The Guardian as George Orwell’s Ministry of Truth

by Eric Zuesse

The Guardian editor briefs her staff

On Sunday April 15th, Britain’s Guardian bannered “OPCW inspectors set to investigate site of Douma chemical attack” and pretended that there was no question that a chemical attack in Douma Syria on April 7th had actually occurred, and the article then went further along that same propaganda-line, to accuse Syria’s Government of having perpetrated it. This ‘news’ story opened (and clarificatory comments from me will be added numerically at the end):

UN chemical weapons investigators were set on Sunday to begin examining the scene of a chemical attack in the Syrian city of Douma, which had prompted the joint US, French and British strikes against military installations and chemical weapons facilities near the capital, Damascus.
The arrival of the delegation from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) came as the Syrian military announced that it had “purified” 1 the region of eastern Ghouta, of which Douma is a part, after a two-month campaign that killed nearly 2,000 civilians2 following years of siege.

1) no source provided, but this — from 7 March 2018 — is the only source that existed prior to the April 14th missiles-invasion of Syria, and its meaning is very different:
2) no source provided as regards either the number, or that all of them were ‘civilians’ and that none of them were jihadists or “terrorists”],
The propaganda-article continued directly:

Units of our brave armed forces, and auxiliary and allied forces, completed the purification of eastern Ghouta, including all its towns and villages, of armed terrorist organisations,” the general command statement said.

No source was provided for that, but this sentence is a sly mind-manipulation, because here is what the Syrian Government’s General Command had actually said, as headlined by the Syrian Government itself:

Statement of the Army General Command declaring Eastern Ghouta clear of terrorism

In other words, the Guardian’s ‘journalist’ had substituted the word “clear” by the word “purify” and did this after having already asserted but not documented, that the Government had just completed “a two-month campaign that killed nearly 2,000 civilians.” When the Syrian Government announces that an area has been “cleared of terrorists (or of terrorism),” the U.S.-allied propagandist uses the word “purify,” such as “purified the region of eastern Ghouta” or “the purification of eastern Ghouta, including all its towns and villages, of armed terrorist organisations.” But by the time that the reader gets there to “purification … of armed terrorist organisations,” the reader has already been doctrinated to believe that Syria’s Government is trying to “purify” land, or perpetrate some type of ethnic-cleansing. That’s professional propaganda-writing; it is not professional journalism.
Later, the article asserts that:

“The OPCW mission will arrive in Douma eight days after the chemical attack, and days after the area fell to the control of Russian military and Syrian government forces. That delay, along with the possibility of the tampering of evidence by the forces accused of perpetrating the attack, raises doubts about what the OPCW’s inspectors might be able to discover.

However, a fierce debate is being waged over whether this was not any real “chemical attack” but instead a staged event by the jihadists in order to draw Trump back into invading Syria.
In other words, any journalistic reference yet, at this time, to the event as “the chemical attack” instead of as “the alleged chemical attack” is garbage, just as, prior to the guilty-verdict in a murder trial, no journalistic reference may legitimately be made to the defendant as “the murderer,” instead of as “the defendant.” That is lynch-mob ‘journalism’, which Joseph Goebbels championed.
The Joseph-Goebbels-following ‘journalist’ has thus opened by implying that the Russia-allied Syrian Government is trying to crush a democratic revolution, instead of the truth, that the U.S.-allied Governments are trying to overthrow and replace the Russia-allied Syrian Government. It’s a big difference, between the lie, and the truth.
Another story in the April 15th Guardian was “Pressure grows on Russia to stop protecting Assad as US, UK and France press for inquiry into chemical weapons stockpiles.”
This one pretended that the issue is for “Russia to stop protecting Assad,” who is the democratically elected and popular President of Syria, and not to stop the invasion of Syria since 2011 by U.S. and Saudi backed foreign jihadists to overthrow him.
Furthermore, as regards “press for inquiry into chemical weapons stockpiles,” the real and urgent issue right now is to allow the Organization for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) into Douma to hold an independent and authoritative investigation into the evidence there. Russia pressed for it at the U.N. Security Council and the U.S. and its allies blocked it there. But the OPCW went anyway — even after the U.S.-allied invasion on April 14th — and this courageous resistance by them against the U.S. dictatorship can only be considered heroic.
Now that they are there, the remaining jihadists in Douma are firing shots at them to drive them away.
That type of ‘news’-reporting is virtually universal in The West, among the U.S. and its allied governments, which refer to themselves as ‘democracies’ and refer to any Government that they wish to overthrow and replace by their own selected dictator, as ‘dictatorships’, such as these regimes had referred to Iraq in 2003, Libya in 2011, Syria forever, and Ukraine in 2014. It’s Newspeak.

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.


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May 20, 2018 3:57 PM

Global Media Mainstream such as Guardian, Times, New York Times, Washington Post, Le Monde, Bild, Repubblica, etc., are The Miniver.
All these are THE FAKE NEWERS.

May 10, 2018 12:50 PM

a washed up rock musician…………..;who the frock are you yabbering about?

Apr 23, 2018 3:34 PM

Reblogged this on circusbuoy.

Apr 21, 2018 12:25 PM

I may be forgiven for the lack of perusing all the fancy names that circulate about a certain fragment of the human population that is not only responsible for the war crimes and crimes against humanity in Syria, but also for the lot of illegal wars and regime changes prior to today.
Fascist is as Fascist does. At that, one needs to accept that ‘The Guardian’ is a Fascist rag that employs as much quality journalism as “Der Stürmer” (“The Stormer”). Its sole purpose is to manufacture consent among that one bracket of the population that can so easily be duped and deceived.
It is that certain bracket that – purposefully indoctrinated to do so – accepted the fairly tale of Fascism having bit the dust together and parallel to the NSDAP regime in 1945. Gullibility prevented the questioning, or even rejection of this fairy tale. The opposite was true. The entity that lost its “totalen Krieg” (“total war”) was the duped and deceived German population and its common wealth. Important and valuable members of the NSDAP were imported by the US – operation ‘paperclip’.
Ever since this promotion to manage an even larger population, the US has steadily, albeit in more or less slow motion, progressed towards the same exceptionalism the Germans fell prey to. The indoctrination was wholesome and thorough. While for the string pullers in the background nothing had changed and nobody ever really demanded to uncover the machinations that led up to WWII, their stronghold on the US citizenry ever increased – peaking at the true ‘Manhattan Project for a New American Century’ from which it subdued the majority of Nations on planet Earth. First by the means of instilling pity, followed by the demand for compliance to “fight them over there – that we don’t have to fight them here.”
Out of the ‘coalition of the willing’ sprouted a new axis of most evil Nations churning out foreign policies the sane world had ever been seen before. The biggest deceit though is not the already decrepit and devastating ‘war on terror’ (‘war of terror’), garnishing astronomical profits for the string pullers’ manufacturing base – the ‘MISC’ (‘Military Industrial Surveillance Complex’) – but much more so the steady reworking of checks and balances so ardently required for anything that wants to go for a ‘Democracy’, even the worst example of it.
The playbook of Edward Bernays to manipulate the masses is the blueprint for today’s ‘Western Values Societies’. Inseparable part of this blueprint is the pole reversal of the ‘Media’ from its original purpose (sort of) intended to inform the citizenry of any Western country and to reassure the absence of corruption and nepotism in government, towards pure propaganda outlets, that at best print, or emanate the truth only if one is to apply the ‘backwards & opposite principle’. Whereas having it backwards could – with great empathy – be forgiven as a sort of mental and professional shortcoming, the fact though that nowadays the truth is the opposite of what is published makes it intentional and thus criminal.
‘The Guardian’ as much as ‘Der Spiegel’ once were consummately intellectual outlets for modestly unbiased information, serving their respective readership. Since the ‘Manhattan-PNAC’, the transformation into mouthpieces for the string pullers (also called establishment/deep state) and in an Orwellian fashion, it is expected that the separation of those who are gullible and ignorant enough to fall for their deceit, from those who can clearly see through their incessant lies and propaganda, will serve their ‘divide and conquer’ policy that has served them so well for the last couple a thousand years.
The Guardian et al are part of the problem by never subscribing to a solution that demands the core tenets of a true Democracy: freedom of speech, equal rights for all human beings, open and fair elections, liberty and the pursuit of property, lest no society yet exists without money being the main multiplier and divider.
Even though today is not any of the ‘wish you something days’, I take my chance and wish for these pathetic outlets of Fascist propaganda to be composted in the heap of historical human manure.
Just had to get that of my chest, so to speak.

Hugh O'Neill
Hugh O'Neill
Apr 21, 2018 1:15 PM
Reply to  notheonly1

Bravo, nottheonly1. You have articulated my thoughts most eloquently. You must have a superior bot programming than mine! I demand an upgrade, Peskov (who the Hell is Peskov?). I look forward to reading the post-mortem on the latest Freedland effluence. George Orwell was so prophetic, and the Fascist boot continues to stamp on faces. Sleepwalking into Totalitarianism, the lights are growing dimmer. Which way to Room 101?

Apr 21, 2018 11:51 AM

Freedland is just one cog in the lie factory’s machine, churning out ‘goodthink’ for the rulers of the dystopian West.

Apr 21, 2018 9:51 AM

We might be lying in the gutter reading the Guardian, but at least we can imagine we are looking at the Daily Star.
Where propaganda is sacred and anything political is free from comment. Unless of course you’re a hack and then opinion is fact and facts are something of the copy and past variety.
The social net is there to be quoted and web based research is fine as long as it is from paid for by government sources no matter how covert the funding stream.
Otherwise it’s a fiction, produced by trolls and bots of that man Putin who is so clever he always make stupid choices in his evil efforts to rule the world!
Cue magic roundabout music…

Francis Lee
Francis Lee
Apr 21, 2018 8:36 AM

Most of the ordinary folk I speak to regarding the war against Syria are firmly opposed to any further British involvement. The logic of this is a realist foreign policy whereby you don’t threaten another country or go to war with another country unless it threatens your own country’s vital interests. The other strand in this outlook is that foreign policy and alliances are never stable. Britain and France fought each other for centuries up to the battle of Waterloo but became allies in the 20th century wars against Germany. In the immortal words of Lord Palmerston: ‘A country does not have permanent friends and allies, only permanent interests.’
Of course, this position is anathema to the liberal class who would argue for the exact opposite policies; humanitarian intervention and Anglo-American hegemony which requires ongoing and permanent interests held to be immutable, and permanent war against any resistance to these policies.
It should be understood that the liberal class is deeply ideological. They are the vehement proponents of crackpot theories and quasi-religious belief systems; the fanatics of the ‘Outer party’ in Orwell’s 1984. They are utilised by the Inner Party to buttress the regime. The mindset is a view of where the world should be and is going; and if any other force or obstacle gets in the way well then, they should be overridden, if necessary with extreme prejudice. Utopia beckons if we have the necessary resolve to overcome the benighted opposition. So, the mass murder of 500,000 children is, according to ex-US Secretary of State, Madelaine Albright was ‘worth it’. These are the central planks of both neo-liberal and neo-conservative beliefs. You see, like Saint Bernard of Clairvaux who wrote (c. 1150) said: ‘The Road to Hell is paved with good intentions.’ Mass murder is okay if it is for the ‘greater good’.
It is difficult to pinpoint when the mass desertion of centre-left to centre and extreme right took place. Probably around the time of the end of the first Cold War. But now we have a solid bloc of middle-class ideological Stormtroopers – ensconced in political and media classes – crusading for the greater good. This pursuit of the ‘greater good’ however has resulted in permanent war, with its corollary of mayhem, death and destruction, from which our radicals of the alt-centre are comfortably removed.
The struggle for sanity and decency goes on. As one of Samuel Becket’s characters opined: ‘‘I must go on, I can’t go on, I’ll go on.’’

Michael Major
Michael Major
Apr 21, 2018 7:54 AM

if we would defend our minds from manipulation with hatred we must understand the use of lies, inference and propaganda which cloud our judgement and ally us with war crimes. When we can’t expose and resist war crimes we are parties to their commitment. Eric’s article is a brief and effective lesson in witnessing and deactivating vile war mongering propaganda. The Guardian is provoking, and obscuring war crimes and its shameless production of framework, consent and camouflage for war crimes is itself a crime against humanity. Thank-you Eric for exposing this and educating our awareness. michael\

Apr 21, 2018 1:56 AM

How I got banned from The Guardian and found this site:
The Guardian asked what BTL commentators thought of the Syrian situation.
I posted General Wesley Clark’s interview explaining exactly what the plan was – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9RC1Mepk_Sw
Made some mildly threatening comments when my comments were deleted.
Searched Google for “why are the Guardian banning my comments for no good reason”.
Subscribed to this site ever since.
F*ck these disgusting people.

Apr 21, 2018 8:16 AM
Reply to  Simon

Took the red pill? – you chose wisely.

Apr 29, 2018 7:03 AM
Reply to  Simon

Easy to re-infiltrate. Pushin their buttons fun. They’re a bunch of hopeless, snivelling hacks.

Mulga Mumblebrain
Mulga Mumblebrain
Apr 21, 2018 12:23 AM

The truly Evil ‘Fraudian’ reaches yet another new low, in my opinion at least, with the villainous and utterly Orwellian screed published today by the execrable Zionist Freedland. He argues that truth is being supplanted by lies, by lying through his pearly whites without restraint. He lies, or is so brainwashed with Zionist hatred of Syria and dedication to the Oded Yinon Plan to vivisect Syria and its people that he actually believes the untruths, that the jihadist White Helmet thugs are not what they are, but are noble humanitarians. And he gets the chance to enjoy every Zionist’s wet-dream-to slag off Roger Waters, who every Zionist hates with Talmudic fury, for defending the Palestinians and speaking the truth about Israel and its state barbarity, in the process.

Harry Stotle
Harry Stotle
Apr 21, 2018 8:37 AM

Yes, I saw that – unbelievably Freedland continues to cite Olivia Solon, the journalist who usually writes about digital culture, lives in San Francisco and has never been within a 1,000 mile radius of East Ghouta, as an unimpeachable news source on the use of chemical weapons in Syria.
On the plus side the majority of commentators BTL say they have lost faith in the MSM, but that is hardly surprising when an article dedicated to the question of truth and accuracy wastes no time in subverting the very values it purports to be concernerd about.
Its only matter of time (if its not happening already) before those who control information gateways will be doing their level best to hamper access to alternative news sources that continue to maintain a level of journalistic integrity that has become a comple anathema to shameless hacks like Freedland and Solon.

Apr 21, 2018 9:12 AM
Reply to  Harry Stotle

[[ lives in San Francisco and has never been within a 1,000 mile radius of East Ghouta ]]
There are hundreds just like her. The Independent uses Bethan McKiernan as a source for stories about Russia – a country where she’s never been. She lurks in Lebanon, spewing her neocon bile from there. But then there’s Michael Weisz – a man who’s built a career as a ‘Russia expert’ without ever going there or speaking a word of Russian. Or should we mention Julia Ioffe? The one who believes her ‘genetic history’ (as the child of emigre Russians to America) affords her such deep and valuable ‘insight’. Needless to say the neocon media has a bottomless appetite for the twaddle she, and others like her (can we name Peter Pommy Ranter?) vomit out by the column inch to order?
These are ‘journalists’ who bring a new dimension to journalism – recycling hearsay and bigotry as ‘facts’ and ‘reportage’.

Apr 21, 2018 9:15 AM

The whole idea that the ideas of a washed-up rock musician are more valuable than factual reporting of the situation on the ground gives the lie to the koolaid being retailed by Friedland and his team of compliant shills. What are “Nathalie Nougayrede’s” credentials for reporting on Russia, we have to ask?

Mulga Mumblebrain
Mulga Mumblebrain
Apr 21, 2018 10:44 AM
Reply to  reinertorheit

Nougatbrain is just a pullulating pustule of Russophobic hatred. A living parody of of a hack presstitute. The Fraudian contains so very many of the most scabrous specimens of humanity imaginable that it is hard to decide which is the vilest, but she is near the very bottom of the pile.

A. J. B
A. J. B
Apr 21, 2018 12:32 PM

Disgusting manipulative and dishoest article.
The fact that he couldn’t even countenance the possibility of having an open
mind on the subject, shows the extent of the censorship we’re being subjected to.
And of course, any comments disagreeing with him, were proof to his fans that
he spoke the truth.

Jennifer Hor
Jennifer Hor
Apr 21, 2018 12:00 AM

Any evidence that Kareem Shaheen left the safety of Istanbul and travelled to Syria, let alone Douma, to speak to people there about the CW attack that he believes occurred? He surely has a very cushy job. He would be about as credible as if he were writing from, say, Coventry where that fake Syrian Observatory for Human Rights resides.

Apr 21, 2018 12:31 AM
Reply to  Jennifer Hor

our dear friend at the SOHR says he has no news of any such attack, only that a building collapsed – his cheque is stuck in the post

Harry Law
Harry Law
Apr 20, 2018 9:43 PM

The ‘West’ would have over run Syria by now had it not been for Russia, the US has this Philosophy ‘power grows out the barrel of a gun’ [now who was it said that? Had Iran intervened instead of Russia, then the US might have had a twofer. The Russians must make it absolutely clear that US force will not dislodge them, no doubt more provocations are on their way, if the Russians blink, its all over for them, Putin knows this.