MSM headlines ignore heightened tensions in Syria conflict

The US shot down a Syrian warplane a few days ago, the pilot is currently being “held” by Kurdish forces on the ground. The plane was targeting moderate fighters under American protection, according to the Americans, and bombing terrorists according to the Syrian government.

As a result of this, Russia has ceased cooperation with the US on air-missions over Syrian air-space, and issued several statements which amount to, essentially, an ultimatum.

The Syrian government has written letters to the UNSC and intends to address them soon.

Australia, in what appears to be a panicked “well, this is none of our business” move, has ceased all missions over Syria with immediate effect.

You’d be forgiven for not knowing any of this was happening, given the front pages of Britain’s five major papers all chose to focus a on a collection of non-events and nothing issues:

The Times considered that a Tory chancellor focusing on business was more important than a potential world war.

The Guardian chose to focus on the shocking story of bankers committing fraud, and the leadership contest for a party with 12 MPs…

…and the Telegraph agreed.

The Indy decided that Britain’s exit from the EU was more important than the prospect of the EU being immolated.

The front page of the Daily Mail is, as expected, awful.

Considering that media-complicity in spreading anti-Assad and anti-Russian propaganda is a big reason the US-Russia tensions have been allowed to get this bad, that they should stick their heads in the sand when the situation starts to degenerate is unforgivable.

Is this a concerted effort to hide the truth from the public? Or a case of institutional negative panic?

Kit Knightly is co-editor of OffGuardian. The Guardian banned him from commenting. Twice. He used to write for fun, but now he's forced to out of a near-permanent sense of outrage.

Filed under: Kit, latest, Other Media, Russia, Syria


Kit Knightly is co-editor of OffGuardian. The Guardian banned him from commenting. Twice. He used to write for fun, but now he's forced to out of a near-permanent sense of outrage.

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The Script for the Next Attack
22-27 June (-7 July)
When the time is ticking down from the ten days set on the 17 June by Murdoch’s The Times, for May to shape up her Government. Days after 20 June, World Refugee Day, 19-25 June, Refugee Week, also when the moneyed are off enjoying Royal Ascot and the Queen’s Club Championships, both 19-25 June. When the month of Ramadan is nearing the end, 24 June. When the calm of anger towards the Muslim (Finsbury Park, Grenfell Tower), advances before the storm. The dilemma, quandary or bind faced by the anti-Muslim contingent over direct action being condemned is resolved in a third force, of the Government instituting interment, detention, or trial with due process. They are then relieved of their competing psychological processes and can either join the authoritarian state directly, a paramilitary gang or live vicariously through the actions of the state.
Internment and the use of summary judgement, not before peers, but before (military) judges would probably mirror either the Roman practise of the triad, triumvirate or much more likely the modern practise of four judges, a gang of four, or quadrumvirate as regularly depicted on such shows as Strictly Come Dancing or Britain’s Got Talent
The debates on the Queen’s Speech, will continue to the 29 June, when the Commons will vote for or against. The first opportunity to debate the Grenfell Tower fire will be at the end-of-day adjournment debate on Monday, 26 June (presumably during an hour or half-hour before 22:00 hrs, the close of business for Monday). I would predict another attack by or during the time of this debate. The Thursday, 22 June, debate on the Queen’s Speech will focus on housing and social security and the 26 June debate will focus on Brexit and foreign affairs.
An attack in Merseyside / Liverpool, or an attack on the Houses of Parliament, perhaps with the fruition of the plot centred on Liverpool. The assailant will be found to have ordered fertiliser under the guise of running an allotment. He or she will wear a niqab or burqa, to defeat the use of automatic facial recognition in road-facing CCTV. The perpetrator will be found to have been on an anti-terror watch-list, (and perhaps a marker placed on his or her car so that authorities are informed of their movements through CCTV or by passive surveillance from police vehicles – this part won’t be revealed immediately). The rental of private vehicles will be used, and thus following this attack further laws to pass such data by the rental firms in advance of collection or soon after to the authorities will be called for. Further surveillance of the buying and selling organic farming products will be implemented.
Ariana Grande’s ‘Dangerous Woman Tour’, ITV’s Killer Women with Piers Morgan (22 June onwards) and MerseyGirls on the Britain’s Got Talent final (alongside The Missing Peoples’ Choir) would be subtle predictors of an attack by a woman or with the MerseyGirls an attack on Liverpool.
Presumably in keeping with the other attacks it would occur after sunset (if during Ramadan) or during daylight hours 25 June onwards.
Like London and Manchester, Liverpool is a largely Labour stronghold but much more deeply so than London. One of the two Liverpool mayors is also historically anti-Corbyn (much like the mayors of London and Manchester), and presumably Joe Anderson will receive the higher profile in the media after any such attack.
Polling Day, 8 June, also saw armed police stationed outside polling stations in Liverpool.
National Armed Forces Day, tied into the International Mersey River Festival, 23-25 June, will be on the 24 June, with Liverpool as the official hosts. A 22 June attack would be in keeping with the previous attacks, and the symbology of ‘chaos reigns’ double eleven. 22-26 June would take advantage of the disruption of routine caused by the deployment of Army personnel in support of Armed Forces Day. I would generally discount a devastating attack on the 24 June, as that would be associating the sight of uniformed personnel with a sense of danger, whereas they would want to associate their absence with a deadly atmosphere of fear and uncertainty. The opportune time for a catastrophic attack, would be a day or two earlier or a day or two later when they were no longer seen on the streets and had returned to their barracks. If an attack did happen on the 24 June, it would be for the propaganda of having the Army step out of bounds and be the hero of the day, by shooting dead the attacker, and any other civilian casualties would be in the single figures.
Russell Brand brings his RE:Birth Tour to Liverpool 24-25 June, to the The Auditorium BT Convention Centre, Liverpool Echo Arena. 20:00 hrs to 22:00 hrs is the time of his show, an attack there could fall after sunset, and the breaking of the fast, and like Grande’s ‘Dangerous Woman Tour’ is something that could be used to propel a hidden as well as a wider overt meaning.
Liverpool is currently hosts of 67-17: 50 Summers of Love, running May-August. Within this is the Sgt Peppers 50th Anniversary celebrations.
25 May – 16 June. ‘With A Little Help from My Friends’ by Jeremy Deller
“… This new work was presented in addition to a series of billboards and fly poster sites, featuring Deller’s tribute to Brian Epstein. A public artwork intervening in the daily lives of city dwellers, commuters and tourists, Deller’s iconic image of The Beatles’ manager Brian Epstein, and the words “Brian Epstein died for you” can be seen in every corner of the city including prime sites at Lime Street station and in the neighbourhoods of Edge Hill, Kensington, Wavertree and Toxteth.”
The same artist, Jeremy Deller, responsible for the ‘Strong and Stable, my Arse’ signs plastered across London is responsible for the ‘Brian Epstein Died for You’ signs going up during the Summer of Love in Liverpool. Previous work included ‘We’re Here Because We’re Here’:
“We’re Here Because We’re Here was an artwork in the form of an event, devised by Jeremy Deller, that occurred across the United Kingdom on 1 July 2016, the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme, which it commemorated.[1][2][3]
Throughout the day, some 1,600 volunteers, all men, dressed in replica World War I British army uniforms, appeared in groups at railway stations, shopping centres and other places.[1][4] Each volunteer represented an individual, named,
soldier who died on the first day of the battle.[1] When approached, they did not speak, but instead handed cards to members of the public, bearing the name, age and regiment of the person they represented, and the hashtag #wearehere.[1] Deller described these cards as “like small tombstones”.[4] From time to time, the volunteers would sing the recursive refrain “We’re Here Because We’re Here…” to the tune of Auld Lang Syne, as sung in the trenches before the battle.[1]”
16 June: “A Day in the Life: 24 Zero Hours (inspired by A Day in the Life)”
by Frank Cottrell-Boyce, Carl Hunter
“I read the news today, oh boy
About a lucky man who made the grade
And though the news was rather sad
Well I just had to laugh
I saw the photograph
He blew his mind out in a car
He didn’t notice that the lights had changed
A crowd of people stood and stared
They’d seen his face before
Nobody was really sure
If he was from the House of Lords
I saw a film today oh boy
The English Army had just won the war
A crowd of people turned away
But I just had to look
Having read the book!
I’d love to turn you on
Woke up, fell out of bed,
Dragged a comb across my head
Found my way downstairs and drank a cup,
And looking up I noticed I was late
Found my coat and grabbed my hat
Made the bus in seconds flat
Found my way upstairs and had a smoke,
Somebody spoke and I went into a dream
I read the news today, oh boy
Four thousand holes in Blackburn, Lancashire
And though the holes were rather small
They had to count them all
Now they know how many holes it takes to fill the Albert Hall!
I’d love to turn you on”
Frank Cottrell-Boyce was responsible for Millions (fictional film about a boy who finds an illegal stash of pound sterling before the conversion to euros – he ends up setting the paper money on fire), Grow Your Own Veg (allotments-refugees-elections-secret ballots-coup d’etat-Jeremy Corbyn look-a-like-regimental colours of blues and red colouring the garden sheds) and was chief writer for Danny Boyle’s London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony: Isles of Wonder. Apart from also working on Grow Your Own, Carl Hunter has directed the short film ‘The Allotment’ (2016). Their current collaboration is ‘Triple Word Score’ about a father searching for his missing son and filming is currently underway in Liverpool and elsewhere. Bill Nighy who ‘made his stage debut by featuring in Illuminatus!, staged at London’s National Theatre in 1977’, is cast in the central role.
The attack will be a game changer for Government policy, leading to a step-change towards adopting Paul Nuttall and UKIP’s policies, just as he predicted in his resignation speech and mirroring Craig Murray’s observations on the BNP
Manifesto (2005) and the current Conservative one.
Intelligent monitoring systems along the lines of the INDECT or SAMURAI projects or the American TrapWire will find further funding and will no longer have to contend with the obstacle of people’s faces being obscured by clothing or costumes of any kind..
As a coincidence, tonight’s Brexit Means Brexit featured a heckler attacking a meeting of Nuttall and UKIP over his manifesto plans to ban the niqab and burqa, and further insulting him over being a scouser. Nuttall himself had thrown a lot of flak on the memories of Hillsborough, over his falsified claims (?) about being connected to the Hillsborough tragedy, and all the drama surrounding that, as well as saying that he was ‘fed up’ of [talking about?] Hillsborough. As another coincidence Newsnight (tonight, 21 June) also played the Beatles’ ‘All You Need is Love’.
On the day the alert level in the UK was due to be reduced (it didn’t go up in response to the London Bridge or the Finsbury Park attack) from Critical to Severe (or in the older parlance from BIKINI Red to BIKINI Amber) a cyber-attack was launched against the Liverpool ONE shopping centre, proclaiming support for the JFT96 campaign. That same day Michal Kisiel, escaped from hospital detention (he was there from HMP Erlestoke where Marine A had been serving his sentence, but who was released 27 April the same day as a feint attack against Parliament). Kisiel was Polish national previously living at Liverpool Road, Luton.
Yaxley-Lennon and his band of foot-soldiers, or Tommies, will see an upsurge in popularity. There will be the talk of arming Private Security Personnel, much like in America. Private Security Companies will be recruited to turn-around the dire decrease in Police front-line personnel, and institute a rapid increase in the number of officers, ironically, hiring many of the former officers trained and experienced at the public expense that were let go due to Theresa May’s policies.
Alternatively, or in addition, an attack, by a terrorist who will be found to have traversed the Ireland-NI border, leading to the step-up of border checks between Ireland and Northern Ireland.
Jo Cox was murdered in Birstall, which is also the site of an Anglo-Saxon moot (one of the few known English sites), an ancient precursor to the House of Commons.
22 March 2017, saw the historic lockdown of Parliament, and I believe the anniversary of Jo Cox’s death, 16 June, also saw Parliament in Lockdown. The Lockdown policy mirrors the stay-put policy used against the Grenfell Tower residents (‘As Above, So Below’) – perhaps leading to a final death toll of 96. A devastating attack on the House of Commons, would turn the movement and up-welling in response to austerity in general and the Grenfell Tower fire against itself by attacking the current but imperfect system of accountability and perhaps taking some of the treasured stars (Corbyn, McConnell, Jim Fitzpatrick) along with it. Some may initially celebrate (a la V for Vendetta, ‘Enough is Enough’). The Emergency Powers enshrined in the Civil Contingencies Act 2004 will be brought into use, and any sitting of Parliament and the approved extension of the emergency powers will be complicated by the attack (will they sit in London or in some remote country house far from troubling populations?). The Army will be called out and the only legislation secured from the emergency powers would be annulled by other means. Theresa May or her replacement would then be seen as ‘strong and stable’.

Julie Blackadder

just so insane, no-one’s bothered to comment or rate. seek help.


Now, NATO jets are buzzing a Russian minister’s airplane.
See http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-40358528.
Note also the deferential tone towards the USA.
Disgraceful BBC coverage – as usual !


Yes there is now clearly a conspiracy of silence by the WMSM regarding Syria and many other US/UK foreign policy issues…
How to spot a hot issue which people might have an opinion about in the Guardian? Well for a start there will be no comments allowed and if it appears at all it will appear only briefly and then disappear into the memory hole of the back pages. Readers and commenter’s here at OffG know this all too well.
Regarding Syria it’s like all things connected with Russia, hysterics about unsubstantiated sometimes fake news stories. Lots of high profile coverage for negative opinion pieces often dressed up as news stories.
What the MSM don’t admit is that the public are much more savvy than they ever give them credit for. Snap election anyone?
And then there’s the patronising alternative news approach to domestic and world news at the Guardian that never gets down to the real issues that concern people. The issues they really want to know about.
Contrary to the claim of “Fearless Journalism” if all you do is act as an echo chamber for spin, misleading and false narratives coming out of Washington regarding US/UK foreign policy (both are the same). Then when all that dries up (which it has at the moment), what do you really have to say???


The “thin gruel” of a Queen’s Speech – https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/jun/21/tory-dup-deal-possible-says-damian-green-ahead-of-queens-speech ?
That really is important to the UK mass media – not the possibility of WW3 starting accidentally in Syria !


With regard to the MSM when they openly lie, insinuate or smear, it is bad enough, but this is more than matched by the sin of omission: a deafening silence on issues for which they have no believable response. The great Russian poet Yevgeny Yevtuschenko put it succinctly:
‘‘When truth is replaced by silence, the silence is a lie. … ”


I think omission is perhaps the most frequently used tool of propaganda. The most egregious recent omissions have been the true voices of the majority of Syrians in Syria who remain in and fled to government held areas. The voices that are in conflict with western policy are always silenced or distorted even when they are clearly the vast majority.


Check the Guardian site today.
Apparently there’s a towel shortage for a nude bathing event in Australia.
No mention of Syria in the headlines but this “very important” news of towel shortage merits space in the front pages…incredible.


I read pilot rescued, and now in hospital recovering.
Also 3 US soldiers killed in Syria.. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1HOt9U_Qs5I

Dead World Walking
Dead World Walking

The Australian Government wins gold at the Olympic Lickspittle event.


I think the MSM have degenerated, tied themselves up within such an absurd level of doublethink and blatant propagandising concerning the conflict in Syria that even they now realise, to continue along such lines would just highlight the absurd hypocrisy and inherent fallacy of their position. The blatant abuse and disregard for international law currently being perpetrated by the US is just no longer rationally excusable, so best just to ignore it.
It could also be argued that the UK general election and the ability of a candidate (Jeremy Corybn) to garner so much support, in the face of such a concerted, relentless and ugly attack by the MSM has now led that media to question its supposed inherent ability and presumed privileged position of shaping the public consensus. Syria has become so complicated, best just to ignore it!


Western media blew its credibility over the ways in which they reported the situations in Aleppo and Mosul.
Almost identical situations yet totally different coverages.
Of course, not everyone is capable of perceiving the different treatments.
Many people are so used to consuming confirmatory rubbish that they lose the ability to think for themselves.
However, even the most thoroughly mind-washed individuals will see such differences if pointed out to them.
Whenever I compared and contrasted the media “treatment” with friends, they “got it” after a few moments.


I believe the lies and omissions in MSM about the war on Syria have been a watershed. People already angry about the proven falsehoods propagated to justify the illegal destruction and occupation of Iraq were more open to consider they were not being told the truth or the whole truth and many went looking for and found different narratives, including from some brave individuals who went into Syria and asked questions of many of those millions under government protection and who witnessed defining events such as the liberation of Aleppo. BTL comments added to those asking questions.
The war on Syria has also exposed the faux anti war and ‘humanitarians’ who support the Palestinian cause but deserted and vilified Syrians under attack trying to save their country, culture and society. It was all about Assad… the negation of millions of Syrians views, situation and suffering is for me unforgivable. Those outlets and individuals cards are forever marked in my searching for truth and balance in foreign affairs.


The very latest development is that the Americans have shot down an Iranian-supplied drone in Southern Syria.
The location is close to the border with Jordan, though it still took place within Syrian air space.
Apparently, the Russians have now suspended all hotline telephone contacts over Syria with the USA.
You’d have thought the global media would have noticed that development, wouldn’t you?


“You’d have thought the global media would have noticed that development, wouldn’t you?”
MSM cannot cover these developments properly because US led coalition is acting completely against international law. I also wonder if the UK government wish to keep events quiet so they have the option of joining a possible larger war under the guise of TINA as it all happened ‘so suddenly’, no time for even parliamentary debate?
US led coalition has no legitimacy to be in Syria at all and has been targeting SAA and defending Isis and other terror groups for weeks.
Besides, there is a pressing domestic narrative to control in UK.
For me it just emphases what a useless and pointless body the UN has become in protecting the Geneva convention and international law. Has there been one UN call for US coalition to cease all operations in Syria? After all they are illegal. UN presides over a ‘wild west’ of international affairs and military actions.


Your comments raise the interesting question as to why Russia has not itself asked the UN to condemn the actions of the US in supporting the actions of known terrorists?


Russia has repeatedly condemned US coalition actions when striking SAA and stated some of it’s actions aid the terrorists in the SC.


You have not answered my question.
Why has Russia not put motions before the UNSC and/or UNGA calling for universal condemnation of any regime which supports terrorist forces attacking de facto regimes?
Why has it not singled out the USA for condemnation for supporting terrorists?
Does anyone know the answer to this question?


I cannot answer your question because I don’t know whether Russia has put such a motion or not.
I have a vague recollection (or dream?) the Syrian Arab Republic has put something of that nature forward though but cannot be certain. Syria is of course the sovereign nation we are speaking about. Russia is there at Syrian government request.


Why would Russia put motions before the UN Security Council to condemn the US attacks on the Syrian fighter jet and the Iranian drone in Syria when the Russians know the US, the UK and France, along with several temporary UNSC members, would veto the motions?


In presenting a motion of condemnation – supported by Russia, Syria, Iraq and Iran – it would expose globally the role of external actors in fueling the conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and elsewhere in Asia on the part of countries such as the US, UK, France and Israel.
If the US, UK and France retaliate by exercising vetoes individually / collectively, their complicity in assaulting the sovereignty of legitimate nation-states such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria is exposed for all to see.
This will make it harder for them to continue leading an axis of evil strategy which countenances the use of terrorist groups in the promotion of their own foreign policy goals.
The support of terrorist strategies by the evil US and its evil allies can only be challenged by countries such as Russia, Iraq, Syria and Iran exposing the hypocrisy of “western” regimes such that their own citizens will realise what is going on, who then pressurise their own governments to cease creating murder and mayhem in the ME.
So why is Russia not doing this – or leading it?


We have a very minority government acting in the shadows. Foreign policy is now conducted largely in secret and with zero parliamentary or public oversight. These are very dangerous times and there are no adults in the rooms of power and as we are seeing with the Grenfell horror, there is no accontability.
I noticed this just now and it makes me very uncomfortable…
WikiLeaks… “We are creating a powerful new media entity in the UK. Please suggest journalists to hire and outfits to partner with.”
Is this the latest way to control what the (dissenting) public have access to? I note also that Owen Jones is one suggestion on the thread… dear heavens! I know Pilger and Murray condone WikiLeaks but I am not so confident as them, perhaps I am becoming a victim of cynicism? WL stands way above the likes of Greenwald, DemcracyNow! Young Turks etc. for me but I am nervous of pulling journalists into organisations, no matter what the claim. These sorts of constructs appear to be ways to limit information and exclude real on the ground and critical journalism and critical thinking. Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth being a classic example.


I think that’s unfair to AE911Truth. Of course they haven’t “gone for the jugular” as many would wish – in terms of following up the many other avenues (including especially the clear “no planes” evidence which is the single most powerful proof of an inside job – though this is denied even by many “truthers”).
Nonetheless, it is primarily the dogged persistence of AE911Truth that has kept the issue alive at all in the USA and their decision to focus on what can be proven scientifically, especially with WTC7, does make sense. I say this as someone who does not accept the adequacy of the nano-thermite argument.
By comparison, the struggle for the truth about 7/7 is now virtually non-existent.


It is both, of course.
We saw last week, f.e. some of the survivors of the Grenfell tower talking in prime time about how their friends and families were basically murdered for being poor by the same people that always find the money for wars abroad (there is a particular example from the BBC that is an excellent testimony).
After the terrorist attacks of last month the idea of blowback and the obvious sponsorship of Britain to the most murderous regimes and groups were introduced into the political discourse for the first time
and not only that, they became immensely popular.
After Corbyn´s surge the government is all stitched up, it is against the ropes, it just keeps getting deeper in their manure. My guess is that the plan is to keep it quiet, so that if we all burn giving our lives in defense of islamofascists in Syria (intervention the Tories and lapdogds so merrily supported), at least they can save us from the menace of comrade Corbyn nationalising rails or keeping the NHS or, god forbid, borrowing empty mansions from Saudi criminals to shelter people that has lost everything. In short, they are now starting to feel the consequences of the public mood they created with both their actions and their lies and, intelligent as they are, now in panic, they will keep using the same methods until they are kicked out.