latest, media fakery, Syria
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Bana of Aleppo: the Story So Far

by Barbara McKenzie

Back in 2011 there was the Gay Girl of Damascus, supposedly a young lesbian blogging from the Syrian capital in support of the Arab Spring, but who turned out to be a 40 year old man from Georgia, USA, living in Scotland. Now, five years on, we have @AlabedBana tweeting from Aleppo.

The Bana story all began in September of 2016 when 7 year old Bana began to tweet from eastern Aleppo to share with the world her anxiety about living in a war-torn city. It is perhaps a sad reflection of the world we live in that her arrival on the social media scene provoked a certain amount of scepticism, hilarity even. It seems only fair to endeavour to consider the Bana case objectively.

Bana, as we are told, lives with her parents and two brothers in Aleppo. Her mother Fatemah is a teacher who ‘manages Bana’s Twitter account’ and occasionally tweets herself, and her father Ghassan works in the ‘legal department of the local council’, whatever that means – the area is totally controlled by al Nusra who have set up their own council:

Bana’s first tweet was heartwrenching:

Bana’s sole purpose in tweeting is to tell us about the bombing of Aleppo by Putin and Assad, and to ask us to do something about it (Bana herself has lost one or two friends to the bombing, though we never learn their names). The tweets are almost invariably variations on the themes of bombs, the need for peace, pray for us, save us.

Bana is desperate enough even to suggest it is worth declaring World War III, just to save Aleppo.

There are also calls for Assad and Putin to be tried for war crimes:

Wee Bana hit the ground running on 24 September with about 20 tweets, and has continued at a good rate ever since, managing over 120 on 4 October (including retweets). I myself used Twitter for weeks before I used hashtags and I was slow to learn the jargon. Bana, however, was up to speed from the beginning, and over the first two days we got #Aleppo, #HolocaustAleppo #MassacreInAleppo #StopAleppoMassacre. She is well up on acronyms like POTUS and OMG. Followers were impressed with Bana’s command of English idiom:

To have mastered English contractions like ‘I’ll’ and idiomatic expressions such as ‘horrible dream’ at the age of seven puts Bana in the genius category. The problem is, when cute Bana was videoed, it became apparent that she wasn’t a child prodigy at all, in fact she couldn’t put two words of English together if not rote-learned. It was clear that whoever wrote the tweets was nothing to do with the small actor reciting, eg. on her 1st day of tweeting (yes, the video was all set to go too): pic.twitter.com/yeTjREZW

She was slightly more practiced by 6 October:

29 October was another disaster: pic.twitter.com/45GNr4U40x

One sharp-eyed fan was very impressed with the new clothes sported by Bana and her brothers in the above clip (thank you Vivienne@KitchandBot):

Bana has a friend, Abdulkafi Alhamdo, who has described himself variously as a teacher at Aleppo University, a reporter, and activist. It is possible that he helps with the technical aspects of running the Twitter account, such as videoing and either uploading or passing them on, and maybe language coaching.

He himself has both Twitter and Facebook accounts. Most of his friends are located in Aleppo; many of these, if not all, are members of terrorist groups:

Alhamdo ostensibly resides in Aleppo, along with Bana. However another possibility is Gazientep over the border in Turkey, which is a base for a number of Western-backed NGOs and journalists. A number of Kurdish cities and towns in South-East Turkey such as Mardin and Diyarbakir have been badly shelled by the Turks and might provide the necessary apocalyptic scenes, for both Bana and journalists claiming to report from eastern Aleppo. Thus Alhamdo and Bana could be in South-Eastern Turkey, safe both from bombs and exposure.

Bana’s ‘father’ ‘Ghassan Alabed’ has his own Twitter account, @ghassanalabed77 which was opened in September, coinciding with the launching of the Bana Project (thank you @Qoppa999), and Facebook page, with visible posts from 6 October 2016, so again probably opened for the project. There is no evidence that Bana and Ghassan have met as Ghassan does not feature in Bana’s tweets and videos. I previously suggested, incorrectly, that Ghassan was attributing the wrong name to Bana, Zahra, but that was due to Facebook showing only a bad machine translation for that post from Arabic, and not the Arabic original – it would seem that Ghassan does not know English.

Ghassan has close links with Aleppo and the terrorist groups that have been occupying eastern Aleppo. On 29 April he changed his Facebook cover photo to ‘Aleppo is Burning’, which was a campaign originating in the Western to call for even more intervention on the part of the West, in order to prevent Syria and Russia driving terrorists out of eastern Aleppo. Both on Facebook and on Twitter Ghassan follows a large number of accounts associated with the insurgency in Syria, such as that of al Zinki, the gang that cut off the head of little Abdullah Issa, Jaish al Mujahadeen (a group that describes itself as part of the Free Syrian Army but is allied to al Nusra), and also of the Saudi cleric Muhaysini, spiritual leader of al Nusra (al Qaeda in Syria).

In October Bana, or rather Bana’s mother, was interviewed by one AJ Joshi (@AJ) via Periscope. The interview makes for painful listening, but @JohnDelacour has provided a transcription of a typical segment – it is hard to believe that Fatemah has the language skills to compose either her own or Bana’s tweets.

In mid-November Fatemah uploaded onto Youtube a strange video which purports to prove that Bana’s family really are being bombed. Fatemah talks and there are the sounds of children, but no attempt to show any of these people. We see ruined buildings and smoke in the distance, which could come from bombing, but not the promised airplanes. There is absolutely no reason to believe that this is not footage with a completely separate voice-over added later.

After three weeks Bana was following 51 people. None of them would be an obvious pick for a seven year old girl: without exception they were politicians, corporate media or social media activists. Most of them could be considered sympathetic to the war on Syria; many of them have strong links with terrorist groups. Iyad el-Baghdadi, Louisa Loveluck, Julian Roepcke, Sophie McNeill, all determined supporters of the Syrian ‘revolution’, are very familiar to pro-Syria activists who spend any time on social media. Bana is also following the pro-terrorist National Coalition of Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces, as well as the White Helmets, the fake humanitarian organisation that presently has a petition calling for a no-fly (i.e. NATO bombing) zone in Syria. A particularly sinister choice is @IranArabSpring, which is focused on regime change in Iran, presumably by the same bloody route laid down for Syria.

One of the first to be followed by Bana, and typical, was the Australian journalist Sophie McNeill who was instrumental in promoting the Madaya hoax/beatup in January 2016. The story went that inhabitants of Madaya, a town besieged by the government, were starving and that it was all the fault of the Syrian government who were preventing aid from reaching the town. In fact many if not all the photos were fake, aid for three months had gone into Madaya in October, and the chief problem was terrorists selling food at exorbitant prices. Many others followed by Bana are likewise involved in pushing misinformation on the Syrian war.

Bana built up a huge following within days, reaching 65,000 by 3 October. A large proportion of the followers appeared to be fake accounts, which again suggests that very savvy people are managing the project. (Screenshot from @laissezfaire; it cannot be verified because of dramatic changes to the account, see below.)

Regardless of the discrepancies and warning signals, the corporate media have taken Bana to their hearts, without exception, with poignant articles free of all doubt appearing in the Telegraph, the Guardian, and on all the main television channels. The New Statesman went on the attack against the many people who have made fun of the account.

The latest endorsement has come from author JK Rowling, famous author of the Harry Potter series, who sent Bana a set of ebooks (in English), and has retweeted her several times in the days since then:

Would-be trolls of the Bana account should note too that in October Bana was one of the 2210 people followed by @Jack, i.e. Jack Dorsey, founder and CEO of Twitter.

Who’s tweeting?

Given the calculated nature of the operation, and the standard of the English, many Bana-watchers have assumed that while Bana and her mother may have direct help with videoing and the English in Aleppo or Gaziantep, the base of operations and the source of the tweeting would be elsewhere. London tends to be first choice, partly because of the language used, and perhaps also because the Foreign Office is the primary funder and probable instigator of the White Helmets. As yet there is no definitive evidence of who ‘Mr Bana’ is, but one can hypothesise. For example:

Although there appears to be no direct link between Bana’s ‘father’ Ghassan Alabed, and Bana’s friend Abdulkafi Alhamdo, they do however, have a mutual acquaintance, BBC journalist Patrick Evans. Alhamdo features in an article on Aleppo by Evans (the article presents the viewpoints of people who are supposed to be representative of eastern Aleppo, but who are in fact all terrorists or terrorist supporters). Evan’s describes himself as a BBC journalist; as well as the Aleppo article he has written an article on the Donbass, similar to the Aleppo article in that it is likewise hostile to those allied with Russia .

Patrick Evans is also one of a small number of English speakers who are friends with Ghassan Alabed on Facebook.

Evans’s own Facebook page is significant in that all except about eight of his 54 ‘friends’ have Arabic names. Most of these do not appear to speak English; most have manifest links with Aleppo and/or terrorism.

The person pictured above describes himself as a mujahid, or jihadi, in the service of God, based in Aleppo; the Syrian Revolution Network is an ‘activist network’ focused on Aleppo.

Evans’s LinkedIn profile is even more interesting. He has worked for the BBC since finishing studies at the University of York in 2013, which could put him in the mid-twenties (consistent with the rather immature prank of putting in Bana’s mouth the call for World War III). His skills as listed on LinkedIin are not necessarily what one would expect from a BBC journalist: while writing and investigative skills are not mentioned, social media skills are right up there.

Although most of Evans’s Facebook friends are Arabic speakers, no skill for Arabic language is listed on LinkedIn. Moreover, these Arabic speaking Facebook friends hardly feature in Patrick Evans’s Twitter feed; Evans follows very few Arabs on twitter, none non-English speaking, and the tweets relating to Syria are sufficient to reflect the times and his profession, no more. Whether Evans truly has no knowledge of Arabic, or whether it is a skill he chooses to suppress, it is not possible to decide on the information to hand.

Patrick Evans’s tweets are heterogeneous and mainly retweets, and are largely devoid of emotion and humour, all of which give the account an artificial feel. Evans seems to be a fan of JK Rowling, following an account called @HogwartsLogic, and also follows Sophie McNeill. There are a couple of retweets from Abdulkafi Alhamdo, alhamdo14nov

and from Rami Jarrah, a pro-insurgency activist, journalist and film maker of Syrian parentage, along with tweets relating to Evans’s article on Aleppo. There is also this tweet from Evans to Rami Jarrah:

The Patrick Evans of the Facebook page seems completely divorced from the Patrick Evans of Twitter. There is, however, one essential connecting factor between the Facebook and the Twitter accounts: Abdulkafi Alhamdo. As well as featuring at least twice in Evans’s twitter feed in November, he is Evans’s Facebook friend.

So we have:

  • a young man in London, Patrick Evans,who works for the BBC, and who
  • provides a link between Ghassan Alabed, Bana’s ostensible father and Alhamdo, known acquaintance of Bana.
  • Alhamdo in turn provides the link between Evans’s Twitter account and his Facebook account.
  • Although this is not evident to anyone who looks at Evans’s tweeting, his greatest professional skill according to LinkedIn is a knowledge of social media,/li>
  • Evans appears to have two different persona, his Facebook one, where almost all his friends are Arabic-speaking terrorist supporters, probably terrorists themselves, and Twitter, where the people he follows are English-speaking and tend to be from the Western media, and it it is difficult to gauge any strong interests, particularly political ones, apart from a conservative bent.
  • Patrick Evans wanted to speak privately with Rami Jarrah, well-known pro-terrorist activist and media expert, based in Turkey, six weeks before the Bana Project was launched on 14 September.

‘Bana’ could well be a person, or people, like Patrick Evans.

The agenda

There can be no doubt that the Bana project is a hoax, like the Gay Girl in Damascus and the White Helmets. The tweets are not the thoughts of a little Syrian girl wanting the world to save her from Russian bombs. Rather, they are the product of a sophisticated and well-planned operation designed to shape public perception of the Syrian and Russian operations, in order to justify Western intervention in Syria and facilitate regime change.

The sympathies of the Bana project are totally with the extremists who are terrorising residents of eastern Aleppo, shelling western Aleppo, and are in imminent danger of being forced out by the Syrian Arab Army and allies like Hezbollah and the Palestinian Al Quds brigade.

From the first days Bana accused Assad and Putin of perpetrating a holocaust, a massacre, of carrying out a bombing campaign using cluster bombs, phosphorus, thermite bombs, and of course barrel bombs. Since then the account has continued the theme of bombing and Assad/Putin culpability, along with constant calls for the world to do something, ‘to stop the bombing’.

No mention is ever made of the terrorists who mow down demonstrators in the streets of eastern Aleppo and prevent humanitarian aid reaching the area. Bana’s family may be in a position to repeat the dubious claim that Russia bombed a school in Idlib, but shows no interest in the atrocities caused by hellfire cannon directed by terrorists at western Aleppo. When young swimmer Mireille Hindoyan was killed by a terrorist shell in the Armenian quarter in western Aleppo, the Bana project, along with the Independent, smoothly implied that this was due to Russian bombing.

The purpose of the Bana Project is to create in the outside world a conviction that Russia and Syria are committing serious war crimes by recklessly or even deliberately bombing civilians, hospitals, schools, blood banks and animal shelters.

Persuading the world that atrocities are being committed could lead to one of two outcomes. As with Madaya, there is pressure on Syria and Russia to abandon the siege and any hope of liberating Aleppo, east and west, from terrorist depredations. Syria and its allies would be circumscribed, at worst the terrorists would be allowed to make gains, and at the least there would be a stalemate, facilitating eventual partition. The other desired outcome, first preference for many since early in the war, is to garner support for a no-fly zone. Russia and China have so far vetoed any UN resolution to that effect, having seen how the resolution was applied to Libya.

The US, however, have recently passed a resolution that calls for evaluating and developing plans for the United States to impose a “no fly zone” inside Syria unilaterally, despite the inevitability of a clash with Russia. Whether it is prepared to take this step, or whether it can act before Aleppo is completely liberated, remains to be seen.

Is the end nigh for Bana?

Things are now moving fast in Aleppo, with the Syrian Arab Army, Hezbollah and the Palestinian-Syrian al Quds Brigade taking new areas of Aleppo on a daily basis. Bana has been sending out desperate warnings of impending doom with one last tweet from Fatemah:

and then another from ‘Bana’ at 3am:

It is somewhat surprising that while 7.8 thousand people had retweeted the above when I viewed it, of the dozen or so people who commented the majority were people who ridiculed the tweet, a few more were clearly activists or trolls, and only one or two were in the ‘kind-hearted stranger’ category. How many genuine followers Bana actually has is therefore in serious doubt.

There has been speculation that Bana is about to be written out, however at 10.00am Syrian time, 28 November, she was alive and still tweeting…

Update (6 December 2016)

Bana survived the bombardment and continued to tweet, but complained of being homeless, thirsty, and ill.

There are repeated calls for the world to do something:

On 3 December it really did seem that the end had come:

But no:

Clearly a better choice would have been a miraculous recovery, rather than a line about being confused about which child died. The interpretation from @HKX07 is fairly persuasive:

Within 24 hours there was a further development: the @alabedbana account was shut down. Whether this is a permanent state of affairs, or whether Bana will reappear, perhaps in Idlib, even Raqqa, time will tell.

Stop Press: Bana has reactivated her account, and is monitoring it closely for trolls, blocking critics on a daily basis.


27 Comments

  1. Bana is a catfish, it is clear that a child her age would not be able to express her self so well at her age. Its a good idea to use pictures of children to get your attention after all we all feel sad for any child living where there is any type of danger. But clearly that child is not if she was she would not betaking pictures outside, nor would she be dressed so well. By well I mean clean if her friends have died than she would be near the attack so wouldn’t her outfit have some kind of effect. How do you get your outfits so clean at wartime? Another thing to notice is children post about ponies and puppies not about war. Also my child is about that age her contacts are children of similar age not activist. In fact my child isn’t even sure what war is seen it on the news she asked about it but not using words that are above her language skills. Its funny how my child who is born in the USA dose not write as well in english as a child who never even been to the states. And if there is a war I would not think she would get the best of an education, so I would guess without an education a child would not be likely to know its own language that well let alone know another.

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  2. John says

    Strange – is it not? – that with all the conflict going on in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria, that no one ever refers to the Yinon Plan: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yinon_Plan.
    Surely, it is the unrolling of this plan in pursuit of an Eretz (Greater) Yisrael that explains so much of what is – and has been – happening across South East Asia?
    The rest – as they say – is just history.

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  3. I wrote about the fakery of Bana on my blog about 4 months ago – it is my understanding that the CIA has a studio on the east coast where propaganda is filmed/created.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. michaelk says

    I should perhaps add that one of the reactions I get when I’m demolishing the accepted narrative about our journalism, especially in relation to our wars, is that I’m both paranoid and a conspiracy theorist. I then tell them about the origin of the term… conspiracy theory. They then shift uncomfortably in their seats.

    They tell me I’m describing a society that isn’t really a democracy at all, if what I’m saying is anywhere near being accurate and true. Too true, I reply, it isn’t one any longer. Bourgeois liberal democracy, if not exactly dead, is definitely on life-support. We’re leaving democracy behind us. That era is probably over. We’re now living under a form of dictatorship that only appears democractic if one one doesn’t examine things too closely. People really don’t want to hear this stuff.

    The big change has been the state’s ability to successfully sell our neo-imperialist wars as something ‘good’ something almost noble. Wars for kindness and humanity. Wars for decency and human rights and against evil. Wars based on our desire to help the weak and downtrodden. And nothing is in it for us. It’s quite a trick to successfully sell this nonsense to the public. The problem of course is that challenging it is like saying everything we’re told and everything we think we are, is a pack of lies eployed in the service of mass-murder, to disguise the fact that it’s our leaders who are really the new Hitlers and our soldiers who are the SS on the rampage across the world. And all that is simply way too much to accept. Rather embrace the lies than accept those harsh truths.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. michaelk says

    A close family member has started work as a journalist and he keeps popping up on the news reporting on the lastest human tragedy. It’s been drowned refugees from the carnage in Syria. Mothers weeping in South Sudan as they hold starving babies to their empty breasts. His concerned tone and youthful trustworthyness… whilst completely ignoring how these poor people ended up in such dire straights, as if the West has had nothing at all to do with the catastrophe of Libya or the bloodbath in Yeman, or Syria; drives me mad. r

    The official Western narrative is that the West hasn’t intervened in Syria, enough, not too much. Syria shows how bad things get, how bloody and destructive, when the West holds back and doesn’t live up to its principles and ideals, letting a butcher slaughter his own people like cattle, helped by the evil Russians and the new Hitler, Vlad the impaler Putin.

    I’ve talked to people about all this. How likely is it that our media is telling the truth about the conflict in Syria, or anywhere else for that matter, when our governments and politicians have repeatedly and in public called for the overthrowing of the regime/government of Syria? Surely we’re at war with Syria on the moral and ideological level already? Since when do our politicians or media ever tell the truth about our wars? Is our media really ‘Free’? How can it be ‘free’ when it’s privately owned or state sponsored and controlled? Just seven huge corporations control what the news is allowed to be, how is that level of concentrated power, anywhere near being ‘free’?

    When people hear me talking about little Bana and the White Helmets or the tragedy of Libya they are stunned and incredulous. They didn’t hear any of that on the news. That the White Helmets are a fraud and a fake. Created by the UK security services and funded generously by western states, they are amazed. They’ve never heard anything about any of that and they usually feel like they’ve been cheated and led up the garden path.

    I joked at a family gathering that I could tell my nephew things about the ‘cult of journalism’ that would make it impossible for him to gain employment within the confines of the mainstream media. He’d become ‘radioactive’. His parents have virtually banned me from talking about journalism to him. I feel like a heretic and he’s just joined the ranks of the Catholic Church in the middle ages and is on his way up through the hierachy with a bright future ahead of him. That it’s mostly based on lies, dogma and falsehoods, doesn’t seem to concern anybody very much, except me. What does the truth matter these days, when the story is so good?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. michaelk says

    Whilst this entire fiction about sweet little Bana is transparently ridiculous, giving a new meaning to the term… grotesque. What’s really shocking about this kind of crude and sentimental wartime propaganda, is the extraordinary willingness of the western media and elite figures to embrace the narrative so eagerly and without a shred of scepticism. When a story is too good to be true… it usually… lisn’t, true, and this is even truer during wartime when we have chosen sides in a faraway conflict we know next to nothing about.

    It’s not just the power of propaganda that’s evident here, but something worse, our desire to believe in it and cast our most basic critical senses aside because the narrative tells us what we want to know and what we want to believe. Why do we choose to believe stuff like this, that’s so tranparently false and ridiculoous?

    Propaganda works in many ways. It’s a great comfort because it simplifies and makes a complex and often contradictory world seem less so and understandable to us. It provides a narrative that ‘makes sense’ in a world that often seems chaotic. This is why so much of public discourse and the media is really a form of fiction and not reality. Stories, even obviously fake ones are better than nothing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Stephen Sivonda says

      Michaelk , your thoughts are sensitive and insightful as to this subject and propaganda in particular. It’s (Propaganda) all over the MSM now…usually the same narrative depending on the targets. Far too many people are tone deaf and can not decipher the fact from the fiction.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. summitflyer says

    Edward Bernays would be pleased at how the success of propaganda has so manipulated human thought.

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  8. Dead World Walking. says

    We have been conditioned to believe by our parents, teachers, peers and the media.
    The Zombies are programmed and shopping.
    That’s all that’s required of them.

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  9. If “Bana” had been tweeting from a government held district the same media that never questioned the account’s authenticity would have been screaming about child abuse and the evil Assad regime and “Bana’s” followers in Europe and North America who were crying and shaking their fists at Putin would have bravely followed the media’s lead and reacted accordingly by shaming the horrible “Assadists” [sic] who sink so low they even manipulate and use their own children for propaganda efforts.

    It is shocking how deeply indoctrinated the western public is…and how easily people will follow the media’s lead and choose wilful ignorance and self-delusion over facing uncomfortable truths. For many “normal” people if it isn’t hyped by the media it may as well not be happening at all no matter how credible your evidence and sources are. And if it’s hyped by the media surely it must be true no matter how improbable and outlandish the claims.

    The people who are speaking out against the farce of a media are almost all on the political right. The liberal “left” is liberal, yes, but there is nothing left about them. They are 100% establishment lackeys and stooges who sound like politically correct Thatcherite cold warriors. And the right, while critiquing the media and political balance of power using the old left’s words verbatim, falls short when it comes to offering solutions to the moribund state of affairs that is the west today. Fun times indeed.

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    • Sav says

      This is the double battle. You can throw out all the truth but it will be wilfully ignored by so many people who rely on ‘they’. The They of ‘They’re saying’ – the mainstream media.

      If someone does break through the cracks and start giving an alternative view that gets some traction, they are quickly rounded on.

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      • Peter Schmidt says

        We are not naive. I grew up under communism in Hungary. Situation now with MSM reminds me eerily of the late 80s. The media knew that the people didn’t believe the stories they told, but you can’t admit you had been lying for decades. Mind you I still believe even the communist media was more balanced than what we have now.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Jen says

          Strange that the people who can sniff out Western propaganda are those who have lived under Communist governments past and present.

          I was reading reviews for a Chinese film on IMDB recently. Only the Chinese reviewers were able to see through the government propaganda that informed the film’s plot. Western reviewers were bedazzled by the film’s cinematography and choreographed martial arts augmented by computer special effects.

          Liked by 1 person

      • I read somewhere that people with few resources to draw on except what “they” tell them is true tend to reflexively defend conventional wisdom and the status quo…even if they have a suspicion that all is not as it seems… because having to jettison their belief that the system they live under is, despite its problems, basically fair and just is too much to bear. Self-delusion is preferable to facing the possibility that something they trusted and believed in is actually working against them.

        That rings true but I think it gets more complicated then that. Politics is strange in that almost every adult person in a given country strongly believes they have a pretty good idea where things are at no matter how little effort they put into seeking truths beyond the headlines and soundbites.

        Someone who only glances at headlines and picks up news snippets here and there can’t reasonably be expected to be on the same “level” as someone who takes time to research the media’s claims and seek out alternative explanations and points of view.
        A grounding in the basics of the most common political ideologies also helps.

        Contrary to popular belief politics is not just a matter of subjective opinions. I can’t claim to be well versed in theoretical physics after watching a few documentaries or skimming a book or two and the same is true for politics. Many people simply parrot somebody else’s words and put little thought into how sound or well thought out they are. “I’m entitled to my opinion” is a common retort when challenged.

        People who have zero grounding in any sort of political or ideological theory follow the same path when they realize they are being lied to and manipulated by the media and their leaders.
        They go from assuming everything they hear is true to assuming everything they hear is a lie or a coverup. Often they will latch onto stories of supposed UFO coverups or other implausible or unprovable “theories”. A popular one in some places is railing against income tax and claiming it’s “unconstitutional”. If you want to spend your life trying to get your government to to abolish income tax, good luck to you.

        The only that has ever changed anything is organizing like minded people and taking collective action. This cuts across ideologies and culture. Nobody ever orchestrated a revolution on their own. There are plenty of people online who know what they are talking about and have an idea of where they stand; the same, however, is not true in “real life”. And if they are aware they often focus on pet or popular – and often vague – causes and ignore the bigger issue.

        I realize this varies from place to places but increasingly I think lasting change can’t be compelled or forced or “planned”. There has to be an event or something that triggers a spontaneous response from hundreds or thousands of angry, fed up people. And there is always the possibility that the change you get is not the change you want.

        People in the west who casually speak of revolution or war generally have no fucking clue what that entails. They grew up with “bloodless” NATO wars on their screens and fake news about “surgical strikes” and “smart bombs” that never shows anyone getting shot or disembowelled by shrapnel. These people are shocked to see that bombs actually kill and maim people. They also genuinely believe that the Russians and Syrians, unlike NATO, are depraved monsters who deliberately target hospitals and schools and delight in killing children. No they bloody don’t but like every military in the history of the world, even precious NATO, they are fighting to defeat an enemy. And if the enemy hides weapons and military equipment in hospitals and schools they WILL be targeted and destroyed.

        It says something that the ludicrous concept of “humanitarian war” is accepted at face value. The Syrians and their allies can at least say they are fighting an enemy that attacked Syria with the goal of usurping the state and destroying the fabric of the country. The US and NATO who prosecute unprovoked wars of aggression thousands of miles from their borders have no such leg to stand on and their sanctimonious and self-righteous lecturing like they are beacons of morality is nauseating and deeply cynical and hypocritical. But I digress..

        Liked by 1 person

    • bevin says

      “It is shocking how deeply indoctrinated the western public is…and how easily people will follow the media’s lead and choose wilful ignorance and self-delusion over facing uncomfortable truths. ..
      There is real fear among the ‘intelligentsia.’ They sense that the empire is crumbling and this make them feel insecure. This is particularly the case among the strutting thespians of the ‘revolutionary left’ who are in the position of that famous ‘comrade’ in the Radek joke who was offered the job of working in a lofty watchtower on the western border of the Soviet Union. His mission would be to keep an eye open for the first signs of revolution in the west.
      He asked whether the money was good to which the reply was that it was not particularly well paid but that the job had the advantage of being permanent.
      The same might have been said of the place of an anti-capitalist intellectual in a UK University, or a member of one of the pseudo trotskyist sects, except that it now looks, increasingly as if things will fall apart before retirement, before the kids have gone through University, before the mortgage is paid down.
      The position turned out not to be permanent.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Ana Suri says

    I am a Syrian and experienced first hand the lies about Syria from the very beginning of the tragedy The US lied about the true terrorist identity of the Syrian rebels and used them as a proxy army to topple the legitimate Assad government. The ISIS is the product of this proxy war thanks to partnership with the Saudis who supplied fanatic ideology and fatwas. Syrians will defend their land against all aggressors. History shows.

    Liked by 5 people

  11. michaelk says

    There’s something I’ve started calling ‘reality news’ which is only as ‘real’ as these extremely popular ‘reality tv’ programmes, which means their not really real at all, but carefully staged and managed fiction pretending to be reality. JK Rowling obviously understands fiction when she sees it.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. labrebisgalloise says

    This seems a bit outdated. Whilst it is all most probably true, the Bana child was evacuated with the terrorists and has resurfaced since then with her mother (at the side of Erdogan) and appears to be living in Turkey. She is still being quoted by the BBC and others

    Liked by 4 people

    • John says

      It raises the question as to whether or not “Bana” was ever in Aleppo?
      There was the case where a young girl wearing an apparently bloodstained night dress and holding an apparently bloodstained teddy bear was observed by an Egyptian police officer being filmed in the rubble of a building site on the outskirts of Cairo. It turned out that the filming was part of a fake operation, designed to represent itself as taking place in Aleppo.
      Egypt, Turkey – whatever – are all being utilized in this propaganda war by terrorists and their western backers.
      What people at large ought to be questioning is why this sort of activity is taking place and what is the real cost of it all to themselves and others around the world?
      It is nothing less than obscene that these kinds of cynical propaganda efforts are taking place, all at the same time as people in the west are losing their lives because of austerity cuts to fund these unnecessary conflicts while people in the Middle East and elsewhere are losing their lives due to the actions of western-backed and Gulf-state backed terrorism. It is almost like a deliberate policy of population control?
      The role of regimes like the Sauds, Qataris, Kuwaitis, Zionists, etc. are all understandable as they are throw-backs to a much earlier, harsher and more primitive era.
      What is incomprehensible is the role of western governments in all of this. They really should know better and do know better than to behave in this way yet – presumably because it is good for their business interests – they continue to act in a similarly barbaric way. How they sleep at night is just beyond me.
      All round, it seems a form of blind mental sickness has affected the western elite as they deliberately lie to the mass audiences they command as well as to themselves.
      It really is sick, sick, sick!

      Liked by 1 person

    • The finale of the epistolary of Little Bana – the meeting with Erdogan begs many questions. And interestingly was only given cursory coverage by the WMSM which had gone into overdrive at the height of the agitprop campaign.

      Clearly the meeting with Erdogan was intended to bring closure to the project and those unfortunate enough to be upset or even psychologically distressed by the whole subterfuge. Having supposedly escaped from Aleppo and gotten into Turkey unscathed, achieving a meeting with Erdogan would have taken a huge PR operation. Unless of course you were somehow not just put in touch but connected in some way to the Turkish NIO.

      As I’ve pointed out elsewhere those creating and backing this by promoting the story in the WMSM are in clear breach of the UNCRC articles 36 and 38. Which protect the rights of child up until the age of 18: from 36) being take advantage of because of age and 38) being recruited into or the support of military actions in a conflict.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Sav says

    It is so preposterous you shouldn’t even need to make a case here. If Orville was on these tweets care of Keith Harris claiming to be in Aleppo, they would suck it up.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Most of us here pay attention. Most of those, among the 99%, in the West are wandering around, zombie-like, making nuisances of themselves looking for Pokeman monsters.

      Liked by 1 person

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