Global Research, Chossudovsky, Russia, Propaganda

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Re: Global Research, Chossudovsky, Russia, Propaganda

Postby American Dream » Sun Jan 28, 2018 9:49 pm

Did a Kremlin Pilgrimage cause Alternet blogger’s Damascene conversion?

A blogger who once supported the Syrian revolution has reinvented himself as an advocate for Bashar al Assad. Did his pilgrimage to Moscow occasion this conversion?

by Sam Charles Hamad and Oz Katerji

Last March, a live performance in support of Syrian first responders by a flashmob orchestra at New York’s Grand Central Station was physically disrupted by a group of six protesters. Within hours, the video of the disruption was uploaded to social media and promoted by an RT employee. Max Blumenthal, a blogger at Alternet, soon released documents that revealed the performance was organized by a pro-Syrian campaign group. In characteristic inversion of reality, RT billed the disruption as a triumph for “anti-war” direct action.

Three participants in the protest have so far been identified: all have links to RT, the Russian state-funded propaganda network now under investigation by the U.S. government for its alleged interference in the last presidential election. Alexander Rubinstein, the man who filmed the protest, is an RT employee, and Taryn Fivek and Sara Flounders, the two protesters, are RT contributors. Blumenthal, who amplified the story, is also a regular on RT.

Fivek was an officer with the International Organization for Migration until she was found to have used the pseudonym Emma Quangel on Twitter to cheer Russia’s actions in Syria and mock civilian suffering. Flounders, a steering committee member of the pro-Assad Syria Solidarity Movement, has graduated from denying Serb atrocities in Bosnia to denying Assad regime atrocities in Syria. Both have limited influence. It is Blumenthal who with Alternet has created an effective beachhead in the US for Kremlin propaganda.

Things were not always thus. In 2012, Blumenthal had publicly resigned as a columnist from the pro-Assad Lebanese daily Al Akhbar, citing as his reason the paper’s publishing of cheerleaders who blamed Assad’s victims and maligned critical journalists. He likened their behavior to that of Israel’s apologists. Blumenthal has now dramatically resurrected himself as an apologist for Assad, a scourge of critical journalists, and a mirror image—by his own logic—of Israel’s apologists.

What happened in between to occasion this dramatic reversal?

The Damascene Conversion

In December 2015, Blumenthal visited Moscow to attend the 10th anniversary of Kremlin propaganda network RT. He returned a changed man. A month later he founded the “Grayzone Project”, billed as an initiative for “confronting Islamophobia”, but in reality a home for Assad and Kremlin-friendly outcasts from leftwing blogosphere (Grayzone’s few Muslim writers quickly departed after they realised its true character).

The emergence of this axis presents a case study in the ideological realignments that are being instrumentalized by the Kremlin with fellow travellers on both the left and the far right. Its mercenary character is betrayed by its sloppy methods.

Take the two articles Blumenthal wrote in September 2016 to signal his metamorphosis. At a time when the brutal siege of eastern Aleppo was escalating into a rampage, the target of Blumenthal’s fury was the White Helmets, a group of volunteer first responders providing rescue and medical services in the besieged zone. (They had already been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, extensively covered by international journalists, and a short Netflix documentary about their efforts would later win an Academy Award.)

The fact that the White Helmets were calling on the international community to impose a no-fly zone to end the bombings by the Syrian and Russian air forces was Blumenthal’s proof that the group was participating in a western regime-change conspiracy. (Never mind military action to stop the regime’s bombings is in line with the wishes of many refugees fleeing Syria, as Blumenthal had himself discovered in his tour of the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan.)

The group’s filming of the atrocious aftermath of airstrikes on civilians had caused the Kremlin much embarrassment. But the bombs no longer concerned Blumenthal. He was more exercised by the fact that part of the group’s operational costs had been covered by USAID, an agency of the U.S. government. For good measure, he also accused the rescue workers of having al-Qaeda links, despite there being no credible evidence for this.

Blumethal started his calumnies against the White Helmets inauspiciously by confusing the group’s slogan — “to save one life is to save all of humanity,” a verse from the Quran so well-known that Barack Obama quoted it in his 2009 Cairo speech — with a quote from Steven Spielberg’s Schindler’s List.

There was nothing novel about these conspiracy theories. They closely echoed charges made earlier by Vanessa Beeley, a pro-Assad eccentric who writes for 21st Century Wire, a website established by a former editor for Alex Jones’s Infowars. (She too is an RT regular.) Beeley has since charged that Blumenthal’s articles were based on her work. According to Beeley, Blumenthal tasked Rania Khalek with wangling material from her for his polemic. Unsurprisingly, he failed to acknowledge the source.

“What was interesting is that Rania [Khalek] pumped me for information on the [White Helmets] and then Max [Blumenthal] wrote the article,” Beeley claimed on social media. (Khalek would later face heat for promoting one of Beeley’s videos featuring testimony from a White Helmets volunteer obtained under torture).


Continues at: https://pulsemedia.org/2017/08/22/did-a ... onversion/
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Re: Global Research, Chossudovsky, Russia, Propaganda

Postby JackRiddler » Sun Jan 28, 2018 10:48 pm

American Dream » Sun Jan 28, 2018 8:49 pm wrote:

The fact that the White Helmets were calling on the international community to impose a no-fly zone to end the bombings by the Syrian and Russian air forces was Blumenthal’s proof that the group was participating in a western regime-change conspiracy. (Never mind military action to stop the regime’s bombings is in line with the wishes of many refugees fleeing Syria, as Blumenthal had himself discovered in his tour of the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan.)


Those making such a call may use the term, but there is no one, single international community and a serious writer would not accept it without problematizing it. The only entity capable of receiving and acting upon a call to "impose" a no-fly zone against Syrian and Russian air forces is the United States government, which of course also bombs targets in Syria. Such an intervention would be opposed by the Russian state (which would obviously be able to veto it in the United Nations), necessitate escalation and almost inevitably turn into a regime-change operation with a threat of direct hostilities between the two nuclear-armed former superpowers. That is true regardless of original intent of those making the call or even of the U.S. planners. So while it "proves" nothing (and I doubt Blumenthal used that word), and no matter what the White Helmets may actually be, it amounts to asking that the insane Syrian war with its dozen-plus foreign power interventions on behalf of fifty-plus belligerent factions on the ground should be turned into a world war. I'll have to agree with Blumenthal, both as a U.S. citizen and as a breathing human being of this planet, in opposing the proposal. You may not like his position on the Syrian war, but none of this makes him a Russian proxy.

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Re: Global Research, Chossudovsky, Russia, Propaganda

Postby Sounder » Mon Jan 29, 2018 7:05 am

Take the two articles Blumenthal wrote in September 2016 to signal his metamorphosis. At a time when the brutal siege of eastern Aleppo was escalating into a rampage, the target of Blumenthal’s fury was the White Helmets, a group of volunteer first responders providing rescue and medical services in the besieged zone. (They had already been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, extensively covered by international journalists, and a short Netflix documentary about their efforts would later win an Academy Award.)


Well see, Nobel Peace prize, Academy Award, Netflix doc and extensively covered by international journalists, they must be 'good guys'.


He was more exercised by the fact that part of the group’s operational costs had been covered by USAID, an agency of the U.S. government. For good measure, he also accused the rescue workers of having al-Qaeda links, despite there being no credible evidence for this.


No credible evidence?, well maybe if one only looks to the accepted and established authorities.

I'm exercised by the fact that the White Helmet main guy is employed by Olive Group, now part of exBlackwater.

You run with a nice crowd AD.



All these things will continue as long as coercion remains a central element of our mentality.
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Re: Global Research, Chossudovsky, Russia, Propaganda

Postby American Dream » Mon Jan 29, 2018 8:58 am

I think principled voices for Peace and Justice can differ on all kinds of things but that said is Regime Change inherently bad? Certainly a U.S. takeover would be but so would Russian, Israeli, Saudi, or anything else.

I'm for multilateral withdrawal more than anything else at this point but could never deny that culpability for great war crimes very much includes the Assad regime. I support self determination for the Syrians broadly and do not think Assad is as popular as the "Syrian Government" or the Russia-linked propaganda apparatus claims him to be.

Assad, Trump, Putin: they are all bloody murderers.



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Re: Global Research, Chossudovsky, Russia, Propaganda

Postby Jerky » Mon Jan 29, 2018 11:03 am

How Syria's White Helmets became victims of an online propaganda machine
The Russia-backed campaign to link the volunteer rescuers with al-Qaida exposes how conspiracy theories take root: ‘It’s like a factory’

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/ ... y-theories
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Re: Global Research, Chossudovsky, Russia, Propaganda

Postby Belligerent Savant » Mon Jan 29, 2018 3:34 pm

^^^^^^^^^^

For every tit there is a (very detailed) tat:


Image


http://www.wrongkindofgreen.org/tag/white-helmets/



HOW THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA WHITEWASHED AL-QAEDA & THE WHITE HELMETS IN SYRIA


January 6, 2018

By Eva Bartlett


On December 18, 2017, the Guardian issued a shoddily-penned hatchet piece against British journalist Vanessa Beeley, Patrick Henningsen and his independent website 21st Century Wire, Australian professor and writer Tim Anderson, and myself.

Many insightful writers have since deconstructed the lies and omissions of the article, which I will link to at the bottom of my own.

Judging by the scathing comments on the Guardian’s Facebook post, the general public didn’t buy it either. The Guardian, like Channel 4 News and Snopes, whitewashes terrorism in Syria, employs non-sequitur arguments, promotes war propaganda, and simply gets the facts wrong.

+++

As the purported theme of the The Guardian‘s story was the issue of rescuers in Syria, I’ll begin by talking about actual rescuers I know and worked with, in hellish circumstances in Gaza.

In 2008/9, I volunteered with Palestinian medics under 22 days of relentless, indiscriminate, Israeli war plane and Apache helicopter bombings, shelling from the sea and tanks, and drone strikes. The loss of life and casualties were immense, with over 1,400 Palestinians murdered, and thousands more maimed, the vast majority civilians. Using run-down, bare-bones equipment (as actual rescuers in Syria do), Palestinian medics worked tirelessly day and night to rescue civilians.

There was not a single occasion in which I ever heard the medics (in Sunni Gaza) shout takbeer or Allahu Akbar upon rescuing civilians, much less intentionally stood on dead bodies, posed in staged videos, or any of the other revolting acts that the White Helmets have been filmed doing in Syria. They were too damn busy rescuing or evacuating the areas before another Israeli strike, and usually maintained a focused silence as they worked, communicating only the necessities. The only occasion I recall of screaming while with the medics, were the screams of civilians we collected and in particular the anguished shrieks of a husband helping to put the body parts of his dismembered wife onto a stretcher to be taken to the morgue. The medics I knew in Gaza were true heroes. The White Helmets, not a chance. They are gross caricatures of rescuers.


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A White Helmets member. “Unnarmed and neutral”?

Reply to The Guardian

In October, a San Francisco-based tech (and sometimes fashion) writer named Olivia Solon (visibly with no understanding of Middle East geopolitics) emailed myself and Beeley with nearly identical questions filled with implicit assumptions for a “story” we were to be imminently featured in. My own correspondence with Solon is as follows:

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In brief, I’ll address Solon’s emails, including some of her most loaded questions:

-Who is the “we”, Solon mentions? Her mention of “we” indicates this story isn’t her own bright idea, nor independently researched and penned. Parts of the article—including the title and elements I’ll outline later in my article—seem to be lifted from others’ previous articles, but that’s copy-paste journalism for you.

-It isn’t just that I believe the mainstream media narrative about the White Helmets is wrong; this narrative has been redundantly-exposed over the years. In September 2014, Canadian independent journalist Cory Morningstar investigated hidden hands behind flashy PR around the White Helmets. In April 2015, American independent journalist Rick Sterling revealed that the White Helmets had been founded by Western powers and managed by a British ex-soldier, and noted the “rescuers” role in calling for Western intervention—a No Fly Zone on Syria. (more on these articles below). This was months before Russian media began to write about the White Helmets.

Since then, Vanessa Beeley has done the vast amount of research in greater detail, doing on-the-ground investigations in Syria, including: taking the testimonies of Syrian civilians who had (often brutal) experiences with the White Helmets; establishing that the Syrian Civil Defense exists and has existed since 1953, but are not the White Helmets—which has misappropriated this name; establishing that the international body, the International Civil Defence organisation in Geneva, does not recognize the White Helmets as the Syrian Civil Defence; establishing that men now White Helmets members looted vehicles and equipment from the Syrian Civil Defence in Aleppo—and belongings from civilians; and establishing that White Helmets shared a building in Bab Al Nairab, eastern Aleppo with al-Qaeda and were present as al-Qaeda tortured civilians, among other points.

It is hard to believe that in the span of the two months between her contacting Beeley and myself that Solon, in her certainly deep investigations, has not seen this video, clearly showing uniformed White Helmets members with supporters of Saudi terrorist, Abdullah Muhaysini. Not quite “neutral” rescuers. But then, perhaps she did. She was willing to write off the presence of White Helmets members at execution scenes, standing on dead Syrian soldiers, and holding weapons, as a few bad apples sort of thing.

-As to Solon’s interest in my “relationship” to the Syrian government: No, I have not received payment, gifts or other from any government. To the contrary, I’ve poured my own money into going to Syria (and have fund-raised, and also routinely received Paypal donations or support on Patreon by individuals who appreciate my work). See my article on this matter.

As to how my visits to Syria and North Korea came about, this is another transparent attempt to imply that I am on the payroll of/receive other benefits from one or more of the governments in question.

-One of The Guardian’s questions was regarding my following: “That you attract a large online audience, amplified by high-profile right-wing personalities and appearances on Russian state TV.”

What following I do have began exactly one year ago, after I requested to speak in a panel at the United Nations, as the US Peace Council had done in August 2016. It is as a result of a short interaction between myself and a Norwegian journalist, which went viral, that my online audience grew. In fact, I deeply regret that what went viral was not the important content of the three other panelists and my own over twenty minutes report on conditions in Aleppo which was then still under daily bombardments and snipings by what the West deems “moderates”.

However, given that so many people responded positively regarding the interaction—which dealt with lies of the corporate media and lack of sources—it seems that the public already had a sense that something was not right with corporate media’s renditions on Syria.

The first person to cut and share the video clip in question (on December 10, one day following the panel) was Twitter profile @Walid970721. As I have since met him personally, I can attest he is neither Russian nor funded by the Kremlin, nor any government, and that he shared that clip out of his own belief that it was of interest. Otherwise, on December 10, before any major Russian media had, HispanTV also shared my words. Further, India-based internet media Scoop Whoop’s December 15 share garnered the most views (nearly 10.5 million by now). That Russian media later shared the clip and reported on the incident is neither my doing nor a bad thing: thank you Russian media for doing what Western corporate media always fail to do.

-Regarding The Guardian Solon’s question: “That you think that Assad is being demonized by the US as a means to drive regime change.” Of course I do, as do most analysts and writers not blinded by or obliged to the NATO narrative. As Rick Sterling wrote in September 2016:

“This disinformation and propaganda on Syria takes three distinct forms. The first is the demonization of the Syrian leadership. The second is the romanticization of the opposition. The third form involves attacking anyone questioning the preceding characterizations.”


Boston Globe contributor, award-winning foreign correspondent and author, Stephen Kinzer wrote in February 2016:

“Astonishingly brave correspondents in the war zone, including Americans, seek to counteract Washington-based reporting. At great risk to their own safety, these reporters are pushing to find the truth about the Syrian war. Their reporting often illuminates the darkness of groupthink. Yet for many consumers of news, their voices are lost in the cacophony. Reporting from the ground is often overwhelmed by the Washington consensus.”


Countering corporate media’s demonization campaigns, I’ve written on many occasions—notably including the words of Syrians within Syria—about the vast amount of support the Syrian president enjoys inside of Syria and outside.

In my March 7, 2016 article, I cited meeting with internal, unarmed, opposition members, including Kurdish representative, Berwine Brahim, who stated,

“We want you to convey that conspiracy, terrorism and interference from Western countries has united supporters of the government and the opposition, to support President Bashar al-Assad.”


In that same article, I wrote:

“Wherever I’ve gone in Syria (as well as many months in various parts of Lebanon, where I’ve met Syrians from all over Syria) I’ve seen wide evidence of broad support for President al-Assad. The pride I’ve seen in a majority of Syrians in their President surfaces in the posters in homes and shops, in patriotic songs and Syrian flags at celebrations and in discussions with average Syrians of all faiths. Most Syrians request that I tell exactly what I have seen and to transmit the message that it is for Syrians to decide their future, that they support their president and army and that the only way to stop the bloodshed is for Western and Gulf nations to stop sending terrorists to Syria, for Turkey to stop warring on Syria, for the West to stop their nonsense talk about ‘freedom‘ and ‘democracy’ and leave Syrians to decide their own future.”


In my May 2014 article from Lebanon, having independently observed the first of two days of Syrians streaming to their embassy to vote in presidential elections, I cited some of the many Syrians there with whom I spoke (in Arabic):

“’We love him. I’m Sunni, not Alawi,’ Walid, from Raqqa, noted. ‘They’re afraid our voices will be heard,’ he said….’I’m from Deir Ezzor,’ said a voter. ‘ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) is in our area. We want Bashar al-Assad. The guy walks straight,’ he said, with a gesture of his hand.”


No one escorted me in a Syrian government vehicle to that embassy, by the way. I took a bus, and then walked the remaining many kilometres (the road was so clogged with vehicles going to the embassy) with Syrians en route to vote.

In June 2014, a week after the elections within Syria, I traveled by public bus to Homs (once dubbed the “capital of the revolution”), where I saw Syrians celebrating the results of the election, one week after the fact, and spoke with Syrians beginning to clean up and patch up homes damaged from the terrorist occupation of their district.

When I returned to Homs in December 2015, shops and restaurants had re-opened where a year and a half prior they were destroyed. People were preparing to celebrate Christmas as they could not do when terrorists ruled. In Damascus, attending a choral concert I overheard people asking one another excitedly whether “he” was here. The day prior, President Assad and the First Lady had dropped in on the pracitising choir, to their surprise and delight. And although the church was within hitting distance of mortars fired by the west’s “moderates” (and indeed that area had been repeatedly hit by mortars), the people faced that prospect in hopes of a re-visit by the President.

These are just some of many examples of the support Syria’s president sees and the attempts to vilify he and other Syrian leadership. Even Fox News acknowledged his support, referring to the 2014 elections:

“…it underscored the considerable support that President Bashar Assad still enjoys from the population, including many in the majority Sunni Muslim community. …Without Sunni support, however, Assad’s rule would have collapsed long ago.”

Regarding war crimes, Syria is fighting a war against terrorism, but corporate media continues fabricating claims, and repeating those fabricated, not-investigated, accusations. For example, the repeated claim of the Syrian government starving civilians. In my on the ground investigations, I’ve revealed the truth behind starvation (and hospitals destroyed, and “last doctors”) in Aleppo, in Madaya, in al-Waer, in Old Homs (2014). In all instances, starvation and lack of medical care was solely due to terrorists—including al-Qaeda—hoarding food (and medical supplies). Vanessa Beeley has in greater depth exposed those corporate media lies regarding eastern Aleppo.

Even Reuters later reported on finding stockpiles of food in a “rebel” held building, citing civilians saying specifically that the Army of Islam “rebels”, “kept all these items, here and there. They did not allow us to eat even a piece of bread. We died out of hunger.”

Regarding chemical weapons accusations, those have long been negated by the investigations of Seymour Hersh (on Ghouta 2013; on Khan Sheikhoun 2017) and the UN’s own Carla Del Ponte who said:

“…there are strong, concrete suspicions but not yet incontrovertible proof of the use of sarin gas, from the way the victims were treated. This was use on the part of the opposition, the rebels, not by the government authorities.”

Regarding convoys allegedly bombed, see my own article on one such claim, as well as award-winning investigative journalist, Gareth Porter’s article.

Regarding whether the White Helmets have done any good work rescuing civilians: they are working solely in areas occupied by al-Qaeda and affiliated terrorists, so no one can prove whether they have actual done any rescue work of civilians. However, we have numerous on the ground witness testimonies to the contrary, that the White Helmets denied medical care to civilians not affiliated with terrorist groups.

In September 2017, Murad Gazdiev (instrumental in his honest reporting from Aleppo during much of 2016) documented how the White Helmets headquarters in Bustan al-Qasr, Aleppo, was filled with Hell Canons (used to fire gas canister bombs on Aleppo’s civilians and infrastructure) and remnants of a bomb-making factory. The headquarters was in a school.

Gazdiev’s reporting on the headquarters was preceded by French citizen Pierre Le Corf, living in Aleppo for over the past year, who visited the White Helmets headquarters in March 2017 (and again in April), documenting the al-Qaeda and ISIS linked flags, logos, and paraphernalia found inside the White Helmets headquarters, and that the White Helmets’ headquarters was next to a central al-Qaeda (Jabhat al-Nusra) headquarters. Le Corf also wrote about his encounters with civilians from Aleppo’s east, and their take on the White Helmets:

“…the last two families I met told me that they helped the injured terrorists first and sometimes left the civilians in the rubble. When the camera was spinning everyone was agitated, as soon as the camera extinguished, the lives of the people under rubble took less importance…. all the videos you’ve seen in the media come from one or the other. Civilians couldn’t afford cameras or 3G internet package when it was already difficult to buy bread, only armed and partisan groups.”


Vanessa Beeley took testimonies she took from civilians from eastern, al-Qaeda-occupied Aleppo, in December 2016 when the city was liberated. Beeley later wrote:

“When I asked them if they knew of the “civil defence”, they all nodded furiously and said, “yes, yes – Nusra Front civil defence”. Most of them elaborated and told me that the Nusra Front civil defence never helped civilians, they only worked for the armed groups.”


Beeley also wrote of the White Helmets’ complicity in the massacre of civilians (including 116 children) from Foua and Kafraya in April 2017.

CREDENTIALS, PLEASE: WHAT IS JOURNALISM?

Regarding Solon’s question on my competency as a journalist, I note the following:

I began reporting from on the ground in Palestine in 2007, first blogging and later publishing in various online media.

In 2007, I spent 8 months in the occupied West Bank in occupied Palestine, in some of the most dangerous areas where Palestinians are routinely abused, attacked, abducted and killed by both the Israeli army and the illegal Jewish colonists. There, I began blogging, documenting the crimes in print with witness testimonies, first person interviews, my own eye-witness experiences, photos and videos.

After being deported from Palestine by Israeli authorities in December 2007, in 2008 I sailed to Gaza from Cyprus and documented not only the daily Israeli assaults on unarmed male, female, elderly and child farmers and fishers, but also the effects of the brutal Israeli full siege on Gaza, Israel’s sporadic bombings and land invasions, and of course two major massacres (Dec 2008/ Jan 2009 and Nov 2012).

In the 2008/2009 war against Palestinian civilians, I was on the ground in northern Gaza with rescuers—actual rescuers, no acting, no staging—under the bombings, and under heavy sniper fire. I was also on an upper floor of a media building in Gaza City that was bombed while I was in it. And otherwise, I remained in Gaza after the slaughter had ended, taking horrific testimonies, documenting Israel’s war crimes, including Israel’s: assassinations of children, widespread use of White Phosphorous on civilians; holding civilians as human shields; and targeting (and killing) of medics.

See this link for a more detailed description of this documentation, with many examples, and my further documentation during the November 2012 Israeli massacre of Palestinians, as well as detailed accounts of my reporting from seven trips, on the ground, around Syria.

While questioning my credentials as an investigative reporter in the Middle East, The Guardian casually assigned the story to a San Fransisco based writer specializing in fluff pieces, fashion and Russophobic analysis, who visibly has little to no understanding of what is happening on the ground in Syria.

Addressing “the propaganda that is so often disguised as journalism,”award-winning journalist and film maker, John Pilger, said (emphasis added):

“Edward Bernays, the so-called father of public relations, wrote about an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. He was referring to journalism, the media. That was almost 80 years ago, not long after corporate journalism was invented. It’s a history few journalists talk about or know about, and it began with the arrival of corporate advertising.



As the new corporations began taking over the press, something called ‘professional journalism’ was invented. To attract big advertisers, the new corporate press had to appear respectable, pillars of the establishment, objective, impartial, balanced. The first schools of journalism were set up, and a mythology of liberal neutrality was spun around the professional journalists. The right to freedom of expression was associated with the new media.



…The whole thing was entirely bogus. For what the public didn’t know, was that in order to be professional, journalists had to ensure that news and opinion were dominated by official sources. And that hasn’t changed. Go through the New York Times on any day, and check the sources of the main political stories, domestic and foreign, and you’ll find that they’re dominated by governments and other establishment interests. That’s the essence of professional journalism.”


On a publicly-shared Facebook post, journalist Stephen Kinzer wrote:

“I happen to agree with Eva’s take on Syria, but from a journalist’s perspective, the true importance of what she does goes beyond reporting from any single country. She challenges the accepted narrative–and that is the essence of journalism. Everything else is stenography. Budding foreign correspondents take note!!”


In The Guardian’s smear piece, it is interesting that Solon employed a tactic used to denigrate the credibility of a writer by dubbing he/she merely a “blogger”. In her story, Solon used “blogger” four times, three times in reference to Vanessa Beeley (who contributes in depth articles to a variety of online media).

In the latter case, she quoted executive director of the Purpose Inc-operated “Syria Campaign” PR project, James Sadri saying:

“A blogger for a 9/11 truther website who only visited Syria for the first time last year should not be taken seriously as an impartial expert on the conflict.”


Remind me when either Sadri or Solon was last there? Seems to be 2008 for Sadri, and never for Solon. But they are “credible” and someone like Beeley who has since her first 2016 visit to Syria has returned numerous occasions, in the country at pivotal times—like during the liberation of Aleppo, speaking with Syrian civilians from eastern areas formerly occupied by al-Qaeda and co-extremists—is not?

As for bloggers, there are many insightful writers and researchers self-publishing on blogs (for example, this blog). However, that aside, it is amusing to note that Solon on her LinkedIn profile list her first skill as blogging. Is she a mere blogger?


GUARDIAN USES CIA “CONSPIRACY THEORY” TACTIC:

In addition to using denigrating terms, The Guardian threw in the loaded CIA term “conspiracy theorists”.

As Mark Crispin Miller, Professor of Media Studies and author, noted in a June 2017 panel (emphasis added):

“Conspiracy theory was not much used by journalist for the decades prior to 1967, when suddenly it’s used all the time, and increasingly ever since.

And the reason for this is that the CIA at that time sent a memo to its station chiefs world wide, urging them to use their propaganda assets and friends in the media, to discredit the work of Mark Lane… books attacking the Warren Commission Report. Mark Lane’s was a best seller, so the CIA’s response was to send out this memo urging a counter-attack, so that hacks responsive to the agency would write reviews attacking these authors as ‘conspiracy theorists’ and using one or more of five specific arguments listed in the memo.”


Guess Solon got the memo.

Professor James Tracy elaborated:

“Conspiracy theory” is a term that at once strikes fear and anxiety in the hearts of most every public figure, particularly journalists and academics. Since the 1960s the label has become a disciplinary device that has been overwhelmingly effective in defining certain events off limits to inquiry or debate. Especially in the United States raising legitimate questions about dubious official narratives destined to inform public opinion (and thereby public policy) is a major thought crime that must be cauterized from the public psyche at all costs.”


Researcher and writer Kevin Ryan noted (emphasis added):

In the 45 years before the CIA memo came out, the phrase ‘conspiracy theory’ appeared in the Washington Post and New York Times only 50 times, or about once per year. In the 45 years after the CIA memo, the phrase appeared 2,630 times, or about once per week.

…Of course, in these uses the phrase is always delivered in a context in which ‘conspiracy theorists’ were made to seem less intelligent and less rationale than people who uncritically accept official explanations for major events. President George W. Bush and his colleagues often used the phrase conspiracy theory in attempts to deter questioning about their activities.”




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Re: Global Research, Chossudovsky, Russia, Propaganda

Postby Sounder » Tue Jan 30, 2018 6:33 am

Anybody care to challenge the substance of the allegations that White Helmets are a product of Academy/Blackwater?

AD wrote….
I think principled voices for Peace and Justice can differ on all kinds of things but that said is Regime Change inherently bad?


Inherent in your concession that I may represent a ‘principled voices for Peace and Justice’, is a claim that you represent a ‘principled voices for Peace and Justice’, and this troubles me because takfiri headchoppers cannot in any way be considered to be ‘principled voices for Peace and Justice’. Regime change that is funded with international money is inherently bad, yes that can be said with confidence.

Certainly a U.S. takeover would be but so would Russian, Israeli, Saudi, or anything else.


Hey, here is a idea, lets let Syrians work out their own issues. Also how does Russia get to be the 'bad' guy when they are invited and protecting a whole country from being raped by a Saudi, Israeli, US death machine in the form of takfiri headchoppers?


I'm for multilateral withdrawal more than anything else at this point but could never deny that culpability for great war crimes very much includes the Assad regime.


That is not what you sound like given your ongoing support for White Helmets and other mercenary and proxy forces fighting against the govt.

I support self determination for the Syrians broadly and do not think Assad is as popular as the "Syrian Government" or the Russia-linked propaganda apparatus claims him to be.


The people of a country tend to unite when faced with threats from abroad. Imperial efforts have backfired.

Assad, Trump, Putin: they are all bloody murderers.


Well that seals it then, we do have a responsibility to protect after all. Send the Marines.



Jerky, what does it feel like to be a mainstream consumer?
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Re: Global Research, Chossudovsky, Russia, Propaganda

Postby American Dream » Tue Jan 30, 2018 2:57 pm

George Galloway to sue Jon Lansman (Momentum) over anti-Semitism charge

Trump-supporting shyster George Galloway has attacked David Baddiel, on Twitter, for backing the planned anti-Trump march, on the grounds that Baddiel is (supposedly) an “Israel-fanatic”.

Baddiel, who is not noted for being particularly pro-Israel, but is Jewish, has replied by calling out Galloway for what he is: an anti-Semite.

I trust this will be the end, once and for all of any suggestion that this piece of anti-Semitic scum should ever be readmitted to the Labour Party (Seamas take note):


https://tendancecoatesy.wordpress.com/2 ... sm-charge/






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Re: Global Research, Chossudovsky, Russia, Propaganda

Postby American Dream » Sat Feb 03, 2018 11:24 am

Image

‘Grassroots’ Media Startup Redfish Is Supported by the Kremlin

The documentary outlet styles itself as independent and community-based, but its work airs on a state-supported TV network and most of its employees are from state-backed media.

Redfish, a Berlin-based media collective, launched with a promise to deliver “radical, in-depth grassroots features,” with professional graphics, filed everywhere from Eastern Europe to South America. Its first report, on a fire at a public housing development in England that killed over 70 people, has been praised by Vice, as a “fantastic example of amateur community-produced media.”

But Redfish does not appear to be as independent and community-based as its branding suggests. Its reports are the product of an in-house team of staff correspondents and producers, most of whom last worked for Russian government media. And by the time that documentary on Grenfell Tower was discovered by Vice, it had been airing for weeks as an “exclusive grassroots report” on RT, Moscow’s state-supported television network.

What exactly is Redfish, then? Amateur, community-produced media—or something else, designed to appear as something other than it is?

Redfish, for its part, won’t clarify. In an email, the company said it “is not interested in providing a comment for your story.” RT, meanwhile, did not respond to multiple emailed requests for comment, and phone calls to its offices in Moscow went unanswered.

The Redfish website, registered in September 2017, reveals little more than a desire to be perceived as a collective of activist journalists. “We are not driven by chasing clicks or trends—we are journalists who strive to be objective about where things stand,” it says. “But we don’t claim to be neutral: our team has a proven track record of both supporting and covering struggles which challenge the exploitative global system that enslaves humankind and is destroying our planet.”

Elizabeth Cocker, better known by the moniker Lizzie Phelan, is the only name listed on redfish.media. Before Redfish, Cocker spent the previous seven years working for the propaganda arms of Moscow and Tehran, her work closely adhering to the lines pushed by the governments that paid her.

As a reporter for RT, for example, Cocker filed a story suggesting an April 2017 sarin attack in rebel-held Idlib was a false flag; according to the United Nations, that attack was in fact carried out by the Syrian regime, a Russian ally. She also accompanied pro-regime forces into Eastern Aleppo after rebels were pushed out, her report stating that militants had been using bakeries, a frequent target of Russian and Syrian government airstrikes, to build weapons.

As RT’s correspondent in Libya, Cocker dismissed reports of rebel advances on the capital, Tripoli, as a “massive psychological operation.” The city fell 48 hours later.

Cocker has also worked for the Iranian government’s Press TV. In 2012, she reported that Syrian rebel fire was responsible for the killing of French journalist Gilles Jacquier, who had been touring Homs with regime forces. Jacqueir’s colleagues blamed the Syrian government, with the Committee to Protect Journalists stating that evidence points to “the possibility that government forces may have taken deliberate, hostile action against the press.”

Cocker’s LinkedIn profile says she left RT in April; she’s not the only one at Redfish whose last (and long-term) employer was an arm of the Russian government.

Jelena Milincic, whose Twitter bio identifies her as a correspondent for Redifsh, was a reporter for RT’s Spanish-language network as of October 2017. In 2013, Milincic met Russian President Vladimir Putin when he visited RT’s headquarters in Moscow, engaging in a roundtable discussion in which she lamented the difficulties she faced trying to obtain Russian citizenship. (Milincic is a native of Belgrade whose mother heads Sputnik Serbia, another media outlet established by the Kremlin.)

“We have to welcome professionals like you,” Putin responded, according to an official transcript. “You are a young and beautiful woman. I am sorry, but it is true that you are a woman of childbearing age. Your boss here sets a good example, by the way...” (That boss, RT Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan, likens the role of Kremlin-backed media to that of Russia’s Defense Ministry. Information, she has said, is “a weapon like any other.”)

Milincic recently filed a report for Redfish, viewed over 120,000 times on Facebook, about the economic crisis in Venezuela, accompanying Venezuelan soldiers on a trip to the border with Colombia to uncover smuggling rings that the government blames for shortages of basic goods in the struggling oil-rich country.

That report is now available on RT en Español, where it’s described in Spanish as an investigation by “the Redfish project.” (Belal Alwan, a Redfish producer formerly with Ruptly, an on-demand video division of RT, likewise described Redfish as a “new investigative video project” in a post on his Facebook page.)

Image

Another Redfish correspondent, William Whiteman, also worked for RT and, in August and September of 2017, accompanied Cocker on a trip to the Philippines. Until recently, Whiteman’s LinkedIn stated that he “is a host /producer at online news platform, In the NOW”; it also said he had “worked as [a] correspondent at RT International.” It now identifies him as a “reporter at redfish,” omitting that previous experience.

“In the Now” first began as a show on RT but then, according to BuzzFeed News, “transitioned to a standalone project in the spring of 2016.” It has its own website, inthenow.media, but its videos “live on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter, and nowhere on each platform is there branding or descriptions that connect them to RT.”

Redfish, likewise, makes no mention on any of its platforms of the place where its work has been most widely distributed: RT. Five of the nine employees publicly associated with this new startup last worked at a Russian state media outlet; one of the few who did not is a U.S. journalist, Rania Khalek, frequently hosted as a commentator on Sputnik and RT, the latter identifying her as a contributor. Khalek announced in November 2017 that she had accepted a job as a correspondent for Redfish.

Redfish’s aggressively “grassroots” branding comes amid a more covert and recently exposed Russian effort to infiltrate left-of-center media. As reported by The Washington Post and the left-wing website Counterpunch, this initiative has entailed creating fake web personas, masquerading as independent journalists, that exploit the trappings and platforms of alternative media to push the Russian line on geopolitics.

Russia is not the first country to promote its agenda abroad, nor the only one to use ostensibly independent media to do it.

During the height of the Cold War, Radio Free Europe, for instance, was billed as providing “unbiased news for Eastern Europeans,” historian Kenneth Osgood noted in an October 2017 piece for The New York Times. In reality, the CIA “used it to wage a subversive campaign to weaken Communist governments behind the Iron Curtain.” And it did so surreptitiously, the agency creating a front group, the National Committee for a Free Europe, “that implored Americans to donate ‘freedom dollars’ to combat Kremlin lies,” as if it were a grassroots initiative launched by concerned patriots. The donations, according to Osgood, amounted to about $1 million a year (the outlet’s actual budget was around $30 million).

It’s not that everything RT or Radio Free Europe reports is total fake news; there’s enough injustice, from East to West, that a skillful propagandist’s aims can be achieved simply by fanning the fires of selective outrage over one, somewhere, while studiously ignoring an inconvenient other. But it’s essential to be aware of those aims so as to better catch an embellishment, lie, or manipulative fixation—why sovereignty is an issue for Russia in Syria and Venezuela but not Ukraine and Crimea, and likewise why the U.S. government is concerned about democracy in Venezuela, a center-left foe, but not Honduras, a right-wing friend.

Hypocrisy is universal, which is not a revelation. Sometimes it can even do some good; a corporation or government need not be angelic, and indeed none are, to observe that a rival is a fraud.

“Looking back at the Cold War: Soviet attacks on U.S. sins around civil rights spurred the U.S. government to improve its civil rights stance domestically,” Peter Pomerantsev, a senior visiting fellow at the London School of Economics who has tracked Russian propaganda efforts, told The Daily Beast. “So, in some cases, foreign campaigns can be a good thing.”

States are rarely motivated by principled internationalism, and only sometimes by the spectacle of good public relations; cynical self-interest often better explains why a particular injustice is denounced, defended, or ignored on the part of officialdom. That’s easy to see, and it’s why a state might wish to obscure its cynicism by packaging its line in someone else’s earnest aesthetic.

Russia is also not the USSR, and its use of state-backed media to promote conspiratorial disinformation on behalf of authoritarian clients rather undermines the notion that its right-wing government is today engaged in anything as noble as the fight for civil rights.

All money corrupts, but the degree to which it does, and to what end, can only be assessed if there’s some transparency. That shouldn’t bother independent, grassroots media.


https://www.thedailybeast.com/grassroot ... he-kremlin
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Re: Global Research, Chossudovsky, Russia, Propaganda

Postby Sounder » Mon Feb 05, 2018 7:21 am




Ignore this, one more time AD. After all regime change is not inherently bad, is it?
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Re: Global Research, Chossudovsky, Russia, Propaganda

Postby Iamwhomiam » Mon Feb 05, 2018 2:26 pm

https://off-guardian.org/2018/01/27/if-you-know-anyone-who-still-think-the-white-helmets-are-heroes-show-them-this-7m-video/

Interesting comments to the Guardian article that accompanied the video, especially Sibel Edmond's.
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Re: Global Research, Chossudovsky, Russia, Propaganda

Postby seemslikeadream » Mon Feb 05, 2018 7:21 pm

Image

Trump's attacks on Rep Adam Schiff are being amplified by Russian propagandists, currently making up 2 of the top 3 (and 3 of the top 10) trending topics among Russian-linked influence accounts, per @SecureDemocracy Hamilton 68 dashboard.
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Re: Global Research, Chossudovsky, Russia, Propaganda

Postby American Dream » Mon Feb 05, 2018 9:08 pm

The most bizarre part is that I never, ever sit around and think about wanting a U.S. intervention anywhere nor anything like that, neither do I think about supporting NGO's that lean one way or another in inter-imperialist conflicts. "Fight the Power" means Assad still runs torturers and bombs children, Putin is a reactionary nationalist who runs on chauvinism and bigotry, Trump of course is a jerk.

Building from the bottom up, building dual power has nothing to do with supporting such shit.
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Re: Global Research, Chossudovsky, Russia, Propaganda

Postby American Dream » Fri Feb 16, 2018 5:14 pm

WHAT IS THE TRUTH ABOUT THE CHEMICAL ATTACKS ON SYRIAN CIVILIANS?

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A Syrian boy holds an oxygen mask over the face of an infant at a makeshift hospital following a reported gas attack on a rebel-held besieged town on January 22. At least 21 cases of suffocation, including children, were reported in Syria in a town in eastern Ghouta, a beleaguered rebel enclave east of Damascus, an NGO accusing the regime of carrying out a new chemical attack said.


One of the key weapons in the chemical weapon denialist arsenal is discrediting and demonizing individuals and organizations who witness and document events on the ground, including chemical weapon attacks. Whatever their disposition, they end up being branded as belonging to or being in cahoots with Al-Qaeda or the Islamic State militant group (ISIS).

With access to opposition-held areas severely restricted, these groups and individuals are usually the only source of information in the aftermath of chemical attacks. Labeling them terrorists is a convenient way for the chemical truthers to dismiss their testimony.

Chief among these targets are the Syrian Civil Defence, also known as the White Helmets, and their key supporter, Mayday Rescue. As the only organized rescue service in many opposition-held areas, information collected by the White Helmets, often with body cameras worn by rescuers, has become an important source of information about the situation on the ground in Syria. In recent years, they have played a key role in documenting chemical attacks and passing information onto the OPCW and other investigators.

At the center of the effort to discredit the White Helmets is Vanessa Beeley, a person plucked from obscurity by Russian state media. She has emerged as a vocal and persistent critic of the White Helmets and their supporters, and she is featured heavily on international Russian state-funded news such as Russian Today and Sputnik. Beeley, who has described the White Helmets as “ legitimate targets,” recently elaborated her views:

The White Helmets franchise is a terrifying extension of soft power infiltration deep inside target nations, exploiting trust, vulnerability and poverty with the “First Responder” construct that “everyone trusts” as James Le Mesurier [Mayday Rescue’s Founder] so clearly stated in a recent interview in Brazil.

This pseudo Humanitarian, NATO state-sanctioned fist will be used to crush many more nations in the future if it is not stopped in Syria. Just as Syria has contained the terrorist fire within its borders, so has it exposed the White Helmets as the terrorist alter ego, but for how long will both be contained?

Terrorism is fanning out into Europe via the EU funded Turkish exit routes, the White Helmets are also establishing themselves further afield, in Venezuela, Malaysia, the Philippines to name a few. Terrorism and the White Helmets march in lock-step and can only be stopped by confronting the cancerous cultures in which they are cultivated — US Necolonialism, British Imperialism, EU Globalism, Gulf State Extremism & Israeli Parasitism.


Russia promotes Beeley’s views (and those like hers) on Russian state funded media. But, more consequently, it also uses her views in more august fora.

After the April 4, 2017, sarin attack in Khan Sheikhoun, Russian Deputy Ambassador to the United Nations Peter Illichev submitted a presentation by Beeley, "The White Helmets - Fact or Fiction," to the U.N. General Assembly.


http://www.newsweek.com/what-truth-abou ... ans-805264
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Re: Global Research, Chossudovsky, Russia, Propaganda

Postby Sounder » Fri Feb 16, 2018 8:02 pm

At the center of the effort to discredit the White Helmets is Vanessa Beeley.


The White Helmets discredit themselves on Facebook declaring open alliance with takfiri headchoppers, and in the process they discredit those that sponsor and cheer for them as their false humanitarian conceits are exposed.

Thank-you White Helmets, no need to bring Ms. Beeley or Russia into it.

Amazing what passes for critical thinking in some places.
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