Extracting Aleppo from the Propaganda

The mainstream U.S. news has supplied a consistent narrative regarding Syria that treats the “rebels” as the good guys and the “regime forces” as the bad guys, but it has never been that clear-cut, as Dennis J Bernstein reports.

By Dennis J Bernstein

It’s rare for Americans to hear any version of the Syrian conflict other than the simplistic accounts favored by the U.S. government and the mainstream news media that rely heavily on rebel sources and their international supporters who often traffic in propaganda.

One of the few independent Western journalists covering the horrific conflict is Eva Bartlett who has traveled to Syria six times in the last two years and just returned from a six-month stint in the war-torn country where she investigated human rights violations and terrorism against Syrians.

Her multiple investigations have led the seasoned Canadian journalist and human rights activist to conclusions that contradict what the Western media and governments have been reporting non-stop, regarding human rights violations by all sides.

I spoke with Bartlett last Thursday during her West Coast speaking tour about her discoveries, the situation in Aleppo, and the impact the war has had on large numbers of Palestinians who live in exile in Syria.

Dennis Bernstein: Eva, tell us, when were you last in Aleppo?

Bombed out vehicles in Aleppo, Syria. 6 October 2012 (Wikipedia)

Eva Bartlett: I was in Aleppo twice in November, for my third and fourth visits to Aleppo.

DB: Okay, and describe the situation there on the ground. What’s happening, what’s… daily life like?

EB: I’m going to describe what it was like then, and note that, as of the last week, things have change dramatically. When I was there, in prior visits, as well, July and August and in November, the situation was that, on a daily basis, terrorists that are in many ways backed by the West and Gulf nations, financially and otherwise, were, on a daily basis, firing a variety of bombs on the civilian areas of Aleppo, which we never hear about in the corporate media.

In these areas there are over 1.5 million people. And on a daily basis they were subject to bombings of grad missiles, explosive bullets, mortars, gas canister bombs, water heater bombs, which are basically improvised bombs using gas canisters and water heaters, stuffed with explosives and shrapnel.

When I was there, I experienced some of that myself, with a bomb going off half a kilometer away, and with an explosive bullet landing about fifteen meters away. I also met with many people who had lost loved ones due to these bombings. I went to hospitals that themselves had been hit, like the al-Dabit Maternity Hospital.

In May of this year the al-Dabit Maternity Hospital was destroyed internally by a terrorist’s fired rocket. And when it was destroyed, three women inside were killed, and many more were injured. This was not, to my knowledge, reported in the corporate media, although the media’s always talking about alleged strikes on hospitals in Aleppo.

DB: Now… so we keep it clear, and untangled, when you say terrorists, are you talking about the people that the United States is supporting?
EB: Yes, I am. The United States will say, at least, that Jabhat al-Nusra–which is Al Qaeda in Syria, and which tried to rebrand itself as Fatah al-Sham, but which is still Al Qaeda in Syria–the U.S. will say that they are terrorists.

But the United States will not say, for example, that Ahrar al-Sham are terrorists, although on their internal documents when they discuss funding, they do acknowledge that they are terrorists. But, publicly they don’t state that.

They also don’t state that Nour al-Din al-Zenki are terrorists, even though this particular group savagely and methodically beheaded a 12 year old Palestinian boy, Abdullah Issa, some months ago.

U.S.-backed Syrian “moderate” rebels smile as they prepare to behead a 12-year-old boy (left), whose severed head is held aloft triumphantly in a later part of the video. [Screenshot from the YouTube video]

These terrorists have participated in bombings of Aleppo, and also other villages we never hear about, and which I will be discussing today, al-Fu’ah and Kefriya. So, I do mean terrorists from those groups and also from the so-called Free Syrian Army. The Free Syrian Army has been as heinous and as gruesome as ISIS and as al-Nusra.

DB: Alright, you mentioned… a bunch of things we’re hearing here. Let’s just go over a few of them. You talked about the situation of the child, the Palestinian child who was beheaded. And you’re saying that he was beheaded by forces supported by the West?

EB: Yes.

DB: And how does the West support this particular force?

EB: They deem Nour al-Din al-Zenki a moderate group. I’m not aware if there’s financial support, there’s certainly support in terms of whitewashing their crimes. And when the cease fires are enacted, for example, in September and in February, these groups were not expected to participate in the cease fires. Only al-Nusra and ISIS and other al Qaeda affiliated groups were expected to participate.

But the problem with this is the U.S. themselves cannot control the terrorists that they support as moderates, who intermingle with the terrorists that they designate as terrorists. So they’re very aware of the crimes that these different groups they deem as moderates are committing, yet, they cannot control them.

DB: Alright, let me ask you a broad question, this way. You certainly do not get this story in watching the U.S. corporate media. So, let me ask you… what’s missing, from the U.S. corporate media’s picture? I mean you’ve been describing some atrocities that we haven’t heard about, but in the broader picture what’s missing?

EB: The Syrian voice. […] The corporate media interviews people that might be representatives of Syria, living abroad who haven’t been to Syria for years, or people they claim are in eastern Aleppo, until recently (now eastern Aleppo is liberated).

But they don’t [talk to civilians on the streets]… I mean how many western journalists have gone to Aleppo? And, you can. I’ve applied for visas and I’ve waited well over a month for my journalist visa. It’s not impossible, and other western journalists have gone to Syria and gone to Aleppo.

But they largely do not bother to talk to the Syrian people there, and ask how has life been for you these past years in Aleppo? If they had, they would find out that people have fled from eastern Aleppo. Something like 600,000 people over the years have fled from eastern areas of Aleppo which the terrorists’ factions occupied, to government-secured greater Aleppo. They did so for their own safety and they were given shelter by the government in university housing and in other shelters.

Smoke billows skyward as homes and buildings are shelled in the city of Homs, Syria. June 9, 2012. (UN Photo)

But this is never talked about in the corporate media. They would never talk about the fact that water and electricity have been cut off, since the terrorists took over these areas, of eastern and outskirts of Aleppo. They wouldn’t talk about the bombings that I’ve mentioned. They wouldn’t talk about the period of prolonged sieges, when terrorist factions cut off the only road that was leading into Aleppo. And these prolonged sieges meant that people weren’t getting food and medicine, etc. from outside.

DB: […] Is there a web site that people can go and find out [more about your lecture series]?

EB: Yeah. The tour is largely organized by a coalition of anti-war, anti-imperialist groups. The handsoffsyriacoalition.net is the website.

[…]

DB: Now … you probably heard that we just had a presidential election, here. And there’s a big struggle… everybody, you know, is pretty clear that Trump is a white supremacist and serial liar, but when you consider what Trump has been saying and what Clinton was saying about Syria policy, Trump was making more sense.

In terms of the two candidates, you had to feel for what Trump was saying because Clinton wanted to draw down the same policy that gave us Libya, and a policy that puts the US head to head with Russia, and now China. And that could lead to WWIII. Your impressions and your thoughts on that?

ED: I mean, I’m up front in saying I don’t follow U.S. politics that closely for a variety of reasons. I believe that the U.S. and the military industrial complex obviously profits out of bringing wars upon these countries that it declares, we declare (we, the West declare) we’re going into these countries for human rights and democracy.

So I can’t really address a whole lot to do with Trump and Clinton, but on the note of human rights and on the note of rights of women, these so-called moderates that the West supports and that the corporate media whitewashes, look at how they treat women in Aleppo. I met with displaced people from eastern Aleppo, people that had fled years prior, and people who had fled weeks prior, when I met them. And they spoke of how women had to be covered head to toe, including their hands. Women had no rights in Aleppo. And people in general, were being starved.

And these are things that are coming out now that Aleppo is liberated, the testimonies of people on the ground, meeting these people that were evacuated and saved from the eastern areas of Aleppo, are horrific. And, you know, all the corporate media has been accusing the Syrian government of starving… what the U.N. said was 250,000 people in eastern Aleppo. Now there’s only a small pocket, I think the measurements were something like two-square miles, in Aleppo, now that still have some militants.

Staffan de Mistura, United Nations Special Envoy for Syria, holds up a photo of Aleppo while briefing journalists following a Security Council emergency meeting on the situation in Syria, on Dec. 13, 2016. United Nations, New York (UN Photo)

Are we expected to believe that since roughly 100,000 people have come out of the areas occupied, until recently, that the remaining two-squared kilometers are holding 150,000 people? Because the U.N. has said for years, and even [on December 15, 2016], [Staffan] de Mistura, the representative of the U.N., the peacekeeper, said there’s 50,000 in that small pocket. I mean how credible is this? Are they standing on one another’s head and shoulders?

This is an important point, because these numbers were inflated. And they’ve been inflated throughout the conflict on Syria–the war on Syria–in order to make people feel that they have to do something, and usually that something is supporting a no-fly zone. Which, like Libya, will just bring so much “human rights and democracy”.

The other point I wanted to make is that, you know, in terms of all the myths we’ve heard about Syria, over the years, the Syrian government has been accused of so many things, chemical weapons, they’ve been accused of massacring civilians. And every time there has been an investigation, all fingers have pointed to the rebels. Even Carla Del Ponte, who’s of the U.N. investigative team in a 2013 chemical attacks accusations, said, “No, it was the terrorists that had”… she said rebels… but they had “sarin.”

So … you asked earlier what are we not hearing from the corporate media. I’ll tell you what we’re not hearing, now, from the corporate media: The scenes, the voices of the people who have been liberated, saying “Thank you” to the army.

The army, by the way are not Assad’s forces. The army, the Syrian army is actually made up of Syrian people. And it’s not simply Alawite. It’s Sunni, it’s Alawite, it’s Christian. And the people in Aleppo… if people bother to search out independence, on the ground, Syrian journalists, or if you want, Russia Today, you will find footage of people praising the army. And people who have been terrorized for years by these terrorists that the West calls “moderates”.

DB: … We know there are major Palestinian refugee camps in Syria. The Palestinians haven’t done very well as a result of U.S. supported so-called… whatever you want to call them, the opposition to the government there. We know that thousands have come over the border, and have become refugees one time over again in crowded refugee camps. Can you talk about that?

EB: I mean, I don’t know about the number about thousands of Palestinians. It’s quite possible. But what I do know is that, first of all, prior to this war on Syria, Palestinians in Syria had the best existence of any area where they lived outside of occupied Palestine. You cannot compare their existence in Syria to say that of in Jordan or Lebanon, where they have no rights, whatsoever. In Syria they held equal rights, as Syrian citizens including free health care, free education, etc. And they were treated as Syrians, respected. And I spent a lot of time in Lebanon. And they are not respected there.

Bashar Ja’afari, Permanent Representative of the Syrian Arab Republic to the UN, addresses the Security Council emergency meeting on the situation in the Syrian city of Aleppo. 13 December 2016. (UN Photo)

The second point is that there are Palestinians who have fought against the state, including Hamas. And there are Palestinians who have fought alongside the Syrian army, including groups like Liwa al-Quds, who are instrumental in liberating areas of Aleppo. I visited the University of Aleppo residences which, 16 of 20, are housing IDPs [internally displaced persons] from other areas of Aleppo. And one of the buildings was dedicated to Palestinians from Handarat camp. So, I mean, that’s one thing.

I would highly recommend people read a very detailed and thoroughly researched article by Sharmine Narwani called “Who dragged Palestinians into the Syria conflict?” She visited, I wasn’t able to [simply because I didn’t have time], but she visited… many Palestinian camps in Syria. And she spoke with them extensively. And she wrote a very thorough article on what happened with Palestinians in Syria. And it’s contrary to what we’re hearing in the corporate media, which likes to divide supporters of Palestine and supporters of Syria, because divide and conquer.

I’d also like to suggest people look at the syriasolidaritymovement.org web site where there’s a statement of solidarity from various prominent Palestinians, who are in solidarity with Syria’s sovereignty and their right to fight against terrorism.

DB: Let me ask you, what would your advice be to U.S. officials dealing at this point? What would you want to see happen?

EB: Stop arming the terrorists, stop whitewashing their crimes. Stop allowing Turkey to keep its borders open and terrorists to flood in and out through Turkey’s borders. Stop supporting the regimes of Saudi Arabia, which are in turn arming terrorists, which are brainwashing terrorists. Stop interfering in a sovereign nation.

The U.S. was not invited, nor was Canada, nor were any of the groups that are in the U.S. coalition that is supposedly fighting ISIS in Syria. And yet, out of, something like 15,000 sorties, as of a couple of months ago, they’ve done very little in terms of actually fighting ISIS. To the contrary, they’ve repeatedly attacked Syrian infrastructure, including bridges in eastern Syria, in Deir ez-Zor. They attacked a Syrian military position in September killing at least 83 Syrian soldiers. And only have finally owned up to this in an attack that lasted nearly one hour that enabled ISIS to take over the position.

So, you know, if U.S. officials, with all their crocodile tears, actually care about human rights in Syria, stop supporting the terrorists who are destroying the country.

Vitaly I. Churkin, Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the UN, addresses the Security Council meeting on Syria. 25 September 2016 (UN Photo)

DB: And maybe we can end this way. If there isn’t a sane policy prevailing here, what are your worst concerns? I mean, this is the part of the world that everybody worries about, it takes us to that next level that we don’t even want to think about. So you want to talk about if we go the wrong way here, how this can unravel? What if there was a no-fly zone?

EB: If there was a no-fly zone, above all, it would not mean human rights and it would not mean peace for Syrians, and that’s the whole pretext of the no-fly zone. Because the U.S. administration, and their lackey corporate media, whitewash the crimes of the terrorists. They vilify the government. And nobody is saying the government is perfect. Because no government is perfect.

But the point is, this is a war on Syria, with terrorists from over 100 nations, waging their wicked and distorted version of Jihad in Syria, or just acting as paid and drugged out mercenaries. If the U.S. was to compose a no-fly zone, there are various allies of Syria that are not going to stand for it.

If people don’t actually care about human rights in Syria think about it from a U.S. perspective–you are actually putting yourself at war with Russia. Russia is an ally of Syria. It was invited by Syria. And it does have its own interest in Syria. And clearly it’s not going to stand for the U.S. destroying Syria as it did Libya.

DB: Alright, we’re going to leave it right there. Again, what’s that website if people want to follow your lectures?

EB: Yeah, it’s the handsoffsyriacoalition.net. And I just wanted to say if people really want an honest taste of what’s going on in Aleppo, I recommend taking a look at the Facebook page of Vanessa Beeley. She can also be found on 21st Century Wire. She was on the ground in Aleppo just this week. And she was interviewing these people who we are not hearing in our media.

Dennis J Bernstein is a host of “Flashpoints” on the Pacifica radio network and the author of Special Ed: Voices from a Hidden Classroom. You can access the audio archives at www.flashpoints.net

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54 comments for “Extracting Aleppo from the Propaganda

  1. December 20, 2016 at 10:14 am

    Thank you for this interview, the highlighting of Eva Bartlett’s work and the helpful links to on-the-ground groups who are organizing support for the Syrian people.

    Yesterday I posted a 66-paragraph thumbnail history of the war there (2007-2015). See http://www.bible-and-empire.net (“The ‘Fall of Aleppo’?”). It reflects my attempt to explain to people in my circle why they should resist the manipulative hype about Aleppo from so-called progressive sources.

    • Bob Van Noy
      December 20, 2016 at 10:45 am

      Thank you Robert Parry for this Dennis Bernstein interview and to you Berry Friesen for the link. I was particularly impressed by the video address.by Vanessa Beeley as a total counterpoint to what we normally hear in the MSM. Rather than expressing my bias, please listen to Vanessa for yourselves at this link. Thanks…

      http://handsoffsyriacoalition.net

      • evelync
        December 21, 2016 at 12:10 am

        Thank you Bob Van Noy, Dennis Bernstein Eva Bartlett and all involved in trying to bring us the perspective of Syrians. Their country their lives.

        Thanks for the link, Bob.

        Here’s the link to the 11 minute portion with the statement of British Journalist Vanessa Beeley who spent 4 weeks in Syria and affirms the reporting in this and other reports on Consortium News that the interests of the Syrian people are being violated by the agenda of the countries including this country that are involved in the violence.
        Vanessa spoke to an opposition member of Syrian government who wants foreign governments to stop what they are doing and leave.

        https://youtu.be/gjQkStywP1Q

        Regime change has been and continues to be a disaster of wrongheaded policies.
        As Andrew Bacevich continues to point out these policies are making everything worse and creating incredible violence and destruction of lives and cultures.

    • John Doe II
      December 20, 2016 at 3:59 pm

      Thank you so much, Berry Friesen, for your voice and the link.

      Thank you for reminders of Proverbs.

    • b.grand
      December 24, 2016 at 12:27 am

      Berry,

      Your thumbnail history is great. You may find some additions in this talk by Richard Black.

      BACKGROUND ON SYRIAN WAR
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0FNtEWfay_8&feature=youtu.be

  2. December 20, 2016 at 11:56 am

    How ironic and absurd that Bersntein would use a pro-Assad propagandist to allege propaganda in mainstream news outlet reporting on Syria. Bartlett may be a lot of things but she is not independent. Her recent tour of Syria was coordinated by the Assad regime with the hope that she would return to the U.S. to tell pro-Assad stories to the gullible.

    In a video now being shared widely on social media, In The NOW and Russia Today (aka RT) mischaracterize Bartlett as an “independent Canadian journalist.” Bartlett, is more a Syrian government PR flack than she is an independent reporter. According to her own bio, Bartlett is co-founder of the Syria Solidarity Movement, an organization dedicated to the “protection of Syrian sovereignty.” Bartlett was recently hosted by the Syrian government to take part in a PR tour of regime-controlled areas. She contributes regularly to the Russian-government controlled Russia Today (not so independent). On her blog she writes human rights groups like Amnesty International, Doctors Without Borders and Human Rights Watch are front groups for western governments. She claims these groups are guilty of “propagating anti-Syria war rhetoric and false allegations against the Syrian government and Syrian Arab Army.”

    In the video, Bartlett challenges a reporter to name international NGOs on the ground in eastern Aleppo, and then claims, “there are none.” Actually, there are several credible NGOs on the ground in war-torn areas of Syria. The International Committee of the Red Cross is working with the Arab Red Crescent to evacuate residents from Aleppo. Doctors Without Borders had a strong presence in eastern Aleppo, but several of its medical staff died there alongside dozens of Syrians when one of its hospitals was bombed in April this year. Syrian and Russian air forces have carried out almost all the aerial strikes on the opposition-controlled areas of the city; most independent investigations lay blame for the hospital strike at their doorstep. Bartlett fails to say that the reason there are fewer NGOs in Aleppo is because their workers have been targeted for death by the same government she seems determined to defend.

    Bartlett also characterizes the 2014 Syrian presidential election as democratic, demonstrating in her words “overwhelmingly the people support President Assad.” Assad’s election was accomplished in part by the imprisonment, torture and even execution of opposing politicians. The remaining candidates were closely vetted by the government. Voting took place only in government-controlled areas of Syria under the watchful eye of security forces. No one in her right mind would call Assad’s victory the result a legitimately democratic process.

    Yes, let’s criticize mainstream media’s shortcoming in coverage of the atrocities now being committed in Aleppo and other parts of Syria. But let’s not use a propagandist for the Syrian regime to do that.

    • SteveK9
      December 20, 2016 at 12:17 pm

      If she’s on RT, she must be lying. I for one, believe her, not you.

      • Joe L.
        December 20, 2016 at 12:38 pm

        Even Chris Hedges, a well respected Pulitzer Prize winning journalist is on RT. It seems to me that journalists that disagree with these wars or imperialism get kicked out of US mainstream media (like Phil Donahue) and sadly they have to move to foreign media to have their voices heard. To me, that is a bad reflection on the state of US, and western media, in general.

        • John
          December 21, 2016 at 2:08 am

          Not to mention, Larry King is on RT…

    • Joe L.
      December 20, 2016 at 12:32 pm

      Maybe you should watch US 4-star General Wesley Clark’s video from 2007 (predating both Libya and Syria) where he said that the United States has had a plan since before 9/11 to overthrow the governments of 7 nations across the Middle East – Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Iran. So either Mr. Clark was channelling Nostradamus or we are witnessing this plan come to fruition right now, I even think that I heard about the US starting to bomb in Somalia recently as well. So who’s the propagandist? I get the feeling that you had the same opinions about Iraq and Libya as well. For sure the US lied its’ ass off (US Government and media), Colin Powell’s little song and dance about anthrax at the UN, to go to war with Iraq – all that was missing were the pom-poms and cheerleading uniforms by the mainstream media. No more regime change for Washington’s greed.

      • W. R. Knight
        December 21, 2016 at 11:47 am

        ” No more regime change for Washington’s greed.” It’s not Washington’s greed, it’s the greed of the fascist corporatocracy that controls those who occupy the capitol with the aid of unlimited campaign spending.

    • December 20, 2016 at 12:47 pm

      Bartlett may indeed have an agenda, but she’s right to draw attention to the inconsistencies and huge exagerations of the MSM and, yes, the likes of MSF.

      In the case of the Al Quds hospital bombing that Ms Bartlett refers too, MSF reported the hospital as being destroyed (as did the Guardian and Washington Post to name but two). However, MSF later clarified that it was in fact a school across the road and a residential building that housed some of their staff a few blocks away that had been hit.

      This incident and it’s aftermath is the prime evidence given for the assertion that Russia/Syria were directly targeting hospitals – an accusation that has been made repeatedly by Amnesty and, particularly, Syria Relief (a UK ‘NGO’ headed by Dr. David Nott) without much in the way of definitive further evidence.

      • Tobin Paz
        December 20, 2016 at 1:54 pm

        Mr. Kerr also claims that voting only took place in “government-controlled areas of Syria under the watchful eye of security forces.” Apparently he is not aware that tens of thousands of Syrians voted in Beirut:

        Syrians Flock to Vote in Lebanon

    • Tobin Paz
      December 20, 2016 at 1:33 pm

      Maybe you can further share your insight by answering the following two questions:

      Is the United States, and it’s allies, in Syria legally?
      Is the United States, and it’s allies, legally funding and arming terrorists against sovereign nation?

    • Laura
      December 20, 2016 at 1:51 pm

      Tim, I agree. We should be skeptical of Eva Barlett’s claims. She paints the picture in Syria in a binary way. I think it’s more complex than that. As Robert Fisk points out, the rebels are not the “good” guys as they’re also contributing to atrocities. But that doesn’t make Assad the “good” guy either.

      Since her video has been making the rounds, I’ve been looking into her. I’ve found the same thing that you have. Perhaps she is well-meaning and just doesn’t realize she’s being manipulated. In any case, we should remain skeptical. Frankly, I was a bit disappointed to find this interview here.

      • Tobin Paz
        December 20, 2016 at 2:04 pm

        Miss Bartlett’s testimony echos not only that of many other independent voices, but also eye witnesses in Syria. It’s amazing how gullible people are given the recent lies that lead to the deaths, and destruction of Iraq and Libya. Have we no shame?

        The United States and it’s allies are in Syria in violation of international law. The United States and it’s allies are funding and arming terrorists against a sovereign nation in violation of international law. It’s not Miss Bartlett that’s being manipulated.

        • Laura
          December 20, 2016 at 2:18 pm

          I’ve been searching for other voices that echo Barlett’s claims. I’ve found a few. But some of those few also believe that 9/11 was a CIA conspiracy and that all of the hijackers were CIA agents. I haven’t found any credible voices that share her views. If you have, please share them.

          I just don’t think it’s black and white situation. We shouldn’t be funding rebels, but I don’t think it’s true that Assad is “good” and not committing atrocities against his own people. I don’t believe that it’s only a war against terrorists and not a civil war as Bartlett claims in her video. And, frankly, I don’t think we’re ever going to know what’s going on there, which is so frustrating. All I know is that we should be skeptical of any binary view of this situation.

          • Tobin Paz
            December 20, 2016 at 2:38 pm

            Robert Parry and Rick Sterling have provided good coverage on this site. Vanessa Beeley from 21rstcenturywire.com has also provided excellent reporting from Aleppo. Regardless of what you may think of Libertarians, they put the Left to shame when it comes their anti-war position:

            Getting Real News From Aleppo – With Vanessa Beeley

            I just don’t think it’s black and white situation.

            … I don’t think it’s true that Assad is “good” and not committing atrocities against his own people.

            I don’t believe that it’s only a war against terrorists…

            I don’t think we’re ever going to know what’s going on there…

            The following two questions should guide you in your thought process:

            Is the United States, and it’s allies, in Syria legally?
            Is the United States, and it’s allies, legally funding and arming terrorists against a sovereign nation?

          • Abe
            December 20, 2016 at 7:00 pm

            Hasbara 101: The “Conspiracy” Troll

            “Laura” uses a bogus reference to 9/11 in a pathetically clumsy effort to smear a credible independent journalist.

            In reality, not where “Laura” has been “searching,” the CIA’s dirty war in Syria is part of a well-documented parade of “regime change” conspiracies that include Israel, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and several NATO-member states, especially America’s favorite poodle, the UK.

            Frankly, we all know what’s going on here, which is so darned frustrating for the Israel Lobby.

            The “regime change” agenda is in peril and Israel is getting pretty anxious. Thus the stepped-up deluge of Hasbara propagandists in the comment sections of independent investigative journalism sites.

            These days it’s non-stop Hasbara whack-a-mole.

          • Zachary Smith
            December 20, 2016 at 7:26 pm

            In defense of “Laura”, I must say that “she” has the most eye-catching avatar I’ve yet seen on this site. It’s a dandy!

            But I fear I must agree that this is troll work for somebody, and Holy Israel is as usual the leading suspect. Eva Bartlett has her act together, and on a fairly balanced value scale she’d be worth at least 200 John Kirbys. Watch her dismantle the smug Norwegian guy in this video:

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8IIrzJcEWAU

      • Abe
        December 20, 2016 at 5:58 pm

        “Laura” claims to have been “looking into” matters, probably on Eliot Higgins’ Bellingcat propaganda blog.

        In reality, not where “Laura” and her pal “Tim” have been “looking,” the Israel Lobby has been pounding out propaganda.

        Needless to say, Western “regime change” enthusiasts are more than “a bit disappointed” about the defeat of the Al-Qaeda terrorists in Aleppo.

        The Hasbara propaganda of “Laura” takes a soft-peddle tack, insisting that “we should be skeptical of any binary view” when the mainstream media have relentlessly depicted the Western dirty war in Syria as a “black and white situation”.

        In fact, Eva Bartlett presents a fact-based and nuanced understanding of the war in Syria.

        However, Bartlett is unequivocal about the reality that the Syrian nation has been fighting against Western-backed Al-Qaeda terrorist militants.

        Respected investigative journalist, historian and policy analyst Gareth Porter, the 2012 winner of the Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism, has supported Bartlett’s assessment of the situation in Aleppo.

        Independent researchers like Professor Tim Anderson at the University of Sydney have supported Bartlett’s journalism on Syria.

        The fact that real independent journalists and investigators have been vilified by mainstream media for speaking the truth about the West’s latest dirty war is hardly surprising.

      • W. R. Knight
        December 21, 2016 at 11:51 am

        Eva Barlett may paint the Syrian picture in a binary way, but mainstream media also paints the same picture in a binary way. It just happens that the two are at opposite poles from each other. Perhaps the truth lies somewhere in between (and I would guess closer to Barlett’s version).

    • Abe
      December 20, 2016 at 4:27 pm

      Canadian independent journalist Eva Bartlett visited Aleppo twice during her sixth visit to Syria in October and November 2016.

      Bartlett visited Syria for her fifth time from June to August 2016. In 2014, she twice visited Syria, for a period of a month, taking testimonies of Syrian and Palestinian victims of terrorism in Yarmouk camp, as well as Homs, Maaloula, Kessab and Latakia.

      Bartlett experienced first-hand the terrorists’ mortars on Damascus, including being shot at by a terrorist sniper. She reported on the Syrian Presidential elections from Lebanon, and re-visited Syrian a week after the elections.

      Bartlett documented in Palestine for a cumulative three years (from late 2008 to early 2013). During the 2008/9 Israeli attacks, she accompanied Palestinian medics in Gaza, documenting Israeli crimes, including victims of White Phosphorous attacks and other war crimes. During the November 2012 attacks, she reported from a central Gaza Strip hospital.

      Eva Bartlett debated British “regime change” enthusiast Dilly Hussain
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3JFEmCKHVME

      Propagandist pit bull Dilly Hussain (aka Muhammad Dilwar Hussain) of the fake news site 5Pillars UK has described Al-Qaeda terrorist forces in Syria as “Katniss Everdeens” (Foreign Policy Journal, Nov 2015). Hussain is an aggressive “British Muslim” mouthpiece of the Western “regime change” agenda of a Balkanized Syria.

    • evelync
      December 21, 2016 at 12:22 am

      Mr. Karr,

      Retired Colonel and now Boston University history professor Andrew Bacevich gave this talk at the Pardee School at Boston University
      https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Y-Lg0Fv7nTA

      Bacevich argues that our foreign policy of the last few decades has been creating a mess with no end in sight.

      The Q AND A afterwards also addresses some probing questions.

      Professor Bacevich Who spoke out against the invasion of Iraq lost his own son in that tragedy. His views are well informed, persuasive and most of all deeply patriotic.

      A far different perspective than we hear in the MSM.

      His talk is only 25 minutes, clearly stated and to the point.

    • bobzz
      December 21, 2016 at 12:34 am

      In the video, Bartlett challenges a reporter to name international NGOs on the ground in eastern Aleppo, and then claims, “there are none.”

      I think Bartlett challenged the reporter on how many western news organizations were in Aleppo, not NGOs.

  3. December 20, 2016 at 1:10 pm

    Why is this info below not in Corporate Media?
    ———————————————

    “Syrian Ambassador names foreign agents captured in Aleppo”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bTRccMqEXAE

    • Zachary Smith
      December 20, 2016 at 7:29 pm

      Oops – I hadn’t seen this when I made my own post.

  4. December 20, 2016 at 1:24 pm

    Why is the Story below not in Corporate Media?
    ————————————————————-
    “BREAKING: At Least 14 US Coalition Military Officers Captured by Syrian Special Forces in East Aleppo Bunker”

    http://21stcenturywire.com/2016/12/16/reports-at-least-10-nato-military-officers-captured-by-syrian-special-forces-this-morning-in-east-aleppo-bunker/

    • John Doe II
      December 20, 2016 at 4:31 pm

      Thank you, Stephen, 4 tha links

  5. Abe
    December 20, 2016 at 2:54 pm

    The Hasbara propaganda campaign has shifted into overdrive and the Hasbara troll army is out in force.

    The Syrian Arab Army has liberated the city of Aleppo, which has been under siege by Western-backed Al-Qaeda terrorist forces since July 2012.

    Independent investigative journalism sites and reporters are besieged by Hasbara trolls ‘splainin’ how independent media have it all wrong on Syria.

    Pro-Israel pundits are predictably shrieking about an imminent “Holocaust,” and the Israel Lobby is calling out the troops.

    For example, “Tim Carr” (see comments above) delivers a neat recitation of Israel Lobby-scripted Hasbara talking points on Syria.

    How ironic that our Hasbara commenter does not refer to the verified Al-Qaeda PR flack White Helmets.

    How absurd that our Hasbara commenter neglects to mention that Amnesty International, Doctors Without Borders and Human Rights Watch are confirmed front groups for Western governments.

    How interesting that “Tim Carr” does not ‘splain’ how the Red Cross was hosted by the Al-Qaeda occupation government to take part in a PR tour of terrorist-controlled areas.

  6. Bill Bodden
    December 20, 2016 at 4:42 pm

    Related from one of the most respected and knowledgeable correspondents in the Middle East: “More Propaganda Than News Coming Out of Aleppo” by Patrick Cockburn – http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/12/19/more-propaganda-than-news-coming-out-of-aleppo/

  7. Brendan
    December 20, 2016 at 5:24 pm

    Ten important facts about Aleppo that you’re very unlikely to see in the western media:

    1. There were practically no “moderate rebels” in Aleppo. The armed opposition were all Islamist militants such as Al Qaida/Al Nusra or their close allies. The ideology of these groups is not just extremist, in many cases it’s genocidal in its attitude towards Shiites and Alawites.
    In contrast to those hardline Sunni groups, the Syrian government represents and includes people from all communities in Syria, whether they’re Sunni, Shiite, Alawite, Christian or secularist.

    2. If the Syrian army and its allies did not have to fight so hard against islamist groups such as Al Nusra in Aleppo and elsewhere, they would have been able to attack IS/Islamic State instead. The end to the fighting in Aleppo should therefore be welcomed. The Syrian army are the only force in Syria, outside of the Kurdish areas, who are fighting IS to any significant extent.

    3. The ‘rebels’ get nearly all of their military and financial support from outside of Syria, mainly the Gulf States and also Turkey and the USA. By almost completely ignoring this fact, the western media gives the impression that what’s happening in Syria is an indigenous revolution and that the only foreigners involved are the Russians, Iranians and Hezbolla.

    4. The military intervention and no-fly zone, which many demanded, would have brought more war, not peace. Apart from breaking international law by attacking the government of a sovereign country, it would have created a major disaster if it were effective. It would very likely have resulted in Islamist militants taking over Aleppo, followed by most or all of Syria. This would have resulted in ethnic cleansing and possibly extermination of groups that don’t share their religious ideology.

    5. The ‘rebels’ prevented civilians from leaving East Aleppo and used them as human shields and tried to kill anyone who tried to escape. Many media reports give the impression that Syrian government forces and its allies were preventing civilians from leaving, which is not the case. These forces were besieging the militants and not the civilian population in East Aleppo.

    6. Delivery of humanitarian aid was also blocked by the rebels and not by the Syrian government. The government only blocked aid that the militants could get control of. Still, western media and senior politicians invented a story that it was the Syrian and Russian air forces that destroyed the ICRC aid convoy that was on its way to civilians in Aleppo.

    7. There’s still no evidence that the White Helmets (the main source for allegations of the air attack on the aid convoy, and many other stories) are a real rescue organisation and not just part of a propaganda operation. If they were for real, then you would expect that many of their heroic acts would have reported by grateful East Aleppo refugees to western journalists, who would then be happy to publish them.

    8. The widely reported figures for the number of people in East Aleppo have turned out to be grossly overestimated, possibly in order to hype up the hysteria about the suffering caused by evil Assad and evil Putin. The original estimate by the UN of 275,000 before the start of the liberation now appears to be downgraded by half to about 130,000. The number of people still there last weekend was reported by the UN’s Stefan de Mistura to be 50,000, but the real number now looks more like 25,000.

    9. When the Syrian army re-took East Aleppo, more than five times as many people chose to flee to government-controlled West Aleppo than the number who chose to go to “rebel-dominated” Idlib (and a large proportion of the latter group were militants and their families). That’s hardly a sign of a population that supports moderate rebels and is terrified of a brutal regime, as portayed by the media.

    10. The large scale massacres and even genocide which were predicted if the Syrian army and its allies were to take control of East Aleppo, have not happened. There was much talk about a repeat of Srebinica , Rwanda and even the Holocaust. So far, however, there have been only a few unverified anonymous reports of killings by the victorious forces. Anyway they have no motive to attack anyone at all, especially since they allowed all of the opposition in East Aleppo to travel to Idlib along with their families .

  8. Zachary Smith
    December 20, 2016 at 6:59 pm

    The Syrian UN ambassador claims there is another “extraction” being desperately attempted in Aleppo: the removal of a batch of foreign intelligence officers. Google News is NOT making a big deal out of this. I found exactly one link on that site to the story.

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

    These people may end up eluding capture, for you can bet every resource we have is being used to make sure it doesn’t happen.

  9. R S
    December 20, 2016 at 8:24 pm

    The truth of what has been happening in Syria. http://www.ecowatch.com/syria-another-pipeline-war-1882180532.html

  10. RPDC
    December 20, 2016 at 11:34 pm

    Mr. Bernstein – was this tongue-in-cheek, or is this simply the kind of accusation that you casually throw around?

    “[It] is pretty clear that Trump is a white supremacist”

    • Abe
      December 21, 2016 at 12:54 am

      Trump not so casually embraces the Zionist racist project’s unique brand of white supremacism
      http://mondoweiss.net/2016/11/zionists-embrace-surprise/

      So do Clinton and Obama. Bernie, eh, not so much (though he’s not willing to wholly disavow it).

  11. Abe
    December 21, 2016 at 1:41 am

    “Syria was where President Barack Obama had openly expressed the certainty to create a quagmire for his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. The calculation of the Obama administration was that the quagmire in Syria would mean a devastating setback for Putin, which in turn, would erode his grip on power and mark the unravelling of the Russian political system itself.

    “The Obama administration pursued in this context a multi-dimensional approach – engaging Russia on the diplomatic track to buy time for extremist groups in Aleppo to regroup and try to break the siege; taking control of Raqqa on the supply route to Aleppo; keeping up a sustained propaganda barrage on ‘humanitarian grounds’ to disorient the Russian military track […]

    “For the US and the EU, the fall of Aleppo, Assad`s survival, Turkey’s changed position, and most importantly Russia`s and Iran`s ascendancy represent a generational foreign policy setback—something that they certainly had not anticipated at the start of “spring” in the Middle East in general and in Syria in particular, and something they are now finding hard to reconcile with.”

    American ‘Anger’ Reflects Washington’s Failure in Syria
    By Salman Rafi Sheikh
    http://journal-neo.org/2016/12/21/american-anger-reflects-washingtons-failure-in-syria/

    • Bob Van Noy
      December 21, 2016 at 10:28 am

      Excellent link Abe, thank you. This too from the same article.

      ”While it might seem too much at this stage to suggest a potential exit, some developments have clearly shown that the century of American and Western imperial supremacy in the resource rich region is over. Defeat in Syria is not just of military nature; it equally symbolizes and effectively stamps the rise of forces which are no longer willing or weak enough to subordinate their interests to that of the West and its Arab allies.” From the same article at Journal NEO.

  12. Adrian D.
    December 22, 2016 at 12:39 pm

    As an update, Channel 4 (the UK TV broadcaster) have also now provided a ‘fact check’ of Eva Bartlett’s claims of the recycling of children in videos from Syria, which they describe as ‘nonsense’.

    Unsurprisingly it’s pretty partial in that it focuses on just this one of her many claims – ignoring the one she directly accompanied it with – the ‘destruction’ of hte Al Quds hospital which Channel 4 themselves reported as being destroyed.

    • HDR
      December 26, 2016 at 7:27 am

      Many of her claims are incorrect.

  13. Brian
    December 23, 2016 at 2:23 pm

    July 07, 2014 57 Years Ago: U.S. and Britain Approved Use of Islamic Extremists to Topple Syrian Government

    Have the U.S. and Its Allies Intentionally Balkanized Syria Into Smaller Regions? BBC reports that – in 1957 – the British and American leaders approved the use of Islamic extremists and false flag attacks to topple the Syrian government:

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/57-years-ago-u-s-and-britain-approved-use-of-islamic-extremists-to-topple-syrian-government/5390279

  14. HDR
    December 26, 2016 at 7:24 am

    Bartlett is incorrect with regard to the Al-Quds hospital. It was attacked. See MSF on this attack.

    https://www.msf.org.au/sites/default/files/attachments/al_quds_public_report_msf_30.09.2016.pdf

    • Abe
      December 26, 2016 at 5:07 pm

      The destruction of Al-Quds hospital is not disputed by Bartlett. The question is the cause of the destruction and the parties responsible for the attack.

      The MSF report claim that Al-Quds hospital was subjected to “airstrike” attacks is largely based on allegations by the White Helmets, a propaganda organization that has supported Al-Qaeda forces in Aleppo and Idlib.

      The White Helmet receive assistance from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The US-backed Al-Qaeda forces have besieged the city of Aleppo since 2012, and have a record of deliberately staging attacks which they subsequently blame on Syrian government forces.

      The MSF report does acknowledge that the multitude of “armed opposition groups” in Aleppo have indeed fired on hospitals and densely populated civilian centers, noting that these armed groups “have demonstrated a disregard for the protection of healthcare, launching attacks in both government –and opposition–held areas”.

      However, the MSF report uncritically accepts Al-Qaeda affiliated White Helmets “witness” claims that Al-Quds Hospital was attacked from the air.

      The destruction observable in satellite imagery and on hospital video cameras appears to be due to ground detonation of large improvised explosive devices (IEDs), a signature weapon of Al-Qaeda attacks on civilians in Aleppo.

      • HDR
        December 26, 2016 at 9:32 pm

        Abe, in the video clip of the press conference, Bartlett states very clearly that she believes the Russian MoD version of events that Al-Quds “was not attacked” (her words). I don’t know if she is deliberately lying, or her ideology is clouding the way she views the world, or just misspoke; but she is clearly incorrect.

      • Abe
        December 27, 2016 at 12:56 pm

        Commenter “HDR” is recycling a propaganda meme.

        “HDR” falsely states that Bartlett was “clearly incorrect” about the April 2016 damage to Al-Quds Hospital.

        See my detailed discussion of the Al-Quds Hosptal attack below.

  15. Abe
    December 27, 2016 at 12:53 pm

    In fact, Bartlett specifically stated that “hospitals in Aleppo have been attacked” but that Al-Quds Hospital was not attacked by either the Syrians or the Russians” in April 2016.

    During her appearance at the United Nations 9 December 2016 Press Conference, Bartlett analyzed the deliberate disinformation and propaganda campaign the Western mainstream media have carried out since 2011, part of their countries’ regime-change agenda in Syria.

    Citing an example of disinformation campaign perpetrated by Western mainstream media, Bartlett specifically discussed the damage to Al-Quds hospital:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uap0GwBYdBA
    [Video minutes 5:20-6:00]

    “Other points about Aleppo are, hospitals in Aleppo have been attacked. I’m sure you’ve heard in the media that hospitals have been attacked. Well this media is referring to the pockets of Aleppo that were occupied by terrorists and they have manufactured stories, and I can give you a precise account.

    “In April of this year, there was a hospital called the Al-Quds Hospital which in a concerted effort, all media said was attacked and targeted and badly damaged by either the Syrians or the Russians. In fact the Russians had satellite imagery showing that this hospital was in the same shape it was in, in October 2015. No difference. Therefore it was not attacked.”

    Bartlett’s analysis is clearly correct: Al-Quds Hospital was “not attacked” by the Syrians or Russians.

    Analysis of aerial images clearly indicates that Al Quds Hospital was not damaged by an “airstrike” in April 2016.

    The absence of visible damage to the top of the hospital during the relevant time period, combined with the extent of damage to the hospital and adjacent buildings, indicate that Al-Quds Hospital was attacked from the ground, not from the sky.

    In April 2016, the Western-backed Al-Qaeda terrorist forces besieging Aleppo already had established a record of attacks on hospitals.

    The large debris apron in front of Al-Quds Hospital, damage to the facade of the building, and damage to nearby buildings indicate that it was struck by large ordnance.

    In addition, the terrorist forces had well-established record of attacks using multiple large ordnance Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs).

    The terrorist detonation of massive IEDs in civilian areas of Aleppo and locations in Syria has produced both large numbers of casualties and severe damage to structures.

    For obvious reasons, Western mainstream media and fake “citizen investigative journalist” bloggers like Eliot Higgins and Bellingcat deliberately ignore the evidence that Al-Quds Hospital was by the Al-Qaeda terrorist forces in eastern Aleppo in April 2016.

  16. HDR
    December 27, 2016 at 3:43 pm

    Abe, how is my post propaganda? Bartlett states that the Al-Quds was not attacked. MSF says that it was. In your post you also agree that it was attacked. You say it was rebels, MSF says it was an airplane. Bartlett says it didn’t happen.

    • Abe
      December 27, 2016 at 11:55 pm

      Bartlett correctly said that Al-Quds Hospital was “not attacked” by the Syrians or Russians.

      “Bartlett says it didn’t happen” is a factually and logically incorrect propaganda statement.

  17. HDR
    December 29, 2016 at 9:39 pm

    Abe, please listen to Bartlett again. Bartell: “In fact the Russians had satellite imagery showing that this hospital was in the same shape it was in, in October 2015. No difference. Therefore it was not attacked.” She states that it was not attacked. She does not state, as you write that it was not attacked by the Syrians or Russians. Perhaps she meant to add the words you appended, but that’s not what she actually says.

    Confirming her denial is her subsequent statement: “Months later, the Guardian, … actually said the Al-Quds hospital that it had alleged months prior was attacked and destroyed was treating victims …. so even the media that is lying is inconsistent in their lies.” Listen to this whole narrative and the overall context is clear; in this interview at least she is claiming that this medical facility was not attacked. There is a plethora of evidence that Al-Quds was attacked, e.g. https://www.aaas.org/report/assessing-status-medical-facilities-syria-al-quds.

    (Note: MSF made it quite clear that much of the damage was repaired and never claimed that Al-Quds was totally destroyed; I haven’t read the Guardian to see if they said that it was destroyed as Bartlett claims).

    Bartlett is not alone in the banality of denial. She is joined by others, e.g. “Professor” Anderson who also appears to deny the attack, again relying on Russian MoD; although to his credit he does qualify this by saying if the Russians are correct then Al-Quds was not attacked; Bartlett provides no such qualifications.

    BTW, how credible is Russian MoD satellite/narrative? They have no more credibility that their US/NATO counterparts. The Russian MoD is notorious for their propaganda, e.g. see https://medium.com/@DFRLab/lie-in-the-sky-224186b6e98c#.cpk23wd1d .

    Anyway, since we cant even agree on what one person actually said in one statement, I doubt that we would reach any agreement as to who actually bombed this hospital. And it is apparent that anything I say or question will be interpreted as propaganda. This is not a site for critical thinking.

    Sincerely wishing you and Syria a peaceful 2017.

    • Abe
      December 31, 2016 at 1:18 am

      “HDR” just ‘showed up’ after Consortium News covered the Washington Post / PropOrNot imbroglio.

      The posts by “HDR” are a crude effort to claim that Consortium News is “not a site for critical thinking”.

      “HDR” parrots PropOrNot “related projects” Snopes, Bellingcat, and the Atlantic Council, all “allies” in the advancement of Western propaganda narratives.

      The United States government has an extensive track record of lying when using satellite, aerial imagery, and “intelligence” information.

      Faced with the prevailing distrust of US intelligence agencies like the CIA and NSA, the U.S. and U.K. have advanced a a Propaganda 3.0 disinformation strategy using so-called “open journalism”, “social media journalism”, and “open-source intelligence” as conduits for deception.

      These new digital-age “information activities” include fake news reports generated via social media, published online in increasingly convincing and sophisticated ways by fake “independent citizen journalists”.

      British deception operative Eliot Higgins and the Bellingcat site are the leading purveyors of fake news.

      Higgins has developed an impressive track record of lying.

      For example, when US and UK governments lacked credible evidence of Syrian government responsibility for the 2013 Ghouta attack or Russian government responsibility for the 2014 MH-17 incident, Higgins leaped forward to “fact check” disinformation propagated on social media and rubber stamp it with a fake “digital forensics” seal of approval.

      Higgins’ fake “investigation reports” have been repeatedly debunked by reputable independent media outlets, real investigative journalists, and technical experts. But Higgins continues to be hailed as a go-to expert by the usual mainstream media “regime change” advocates.

      In fact, Higgins and his Bellingcat fake news organization openly conspire with mainstream media propagandists like the Washington Post, New York Times and UK Guardian, and major corporations like Google with lucrative ties to the defense industry, in support of the US/NATO “hybrid war” against Russia and Syria.

      In his principal role as a propaganda launderer, Higgins deliberately misinterprets, misidentifies, misdates and modifies aerial video and satellite images to promote Western intelligence narratives.

      Higgins and Bellingcat fake news is subsequently disseminated via British mainstream media propaganda outlets like the British Guardian, Telegraph and BBC News, along with American propaganda stalwarts like the New York Times, and Washington Post.

      The mainstream media steadfastly refuse to report when Higgins and Bellingcat “findings” are routinely debunked by reliable independent journalists and technical experts.

  18. Abe
    December 31, 2016 at 1:20 am

    EXPOSED: WESTERN FAKE NEWS ABOUT AL-QUDS HOSPITAL ATTACK

    During a May 2016 Russian Ministry of Defence briefing, spokesman Igor Konashenkov addressed the fake news disseminated by Western media, including the allegations of an “air strike” on Al-Quds Hospital at the end of April 2016.

    “The pseudo-sensational report of a bombing raid against the Al-Quds hospital has been replicated by many international mass media as an example of breach of the Russian-US agreement on a ceasefire in Syria. We checked this information; and today we will show you the real picture based on the reconnaissance data,” said Konashenkov.

    Konashenkov presented two photographs of Al-Quds Hospital: An aerial drone image dated 29 April 2016, and a satellite image dated 15 October 15.

    The 2016 drone image “clearly shows the degree of the hospital’s destruction,” said Konashenkov. “This is irrefutable evidence and nobody denies it,” he added.

    The 2015 satellite image shows damage in the same locations of the hospital structure. “The presented images indicate quite clearly that all ostensible ‘eyewitness accounts’ about an air strike against the hospital are in fact another falsehood,” said Konashenkov.

    The Russian Defense Ministry analysis shows that the highly publicized propaganda “reports” alleging a Russian or Syrian “air strike” attack on Al-Quds Hospital were false.

    A STRANGE ASSESSMENT WITH A DISLAIMER

    “Assessing the Status of Medical Facilities in Syria: Al-Quds” was authored by a single person: Eric Ashcroft, a Senior Program Associate of the Geospatial Technologies Project of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

    Scientific analysis and research documents usually don’t come with Disclaimers.

    Ashcroft’s report has the following Disclaimer: “The opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the AAAS Board of Directors, its Council, or membership, or the Oak Foundation.”

    So Ashcroft’s report about Al-Quds Hospital isn’t necessarily the view of the AAAS.

    Ashcroft uses two highly pixellated images from two different satellites: One from 25 April 2016 and a second from 29 April 2016.

    The images were supplied by Digital Globe and the U.S. State Department. Digital Globe is a supplier of the U.S, Department of Defense (DoD). Examination of the Board of Directors of Digital Globe reveals intimate connections to DoD and the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

    In short, the images were supplied by the U.S. government via a key military contractor.

    According to Ashcroft, Al-Quds Hospital “appears undamaged” in the 25 April satellite image. This assessment is clearly incorrect since damage to the structure has been well documented.

    Ashroft also notes “a debris apron is present in the street in front of the hospital” in the 29 April satellite image.

    The debris was clearly evident in the 29 April Russian drone image.

    To repeat: the fact that Al-Quds Hospital was attacked is in no way disputed by the Russians or other independent journalists like Eva Bartlett.

    The question is whether the attack on Al-Quds Hospital was an “air strike”.

    ASHCROFT FOUND NO “AIR STRIKE”

    Ashcroft’s “findings” did not confirm an “air strike” on Al-Quds Hospital.

    In fact, the entirety of Ashcroft’s “Analysis” is delivered in a single paragraph:

    “Analysis of satellite imagery reveals that a large debris apron appeared in the street in front of Al-Quds Hospital between 25 April 2016 and 29 April 2016. Debris aprons often indicate the presence of damage to the façade of a building that cannot be directly observed via satellite imagery. In addition, the top floors of building immediately adjacent to the hospital were severely damaged during the same time period. These findings are consistent with reports of the hospital being struck by large ordnance.”

    There is no mention of an “air strike” in Ashcroft’s “Analysis” of the Al-Quds Hospital attack.

    The AAAS website page, “Analysis of satellite imagery confirmed that Al-Quds Hospital was damaged and an adjacent building had collapsed between 25 April 2016 and 29 April 2016.”

    The AAAS and Russian Ministry of Defence assessments agreed: an “attack” happened, but not from the sky.

    There is no confirmation of the “reports” of a so-called “air strike”.

    In fact Ashcroft’s report contains only one reference source concerning “reports” that the hospital was attacked by an “air strike”:

    Ashcroft’s single footnote refers to a 28 April 2016 news article, “Syria conflict: MSF says deadly air strike hit Aleppo hospital” from the BBC online.

    The BBC article cites Doctors Without Borders / Medecins Sans Frontiers (MSF) and the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

    Doctors Without Borders clarified that its “reports” of an “air strike” on Al-Quds Hospital came from White Helmets operatives. Based in Turkey, the White Helmets group directly collaborates with the Western-backed Al Qaeda terrorists in Syria.

    In addition, Ashcroft’s report was created at “the request of” an organization called Physicians for Human Rights.

    Examination of these four entities – Doctors Without Borders, White Helmets, Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, and Physicians for Human Rights – reveals the multiple layers of deception that comprise Western propaganda about the conflict in Syria.

    DOCTORS WITHOUT BORDERS / MEDECINS SANS FRONTIERES (MSF)

    Doctors Without Borders is lavishly funded by the very same Wall Street corporate financier interests behind Washington and London’s collective foreign policy, including regime change in Syria and neighboring Iran.

    The 2015 Annual Report of Doctors Without Borders reveals major donors Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo, Google, Microsoft, Bloomberg, and a myriad of other corporate-financier interests. Doctors Without Borders also features bankers upon its Board of Advisers including Elizabeth Beshel Robinson of Goldman Sachs.

    Complicating further Doctors Without Borders so-called “independent” and “aid” claims is the fact that their medical facilities are set up in terrorist held regions of Syria, especially along Syria’s northern border with NATO-member Turkey. In an interview with NPR, executive director Stephen Cornish revealed the nature of Doctors Without Borders’ involvement in the Syrian conflict, explaining that aid is being sent to regions outside of the Syrian government’s control, and that his organization is in fact setting up its facilities in these areas.

    The Wall Street-funded organization is providing support for militants armed and funded by the West and its regional allies (Israel, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, Jordan), most of whom are revealed to be foreign fighters affiliated with or directly belonging to Al Qaeda. This so-called “international aid” organization is in actuality yet another cog in the covert military machine being turned against Syria and serves the role as a medical battalion.

    In other words, Doctors Without Borders operates within borders controlled by the Western-backed Al Qaeda terrorists in Syria.

    WHITE HELMETS

    The Doctors Without Borders Report relies on allegations by the highly publicized White Helmets organization, a public relations project created by the UK and USA. These so-called ”Syrian Civil Defence” operatives actually were trained in Turkey by former British military officer and current contractor, James Le Mesurier. Promotion of the program is done by “The Syria Campaign” supported by the foundation of billionaire Ayman Asfari.

    The White Helmets work in Idlib (headquarters of Al Qaeda) and formerly in the terrorist controlled area of Aleppo. Their primary function the White Helmets is to generate propaganda that demonizes the government of Syria and encourages direct military intervention. The White Helmets are very active on social media with presence on Twitter and Facebook. The head of the White Helmets wrote a Washington Post editorial calling for imposition of a no-fly zone to protect Al Qaeda controlled areas of Syria.

    SYRIAN OBSERVATORY FOR HUMAN RIGHTS (SOHR)

    The long ago been exposed Syrian Observatory for Human Rights is a one-man propaganda front operated by Rami Abdul Rahman out of his house in Coventry, England. An admitted member of the so-called “Syrian opposition,” Abdul Rahman has been the sole source of information for the endless torrent of propaganda emanating from the Western media.

    An April 2013 New York Times feature applauding Abdul Rahman revealed that his “one-man band” operation is indeed funded by “the European Union and one European country that he declines to identify”. Abdul Rahman has direct access to the Foreign Secretary William Hague, who he has been documented meeting in person on multiple occasions at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London.”

    PHYSICIANS FOR HUMAN RIGHTS (PHR)

    Under the guise of medical expertise and scientific fact, Physicians for Human Rights promotes distorted and false narratives, aimed at demonizing Syria and delegitimizing its elected government in the international arena. Physicians for Human Rights has a record of falsely attributing responsibility for attacks on Syria’s hospitals.

    For example, one of the most dramatic and destructive attacks on a Syrian hospital was the large ordnace Suicide Vehicle-Borne Improvised Explosive Device (SVBIED) attack on Al Kindi Hospital in Aleppo. However, the Physicians for Human Rights slick “Map of Attacks on Health Care in Syria” inaccurately shows the attack having been carried out by “government forces.”

    SKY HIGH LIES FROM ELIOT HIGGINS, BELLINGCAT, ATLANTIC COUNCIL

    Eliot Higgins, founder of the Bellingcat propaganda platform and a direct collaborator with the Atlantic Council “regime change” think tank, cited Ashcroft’s report in a 12 November 2016 article on the Atlantic Council’s so-called “Digital Forensic Research Lab” website.

    In the article, Higgins describes “the Al Quds hospital bombing in Aleppo on April 28th 2016, where the MoD attempted to claim imagery from after the reported date of the bombing showed the hospital with the same damage as it had in earlier imagery from October 2015”.

    Higgins falsely claimed that the Russian analysis of the damage to Al-Quds Hospital was “another example of the Russian MoD’s interpretation of satellite imagery varying wildly from the evidence from the ground and independent analyses of satellite imagery”.

    In fact, the Russian Ministry of Defence briefing did not vary from the visible evidence on the ground or Ashcroft’s “Analysis” satellite imagery.

    No “air attack” on Al-Quds Hospital was mentioned in either analysis.

    Echoing Western mainstream media narratives, Higgins interpreted the undisputed visual evidence of an attack on Al-Quds Hospital as an “airstrike”.

    At the same time, Higgins propagandistically dismissed the Russian analysis (and Ashcroft’s report) as a mere “interpretation”.

    Fake “citizen investigative journalist” Higgins and fake “human rights activist” Abdul Rahman have been twin UK-based propaganda launderers during the conflict in Syria. The main job of Higgins has been to “confirm” the stories of Rahman and other fake “activists” like the White Helmets.

    NGOs: Tool of Information Warfare?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ro1byfe5vUM

    Numerous Higgins and Bellingcat “confirmations” of terrorist groups’ allegations against Syria and Russia have been debunked.

    But the allegations were never meant to be proven. The propaganda was and is meant to be inserted into the “news cycle” for political leverage.

  19. Abe
    December 31, 2016 at 6:26 am

    “The use of social media in reporting the battle of eastern Aleppo has been extraordinary, weird, dangerous, even murderous, when not a single Western journalist could report the eastern Aleppo war at first hand. Much damage has been done to the very credibility of journalism – and to politicians – by the acceptance of one side of the story only when not a single reporter can confirm with his or her own eyes what they are reporting.

    “We handed journalism to social media – and the armed men who control the areas from which these reports came know that they can pull the same trick again next time. They will, in Idlib. But this problem in the region is much, much bigger than a Syrian province. It’s now about the malleability of facts across the whole Middle East.

    “The 250,000 ‘trapped’ Muslims of eastern Aleppo – now that 31,000 have chosen to go to Idlib, many more to western Aleppo – appear to have been somewhat fewer than 90,000. It’s now possible that at least 160,000 of the civilians ‘trapped’ in eastern Aleppo did not actually exist, but no one says so. That vital statistic of 250,000, the very punctuation mark of every report on the besieged enclave, is now forgotten or ignored (wisely, perhaps) by those who quoted it.”

    We Do Not Live in “Post Truth” World, We Live in a World of Lies and We Always Have
    By Robert Fisk
    http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/12/30/we-do-not-live-in-post-truth-world-we-live-in-a-world-of-lies-and-we-always-have/

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