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The Guardian is right – Ghouta is “Syria’s Srebrenica”; another attempt to use humanitarian concern as a hook for military intervention

In respons to ‘Eastern Ghouta is another Srebrenica, we are looking away again‘ by Simon Tisdall in the Guardian

The White Helmets allegedly rescuing another small child from somewhere

Simon Tisdall’s latest fact-lite, emotionally manipulative lament that the West isn’t doing enough to save the lovely terrorists in Syria makes one unintentionally accurate claim. “Eastern Ghouta,” he says “is turning into Syria’s Srebrenica.”

We agree with him on this, but not for the reasons he offers in his article.

Let’s remind ourselves about the real story of Srebrenica and the wider context of the break up of Yugoslavia.

Srebrenica didn’t happen in a vacuum. It was part of the “civil war” that shattered the former Yugoslavia into warring regions. NATO supported the civil war and encouraged the secession of Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo. It saw chaos in the region as advantageous to its interests.

Srebrenica was not the de-militarised civilian “safe zone” portrayed in the western media. It was “a protected Bosnian Muslim military base that had been used to decimate the local Serb population.”

The alleged “massacre” in Srebrenica of Bosnian moslems has been disputed and qualified many times often in great detail. At best this tragedy has been decontextualised, exaggerated and simplified. Some claim the entire thing was a “political fraud“.

Throughout the entire period of “civil war” the Serbian population and its leaders were routinely vilified and demonised in the western media, while terrorists such as the KLA were celebrated as heroes and victims and actively supported by NATO.

Throughout the same period Serbian civilian deaths were dismissed, suppressed or elided. Bosnian and Croatian civilian deaths, on the other hand, were deplored universally as evidence of Serbian brutality rather than acknowledged as the inevitable result of the civil war the West was actively promoting.

Edward Herman and David Peterson summed up this pervasive moral relativism in their 2007 study “The Dismantling of Yugoslavia” (our emphasis):

From 1991 on, Yugoslavia and its successor states were exploited for ends as crass and as classically realpolitik as:

(1) preserving the NATO military alliance despite the disintegration of the Soviet bloc—NATO’s putative reason for existence;

(2) overthrowing the UN Charter’s historic commitments to non-interference and respect for the sovereign equality, territorial integrity, and political independence of all states in favor of the right of those more enlightened to interfere in the affairs of “failing” states, and even to wage wars against “rogue” states;

(3) humiliating the European Union (EU) (formerly the European Community [EC]) over its inability to act decisively as a threat-making and militarily punitive force in its own backyard;

(4) and of course dismantling the last economic and social holdout on the European continent yet to be integrated into the “Washington consensus.”

The pursuit of these goals required that certain agents within Yugoslavia be cast in the role of the victims, and others as villains—the latter not just belligerents engaged in a civil war, but evil and murderous perpetrators of mass crimes which, in turn, would legitimate military intervention

Edward S. Herman & David Peterson, The Dismantling of Yugoslavia (Part I) A Study in Inhumanitarian Intervention (and a Western Liberal-Left Intellectual and Moral Collapse)

The demonisation and dehumanisation of the Serbs also involved blatant and proven media fakery. In the early 2000s the website Emperor’s New Clothes produced a documentary entitled Judgement! exposing the activities of the British news outfit ITN in faking footage of an alleged “Serbian death camp.” Here is an extract from their article on the subject (our emphasis):

In August 1992, millions of people were shocked to see photographs of a supposed Bosnian Serb death camps. The death camps were in fact refugee centers.

The photos were produced by ITN, the British TV news giant, from footage shot by an ITN film crew which spent a long day in Bosnia. The film was shot in a refugee center in the town of Trnopolje. (Pronounced Tern-op-ol-yay)

Most of the photographs featured a tall, emaciated man with a deformed chest, stripped to the waist, apparently imprisoned behind barbed wire. Do you remember those pictures?

They were a hoax.

To start with, the barbed wire was staged. As you will see, the ITN film crew went inside a storage area surrounded by a chicken wire and barbed wire fence. They filmed through the fence, thus creating the false impression that the people they were filming were fenced in.

That was only their first cute trick…The fabricated photos were broadcast worldwide starting on August 6th, accompanied by captions and comments comparing Trnopolje to Nazi death camps.

screen cap from the documentary “Judgement!” exposing the blatant fakery involved in portraying the so-called “Serbian death camps” These men are not imprisoned behind barbed wire, they are standing outside a wired-off storage area from inside of which the crew are filming. Compare with some of the implausible footage we have been shown lately of alleged White Helmet rescue operations and other dubious-looking heroics.

Anyone who has been following the media roll out of the “Syrian civil war” will find all this very familiar. Once again we have the infantile reductionism of “baddies” and “goodies.” Once again we have dubious footage of alleged atrocities. Once again we have the a priori assumption from the media that only some of the death is worth reporting. Once again we have the decontextualised portraits of suffering being used to create a “need” for “action” by the West.

In short same familiar playbook of lies, racism and fakery is being used again.

This is why eastern Ghouta is Syria’s Srebrenica.


  1. bevin says

    Laguerre is right about the current situation in Syria, the conflict in Ghoutta looks as if it is close to an end, with the long task of rebuilding and cleaning up ahead.
    Behind The Guardian’s hysterical outbursts is another attempt to embarrass, weaken and destabilise Jeremy Corbyn.
    This has been the motive behind most of the columns written by Freedland, Tisdall and the other vermin crawling around the rats nest which is The Guardian newsroom for a couple of years now.
    The Guardian’s mission is to prevent the development of any political party which will challenge the consensus centrism which has come, increasingly, to dominate British politics since the Attlee government’s true nature became apparent (with the enthusiastic support of Ernie Bevin).
    Corbyn represents the most dangerous challenge, to the transformation of the Labour Party into a facsimile of the dreadful Democrats, since Tony Benn and before him the Nye Bevan of Tribune.
    The two causes, Israel and NATO, are central to the politics that The Guardian exists to promote and Corbyn, as the figurehead of a revived and democratic Labour movement, is the main enemy.
    To change the subject, slightly, Off Guardian’s many Canadian readers should be aware of the persecution of one of America’s most important thinkers Anthony J Hall who had been kicked out of the University of Lethbridge on the most spurious grounds. Everyone is urged to read his The American Empire and the Fourth World and its sequel Earth into Property, these are books of great importance- Hall’s persecution, by the poisonous alliance of B’nai Brith, the Defamation League, and the NDP government of Alberta is a disgrace.

      • Mulga Mumblebrain says

        The Zionazi push to destroy ANYONE who dares question their power or Israel’s barbarity is fanatic, immensely well-resourced, and by suborning politicians throughout the West by straight money power, having a devastating effect on the quality and morality of Western politics. The merest hint of any support for the Palestinians or criticism of any Zionazi atrocity brings a vicious, braying, mob of fanatics down on people’s heads. What is worse, marginally, is that this unrelenting hatred and aggression, plus the filthy tactics of slander (even an inconsequential fellow like me has been falsely accused of ‘Holocaust denial’ and homophobia, the latter using my nomme de folie to post gay-bashing crap)and intimidation, will, inevitably, cause some people to end up hating Jews for the crimes of the vicious minority, but THAT is precisely what they want, because that hatred, in their twisted psyches, justifies their own innate hatred of the goyim.

  2. Laguerre says

    Tisdall doesn’t know much about the Middle East. He was obviously recruited as an inside columnist, when the Graun had need of someone to put out this line. The Graun is still a liberal newspaper, as opposed to the other right-wing rags, but the government evidently has sources of pressure to keep them in line, and may not need even that on Syria, as many of the intelligentsia still believe the ancient cr*p about Asad being an evil dictator. They just don’t think about how much worse a jihadi regime, the only alternative, would be.

    The pack of Syrian doctoral students I know, don’t much like the regime, even the Alawites. But you have to be basic: it’s the Ba’th, or jihadi mayhem. Asad personally is a nice guy, but the people behind him are a mafia. The primordial question is Syria’s survival, and in that there is no question: Asad has to win, and will, as Russia thinks.

    The recent blast over Eastern Ghouta is an attempt at revival of the war – eternal war going on for ever, it is said – but the fact is that the war is in its final stages, and the West can’t do much to prevent it. The Syrians haven’t actually attacked Eastern Ghouta on the ground yet. I’m not sure whether Afrin is diverting them, or they’re not yet ready. But it’s coming in the near future. The way the Eastern Ghouta rebels have indiscriminately bombarded civilians in Damascus is intolerable.

    • Mikalina says

      Robert Fisk in the Independent gives an update today.

  3. MichaelK says

    More propaganda from the ghastly Guardian and the dreadful Chulov, and he is where… exactly? The Guardian doesn’t say, but I’ll bet it’s not Ghouta! But he gives the dishonest impression that he’s there and can verify the stories he’s being told from inside the enclave. Odd how everyone seems to despise the ‘regime’ there isn’t it? Are they all on the side of the ‘rebels’ like the people in Alleppo? And another one of those pictures of a guy holding a child in his arms like it’s a doll. Why? If the kid’s wounded is that normal for civil defence workers, surely not? It’s fucking war porn, designed to fix a dramatic image and play on the observers emotions. What a disgrace the Guardian is. In my post-revolutionary utopia I’d put them all on trial.

  4. MichaelK says

    About… barrel bombs. The BBC and the rest of the corporate/state media does have a theory about why the Syrian ‘regime’ bombs ‘indiscriminately’ and uses barrel bombs; it’s to ‘send a message’ to the people inside the enclaves, the so-called ‘rebels’, that the Syrian army can do anything it wants and nobody can stop them. So, the bombing is a form of propaganda or psychological warfare designed to undermine the morale of the fighters and people inside the area under attack.

    Now, one could consider this a massive conspiracy theory pushed by the western media, because the Syrian regime has never proclaimed that the use of barrel bombs is part of a well thought-out psy-ops tactic, they even deny even using them at all. The story about why the ‘regime’ uses barrel bombs is a western narrative, or piece of fiction, alone, based on highly partisan and questionable sources.

    Also, given that using these bombs doesn’t have any real military value, but would be a extraordinarily stupid thing to do and massively counter-productive politically, far, far, more trouble than they are worth, given that the Western media is obsessed with these barrel bombs, the Syrian army would have no rational reason for using them, because the propaganda value to the ‘rebels’ and the West massively outweighs any temporary battlefield advantage. Has Assad and his supporters lasted so long in an area like the Middle East, because they are incredibly stupid? Brutal, cynical and undemocratic… maybe, but stupid too?

    Anyway, why would anything about Syria be true in our media, when the leading states of the West have publically stated that Assad and his followers are comparable to Hitler and the Nazis? I mean, our political class have chosen sides in the conflict. We support the ‘rebels’, the ‘democratic forces’ the ‘people’s revolution’, the ‘good side’, and in contrast, we are against Assad, who is bad and supported by even worse people… the Russians. So, I’d argue, one doesn’t have to be a genius, to understand that the West and the media are hardly neutral in covering the conflict. We have an agenda, getting rid of Assad, and our media traditionally support the government’s foreign policy and wars, because, after all the journalists and editors lover their country and don’t support the enemy.

    Yet, none of this fairly basic and obvious stuff is ever alluded to in the pages of the Guardian, which increasingly gives a new meaning to the word… lobotomized.

    • Big B says

      “Brutal, cynical and undemocratic… maybe, but stupid too?”

      That’s a fair mix and match, salt and pepper sprinkling of NATO propaganda memes? Assad is “brutal, cynical and undemocratic” …just not stupid enough to use barrel bombs? Perhaps he does not use barrel bombs because he is trying to reconstruct the integrity of a nation state, of which he is the democratic and sovereign head, from the illegal, unjustifiable, and murderous invasion of NATO, and Wahhabi aligned Arab proxies and invaders? He is just trying to fix the mess our underhand and undisclosed Foreign Policy has created. If that makes him a bad man: well, all resistant to imperial terror foreign leaders are ‘bad’ …and so it goes on?

    • Thomas Peterson says

      Barrel bombs have the same military value as any bomb. more in fact, as they are more accurate.

      All a barrel bomb is is a way to drop bombs from a helicopter. Helicopters are not meant to be bombers so there are no purpose designed bombs for them.

      If you want to drop bombs from choppers, you have to improvise.

      • milosevic says

        All a barrel bomb is is a way to drop bombs from a helicopter. Helicopters are not meant to be bombers so there are no purpose designed bombs for them. If you want to drop bombs from choppers, you have to improvise.

        You’re not a very competent shill, are you?

        Bad doggie. Run back to your Imperial masters. Tell them that you have failed.


        4 – 250-kg bombs
        2 – 500-kg bombs

        • I think we need a little clarification because I think you people are arguing past each other to some extent.

          As I understand it Thomas Peterson is not saying the SAA are evil for using barrel bombs. I think he is saying that barrel bombs are not indiscriminate terror weapons and are legitimate usage in conventional warfare. I believe he is saying they are just a way of bombing from a helicopter, which you don’t have planes suited for the task. I believe he is saying are more precise and less barbaric than many other forms of bomb.

          In other words, he is challenging the demonisation of barrel bombs in the media, and alleging they are not demonic at all, but perfctly standard weapons of war.

    • Laguerre says

      My impression, having followed the war from the beginning – and before, Syria being one of my favourite countries – is that home-made “barrel bombs” were being used earlier in the war, when Syria was short of munitions. That is, before the Russian intervention in 2015. Now I don’t see any evidence of that, as Russia is supplying the munitions. However, now it has become a propaganda meme, and is unlikely to be dropped.

      • milosevic says

        How do you know it wasn’t a propaganda meme all along? Has anybody other than unverifiable “opposition activists” and “aid workers” ever seen one of these mythical devices? Are there any photographs or video of them, either being manufactured or used? Why shouldn’t we assume that this is just another Imperial atrocity story, like the famous Serbian “death camps” or Iraqi “WMDs” or Libyan “Viagra” or Iranian “nuclear weapons programs” or all the other lies they fabricate EVERY SINGLE TIME they decide to destroy some country for the crime of disobeying orders?

        The fact that one of the essential features of these “barrel bombs” is their capacity to cause “magnitude 7.6 earthquakes”, something far outside the ability of the largest atomic bombs ever made, should be strong evidence of their mythological nature.

        The Syrian government spent forty years preparing for the next war with the Zionist Entity. They bought tanks. They bought Russian fighter-bombers and attack helicopters. They manufactured real chemical weapons, just like Iraq didn’t. And yet when the war finally came, in the form of an invasion by drooling Wahabi psychopaths, armed, trained, and funded by the Anglo-Zionist Empire, the Syrian military suddenly realized something that they had never considerered at any time in the previous FORTY YEARS: it might be useful to drop bombs from helicopters.

        That smells like bulls**t to me.

  5. MichaelK says

    It’s depressing that The Guardian is actually seen as a paper of record by overseas journalists, and seen as being left of centre. Therefore, for many on the left and liberals, the Guardian is perceived as being ‘leftwing’ and employing the highest journalistic standards. This is what makes it so dangerous; because it’s really none of those things. The Guardian, like the BBC, has an influence that far, far, outweighs its’ domestic readership.

    For lots of liberals and people on the left, if the Guardian writes something, well, it must be true, because the Guardian brands itself as being an alternative to the rest of the patriotic rightwing British press. Therefore, like these NGOs who pretend to watch over human rights, getting the Guardian onside for our wars is a vital strategic goal for the state. It’s similar to they way the United States has worked so hard to create these coalitions of the willing to help them fight their wars. They felt lonely in Vietnam without the British.

    • John A says

      I lived and worked in the USA for a couple of years in the 1980s. All the Americans I spoke to always referred to it as the ‘Manchester Guardian’ as it was still known as back then, and respected as a left of centre publication. I went to New York in late 2016, after the Trump election, and was shocked at how all the locals I spoke to had bought into the Russia invaded Ukraine and wants to take over the world line pushed by the NYT and Economist. That was before all the nonsensical russiagate hysteria really kicked in.

    • AntonyI says

      Correct. In India the leftist (communist & atheist) newspaper called the Hindu copies most of the Guardian’s twists and turns even to the extend of criticizing the Kremlin’s actions in Crimea and Syria. Those were their old friends and sponsors. Pentagon actions all over the globe are white washed or under reported – switch of secret financier?

  6. Mikalina says

    Pondering on other tropes of US/EU/NATO inflicted ‘civil wars’ where WE MUST DO SOMETHING, I stopped at barrel-bomb. These have always fascinated me because I wondered why a 21st century military force would choose to hand pack some barrels, drop them from a helicopter not knowing where they would land and risking an attack from the ground. Why not use precision strikes from a safe distance?

    According to, “Barrel bomb use in populated areas of Syria has also been described as a ‘tactic that spreads terror among the civilian population’.”

    And in Yugoslavia?

    “In this regard, parallels may be drawn with the case of Dragomir Milosevic before the ICTY. Although not directly concerned with barrel-bombs, that case dealt with the use of ‘modified air-bombs’, an improvised, powerful weapon, launched from the ground, into a populated area (Sarajevo). The Tribunal described that weapon as a ‘highly inaccurate and indiscriminate weapon’. The repeated use of that weapon in Sarajevo and the pattern of grave harm caused to the civilian population served as indicators of intent to terrorize the civilian population and were aggravating factors in the sentencing.

    As has been said, it will be interesting to get the true stories of the people of especially in the light of reports that 68,334 barrel bombs have been used (Syrian Network for Human Rights) and that “the localized effect of a barrel bomb is the same as an earthquake measuring 8 on the Richter scale” according to Raed al-Saleh, head of the Syrian Civil Defense.

    • Thomas Peterson says

      I can explain this.

      Syria doesnt have any precision weapons. They do have plane launched bombs but those arent too accurate what with the speed of the plane and the height they have to fly.

      So what they do is load a bomb into the back of a helicopter, fly to the GPS location of the target, hover directly above it and throw the bomb out of the back.

      It’s actually pretty accurate since obviously the bomb falls straight down. It’s far from random or indiscriminate.

      • BigB says

        Thomas: no you can’t. Syria has access to multiple types of laser guided ordnance, supplied by Russia. So why would they toss barrels out of stationary helicopters …when the terrorists have MANPADs, or even just small arms fire? And an 8.0 on the Richter scale would require a Hiroshima scale nuke! Barrel bombs or Hell Cannons? BTW: also according to Vanessa – the latest hell cannon improvised ordnance contain mini bomblets that further explode on contact …as rained down on Damascus every day.

        • Mikalina says

          BigB, I thought he was being ironic! Still laughing………

        • Mikalina says

          Thank you for the link on barrel bombs. Difficult to believe that they have been so thoroughly dismissed yet still appear as a given every day. This link needs posting more often.

        • Thomas Peterson says

          ” Syria has access to multiple types of laser guided ordnance, supplied by Russia. ”

          No they don’t, they have no such weapons. Their gear is 1960s and 1970s vintage.

            • Thomas Peterson says

              Mig 21, 25 and 29 are not bombers.

              Su22 and 24 are. Syria has no bombers with any precision weapons capability. All you ever see Syria use in fact is Su22 which is an ancient plane.

              • Big B says

                Most of the video I’ve seen, the terrorists focus on the bomb plumes? The aircraft, any aircraft, can sometimes be heard in the distance? Who knows what dropped what? All I am saying is that the terrorist-HTS-AQ-NATO nexus propaganda is that Assad is indiscriminately targeting civilians – which is an inversion of the truth. It seems strange that you want to target the middle ground by claiming barrel bombs are a precision weapon? My point is that precision weapons aren’t even precision weapons! It’s a spin to further demonise the sovereign defence of Syria from ‘precise’ NATO domination? Besides which, it is the Russians that appear to be providing the air cover for Ghouta: with SAA ground launched missiles …whilst our terrorists refuse to surrender. If NATO backed down: no civilians in Ghouta or Damascus would be under the threat of any ordnance …precise or imprecise?

                • Thomas Peterson says

                  you see them flying sometimes and invariably they are SU22’s flying low (max height for unguided bombs is 2km).

                  what is it you dont understand about barrel bombs being precise when you drop them vertically from a helicopter hovering directly over the gps location of the target?

              • milosevic says

                Mig 21, 25 and 29 are not bombers.

                Here’s a hint: when spreading disinformation in the service of imperialism, it’s better to avoid lies which can be easily refuted with a 10-second internet search.


                FAB-250, FAB-500


                note that “FAB-250” and “FAB-500” are standard Russian gravity bombs:

                The FAB M62 is a series of general purpose bombs of Soviet origin. As indicated by its designation the M62 series was introduced in the early 1960’s. Their more aerodynamic design makes them more suitable for use on supersonic aircraft. The M62 family consist of a 100, 250, 500 and 1000 kg version of which the FAB-250 M62 and FAB-500 M62 are most common.


              • milosevic says

                All you ever see Syria use in fact is Su22 which is an ancient plane.

                MiG-21 and MiG-23 being armed at Syrian airbase. Note the bombs, said to be of domestic manufacture. They look rather less aerodynamic than you would expect. Perhaps the these are the famed “barrel bombs” of myth and legend? What dastardly villains, dropping evil bombs on the poor jihadi terrorists, and they’re not even photogenic.

              • milosevic says

                Assad’s evil pilots take off in their evil MiG-21s to drop non-existent bombs on harmless anglo-zionist jihadis:

                evil Syrian MiG-23 dropping imaginary bomb:

              • milosevic says

                These friendly neighborhood jihadi terrorists were unnecessarily worried about nothing, because as we all know, MiG-21s (note the highly characteristic delta wing) are incapable of dropping bombs.

              • milosevic says

                Breaking News: Syrian Barrel Bombs Finally Found!!!

                looks extremely evil, to me.

        • Thomas Peterson says

          ” So why would they toss barrels out of stationary helicopters …when the terrorists have MANPADs, or even just small arms fire? ”

          Because if youre dropping a bomb over a stationary target and you’re using GPS you can be flying as high as the helicopter can reach, about 4.5 km.

          • Big B says

            [Engagement range of MANPADS: 6km. Terrorists allegedly have Stingers now: which would extend that range.]

            To deconstruct the barrel bomb meme is really quite simple. Our weapons are technologically advanced, accurate, and a humane: a justifiable use of force minimising collateral civilian casualties. For instance, the RAF has carried out around 2,000 sorties in Syria, with no civilian casualties: our weapons are that accurate! Contrast with barbarous monster Assads ordnance which is, by comparison, crude, inefficient, and deliberately indiscriminate – to intentionally maximise civilian casualties. [They are quite accurate enough to take out 40 hospitals though?] You know, like this is 1937 and the Condor Legion are bombing Guernica with Stukas? If we are to compare the two memes, and look at the indiscriminate use of ordnance – we could perhaps contrast Aleppo and East Ghouta with Fallujah and Mosul; where only 326 civilians died recently? Now multiply that number by at least ten to see who is propagandising?

            The whole ethos for the current East Ghouta campaign is to halt the indiscriminate killing of civilians in Damascus with hell cannons. Our terrorists, the ones the West paid for, refused a negotiated settlement. Our media refuses to cover the daily terror: unless it suits a geopolitical purpose (regime change). There is no black and white in the fog of war: but it is quite clear to me that it is Western imperialism that is in the dock here; yet again. Please don’t propagandise for them?

            • Thomas Peterson says

              They dont have any modern manpads that can reach 6 km.

              Im not propagandising, I’m just explaining that barrel bombs are Syria’s version of precision bombs. Not laser guided but a lot more accurate than unguided bombs from a fast moving jet.

              • Big B says

                Are you sure? It appears they have 3rd-Gen Chinese clone MANPADS. And after the loss of Major Filipov, Konashenko has been strongly hinting that the US has supplied 4th-Gen weaponry (Stingers?) They even sent Special Forces to try and gather the evidence. Propaganda: very likely? But just how HTS-AQ have been armed with Soviet era weaponry is a bone of contention? Supplied by HRC/Christopher Steven from Libya – check; from Bulgaria and Ukraine via CIA proprietary Silk Airways – check; overland, via Turkey – check; plus the spoils of war captured? No one can be at all certain what they have?

                • Thomas Peterson says

                  it doesnt even matter. the way i described it is how barrel bombs are in fact used.

                  no plane or heli has been shot down at that height.

                  • Big B says

                    Because they are not being used? OK, Thom, have it your way, but can you provide any evidentiary or empirical reason why I should believe you? Because nearly all the ‘evidence’ for barrel bombs comes from terrorists and propagandists like Raed al-Saleh and le Mesurier; bullhorned by the lugenpresse and the bureaucracies of terror and power that would happily destroy all life on earth …so long as they make a profit first? And like at Urum al Kubra: their claims are regularly debunked?

  7. Manda says

    Thank you Catte OffG and others for reading the Guardian war propaganda, I could no longer stomach it or any of it spewing out of western Imperialist media. I am unable to express the level of my disgust and contempt for these outlets and their lying, deceitful war cries for yet more death and suffering of millions of people over the last nearly three decades now…

    Mikalina has made reference to Milosevic which I was about to.

    Here’s Vltchec in general on western imperialism and media propaganda supporting it.

    I copy/paste the important last paragraph…

    “There is no time to lose. This is a great intellectual war against the West and its deadly imperialism. And for the first time in modern history, we are winning this war. And ‘they’ know it. That is why they are running amok, attacking, censoring, Soon, no one will be taking them seriously. This is our great chance. That is why we have to work day and night, every day and every night, until the final victory!”

  8. MichaelK says

    This is probably a daft question; but how can Simon Tisdall write and proclaim with such self-assured certainty and driving authority about events in Syria, bordering on towering arrogance and stunning conceit; when he’s sitting comfortably and safely… in London? Surely, if one is calling for even more western intervention in Syria, which, we’ve actually been doing for years, with disasterous results… he could at the very least have visited the place to see for himself and talk to some Syrians?

    The West hasn’t turned away from Syria at all, arguably, this whole story about a ‘revolution’ and a democratic opposition to the Assad government, was a fabrication from the beginning, along the lines of the crass and transparent propaganda spread from London and Washington to justify and legitimize our attacks on Iraq and Libya. Heresy! Heresy! Do the chumps at the Guardian actually believe all this crap? Their readers don’t seem to have swallowed it, but they don’t matter, apparently. The Guardian doesn’t need them anymore.

    What if the tragedy of Syria was caused by the West that attempted to topple yet another government in the Middle East and install one we preferred, and we should be talking about an invasion and regime change, not a civil war, only one won’t find a single voice in our ‘free and democratic’ corporate media, surely a contradiction in terms?, saying anything like that. It’s forbidden territory and forbidden language.

  9. Alan says

    I don’t think Mr Tisdall is attempting to opine rather assert he’s ‘on board’ and loyal to his employers. Not sure such irreverent scribbling is worth a review.

    • MLS says

      Two more articles claiming “something must be done” in the Graun today. Same thing in other outlets. They are definitely getting ready for another big push for full scale intervention. Let’s not pretend just because we see through it most people aren’t still being conned. This is exactly the kind of dangerous crap the alt media can’t afford to leave unchallenged

      • Harry Stotle says

        Freedland’s virtue signalling is torn to shreds BTL which is hardly surprising given the partizan nature of his daft commentry, replete with obligatory references to attempts by Russian activists to destabilise the American empire by flummoxing potential Hillary supporters with sinister Facebook messages.

        He concludes his context free analysis by calling for conflict with Russia and Iran – WTF is going on with the Guardian?

        • Mulga Mumblebrain says

          Going on? Have you been asleep the last ten years?

      • John A says

        The Scandinavian media are singing from exactly the same song sheet. Looks like all the EU vassal states and their mono propaganda media are being whipped into line for the next world war.

  10. shaksvshav says

    The Terrorism Act 2006 is toothless, otherwise the Fraudian would be in court.

    • Thomas Peterson says

      Hopefully Assad can move quickly to smash the terrorists in East Ghouta before the propaganda machine can ramp up too much.

      I dont believe for a moment there are actually 400,000 civilians living there.

      Mostly seems to be fighting age bearded jihadists on the videos with some kids thrown in as props.

      • Mulga Mumblebrain says

        At least the takfiri butchers have been trained to not repetitively gibber ‘Allahu Akbar’ in all their propaganda videos, like the good Jeffersonian Democrats they are. Some of the proles must have noticed.

  11. MichaelK says

    Tisdall’s very public interest and concern for the civilians in East Ghouta, his handwringing and outrage at ‘the world’ turning away from their plight and for ordinary, decent, Syrians; is strangely absent and evaporates like morning dew in the sunlight, as soon as the syrian army liberates the areas controlled by the west’s proxy, fundamentalist army. Alleppo, where are the Guardian’s articles interviewing the people once the terrorists have gone and the people are finally free? It’s a bit strange, isn’t it? Could it be that the people might relate stories that contradict the Guardian and the West’s carefully constructed narrative about events in Syria? Like, in reality, there never was a ‘revolution’, that there never was a ‘civil war’, and the ‘opposition fighters’ and the White Helmets aren’t actually Syrians, but foreigners? Odd how little interest the Guardian shows once the people aren’t victims anymore. Have they suddenly become so uninteresting? Was Tisdall’s interest simply fake? So many interesting questions that they choose not to even ask or go anywhere near. How shameful, how hypocritical, how false, how truly disgraceful. Anti-journalism made flesh at the Guardian.

    • Mulga Mumblebrain says

      No wailing or gnashing of teeth from Tisdall over Yemen, now ‘disappeared’ by the Free Press, or Gaza, now ‘disappeared’ by the Free Press, or the 40,000 slaughtered by US terror-bombing in Mosul, always ‘disappeared’ by the Free Press. Really, is their a lower cadre of grotesque liars, hypocrites and servants of Satanic Evil than the Western fakestream media presstitutes?

  12. mog says

    I suspect that Paul Mason would disagree.
    With each article he produces he seems more explicit in signalling support for the US-NATO imperialism, something which Corbyn has built a political reputation opposing. Is this the opposite of ‘virtue signalling’ ? (‘Vice signalling’?). Perhaps he’s trying to split allegiance in the establishment?
    It is a janus faced monster though, so he is either deluded or manufactured dissent.

    ‘In summary, to save their skins they [the Tories] are prepared to re-ignite the conflicts that scarred British society in the 1980s: the cold war, the Irish war, and the dirty intelligence war on ‘domestic subversion’.

    The left should refuse to engage.

    The radical social democratic project in Britain is – rightly – premised on the assumption that these conflicts are over.’

    Emphasis added to illustrate dillusional bullshit.

    ‘…..Today Labour is, and has to be, prepared to run the British state. That means overseeing the peace process in Northern Ireland, managing armed forces with anti-terror commitments and bases across the globe, and placing under democratic control the police forces and surveillance bodies that once kept files on Corbyn, John McDonnell and Diane Abbott. It means honouring Britain’s Nato commitment to spend 2% of GDP on defence and renewing Trident.

    But it will also… discard the Tory fantasy of an Empire 2.0 involving the white, English speaking nations of the Commonwealth.

    It would, I hope, reserve the right to alter Britain’s nuclear posture; and restructure the armed forces to defend Britain against two major threats – Russia in east Europe and terrorism (both jihadist and far-right) at home.’
    I suspect that Mason sees the contradiction in ‘discarding’ empire, whilst at the same time ‘honoring’ the imperial arm of US hegemony – i.e. NATO. I suspect that he knows that Russia is not threatening Europe, but is rather threatened by Europe/NATO. I suspect that he knows that ‘jihadist’ terrorism is not a serious threat to the UK.
    Maybe not ?
    I always though that there would be a rear guard action at this point in the empire’s demise – a last surge from the anti-imperialist, anti-war Left against the Anglo/US gangsters’ final push for global dominion. It seems that prominent voices are either silent, or are cheering us along the path to annihilation.

    • Mikalina says

      I noticed Mason had had the chip put into the back of his head about six months ago when he went up against Sy Hersh ridiculing him for believing that Assad hadn’t used sarin gas. He has/had a lot of followers – as you say, down the path of annihilation with his comradely utterings. I always worry when I hear the word ‘honour’ and juxtaposed next to ‘NATO’, hair stands up on the back of neck.

      • BigB says

        Mog: 2% of GNI to fund NATO is Labour policy. The idea that Parliament has any control over NATO policy is quaint and atavistic . Ergo, Labour is as complicitly imperial as the Conservatives?
        “Many more have been killed by the Assad regime than by ISIL itself. Yet more bombing in Syria will kill innocent civilians”
        Corbyn’s Syria policy, if you can call ignorance a policy, has been ambiguous? Utterances like the above, plus fundraising for the White Helmets, show, at the very least, he has fallen for the imperial narrative. With a pro-Zionist as a potential Foreign Secretary: can there be any other conclusion than that a vote for Labour is a vote for imperialism?

        • bevin says

          I think that there can. The important thing about the current Labour Party is that it has a large and active membership. And that the process of democratising the party’s structures proceeds apace.
          Historically the party’s membership has always opposed NATO and imperialism- but its votes have generally been outweighed by Trade Union block votes, in the old days and PLP votes in the recent past.
          There is nothing inevitable about this but the possibility is real-there has been steady progress towards democracy and the reforming of both the party’s bureaucracy, most of whose energies are spent in sectarian warfare against the left, and the PLP which is still full of debased Tories.
          It is always tempting to be cynical but there is something very different about the current situation. After all there is no alternative for Labour: the choice is between oblivion and reform. If the party doesn’t reform it will suffer the fate of the French Socialists and the Italian left, PASOK and the crumbling SPD. If it continues to reform it must throw off imperialism and, once more adopt the policy of leaving NATO and closing down the US bases.
          Changes do occur and sometimes, particularly when millions of ordinary people become involved, those changes are for the better.

          • mog says

            Great opinions Bevin.
            My question is ‘Why can’t prominent writers in the radical Left alternative media (e.g. Novara) make those points clearly and honestly?’

            Mason and Novara are a muddle of omissions and contradictions.

          • BigB says

            Bevin: as always, I admire your commitment to the grassroots historical dialectic …of course change can be achieved by millions of activist citizens: the UK has a constitution that guarantees it. For the moment, at least. As for Labour: the de-democratisation of Momentum was completed by the ascension of Lansdale to the NEC. Since then, the party is positioning itself as a centre left pro-capitalist, pro-EU, pro-imperial party. There is a flaw in your analysis: the majority of current and future labour voters favour permanent Single Market and Customs Union membership (according to a recent Observer poll) …which is Brexit without the exit. The EU is strongly pro-imperial: developing an integrated and inter-operable military capability with NATO …to which the UK is reticent to openly commit. Nevertheless, we are developing joint-operability with the French under the reaffirmed 2010 Lancaster House Treaties. So, we’re either in or in via the backdoor? In which case, will Corbyn, in his drive for electability, continue to resist his potential electorate? Will his government denounce EU Military Integration and withdraw from Anglo-French commitments? Will a future Labour government defund NATO and rebuild our deliberately pruned armed forces? Especially if the driving force of the petty bourgeoisie is in itself seemingly pro-imperial?


          • Mulga Mumblebrain says

            The Labour membership are TOTALLY irrelevant. The public is irrelevant. The UK, like ALL capitalist dystopias is run by the rich, only. Why do people still insist on deluding themselves. Corbyn will sell out-or else.

        • If Corbyn cannot silence these false leftist prophets and adhere to his principles, then those values he held which attracted hundreds of thousands back into the fold will gradually be eroded until he represents a pale version of neo liberalism. Welcome the Nouveau Left.

      • I reckon his appearance at the Progress AGM last year (where he told them, if they were so unhappy about the direction the party was taking, to form their own party) might have precipitated something too.

        Interesting to note, though, that he’s disappeared from The Fraudian since it went tabloid…

        • timfrom says

          That was supposed to be a reply to Mikalina (above), btw.

  13. MichaelK says

    Perhaps I should add that the Guardian mentions the Assad regime ‘chemical attack on civilians’ that almost provided the excuse for Washington to enter the war, tellingly the BBC on the World Tonight, also led with this story and the killing of over 1400 civilians by Assad. This is all rather disturbing and worrying. The level of uncritical agreement within the established, corporate, media. It really does look like the public are being prepared for war with Russia and it’s not just hysterical rhetoric.

  14. MichaelK says

    There’s also this article next to Tisdal’s which, if anything, is even worse. To me the video looks fake. So many concerned men running clasping children to their chests… injured children and they are running with them, why? We’ve seen these same staged images over and over again. The kids look like someone has smeared ketchup on their faces and we are supposed to accept all this at face value, never examining the sources of this material.

    The Guardian journalist is in Turkey, Istanbul, a long way from Syria or Ghouta, why? How can he verify these stories and images? How does he know they even come from Syria? If Ghouta is under siege, how do these images and the interviews get out… exactly? Are there really seven hospitals in the one suburb of Damascus… seven that have been bombed using the infamous barrel bombs? Seven hospitals, that’s more than one finds in London or any other rich European city! Yet the Guardian doesn’t ask any of these obvious questions, why not?

    This stuff reeks of enemy propaganda, really. It’s like were already at war and it’s 1914 and the atrocity stories are being rolled out by a media machine that’s rotten and corrupt to the core, grooming us for war. What they learned from Iraq and ‘weapons of mass destruction’ was not to be more critical of the source material and the state’s propaganda spin, but to banish virtually all critical voices from our media that questioned the propaganda narrative and label them Russian stooges, which, of course is what one would expect them to do in preparation for the coming war.

      • Thomas Peterson says

        It would seem to me that Journalists illegally entering Syria and broadcasting on behalf of jihadist groups are legitimate targets for the Syrian army, just as an ISIS spokesperson would be.

      • Jen says

        That article on Martin Chulov’s activities riding with his ISIS and Nusra Front chums and taking tea and coffee with them ought to be posted in full here at for everyone to snicker at. In particular his failure to request a proper visa to enter Syria should be known.

        Undoubtedly The Fraudian must be paying (knowingly) for his travel expenses and accommodation, and any baksheesh his takfiri hosts must be demanding from him to allow him to travel and eat with them. So there is an extra layer of complicity on his employer’s part.

        • Jen says

          Should have mentioned also that any food and beverages Chulov takes with the takfiris are food and beverages stolen from Syrian civilians held hostage by these terrorists. So that’s another level of complicity Chulov happily admits to.

          • BigB says

            I hope Vanessa does a full expose on my buddy Kareem Shaheen: he who also entered Syria illegally and travelled with terrorists to bring us the Khan Sheikhoun fake sarin narrative. To volitionally fabricate the deaths of civilians in a non-existant sarin attack: for the specific purpose of sanctioning an invasion of a sovereign nation is a moral crime against humanity? The propagandising of the Guardian becomes more insidious by the day.

      • Mulga Mumblebrain says

        Do you remember Chulov, surely a MOSSAD asset, appearing with al-Nusra butchers, early on in the takfiri assault, ‘interviewing’ a captured Syrian soldier, who was almost certainly then killed in some barbaric fashion? Al-Nusra was Israel’s particular responsibility in the jihad assault.

  15. Thank you, Catte, for being so quick to expose the Fraudian’s latest compulsive lie. (By compulsive I mean, all Guardian hacks lie compulsively because each hack is compelled by threat of the sack if they slip out the truth — as happened to some BBC Governors). What is really going on, is the attempt by Dr.Assad’s government to reclaim this Syrian territory from Kurdish Syrian insurgents armed by NATZO and inspired by the A-Z-C vision of an Eretz Kurdistan oil state owned by Rothschild and run by Israelis. This AZC project is a mess, because it is not only being opposed by the Syrian govt and its allies (Lebanon, Iran, Iraq and Russia) but is also bitterly opposed by NATZO member Turkey. See SyrPer, and South Front on the Saker, for reliable details of the Afrin campaign. The position of Turkey is invidious; Turkey is torn apart: as a NATZO member and ally of Israel and Saudi Arabia it desires the dismemberment of Syria to make way for AZC gas and oil pipelines (the way NATZO dismembered Serbia to make way for an A-Z-C gas pipeline through Albania); but if Turkey wishes to protect its own territorial integrity it must resist the A-Z-C project of installing an Eretz Kurdistan on territory which “the irresistible armed might” of NATZO will have to carve out of Iraq, Iran, Syria – and Turkey!
    Penny comments in Syrper about Turkey’s dilemma: the YPG/PKK may have thought they could mislead Turkey by claiming their reinforcements were allies of Damascus. It seems apparent Ankara & Damascus have an understanding regarding the Afrin operation.

  16. Well spotted Catte, the dots can be so easily connected between the vilification and posthumous exoneration of Milosivic, the subsequent NATO bombing of the former Yugoslavia with that of the evil Assad in Syria. But not in the way Tisdall is pretending. For pretending he must as the real facts speak for themselves the readers of the Guardian are being fed a constant diet of misinformation through his editorial control. But it is not just the Guardian, the rest of the WMSM cannot be relied upon to deliver the facts.

    As they say “the truth will out” but definitely not at the Guardian. Tisdall must be stupid if he thinks much of the public do not remember the fake news and false memes from that US driven onslaught in the heart of Europe.

    Here we have the assistant editor of the Guardian peddling more lies about history and of course Syria. This alone in a real world should make anyone sit up and question the role of the MSM in pushing fake information and news. But the deep and confusing narrative woven again is not so easy to follow for may people in their busy lives and this is what time and time again the state relies on. That and a compliant and collusive mass media.

  17. bevin says

    Edward Curtin would agree:

    The wardrums are beating in a way not heard since 1914-there is no reason for war except the best reason of all: an imperial ruling class sees its grip slipping and will chance everything rather than endure the humiliation of adjusting to reality.
    China is in the position that the US was in 1914-it can prevent the war or wait until the combatants are too exhausted to defend their paltry gains.
    Given the realities of nuclear warfare-which seem not to have sunk in among the Americans, perhaps because they mistake a bubble for a bomb shelter- the wise option is to prevent war by publicly warning against it. In the hope that brought face to face with reality the masses will besiege their governments, as we can easily do, and prevent war.

  18. Mikalina says

    This sounds familiar too:

    “Slobodan Milosevic was vilified by the entire western press corps and virtually every politician in every NATO country. They called him “the Butcher of the Balkans.” They compared him to Hitler and accused him of genocide. They demonized him and made him out to be a bloodthirsty monster, and they used that false image to justify not only economic sanctions against Serbia, but also the 1999 NATO bombing of Serbia and the Kosovo war.”

    “…Now, ten years after his death, they [The International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY)] admit that he wasn’t guilty after all – oops.”

    • BigB says

      Whilst the real “Butcher of the Balkans” is regularly sanctified by the Graun …as is the wife of the other genocidiare in chief… who between them perpetrated the installation of the heroin and human organ smuggling KLA… that continue the genocide of Serbs to this very day. I’m not sure that qualifies as perception management: just an unadulterated inversion of truth?

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