The western liberal Left and “rationalizing” the genocide in historic Palestine.

The latest Israeli massacres in Gaza have once again laid bare the genocidal policies of the Zionist regime and its imperial backers in the United States-led NATO alliance.

Since its violent colonial inception in 1948, known as the Nakba Day,  يوم النكبة Day of the Catastrophe –  the historical event which thoroughly debunks the false perception of a peace-seeking Israeli state surrounded by “inhospitable Arabs” – the Zionist leadership has in fact had no intention of a “durable peace” with the Palestinians or their Arab neighbours. As over 66 years of ethnic cleansing, periodic mass murder, endless kidnappings and incarceration, land theft and wars of aggression have clearly shown — “peace”, let alone the possibility of genuine Palestinian autonomy within the Bantustans and ghettos the Israeli’s have created in historic Palestine, has never been on the Zionist or imperialist agenda.

Only a crude revisionist or devout partisan of the highest order is able to analyse the historical and present policies of Israel and its imperial backers and come to any other conclusion that the full expulsion and expropriation of the Palestinian people and their land is the desired end-goal. Indeed, over the years many an Israeli politician, militarist or policy planner have openly revealed as much, and such zealous policy is reflected in the views and ideology of the occupying Israeli population – evidenced once more in recent polls showing the overwhelming majority of Israelis support the massacres and wish for them to continue (1). This is to say nothing of the blatant xenophobia so pervasive within Israeli society and the widespread scenes of racist Israeli mobs cheering on the massacres from grandstands with popcorn or freely chanting “Death to the Arabs” and worse throughout the streets of Tel Aviv. Yet the common perspective still held in the west toward the latest slaughter in Gaza – even within so-called “Left” circles – is largely one of shock and disbelief, as if this most recent bout of imperial-sanctioned fascist brutality is the exception, and not the longstanding rule.

As Greg Shupak points out:

“describing such violence as aimless misses the underlying logic of Israel’s conduct throughout Operation Protective Edge and, indeed, for much of its history.

Driven by both its own settler-colonial agenda and by its function as an American partner in the geopolitical system, Israel strives to balance its desire to maximize the territory it controls against the imperative of minimizing the number of Palestinians living in the territories it seeks to use for its own purposes.

The result is that Palestinians are not merely subject to extreme violence. Rather, their capacity to live autonomously in historic Palestine is being attacked. … Not only does the current Israeli onslaught end the physical existence of specific Palestinian individuals, it aims to obliterate Palestinians as a people with the capacity to live independently in their homeland.” (2)

Yet despite this, the western liberal “Left” commentariat is by no means averse to the aforementioned reductionist strain of analysis. As an example, leading propagandist of the UK Labour Party Owen Jones has once again been kind enough to provide the Guardian’s white-western liberal readership with a typically opportunist variation on dissent. (3) Using his platform to build false equivalence and portray racist Israeli occupiers as victims, Jones informs that Israel’s premeditated mass murder is merely an “offensive” with a “rationale” that “must be understood”.

According to Jones, the “rationale” behind Israel’s colonial aggression must also be immediately understood not from the point of view of the oppressed Palestinians, but from the point of view of the oppressor. And what is this “rationale” one might ask? Well, of course it is the historical persecution of the Jews; the Holocaust, the pogroms of tsarist Russia etc, and more importantly the appropriated victimhood that follows. Apparently, “the moral corruption that comes with any occupation has fused with the collective trauma of the Jewish people”, says Jones, and there are indeed several liberal Zionists that back him up on this matter (evidently, there are never any Palestinians in Jones’ articles on the subject). But once again this is purely an attempt to mitigate and make excuses for Zionist colonialism by conflating the racist occupiers of today with the Jewish victims of yesterday. Jones crassly attempts to conflate the history of Jewish persecution with the Zionist regime and its zealous subjects in order to afford the latter with false moral legitimacy. This false perception has proven to be a fundamental one in legitimizing the Zionist project since its very beginnings; promoted by the Zionist leadership and their cohorts to furnish what would otherwise be considered colonial genocidaires with a moral smokescreen to continue their murderous policies unabated. What Jones demands is that the Israeli regime, the violent racist settlers, and the twisted ideology they hold be afforded “understanding” due to the “collective trauma” inflicted upon Jews throughout history – it is to make Jews and Zionists one and the same. Not only does Jones attempt to propagate this revolting conflation of persecuted Jews with racist Zionists but he does it under the guise of feigned “Left” condemnation – purporting to be on a quest to understand it, he merely repeats the Israeli-line without offering an ounce of criticism.

Simply put, the desired effect of regurgitating the supremacist ideological basis for the “Jewish State” and asking for “understanding” is to depict racist settlers as Jewish victims, to whitewash and sanitize, to excuse, to empathise with the Zionists imperial-sanctioned systematic brutality and oppression in Palestine and validate their warped rationalizations. In reality, of course, the history of Jewish persecution has absolutely no relevance to Zionism other than when it is used to legitimise the fascistic policies and ideology of the latter.

The duplicity is taken a step further as Jones forwards the idea that Israeli colonialism can be compared with the British empire’s oppression and colonialism in Ireland. While there is indeed a correlation between the two forms of colonialism this anachronistic comparison detached from any wider context is nothing but an attempt to portray Israel as a legitimate state; as if the Israeli state existed before it usurped Palestine and may return to a post-colonial incarnation once the occupation has quietly ended – presumably to the borders of 1967. This point of view is further evidenced by Jones’ explicit wording regarding “an end to the occupation and the dismantling of every settlement” — how very two-state solution.  But Israel the state, its culture and ideology, born in 1948, are entirely a product of colonial occupation and would not exist in any form if that occupation and ongoing policy of colonisation were to be ended in full. Jones wants to portray Israel as merely a legitimate state occupying another, not an entirely illegitimate state built from the wholesale theft of another; the oppression, murder, and expulsion of its people.

Such opportunism is further exposed by Jones’ positions toward Palestinian resistance group Hamas. Jones’ liberal Zionist source tells us that to Israelis “Gaza residents are homogenised as Hamas supporters – even though most were not of voting age when the group was elected in 2006 – justifying collective punishment.” But Jones fails to offer any clarification that this is a fundamentally wrongheaded way to think, he just leaves it floating for the reader to assume the justification is valid, in that collective punishment for the “crime” of supporting Hamas is a somewhat “understandable” position to take and should be empathized with, because after all Hamas are “terrorists” and Israelis are just poor victims. This is of course not a position to be merely “understood”, or to be at all empathized with; it is a position intrinsic to an underlying racist ideology that is to be vehemently opposed. But Jones and Co. simply lack the backbone. In a revealing quote from an earlier piece Jones also tells us that “there is no defence for Hamas firing rockets into civilian areas”(4), thereby not only bolstering the Israeli regime’s lies that Hamas targets Israeli civilians – in fact they have gone to great lengths to target occupation forces while the occupation forces have mercilessly slaughtered women and children from planes and tanks – but also negating the Palestinians right, by International Law no less, to engage in armed resistance to occupation. What self-respecting “Leftist” denies Palestinians the right to resist a fascist military occupation? A social-chauvinist, social-imperialist “Leftist”, that’s who.

Citing Netanyahu’s use of the Holocaust to depict Israelis as threatened victims, Jones almost appears to “understand the rationale” but he is avoiding calling it by its real name: ideology. It is not simply a metaphysical “rationale” that engenders Israeli massacres in Gaza, it is a pervasive racist colonial ideology called Zionism, but Jones doesn’t want to name it because his interest is in hiding the full consequences of confronting that depraved ideology – moreover its specific material causes – behind liberal platitudes and empty condemnations.

There is of course no attempt whatsoever from the social imperialists at “understanding” the economic material causes that engender Zionist barbarity, and this is largely due to the fact that exposing such causes would make a mockery of the imperial-extricating bourgeois propaganda they sell. Zionism is, and has always been used in a strictly colonial sense, in that it forms the culture, ideology and state structure for the entire imperialist-sponsored Israeli project. Zionism is fascism, and to call-out the Israeli state as a fascist colonial manifestation that is reliant on western imperialism is simply too far a stretch for Oxford-educated Labour Party propagandists.

By no means the only western “Left” pundit to employ this conflation of Jewish persecution and Zionism, Jones’ liberal-imperialist propagandist-in-arms Laurie Penny decided to take up the baton in much the same way, but with far less subtlety. Employing the same perfidious conflation of Jews and Zionists under the guise of “Left” condemnation, Penny concocts a call for Jewish guilt, informing us that “Jews are better placed than anyone else to articulate a powerful call for ceasefire” (5). Thus, Penny bolsters the Zionist regimes’ propaganda and supremacist ideology by validating the perception that Israel represents Jews, and then demands that they take responsibility for Zionism. By associating Zionists with historically persecuted Jews Penny attempts to surreptitiously justify Zionist aggression and colonialism, and in turn bolster Israel’s false moral justification: its use of the “fear” of Jewish annihilation to obscure and mitigate its aggressive policies.

In what can only be seen as a massive oversight, Penny invokes the same false moralism as Jones in crudely positing that the “The moral basis for Israel’s persecution of the Palestinian people is eroding fast.” As if such a “moral basis” for Israeli persecution of Palestinians has ever existed outside the depraved mindset of Zionists and white supremacist imperialists, or two-state-solution enthusiasts, also known as liberal Zionists.

Jones and Co. seek “understanding” for this ideology and leave it at that, there is no real analysis of what this ideology is, where it stems from and why it has been employed by Zionist ruling classes and their imperial counterparts to produce the massacres and incremental genocide of the last 66 years. Zionism’s inherent racism and the effect it has on the occupying population is largely ignored; there is no understanding, just feeble pleas to the reader. Jones wants to whitewash it, furnish it with Jewish victimhood and then sweep it under the carpet. But not only does Jones the social chauvinist attempt to whitewash the true extent of this ideology and its vital relationship with western imperialism, but he totally ignores the material causes that bring it about.

Contrary to Jones’ apolitical non-materialist approach to Israeli “rationales”, there is a fundamental economic material cause that buttresses and sustains Israeli fascism, and that is western imperialism. The Israeli state has provided western capital with its most crucial foothold in the resource-rich Middle East since its inception. Initially used by the British as a bulwark against the rising tide of Arab nationalism and national liberation movements, and to uphold a position of military/strategic dominance over the region’s massive resources, then taken fully into the fold of American imperialism with the decline of the British empire to meet the same ends — the Zionist leadership have provided the west with a reliable client willing to go to great lengths in aiding western imperial hegemony in return for maintaining its sponsorship and support for its colonial agenda.

As Bashir Abu-Manneh explains of “imperialism-colonialism”:

“The United States has been determining major economic and political outcomes in the Middle East since at least 1967, with Israel continuing to play a crucial role in their realization. In Israel-Palestine, this has meant that force and colonial peace have alternated as main instruments of policy, with the main objective being a constant: Jewish supremacy in Palestine—as much land as possible, as few Palestinians as possible. The United States has exploited this Zionist imperative for its own interests in the region, and has fostered a militarized and fundamentalist Israel in the process.”

The dynamic of American Empire/Israeli colonialism is, therefore, circular: U.S. support reinforces Israeli colonialism and occupation, which bolsters Israeli militarization of state and society, which generates new ideological and political justifications and breeds new religious fanaticisms, leading to further indigenous resistance and to more U.S. interventions in the region. A cycle of violence if ever there was one, ultimately determined by U.S. imperialism. The United States thus becomes both a necessary and sufficient condition for Israel’s colonial expansionism. Without it, Israel would be a pariah state. Without it, conditions of peaceful coexistence in the region are much more likely. Without it, Israeli militarism and Jewish fundamentalism in Israel would be on the defensive; and the mobilization of internal domestic forces calling for the abandonment of the “national security” ethic and the rejection of living by the sword would have a real chance of gaining political ascendancy in Israel.”(6)

The results of such policies and the co-dependent “circular” relationship between US imperialism and Zionist colonialism are clear for all to see: an ever-diminishing Palestine and a constant Israeli attack on the Palestinians’ very means of existence. The latest bombardment yet again provides explicit evidence of this genocidal policy; from the intentional bombing of civilian infrastructure,  the wholesale destruction of urban zones, cultural and educational facilities, to the deliberate targeting of children – even when under the supposed safety of UN protection – are all colonial policies designed to prevent the survival of, or permanently expel the Palestinian population. The dependency on US imperialism is also as clear as day; without the US’ Orwellian diplomatic and media cover public outcry would be far greater within the west; the now largely defunct and thoroughly subordinated UN – which has always primarily provided the “Great Powers”, now mainly the US and its NATO lackeys, with a dominant position over the “lesser” nations – could have perhaps been more effective in countering Israeli colonialism if it weren’t for American security council vetoes. More importantly still, without US military and economic support Israel would certainly be far less able to sustain its dominant military posture, and in turn its aggression and meddling toward its Arab neighbours, let alone pursue a genocidal policy of expansionism.

On the other side of the bargain, and providing the most crucial return in supporting Zionism for the western imperial class, is the furthering of regional chaos, antagonism, and conflict, perpetuating a weakened and subordinated condition of the Arab states and peoples that western capital seeks to repress – to force down the road of political reaction and to exploit. In one form or another Israel has provided western imperialism with its most reliable asset in the repression and exploitation of the Middle East. Until this colonial manifestation of western imperialism is abolished in full, and its racist ideological structure along with it, thereby freeing the Palestinians and Arabs from western imperialism and Zionist oppression, there will be no “durable peace”.

The western “Left”  liberals and social chauvinists seeking mere “understanding” of the oppressor and affording it false equivalence aim to mitigate and obscure both the inherently fascistic character of Zionism and the Israeli State, and its critical role in buttressing western imperial domination of the Middle East.

 

1.) Over 90% of Israelis say Gaza Op justified. – Times of Israel.

2.) The Logic of Israeli Violence. – Greg Shupak

3.) How the occupation of Gaza corrupts the occupier. – Owen Jones.

4.) Israel is under renewed Hamas attack, says the BBC, more balance is needed. – Owen Jones.

5.) As Israel’s assault on Gaza intensifies, its not anti-semitic to say not in my name. – Laurie Penny.

6.) Israel in the US Empire. – Bashir Abu-Manneh

 

Ukraine, Imperialism, and the sophism of liberal “left” media.

Western media’s coverage of the Ukraine crisis has reached epic proportions of bias and despicable hypocrisy, and once more, the western liberal “left” media spectrum is busily laying the groundwork for imperialist-friendly narratives.

Having last year no-platformed a Syrian nun who had the audacity to protest against western-sponsored takfiri mercenaries in Syria, chief pseudo-dissenter of the British liberal “left”, Owen Jones, has kindly decided to educate the masses on the finer points of the Ukrainian crisis.

True to form, and synonymous with the vast majority of western media, Jones begins his narrative with crass revisionism, claiming that Western governments have been “restrained” in their response to what he describes as a “Russian invasion”. Yet, and quite obvious to most, the events in Ukraine did not commence with Russia adding to its troop numbers in the Crimean peninsular. In reality, the chain of events leading to this particular crisis began when state-members of the European Union, led by the United States and its NATO partners, instigated a violent coup d’etat, through the fomentation and manipulation of a disillusioned minority, alongside the overt sponsorship of Nazi-sympathising oligarchs and their fascist shock-troops. This is not to mention the equally relevant economic origins of the crisis, nor the decades of NATO-instigated war, ethnic division, and social antagonism in the former Soviet bloc in the desired aim of militarily “containing” Russia. When viewed in the wider historical context, Russia’s supposed “invasion” of Ukraine is in fact a muted reaction to the aggressive policies of the Western states. Jones and the liberal “lefts” blatant disregard of the historical process in turn bolsters the false portrayal of a “restrained” western Empire competing with an insubordinate lesser state, in this case Russia.

To omit such vital historical context, the consequent processes, interconnections and their correct chronology, and then duplicitously begin the narrative from the falsehood of a “Russian invasion”, is to engage in the most vile form of historical revisionism.

Moreover, by engaging in the semantics of western bourgeois media and falsely portraying Russia’s limited military manoeuvres in Crimea as an “invasion”, “leftists” such as Jones help to buttress western imperialisms false moral equivalence. In actual fact, the two principal geopolitical actors, the Russian state on the one hand, and the US Empire on the other, are nothing close to comparable in the context of the current crisis in Ukraine, or any other modern conflict. To equate Russia defending – arguably warranted – “interests” on its own borders and allied regions, with aggressive imperialism acting as the catalyst, is beyond stupidity, it is purposeful semantic trickery, propagated in order to demonize “them” and “their” actions, while legitimizing “us” and “ours”. Such use of poorly disguised social chauvinism to form bias narratives is but typical of the bourgeois British liberal, intrinsic within supposed “leftist” media.

Unfortunately, Jones’ muddleheaded sophism has only just begun. Having distorted the underlying historical processes and causes of the crisis, whitewashed the culpability of western imperialism thereby equating it to the lesser target state, in turn building a false moral platform for imperialist aggression, Jones now turns to fascist apologia. While correctly pointing out the “AK-47 wielding.. right-wing extremists” and the subsequent seizure of power via illegal and anti-democratic means, Jones then immediately attempts to mitigate their central role, and the equally important role the fascist shock-troops played in the “victorious uprising”, as he now calls it. “This was not a coup,..” claims Jones, “..but a genuinely popular uprising in the country’s western and central regions, if not in its east and south.” The contradiction is evident in this sentence alone; what exactly is a “genuine uprising” that only reaches the “western and central regions” of any state? Furthermore, what is Jones’ material evidence, let alone criteria, for determining an uprising in less than half of a country is “popular”? Further still, what is Jones’ legal, nay, logical reasoning behind avowing a coup with the title of “Government”?

Such slogans and terminology represent nothing more than liberal quackery of the highest order. Jones has no idea just how “popular” the heavily manufactured protests and opposition groups are, or ever were in Ukraine, or whether they amounted to a big enough demographic to be labelled as the crude abstraction of a “genuine uprising”. Contrary to Jones’ rosy portrayal, more than half of Ukraine totally ignored the Maidan anti-government protests, the eastern half of the country is almost universally opposed to the fascist coup regime in Kiev while local authorities are quite literally asking for Russian aid and protection, not to mention the further intricacies of what has for centuries been a Russian-aligned, virtually autonomous region of Crimea.

Does this sound like a “genuine”, or even “popular” “victorious uprising” of an entire state of forty-plus million people, or does it resemble a violent coup, verging on organised ethnic antagonism, orchestrated by imperialism?

Perhaps the (declared) $5 billion dollars the US State Dept has put towards engineering regime change via the fascist groups now seizing power may have helped the “uprising” become a “victorious” one. No doubt the US-EU bourgeoisie doling out cookies and hand-picking the “Governments” new leadership benefitted its domestic “popularity” in Ukraine enormously. Or perhaps the xenophobia, Nazi iconography and overt racism espoused by Svoboda’s henchmen became so “genuine” that there is no longer any room for a dissenting voice; effectively rendering the fascist vanguard and its acolytes “popular” enough to call a Government. Maybe the former Zionist occupiers leading various neo-fascist thugs in Ukraine helped them gain some “popularity”, or the snipers randomly killing both police and protesters – allegedly employed by the opposition – helped to align the disparate factions of dissent into a “genuine” grassroots unified movement. Then again, perhaps not. Regardless of all this reaction, fascism, thuggery, alienation and social antagonism, imperialism can surely rely on the empty phrases and liberal sophism of western bourgeois media to afford their proxies the veneer of respectability.

According to Jones, there have been no “systematic” attacks on Russian speakers, and although the coup regime are illegally seizing power, including every top position in the Duma and what remains of the military and police, they “do not own the whole revolt, and will only be strengthened by Russian intervention”. To suggest that no party “owns the revolt” is a meaningless abstraction. Does Jones seriously believe that no faction is leading, or “owns”, the coup? That no specific faction is currently enforcing its will unabated with the direct support of western imperialism?

It only takes a cursory glance at the tons of reports and prior documentation (see here, here, here, here, here, here, and here) that expose Ukraine’s “uprising” as being both led and dominated by reactionary fascists sponsored by imperialism. Yet Jones is either too stupid to see this vanguard long in “ownership” of the revolt, or he is deliberately marginalizing them from the reality of the situation to afford Empires’ proxies with unwarranted moral platform. Whats more, the insinuation that Russian “intervention” against said fascist proxies, will inevitably increase their power is completely bereft of the context of who actually empowered and sustained them up until, and no doubt beyond this very moment! In Jones backward narrative, it is as if these fascists came to power entirely of their own volition as a result of Russian provocation, forget the direct aid and sponsorship of western imperialism. Again, the historical context of the initial causes, and the western actors responsible for the ascendance of fascists in Ukraine has been erased, and replaced with the anachronism of a Russian reaction.

In the western liberal “lefts” moral equation, killing millions through decades of western Imperial aggression and Russia’s bloodless “invasion” of Crimea “are all symptoms of the same phenomenon”. There is of course some concrete truth in that, but for Jones to use the comparison in the Ukrainian context is fraudulent and deliberately misleading, it distorts the historical and material causes of this specific conflict. To then further posit the simplistic notion that “Russia’s invasion of Ukraine… would have undoubtedly happened anyway” in turn bolsters the skewed perspective of western imperialism, neglecting cause and effect and vital historical context that expose real culpability. It is to demand Russia’s hyped “invasion” should be judged minus the imperialist provocation that instigated it, while further neglecting the decades of western imperialist slaughter, expansion and provocation preceding the latest violent upheaval. Russia is therefore deemed equally, if not more so, culpable for the Ukrainian crisis, while the perception of the predatory western imperialists has been sanitized, and their massive culpability reduced dramatically from the equation.

A further example of the sophism and superficiality so inherent to the modern liberal media class came in the form of a pseudo-moralistic rant from RT “Journalist” Abbey Martin. Immediately lauded by western media liberals for her “principled”, yet ahistorical, and uninformed outburst denouncing the Russian Governments “military intervention” in Ukraine, Martin went on to explain that although she knew little of the situation – why would she? – she opposed “all military intervention”. Well, how principled one might say, but what exactly is the “principle” of non-intervention other than a utopian liberal absurdity? Moreover, what is the worthwhile principle behind denouncing a military manoeuvre you know little of, or can even attempt to explain? Such pandering to empty humanitarian slogans and simplification of complex sociopolitical processes can only be explained by the commodification and subsequent self-gratification that petty bourgeois liberals crave when chasing their individualist desires. Fight the man, doesn’t matter who, or why, just make sure people see you doing it.

Dumbing-down media coverage of complex issues and historical revisionism within all “sides” of the bourgeois media gamut is of course not exclusive to the recent coverage in Ukraine, precisely the same deceptive methods are employed on an endless scale for the same reasons listed above. Libya and Syria provide two further recent examples of how the media’s supposedly “left” and liberal outlets and pundits often fulfill a vital role in legitimizing imperialist aggression; western media’s almost overwhelming support for the imperialist plunder of Iraq arguably provides us with the definitive modern illustration.

Critical historical processes and the chronology of events have been manipulated, misinformed, diverted through false moral platform, or omitted entirely to form western-friendly narratives that remove imperial culpability. Demonization campaigns that effectively “other” peoples, governments and targeted leaders are commonplace in the liberal “left” spectrum of western media just as they are in the “right”. Perhaps the greatest example of the liberal media’s subservience to corporate power is provided by the Guardian newspaper. Its lurid role in promoting religious fundamentalist proxies of western imperialism in Libya and Syria, and the masses of misinformation and bias narratives propagated on their behalf, again exposes the almost complete lack of disparity between the “right” and “left” bourgeois western press. In both cases, and increasingly in Ukraine, media manipulation of timelines, and liberal apologia for what are essentially reactionary proxies of imperialism became critical tools in maintaining western public acquiescence, or worse still, ignorance and support of aggressive western provocations and covert war. Bar a few dissenting voices in the opinion pages, the Guardian’s supposedly liberal “left” coverage of western imperialism is now virtually indistinguishable to that of the shameless right.

No longer can overt militaristic imperialism be forced upon the western masses as it was in the immediate post-9-11 era, hence, covert proxy-war has taken center stage. A most crucial tool of the western bourgeoisie in achieving the concessions and acquiescence of the masses during this current period of covert imperialist violence, has once again exposed itself in the form of the petty bourgeois opportunists, the “social democrats”, the liberal “lefts” of the modern epoch and their corporate media lackeys.

Ominously, and without a shred of self-awareness it seems, Jones warns us: “there is a frightening tradition of conservatives and liberals helping fascists into power.” Indeed, here, Jones is almost correct, but curiously fails to analyse the definitive classes currently aiding fascists into power in Ukraine, ie: the petty bourgeois western liberal class and its bourgeois neoconservative counterparts, both essentially factions of western imperialism. Neither is there any attempt to analyse or distinguish the class which has played the pivotal role in aiding fascists into power in the service of the bourgeoisie throughout modern history, perhaps the result of such an analysis would be too close to the bone.

New Mint Press statement reveals Saudi pressure on reporter.

Following AP reporter Dale Gavlak’s attempt to disassociate from the Mint Press News report: “Syrians In Ghouta Claim Saudi-Supplied Rebels Behind Chemical Attack”  (see previous article for background here) Mint Press Editor in Chief Mnar Muhawesh published a statement in response reiterating her support for, and the credentials of, the two journalists involved, along with the substance of the report they had produced. The report in question included statements from residents and relatives of rebel fighters in Eastern Ghouta, who alleged that Saudi Intelligence Chief, Prince Bandar Bin Sultan, had supplied extremist elements in the  region with chemical weapons.

The Muhawesh statement went largely unnoticed in mainstream media, instead, the usual actors produced a variety of baseless lurid smears and conspiracy theories directed at Mint Press and Yahya Ababneh, the reporter on the ground in Ghouta, in transparent efforts to discredit them and the substance of the report.

One particularly vulgar conspiracy crafted by the BuzzFeed “journalist” Rosie Gray – reminiscent of crass attempts to play on orientalist stereotypes of “Iranian deception” abundant in civilised US media and diplomacy-speak – attempted to portray the Mint Press as bias fabricators, on the grounds of the Editors father-in-law being a Shi’a Muslim. In effect casting him and Mint Press as Iranian stooges intent on subverting the western-promoted falsehood that the Assad government ordered the alleged chemical attacks.

In recent weeks, corporate media has largely gone quiet on the whole affair. With the Russian-brokered deal to destroy Syria’s chemical weapons stockpiles thwarting a determined effort by US hawks,  Likudniks, and Gulf monarchs to escalate the Syrian war; the push for overt US intervention has subsided, and along with it the incessant parroting of fantasy narratives and dubious “evidence” attempting to blame the Assad government for the alleged chemical attacks on August 21st.

Muhawesh, fearing for the safety of Dale Gavlak and Yahya Ababneh, has remained silent on the issue since the release of the aforementioned communication, but has now released a full statement outlining a timeline of events surrounding the report, which is reprinted in its entirety below, I urge all to read in full:

Dear readers,

I wanted to personally express my appreciation for your continued support and readership following our newsroom’s August 29, 2013 exclusive report titled: “Syrians in Ghouta Claim Saudi-Supplied Rebels Behind Chemical Attack.”

I’ve been silent until today out of concern for the safety of the journalists, Dale Gavlak and Yahya Ababneh, while we worked to bring clarity to their findings and ensuing events.  I’m relieved to now be able to share happenings of the past 60 days as Human Rights Watch addresses ongoing threats to co-author Yahya by Jordanian and Saudi actors in Amman, Jordan.

To be clear, my MintPress colleagues and I continue to stand by Dale and Yahya and their reporting. The tragic incident in Ghouta on August 21—and the Syria conflict as a whole—is complex and, as the article stated, some information could not be independently verified.  While efforts to discredit the story and our organization have disappointed us, we have been most concerned by the tremendous pressure placed on Dale by the Associated Press and more serious threats faced by Yahya.

Since the article was published, I’ve been in almost daily contact with co-author Yahya in Amman, Jordan.  He has related ongoing threats of imprisonment by the Jordanian police for his travel to Syria if he were to continue to report on this story or grant further press interviews.  Yahya has also described increasing pressure from Saudi actors to retract his story and the specific allegation by Ghouta residents of a rebel link to Prince Bandar.

In line with Dale’s description of Yahya as “a reputable journalist” to the New York Times, she distanced herself from the article only after stating in emails to MintPress that the Associated Press demanded her name be removed from the byline nearly two days after the article published.  She has not informed MintPress of the AP’s reason for this request—nor why they and National Public Radio (NPR), subsequently, suspended her.  For background on the situation, here is the timeline of events:


  • Feb 8: Freelance journalist Dale Gavlak—an Associated Press stringer for nearly a decade—joins MintPress News (MPN) as Middle East Correspondent and files her first of 26 weekly articles on regional news and politics.
  • Aug 28: Dale pitches the Ghouta story to her MPN editors.  She then conducts research, fact checks with colleagues and Jordanian government officials and writes up article based on interviews her reporter colleague, Yahya Ababneh, conducted a few days prior while on a delegation to Ghouta, Syria.  Dale files the story to MPN.
  • Aug 29: Dale emails with readers about the report after it is published at MintPressNews.com with the byline note: “This is a collaborative report by Dale Gavlak and Yahya Ababneh.”
  • Aug 30: Dale notifies MPN by email that editors at the Associated Press are demanding her name be removed from the article byline by end of day.
  • Aug 31: MPN cites editorial transparency for not removing Dale from byline and, instead, adds clarification of her exact role that now appears at top of article.
  • Sept 1: MPN receives letter from Dale’s attorney demanding it remove her name from byline completely.
  • Sept 3: Dale accepts payment from MPN for her role in the article.
  • Sept 12: Yahya informs MPN via Skype of first visit by Saudi actors.
  • Sept 13: Through legal counsel, MPN offers to remove Dale and Yahya’s names both completely from the byline and replace with the statement: “MintPress, in order to protect the authors of this story from any retribution or outside pressure, has removed the authors’ names from this story.  MintPress believes in the journalistic efforts produced by all of the parties involved in this story but does not want to see any harm come to any of the parties.”
  • Sept 20: Dale claims MPN “incorrectly used my byline” in a statement to bloggerBrown Moses.
  • Sept 21: Dale shares Aug 29 email to MPN on NY Times “Lede Blog”: “Pls find the Syria story I mentioned uploaded on Google Docs. This should go under Yahya Ababneh’s byline. I helped him write up this story but he should get all the credit for this.”  MPN’s Mnar Muhawesh makes her only public statement on the situation.
  • Sept 26: Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov cites allegations in MPN report as evidence in talks with US Secretary of State John Kerry and in press interviews at the UN General Assembly.
  • Oct 7: Yahya notifies MPN that the United Nations commissioned him to present his witnesses for the UN Report on the Alleged Use of Chemical Weapons in the Ghouta Area of Damascus on 21 August 2013.
  • Oct 14: Yahya informs MPN via email of visit by Jordanian police: “i am ok, and they find two Saudi arabia one of them his name [REDACTED], he is a Salafi, I know him before, he try to find me and give me to KSA police in Saudi, they know an old police man (he retired) they still fellow, they ask me to make a statement which say opisit of the report about Bender”.
  • Oct 28: Yahya describes conversation with Saudi actors in email to MPN: “any way, they ask me to go to Saudi and say sorry, and talk to Saud TV live to tell them that i was under pressure when i was in Syria. they (my tribe) have a pressure too in Suad, they ask them in the borders and airport about me.”

We deeply sympathize with Dale and Yahya as they continue to endure pressures from interests seeking to silence their reporting.  Their courage, and that of many reporters before them, has emboldened MintPress to expose these threats to investigative journalism and has served to strengthen our commitment to in-depth reporting on social justice and human rights issues.

As an independent journalism startup that found itself embroiled in an international crisis, we’re grateful for the advice and assistance provided by experts at The Poynter Institute and Knight Foundation as well as International Federation of Journalists and Human Rights Watch.

Again, I appreciate your support and truly value your readership.  I welcome any questions about the report, ensuing events and our ongoing coverage of the Syrian conflict.

Best regards,

Mnar A. Muhawesh.

Editor in Chief, MintPress News.

It becomes immediately clear from the above statement that the fantastical conspiracies posited by BuzzFeeds’ Rosie Gray and former Guardian Editor Brian Whitaker, to name but two, were clearly based on nothing more than wild speculation in a vain and somewhat organised attempt to discredit the report; it is no coincidence Gavlaks’ disassociation statement was initially handed to Brian Whitakers eager protegé “Brown Moses”, aka Eliot Higgins, to promote right alongside his lead effort in touting dubious “evidence” pointing the finger at the Syrian army as responsible for Ghouta, much of which has now been thoroughly debunked.

The immediate questions then remain: why so much effort from establishment media players to discredit and smear? Why are elements of Jordanian and Saudi security services threatening Yahya Ababneh and his family, and attempting to force him to retract the statements he gathered in Ghouta if they are merely falsehood, or baseless planted rumour? And why did the AP and NPR suspend Gavlak even though she made (futile) attempts to disassociate from the report to save her career and her colleagues safety?

The logical answer is that those reflected negatively in Yahya Ababneh and Dale Gavlaks’ Ghouta report have something to hide, and are going to great lengths to keep it hidden.

Owen Jones & Mother Agnes. A lesson on conciliatory “leftists”.

Following the news that Mother Agnes Miriam, a nun who heads the Musalaha (reconciliation) initiative in Syria, was due to speak at the Stop The War conference in London, two journalists also due to speak at the event, Jeremy Scahill and Owen Jones, decided to withdraw participation unless Mother Agnes was removed from the speaking list. At the time of writing, neither “journalist” has offered to explain their act of public censure and decision to bolster Zionist-led smear campaigns; aside from a few tweets expressing their “concern” over sharing a platform with an evil Assad-supporting nun. It seems baseless conspiracy theories are more than acceptable in the higher echelons of “professional” journalism, as long as the target of said conspiracy is a supporter of an enemy state of the west and Israel.

The justification for this blatant act of censorship came in the form of a crass campaign of smear and character assassination. One primarily led by outright Israeli/Neo-Conservative propagandist-extraordinaire Michael D. Weiss, a former Director of a now defunct Zionist pressure group called Just Journalism, whose stated goals included focusing on “how Israel and Middle East issues are reported in the UK media.” Weiss, also a former fellow at the Neo-Conservative war-lobby “think-tank” the Henry Jackson Society, is now a lead rebel advocate pimping his “expertise” at Saudi Arabia/Hariri propaganda outlet NOW Lebanon – all whilst writing up US military intervention proposals for the Syrian opposition. It is also no coincidence that Mr. Weiss was a lead proponent of the fairy-tale narratives of one Liz OBagy, an utter fraud sanitizing the image of the rebels on behalf of a US State Department funded rebel lobbying group and the equally hawkish Neo-Conservative PR outlet The Institute for the Study of War. Needless to say, Weiss, and his cabal of pro-rebel Hariri propagandists and Zionist apologists are more than pleased at Jones and Scahill’s somewhat orchestrated decision to pressure Stop the War into dropping Mother Agnes.

Mother Agnes, according to the plethora of pro-rebel US and Zionist media accounts, is an evil “Assad apologist”. As a result of Agnes’ support of the Syrian government and calls for peaceful reconciliation, the Al Qaeda apologists rife within western and Israeli media took it upon themselves to instigate a campaign of hatred-filled smear and baseless accusation.

Since the onset of the Syrian conflict, Mother Agnes has made efforts to combat the skewed narratives emerging from corrupt western, Israeli, and Gulf Oil and Gas media – not least regarding the controversial issue of the alleged chemical weapons attacks in Ghouta, Damascus. Contrary to the smears, Agnes doesn’t deny people died during the incident, nor offer a complete alternative narrative. Her questions surrounding the event are entirely focused on the many inconsistencies and inaccuracies within the “official narrative” and the dubious YouTube videos touted as impartial evidence. It seems the CIA were also less than convinced of the US governments “assessment”; so much so that a mass resignation was threatened if their name was attached to John Kerry’s dodgy dossier. Furthermore, a considerable open source collaborative effort to determine the perpetrator of the alleged chemical weapons attack has drawn the logical, and somewhat scientific conclusion that only the rebels could have been responsible. In addition, the much politicised UN report that attempted to point the finger at the Syrian army has also come under much scrutiny from highly qualified avenues for its poor methodologies and misleading conclusions. Regardless of all the  above, the fact Mother Agnes actually resides in Syria, is the head of an organisation that has mediated between warring factions and enabled the safe evacuation of civilians, and consistently calls for peaceful reconciliation and dialogue, doesn’t count for much in the eyes of rabid western pundits eager to demonize anyone that dare question, or offer a counter narrative to their fabrication-laden fantasies on Syria.

The self-described “leftist” UK political commentator Owen Jones has written virtually nothing on the Syrian conflict. His understanding of events is largely based on the dominant narratives portrayed in western media. No doubt, like any self-respecting petty bourgeois leftist of London, Jones gets his information from the wests supposed liberal establishment newspapers, who in recent years have stood proudly alongside right-wing media in cheerleading for disastrous western-led wars of aggression. The conflict in Syria has been no exception, the Guardian’s totally skewed coverage,  that lends more from Whitehall/CIA/Mossad talking points than it does reality, has been well documented and debunked. Accordingly, Jones’ ideas on Syria fall in line with this narrative: yes, the “Islamist rebels” are BAD guys (meaning there are some GOOD moderate guys that nobody can find yet, or, in Owen’s case even name), but Assad is a dictator, a war criminal, “barbarous”, “he needs to go”. Any reflection on cause and effect; the long and relevant historical context of US-led subversion and instigation of terrorist insurgencies in the name of “revolution”; or the underlying geopolitical dynamics that helped to create and exacerbate the extremist-led insurgency is far too much nuance for Jones’ simplistic binary narratives: Assad is BAD, and anyone that supports the Syrian government or refuses to support its ouster through coercion or violence is also BAD, by definition. What then, do Jones’ simplistic definitions mean for the millions of Syrians that still support their President and government? Well, like the nun, they are obviously evil and severely misguided. I mean, what would they know, Living in Syria and all? This stance of vulgar superiority is indicative of the vast undercurrent of western bourgeois Orientalism which still oozes from the pores of western media and its decrepit “journalists” when their stance on “others” threatens to detriment their self-imposed “credibility”.

The informative blog “Interventions Watch”, explores Jones’ apparent moral confusion further:

Jones is a member and supporter of the Labour party, and thinks other lefties should be as well. As is hardly a secret, Labour is a party that plays host to plenty of major war criminals and apologists for those war criminals, but that apparently isn’t enough for him to want to part ways with them. Indeed, he has in the past quite happily appeared on platforms with John Prescott, who was deputy Prime Minister at the time of the aggression against Iraq – not just an apologist for war crimes then, but an active participant in them.

Yet this predicament seems completely lost on Jones. In one instance, he is a paid-up member of a UK political party that played a lead role in no less than genocide; in an act of military and economic aggression on Iraq totally against International Law, not to mention morality. He sits beside these politicians and pleads with leftist thinkers to join them and “change them from within”. A million or so Iraqi lives can be forgotten, there’s a few good eggs in this elitist manifestation of conciliatory Mensheviks, join us! But when it comes to possibly sharing a stage with a nun from Syria who happens to support her government and army in its fight against a foreign-funded, foreign instigated, foreign-led, and extremist dominated terrorist insurgency, Jones wont be part of it.

This bourgeois trait of selective free-speech through groupthink coercion is indicative of just how corrupt the western media system truly is. Supposed “leftist” anti-war commentators now feel they are an authority to dictate and pressure who should be able to participate in public events, and wilfully swallow the smears of Zionist propagandists rather than do their own research, or, heaven forbid, judge people on the content of what they are actually saying.

Evidently, Jones’ moral outrage is selective at best, one could convincingly argue its nothing more than careerist popularism – with a dash of orientalist superiority for good measure. Sure, sit next to war-criminals of “our” variety, you wont get smeared with the dreaded “apologist” brush in the elitist media you participate and benefit from – hell, most of their “barbarous” crimes are long forgotten, so not much to worry about. But sit next to a nun that supports a current enemy of the west? Forget it.

Stop the War have just released a statement confirming that Mother Agnes has “withdrawn” from the conference. Cheers to Zionist apologists of the apartheid state, propagandists of an Al Qaeda insurgency in Syria, and Owen Jones.

Syria analysts, impartial? Not likely.

As is evident with the vast majority of coverage on the MIddle East, the analysis used to bolster media narratives on Syria is predominantly derived from paid “think-tank” commentators posing as objective scholars. To the discerning reader, this dynamic of the mass media relying on dubiously attached “analysts” is in itself nothing new.

In an op-ed titled “The Sham Terrorist Expert Industry”  journalist Glenn Greenwald offers a compelling in-depth critique of the dominant clique of highly ideological “analysts” pervasive within the realm of US national security and foreign policy media. This “clique” – whose primary objectives are to propagate policies of the states or corporations that created the institutions they work for – has extended into the majority of western “analysis” on the Middle East, not least in regard to the Syrian conflict. Indeed, in many cases the analysts and supposed experts covering Syria are employed by the very same dominant institutions (WINEP, et al), and sit in the very same offices, as the frauds in Greenwald’s aforementioned article. The common talking points provided by this band of charlatans generally fall in line with the current of demonizing Muslim nations in general, in order to “other” the primary targets of western aggression; overblowing the threat of “Islamic terror” in the west to bolster the governing class’ “need” for oppressive National Security laws, solely designed to encroach upon the publics civil liberties and curtail the possibility of domestic dissent to the ruling systems; while advancing whatever bolsters US/Israeli geopolitical interests at any given time.

Yet, during the course of the Syrian conflict, this corporate analysis industry has exhibited an about-turn of discourse, and in stark contrast to the usually anti-Islamic propaganda utilised to bolster fabricated domestic “threats”; the “tailored analysis” of militia in Syria has been in the majority of a favourable approach. More often than not, such favourable analyses regarding opposition militants has been proven to be entirely false. What’s more, in some instances, it has become blatantly obvious that said think-tanks have gone to great lengths to mitigate the fundamentalist ideologies rife within the ranks and leadership of Syrian “rebel” forces.

The much publicised fraud Liz O’Bagy, offers perhaps the prime example of the war-lobby’s propaganda apparatus and its pervasive attempts to build support for the Syrian insurgency under patently absurd “secular freedom fighter” narratives. O’Bagy was formerly employed by the Neo-Conservative lobbying group posing as an objective conflict-analysis center called The Institute for the Study of War. A think-tank whose board of directors reads like a whos-who of past and present US military establishment. Moreover, the ISW’s main donors and “clients”, ie: those that ultimately determine the organisations output, are the biggest military contractors on Earth. It is these same “interests” that represent the direct financial beneficiaries of a possible US-led (overt) war on Syria. Regardless of the ISW’s ties to the military industry, O’Bagy was regularly paraded in western media as an impartial expert on Syria. Only once her fraudulent doctorate claims were exposed was any scrutiny placed upon OBagy or the outfit she worked for. Since then, the ISW continues to be portrayed as an objective source of analysis whilst O’Bagy has become the scapegoat for the whole sordid affair. Any serious investigation of the mendacious agenda at the ISW, and the State Department funded rebel-lobbying group the “Syrian Emergency Task Force” (SETF) has conveniently been forgotten.

In relation, and as evidenced in a detailed report by the Public Accountability Initiative, the military and corporate ties held by prominent commentators pushing for war on Syria became particularly blatant during the immediate aftermath of the alleged chemical weapons attacks. One such commentator, Stephen Hadley, a former national security adviser to George W. Bush, made a series of high-profile media appearances advocating US military strikes on Syria. On almost every occasion, the fact Hadley served as a director of Raytheon Corp. – the producer of the tomahawk missiles being prepared for use in a “strike” on Syria – and would therefore financially benefit from the imminent use of such weaponry, was totally omitted; giving the viewer the false impression of Hadley as an objective and experienced “National Security” expert.

Regularly quoted analysts providing sound-bites and “insight” regarding the Syrian insurgency in western media have invariably been employees of “think-tanks” with dubious ties to the military and corporate establishments of the west and Israel. This vested interest within analysis ostensibly portrayed as objective is not only prevalent in the higher echelons of the commentariat, nor is it explicit to coverage of critical junctures during the conflict. Rather, it is endemic throughout such analysis and feeds down to lesser-known beneficiaries: manipulable low-level employees and young interns keen to “get ahead” in the realm of “National Security” agitprop. In turn, think-tanks providing analyses that lend credibility to a desired corporate media narrative are promoted and given exposure, regardless of how many times such analysis is proven wrong – or worse still, proven as intentionally misleading.

The Washington institute for Near East Policy (WINEP, founded by AIPAC members including Martin Indyk, now of the monolithic US think-tank the Brookings institution) is arguably the most prominent example of the organised propaganda ubiquitous in western media coverage of the Middle East. Its board of directors exhibits a long history of US establishment Neo-Conservatives and Zionists alike. Described by Columbia University’s Professor of Arab studies Rashid Khalidi as the “most important Zionist propaganda tool in the United States”; WINEP employs a plethora of devout Zionists, US establishment figures, and promoters of the apartheid state with the specific intention of flooding US foreign policy discourse with a pro-Israeli bias. Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimers’ book: “The Israel Lobby and US foreign policy” gives a detailed account of WINEP’s methodology: “Although WINEP plays down its links to Israel and claims that it provides a ‘balanced and realistic’ perspective on Middle East issues, this is not the case. In fact, WINEP is funded and run by individuals who are deeply committed to advancing Israel’s agenda … Many of its personnel are genuine scholars or experienced former officials, but they are hardly neutral observers on most Middle East issues and there is little diversity of views within WINEP’s ranks.”

Accordingly, WINEP has been at the forefront of providing biased and skewed analysis that forms much of western media’s talking points on Syria. The self-described “Hezbollah expert” Matt Levitt (who has incidentally never spoken to a member of Hezbollah), lacking any credible evidence, has consistently exaggerated Hezbollah’s participation in the Syrian conflict. In similar vein, WINEP analyst Andrew J. Tabler has been published in western media relentlessly and has consistently advocated further US military intervention. It becomes once again evident that, in the context of Syria, WINEP’s general “analysis” has been built in order to bolster governing narratives required to undertake US/Israeli objectives, whether that analysis is sound, or not, is entirely irrelevant.

The oft-referenced Syria analyst Charles Lister, of IHS Janes’ “Terrorism and Insurgency Center” provides one such example of the corporate end of the spectrum. Lister is prominently touted in western media as an objective, informed source of analysis on rebel groups in Syria. Indeed, his twitter feed and sporadic articles give the impression he spends much of his time studying “rebel” groups in Syria for a benevolent and impartial “terrorism center”. However, contrary to this perception, Lister’s employer, IHS, describes itself as a “global information company… shaping todays business landscape” and promotes itself as “one of the leading global providers of critical technical information, decision support tools and related services to customers in the energy, defense, aerospace, construction and automotive industries,”. Again, and in accordance with the ISW’s military roll-call of directors; IHS Janes board of directors and investors reads like a who’s-who of western corporate special interest of past and present – from Goldman Sachs to Citigroup. To give this elite public relations company, its employees, and its offspring of “tailored information” the credence of objectivity is tantamount to blind stupidity. In line with the uniform analysis, Lister was a leading proponent of the “secular, democratic revolutionary” narrative, which he still upholds to this day. Although his analysis has become less anachronistic and he acknowledges the extremist ideologies and dominance within the rebels; Lister still refuses to abandon the fantasy of a “nationalist” uprising. This disingenuous western-promoted line of a nationalist and democratic militant insurgency morphing into an extremist-led war simply doesn’t stand up to serious scrutiny.

An example of the manipulable intern is provided by the analyst Aymenn AJ Tamimi, who has become a prominent source for media on the extreme factions in Syria. Concentrating on coverage of Da’wah and civilian “outreach” that Al Qaeda operatives Jabhat al-Nusra and the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) so kindly provide for the people of Syria, Tamimi primarily writes lengthy reports detailing ISIS’ efforts to learn from their mistakes in Iraq, and how ISIS are now determined to win “hearts and minds” through social programs and so forth. His analysis has consistently highlighted the small instances of ISIS success at avoiding alienating the Syrian communities which they invade and dominate. While providing a knowledgable, and what seems well-sourced overview of ISIS et al, from a supposed objective point of view, there is a distinct aversion to the many well publicised and brutal crimes the ISIS commit. For example; it seems odd that Tamimi, an oft-quoted expert on ISIS no-less, made no effort to analyse the Latakia massacres and mass-kidnappings that occurred in early August 2013. Indeed, any negative reflection of this whole event – led by ISIS no less – is almost entirely omitted from Tamimi’s analysis and impressive body of work. In comparison to his coverage of ISIS Da’wah, or “outreach” as he labels it, his coverage of ISIS crimes and atrocities is minimal. Moreover, Tamimi has relied on anonymous “ISIS sources” to form the backbone of much of his work; often resulting in a favourable or bias interpretation of events.

Tamimi is listed as “Shillman Ginsburg fellow” at the Middle East Forum (MEF), which for all intents and purposes is an outright Zionist/Neo-Conservative think-tank with a stated mission of “promot[ing] American interests in the Middle East and protect[ing] Western values from Middle Eastern threats.” In addition, the MEF outlines those “American interests” as being: “fighting radical Islam; working for Palestinian acceptance of Israel; robustly asserting U.S. interests vis-à-vis Saudi Arabia; developing strategies to deal with Iraq and contain Iran; and monitoring the advance of Islamism in Turkey. Domestically, the Forum combats lawful Islamism; protects the freedom of public speech of anti-Islamist authors, activists, and publishers; and works to improve Middle East studies in North America.” (emphasis added)

Upon reading the MEF’s mission statement, it again seems counterproductive for an overtly Islamophobic propaganda outlet allowing its fellowship interns enough freedom to portray ISIS and their affiliates in a favourable fashion. The MEF is affiliated to none other than raging Zionist/NeoCon Daniel Pipes, who has consistently called for heavier US military involvement in Syria. In April 2013 upon (falsely) assuming the “rebels” were winning the fight, Pipes demanded that an about turn was necessary and the US should actively support Bashar al-Assad in order to “guide enemies to stalemate by helping whichever side is losing, so as to prolong their conflict.” Pipes’ proposal, coincidentally of course, precisely reflects the “optimal scenario” of the Israeli military establishment. Again, it strikes as odd then, that an analyst who spends the majority of his time studying radical Islamic groups in Syria in such a favourable light gains fellowship at an institution headed by Zionist/Neoconservative Islamophobes.

These are but a few examples of a vast and sophisticated propaganda apparatus; built and paid for by global military and corporate institutions to consume the media discourse with preferential analysis and commentary. The “tailored analysis” to sanitize the image of the “rebels” in Syria has required the western/Israeli think-tank industry to engage in a lengthy period of cognitive dissonance.

There is a simple explanation for Zionists and NeoCons promoting and sanitizing Islamic extremists in Syria: the paymasters of Western/Israeli dominated think-tanks promoted in mass media hold a similar objective to that of the paymasters of the brainwashed extremists and criminals engaged in an insurgency being portrayed as a struggle for democracy; that common objective being the overthrow of the Syrian government and the subsequent destruction of the Syrian state. It has become an almost mainstream fact that Israel and Saudi Arabia – the latter being by far the largest supporter of the Salafi/Jihadi militia in Syria, nay, on earth – share many common objectives in the region; their mutual conflict and hostility toward the Resistance bloc, led by Iran, providing the fundamental platform for the increasingly close relationship between Riyadh and Tel Aviv.

The “Redirectional” policies of the United States, Israel, and Saudi Arabia – designed to mitigate opposition to their regional dominance and bolster radical Sunni fundamentalist ideologues in order to attack their mutual enemy: the Resistance bloc of Iran, Syria, and Hezbollah – erroneously labelled “the Shi’ite crescent” – has made unlikely analytical bedfellows. Quite literally, apologists and propagandists of Zionists, Neo-Conservatives, liberal interventionists, and Al Qaeda no less, have all found common ground on Syria. Accordingly, this alliance has manifested itself in the uniform commentary provided by corporate public relations firms that dominate analysis within mass media.

The Guardian’s MIddle East Editor does Israel’s dirty work.

In a report titled “Hezbollah shows strain of Syria war”, The Guardian’s Middle East Editor Ian Black, explains to the reader that Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah “sounds more troubled than defiant when he talks about the Syrian war these days”. Black doesn’t offer the reader a link to Nasrallah’s latest speech to check, nor any translation off this supposed “troubled” tone, nor indeed a single quote. Instead Black offers the reader his own insight into the Hezbollah leaders mindset, bolstered by none other than Zionist agitprop extraordinaire: Matt Levitt. The Guardian also fail to disclose Mr. Levitts’ correct bio, or the fact he is employed by the propaganda arm of the Israel lobby (AIPAC), otherwise known as the Washington institute for Near East Policy, (WINEP).

It comes across as immediately contradictory, then, that Black follows this baseless assertion with a reminder that Nasrallah “lambasted” Saudi Arabia for trying to block a political solution in Syria. It’s almost as if Black is disappointed that his subject isn’t calling for further bloodshed. Not only did Nasrallah “lambast” Saudi Arabia, he pointed the finger at the Saud monarchy for the continuing violence, alluding to the Saudis proxy in Lebanon (March 14/Hariri), Nasrallah said: “All the events in Syria are tied to the events in Lebanon because there is a certain party that has linked everything in Lebanon to what is happening in Syria. They are disrupting political life as they wait for the result of the events in Syria to impose their own conditions.”

Further, in a more direct attack on the Saudis, Nasrallah states: “Saudi Arabia is angry with the way things are going in Syria and is seeking to disrupt and postpone the Geneva II Conference. Disrupting the political solution in Syria means more destruction, more victims, more killing.” Troubled, maybe, but a lack of defiance?

The Guardian report goes on to state that “Thousands of [Hezbollah] men have been deployed in Damascus, Deraa, Homs and Aleppo. Casualty figures are estimated at around 200 killed.” The vague number of “thousands” is a rather broad term, is it two thousand, or ten thousand? Mr. Black, nor the Guardian, have the faintest idea, but “thousands” sounds about right; the Israeli’s favourite American propagandist Matt Levitt told them no doubt. Black’s report claims the organisation is “fatigued and overstretched”, again, he doesn’t provide any evidence for this description, nor a name for the quote itself, it’s just an anonymous breath of fresh air that Black expects his reader to lap-up without question, the author is quite literally placing unattributable, baseless, fabrications to fit his desired narrative.

Black tells the reader that “blowback” has come to Lebanon, as a result of Hezbollah’s incursion into Syria, he again fails to add the relevant context that Lebanese/Syrian border towns had been attacked by extremist Syrian “rebels” for months prior to Hezbollah taking any action. Moreover, Black omits that Al Qaeda ideologues and extremists have used Lebanon’s porous border with Syria as a staging ground and logistics hub to launch the Syrian insurgency since virtually the first week of the crisis; feeding fighters and arms through sympathetic parties – including members of the March 14th alliance MP Okab Sakr and the assassinated former intelligence Chief Wissam a-Hassan to name but two. “Blowback” was indeed inevitable, whether Hezbollah made attempts to curtail this Saudi/Hariri arms pipeline to Al Qaeda in Syria, or not.

Without a single mention of the complete illegality of such aggression, Black then goes on to describe how Israel’s latest extra-judicial murder through air-strike is a “set-back” for Hezbollah, the sixth “raid” in the last few months no less! Aren’t those Israeli’s just great guys? Of course, the target – and we all know how well Israel hit their targets – were supposed SAM’s being transferred from Syria to Hezbollah. Again, not a scrap of evidence has been provided for this claim, or the airstrike itself, other than vague reports from opposition belligerents and eager-to-leak anonymous US “officials”. Equally disconcerting, Black fails to mention that even if such deliveries were being made to Hezbollah, the Israeli “raids” are still a total violation of International Law. Not only this, a surface to air missile system is zero “threat” to his beloved Israel, these systems serve one purpose: shooting things out of the sky. It is primarily a defensive weapon ostensibly used against attacking aircraft; you know, the Israeli aircraft that flaunt international law and bomb Arab countries and murder their civilians with impunity. In the Guardian and Ian Blacks’ eyes, such deterrence is a no-go, indeed, Black points out with glee the new possibilities the Syria conflict has provided the Israeli airforce: “The lesson is that the war in Syria, now in its third bloody year, makes it much easier for the Israelis to strike at Hezbollah without provoking a response. Nasrallah and Assad already have quite enough on their plates.” Blacks’ disguised pleasure in Israel’s new-found ease to bomb Arabs with impunity seems hard for him to conceal.

An equally fact-free assumption follows when Black states that: “Iran’s support for Assad [is] probably far more significant than assistance to the rebels from the Gulf states”. There are a multitude of things wrong with this vapid sentence. Does an editor often include “probably” when discussing such issues? Does Mr. Black provide any evidence that his assumption may be held in fact and not fantasy? And does Mr. Black realise, after three years of having the opportunity, that the Syrian Army and Government is a state-actor perfectly entitled to receive any support it requires from its allies? On the other hand, the “rebels” are a plethora of non-state extremist and criminal militia waging a terrorist insurgency upon a state and its infrastructure. Yet, for some strange reason, Mr. Black continues to place these two belligerents on some sort of moral and legal equal footing. Black attempts to bolster this blatant duplicity with a link to the recently released footage of Iranian revolutionary guards operating in Syria: This dubious “evidence” of “far more significant” Iranian assistance – even if proven – pales in comparison to the tonnes of footage of foreign fighters, and reems of reports on the foreign actors arming and funding the opposition to the tune of billions of dollars. It is virtually the first time in almost three years that IRGC personnel have allegedly been seen in Syria.

Black ends his Israeli propaganda fluff-piece by pitching “terrorist expert” Mathew Levitt’s latest book of fabrications and baseless speculation. Alluding to the marine barracks bombing of October 1983, Black tells us that the “US intercepted” a message (yes, you guessed it, the ever-trustworthy Middle East SIGINT of the US, aka: Israel) from the Iranian intelligence ministry to their Damascus ambassador: “It instructed Iran’s ambassador in Damascus, Ali Akbar Mohtashemi, to contact Hussein al-Musawi, the leader of Islamic Amal (a precursor to Hezbollah) and to direct him to “take spectacular action” against the Americans. The warning did not prevent the attack, which killed 241 US and 58 French personnel.” Contrary to this “precursor” narrative, and in spite of decades of strenuous Israeli/American efforts to tie Hezbollah directly to the marine barracks attack; there is zero evidence to suggest that Hezbollah as a formal group participated in the bombing. Black is once again playing loose with the facts. Musawi was indeed a founding member of Islamic Amal, a splinter group of the Shi’a Amal movement (an intermittent foe of Hezbollah) formed during the Lebanese civil war, and indeed, his group did pledge allegiance to Iran. Musawi himself later joined Hezbollah and served on the consultative council – before Israel assassinated him. Accordingly, there were several such Shi’a groups operating at the time of the civil war, most of which became part of Hezbollah prior to its official formation in 1985 – two years after the marine barracks bombing. Whether Musawi and others participated in the bombing and subsequently became members of Hezbollah is far too nuanced a point to include in this pathetic attempt to demonize Israel’s enemy.

Black’s article provides yet another example of how western Middle East Editors, when discussing the Arab world, invariably parrot Israeli propaganda with scant regard for relevant context or the facts.

Syria: John Kerry’s “Big Lie” syndrome.

“Political language… is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidarity to pure wind.” – George Orwell.

US secretary of state John Kerry has just delivered what may turn out to be his most shameful moment in history. Kerry has been handed the baton of sabre-rattler-in-Chief by a President that has much vested interest in upholding his facade of “reluctant warmonger”. Since President Obama declared his now infamous “red-line” over the use of chemical weapons in Syria; it has invariably been White House underlings and members of the State Department who are given the task of misleading the public – Kerry is not doing a very good job of it.

In his most recent outing, Kerry reiterated – 22 times no-less – that the US administration – through its ever trustworthy “intelligence community” – “knows” with “high confidence” that Bashar al-Assad’s regime carried out chemical weapons attacks upon opposition areas in the suburbs of Ghouta, Damascus, on the morning of the 21st August. Kerry adamantly repeats what US intelligence “knows”, without actually providing any solid evidence to bolster his ever-increasing, outlandish claims – Kerry is on the path to Colin Powell stardom, one suspects this speech will be remembered for a long-time to come, and for all the wrong reasons.

Kerry frames his speech in a typically Orwellian fashion. Immediately discarding any semblance of honesty Kerry tells the world that his decades in Congress have taught him the valued lesson that the US must “ask the tough questions” prior to engaging in military attacks upon a sovereign nation, and in turn “get the tough answers before taking action, not just afterward”. It would take only a cursory glance at the United States’ foreign policy record form the last 2-3 years to realise that this opening gambit of attempting to portray American virtue and patience is an outright lie and the total reverse of decades-long aggressive US foreign policy. For example: did the United States “ask the tough questions” before it dropped nuclear weapons on Hiroshima and Nagasaki – killing hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians? Or did the United States “ask the tough questions” before it manufactured a casus belli to engage in an illegal war in Vietnam – again resulting in the murder of hundreds of thousands of innocents through the indiscriminate carpet bombing of civilian areas and chemical/biological weapons? How about Iraq? Did Kerry “ask the tough questions” prior to that particular murderous, genocidal rampage? One wonders if Kerry asked himself “the tough questions” before he made the decision to support the US’ illegal invasion and subsequent destruction of Iraq in 2002? Or even if he attempted to gain the “tough answers” after the decision had been taken. It seems even 18 months after the invasion of Iraq, at a time when the country was rapidly spiralling out of control, Kerry adamantly stood by his decision to support the war with the sole justification that he “would have done things very differently to Bush” – knowing full well by this point that Saddam Hussein’s alleged “WMD” and links to Al Qaeda were a figment of Dick Cheney and the US “intelligence community’s” imagination. The list of reckless US aggression is quite literally endless, these are but a few prominent examples.

Ostensibly touted as an opportunity for the US to show the world its supposed “intelligence” to prove chemical weapons had been used by the Assad regime; Kerry made clear from the outset that his audience would not be privy to any information that may empirically prove the allegation. Instead, the administration chose to repeat unsubstantiated allegations and “intelligence assessments” that must remain confidential to protect “methods and sources”. Relying on slogans such as “NGO” and “Syrian officials” Kerry attempts to mask the fact that the vast majority of the allegations originate from a primary belligerent in the Syrian conflict; namely, the Syrian “opposition”; the “rebels” themselves; and the plethora of State Department-trained “activist” networks responsible for the reams of misinformation and propaganda repeated uncritically in western corporate-media. Kerry goes on to say that the release of the governments “estimate” is so important because its findings are as “clear as they are compelling”. How does one make a clear and compelling estimate? Surely an estimate would infer that there is a degree of doubt, how can one “know” anything from an “estimate”?

Kerry urges his audience to: “read for yourselves the evidence from thousands of sources, evidence that is already publicly available.” Yet neither Kerry, nor the “intelligence summary” provide any of these alleged “thousands” of sources that are “publicly available”. The US intelligence “assessment” does not hold a single link to any secondary or primary source material, or any empirical/scientific data, there is nothing in it other than a summary of previous allegations. So what is Kerry referring to? One can only assume Kerry, in his half-arsed attempt to bolster what is an evidence-free allegation is now relying on YouTube videos – and urging the world to take them as hard evidence to determine war-crimes and culpability.

In true authoritarian manner, Kerry moves swiftly into the “trust us” narrative, imploring his audience to read the administrations verdict – no longer a pretense of independent evidence to prove guilt; merely a self-appointed verdict. Of course, at every opportunity Kerry reminds his audience exactly what that verdict is: the Assad regime is responsible, our verdict is your evidence, nothing more, nothing less, “these are facts, this is evidence”.

In an effort to impersonate Donald Rumsfeld’s infamous “unknown unknowns”, Kerry tells us: “in order to protect sources and methods, some of what we know will only be released to members of Congress, the representatives of the American people. That means that some things we do know, we can’t talk about publicly. So, what do we really know that we can talk about?” Well, considering he has just told his audience he cannot disclose even the “estimated” information that forms what his intelligence community “knows”, it seems we can’t talk about very much; other than repeated unsubstantiated allegations we have now heard for over a week – but surely that is the administrations intention. It is reminiscent of a certain theory of an English political ploy that the leaders of the Nazi regime admired – and no doubt employed upon their own population. Goebbels wrote in 1941: “The essential English leadership secret does not depend on particular intelligence. Rather, it depends on a remarkably stupid thick-headedness. The English follow the principle that when one lies, one should lie big, and stick to it. They keep up their lies, even at the risk of looking ridiculous.” Of course, Goebbels and Hitler were equally, if not more so, proponents of the “Big Lie”. It can only be reasonable to expect the empire of the age to adapt and expand such duplicitous policy to hoodwink its own citizens into yet more hegemonic militarism.

Repeatedly punctuating the word “know” so as to implant it in every vapid mind available, Kerry then starts to reel-off exactly what the administration “knows”: “Well, we know that the Assad regime has the largest chemical weapons programs in the entire Middle East. We know that the regime has used those weapons multiple times this year, and has used them on a smaller scale but still it has used them against its own people, including not very far from where last Wednesday’s attack happened.” Already, Kerry is telling some revealing porkies. Syria has by no means the largest chemical stockpile in the Middle East, that honour lies with the US’ number one ally in the region: Israel. As former US deputy assistant secretary of defense responsible for chemical and biological defense, Bill Richardson, said in 1998 “I have no doubt that Israel has worked on both chemical and biological offensive things for a long time… There’s no doubt they’ve had stuff for years.” Not to mention the fact Israel have a huge, illegal, nuclear warheads stockpile – the biggest obstacle to a nuclear-free middle east. Kerry says the administration “knows” the Assad regime has used chemical weapons on “multiple occasions” of a smaller scale in the past. Yet again, the United States, nor its allies and the Syrian opposition have provided any empirical, or objective, independent scientific evidence to back up these claims. It should be reiterated that in May this year, UN investigator Carla Del Ponte pointed the finger at the “rebels” for the use of chemical weapons, a fact that has been thoroughly whitewashed in both western media and from the duplicitous mouths of western diplomats such as John Kerry – who still claim that “rebels” don’t have the capability to launch such munitions. Contrary to western diplomats hollow claims; in late May militant cells with links to Jabhat al Nusra and the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham were found in both Iraq and Turkey with sarin and other chemical weapons materiel in their possession – another fact that received only light attention in western media, and has been virtually ignored in any western diplomats talking points.

Furthermore, recent interviews with Doctors, Ghouta residents, “rebel” fighters and their families carried out by long-standing Associated Press contributor, Dale Ghavlak, allege that it was in fact extremist elements within the “rebels” that were directly responsible for the chemical attack; even alleging the chemical weapons were supplied by Saudi intelligence chief, Prince Bandar bin Sultan:

“… from numerous interviews with doctors, Ghouta residents, rebel fighters and their families, a different picture emerges. Many believe that certain rebels received chemical weapons via the Saudi intelligence chief, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, and were responsible for carrying out the dealing gas attack… My son came to me two weeks ago asking what I thought the weapons were that he had been asked to carry,” said Abu Abdel-Moneim, the father of a rebel fighting to unseat Assad, who lives in Ghouta… Abdel-Moneim said his son and 12 other rebels were killed inside of a tunnel used to store weapons provided by a Saudi militant, known as Abu Ayesha, who was leading a fighting battalion. The father described the weapons as having a “tube-like structure” while others were like a “huge gas bottle.”

Are these interviews, and this report included within the administrations “high confidence” assessment that the regime carried out this alleged attack?

Again, omitting any specific evidence to bolster his clams Kerry has asserted that the administration “knows” that the Assad regime was preparing for chemical attacks with vague reference to the regime utilising gas masks, making precautions associated with chemical weapons, and “specific instructions”. Such specific instructions that Kerry is once again unable to produce any evidence of. How this speculation is supposed to determine what happened in Ghouta – let alone culpability – is left to the audiences’ imagination. Kerry states that the US “know” where and when the ordnance was launched from, but again the audience is left with words and zero physical evidence to back this up.

In what can only be described as a desperate attempt to bolster a weaker case for war than the lies and fabrications that justified the US’ invasion of Iraq, Kerry then turns to social media to outline what the administration “knows”. He clams that US intelligence has over 100 videos that show the symptoms of a chemical weapons attack. Moreover, the US does not believe that such an amount of videos could possibly be fabricated, or manipulated in any way, why would the fluffy “rebels” – that have been busy with ethnic cleansing; systematically killing religious clerics; indiscriminately targeting and killing civilians; and chopping off heads – bother to stage such an atrocity? Kerry forgets that for over two years social media has been the primary vehicle for “rebel” agitprop and fabrication. The “rebels” have been caught numerous times fabricating videos to further their agenda, but the “intelligence community knows”, in this case, that all of the videos surrounding Ghouta must be true. Kerry says the world has seen thousands of reports – yet not one of those “reports” is either independent nor verified by any independent agency. There is no elaboration or further evidence provided as to why YouTube videos, unverified “reports”, and social media should receive such credence, let-alone be used as a justification for war, only that they bolster the verdict the United States has already drawn.

The “evidence” supposedly weaned from YouTube is morphed into emotional agitprop. Kerry recalls images of dead women and children: “not a scratch, not a shrapnel wound, not a cut, not a gunshot sound. We saw rows of dead lined up in burial shrouds, the white linen unstained by a single drop of blood.” Yet Kerry has absolutely no way of determining how those people were killed, does Kerry assume that once a body is dead and covered in a burial shroud it will carry on bleeding? Such contradictions to the administrations simple narrative are gradually marginalised from the uncritical media and replaced with verbatim stenography; yet in the margins even US intelligence officials are purposefully leaking doubts. It should be noted that Kerry’s description is quite accurate, there was indeed no sign of trauma on the vast majority of victims present in videos on YouTube. But crucially; there is also no evidence within those videos that can scientifically determine how they died – let alone who killed them.

According to John Kerry, the United States also “knows” exactly how many people were killed in this alleged attack. Kerry puts the death toll at 1,429 people, including 426 children. A figure that has outstretched even the most inflated estimations, which have ranged from the “dozens” to up to 1,300. Yet contrary to the US figure, Doctors Without Borders, and the much-touted Syrian Observatory have put the death toll from the alleged Ghouta attack at 355 people. It is all the more perplexing that the United States has suddenly developed the ability to accrue such accurate death tolls and information in a country it supposedly has no personnel operating within; yet after ten years the United States still cannot – and will not – determine the amount of innocent Iraqis or Afghanis it has murdered during its illegal aggression upon each of those countries. The US can barely acknowledge – let alone tally – the thousands of innocents it has killed as a result of its extra-legal drone assassination program; we are supposed to now believe the US has developed the capability to count victims of atrocities in foreign countries? Moreover, Doctors Without Borders (DWB) represent the “credible medical” source that Washington allude to with regard to Ghouta, due to the fact they supplied field hospitals in the area. Astonishingly, and again cannily omitted by Kerry, Doctors Without Borders did not have a single member of their own personnel in the region, or at any field hospitals within Damascus; the medics that relayed information to Doctors Without Borders were “rebels” and people working directly with the Syrian opposition. The administration is attempting to lay credence to their allegations through the flimsy connection of Doctors Without Borders with opposition elements in the area, while simultaneously contradicting the death toll DWB provided.

In another attempt to lay credence to unfounded accusations, Kerry claims the Syrian regime attempted to block the UN inspectors from visiting the site in Ghouta by bombarding the area in unprecedented levels for four days straight. Again, the physical evidence to prove this accusation is omitted. It may just have slipped Kerry’s attention but the Syrian army has been on a concerted offensive in the suburbs of Damascus for months – and was indeed, winning its chosen battles. More importantly, the US made the accusation in attempts to portray the regime as unwilling to meet the demands of the UN because it “had something to hide”. Washington immediately backtracked this false narrative when it became apparent that it was the UN itself blocking any investigation and had not requested permission to visit the area until the following Saturday. It took the Syrian government a total of 24 hours to permit the UN’s request. When this became public knowledge, the administration changed its talking points; now alleging that the regime purposefully bombarded the area to “systematically destroy evidence”. The UN, alongside several chemical weapons experts have since debunked this theory, noting it can take months for Sarin and other military-grade CW to disperse, and assured that it was still possible for the team of experts to gather necessary evidence despite the time elapsed since the alleged attack.

Despite the numerous contradictions, and massive lack of physical evidence, Kerry again urges his audience to trust the intelligence community’s high confidence: “In all of these things that I have listed, in all of these things that we know — all of them — the American intelligence community has high confidence, high confidence. This is common sense. This is evidence. These are facts.” One can easily recall supposed “facts” the US intelligence community has had a “high confidence” of in the not-too-distant past, yet the popular refrain being bandied around establishment and corporate media circles to deter scepticism of such claims are the very same refrains that were thrown at sceptics ten years ago. “The shadow of Iraq” is being used as a rhetorical tool to attack sceptics of these allegations, yet in reality, the scepticism surrounding these renewed WMD allegations are of exactly the same nature and equally as justified as they were during the build-up to Iraq. Moreover, in a reference to the then-CIA Directors false claims of Iraqi WMD being a “slam dunk”, several US intelligence officials leaked to various media that White House allegations are anything but a “slam dunk”; rendering Kerry’s claims even-less credible than the outright lies that lead to the invasion of Iraq.

It is indicative of the glaring lack of physical evidence that the remainder of Kerry’s speech is spent avowing lofty claims of “US credibility”, and that countries must believe the United States when it says (threatens) something. What Kerry is actually saying is that the US cannot back down from its own reckless hubris without losing face, and the United States relies on that militaristic hubris – and will rely on it ever more so in the future – to uphold its own geopolitical and economic “interests”. Obama’s reckless “red-line” moment effectively backed the United States into a position itself and its allies knew they could engineer toward an overt intervention. That overt western intervention is now needed more than ever as the Syrian Army move toward a de-facto military victory.

In the remainder of the speech, and equally as vapid in the “intelligence assessment”, the secretary of state warns of various other “enemy” nations and political factions on the wrong side of Imperialism taking heed from a supposed lack of US “action”. Attempting to evoke fear and trepidation the Empire’s “boogeyemen” are rolled out one by one, from North Korea to Hezbollah. Kerry attempts to evoke the oft-repeated sentiment that the United States speaks for the entire world, he hastily casts aside the international allies of Syria. Yet, the populations of the western world itself are increasingly against the US-led drive to attack Syria. In the UK – before and after the recent defeat for David Cameron’s motion for UK involvement in a possible attack on Syria – up to 90% of the UK population were against any military intervention. That stance has only hardened as the conflict has dragged on. For once, and much to David Cameron’s dismay, this public sentiment was reflected in the vote, and the UK will not be taking part in any military action. The figures against intervention are reflected across the Atlantic; the American public, despite the massive propaganda campaign, and overt lies streaming from their supposed “diplomats” do not support US military intervention. But the lies and propaganda will continue unabated, and an uncritical corporate media will slavishly repeat and embellish on cue.

Kerry ended his speech with the doublethink-laden quote: “…the world’s most heinous weapons must never again be used against the world’s most vulnerable people.” This is a fact, but a fact that evidently does not apply to the millions of vulnerable people the United States murders unabated – with every kind of weapon known to man.