latest, Syria

Comment Set Free: “Russia wants to hack the Oscars”

In this our second go at opening comments on a Guardian article that doesn’t allow them, we are inviting your responses to “Russia wants to hack the Oscars:smear campaign targets Syrian nominee” by Olivia Solon, published Feb 6 2018.

We will do our best to pass your views on the the relevant parties at the Guardian


  1. PardonMyFrench says

    Dear Olivia Solon,

    Have you ever been to Syria?

    Dd you talk to any ordinary Syrians?

    Did you fact check any of Fayyad’s claims about himself?

    Did you investigate his alleged connections with terrorists such as al Nusra, to make sure they are not true?

    Did you investigate the allegations against the White Helmets?

    If you didn’t do any of the above how do you know the allegations aren’t true, and do you worry that you might have inadvertently propagandized for people who actually murder children?

  2. bevin says

    There is a logic underlying these stories which reach their incredible apogee in the irrefutable claim that Putin is interfering in Russia’s Presidential Elections-emboldened by his success in 2016!
    In the US the great fear among the ruling class is that in 2020, after years in which the Democratic Party has crumbled into a rump, losing one election after another and by erosion leaving behind an increasingly right wing delegation in Congress, there will be a revolt in the primaries which nothing can prevent. At the Congressional level the Shumers, Pelosis and worse (there are worse!) will be systematically attacked and replaced. At the top of the ticket Sanders, shackled to a peace platform, will put forward a simple programme of infrastructure renewal by public works, medicare for all, and a full slate of reforms which the country is crying out for.
    The last line of resistance then will be the Deep State. The FBI and CIA will be working overtime, with their media, employing the fruits of decades of surveillance, to discredit, smear and disqualify reformers- the Moore operation in Alabama was a dress rehearsal.
    And the Democrat rank and file will view these ‘revelations’ as coming from their friends, the public spirited, politically honest, decent god fearing men who every Democrat is now praising as the ‘dictator’ and ‘fascist’ Trump tries to bend them to his evil purposes.

  3. Peter says

    Olivia Solon is starting to make a name for herself, and her employment opportunities in the anti-Russian ‘smear campaign’ (as she might put it) definitely look bright. There are two episode’s in today’s online Graun, the first in a rant signed Simon Tisdall, ‘a Guardian assistant editor and a columnist on foreign affairs’:
    As Vladimir Putin steals the Russian election, our leaders are shamefully silent: If such an obviously rigged poll were being held in Iran or Zimbabwe, there would be screams of outrage from the west
    For those who can be bothered ploughing through it, here is the link:

    (At last view half an hour ago, comments for this story had been allowed and many seemed to agree with it, which just goes to show you can fool some of the people all of the time. Or that the only people left reading the Graun are the ones who haven’t already been banned and agree with the party line – there are a few dissenting posts, however.)

    To fan the dying embers and keep old memories alive, the Graun also publishes today:

    George Bush: ‘pretty clear evidence Russia meddled’ in US election
    Former US president rejects Donald Trump denials that Moscow tried to affect vote

    Unfortunately, no ‘pretty clear’, or indeed any other, ‘evidence’ is given in the story.

    But ‘Russian meddling’ never sleeps. An article from stuff, a New Zealand news website, also dated today (February 8) warns how grim the future is:

    Russia is already meddling in US midterm elections, Secretary of State warns

    Despite being credited to a specific writer (‘Doug Stanglin’), the source for this story is given rather mysteriously at the end as ‘MCT’. This seems to be ‘McClatchy-Tribune Information Services, the news service formerly known as Knight Ridder Tribune’, which owns ‘29 daily newspapers in 14 states’. One of these is the Miami Herald (see below).

    A quick Google search (by typing in ‘Russia meddling in midterm elections’) shows the same story, citing a Fox News interview by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, has been taken up today by CNBC, USA Today, HuffPost, the Sydney Morning Herald, the NY Post, the online Daily Telegraph, NPR, the NY Daily News, CNN, Business Insider, NBC News, Newsweek, AOL, MSN, the Atlantic Council, plus a host of websites I’ve never heard of – and this was just from the first three pages of what Google coughed up.

    Even RT covered the story:

    Resistance is futile: Tillerson says unstoppable Russians already meddling in midterms
    (The RT story – which was obviously propaganda, since it described Russian meddling as ‘unsubstantiated’ – also said that Tillerson had ‘urged [Mexico] to stay diligent in the face of potential Russian meddling in internal Mexican affairs’.)

    This anticipation of – completely substantiated and not-at-all scare-mongering – ‘Russian meddling’ in next November’s US elections had already been floated, however, on January 29, naturally by the Graun (we’d expect nothing less):…/russia-is-aiming-to-interfere-in-us-midterm- elections-warns-cia-chief‎
    … but also by other reliable, non-propaganda, independent news media including the BBC, Politico, Al Jazeera, Reuters, and ABC. This story reported the views of Mike Pompeo, head of the CIA, obviously an expert on election meddling.

    However, the ground for all this had actually been prepared as far back as October 4 in a Miami News story signed Kate Irand and Kevin G. Hall and citing ‘key senators investigating Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election’:

    Russia intervened in 2016 and has sights on 2018 elections, Senate Intelligence says
    file://localhost/(http/ – storylink=cpy)
    Conclusion: It all goes to show you CAN make it up. And the MSM have the gall to criticize conspiracy theorists…

  4. Kaiama says

    The Guardian sinks lower…
    Hair-raising moment: gust of wind lifts lid on mystery of Donald Trump’s mane
    Speculation has long swirled about exactly what is on top of the president’s head – the answer may be less than meets the eye.

  5. MichaelK says

    I think Vanessa and Eva have done great work under difficult and dangerous conditions to bring alternative narratives about events in Syria to a wider public. One doesn’t have to agree with everything they write to appreciate this. But, for the Guardian to completely dismiss them and smear them as ‘agents of Russian propaganda’ for daring to disagree with the West’s propaganda, is outrageous.

    The Guardian represents the ‘liberal wing’ of western imperialism, and what’s worse is that those accused of having links to the ‘Syrian regime’ or Russia, are never allowed the space to defend themselves against the charges. They are placed in the dock and put on trial by the Guardian, but their hands are tied and they are gagged. No one reading the Guardian would ever know that they deny the accusations or can defend their actions and motives. This seems to be a trend, like the censorship of CiF, the critics and opposition are being muzzled and the public are groomed for more and even bloodier wars, the seemingly inexorable slide towards WW3.

  6. The Helmets are the incarnation of the military state of the UK.

    For those who wonder about the general decrepitude which has now fully taken over at the Guardian look no further than its false claims of independent journalism.

    Yes many of us have been permanently banned for expressing “fiercely independent” views highlighting the fact. For those in doubt check out this latest blatant puff piece [ad] for the MOD.

    Thanks to Off G for creating space for comment and to those who think you should not read the Graun or the MSM I disagree. It is important to analyse what the aristocracy is up to and develop effective counter ideas.

  7. bevin says

    Over time the word will get around that there is a place to comment, freely, on The Guardian’s articles, to criticise what is bad and to praise what is good and worthy of good journalism. And that the place is here.

    • NowhereMan says

      True. On a Guardian piece the other day that started off as another grandiose claim about the paper’s importance and ended up a dismissal of reader complaints, the comments below the line expressed in no uncertain terms how at odds the readership now felt with the Guardian, in particular in regards to censorship and moderation. I mentioned this place (without mentioning it, you’ll understand) and the idea to allow readers to comment on closed articles, and hope a few will have found their way here.

  8. NowhereMan says

    Has anyone managed to pinpoint the time The Guardian’s output went decidedly full-on swivel-eyed war propagandist, and what might have led to this becoming its default position? Snowden? Rusbridger’s attempt to capture the US market? It’s pretty difficult to establish where exactly this ‘fearless’ and ‘independent’ journalism starts.

    • Pied Gauche says

      After the Ukraine adventure went south was the last straw. Before that when Putin stepped in to stop the first Syria adventure. It’s been building up. The rise of alternative media means there’s no room for the soft opposition in the mainstream any more perhaps. There are so many serious challenges to the warmongering narrative out there now that the establishment has had to form a defensive square so to speak, just in order to repel the attacks. That’s why the liberals and the non-liberls all speak with one voice now on almost everything.

      • In a nutshell class politics is back and the likes of the Guardian, who spent the last few decades trying to bury it, since Thatcher 1979, don’t have the intellectual artillery required to question and objectively critique the times they are in just now…post-neo liberal experiment. When Thatcher came in , 1979, the first thing she did was to instruct all social science departments to “become more relevant to the economy.” A few weeks ago I heard most students in further education are doing business studies. But that was part of the identity politics agenda and the centrists appeal to the rising numbers of professionals/and Guardian readers; now dated. Likewise, New Labour managed to shift British attitudes about unemployment. Pre-Bliar, people believed unemployment was caused by the economic Govt, markets’ and employers’ failure to provide jobs. Bliar and the Tories blamed and demonised the unemployed and British attitudes followed suit; now dated. All in vain. The ruling class have been exposed as out-and-out warmongers and economic white-collar criminals. You can’t fool all of the working class all of the time. The lies don’t work. The sun won’t stop shining because of the know nothing squad.

      • timfrom says

        Road Warrior – my thoughts, too. It was the Snowden files wot did it, with MI5 in the basement with the saws and the hard-drives. Sounds like a Cleudo scenario!

    • Jen says

      I think it started happening about the time The Guardian expanded into the US and hired Glenn Greenwald and Joshua Treviño (former speech-writer to ex-US President George W Bush) at the same time. This was way back in June 2012.

      Glenn Greenwald on his would-be stablemate according to the New York Times:
      ‘ … “among the lowliest, most extremist cretins that exist” …’

      With a reference like that, and lots of pressure on The Guardian from others to get rid of him, no wonder Treviño declined the job offer.

      • jazza says

        maybe they really wanted Lee Trevino and got mixed up?

    • It’s hard to pinpoint it. The Guardian has never been the radical publication it claims to be. As far back as 1998, it was pretty much widely accepted that they were not being transparent in relation to the Iraq WMD debacle after they failed to report on the findings of UNSCOM. Even as late as 2001, they failed to pick up on the contradictory public statements of Powell and Rice which, had they done so, would have exposed the lies to their own propaganda. It was obvious to many activists at the time that the WMD claims were BS but this wasn’t reflected anywhere in the corporate media (with the possible exception of John Pilger writing in the Mirror). The same pattern is emerging now in relation to Assad, who like Saddam they continue to paint as a demon:

    • Hind Abyad says

      British ex-mercenary, and founder of the White Helmets, James Le Mesurier, pictured in Istanbul, Turkey. (Photo: Twitter/James Le Mesurier)Since they were founded in 2013, much of Western media has sought to elevate the White Helmets as the “bravest” and most heroic of Syrians. They have been the subject of a Netflix documentary, which won an Oscar, and has consistently been plastered across TV screens in surprisingly well-produced videos showing them removing children from rubble in war-torn areas claimed by Syria’s “rebels.”

      However, missing from this unambiguously positive coverage has been the group’s ties to terrorist groups like al-Qaeda, their doctoring of footage, their role in executing civilians and their use of children – both dead and alive – as props for producing pro-intervention propaganda. Also absent is how the White Helmets have received over $123 million from 2013 to 2016 from the U.S. and UK governments, as well as Western NGOs and Gulf state monarchies.

    • NowhereMan. Perhaps the opening of the Guardian in the US was when things started to really south. The UK publication is in serious trouble and they are always begging for money(even a £1 would help them out) so their sister publication in the US is probably all that’s keeping the UK partner afloat. Needless to say, the US side dare not criticise the US government policies.

  9. Marshalldoc says

    Important to note!

    The text includes this:

    “Chris Hegedus, who made Oscar-nominated documentary The War Room, described the articles as “outrageous” and said that they “made us see how Russia and others are meddling beyond social media and political elections”.”

    This is NOT Chris Hedges, a true social justice icon who understands who & what the White Helmets truly are.

    Christine Louise Hegedus’ film ‘The War Room’ was made in 1993 and she’s made a couple of others since.

    To add to the confusion, Hedges has written a book “War Is A Force That Gives Us Meaning” which, for the unwary, might be conflated with Hegedus’ movie’s title.

    I think it’s illustrative of the disingenuousness of those who knowingly whore for the White Helmets to manipulate her name, and use her quote, in a fashion such as to imply to the unwary reader that someone of Chris Hedges’ moral character also supports the al Qaeda Rescue Service and the entier ‘Russia/Putin-did-it’ meme.

    This was not an ‘innocent’ occurrence.

    [edited by Admin to create hyperlink]

    • Sav says

      When I was on CIF I sometimes got confused when a certain poster would have a contrary view to one they previously held. Only to find out they were different posters with similar nicks. I always wondered if this wasn’t deliberate.

  10. Michelle says

    The really odd thing about all the accusations thrown at Syria and Russia is that we are accusing them of things even a moderately educated MSM consumer must know we have been guilty of in the very recent past.

    Torture: how well are people treated at Yarls Wood? How many people were tortured in our Iraqi jails?
    Chemical weapons: how different was the deliberate water poisoning in Flint?
    Hacking elections: where do we not interfere in others elections?
    Killing your own people: Grenfell tower?
    Restricting press freedom: because journalists were so free to report on Jimmy Saville’s crimes.

    This kind of propaganda relies on a deep racism where our failings are aberrations (or even morally acceptable given circumstances) but that similar accusations levied at others is evidence of their inherent evilness.

    • I have deep concerns about the Savile scandal.

      Just a few weeks before it all blew up I listened to a totally unrelated Radio 4 medical ethics documentary that mentioned a fact that is highly relevant to the Savile case but that, strangely, I’ve never heard mentioned in relation to it:

      Apparently half of people recovering from anaesthetic experience such vivid hallucinations that that they can’t distinguish them from reality.

      And in half of those cases the hallucinations are of a sexual nature.

      A year or two back I listened to another radio 4 medical documentary about people experiencing various head traumas, diseases, fevers, also experiencing hallucinations (40-80% of them!).

      Given that Savile, and remember he was a massive star of radio, TV, cinema ads, on the back of every bus, clunk-click, spent most of the week wheeling patients who’d had a bump on the head around hospitals, and especially into theatre, and then out of the recovery room, how many hundreds, thousands, hundreds of thousands, of such hallucinations must he have “starred” in?

      Certainly enough to have explained all the rumours, and more!

      I have no idea whether or not Savile was guilty of anything.

      But I do know that the media and police are guilty of totally ignoring (supressing?) this crucial piece of evidence!

      • George Cornell says

        are you saying all the children he molested were recovering from anaesthesia? Surely not.

        • Are you saying you have proof positive of any molestation whatsoever?

          The “evidence” against him is entirely claims and allegations plus the fact that everybody has heard the, often bizzare, outlandish, unbelievable, rumours about what he got up to.

          Especially from hospitals.

          But there was one independent, third part witness nurse.

          Who apparently saw him kissing a young girl, and putting his tongue right down her throat.

          How does that work then?!

          Did he have his face pressed tight to hers? But she had a transparent neck and throat!

          Or did she see his tongue snaking across the room first and could work out at least six inches went in the girls mouth?!?!?!

          Oh, and the nurse wasn’t on duty: she was a patient at the time!

          What I’m saying is that there re hundreds of rumours of what he got up to in hospitals.

          But there must be thousands of patients who saw this larger than life character prancing round hospitals, or heard that he’d been on the ward, or heard rumours……..

          Half of whom would have gone on have hallucinations.

          A parallel situation is where dentists get accused of often bizzare sexual assaults or rapes while under anaesthetic:

          Then when it gets in the local paper lots of his other patients come forward with similar stories, which they hadn’t mentioned before because they didn’t think they’d be believed!

          • George Cornell says

            Defending ol’ Jimmy are we?
            Yes his death was inconvenient but when there are multiple accusers of molestation, who have not colluded, the likelihood of verification has been 100% or close to it. I have talked to one completely credible victim, unconnected to any other, but perhaps you can find me an innocent man, just one, accused of child sexual abuse by dozens of victims?

  11. Pied Gauche says

    Unbelievable headline. Unbelievable content. How is Russia supposed to “hack” the Oscars? The Oscar winners are voted for by a small group comprising previous Oscar nominees and winners. They almost all live in Hollywood, as you would expect. They are for the most part completely won over spokespeople for the mainstream, and even the few who aren’t won’t dare speak up for fear of graylisting. Exactly how is RT or any alternative media supposed to influence them? And even if they did, so what? Democracy is supposed to be about making free choices, including the choice to believe a non-mainstream version of reality.

  12. Deep thanks to off-guardian, Eva Bartlett & Vanessa Beeley et al for deep, thorough & honest reporting.

    The MainSlimeStreamMedia MSSM is failing rapidly in credibility, as are the evil & genocidal war efforts of our Western govts in Syria.

    As an aside, I note that slippery Solon tried to defend Al Gore’s film “An Inconvenient Truth”.
    This fear-porn lie fest was exposed in a British court of Justice as containing NINE of what Judge Burton euphemistically termed “errors of fact”.
    In fact the film contains 35 lies trying to push the myth/scam/con of human caused global warming/climate change/erratic weather or whatever they’re calling it this week. In his summing up the judge termed this “a political film”.
    Lord Monckton can be seen on youtube exposing Gores’ lies.

    John Doran.

    • Derek_J says

      And Lord Monckton’s lies are exposed on YouTube by the excellent Potholer54.

      • No global warming on this thread please – we are keeping this one confined solely to the Guardian piece and closely related matters. There are many other threads, including a very recent one where global warming can be freely discussed.

      • Apologies to Admin, & I hope they’ll allow this.

        I gained a lot of my climate knowledge from Geology Prof Ian Plimer’s fine book: Heaven and Earth global warming: the missing science.
        There are over 2000 references to peer-reviewed papers etc in this 2009 work, which is written in plain English for non-scientists like myself.

        Lord Monckton writes a neat afterword.

        John Doran.

  13. Adrian E. says

    A film that lionizes Al Qaeda and their terrorist allies… One should think that this is an underground film that is suppressed in Western countries as terrorist propaganda. But no, some people even want this propaganda for terrorist organizations to receive an Oscar and claim and claim that criticism is “Russian propaganda”.

    This is how crazy Western pro-Al-Qaeda propaganda has become.

  14. MashaS says

    I’m impressed by the new marketing strategy being employed lately by media giants. Simply attach your latest fifth rate movie to a social movement or political cause of some type and then use guilt as leverage to get good reviews, free publicity and guaranteed awards. Disney, run by white males, is currently shamelessly using Black History Month to market its “Black Panther” film, and sending the message out there that anyone who gives it a bad review is a racist. Now Fayyad and Solon are basically saying if “Last Men in Aleppo” doesn’t get the Oscar it’s because Putin hacked the voting.

  15. Worth noting: In this 2012 CNN article (not known for their objective reporting on Syria) Fayyad and his wife do not describe any torture whatsoever. Seems the embellishment has been added at a later date and then copy/pasted by the corporate media in the West in their eagerness to do the bidding of their neocon masters in their respective regime echo chambers. Thanks to Cory Morningstar for finding this article, the only one on Fayyad’s “torture”.

    • Catte says

      That’s interesting and a great find. So, according to this CNN piece he was arrested on suspicion of being a spy or agent of some kind, held for three months then released after a day in court.

      Not exactly a Stalinist nightmare on the face of it. And you’d think if he’d been tortured it would have been the first thing he told his wife and lawyer wouldn’t you.

      I am just wondering right now how much independent evidence there is for of his time in jail, or any of his alleged back story.

  16. John A says

    Incidentally, apropos oscars for the white helmets and other western accolades, the Norwegian Nobel Peace Prize Committee, not content with giving the prize to Obama, during whose presidency, the US was at war and dropping bombs etc., every single day, are now considering offering a committee seat to Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the incredibly hawkish Danish politician (yes, he’s not even Norwegian) and former secretary general of NATO who is forever warning that the Russians are coming. Cue, western propaganda moves to give the saintly white helmets the Nobel Prize?

    [edited by Admin for typo]

  17. garyaz says

    P.S. Which pocket do the white helmets keep the talcum powder and tomato sauce to annoint the poor children for the cameras?

  18. garyaz says

    Anyone catch Channel 4 news on monday night? Channel 4 at it again. The teletubbies level propaganda plot went something like this

    Evil Ruskies bombing hospital 5 times! Premature babies evacuated! Hero White helmets dig out little girl from ruins! Man burnt with chlorine gas washed with hose! Sadistic Ruskie general says its revenge!
    Joseph Goebbell would be proud… patronising simple-minded emotionalism. My 10 year old son commented that “they looked like they were acting in a film”

    • Hillsum with the usual unsubstantiated voice-over claims underpinning predictably slick AMC production values – jilted camera angles and the typical close up shots of spotless WHs running in panic while carrying children. In this evenings propaganda broadcast Guru-Murthy cited, without apparent embarrassment, the SOHRs – ie a geezer in a terraced house in Coventry.

      • I read Ussama lived in a semi detached, but could equally be an end terraced, not that such distinctions are important.

    • Shows that ISIS are brighter than Channel4!!

      ISIS have finally learned they look stupid claiming to have seen and smelled colourless and odourless Sarin and that the victims were frothing at the mouth, which isn’t a symptom of Sarin.

      But Channel4 still don’t realise how stupid they look regurgitating ISIS propaganda filmed and presented by ISIS terrorists from ISIS controlled territory that no one but ISIS would dare enter never mind “report” from!

    • Strange, but Syria only had under a hundred hospitals to start with, and the evil Assad and the evil Putin must have destroyed ALL of them in the first 50 days of bombing East Aleppo when, according to Channel4 “reporting” they were destroying two hospitals a day!!!

    • Acting in a film?

      Surely not!

      My favourite bits are when they call for all non essential staff to clear the Emergency Room……….

      And the camera crews (including director, make up……?) carry on filming!!!

  19. George says

    I have noticed those Guardian articles that don’t allow comments and I’ve always wondered why they don’t. Is there a pattern to the kind of article they don’t want comments for?

    • We haven’t done the maths but the vast majority of articles on the Guardian are no longer open for comments. In general the more controversial the piece is the less likely it is to be open BTL. Especially if it involves Russia or Syria. If the comments open they tend to close very quickly. The last Syria story open for comments was on January 30, it received 52 comment BTL and was then closed. Typical profile these days.

  20. If the Russians do indeed intend to hack the Oscars then they’d be morally right to do so!

    There is a stench of hypocrisy at the Guardian that explains why right minded people hold a great many of its articles in contempt these days.

    Olivia Solon should watch below & take note (but that’s for deaf ears for a person who lacks any morality)

  21. Dads06606 says

    The terrorists favorite sympathiser scum Fayyad who pranced around with head choppers got his troglodyte Solon to gaslight the public with mind numbing nonesense.. Guardian has become an utter disgrace

  22. Valkyrie says

    I would like to ask Olivia Solon and her editors if they have fact checked this piece.

    • Referring particularly to the assertions they dismiss as “Russian playbook” propaganda, did they look at the videos and other evidence and verify they did not show the director associating with known terrorists?

    • have they looked at how many White Helmets members have been proved to associate with terrorist outlets, and have they proved it is really just a small number or rogue element as Solon claims?

    • If yes to the above, what sources did they refer to in order to verify this?

    • do they agree this urgently needs to be cleared up before anyone can support either the White Helmets or the film?

    • LesShrou says

      Thank you for an excellent set of questions. I wish we could have them answered.

    • Chris Vlaar says

      you don’t have to fact check if it’s about smearing Russia, everything anti Russia is welcome!!

  23. 0use4msm says

    In its accompanying film review the Guardian still likes to describe Aleppo as “a city without hope”. In the first seven months after the city’s liberation (January to July 2017) 405,420 displaced citizens begged to differ, as they returned back to Aleppo Governorate, 97% of which returned to their own homes. These are not fake news statistics made up by evil Rooskies in the basement of a St. Petersburg troll farm, rather they are based on data collected by the UN Migration Agency IOM. Furthermore, these numbers make a mockery of the film’s title, “Last Men in Aleppo”, as if the Al-Qaeda-affiliated White Helmets are the only men that really count in Aleppo.


    • Good point & compare Aleppo’s liberation to the liberation (or razing) of Mosul !

      How many can go home to Mosul after the Western Coalition’s work ? Very very few……..

  24. ThisCan'tGoOn says

    I know it’s naive but I am shocked on a daily basis by the moral blankness of the media. In just the last six or seven years it has changed from being a predictable sort of soft-proaganda that permitted basic assumptions of morality and had some ethical basis to terrifyingly extreme, wild-eyed agitprop.

    If you look back to just 2010 or 2011 would you have believed then we would have these insane extremes of McCarthyism as we see now? It’s in some ways amusing but very worrying also. How long can this level of divorcement from reality combined with ferocious hate speech and warmongering carry on before it produces a global war?

    • f_lawless says

      i would have said things started to get exponentially Orwellian post 9/11, when corporate media first began selling us the notion that radical ideologies would be defeated by military invasions (ie the War on Terror) and that existential threats lay in the Middle East; that preemptive wars of aggression would make the world a safer place.

  25. BigB says

    Solon’s article is depraved and perverted: to twist her propaganda to amplify the self-deluded victim status of Fayyad himself is sickening. He was tortured for his art and his truth-telling: what monstrous inhuman regime would do that? The art of propaganda is subtlety: to invisibly manage the perception of the propagandised. No such nuance from Solon with her crude cliche?

    The latest chapter in this ongoing criminal deception was yesterday’s chlorine attack on Saraqeb – as featured on last nights BBC News at Ten. Also featured was the “attack” on the hospital at Maarat al-Nusman – and some truly harrowing video of premature babies being treated as ragdolls. One of our WH heroes picked up one of the babies – without supporting its head – and gave a single rapid breath. I’m no medic: but that is not how you resuscitate a premature baby. Unfortunately, I can’t find the video: did anyone else see it?

    I hope Solon is proud of what she is enabling?

  26. Angelis Dania says

    So, we have Fayyad here perpetuating the myth that an exposed group of Western funded Al Qaeda members and affiliates who create lying war propaganda to support illegal regime change are in fact an independent civil defense rescue team with only humanitarian concerns. He films alongside these Al Qaeda members in white helmets, and helps to legitimise the image they use to lend credibility to their fabrications.

    Are we now supposed to believe his story of torture, or be shocked at the opposition to his deliberately misleading documentary? What reasons has the Guardian article supplied to convince us that the accusations against Fayyad are misplaced? No reasons are given in fact. It is taken as a given despite strong arguments to the contrary, just as in the last article for the Guardian by Charlie Phillips wherein he states “the bravery of the White Helmets in Syria is beyond dispute”, despite the fact that it is heavily in dispute, and with credible and damning evidence.

    • Thank you for your excellent comment. Not only has Olivia Solon not provided any reasons to convince us that the accusations against Fayyad are misplaced, all of the embedded links in her latest piece lead back to The Guardian. This is not in any way, shape or form true journalism. It’s sadly yet another example of someone writing a story to fit with the script they’ve been given to support the official narrative in exchange for a paycheck.

  27. bevin says

    The object is once again to capture the attention of that peculiar audience which only watches TV a couple of times a year, one of which is the Oscars.
    To put pure propaganda on that programme is worth a lot for the Imperial publicists who toil daily in the news business and increasingly find that their audience is a little more critical.
    Fayyad is obviously looking for a job at SOAS.
    The success with which the Russia interfered nonsense has spread and taken hold is something that can only be explained in terms of mass psychology- the amazing thing is that not only is no evidence ever adduced to support it but it is, on the face of it, extremely improbable

  28. Carrie Dryber says

    It wasn’t easy but I actually read this piece of crud to the end. Her are my responses.

    However, the international recognition has been accompanied by an organized attempt to tarnish the film-maker’s reputation, following a playbook of Russia-backed disinformation and manipulation.

    What playbook? Show us the playbook. Where is the evidence there is a “playbook” of any kind let alone a “Russian” one?

    And hang on – If the “playbook” includes pointing out that Oscar nominees have been discovered to support mass murder isn’t that a pretty good playbook, even if it is Russian?

    “It is like Russia wants to hack the Oscars like they hacked the US election,” he told the Guardian.

    Yes it’s very like that, in that there’s no evidence they hacked the election and no evidence they are hacking the Oscars

    Since the Oscar nominations were announced, Fayyad, a Syrian national, has become the subject of several articles by Russia state news agency Sputnik News and “alternative news” sites to discredit his work, describing it as a “propaganda piece funded by western governments” and an “Al-Qaida promotional film”.

    But it is funded by Western governments and it is promoting people who openly support al Qaeda.

    Others have trawled through his social media accounts and published pictures of his family and friends.

    Finish the sentence Olivia. “Published pictures of his family and friends who either are members of terroist organisations or who are pictured with members of terrorist organisations.” Do you think we’re all STUPID?

    Syrian state media has followed suit. On Twitter and Facebook, dozens of accounts have accused Fayyad of being a liar and terrorist sympathiser.

    He is friends with terrorists and claims he isn’t. What is that if not a liar and a terrorist sympathiser?

    Other Oscar-nominated film-makers and Academy members say the campaign could affect Fayyad’s chances of winning the award.

    Oh I get it, so if his piece of shit film doesn’t win you’ll be saying “the Russian did it.”

    Fayyad is baffled by the attacks on his reputation, particularly as he feels that the theme of his documentary is not the White Helmets as an organisation but an intimate look at the lives of a handful of people struggling to get by in a civil war.

    Fayyad the terrorist sympathiser is baffled by people calling him a terrorist sympathiser. How can it be explained to him in terms he will understand?

    After being arrested at the airport and bundled into a vehicle with his T-shirt pulled over his head as a makeshift hood, Fayyad recalls peeping down from his blindfold at the knock-off Adidas shoes of one of his torturers. For months he passed between beatings, starvation and periods in isolation, stepping over dead bodies left in corridors and bathrooms. The Syrian regime insisted he was a spy working for the US or Europe.

    Any evidence he was tortured? Any evidence he wasn’t a spy? He looks in good nick for someone who has been through that. I’m not convinced right now. Why did they let him go?

    “In the community in the Middle East this is shameful and it would make people not trust me if they think I’m collecting information for the FBI,” he said.

    Yeah, but are you?

    • BigB says

      Very good! Solon, the inveterate fashionista? If I was about to be tortured: right at the front of my mind would be whether my tormentors Adidas were fake or not!

      • Jen says

        Would, uh, Syrian government or military torturers really wear fake Adidas (that are likely to stain easily with blood or sweat or other human excrescences) while torturing people?

        Think about how unlikely that would be and then consider how sloppy Olivia Solon and The Guardian are as writer and editors respectively in allowing that detail to slip past their supposed eagle eyes. They must take their readers for idiots.

  29. I’m thinking…painter and decorator…counter intelligence…know nothing time wasters. Of course, I could have been brainwashed by a satanic mastermind from Russia…sending electronic signals through cyberspace, perhaps. But that hasn’t worked because I’m a socialist and opposed to capitalist Russia. I used to work in a care home. It looks like the Guardian journalists have arrived there…in lost the plot, sleepy hollow dreamland.

  30. Olivoyle Solong says

    You’re upsetting me. I need a safe space. I’m blocking everyone and hiding under my bed!

    • Carrie Dryber says

      Thing is she is actually doing that! She’s hiding all her tweets again. She writes these lies and then hides behind claims of being “harassed” so she doesn’t have to defend her lies.

    • And hats off to you Eva – you are one of the few honest Western reporters I’ve seen who actually tell the truth and give us some real insight into what is really happening in Syria – you deserve a medal too.

        • “Thirded”. I maintain that the two Bs ( Bartlett & Beeley) are two of the greatest and most inspirational researchers and foreign affairs journalists working today. If there was any justice they would jointly win next years Martha Gellhorn prize. In 10 years these brilliant and brave women will be finally given the recognition their pioneering work deserves (the cheques are in the post). No, seriously, I really mean it. Even though the latter has blocked me, I still follow her work on UK Column with great interest.

  31. NemoFound says

    Nope, sorry. This is too much. The Russians want to hack the Oscars? Written by the same barely literate person who wrote that disgraceful hatchet job a while back on Beeley and Bartlett. The Guardian is finished. Forever. Done and dusted.

    BTW – what on earth is up with Sibel Edmonds on Twitter lately?

  32. MLS says

    Is there an online petition to sign to formally register objection to the proponents of terrorism being allowed an approving voice on mainstream media? If not can we start one?

        • Machiavellian Labour says

          Hey Danny – maybe you could do the same for me. You kind of lost it a little while ago about 9/11 – I don’t know your position now but suspect you may be feeling a little sheepish.

          Delighted to see this response – OffGuardian should become the new destination for disillusioned Guardian Readers. I’ve long since dumped the Guardian.

          • Machiavellian Labour says

            Was nice to meet you at MediaOnTrial btw

    • MLS – regarding a petition on said grounds you could try 38 degrees, except that there are idiots sending me petitions to sign actually condemning “evil Assad” and his child murdering activities, because they are brain dead and extremely gullible having watched the Channel 4 and BBC propaganda – I unsubscribed immediately.

  33. Is this some sort of joke? You don’t have to smear someone like Fayyad as he is clearly propagandising for jihadi terrorists. And to show what his headchopping heroes of Aleppo are like here’s the moderate Zinki in Aleppo decapitating a twelve year-old boy’s head with a knife. Fayyad is utter scum but I suppose I’m Russian according to the Guardian despite being born and bred British.

    • Reply on Twitter from an ex Guardian technology writer by name of Jim Thielman was “How is St Petersburg”. Demonstrates moral and intellectual abyss that Guardian has taken itself into.

  34. Thank you again to Off Guardian for allowing comments on the Guardian’s naked gatekeeping of truth and guardianship of power.

    “The REAL “Last Men (and women) in Aleppo” are many but they are not the White Helmets.

    The Oscar awards and nominations may give a veneer of respectability to these terrorist henchmen among the ruling elite but it will never erase their crimes in the eyes of the Syrian people and these days, history is not written by the most powerful, it is written by the people whose voices will no longer be silenced.

    White Helmet propaganda has seduced droves of human beings with a genuine humanitarian reflex that has been exploited by this “centre-piece” perception-changing construct. The story told by the White Helmet media and PR agencies has elevated this Al Qaeda support group to celebrity cult status. The world has fallen in love with what should most horrify it, while the people of Syria have their voices asphyxiated by Hollywood glamour and transformational mass communication.

    A world has been created in which it’s possible for Al Qaeda’s ‘Civil Defence’ to be honoured on the stage at the Carnegie Hall, a world in which the architects of war are heralded as the Ambassadors for Peace. This world would not be possible without The BBC, Channel 4 and The Guardian who are at the centre of the propaganda web that is engineering the terrifying truth out of the dirty war on Syria.”

    • And thank you Vanessa for your excellent reporting on what is really going on in Syria. If it wasn’t for people like yourself we would have no clue about what was really happening as there would be no challenge to the constant politically-motivated lies from MSM sites like the Guardian. ~You deserve a medal.

  35. Fran says

    The article is literally like something out of the Onion. You could cut and paste it there and no one would think it was out of place. That smirking freak Fayyad. Friend of mass murderers posing like a move star. Sickening.

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