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  • polly7 (2614 posts)
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    The Information War on Syria and Beyond

    by Rick Sterling / December 30th, 2016

    The U.S. establishment is not happy. They are not content with largely dominating media narratives on Syria and other critical foreign policy issues; they want total dominance.

    Thus we now have the Countering Foreign Propaganda and Disinformation Act signed into law on December 24 as part of the National Defense Authorization Act for 2017. The bill will mandate the U.S.Secretary of State to collaborate with the Secretary of Defense, Director of National Intelligence and other federal agencies to “create a Global Engagement Center to fight against propaganda from foreign governments”.


    This bill was initiated in March 2016, before widespread allegations of “Russian hacking” began. Hillary Clinton voiced strong support for the bill: “It’s imperative that leaders in both the private sector and the public sector step up to protect our democracy, and innocent lives.”

    Irony: USA is the Major Purveyor of Propaganda

    This bill is remarkable because the US government and agencies appear to be major purveyors not victims of propaganda and disinformation.  A good recent example is the accusations of Russian hacking at the Democratic National Committee and Clinton private email servers to “influence’ the U.S. election. Despite the widespread accusations, here is little or no no public evidence in support of this and much to contradict the claims. An analysis by veteran intelligence professionals leads to the conclusion this was a leak, NOT a “hack”, and allegations of hacking the election are “baseless”. On top of that, there is now a credible source, a former UK Ambassador, who says he received the Clinton email data from a disgruntled DNC staffer and delivered the data to WikiLeaks. The accusation that the US election was influenced by Russian hacking appears to be an example of what they claim to oppose: fake news and disinformation for political purposes.



    Spanishprof27, Clarity of Signal, snot and 7 othersSadie, nenagh, TM99, jwirr, bemildred, Mom Cat, like this

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  • polly7 (2614 posts)
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    1. …….

    Recent Propaganda: Blatant Lies?

    In fact, the news and reports on CNN and throughout western media were coming from highly biased sources and many of the claims can be accurately described as propaganda and disinformation. As one indication, the Aleppo Media Center was created by the Syrian Expatriates Organization (SEO) based on K Street in Washington DC, the base of operations for Public Relations and Marketing firms.

    In sharp contrast to the wailing and dubious reports of CNN and most western media, RT and other media outlets have broadcast videos and interviews showing popular celebrations at the “liberation of Aleppo”. Jan Oberg of Transnational Foundation for Peace and Future Research has published a powerful photo essay describing his eye witness observations in Aleppo including the happiness of civilians from east Aleppo reaching the government controlled areas of west Aleppo. Dr. Nabil Antaki, a medical doctor from Aleppo, describes the liberation of Aleppo in an interview titled “Aleppo is Celebrating, Free from Terrorists, the Western Media Misinformed.” The first Christmas celebrations in Aleppo in four years are shown here, replete with marching band members in Santa Claus outfits. Journalist Vanessa Beeley has published testimonies of civilians from East Aleppo. The happiness of civilians at their liberation is clear.


    Suppressing and Censoring Challenges

    One of the primary purposes of the new Global Engagement Center will be to “counter foreign state and non-state propaganda and disinformation.”  This is another remarkable development because there is already widespread censorship and “countering” of alternative analyses of critical international issues. In an article titled “Controlling the Narrative on Syria,” Louis Allday describes the criticisms and attacks on journalists Rania Khalek and Max Blumenthal for straying from the “approved” western narrative on Syria. Some of the bullying and abuse has come from precisely those people, such as Robin Yassin-Kassab, who have been frequent guests in liberal western media.

    Recently Canadian journalist Eva Bartlett returned to North America after being in Syria and Aleppo. She conveyed a very different image and criticized biased media coverage of the Syrian conflict. She pointed to western media broadcasting claims without credible sources or evidence. Bartlett appeared at a United Nations press conference and then did numerous interviews across the country during a speaking tour. During the course of her talks and presentation, Bartlett criticized the White Helmets and questioned whether it was true that Al Quds Hospital in opposition held East Aleppo was attacked and destroyed as claimed.


    Full article:  http://dissidentvoice.org/2016/12/the-information-war-on-syria-and-beyond/

  • bemildred (5083 posts)
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    2. More feckless drivel from our Congress.

    It ain't the things you don't know that hurts you, it's the things you know that ain't so.
  • jwirr (3849 posts)
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    3. Looks like we are going to very dependent on foreign news sources for any truth

    that we get for the near future.

  • polly7 (2614 posts)
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    4. Controlling the Narrative on Syria


    by Louis Allday

    Since 2011, the torrent of ill-informed, inaccurate and often entirely dishonest analysis of events in Syria has been unremitting.  I have written previously about the dangers of using simplistic explanations to make sense of the conflict, a problem that has surfaced repeatedly over the past five years.  However, there is a greater problem at large.  The mainstream discourse on Syria has become so toxic, detached from reality and devoid of nuance that anyone who dares to even question the constructed narrative of ongoing ‘revolution’, or opposes the arguments of those who advocate for the imposition of a no-fly zone by the West, can expect swift retribution.  Such dissenters are immediately attacked, frequently slandered as ‘Assadists’ or ‘Pro-Assad’ and often accused of showing cruel indifference to the suffering of Syrians.  One of many truths lost within this discourse is the reality that the creation of a no-fly zone would, in the words of the most senior general in the US Armed Forces, mean the US going to war “against Syria and Russia”.  I wish to be clear from the outset that I write this as someone who has previously lived in Syria and cherishes deeply the memories of my time there.  I remain in touch with many Syrian friends, most of whom are now refugees outside of the country.  So it is particularly difficult for me to swallow accusations of callousness towards the plight of Syrians and their country: nothing could be further from the truth.


    The Myth of Western Non-intervention

    One of the many fallacies that predominate in this prevailing narrative is that the West has not intervened in the conflict in Syria.  For instance, Amnesty International has recently described the UK as “sit[ting] on the sidelines” of the conflict.  This fundamentally false position ignores several years of the West and its regional allies (primarily Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar) arming, funding and training rebel groups, the crippling economic sanctions imposed against the Syrian Government, ongoing airstrikes, special forces operations, and a host of other diplomatic, military and economic measures that have been taken.  Not only has the West (primarily the US) intervened, it has done so on a very large scale.  For instance, in June 2015, it was revealed that the CIA’s involvement in Syria had become “one of the agency’s largest covert operations” in which it was spending roughly $1bn a year (about $1 for every $15 in the CIA’s announced budget).  At that time, this operation based out of Jordan had already “trained and equipped nearly 10,000 fighters sent into Syria over the past several years”.  As Patrick Higgins has remarked, “n other words, the United States launched a full-scale war against Syria, and few Americans actually noticed”.  It is vital to place this aggression in the context of long-standing US animosity to the Syrian Government.  As diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks have revealed, since at least 2006, the US has consistently sought to undermine it “by any available means”, utilising a variety of techniques including an effort — in co-ordination with Saudi Arabia — to encourage Islamic fundamentalism and sectarianism in the country by playing on fears of Iranian influence.  Indeed, although it is rarely mentioned, a senior US intelligence official is on record in a televised interview with Mehdi Hasan confirming that facilitating the rise of ISIS and other Islamic extremist groups in Syria and Iraq was a “wilful decision” on behalf of the Obama administration.  The BBC has recently reported that ISIS use ammunition bought legally in Eastern Europe by the US and Saudi Governments that is then transported via Turkey into Syria and Iraq, “sometimes only two months from leaving the factory”.


    In addition to his work with Brookings and subsequently the Middle East Institute, Lister is also a part of the ‘Track II Syria Initiative’. During the course of this work, which in his own description has been “100 percent funded by Western governments”, Lister has evidently formed close links with members of a number of armed groups inside of Syria. At times, his role appears to have been effectively to act as a West-facing public relations agent for these groups, announcing their name changes and mergers and carrying out damage limitation exercises in the wake of their frequently brutal violence. No incident revealed this more starkly than the horrific beheading of a young Palestinian boy by the Nur al-Din al-Zinki Brigade in July 2016. Lister had previously championed al-Zinki — a recipient of both funding and arms from the US Government — as one of the groups that formed the 70,000 supposedly ‘moderate’ fighters in Syria that David Cameron claimed existed in November 2015. When footage of the beheading emerged online, Lister tweeted almost immediately that he had just spoken to the group and that it would issue a statement in response to it shortly. Later the same day, Lister reiterated his argument that it was “utterly absurd” to compare al-Zinki and other groups to ISIS or al-Qaeda and that this was “literally beyond debateable”. To do so after having just watched the group’s members taunt and then behead a child was shocking. Furthermore, Lister’s paradoxical plan for ostensibly “winding down” the conflict in Syria — written after the al-Zinki beheading had occurred — included the US dramatically increasing arms shipments to rebel groups.


    Full article:  http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/2016/allday131216.html

  • polly7 (2614 posts)
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    6. WATCH: CBS News Anchor Accused of ‘Fake News’ for Reporting Truth About Syria —

    WATCH: CBS News Anchor Accused of ‘Fake News’ for Reporting Truth About Syria — Destroys His Critics
    Justin Gardner December 29, 2016 20 Comments

    Neoconservatives are in a state of desperation over the meltdown of their latest attempt at regime change. Having failed to initiate all-out war in Syria before the 2016 election, neocons and liberal interventionists are watching in horror as their so-called “moderate rebels” are driven out of Aleppo.

    Over the past five years, U.S. mainstream media dutifully played its part in pushing the American foreign policy agenda of intervention and endless war. MSM shamelessly framed a narrative of “good vs. evil” in Syria, with America righteously supporting an organic fight for freedom against the bad guys of the Assad regime.

    In doing so, they pushed fake news such as the alleged sarin gas attack by Assad on the Syrian people – a false flag that almost triggered the war neocons wanted. MSM continued to abandon skepticism and fact-checking, ignoring the reality that U.S.-supported “moderate rebels” were actually full of al-Qaida jihadists and ISIS extremists.

    One news anchor was unafraid to report the truth. In 2015, Ben Swann produced a damning report as part of his Reality Check series. Using Pentagon documents, he showed how the U.S. wanted ISIS to emerge in Syria to help carry out their goal of regime change, by nurturing the Salafist sect in eastern Syria.




    • polly7 (2614 posts)
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      7. ……….


      Swann continues to be a lone voice of reason as MSM echoes the American foreign policy narrative. Last week, he reported again that so-called “moderate rebels” are actually made up of al-Qaeda jihadists and ISIS terrorists. National media figures promptly labeled this “fake news,” according to Swann.
      Ben Swann concludes the so-called “moderate rebels” are now a fiction. The U.S.-supported Syrian opposition is not fighting for freedom, but “are looking to enslave [Syria] as they have so many other places.”

      It’ s doubtful the MSM will accept this reality, which contradicts the Washington narrative essential to regime change efforts in Syria. The public must not find out that U.S. meddling has once again been the impetus for massive violence and unrest in the Middle East. Even Ben Swann can be labeled as a purveyor of fake news.

      Ironically, CBS News, which hosts Reality Check, has itself pushed the “fake news” mantra, promoting a blacklist put together by professor Melissa Zimdars, which attempted to lump credible alternative media with actual purveyors of fake news. It’s a concerted effort to discredit voices of dissent who dare question the Washington foreign policy narrative.


      Full article:  http://thefreethoughtproject.com/watch-news-anchor-destroys-msm-fake-news-charge-after-reporting-truth-about-syria/

      • Sadie (3073 posts)
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        8. Thank you Polly

        Ben Swann is one that I hope is never banned from FB, Twitter, etc.  I have saved every single video.  They want to paint every one who speaks out as a Conspiracy Theorist.

          Wake up, peeps, their kids go to Harvard and Yale; your kids go to Iraq & Afghanistan.