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White Helmets, Black Lies

David Macilwain
This is the story of my challenge to Australia’s SBS TV over their role in passing on criminal disinformation about Syria, chemical weapons and the White Helmets.

On the 8th of April last year, SBS television broadcast a report claiming sixty people had died in a chemical weapons attack in Douma on their evening world news bulletin. It was substantially the same as reports in all Western and West-friendly countries, though with an SBS commentary added.

SBS – the “Special Broadcasting Service” was set up by the Australian government in the ‘70s to serve the many different ethnic communities here; it also broadcasts foreign language news bulletins from many countries, including Russia and Turkey but not Iran or Lebanon.

While SBS remains partly government funded, it claims editorial independence – including from its commercial sponsors. Its current promotional slogan is “We tell stories – with a difference”, supported by appealing testimonies from the story-tellers, who no doubt believe this delusional claim. Not only are SBS stories on the chief issues of contention no different, or even sourced from other Western media, they are mostly just stories, with a loose or non-existent relation to the truth.

Challenging the SBS narrative is therefore problematic, but SBS has a well-defined Code of Practice on balance and bias against which one can make complaints for up to six weeks following a broadcast. Complaints are assessed by the “SBS Ombudsman” Sally Begbie, and a verdict delivered within sixty days.

I have gone through this process a few times over the last decade, and the result has been the same regardless of the case – “SBS has found that the broadcast complied with the Code, etc. etc.”

So it was that at the time of the Douma Incident, complaining to SBS for spreading the same lies as everyone else was not the highest priority! I was also preparing to head off for a holiday starting in Syria and struggling with a visa.

In addition though, it was not until later that there was substantive evidence on which to build a case for a complaint that might succeed. It’s easy to forget this, and that people in Douma knew nothing about a “chemical weapon attack”.

The big story there was the Syrian-Russian liberation of this last terrorist stronghold, at least until a week later when the US coalition missile attack became the story. The idea that a chlorine attack had killed people was anyway innately unbelievable, and even on the mainstream news it was the story of the children being hosed and choked in the Douma Hospital ward that dominated the bulletins.

Ironically, the best news reports – not stories – from Syria were broadcast every morning on SBS in the Russian news from NTV.

The simple sight of their Syria correspondent was sufficient – crouching beside the gas cylinder on the roof, and then chatting to a Russian military policeman in the bedroom while the toxic gas container lay there amongst its entourage of unbroken light fittings on the bed beside them.

The Russian news also showed the film that Western audiences saw, of some guy in a full gas mask in the same place.

Given the ongoing disinformation about Syria and my focus on the closely connected Novichok story, it wasn’t until the appearance of the Intercept’s report on Douma in February 2019 that the question of what actually happened there became important once more. Released in advance of the OPCW’s final report, and likely in the knowledge of it, the Atlantic Council sponsored report looked like an exercise in damage control.

The slick video production succeeded in giving some very dubious characters the appearance of independent and unbiased judgement, and credibility to their conclusion that “on balance it seems likely there was a gas attack there”.

There was of course no ‘balance’ question involved, as it was extremely unlikely or impossible there would have been such an attack from the Syrian army, leave alone on the very civilians the army was trying to rescue from their terrorist oppressors.

It was however the deceptions in the lengthy written part of the Intercept’s Douma report that made it significant, and which formed the central point of my subsequent complaint to SBS. James Harkin who wrote the report didn’t attempt to hide the questionable allegiances of the White Helmets, detailing their funding by the UK and US and association with British Army advisors.

But by admitting to their already-exposed propaganda role, Harkin reframed this as well-motivated; the White Helmets “association” with Opposition Islamist militias could then be excused as part of “their unobjectionable and utterly necessary work rescuing civilians from buildings bombed by the Russian and Syrian air-forces.”

So I put together an elaborate complaint to SBS following the Intercept report, in anticipation of the release of the OPCW’s final report and a predicted SBS rehash of all the false claims made a year earlier. This included my own observations from visiting Douma in May 2018 which pointed out the subtle ways that Harkin and Mackey had distorted the picture to suit their story.

Central to this was the “disappearing” of Douma hospital, whose most obvious survival was something of an embarrassment for them – evidence that Syrian and Russian militaries had avoided hitting this hospital, which unlike so many health centres had not been completely taken over by terrorist fighters and was vital for the local community.

Harkin also “admitted” that the terrorist group controlling Douma, Jaish al Islam, “ruled with an iron fist”, and so could take the blame for video trickery, rather than the White Helmets who merely witnessed it. A close scrutiny of the Douma emergency room footage however revealed the truth, of the White Helmets’ intimate involvement in the “treatment” as well as it fabrication.

This was assisted by the uncovering of another video of the hospital scene distributed by Turkey’s Anadolu Agency. From detailed examination of this video I was able to conclude that it was an earlier “take” featuring the same four men and same young child as was depicted in the SBS TV report, where a near-naked child is forcibly given Ventolin and slapped “to get her breathing”.

It was easy to see why this video report got left on the cutting room floor, as the man-handling of the infant victim was so clearly fake; the child screaming and struggling while her clothes were pulled off by four men, including one wearing a White Helmets jacket and a “nurse” from “Medical Relief for Syria”. It was this child who then appeared white with fear after further Ventolin treatment and hosing down, as a credible “gas attack victim” in the SBS report.

The object of my complaint to SBS was to show that they were guilty of using footage of violent child abuse as a propaganda tool to facilitate illegal and lethal action, wittingly or unwittingly. Even when serious doubts were cast over the credibility of the event by the testimony of one victim Hassan Diab, SBS had continued to promote the false story with the same emotive footage.

“We cannot consider your complaint as the program in question occurred more than six weeks ago.” – was the response. And as SBS had never mentioned the OPCW final report with its insipid confirmation of a chlorine attack in Douma, there was no more recent report for me to reference.

At the time however, there were frequent warnings that the Syrian army was preparing to move in on Idlib, and Russia was reporting plans by the White Helmets to stage another “chemical attack”. In anticipation of this, I ended my complaint with a warning, that –

The Syrian and Russian move to finally take back control of Idlib from Al Qaeda linked forces must not be allowed to develop into yet another Western-created “humanitarian crisis” by yet another White Helmet facilitated propaganda offensive streamed through Western mainstream media, with SBS playing its part.”

Just after sending off that complaint, the OPCW Engineers’ report was leaked to the Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media by its team leader Ian Henderson.

This was the final nail in the coffin of the Syrian opposition claims, as well as evidence of White Helmet collusion in torture and murder of the “gas attack victims”. But it was only when the “worst humanitarian disaster this century” warning was issued, and swarms of child-carrying White Helmets filled the news bulletins again in May, that I could put together a new complaint to SBS.

Over a period of six weeks to mid-June, SBS ran reports on different aspects of the alleged Idlib offensive by the Syrian and Russian militaries. There was the humanitarian crisis, with 300,000 people fleeing the province. There were attacks on hospitals and schools.

There was the targeting of rescue workers, and then of journalists, with a cameo appearance of Channel 4’s Alex Crawford pointing out an approaching Syrian helicopter to an HTS commander. And of course there were “unconventional weapons, even chemical” and a sickening episode at the UN reminiscent of Samantha Power’s “have you no shame?” attack on Russia’s Vitaly Churkin.

And through it all, White Helmets running and digging and finding children, in the usual places.

I think my complaint made a good case, at least for exercising caution in presenting any more emotive White Helmet footage. Unlike almost every other news report where the faces of children are blurred out, these reports apparently depend on people seeing and being affected by such shocking images, while being issued with an obligatory warning that “some viewers may find these images upsetting”.

My second complaint, sent in late June, included copies of the video reports under review with a precis of their contents, but focused principally on the hugely significant investigations of the OPCW engineers’ team and the apparent attempt to suppress their findings.

It followed on and quoted from the WGSPM’s report with its unavoidable and logical conclusion – that the White Helmets had colluded in the torture and execution of civilians to make a propaganda film, on behalf of their paymasters in Whitehall and Washington.

SBS agreed to review my complaint, and respond “within 60 days” – as required by their charter. While the propaganda barrage that began on April 28th had fizzled out as attention turned to provocations in the Persian Gulf, it had just restarted on the day in mid-August that I received the SBS Ombudsman’s response, and with renewed and malignant vigour.

SBS played a Channel 4 report, where Lindsay Hilsum conjured up the spectre of Stalin in a stomach-turning concoction that included a long speech by an HTS commander, and a venomous attack on President Assad. And of course, White Helmets digging and running with children.

Somehow I thought this time SBS would have to concede some fault. The case was indisputable; even the Atlantic Council’s staff agreed the hospital scenes had been staged, and the claim the gas bottles had fallen from the sky had been completely trashed. And there were 35 bodies of women and children showing signs of violent death in another location.

Most importantly, the White Helmets were implicated by their own admission, but this is why my complaint was dismissed:

“For the reasons below, the SBS News coverage that concerned you was found to be in line with the Code” – on “balance and impartiality”.

SBS considered that: “your overall concern seems to be that SBS does not cover the Russian or Syrian perspective adequately in reporting the Syrian Civil War.”

SBS identified my other apparent “concerns”, including:

You feel SBS did not place adequate weight or provide balanced coverage that supports your view that “Not only are the Syrian Army and Russian air-force not responsible for such attacks against civilian targets and infrastructure, the actions they are taking are in defence of the local civilian population under constant attack by terrorist militias.”

And:

You feel that “there was an almost complete absence of opinion from genuine Syrian sources or Syrian government officials in SBS reports.”

And that:

You were also concerned that SBS presents the White Helmets as “Civil Defence”, “rescue workers” and “volunteers” when in fact they have “staged” attacks and made “false claims.”

To support its defence, of reports with which we are all too familiar – whether broadcast on Al Jazeera or the BBC, Deutsche Welle, France 24, or CNN, the Ombudsman had to make some extraordinary claims.

Picking through the bones of all eight bulletins I had cited, Sally Begbie found half a dozen mentions of a Russian or Syrian viewpoint, such as this:

Syrian ally Russia, which has veto power at the Security Council, claims it is working with President Assad to fight terrorists.

“Russia claims” is reporting a “Russian viewpoint”, apparently. SBS then offered this general excuse for its failure:

SBS has no journalists based in the Middle East, and its coverage is based on material received by the world’s major news agencies on which SBS relies including Reuters, APTN, Al Jazeera, and the BBC. This material provides a comprehensive range of sources, ensuring coverage that is as balanced as possible within the circumstances.

When possible SBS uses official Russian and Syrian spokespeople to provide their views, however such people were often not available able to SBS on the standard news feeds.

When they are available they are used in the evening’s news coverage. This included on 18 May when Syria’s Ambassador to the UN, Bashar Jaafari, said “The terrorist organisations use hundreds of thousands of civilians as human shields” and on the 29 May when the Russian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sergei Vershinin, said “The fighters from HTS are terrorising civilians and they are using civilian infrastructure for military ends and are also using civilians as human shields.”

Far from acknowledging that the eminent representatives of Syria and Russia at the UN “support my view” – that their armies are fighting a war against Western-backed and armed terrorists besieging Idlib the way that they besieged Aleppo and Ghouta – Begbie used the exchange at the UN to support the view of Mark Lowcock and the White Helmets.

Jaafari and Vershinin were actually reacting to Lowcock’s claims of an unprecedented humanitarian disaster, itself based on activist claims and White Helmet propaganda rescue videos. SBS broadcast Lowcock’s whole tirade so the responses in Russian and Syrian with subtitles had little impact. I don’t honestly know how SBS dared to present this travesty as “as balanced as possible”.

But it was SBS’ response to my White Helmets accusations that really left me dumb:

In relation specifically to the White Helmets, SBS’s coverage from 18 May to 17 June was not “propaganda” as you assert but consistent with widely held views about the role of this group.

First Begbie cited the New York Magazine from July 2018:

In 2016 and 2017, the White Helmets—Syrian volunteers who have risked their lives to rescue civilians trapped in rubble following air strikes, barrel bombings, and chemical-weapons attacks—were among the front-runners for the Nobel Peace Prize. A collection of bakers, tailors, engineers, pharmacists, painters, carpenters, and students nicknamed for their protective hats, they have saved more than a hundred thousand people in Syria’s vicious civil war.”

And then Wikipedia:

As of April 2018, the organisation said it had saved over 114,000 lives, with 204 White Helmet volunteers losing their lives in the process. They assert impartiality in the Syrian conflict, though only operate in rebel held areas. The organisation has been the target of a disinformation campaign by supporters of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Russian-sponsored media organisations such as RT, with false claims of close ties with terrorist activities and other conspiracy theories.

But finally SBS came up with this master stroke – unwittingly finding one of the Guardian’s most egregious pieces of “journalism” on the Syrian conflict that also betrayed its own active role in assisting the FCO-supported White Helmets:

This disinformation campaign was recently detailed in The Guardian, in an article titled ‘How Syria’s White Helmet’s become victims of an online propaganda machine’.

For anyone concerned enough to reach the end of my complaint, it will be seen that I specifically detailed the work of Eva Bartlett and Vanessa Beeley that Olivia Solon, technology reporter from San Francisco deigns to dismiss as nonsense. Although she took over fifty days to do it, it doesn’t seem that the SBS Ombudsman got that far, nor realised just how insulting her suggestion was.

In fact I am left wondering whether Ms Begbie properly read any of my complaint, or examined the video clips I shot in Douma, or consulted any of the links that supported my case. She seems unaware that I am a vocal supporter of President Assad and an active participant in the campaign to expose the White Helmets’ criminal conduct and propaganda, despite this being the subject of my complaint.

Even more astonishingly, Begbie completely ignored my detailed dissection of the OPCW reports that constitutes the actual evidence for my claims the White Helmets are a criminal organisation and that Russia and Syria are fighting a war against foreign-backed terrorists. Just as the OPCW reports were missing from SBS news and so provided no basis for complaint, so their absence from the SBS response fails to address this central issue – the broadcasting of false news.

Were it a relatively trivial matter, the exclusion of some information could be called “white lies”, but it is not. The failure to acknowledge the truth of what happened at Douma is a “black lie”, because it facilitates further lethal and criminal actions by the White Helmets and their takfiri comrades, which were taking place at the same time SBS was broadcasting their sham videos.

So where to now? Have we lost the battle for the hearts and minds of the victims of the disinformation super-highway?

Sixties drop out, Scientist-farmer, cheesemaker-Luddite, late life activist for the Resistance, Putin/Assad/Nasrallah lover. Atheist. Traveller-student through MENA-Russia-Europe. Abandoned UK frying pan for Australian fire. Marginalised dissident. Author for Russia Insider/AHT and OffG.

Filed under: Australia, latest, Other Media, Syria

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Sixties drop out, Scientist-farmer, cheesemaker-Luddite, late life activist for the Resistance, Putin/Assad/Nasrallah lover. Atheist. Traveller-student through MENA-Russia-Europe. Abandoned UK frying pan for Australian fire. Marginalised dissident. Author for Russia Insider/AHT and OffG.

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vexarb
vexarb

Cut’n’Paste from SyrPer:

“the Thylacine BTL #301677
Researchers share findings into activities of White Helmets in Syria at UN HQ, Dec 20, 2018”

https://youtu.be/thxkhGqTdPg

JudyJ
JudyJ

A lengthy, detailed and convincing presentation that the US and its ‘allies’ refused to attend… conjures up the image of the child who doesn’t want to hear the truth, with their fingers in their ears and screaming ‘La,la,la,la…..’.

vexarb
vexarb

Only too true, JudyJ. It is a normal childish reaction (say, below age 10) but if continued into adult life becomes a debilitating mental state. Psychiatrist call it “being in denial”, and if it goes too far it borders on psychotic weakness in “reality testing”. What is the result if a whole population goes “into denial”? I do not know; are there Population Psychiatrists? There ought to be, considering the waves of madness sweeping throughout history.

“Why do the Nations rage together?” — Handel, The Messiah

Oliver
Oliver

Population psychologists have existed for centuries. The most recent ones that come to mind are Machiavelli, Jung, Campbell, Maslow. Plato knew a lot well before. It’s like we’re under some form of mass hypnosis. A spell perhaps.

vexarb
vexarb

A post on Population Psychiatry BTL Saker Vineyard:

” Serg on September 25, 2019 · at 4:22 am EST/EDT

The deeper lesson here is that the destructive effect of lies, which includes propaganda, can build up to such a force which can topple entire empires.

…. case of the US for example, both parties have been using “little” lies to give them an edge in the short term, because that’s all they need to care about. However, these lies, over time, become, not truth outright, but reality for the next up-and-comers. They operate based on the lies of yesterday, while telling their own lies of today. Rinse and repeat for decades and you get to where we are now. “

Gary Weglarz
Gary Weglarz

Or la, la, la, la – Louis la, la, la, la, Proyect – la, la, la, la, la!

Louis Proyect
Louis Proyect

Recently an article was submitted by Theodore Postol to a peer-reviewed journal agreeing with the the conspiracy-mongering of David Macilwain’s article above. Like Macilwain, he supports the “false flag” narrative that it was a rebel plot to kill their own supporters in Douma in order to get the USA to go to war against Assad (what a joke at this point.) The journal happened to be one for which Postol himself serves on the editorial board. To give you an idea of how flawed his methodology is, they have delayed publication because of serious technical inaccuracies in the article. My guess is that it will never see the light of day.

http://scienceandglobalsecurity.org/

To ensure the high standards of editorial control, integrity, and rigor that this journal has always sought to maintain, we conducted an independent internal review of the editorial process for this manuscript. This review identified a number of issues with the peer-review and revision process. As a result, the editors have decided to withhold the publication of this article to examine whether the editors can rectify the problems that we identified.

The editors accept responsibility for the oversight, and we apologize to the authors, the reviewers, and our readers.

JudyJ
JudyJ

“…it was a rebel plot to kill their own supporters in Douma.”

You appear to be missing a fundamental point here. As was the case with East Aleppo, the civilian populations in rebel controlled areas also comprise significant numbers of Syrian Government supporters who are exploited, abused and executed by the rebels, supported by White Helmets, if they step out of line or just happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. This fact makes the possibility of a rebel false flag scenario in Douma not as outlandish as you appear to think.

Louis Proyect
Louis Proyect

Yeah, I know. Head-choppers, al-Qaeda, Sharia law. Thanks to Assad, they are all dead now, including those in the pediatric hospitals that got bombed.

Louis Proyect
Louis Proyect

More on Theodore Postol’s article being shelved by the journal he submitted it to.

https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2019/09/scientists-clash-over-paper-questions-syrian-government-s-role-sarin-attack

Tim Jenkins
Tim Jenkins

Louis P. suffering from P.T.S.D. (Projection Transference & Surreal Distraction).

In the meantime, Louis, during your recovery from your own delusions & failure to comprehend the full NATZO & 5iFUKUS reality of Arms & Drugs deals, (their collective goals to DE-stabilise the M.E. and the Balkans), and the networking involved from the Balkans to Transit Hub Azerbaijan, i thought i’d better give you some homework from people on the FRONTLINE of Journalism, you know Louis, those that courageously do the legwork, like Dilyana Gaytandzhieva and her latest revelations of 5iFUKUS Arms deals with Serbian Ams Producers, as well as her fellow Bulgarians, who supplied the weapons that destroyed Aleppo, decapitating a mother & daughter in front of her eyes . . .

http://armswatch.com/islamic-state-weapons-in-yemen-traced-back-to-us-government-serbia-files-part-1/

https://21stcenturywire.com/2019/09/12/interview-dilyana-gaytandzhieva-reveals-how-us-trafficked-arms-to-isis/

https://armenianweekly.com/2017/08/29/dilyana-gaytandzhieva-fired/

Louis, I’ve been on the Balkans, living permanently here, since 2004 onwards, after establishing many contacts & visits in the 90’s, in Switzerland, including transports for the White House to Davos, annually, with CIA attachment carrying their whole White House Comms. Centre from Airforce One, in my truck. I saw the break up of all nations and worst of all the aftermath of genocide, from Banya Luka to Bihac and suffered the reality of Dayton & pathetic UN / EU ‘efforts’ to help, first hand! Just like Dilyana has witnessed the Terror Factions & Locations, FIRST HAND & EYEWITNESSES … Your failure to comprehend how the CIA, NATZO & 5iFUKUS operate, is abso’firkin’lutely astounding, given the clearcut real documentation & EVIDENCE for sponsoring TERROR factions, that Dilyana has repeatedly delivered … the only reason you can be in DENIAL of this EVIDENCE is because you are selectively capable of writing Distraction, Lying & Trolling and Commenting from the Shelf, where you belong: under the library title

“HISTORIC Corrupted Minds, in complete Denial” !

P.s. Louis, why don’t you come and have a chat with some ex-NATO combatants from the Bulgarian Military > You’ll find many varied Turkish-Bulgarian Military personnel opinions here in this border zone, from those still alive and they are still actively recruiting, ( a girl my wife taught, is in Afghanistan right now, so we can talk with her mum & dad and discuss ‘Sniper Ivan’, now dead, whose mum worked with my wife, @school)… if you want to support Terror & NATO Arms for Drugs deals, down here, on the ole’ Silk Road and second largest daily border crossing in the world, at least eyewitness check the reality ! … Come on down, I’ll fill you in and subsequently point you in the right direction, if you still want to participate in Official CIA NATZO Arms for Drugs deals, no problem, pack your bags and come and meet me face2face, where I will explain, with evidence, why your present ignorance disgusts me and how poor your soul & just how low the level of your intelligence training is, compared to my CV ! Oh, and by the way Louis, I never open your links anymore:- now that’s what I call shelved and you’ve cried wolf, one too many times Louis, nobody believes you about anything anymore, just so you know. 😉

This propaganda war on terror is real phoney 5iFUKUS fiction from 2001 onwards, that NATZO SUPPLIES & PROPAGATES … yet you Louis, choose to PROJECT & TRANSFER attention away from the facts & detail & Deadly daily reality & profiteers and instead you support and write to defend CIA NATZO Mobster/Mafia Arms & Drugs dealers & their terrorists in Syria !!!
Way to go, denial of Fact ? ! ? ! ?

vexarb
vexarb

Tim Jenkins: ” Louis, I never open your links anymore:- now that’s what I call shelved and you’ve cried wolf, one too many times Louis, nobody believes you about anything anymore, just so you know. ”

Same here, Tim. Your info is wasted on a troll, but you might like to know that at least one other person has read the above.

Tim Jenkins
Tim Jenkins

Thanks Vexarb: I wasn’t expecting miracles like a reply from Louis, but still, nice to know the ‘rebuke’ was not completely wasted 🙂

Gezzah Potts

Appreciate your efforts Tim, but as Vexarb said you’re wasting your time on a sleazebag troll like Louis Poophead. I would not be surprised if he had ‘people behind him’ so to speak.
He’s a gatekeeper for the identity politics addled Left, just like Amy Goodman is, and mags like Jacobin are. The now defunct International Socialist Organisation was receiving a sizable chunk of funding from the fecken Democratic Party and a Soros linked foundation. As I said, gatekeepers everywhere. They disgust me as well mate; the lowest of the low. They suck in well meaning, but rather naive younger people. Hope the weather is not as hot in Bulgaria, going into autumn now, aye. Thanks for those links also. Hope NATZO is not too nearby. Bastards. What a surreal World.

Leonardo
Leonardo

So, let’s review what happened here.

Postol & others submitted the article and it passed the peer review process (and yes, the peer review process can be highly flawed, but that’s true for any scientific article about any topic).

The simple fact that S&GS were going to give voice to a paper that was critical of the laughable OPCW report on Khan Sheikoun activated the usual regime change supporters (both informal and institutionalized) that began to put pressure on the journal in order to censor the article.

At first the S&GS stood its ground, reiterating that they were going to publish it anyway in a Tweet. Then, some time later, they caved in to the pressure and decided to pull it with an excuse.

But you present this case as the article was actually pulled on its own (lack of) merit rather tahn because an institution didn’t have the backbone to stand firm in front of political pressure. We already witnessed the suppression of a technical analysis because of political pressure: the OPCW literally disappeared the existence of a credible technical assessment on the origin of the Douma cylinders. Since you care so much about rigor and scientific best practices, I wonder how do you evaluate the choice of hiding a contrary opinion in order to push an unbelievable theory in what should be a techincal document.

Louis Proyect
Louis Proyect

Look, I’ve been following Theodore Postol since 2011. I don’t want to impose myself on a website that is so clearly in favor of Assad but he is on record saying that his “expert” on chemicals is the Syrian Girl, not anybody at MIT. She has made appearances on David Duke’s TV show to give you an idea of what kind of sordid past he has. His article simply didn’t pass the smell test. It never would have been considered if he hadn’t been on the editorial board of the journal. Anyhow, you can always read it on Tulsi Gabbard’s website, the candidate who is so gung-ho for Israel that was a keynote speaker at a rightwing Christian Zionist conference.

Leonardo
Leonardo

You miss the point.

The point is not if Postol’s article was as accurate as he believes it is. The point is that it has been censored after being seriously considered for publication and only in consequence of a smear campaign.

The journal could have offered room to articles meant to rebutt Postol’s conclusions. That’s how scientific debate works. Instead they decided to pull it based on accusations by parties and people that DON’T have to conform to scientific and academic best practices themselves.

And that’s because the whole point of the smear campaign and its regime change fanatical supporters is not to start an healthy discussion but to attack the credibility of Postol and everybody else who has the temerity to even debate the OPCW conclusions.

Which brings us to your own list of smears.

You manage to attack three people in your posts without ever debating their positions, only their mutual association.
How dare Postol relies on Syrian Girl’s evaluation (which, by the way, is also not completely accurate, but that’s another issue).
How dare Tulsi Gabbard not speak against the leader that the western community has labeled as the current barbaric dictator that needs to be eliminated.
How dare Tulsi Gabbard be critical of Israel’s conduct.

This kind of rethoric is stale. Every person critical of regime change support becomes a dictator supporter, an oppressor of the Syrian people and someone whose point of view shouldn’t be acceptable in a dignified society.

At the same time, the crimes of the people who have been unleashing hell in the Middle East for more than 20 years now, the same kind of people that misled the world in 1991 with the Kuwait Ambassador daughter’s testimony about Iraqi soldiers and incubators or the Colin Powell performance at the UN in 2002, are completely whitewashed and the fake narrative of humanitarian interventionism is still supported by its fanatical neocon proponents.

Now, you are welcome to try to impose your perspective here, if you want to. You are not censored. But you are debated.

And I bet you will have little success in steering people’s opinions, because the people that come to websites like this one for informations are people who are already aware that the corporate media ensemble offers a very edulcorated and biased narrative on foreign policy issues, when it comes to western interventionism.
They have been through this kind of discussions countless times and your rethoric offers nothing new with respect to the rethoric that people can read every damn day on newspapers like the NYT or TV channels like CNN or FOX NEWS.
That is: here you will find people who are vaccinated against the kind of rethorical discourse that you are advancing. They have heard it before and they know what to expect and how to counter it.

TWHM
TWHM

Perhaps, Louis might like to debate someone published at an outlet where he is also published, Leonardo;

https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/09/24/on-the-road-to-damascus-international-conference-in-syria-on-sanctions-and-its-blowback/

“The two-day conference addressed the illegality under international law of economic sanctions and other coercive measures, as well as the effects of the blockade on the people of Syria. The importance of solidarity was emphasized in confronting imperialist interventions that aim at undermining the security of peoples and the sovereignty of states. The role of trade unions, civil society, and media was recognized in exposing the political hypocrisy of states that claim to fight terrorism while supporting it in reality.

The conference opened with a welcoming address by Syrian Prime Minister Imad Khamis and was attended by other government officials and members of the governing party. If there were any security precautions for these high-level dignitaries, they were invisible to me.

Some 232 delegates representing 52 countries attended. Leading members of the World Federation of Trade Unions, Organization of African Trade Union Unity, (Syrian) General Federation of Trade Unions, International Confederation of Arab Trade Unions, Arab Labor Organization, and the 15-million-member Indian confederation (the world’s largest trade union) spoke at the conference.

The North American delegation included trade unionists, peace activists, and journalists. Ajamu Baraka of the US Peace Council, Black Alliance for Peace, and Black Agenda Report declared: “There can be no working-class justice, no working-class rights in a world where powerful elite social forces are prepared and are using extreme violence.”…………..”

Nice to see a number of my countrymen and women getting stuck in to the ABC and SBS.

Melbourne ‘boy’, meself.

While I’m here, anyone familiar with the name Mike Hindmarsh, former head of the SAS in Oz?

While the country grinds its teeth over the ‘Afghan War Crimes’ expose on ‘Ninefax’, there is a far bigger story to be told on Hindmarsh’s role as head of the Presidential Guard in the UAE, where Hindmarsh responds direct to MBZ (who is acknowledged as The House of Saud MBS’s ‘mentor’).

That’s a lot of the Yemen story. And, ever so quietly, earlier this month;

https://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRC/YemenGEE/Pages/Index.aspx

They have compiled ‘lists’, including (reportedly) one which is being kept under wraps.

Leonardo
Leonardo

The Counterpunch article is a good read. I’m particularly interested in the last paragraph, titled “One view of a complex picture”.

I’m no sociologist, but my hypothesis on the issue of why many western people believe such blatantly manichean narratives on the war in Syria is that our western societies are basically narcissistic.

We – as a people – tend to be self centered and we look at the world from the historical perspective of a civilization that has been the dominant actor on the international scene for at least five centuries (first through Europe, then the US). We are used to be in control and we have been educated in a way that has instilled in many people the belief that we are the best part of humanity and that we must work to elevate all the others: not just the most technologically advanced, but also the most politically and socially advanced and the most advanced on the “civility” front.

You can see tens of prominent liberals thinking in very simplistic ways with no concessions to nuance and to the fact that different people live in different circumstances and have developed different experiences of the world.

In Syria the conflict between sectarian islamism and some kind of imported secular arabism has been going on for decades. In the early ’80s Hafez Al-Assad brutally crushed a sectarian revolt that has something in common with the recent one.
And yet it was very easy for corporate media to sell the war as a conflict between dictatorship and democratic aspirations. To this very day this narrative is dominant, even if it’s clearly nothing more than wishful thinking.

In my opinion these marketing campaigns are an easy sell because the average western person has no doubt that everybody else in the world would like to be exactly like us.
So he/she doesn’t find that hard to believe that every revolt against an authoritarian government must be the expression of democratic forces. They have a hard time when it comes to accept that an authoritarian ruler might be challenged by other authoritarian elements of society and that the latter might actually be even more bloody and barbaric than the former.

Mishko
Mishko

No. No it is not. The narcissist tendencies and hedonist livestyles are not organic, but the product of social engineering.
“One view of a complex picture”: a meta disclaimer.

vexarb
vexarb

@TWHM. So you are an Ozzie, and I see that World Trade Unions are standing up for LaFleur of Canada. Any Brits among all those Trade Unionists who are showing solidarity with Socialist Syria? A search for the words England and Britain in your Link found only: “Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, funded by the British Foreign Office and run in England”

David Macilwain
David Macilwain

Yes I am familiar with Hindmarsh, Al MInhad base, etc, just wish I knew more! I’ve been mentioning this for the last three years but never got a response. Thanks for the link.! (Melbourne is my nearest city…)

and yes, I’ve been in touch with friends at the Labor conf in Damascus, from the Syria Solidarity Movement, US based, Great positive work on the ground, and from Unions – who also here are showing solidarity on Syria and Iran.

falcemartello

JUst replying for the sake of replying to u being such a shill for western antlantacist propaganda . Their is more than enough evidence that FUKUS and ur beloved Israel and the GCC as well as Turkey that r knee deep in conspiring in the demise of Libya and Syria.
Post Scriptum: Have you no shame
Dociusn In fundem: Rhetorical question (Obviously not)

David Macilwain
David Macilwain

I’d just like to acknowledge the useful contributions and solidarity from commenters here. It often seems like a lone struggle and a hopeless one, but the continuing assault on our sense of justice and truth means one cannot give up – now! One day the truth will out, even if it’s too late!

vexarb
vexarb

David, truth is a semi-religious concept (even though many of our main Truthers — the scientists — are a-Theist. “Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall set ye free”. This applies to scientific truth even more than to religious truths: scientific principles which set us free from religious dogma.

But what of the truth that comes too late? Or the many, many truths — both religious and scientific — which we do not know and possibly shall never know? That is God’s part; our part is to believe that the God is Truth.

“Thou shalt not Lie”. — Old Testament

Gezzah Potts

David – much appreciate your efforts also. In Australia, sadly, we are definately in the minority, most people swallowing the propaganda from the presstitutes. Apart from sites like here, Moon Of Alabama, The Saker, I don’t know anyone who accepts the truth about the White Helmets or who accepts who has really been supporting Al Qaeda, ISIS, Nusra Front, etc.
I have pointed people I know to the excellent work of Eva Bartlett, Vanessa Beeley, even Robert Fisk, only to be asked why they are so friendly with Assad!
I have even been accused of being into conspiracy theories. Sigh. So when I see your efforts, or those like Tim Anderson, or Stuart Rees, I am grateful, coz it’s a hard slog knowing how truly evil the Empire is, with such destruction and suffering caused, and most people believe the fake news of the mainstream stenographers. Thanks.

David Macilwain
David Macilwain

Thanks Gezzah, and Vexarb… yes it’s a struggle with friends; one little step forward and then two back with the next news report on “hospital bombing”. We learnt recently of a local academic giving U3A talks and spreading the usual nonsense about Russia with authority, so forwarded an article about the Russian domestic economy posted on the Saker. The reply came back that the Saker was “widely discredited” and a better source would be NATO’s report on the Russian economy. Olivia Solon lives! – and sadly now in the minds of “the third age”.
As for conspiracy theories, how does the BUK missile story rate? !

Gezzah Potts

Jesus wept…. NATO!? NATO!? Mass groupthink conformity in lockstep with the Empire’s narrative. Refer to Harold Pinter acceptance speech for his Nobel prize for

Wilmers31
Wilmers31

All compilations of 2018 which I saw on TV during the last days of 2018 omitted the Soccer World Championship in Russia. Did not happen, apparently.

Oliver
Oliver

The White Helmets were a British military motorcycle display ensemble, from the Royal Signals, ie communications. We are having the piss taken out of us, witness the urea bomb in the lower regions of one of the WTC towers in 1993.

    Leonardo
    Leonardo

    What I find most interesting is the circular logic of the SBS reply: their coverage is fair and balanced as long as it relies on sources that they believe constitute “reputable” information channels (BBC, The Guardian, The New York Times, etc.) and that’s enough to disclaim any responsability for the accuracy of their coverage.
    That they have the temerity of using the absence of their own journalists on the ground as an excuse to act as a megaphone for other conformist news organizations and their narratives is disgusting.

    This is what an echo chamber is all about. No wonder the so called “mainstream media” are proving incabable of understanding and explaining the end of the multipolar world.

    Leonardo
    Leonardo

    Edit: I meant the end of the unipolar world

    roger morris
    roger morris

    These criminal fucks. In the rigged narrative superhighway, these creeps get to be dress up dolls of the fake revolution; get to pretend ‘be doctor good-boy’ and drive fast car through the wreckage of every decency on CAPTACON with lights flashing. They get to pick up the bodies of the real martyrs of this mercenary dog war, murdered by their creepy mentors in the field, practicing the misery of halfwits .

    Mishko
    Mishko

    The poster-boys, the “first responders” (and therefore heroes), dare-devils,
    saints that care not if they be martyred (not afraid of the Double Tap!
    Risking life and limb!).

    Rhisiart Gwilym
    Rhisiart Gwilym

    Respect as ever, David. Keep sluggin’, old bulldog. Never let go! :O) – Rh.

    BigB
    BigB

    The White Helmets are on a recruitment drive in Brighton this week. No, really, they are. Anecdotally, I do not have a photo, but there was at least one collector – resplendent with the #Free Idlib logo – loitering in the foyer this weekend. If this is anecdotal: the same friend brought this to my attention:

    https://unitetheunion.org/news-events/events/labour-party-annual-conference/

    Among the Unite fringe meetings:

    Resisting dictatorship in Turkey and building a democratic alternative in Syria: The critical role of the Kurds
    Tuesday 24 September, 12:30-14:00
    The Consort Room, Grand Hotel, Brighton.

    A democratic alternative to Dr al Assad’s democracy? Or the USUK ZioNATO backed Kurds? Be sure to wear your #FreeIdlib t-shirt. Alternatively, you can donate an organ via the Jo Cox Foundation of philanthrocapitalist backed charity regime change supporters – so beloved of Jeremy Corbyn.

    In plain English: if you cannot see the connection between the vote (for anyone, not just Zio-Labour) and the White Helmets, dead children (they hung a child from a nail to get people to support the jihadi local councils to build a “democratic alternative” for Syria); and the jihadi ‘democracy’ being advocated in Brighton this week …you must be a Labour supporter.

    Open your eyes: and welcome back to the human race.

    https://www.sott.net/article/394781-Syrian-Foreign-Minister-warns-White-Helmets-kidnapped-44-children-to-stage-chemical-attack-in-Idlib

    Vote Labour for more kidnap and child murder – and Unite in building a democratic alternative in Syria. #FreeIdlib the Corbyn way.

    crank
    crank

    ‘It’s not a matter of what is true that counts, but what is perceived to be true’ – Henry Kissinger

    Loverat
    Loverat

    Well, if you want to hear another story about Unite the Union, when I was a workplace rep I suggested that they could great create a wider campaign of awareness that hard pressed workers fund Al Qaeda through income tax. The legislation against terror funding theoretically puts workers at risk of prosecution. I was told, not the thing unions do. Really?
    Therefore perhaps no surprise that at least some elements of Unite are effectively endorsing government policy of child murder, regime change and terror in Brighton.

    Tim Jenkins
    Tim Jenkins

    “The White Helmets are on a recruitment drive in Brighton this week.”
    (inspring Wild Rants) 🙂

    It’s worse down here, BigB >>> NATO driven recruiting: especially fresh, schoolgirls …
    Recruiting young women is business, BigB. , all part of the latest ‘Trends’ and keeping the boys happy and those who love uniforms, sexually hopeful, in action …

    “No, really, they are.” honestly, even though her childhood friend ‘Sniper Ivan’ of Afghanistan & Iraq daze, is now dead, after many heavy PTSD events (usual sick scenario), & her parents who work at the school did not want her to go, & Ivan’s mum still works there, too, sadly, every day. . . but thankfully, my wife no more, considering how NATO Military lump sums of money are delivered as carrot towards poverty stricken folk: ‘IN’-deed innit’, worth mentioning that they are the poorest people, in the poorest region of the poorest EU country, where only corrupted NATZO governance rules: now regionally abusing the ‘Tzigani’/Roma population, paying one legally, whilst feeding 20 others with cash payments, via that one and only socially insured Roma guy, in order to cut down on Admin. , cut down liability for any injuries & cut down the original last wild EU Oak Forest (Urwald) of Orpheus, literally: with a Turkish Concession, nationwide, as long as ‘they’ (the DPC freedom & rights party), keep their noses out of the Contraband Tech. Drugs & Arms Businesses, Logic. Oh and after much nature renovation, conservation & cleansing of rivers, with mining banned & closed down, since the early 90’s, now, Dundee Precious Metals have moved back in again: ‘expanding operations’ from Krumovgrad, further East, to the Madzharovo region, coz’, (ffs, don’t tell anybody will you), but there is quite literally Gold in these East Rodopi Mts. & the River Arda:- always was, along with amethyst, opal, jasper, ruby & custard éclairs for dinner: to mention but a few valuable ‘things’ of old mining times: and of course, our PM Borisov has coincidentally gotten’ himself some shares in Dundee Precious Metals, along with a few others, worldwide 😉
    A real signal ! Screw the recovered nature again, gimme’ golden profits, now, & to hell with those Dutch NGOs, who were creaming off the backs of others ideas & endeavours, anyways, including mine. Does the Imperial Eagle interest you? Die Kaiser Adler ? . . . New Thracian Gold and Re-Wilding Europe did not exist, when Dutch NGO Reps. met me here: & plagiarised and abused my concepts, for Environmental Development with a Circular Economy built in to futures wise.

    People don’t mine, without intent & market knowledge, especially Dundee Precious. This Urwald Forest of Orpheus, (UFO), a migratory corridor especially for nature, is being truthfully systemically 5iFu’Kd’up in every sense, by warmongering fools, the belligerent & financially bankrupt & corrupted, NGOs morally too, lingering & leaning on anything for basement prices: & everything-everything is thrown into a melting pot of Cultural N.E.W.S tilted & titled ‘freedom & democracy’ (in poverty), when CATO shows clearly that the number one, top dog & top cat (and IQ,, poignantly) is Hong Kong: the ‘Land of the Free’, socio-economically, it is literally FreePort Hong Kong TC. Top Cat, just don’t book with T-homas C-ook; how perverse the news? utterly sickening propaganda … with their empirical HK$ pegged to the US$, still… what more could you want than the best of both worlds. ?
    Errr , how about controlling the financial futures of both worlds & Drugs money to boot, with a new kind of IMF SDR Blockchain Distributed Ledger for the ‘BigBoys’ Currency games & Population Control ? World gone M.A D. seriously … Kinda’ like a new form of a central banking system, (to replace ‘theirs’, that has clearly failed, with massive evidence, leaving all government debts out of control and a huge/massive derivative pension fund mess & a deficiency in intellect, in every sense), exposed finally ? Surely not ? While we openly trade arms for drugs, to create terror for CIA NATZO backed Druglords & their M.I.C., terror home & abroad crew; clear profiteering, gerrymandering politicians with the media wand from hell. (See comment to Louis for links to Gaytandzhieva’s latest)

    Just so you know, BigB, back in 1987 it all became financially obvious, working for B.P. , when the very first hushed up Enron / Valhalla scandal hit the rotating oscillator and just fyi, (and useful cross-reference to other matters coming in future), I stumbled across a great detailed 2016 long summary article, you might like: (and the account doesn’t even mention the Chicago Mercantile Exchange & Enron Weather Derivative Investment funds or Geo-engineering by the D.o.D. , all beginning officially in 1997) … so, just for starters and a sense of Enron Company culture, prior to the ‘FREE’fall of WTC7 and that magic collapse of the SEC investigation, therein, and the Rumsfeld accounts of US D.o.D. missing $Trillions$, just the day before 11/9/2001 :-

    https://www.econcrises.org/2016/12/07/enron-corporation-2001/

    https://www.cato.org/economic-freedom-world

    Pegged to what ? 🙂 A Ponzi Scheme ? hang on a mo. cui bono ?
    The Lays, Lais & Liars of this world, seriously ? Time for the majority 2get REAL !
    Given Murdoch, Cheney, Rothschild & Woolsey’s Genie Energy interests in the Golan Heights and their corporate controlled media determining all agendas, something
    has to give . . . TC Thomas Cook, off the boil & gone off, just the first of many & much empirical bankruptcy to come. Thanks, Central Banks . . .

    A failed system in financial worlds, with ground zero real time scientific computerised control methodology … BDL, Blockchain Distributed Ledger? lol, better question …
    Back Doors Locked ? The IMF SDR BDL Club have been collecting, not selling Gold, for 10 years, exactly the same amount of time Bitcoin has been in existence … And the Chinese have their own Exchanges researched & developed now … with Dundee Precious Metals now expanding their Bulgarian Operations, (almost next door 2me, just a few Kilometres away), not really surprising is it ? Also not surprising that JP Morgan have been manipulating precious metals markets for over 8 years, with false ‘puts’ & declarations, on trial right now, ‘not big news’, maybe coz’ there were no Russians or Syrians to blame, (yet … ! 😉 ) White Helmets to Wall Street, please … I don’t know if they still make ‘Action Man’, but somebody could do a ‘White Helmet’ Action Man costume for a Xmas bonus, for the muppets that still think like kids. 🙂 & never listen: and then start wailing for the Amazon man, whilst their guy in the EU, cuts their last Urwald Oak Forests and brings in Dundee Precious Metals: fuck Greta, FFS! the 5iFUKUS corporate crew fuck us daily with their world record pollution, emissions & omissions in mentioning anything critical, scientific or invaluable to know, closer to home. E.g. Trading Arms for Drug Lords, like the CIA, or Dundee Precious Metals and the Economics & local Thermodynamics of drying scythed forests, having to dig your dried out garden potatoes, with a Pickaxe, to break the soil.. .
    Green Beans are easier to grow, pick & count, frankly. New Thracian Gold and Re-Wilding Europe NGOs did not exist, when Dutch NGO Reps. from ARK met me here: & then subsequently, plagiarised and abused my concepts & designs for Environmental Research & Development, with a Circular Economy built in. Have you heard a squeak from them re. The Forest of Orpheus or Dundee Precious activities ?

    Talking about ‘Lightweights’ . . .

    Oh look, (fuk me gently what timing), another email from Bill (Clinton) and his appeals for money to help with the Opioid crisis in the U$A, coz’ he’s forgotten about Purdue Pharma and the ‘Sacklers’ & Oxycontin ‘specklers’ (speculators sponsoring Art), already, & getting too old, ole’ Bill for anything, let alone the ‘Hill’, ‘Kill Bill’ what, a classic film ? 🙂
    We’re doomed, but I’m determined to outlive the HillBilly Clinton’s Hollywood Legacy,
    & hopefully NATZO’s, of recruiting young schoolgirls for Afghanistan DrugLords & the CIA.
    The 5iFUKUS Brigade and their 77th Brigade of trolls seem to have gone very quiet.

    Things look bad, time to consolidate: baton down hatches, back doors locked.
    Sorry for the rant.
    Regards,
    Tim 🙂

    Gezzah Potts

    Thanks David in your attempts at exposing the truth. If you thought the SBS coverage of the vile White Helmets was bad, try their coverage about Skripal, Yemen, Iran, Venezuela, Palestine, Ukraine, and speaking of ‘coverage’ – how about the virtual invisibility of the Gilets Jaunes in France.
    Both SBS and ABC are nothing more than propagandists and presstitutes for the Anglo Zionist Empire. I do appreciate your efforts, but they will never admit the White Helmets are murderers linked to Al Qaeda who stage fake chemical weapons attacks, and who murder children to use as props in their grisly snuff videos.
    These media organisations sold their souls a long time ago. They don’t speak truth to power; they protect the powerful and status quo.
    Again, appreciate your efforts, and your article. Have recently watched SBS coverage of the Houthis attack on the Aramco refinery. Demonise Iran, and keep demonising Iran, over and over.
    I know whose team SBS is on. And its not ours.

    Robyn
    Robyn

    Bravo, David. That is a truly heroic effort and I am grateful for people like you fighting back against war crimes and propaganda. My response to SBS and the ABC has been to boycott them, but unless a whole lot of other people do the same to the MSM my little gesture does nothing except ease my conscience. Attempts to tell people about Syria, the White Helmets etc., and to encourage them to read other sources have had zero effect – I don’t think I’ve caused a single person to even consider looking elsewhere or adding a non-MSM source to their daily ‘news’.

    Your experience is paralleled by my experience of writing to MPs about Julian Assange. They don’t respond – not even a standard acknowledgement of my correspondence. Traitors and collaborators all.

    Gezzah Potts

    These slime serve the Empire, and protect the status quo Robyn. Of course they’re not going to respond, tho appreciate your efforts also. Its much better doing something than burying our heads in the sand, ignoring reality, and pretending everything is hunky dory, as most people do. Mention Yemen or Palestine or Julian Assange, and note the reaction. Or non reaction.

    Loverat
    Loverat

    You should take great comfort from your efforts to do the right thing. When I come up against people unwilling to listen or simply lethargic , I remind them of the long track record of regime change. Why would anyone believe any official narrative without question?. I then tell them that 30 minutes of online research will validate what I’m saying. If they still argue, I tell them that by not making an effort to learn they risk nuclear oblivion. That usually gets a reaction. People tend not to consider or care about the lives of people we ruin abroad until they realise the inevitability of ‘blowback’. History has demonstrated this time and time again.

    Jen
    Jen

    Reading David McIlwain’s post about his excruciating experience dealing with the SBS Ombudsman, the thought occurred to me that not only could the person holding that position be lazy, but also incompetent and unfit for that job. The citations made by the SBS Ombudsman are sources that merely repeat other sources that also repeat one another in a never-ending network of linked circles , where the same garbage that generated them keeps being recycled over and over. One would assume that a properly qualified person for the position would have the skills and experience of a long-time investigative journalist or researcher, or a rotating group of such people.

    The other possibility is that the ombudsman position is not much of a proper ombudsman-type of position at all, and is subject to the same pressures to conform to the same narratives that are throttling the MSM all over the Western world.

    David Bishop
    David Bishop

    Qualifications to hold the role as SBS Ombudsman are;
    1. The skill of how to Google search.
    2. The skill of how to cut and paste.

    Robyn
    Robyn

    And the skill of ignoring any evidence which undermines or eliminates the Washington line.

    Andrew
    Andrew

    Great work David!
    Your experience parallels mine exactly – I took two press complaints to NZ Press Council in 2017 over newspaper coverage of the Khan Sheikoun incident and a series of cartoons depicting Assad and Putin as various types of subhuman.
    Despite extensive referencing and documentation, they were both thrown out, primarily on grounds (submitted in defences by the newspaper in question) they had no ability to assess the veracity of international stories, so just reprinted them as sources from the likes of APN.
    I realised that organs like the NZPC exist solely as vestigial fig leafs to allow the entire industry to get in with the primary business of making money, whilst protected by the glamorous rhetorical shield of the increasingly mythical “fourth estate”.
    Theres just so much pretention and self deception involved, I suspect because to take an honest view of themselves would be to admit their entire careers have simply been enabling and excusing the powerful.

    jmNZ
    jmNZ

    Gisborne Herald is an island of sanity and independence.

    Louis Proyect
    Gary Weglarz
    Gary Weglarz

    Hey Louie – maybe you could donate a kidney to the White Helmets cause? Just a thought. You know, poetic justice and all.

    Stephen Morrell
    Stephen Morrell

    Interesting that Proyect doesn’t cite a piece he wrote about Douma around 3 weeks earlier. In the comments section of the latter is an exchange I had with him about the Douma gas attack, in much detail and stemming from both the official and leaked OPCW reports, which debunks the imperialist Douma narrative. His best efforts to defend and promote it amounted to responses that were rather unhinged to put it mildly. Maybe he’s not too proud of that article.

    See the uncited piece here:

    https://louisproyect.org/2019/06/01/was-the-douma-chlorine-gas-attack-a-false-flag/#comments

    vexarb
    vexarb

    Preferably two.

    Richard Steele
    Richard Steele

    BREAKING NEWS- the horse you’re beating is still dead after all this time. We’ll have more on this story as it devolves.

    hollyPlastic
    hollyPlastic

    ” left wondering whether Ms Begbie properly read any of my complaint, or examined the video clips I shot in Douma, or consulted any of the links that supported my case”

    Perhaps examining her job description might help shedding light on whether complaints are read and the way they are read, as well as the methods to be used to gloss over crimes, with a big emphasis on the ‘glossing over’ bit.

    hollyPlastic
    hollyPlastic

    We are the boiling frog.

    – The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (UK FCO – commonly called the Foreign Office), is financing the White Helmets?

    – SBS and ABC Australia, Australia’s two independent and most trusted sources of news become disinformation platforms for of anti-China propaganda and pro-While Helmets?

    – The highest levels of powerful governments are vehemently anti-science and anti-people?

    “The boiling frog is a fable describing a frog being slowly boiled alive.The premise is that if a frog is put suddenly into boiling water, it will jump out, but if the frog is put in tepid water which is then brought to a boil slowly, it will not perceive the danger and will be cooked to death.” – wikipedia

    Quemar Press

    Thank you, Off-Guardian, for this thorough and valuable article, and for the writer for his heroic efforts to communicate with SBS. The Australian MSM seems hyper-sensitive defending the White Helmets. When Quemar Press recently published a poetry collection, ‘brookings: the noun’ by well-respected Australian writer Jennifer Maiden, the Fairfax Press review focused anxiously on the treatment of the Helmets in the work. One of the book’s poems portrays the Helmets as a dangerous hypocrisy and another shows a poem’s protagonists rescuing a child from a snuff propaganda film organised by the Helmets. It’s interesting that this was the focus of the review’s presentation. The review was otherwise well-considered and favourable. Anyone interested in the controversy about the poems and the Helmets (and a further Maiden poem on the topic ‘Brookings Gets a Helmet’) might like to scroll down our News Page:

    Quemar Press

    That post should have had a link to our News Page at: https://quemarpress.weebly.com/news.html

    RobG

    Back in the summer, President Trump gave an Independence Day speech in which he claimed that in the 1700s, more than 300 years ago, there were airports and airplanes…

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A2SFo3TkvhM

    It’s all so batshit crazy that one can hardly be bothered commenting.

    These people are the tools who now run our world.

    What we should be saying is: “make my day, punk”.

    vexarb
    vexarb

    “Have we lost the battle for the hearts and minds of the victims”

    The intention is admirable but that hackneyed phrase reminds me of a British Tommy “winning hearts and minds” with his Tommy-gun in BLiar’s Iraq. The truth is not a battle, it is more like Dante’s Fortuna — the Karma “who comes from God and goes blithely about her work oblivious of whether men curse or praise her”. As for the author’s brusque brush-off by officialdom “consistent with widely held views”, his experience shines a new light on what Ibsen meant by “the damned compact majority” in An Enemy of the People. (Ibsen’s play oughtto be set at school as a prophylactic against this 21st century of smug connivance between the victims and their sheeple-herds).

    “The truth rarely if ever convinces its opponents; it simply outlives them”. — ‘Mad’ Max Planck, Director of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Science, Berlin.

    MASTER OF UNIVE
    MASTER OF UNIVE

    Hey, far out, another marginalized dissident living in the outback Oz.

    Cool, man!

    MOU

    Gezzah Potts

    Are you in Oz as well MOU? I try and boycott SBS & ABC, but if something big happens like the drone attack on the Saudi Arabian oil refinery last week, er, I suspend my boycott and watch to see how warped the coverage is. And end up swearing at my TV….

    MASTER OF UNIVE
    MASTER OF UNIVE

    I’m a marginalized dissident living in CANADA and I like people from Oz especially when they are dissidents & living an outback lifestyle. Chances are they are self-sufficient & highly creative like I am too.

    Tune in, turn on, and drop out is an old 60s theme that still works today.

    And the only time I have seen Oz was in terms of Remote Viewing a number of years ago.
    That’s over a 10,000 kilometer distance from Ottawa CANADA where I am. I hope to live in northern Ontario some day as I would rather live the outback life too given I identify with that sort of existence.

    Cheers, MOU

    Gezzah Potts

    I missed this, but appreciate your reply MOU. I’m nowhere near the outback, or even the countryside; live in Melbourne. Perhaps somewhere up near Hudson Bay would be okay, tho if me, I’d probably head for northern British Columbia: think Rocky’s plus rivers plus lakes. Ottawa seems a tad too close to the U.S border for my liking.