Posts Tagged ‘Syria’

You will have seen the headlines over the last week, concerning the ‘evacuation’ of the White Helmets from Syria.

With the regime-change operation in Syria appearing to have stalled in either stalemate or failure (depending on who you ask), the Western-funded proxies had to be rescued – probably before Syrian government forces could capture them, torture them and also possibly find out where the group had come from, who was funding them and where their instructions were coming from.

Or, you know, maybe it is just a well-meaning humanitarian operation to rescue “heroes” from danger. If so, it’s a very selective one.

The extraction operation was apparently conducted by Israel and Jordan, but at the request of several Western governments who were apparently concerned for the White Helmets’ safety.

According to the BBC, the Israeli IDF – which has a history of aiding anti-government militias and fighters in Syria via the Golan Heights – said it was acting at the request of the UK, the US and other nations. (more…)

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Am I the only one who can’t quite work out what happened last weekend in Syria or what it’s all supposed to mean?

That is, I can’t work out what the US-UK-France Triumvirate (the same Triumvirate that led the intervention against Gaddafi in Libya) was trying to do when it decided to carry out strikes against alleged chemical weapons locations in Syria.

It’s all been a bit confused. Which is one reason I haven’t commented on any of it until now. The other reason is that the night of the military action (Friday 13th) was the day I was burying my grandfather: and so I had no interest in writing anything or keeping track of events at that time.

But it also allowed me to delay or withhold opinion and just keep an unbiased eye on the news for a few days to see how things unfolded.

And I still haven’t entirely made sense of it. (more…)

The mess that’s been created in Syria is extraordinary.

Syria is also definitively where international law died. Arguably, Iraq and Libya saw international law already collapsing: but Syria is where even all pretense of international law died. It is where borders, sovereignty and the right to self-determination got tossed out the window.

It is also where compassion, logic, reason, diplomacy, and truth, all seem to have died – along with journalism and along with probably the United Nations – their corpses rotting in the desert for all to see.

I want to explore here the subject of why international law is so important; why it is dead; and why I blame not just governments and military regimes, but journalists and the media. (more…)

With the fiftieth anniversary of the My Lai massacre, it freshly occured to me that the harrowing subject of My Lai actually also sheds some light on the reality of the decline in real journalism in the modern age.

I would assert that you can track the decline in the integrity and purpose of mainstream journalism by tracking the standing of a specific journalist named Seymour Hersh.

So, firstly, why is Hersh regarded as such an important journalist?

Well, it was a piece of investigative journalism by Hersh decades ago that exposed the war crime committed by US forces in My Lai in Vietnam. The My Lai massacre was the mass murder of unarmed Vietnamese civilians (somewhere between 347 and 504 people) by American troops in South Vietnam in 1968. (more…)

When it comes to Syria, you can set your watch for all the different acts in the stage-play that is the mass-media and international coverage.

I referred to Syria previously as ‘Syria the Movie’, in regard especially to the media production company known as the White Helmets. It’s a movie with endless sequels: and the script and structure never changes, the dialogue is all the same.

First up, let’s make an obvious prediction: there’s going to be another staged ‘chemical attack’ very soon – if not in the next few days, then definitely in the next few weeks. (more…)

It’s a story that seemed to suddenly blow up out of nowhere. And it resulted in Pritti Patel being called back from Nairobi to meet with the Prime Minister – after which she immediately resigned from office.

The reason, we are told, was a breach of protocol – Patel had failed to inform the appropriate government departments of unofficial meetings she had had with various Israeli officials.

But two different narratives emerged immediately. (more…)

The ‘age of stupid’ is the only term I can think of for framing this ongoing nonsense.

President Trump and members of his administration have taken the questionable approach of stating outright that the US will respond severely if the Syrian government carries out another chemical attack on civilians.

More than that, it is insisting that Damascus is planning said attack and claims to have proof of this. (more…)

I posted up an old video of Asma al-Assad last week, because I thought her sentiments in the recording really resonated with what has been going on in Syria and the Middle East in recent years.

I didn’t know, however, that a couple of days later the UK newspapers would feature sudden articles calling for the British-born Syrian First Lady to be punished for her marriage to Syria’s President and her contradictions of the Western narratives on the Syrian crisis.

The manner in which most of the newspapers appear to have covered this story presents an incredibly one-sided picture, some even asking whether Asma al-Assad should be considered a ‘War Criminal’. Some of this is almost comically misguided in terms of the language used; but there is a more serious, worrying aspect to this story, which I will come to at the end. (more…)

I came across this old footage of Syria’s First Lady, Asma al-Assad, and found the content of her talk here striking: and also somewhat poignant, given when it was made and what has happened since.

Given the current situation and escalating tensions, I thought this was well worth sharing. In this talk, from way back in 2008, London-born Asma al-Assad (or ‘Emma’ from Acton) is addressing an international charity and talking about Syria in particular and the Middle East in general and her experiences.

In doing so, she touches on the popular international misconceptions about the region, as well as refugees, and the right of the Syrian people to live in peace and with dignity. (more…)