say, John: you wouldn’t happen to be one of those pseudo-leftist “socialists” who warns people about the dangers of “knee-jerk anti-imperialism” and thinks that the primary role of the working class is to unite with “their” imperialist governments in support of regime-operations pursued for the sake of regional hegemony, would you?

              It must GET TO YOU that Assad still hasn’t been overthrown by GCC mercenaries and CIA-backed jihadis.

              “Here’s my serious answer: Cloud Cuckoo Land.”

              Vile. If something makes the cushioned Western “leftist” uncomfortable and doesn’t align with the NYT narrative, it “didn’t happen”, by definition. Talk about Cloud Cuckoo Land. The United States, along with its privileged “leftist” intelligentsia, has taken a long vacation into a world of phantasm, but you mistake these phantasms for “truth”. So typical.

              Liked by 1 person

        • Hi, John,

          Lets talk facts. Just for starters, why don’t you make an effort to read this piece, “<a href=”https://cultureandpolitics.org/2016/10/10/who-are-the-white-helmets-what-role-are-both-they-the-media-playing-in-syria/>Who are the White Helmets & what is their role in Syria?, by Daniel Margrain. Do come back with evidence that Margrain has got his ‘facts’ and research wrong. Then we can examine other purported ‘facts’ about Syria, eh.

          Hugs and kisses,

          –N

          Like

            • Norman, I think your efforts are very possibly wasted on John, who is heavily invested in the warmongering side of this equation (which has invested heavily in his “education”). You’d have more luck flipping an Arsenal fan.

              Liked by 1 person

              • I’m leaning in that direction, of course, but I’m all about trying to save souls (– you can put that down to my atheism).

                I’m genuinely curious about the way he will parse Margrain’s piece if he bothers to look and manages to read the piece on its own terms.

                Like

                • “I’m all about trying to save souls (– you can put that down to my atheism).”

                  Ah, a Reform Atheist!

                  Like

                • The question is, why is this piece more believable, than everything else written? And why should I believe anything that ultimately is connected to defending Assad’s regime, or backed by Russia’s rightwing, nationalist government?

                  Does it not give you guys pause that your beliefs on Syria are basically in alignment with the far right?

                  I’m not going to claim that I understand fully what’s happening in Syria. Anybody who does is lying through their teeth. But anybody who thinks that Assad is the good guy in this is delusional.

                  I’m out. You guys are welcome to believe what you want, but you’re part of the problem. By all means go on defending the PR hack you’ve convince yourselves is a journalist.

                  Like

                • Bye, bye, John. I’ll miss you. Take care. Kiss the wife for me if you have one. Hugs the kids, too. And know that the people in Syria are just as real as you and your own. That’s a fact if not a properly “journalistic” one, eh.

                  Like

          • Unfortunately John represents the moral majority, if only we could see them all off as easily. Yesterday I got a request for a donation for the White Helmets from Tom Watson and Jeremy Corbyn: to help continue the work of murdered MP Jo Cox – buy the Christmas single from the Strolling Bones. A bit uncharitable of me, but I told them to F__k off. I mean, they’ve got $100m – do they really need a fiver from me?

            Liked by 2 people

            • “I mean, they’ve got $100m – do they really need a fiver from me?”

              It all adds up, BigB! What if they need a little extra money to fund the Brexit recount…?

              Like

        • Sorry, Not Buying It says

          “As for Syria… every major media outlet from across the political spectrum has reported on the horrific actions of Assad’s regime.”

          Right, the entire pro regime-change political “spectrum”. That’s a JOKE, right?

          “And since she is trying to pass herself off as a journalist, I am absolutely going to question her integrity, or rather, lack-there-of.”

          Right, but the pampered, privileged clowns who spout received “truths” as foregone facts have no problem being counted among “real” journalists in you eyes, nor do they invoke any aspersions about their integrity in your eyes despite dropping the ball again and again and again, because they’re part of the “major media outlets”? That’s a JOKE, right?

          This is pitiful.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Greg Staniak says

          John,

          I remember a time when every major media outlet from across the political spectrum reported Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction, yellowcake purchases, and close Al-Kaida links. I remember US Secretary of State presenting evidence of these indisputable facts to the UNSC, saying, and I quote: “Ladies and gentlemen, these are not assertions. These are facts, corroborated by many sources, some of them sources of the intelligence services of other countries” — with “countless” UN resolutions following, based on these “facts”, with well known results. I remember US Secretary of Defense publicly announcing that, and I quote: “There is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction. There is no doubt he is amassing them to use against our friends…and against us.”

          I remember Fred Hiatt of Washington Post mocking and vilifying “conspiracy theorist” who didn’t subscribe to the government position at that time and questioned its narrative, I remember Thomas Friedman of New York Times cheerleading for the invasion. I remember Judith Miller of New York Times continuously regurgitating government’s rhetoric and “facts”. I remember how the White House Iraq Group’s activities were later disclosed, the truth about over 50 patently false articles in the biggest and most respectable outlets unveiled, and Mr. Rove’s, Ms. Rice’s and other WH staffers’ roles in orchestrating the propaganda offensive exposed.

          I also remember a lot of people like you, shocked and offended by those whom they saw as defending a tyrant wielding atomic weapons on behalf of Al-Kaida, coming to destroy them any minute now. You could smell the treason accusations in the air.

          So please excuse me while I remain unimpressed by “every major media outlet”, UN resolutions, government press conferences, and the echo chamber generated from very carefully filtered “sources”, always happening to be under terrorists’ control.

          It’s a sad realization that none of the above is a guarantee of veracity these days, but after Iraq we know for a fact that yes, that’s possible, even probable and likely. If you choose to disregard independent reporting and rely on what comes out of the echo chamber, that’s your choice. Myself, being fooled once is more than enough.

          And as far as your criticism of Eva Bartlett is concerned, it sounds a lot like shooting the messenger. That one conference happened after six journeys to Syria and years of reporting — which happens to corroborate what other independent reporters are telling us, like Vanessa Beeley, revd Ashdown, Pierre Le Corf:

          https://www.facebook.com/vanessa.beeley
          https://www.facebook.com/andrew.ashdown.9
          https://www.facebook.com/pierrelecorf

          It sounds like you realize yourself that the conference was not “on behalf” of the Syrian government, and you’re just shocked that someone could simply present a point of view that doesn’t contradict the government’s position. I’m sure you can see how this is a logical fallacy, since it’s quite easy to imagine that even the worst people in the world may be telling the truth in particular cases. And what they say doesn’t agree with news from your governments, or with UN resolutions, but happens to be in line with what real people see when they actually travel to Syria, see what is going on and talk to other real people.

          And it’s not just those pesky independents from nowhere. Here’s part of a soon to be released book, with almost 70 citations from “major media outlets”, which directly contradicts the current official narrative of a popular uprising in Syria:

          https://gowans.wordpress.com/2016/10/22/the-revolutionary-distemper-in-syria-that-wasnt/

          And here are mainstream, veteran journalists who spent decades in the Middle East, telling you that what glitters is not always gold:

          http://www.independent.co.uk/author/robert-fisk
          http://www.independent.co.uk/author/patrick-cockburn

          Please pay attention to this little nugget in particular:

          http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/aleppo-crisis-syrian-war-bashar-al-assad-isis-more-propaganda-than-news-a7479901.html

          “It would be simple-minded to believe that this very appealing and professional PR for the Syrian armed opposition is all their own work. Foreign governments play a fairly open role in funding and training opposition media specialists. One journalist of partly Syrian extraction in Beirut told me how he had been offered $17,000 a month to work for just such an opposition media PR project backed by the British government.”

          Last but not least, I can’t resist noticing how indignant you appear when you note that someone dares to agree with something that “authoritarian nations” say. Let me remind you then that the USA, the “regime change” agenda follower in this conflict, is a close friend and ally of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

          Liked by 3 people

          • This is so beautifully written and compelling, I hope that you don’t mind too much if I pilfer it, to make a stand-alone post of it on my blog, with proper attribution to one Greg Staniak.

            Regards,

            –N

            Liked by 1 person

            • Thanks, Norman. Sure, go ahead, use this post however you like, I trust you not to distort it (there was a logging in glitch when I was posting it, the “ijon70” posts are also mine).

              Liked by 1 person

        • liberador says

          Tell us, the language used about Mosul: Is Mosul being “liberated” or is it about to “fall”?

          It’s good to point language out and to understand when it is used. But what you say that Ms Bartlett does, the same words are being used by the main-stream media in different context.

          Another example, the “invasion” of Crimea, or the “hacking” of the election: Contrast this with gaining indepence of Crimea from Ukraine, or the providing transparency on shady undemocratic party politics in the US, facilitated by foreign assistance. Even if your opinions are sided with US interests, mind here that elections cannot be hacked, only voting machines or computers can.

          So language matters. Here, I’m afraid, it does not really count as an argument against Eva Bartletts description of the situation.

          Like

      • Emma says

        Feel free to have a look at several sources who question Eva Bartlett’s integrity:
        https://pulsemedia.org/2016/12/15/russia-today-and-the-post-truth-virus/
        http://www.snopes.com/syrian-war-victims-are-being-recycled-and-al-quds-hospital-was-never-bombed/

        She is known to write for RT, which is state-controlled Russian media. Russia was accused of igniting a ‘civil war’ in Ukraine, too, which they used to annex Crimea (after doing so they have abused the rights of the civilians, forced them to take Russian nationality, brutalized them, banned their religious practices, ransacked their homes, etc. etc.), as well as fund and promote the same in Donetsk and Luhansk, Ukraine. They’ve started stealing oil, and ruining mines in the areas they’ve funded separatists. Separatists who have killed other Ukrainian citizens (not only soldiers). Russia sent unmarked soldiers into Ukraine to provide this support, and at first lied, tried to cover it all up, and when they couldn’t, they half-admitted it.

        Russia used propaganda through the internet (including paid trolls to spread misinformation) and there is little reason to doubt that this is just another one of their schemes. Using a Canadian – someone people might trust more as a source because people tend to think of Canada as a more free and democratic country than the US – only makes sense.

        I’m not saying I’m not skeptical that some things are over exaggerated, some things are fake news, but I do believe most reporting is true and that Assad really is a terrible person.

        Bad people tend to like bad company. Assad teaming up with Putin and Erdogan doesn’t spell peace, happiness and truth. It spells trouble.

        Like

        • John says

          I am not sure why you have taken so long to make your comment but be that as it may, free journalists in this day and age write for a number of publications, including RT. There is nothing dishonest or deceitful about that.
          It is how journalists make their living – by writing for a number of different publications.
          Most of your response is targeted at Ukraine, even though the original article is about Syria.
          Does your approach not strike you as odd?
          The connection between Putin and Assad is that they prefer to see a secular Syria in the Middle East and not the kind of religiously extremist regime the Sauds and Americans want to see there. Erdogan and the Iranians are there too because they are opposing the attempted creation of another Wahabbist religious tyranny.
          Bartlett has done exactly the right thing in providing alternative information and insights into Syria.
          I no longer trust the mass media where Syria is concerned, especially after all the lies around Iraq and Libya.
          The Saud/Obama-backed terrorists in Syria are losing – and a damn fine thing that is too!

          Liked by 1 person

        • BigB says

          Snopes? Can you please verify “CIA backs Neo-Nazi coup in Ukraine.” I want to give a few debunkers a proverbial heart attack.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Russians are sneaky!

          For sure: “Using a Canadian – someone people might trust more as a source because people tend to think of Canada as a more free and democratic country than the US – only makes sense.”

          God bless . . . America!

          Like

        • Moriarty's Left Sock says

          For your sake Emma I hope you’re paid to recycle these stupid fact-free soundbites and you aren’t so incapable of rational thought as to believe they mean anything

          Like

  11. rtj1211 says

    This is I believe a most diplomatic victory of real journalism over ignoramuses sitting in North American offices.

    The buzz feed scribbler would do well to experience the sort of pithy comments that Trump’s Great Unwashed would deliver: ‘Now who’s the ignorant redneck then? ASSHOLE!!’

    It might drum into him his less than stellar professional performance……

    Like

    • judith77 says

      Eva Bartlett has my attention and is a independent journalist, risking her life bringing us authentic information. I’ve seen her documents and videos. However; ‘pithy, unwashed’ is what Obama and his corrupt media display time and time again. It is what this author displays as well.
      That you felt the need to disparage Trump and his supporters is telling. We’ve all lived under the Obama media regime, and prior to that it was Bush, but without the politeness or the passes. We now have a modicum of transparency with Trump. Did you expect us to elect corrupt Hillary? What I, as an American would like to tell you pundits, Ishmael N. Daro and you, rtj1211, is that Americans are fed up with propaganda. I’m sure, not as fed up as the Syrians are.

      Like

    • Manda says

      Looks like US foreign policy isn’t going to change one iota re Syria and all MENA under Trump, “safe zones… for terrorists, extremists and separatists in a sovereign secular country? Back to the future more like.

      !

      Liked by 1 person

  12. My God… what is the stuff? It looks like actual NEWS with GENUINE FACTS in it! I’d forgotten how informative actual NEWS can be! I found myself reading this several times, just because NEWS is so rare.

    The cynical liars, winkers and spinners peddling the junk we’re used to should be ashamed of themselves. Boo, hiss, Ishmael Daro/ Buzz Feed/ all the rest. Everyone needs to make a living but no one stopped any of you from choosing an honest trade.

    “Hello Ms. Bartlett,

    I’m a reporter with BuzzFeed News, based in Toronto.

    I’m writing as part of a team effort to undermine, debunk and discredit the video of your unacceptably truthful comments at the UN that has gone viral in the last few days…

    signed,

    hipster with a usefully-“authentic”-sounding name….”

    PS Ishmael Daro writes for Vice? Case closed.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I just watched Vanessa Beeley live. She is in Damascus, having just returned from the frontline in East Aleppo. Kudos to both these brave people (and Lizzie Phelan.)
    It should be available online shortly on the ukcolumn.org YouTube channel – well worth the watch.

    Meanwhile, from the plush surroundings and safety of their London offices – Bojo, Fallon and Ash Carter (and May and Rycroft if they are back yet) – are still trying to flog the dead donkey of regime change. I know it is supposed to be a charitable time of year, but I cannot help but hope there is a special level of hell reserved for them and all their willing choristers. There they can lie to each other for eternity, without anyone else getting hurt.

    Liked by 1 person

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