NYT’s New Propaganda on Syria

Exclusive: The New York Times’ new conspiracy theory about Syria is that the Assad regime is in cahoots with the Islamic State, calling those two bitter foes only “nominal enemies” and using this new story to implicitly push for another U.S.-imposed “regime change,” writes Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

As the New York Times continues its descent into becoming an outright neocon propaganda sheet, it offered its readers a front-page story on Wednesday alleging based on no evidence that the Syrian government is collaborating militarily with the Islamic State as the brutal terror group advances on the city of Aleppo.

Yet, while the Times played up those unverified allegations from regime opponents, the newspaper has either ignored or downplayed much more significant evidence that Israel, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states have been providing real assistance to Sunni jihadists who dominate the Syrian rebel movement, especially Al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front.


For instance, in March 2015, a Wall Street Journal reporter confirmed that Israel was treating wounded Nusra fighters and then returning them to Syria to carry on their war aimed at overthrowing the secular regime of President Bashar al-Assad. Israel also has struck militarily at Lebanese Hezbollah troops and Iranian military advisers who have been helping Assad’s regime battle against those Sunni extremists. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “Syria’s Nightmarish Scenario.”]

Meanwhile, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar have ramped up their weapons support for the so-called Army of Conquest in which the Nusra Front plays a key role. The Army of Conquest has made major military advances against Assad’s beleaguered army over the past several weeks.

Assad’s stretched-thin military also was routed by Islamic State militants who captured the strategic and historic city of Palmyra. So, a reasonable person could argue that the combined efforts of Israel, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, et al were contributing to Sunni terrorist advances across Syria, both by Al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front and Al-Qaeda’s hyper-brutal spinoff, the Islamic State.

You could argue, too, that covert CIA arms shipments to the supposedly “moderate” rebels, many of whom have since joined the ranks of Nusra and the Islamic State, have aided the terrorist cause as well, even if inadvertently.

However, instead of addressing the Israeli-Saudi-Turkish-Qatari role in a significant way, the Times spins a conspiracy theory about the Assad government consciously aiding the Islamic State — also known as ISIS or ISIL — as its head-chopping militants seek to supplant other rebels who have dug in around the important city of Aleppo.

One-Sided Article

The Times article by Anne Barnard states: “Syrian opposition leaders accused the Syrian government of essentially collaborating with the Islamic State, leaving the militants unmolested as they pressed a surprise offensive against other insurgent groups, even though the government and the Islamic State are nominal enemies, and instead striking the rival insurgents.

“Khaled Khoja, the president of the main Syrian exile opposition group, accused Mr. Assad of deploying his warplanes ‘as an air force for ISIS.’ Echoing those claims, the Twitter account of the long-closed United States Embassy in Syria made its strongest statement yet about Mr. Assad’s tactics.

“‘Reports indicate that the regime is making airstrikes in support of #ISIL’s advance on #Aleppo, aiding extremists against Syrian population,’ the embassy said in a series of Twitter posts. In another post, it added that government warplanes were ‘not only avoiding #ISIL lines, but actively seeking to bolster their position.’”

Barnard added that “Neither American officials nor Syrian insurgents have provided proof of such direct coordination, though it has long been alleged by the insurgents. The State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf told reporters Tuesday that United States officials were looking into the claims but had no independent confirmation.”

Yet, despite the lack of evidence, the Times by hyping these unconfirmed suspicions on its front page while burying or ignoring more substantive information about Israel-Saudi-Turkey-Qatar assistance to Sunni terror groups is continuing its long campaign to induce President Barack Obama to intervene militarily in Syria to destroy Assad’s army and achieve “regime change.”

Further demonstrating the Times’ bias, there is no indication that the Times thought to ask the Syrian government for its comment on the allegations, though Barnard had the help of five other Times reporters on the article. That reflects what is becoming a typical lack of professional standards at the Times and other mainstream publications on such topics.

While getting the other side of the story is now apparently unnecessary maybe even proof that you’re an “Assad apologist” it has become an article of faith in neocon-dominated Official Washington that if Obama had only engineered “regime change” in Syria earlier that everything would be going swimmingly. Ignored is the reality that Sunni militants, including Al-Qaeda affiliates, were always part of the anti-Assad uprising. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “Holes in the Neocons’ Syria Story.”]

Bloody Chaos

Almost surely, a U.S. military intervention along the lines of the “regime change” air war that the U.S. and its allies waged against Muammar Gaddafi in Libya would have resulted in either the same sort of bloody chaos that has engulfed Libya or an outright victory by Al-Qaeda or its spinoff, the Islamic State.

President Obama confided as much to New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman in 2014, saying the idea of arming Syria’s “moderate” opposition as an effective counterweight to Assad’s army was “always a fantasy.” But it is a beloved fantasy in Official Washington.

In late August 2013, the neocons and their “liberal interventionist” sidekicks thought they were on the verge of getting their long-wished-for Syrian “regime change” after a mysterious sarin gas attack outside Damascus, which the Obama administration, the New York Times and virtually the entire mainstream media immediately pinned on Assad.

But there was countervailing evidence that the lethal sarin attack was a provocation carried out by rebel extremists with the goal of goading Obama into a major military strike to devastate Assad’s military and clear their path to victory. Aware of those intelligence doubts, Obama pulled back at the last minute and worked with Russian President Vladimir Putin on a compromise in which Assad surrendered his chemical weapons arsenal (while still denying a role in the sarin attack).

Later, additional evidence pointed to the rebels having carried out a “false-flag” attack, but Official Washington has refused to budge from its initial rush to judgment and the Inside-the-Beltway in-crowd still faults Obama for failing to enforce his “red line” against Assad for supposedly using chemical weapons. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “The Collapsing Syria-Sarin Case.”]

With its deeply biased coverage of Syria, the New York Times has been a key factor in promoting propaganda about the crisis. And, with its latest front-page salvo, it clearly is back in the business of egging Obama into a U.S. military intervention to destroy Assad’s military so the insignificant “moderates” could somehow prevail.

In its coverage of Syria and regarding the pay-back-to-Putin crisis in Ukraine the Times has performed as shamefully as it did in pushing the U.S. invasion of Iraq with its bogus stories about Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction, including the infamous “aluminum tube” story in 2002 that had Americans fearing imaginary “mushroom clouds.”

And, in its front-page article on Wednesday by linking Assad with the Islamic State the Times is reprising the bogus contention popular before the Iraq War that Hussein and Al-Qaeda were somehow allied, an assertion that also turned out to be a lie.

Yet, rather than having learned lessons from the Iraq War catastrophe, the Times keeps plunging deeper into the grim fantasyland of neocon propaganda.

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and barnesandnoble.com). You also can order Robert Parry’s trilogy on the Bush Family and its connections to various right-wing operatives for only $34. The trilogy includes America’s Stolen Narrative. For details on this offer, click here.

34 comments for “NYT’s New Propaganda on Syria

  1. Jay
    June 4, 2015 at 17:42


    These are the same charges that some Syrian “opposition” type was allowed to make on the “Daily Show” about 6 months ago. Stewart didn’t do much to challenge him, like ask why Alawites would cooperate with Sunni extremists given how Sunni extremists think of Alawites.

    Unlike Gordon, of the New York Times, at least Ms Bernard makes it clear she’s quoting–I guess that’s progress for the Times. Ms Bernard is also the NY Times reporter who pointed to some holes in the sarin filled rockets claims of Sept 2013.

  2. Jay
    June 4, 2015 at 17:38

    These are the same charges that some Syrian “opposition” type was allowed to make on the “Daily Show” about 6 months ago. Stewart didn’t do much to challenge him, like ask why Alawites would cooperate with Sunni extremists given how Sunni extremists think of Alawites.

    Unlike Gordon, of the New York Times, at least Ms Bernard makes it clear she’s quoting–I guess that’s progress for the Times. Ms Bernard is also the NY Times reporter who pointed to some holes in the sarin filled rockets claims of Sept 2013.

  3. Abe
    June 4, 2015 at 11:48

    in spite of all of these attempts from the White House to avoid acknowledging their involvement in the establishment and operations of the ‘Islamic state’, the other day, as a result of publication of declassified documents of the US State Department and the Department of Defence made by Judicial Watch, a conservative organization supervising the US Government, the documentary evidence was presented again that the security services and the US administration yet in 2012 deliberately went to support ISIL, hoping to use this organization in the fight against the legitimate authorities of Syria and other political adventures of the White House. A report on the growing threat of the ‘Islamic state’, prepared on August 5, 2012, clearly stated a warning that this formation would have “disastrous consequences for the situation in Iraq” and would give huge advantages for ISIL, which arose on the basis of Al- Qaeda in Iraq. “This creates ideal conditions for the return of Al-Qaeda to Iraq, to their former pockets of resistance, located in Mosul and Ramadi,” the document says. It further points out that the ISIL can announce the Islamic State after entering into alliance with other terrorist organizations in Iraq and Syria, which would create a serious danger for unifying Iraq and defending its territory.

    The stated report of the Defense Intelligence Agency – (DIA), originally classified as «SECRET // NOFORN» and dated August 12, 2012, was sent to many US government agencies, including CENTCOM, CIA, FBI, DHS, NGA, the US State Department and many others. From these documents, it follows that in 2012 the US intelligence clearly understands the growing threat to peace from ISIL. However, the US administration decided to use this terrorist organization in solving their regional problems in the Middle East, including the weakening of the Muslim regimes in Syria, Iraq, Iran and several other countries. The documents of the US government agencies published by Judicial Watch visually confirm that the Al-Nusra arming process was directly coordinated by the US intelligence. Al-Nusra was joined ISIL and other jihad groups. American arms, delivered to Syria, including anti-tank missiles, was made available to ISIL Al-Nusra’s militants back in 2012, including through direct weapon supply to ISIL from Washington’s allies – Turkey and Saudi Arabia. Support from Washington for the Saudi project to create an ‘Islamic state’ was acknowledged by Robert Ford, a former US ambassador to Syria, in his recent interview for Foreign Policy Journal. He pointed out that the US protection of this terrorist group with the help of former officers of Baathist army was a huge mistake.

    Overall, the introduction of the documents published by Judicial Watch creates the impression of a very strange coincidence of the tactics on the participating the US and Western countries in dealing with ISIL and Nazi Germany in the years 1938-1940. One can trace a similar scheme using any militant forces to fraternize with them, a large destabilization of the region and to ensure their own interests. In this case the preferences is given to solution of extremely difficult and sensitive tasks by proxy, secretly flattering most reactionary players on the world stage, while catastrophic fatal myopia will not be sobering, including the West.

    ISIL: Ugly Washington’s Child
    By Vladimir Platov

  4. Abe
    June 4, 2015 at 11:39

    Several major propaganda canards have been feverishly peddled in recent weeks:

    1) renewed unproven allegations against Syrian president Bashir Assad that the Syrian government used nerve gas and barrel bombs against opposition forces

    2) renewed unproven allegations against Russian president Vladimir Putin that a Russian Buk-1 missile launcher (operated by a Russian crew or pro-Russian separatists) caused the destruction of Malaysian Air flight MH-17 over eastern Ukraine

    In both propaganda efforts, disinformation source Eliot Higgins, pseudonym Brown Moses, has jumped to the fore.

    Back in 2013, the New York Times elevated Higgins to prominence with the claim that he had offered a key tip that helped the newspaper prove that Saudi Arabia had funneled arms to opposition fighters in Syria. Never mind that this was already well known.

    After a couple of well-gnawed bones of truth “verified” by the somehow ingenious Higgins, the MSM and social media was flooded by a tsunami of lies from “rocket man” Higgins.

    Higgins was thoroughly debunked for his “it was Assad” internet claims about the 2013 sarin attacks in Ghouta, Syria.

    The hasn’t stopped the Grey Lady from fawning over Higgins and the Atlantic Council’s latest Propaganda 3.0 screed.

    Patrick L. Smith at Salon has reviewed the recent NYT coverage of Ukraine:

    we hear ever-shriller charges that Moscow has mounted a dangerous, security-threatening propaganda campaign to destroy the truth—our truth, we can say. It is nothing short of “the weaponization of information,” we are provocatively warned. Let us be on notice: Our truth and our air are now as polluted with propaganda as during the Cold War decades, and the only apparent plan is to make it worse.

    O.K., let us do what sorting can be done.


    Details. The Times described “Hiding in Plain Sight: Putin’s War in Ukraine” as “an independent report.” I imagine [New York Times’ State Department correspondent Michael] Gordon—he seems to do all the blurry stuff these days—had a straight face when he wrote three paragraphs later that John Herbst, one of the Atlantic Council’s authors, is a former ambassador to Ukraine.

    I do not know what kind of a face Gordon wore when he reported later on that the Atlantic Council paper rests on research done by Bellingcat.com, “an investigative website.” Or when he let Herbst get away with calling Bellingcat, which appears to operate from a third-floor office in Leicester, a city in the English Midlands, “independent researchers.”

    I wonder, honestly, if correspondents look sad when they write such things—sad their work has come to this.

    One, Bellingcat did its work using Google, YouTube and other readily available social media technologies, and this we are supposed to think is the cleverest thing under the sun. Are you kidding?

    Manipulating social media “evidence” has been a parlor game in Kiev; Washington; Langley, Virginia, and at NATO since the Ukraine crisis broke open. Look at the graphics included in the presentation. I do not think technical expertise is required to see that these images prove what all others offered as evidence since last year prove: nothing. It looks like the usual hocus-pocus.

    Two, examine the Bellingcat web site and try to figure out who runs it. I tried the about page and it was blank. The site consists of badly supported anti-Russian “reports”—no “investigation” aimed in any other direction.

    We are the propagandists: The real story about how The New York Times and the White House has turned truth in the Ukraine on its head
    By Patrick L. Smith

  5. Mary
    June 4, 2015 at 09:21

    “The Agency’s relationship with [The New York] Times was by far its most valuable among newspapers, according to CIA officials. [It was] general Times policy … to provide assistance to the CIA whenever possible.”
    –The CIA and the Media, by Carl Bernstein

  6. Abe
    June 4, 2015 at 01:02

    On June 3, two rockets launched from the Gaza Strip and fell on open ground near the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon and the town of Netivot. No injuries were reported.

    Early on June 4, Israeli warplanes attacked targets in the Gaza Strip.

    Hamas blamed the rocket attacks on Salafist factions who reportedly have pledged allegiance to ISIS.

    Turkey and Israel have directly supported both ISIS and Al Qaeda fighters in Syria.

  7. mike merlo
    June 4, 2015 at 00:38

    both the NYT and Robert Parry are ‘pushing’ baloney

  8. Larry
    June 3, 2015 at 21:19

    In the chortled words of the immortal strategic genius George W. Bush, Ms. Barnard’s job at the NY Times is to catapault the propaganda.

  9. F. G. Sanford
    June 3, 2015 at 20:19

    This NYT article struck me as a “run it up the flagpole and see who salutes” kind of gimmick. It must be kept in mind that they print what they’re told to print. Telling the truth is far from their only problem. They lost $14million in the first quarter of 2015. But, the good news is, they have an unfunded pension plan liability of something like $264 million. Obviously, they’re in no big hurry to report on the financial collapse looming around the corner, either. When it hits, they can blame their own liabilities on the Wall Street crooks they’ve been protecting for the last 17 years. Lately we’ve had the Hastert revelations with insinuations of links to the Bush family, “Ash” Carter howling at the moon over shipping lanes adjacent the Spratly (who?) Islands, the MH-17 fraud slowly unravelling, skeptics pointing out the obvious flaws in the Abbottabad raid fairytale, the Soros memo outlining the completely delusional strategic plan for Ukraine to defeat Russia, the DIA memo from 2012 indicating that the ISIScapades are a staged event, Rand Paul turning up the teat on the 28 pages, Jeb Bush’s connections to the CIA, Hillary’s emails and anonymous donations, and an incessant effort to keep anyone from figuring out that IS/ISIL/ISIS/AQI/AQAP/FSA/Al Nusra/Nusra Front/Army of Conquest/Daesh/Salafists/Wahhabists/Boko Haram and whatever other name you can think of are ALL THE SAME OUTFIT! Sure, the masterminds of Armageddon are undoubtedly trying to create a pretext for something – or a distraction from something else. This is, after all, the most paranoid administration in American history. But given their track record for effective results, don’t count on a predictable outcome. My guess is that, as Hillary and Jeb both lose credibility, the duopoly is nervous – we’re talking projectile diarrhea here – over the prospects of a Paul/Sanders runoff. The Neocons could completely lose control of the script – unless they can create an international disaster first. Sure, we could use the ISIS pretext to topple Assad, get a pipeline from the gulf states to the Mediterranean, and solve all our economic woes. (That’s the secret deal, by the way.) Then again, China could land 100,000 Manchurian Marines in Tartus. And, Putin could liberate Ukraine from the Nazis in 48 hours. But I’m betting that the status quo will continue, the economy will deteriorate, and in the next year or two, Americans will be paying for another bailout. The NYT will tell us all about it. In the meantime, Americans will be intensely following all the gruesome details of Bruce Jenner’s gender reassignment surgery. It just doesn’t get any better than this!

  10. ltr
    June 3, 2015 at 19:44

    Were this not so tragic and frightening I would be wildly upset about the shoddy slanted reporting of the New York Times on Syria since the death of Anthony Shadid. Ms. Barnard has been as poor a choice for reporter on Syria as I could imagine.

  11. Abe
    June 3, 2015 at 19:15

    Fourth-generation warfare (4GW) is conflict characterized by a blurring of the lines between war and politics, combatants and civilians.

    Fourth-generation warfare is defined as conflicts which involve the following elements:

    — Complex and long term
    — Terrorism
    — Highly decentralized — a non-national or transnational base
    — Direct attack on the enemy’s culture, including genocidal acts against civilians
    — Highly sophisticated psychological warfare, especially through media manipulation and lawfare
    — All available pressures are used – political, economic, social and military
    — Use of insurgency and guerrilla tactics

    The term was first described by a team of American analysts, including William S. Lind, in a 1989 Marine Corps Gazette article entitled “The Changing Face of War: Into the Fourth Generation”.

    In 2006, the concept was expanded upon by USMC Colonel Thomas X. Hammes (Ret.) in his book, The Sling and The Stone.

    The Fourth-generation warfare concept describes warfare’s return to a decentralized form. In terms of generational modern warfare, the fourth generation signifies the nation states’ loss of their near-monopoly on combat forces, returning to modes of conflict common in pre-modern times.

    The simplest definition of fourth-generation warfare includes any war in which one of the major participants is not a state but rather a violent non-state actor.

    There has been much discussion in military circles about how to adapt US military strategy in an era of fourth-generation warfare.

    I believe that since the end of the Vietnam War, numerous wars fought in the Middle East and on the borders of the former Soviet Union have been instigated by the US deep state as fourth-generation warfare offensive operations.

    The combat we are witnessing in Syria and Iraq is a conspicuous case in point.

    US military forces continue to be what Henry Kissinger called “dumb, stupid animals to be used,” but proxy forces now do much of the the heavy lifting.

    Call them what you will, Al qaeda, Al-Nusra, ISIL, ISIS — just give that expensive military hardware to the “liver eaters” and let ’em have at it.

    The whole purpose has been to destroy civil society in Iraq and Syria.

  12. Abe
    June 3, 2015 at 18:37

    The Syrian war is not a localized conflict with limited goals. It is one leg of a much larger agenda to destroy Iran next, then move on to Russia and China. Combined with the Syrian campaign, the West has attempted to create arcs of destabilization across Eastern Europe, Central Asia, and completely encircling China in Southeast Asia.

    What this constitutes is a World War executed through the use of 4th generation warfare. At the same time, the West attempts to seek temporary appeasement and accommodation for itself so that it can more effortlessly advance its plans. Attempts to portray itself as interested in “negotiations” with Iran while it wages a proxy war on its doorstep is a prime example of this.

    Washington Confesses to Backing “Questionable Actors” in Syria
    By Tony Cartalucci

  13. Eduardo Cohen
    June 3, 2015 at 18:12

    I believe this is all quite predictable. The US government first takes down the Assad regime, possibly using the “peace negotiations” with Iran (and Republican threats to INCREASE sanctions on Iran) to drive a wedge between Iran and Syria thus weakening both Syria and Hezbollah.

    When the Assad government is removed, Israel will probably invade Lebanon to crush a weakened Hezbollah. Then with the threat of Syrian and Lebanese missiles removed from the theater (missiles which due to their immediate proximity, more powerful warheads, greater range and sheer numbers would be capable of causing thousands, if not tens of thousands, of Israeli casualties should Hezbollah and Syria join in an Iranian counter-attack) the US will either implement a blockade of Iran or launch an air campaign (as in the successful war against Yugoslavia).

    The American regime will probably cite Iranian violations of “nuclear agreements” which the US will be able to manufacture at will. Yes, the “nuclear peace talks” could actually be a stepping stone to war against Iran. It’s happened before. (think Contadora and Rambouillet)

    By that time there will probably be a formidable anti-missile force, along with advanced radars, in several countries on the Arabian Peninsula between Iran and Israel and the advanced Israeli Arrow 2 and Arrow 3 anti-missile systems may be deployed as well as advanced Patriot systems, some of which are already in place.

    The US has built X-band radar installations in Israel and Turkey and another is under construction (and may already be completed) in an unnamed country on the Persian Gulf which is widely believed to be Qatar.

    Of course there will be numerous US ships with ABM systems probably in the Eastern Mediterranean (and possibly the Red Sea) out of range of Iranian anti-ship missiles. (That’s another reason why Hezbollah has to be eliminated in preparation for such an attack. They currently have an anti-ship missile capacity.)

    If the Iranian regime is “changed” then Iranian gas could be used to reduce or eliminate European dependence on Russian oil and gas and thus minimize Russian leverage and influence in Europe and marginalize Russia as a world player, at least in the West. And that seems to be a goal that has been in the works for quite a while now – possibly going back to George W Bush’s unilateral abrogation of the ABM (Anti-Ballistic Missile) Treaty with USSR/Russia in 2002.

    US ABMs placed in Ukraine, just 300 miles from Moscow, would be able to take down Russian ICBMs and IRBMs in the boost phase when they are traveling at lower speeds and most vulnerable. (Unless you actually believe those ABMs are being placed in Eastern Europe to protect Europe from suicidal Iranian missiles.)

    Of course this is just one possible scenario but it is supported by similar US moves in the past and does put seemingly senseless US policies in Syria and Ukraine in a more coherent context. While Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton did form a task force on developing strategies to use manipulation of energy as a weapon and the person she tapped to oversee the task force was the former US ambassador to (anybody want to guess?) Ukraine.

    I hope I’m wrong but the game that is being played really is likely to be much bigger than just Syria and Ukraine. I’m just saying…

  14. Zachary Smith
    June 3, 2015 at 18:06

    Yet, rather than having learned lessons from the Iraq War catastrophe, the Times keeps plunging deeper into the grim fantasyland of neocon propaganda.

    I must respectfully disagree with Mr. Parry here – the Iraq War and its aftermath was a roaring success from some viewpoints. Especially those folks for whom the NYT toils – the neocons and their tiny wag-the-dog master.

    If the destruction of Syria can be accomplished, that’ll count as another great victory for neocons and Israel.

    Iranian military mastermind Soleimani vows to ‘surprise’ world in Syria

    Syria is definitely hurting, and Iran need to make a major move on account of them being the only one remaining with the capability to do so.

    This may turn out to mean nothing at all, but some fresh troops moving into Syria might actually happen.

    Time will tell.

    • Peter Loeb
      June 4, 2015 at 05:16


      Among other things (of which there are many), the NYT and its supporters
      just don’t recall at all that the US joined a unanimous UN Security Council
      resolution (I think it was last February..double check!) affirming Syria’s
      sovereignty and agreeing that Syria needed support to fight the “foreigners”
      and “terrorists” (Council language) in S/Res/2139(2014), point # 14,
      page 4 of the document. As George Orwell wrote: “Down the memory hole…”

      Days after this UN Security Council unanimous resolution—including the US—
      the US was advocating “regime change” in Syria. Regime change is
      against international law of course. (In World War Two “regime change”
      was the law for ALL belligerents on all sides. Such policy invariably
      results in bloodbaths.)

      One cannot thank Bob Parry too much but when his vigilance continues,
      thanks become just…well dull, redundant.

      —-Peter Loeb, Boston, MA, USA

  15. Brendan
    June 3, 2015 at 17:27

    So let me get this straight:
    The secular Syrian government is militarily supporting the fundamentalist extremist Islamic state, which is conquering large parts of Syria and has significantly weakened the Syrian army by killing many thousands of Syrian soldiers.

    OK, that makes sense.

  16. Pablo Diablo
    June 3, 2015 at 17:09

    “Regime change” went so well in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya (Chile, El Salvador, Honduras, etc). that at least it kept the weapons/military machine well fed and only cost a few million lives.
    THANK YOU Robert Parry for all you do/have done.

    • Joe L.
      June 3, 2015 at 17:50

      I don’t know if it is just me but it seems like every action that we, the US and coalition, take in the Middle East to overthrow country after country has only strengthened and expanded Al Qaeda along with its’ offshoots. Is this intentional or unintentional, it is hard to tell anymore when supposedly Al Qaeda, ISIS, Al Nusra Front etc. are the “bad guys” but then we are supporting Saudi Arabia to bomb the Houthis who are fighting against ISIS and Al Qaeda in Yemen? Also when we know that the US armed and trained the Mujahideen in Afghanistan, which would become Al Qaeda and the Taliban, meanwhile we have the US, Britain, and France arming and training supposed “moderate” Syrian rebels in Jordan 2012 which I believe a large amount of them joined ISIS and the Al Nusra Front. This is all upside down and right side up and filled with Orwellian doublespeak with a huge dash of hypocrisy.

      • Larry
        June 3, 2015 at 21:17

        Likely consequence = Intentional = strategy

        Remember the Maine! Remember the Gulf of Tonkin. Remember Grenada. Remember et al et al et al et al et al et al. . .

    • Joe L.
      June 3, 2015 at 17:53

      Along the lines of “regime change”, I highly recommend watching award winning journalist, John Pilger’s documentary “War on Democracy” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oeHzc1h8k7o

  17. Ally
    June 3, 2015 at 16:59

    This isn’t a conspiracy theory. Assad focused his attacks on the moderate opposition and let extremists out of jail in 2011, and then focused his attacks on the moderate rebels while putting less effort into fighting ISIS once it emerged. There might not be “direct collaboration” but it’s certainly true that Assad and ISIS have been “essentially collaborating,” as Barnard called it, due to their convergence of interest- both hate moderate rebels, and Assad has aimed to be seen as a bulwark against extremism. Anyone who’s studied the Syria conflict in detail will tell you this. For example, Josh Landis of Syria Comment- no big fan of intervention http://www.joshualandis.com/blog/

    • WG
      June 5, 2015 at 11:57

      Yes it makes total sense that Assad would ally himself with ISIS/AQ and fight people he could find some degree of compromise with.
      According to you Assad isn’t doing any of this in ‘direct collaboration’, which means he isn’t collaborating right? Oh wait he’s ‘essentially collaborating’, which is a fancy way of saying he is not collaborating.

  18. W. R. Knight
    June 3, 2015 at 16:54

    I stopped my subscription to the NY Times for the very reason that its reporting had degenerated to rumor mongering. Facts no longer seem to be important to the Times. Aside from stopping my subscription, there is little that I can do except to convey my disgust to others of a once great newspaper that has gone to seed.

    • Kiza
      June 8, 2015 at 05:39

      One would wish that it was only the NYT which has become such worthless rag. But almost all US, British, Canadian, Australian and New Zealand MSM are the same. The Western jurnos are dime a dozen, or better said shekel a dozen, to write some rubbish which nobody with an IQ above 70 could swallow. Their journalistic credibility following the direction of the economy.

  19. Shaun
    June 3, 2015 at 16:23

    In mid 2013 John Kerry told a senate foreign relations commitee that the idea of AQ being a factor in the Syrian conflict was “basically not true”.

    Not “false” but “basically not true”. With the knowledge we now have it is clear his phrasing is intentional.

    For a start he negatively asserts the binary condition, causing confusion. Then he further adds the “basically” qualifier, which makes no sense when discussing a binary state.

    Regardless, he can now say that ‘technically’ he didnt lie. Putin accused of him of lying at the time but was given the usual treatment.

    Classic word manipulation that is used throughout media and the establishment.

    • fosforos
      June 3, 2015 at 16:43

      “The TIMES is a great newspaper. It is scrupulously accurate about small things, in order that its lies on great matters will be more readily believed.”–Leon Trotsky. (he was talking about “Le Temps” of Paris, but it was then, and is now, equally true of “The Times” of New York).

  20. Joe L.
    June 3, 2015 at 16:21

    Of course the story is “evolving” into Assad and ISIS must be in bed with each other. I had no question that once the US started bombing in Syria that somehow the story would change to where “Assad needs to go” again. I am just waiting for the US, or Canada, to say that Assad fired on American or Canadian planes and then they had to engage Assad within Syria. I have been waiting for the US to give some excuse to attack Assad and it would seem that the narrative is turning in that direction. Once the US invaded Syria did anyone actually have any doubt that the use of force would turn against Assad himself? War, war and more war… what is it now, the US has been at war something like 91% of its’ history – I wonder what Eisenhower would say today at the Military Industrial Complex that he helped create.

    • MediaPropaganda
      June 3, 2015 at 20:10

      The media is repeating the ISIS Narrative over and over 24/7.
ISIS repetition count: FOX 5084, CNN 4144, MSNBC 3455, ABC 2861

Narrative #1 (Bush – Iraq – WMD)
      Narrative #2 (Obama – Syria – ISIS)

Falling for another one America??

    • mediaPropaganda
      June 3, 2015 at 20:11

      The media is repeating the ISIS Narrative over and over 24/7.
ISIS repetition count: FOX 5084, CNN 4144, MSNBC 3455, ABC 2861

Narrative #1 (Bush – Iraq – WMD)
      Narrative #2 (Obama – Syria – ISIS)

Falling for another one America???

    • garbage lies
      June 3, 2015 at 20:11

      The media is repeating the ISIS Narrative over and over 24/7.
ISIS repetition count: FOX 5084, CNN 4144, MSNBC 3455, ABC 2861

Narrative #1 (Bush – Iraq – WMD)
      Narrative #2 (Obama – Syria – ISIS).

Falling for another one America??

  21. Abe
    June 3, 2015 at 15:43

    if the original plan was to wait on ISIS to make the final push into Damascus before claiming that the US “must take action” to expel the murderous black flag-waving hordes on the way to installing a more ‘agreeable’ regime, it might make sense to just skip a step and claim Assad and ISIS have now teamed up, that way, we can equate the two and kill two birds with one stone (or, more accurately, serve one CIA asset a burn notice and oust an ‘unfriendly’ regime with 10,000 marines).

    ISIS, Assad Regime Now Fighting Together In Syria, US Alleges

    • embarrassing obvious
      June 3, 2015 at 20:17

      Okay!!! This is beyond propaganda.

      In desperation the mainstream media has abandoned logic and has embraced Lying.

      These lies are so obvious it’s embarrassing to read and watch.

      I feel sorry for those employed in the media business. They have Zero Integrity.

      • NYTGarbage
        June 3, 2015 at 20:22

        The NYT is Garbage. These Lies are Slap in the Face to American Citizens.

        Mainstream Media – Garbage Industry – Zero Respect for All Reporters.

      • JC Lincoln
        June 7, 2015 at 03:09

        I don’t feel sorry for them. They sold out for money, they’ll anything as long as they can keep getting paid. Doesn’t that sound a bit like a prostitute?

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