If you have been following Russia Today’s recent coverage of the Syrian uprising (which could arguably be called a civil war) then you will know that it has been far from objective, commonly parroting the Syrian and Russian government narratives. As much more evidence damaging to the Assad regime has been emerging recently in the form of emails leaked by Anonymous and Wikileaks
, the Russian propaganda machine has become that little bit more vicious.
The most malicious and shamelessly biased piece of propaganda to emerge from the Kremlin’s media machine is the recent ‘report’ filed by Ankhar Kochneva, a Russian ‘journalist’ working for RT. In this article she goes out to insult the intelligence of millions of Syrians, and make ridiculous accusations, barely providing a shred of evidence. The ‘report’ takes the form of a Question-and-Answer article, where ‘RT’ asks questions and the ‘journalist’ responds.
The article is rather melodramatically titled: ‘Bloody bandits and Western lies: What’s really going on in Syria’. The reference to the rebels as ‘bloody bandits’ is clearly supposed to invoke the indignant protest of the readers, as is the reference to alleged ‘Western lies’ - the RT watchers are well-trained in marginalising any evidence that doesn’t fit their Western-bashing world view. This is the alleged “reality” of the situation in Syria.
Now for a little analysis of the content, courtesy of moi. Firstly she declares in response to an RT question:
RT: While visiting Turkish camps for Syrian refugees, I was told that the Syrian army was shooting at them.
Ankhar Kochneva: There are a large number of videos from those camps showing people walking upright, not ducking down even though you can hear shooting. The options are that either the sound was added to the video later, or that people knew that they were only shooting in the air without any intention of actually hitting them.
The Syrian army has no reason to shoot up these camps, as Syria is doing its utmost to ensure these people return home. And in fact they are doing just that if you go by the official Syrian data; 16,500 people have returned. Meanwhile, Turkey and the Syrian opposition are strongly interested in having those camps. If it weren’t for these camps, who would believe in the regime’s atrocities described by the opposition?
There is no basis for these allegations of tampering. Furthermore, the allegation that the shooting was “in the air” is also ridiculous. No explanation is given for thw two Syrian refugees and the Turkish translator which were badly wounded. Were they flying in the air at the time? Otherwise how would they have been hit if the gunfire was directed into the air? The facts just don’t add up.
The alleged cross-border shooting is also rubbished by the ‘journalist’ (and I use the term with great disdain) on the grounds that the Syrian army has no reason to ‘shoot up’ the camps. On the contrary. Up until the recent months, these camps have been an attractive prospect to many refugees who see them as a safe haven away from the terror and repression across the border. If the Syrian government forces can dispel this impression and make it seem as if there is no escape, then it may encourage fewer people to attempt to leave the country.
Next is the allegation that Syria is “doing the utmost to ensure” that these refugees return home. On the contrary - the terror campaign has resulted in them fleeing in their thousands, as they continue to do. In fact, it is reported that 1000 Syrian refugees fled to Turkey in one single day. But maybe Syria does want them to return - to silence any voices getting to the outside world and telling the truth about the government atrocities. If some 16,000 have returned then who could blame them - anyone would find it hard to be suddenly uprooted from their livelihood, and would certainly return if given the opportunity.
Then there’s the part I find the most ludicrous - “If it weren’t for those camps, who would believe in the regime’s atrocities described by the opposition?” How can anyone claim to be a ‘journalist’ and then spout this kind of biased reporting? Since March of last year, the regime’s atrocities have been documented by footage posted all over the web, testimony of countless military defectors, refugee testimony, satellite imagery clearly showing the positions of Assad’s heavy weaponry in the cities… Yet all this can just be marginalised? Disgusting. With or without those camps, the government atrocities are clear for all objective observers to see.
By the way, many of these camp residents had to flee due to the atrocities committed by bandits. For instance, in the city of Jisr ash-Shugur on the border with Turkey, 120 policemen and a large number of peaceful civilians were murdered in a deadly incident last summer.
I can’t tell who she’s working for at this point in time - RT or SANA? This is a downright lie. Tens of thousands of people wouldn’t just flee because of a few ‘bandits’. A few gangs of bandits would have no public support and would be quickly seen off by the people and security forces. Heck, they wouldn’t have the resources to terrify so many people from all across Syria into going to Turkey - especially as Turkey is portrayed as housing these ‘bandit’ bogeymen.
Yet again, more important evidence is being marginalised - the testimony of the refugees themselves. They are painting quite a different story - the ‘bandits’ driving them from their homes in terror are actually the Syrian government. Here is a Reuters article containing some testimony from refugees. Some of the best examples of which are:
"The killing in Syria hasn’t even started yet," says Abdullah Kartan, a teacher who fled to the Reyhanli refugee camp in Turkey.
"Syrians have made a decision and if three-quarters of them have to die, if their houses have to burn, they will do it to get Assad out. There is no going home until the regime falls."
"There is not enough trust left in our country for any kind of truce. Assad was supposed to move his tanks before stopping the shooting, but he didn’t because he knows he really will lose control if he does," says Kartan, who is from the countryside of Hama, one of the centers of rebellion against four decades of Assad family rule.
"The soldiers burned down around 100 homes in the village of Kileh when it rebelled, and mine was one of them. It was burned to the ground, even the chickens were lying dead on the floor. Why would I leave here? We have no work, we don’t even have a house," said Abdelatif Muadil, wearing a tattered sweatshirt over a faded traditional Arab robe.
The farmer, 65, from the Idlib countryside close to Turkey, said his sons remained in his village “because they still have work to do” - a vague reference to the rebels.
Nearby, the young Abdelrahman gives a nod of approval: “Everyone knows this truce is temporary.”
The narrative that the government is wanting people to return to their homes seems to be true, as mentioned in the RT article and confirmed by various other news sources - the difference being that nobody seems to be doing it, in stark contrast with the alleged en masse returns that RT would like us to believe:
Syria’s Interior Ministry urged Syrians who have escaped violence to return to their homes, but Kartan - staring beyond the rows of white tents towards the green, mountainous border - said no one was thinking about heading back.
Next, we have this quasi-SANA-type jargon:
All Syrians have a large number of family members who live across the entire country in large, spacious houses. When they have troubles at home, they go stay with their relatives rather than in camps in strange countries. The bandits, however, blocked all the roads except for the ones leading to Turkey. People found themselves caught in a trap, just like Israelis shooed Palestinians off their land by building them a ‘corridor’ to Jordan.
How could ‘bandits’ block every single road along a border that is some 900 kilometers long?! What a load of utter nonsense. That also ignores the fact that Syrians have crossed from all over the country, and not just Syrians from the border regions. This article is also very self-contradictory - why should Turkey be a “strange country” if they have relatives there? It reminds me of Syrian government spokesman Reem Hadad claiming that the refugees fleeing over the border was them basically “visiting their mum’s for a bit”…
Oh, and then we get the typical Israel-bashing propaganda - that is, trying to stirr up the unmitigated bias possessed by most of the readers by comparing the refugee exodus to Palestinians ‘shooed’ off their land by the evil Israeli’s. Did the Israeli’s massacre some 20,000 Palestinian civilians when Israel was founded?
RT:Where will refugees resettle within Syria, as only 20 thousand of them went to Turkey and there’re many more of those?
AK: The majority of refugees mainly stay with their relatives or rent apartments. It’s very difficult to find an apartment in Damascus, Tartus or Latakia. For instance, in Homs, the previous school year was disrupted as people had to move to areas where their children could go to school. We see that people run to the government, rather than from the government, for protection. Getting these people to settle is a huge burden for the state treasury as they have to establish new schools, to provide food, healthcare, and so on for hundreds of people. And this is what the government is doing. There are a large number of volunteers who work for free helping people resolve their problems as they get settled.
Whilst the logic that many internal refugees will resettle with their families in other areas is a certainty, any slight objectivity that may follow on from this is somewhat dashed down due to the fact that the ‘report’ suddenly begins to extol the virtues of the benevolent Syrian government once again. If people “run to the government, rather than from the government, for protection” then why have some 60,000 soldiers defected to the opposition’s Free Syrian Army? To say nothing of the huge refugee exodus? Anyone who can ignore these facts isn’t writing anything resembling a “report”. Regarding the “large number of volunteers” helping people then this is indeed true - helping them after they were attacked by their own government.
People are returning to Homs, to areas that have been cleared of bandits. The army guards their homes. I have pictures showing soldiers in one of the streets taking pot flowers out of houses and placing them outside so that they can water them until the locals return home. None of them had any idea that some journalists would show up – we appeared totally out of the blue.
I’m becoming more incredulous as these paragraphs go on. The “bandits” in Homs - the Free Syrian Army - were welcomed by the people as a means of protecting areas of Homs such as the opposition stronghold of Bab Amr. When they pulled out of Bab Amr in February (due to a government military offensive) then many residents were genuinely angry about this, having wanted the FSA to protect them, and even going so far as to call them cowards for withdrawing. This is an extract from the linked BBC article above, of an opinion given by a Bab Amr resident:
"They betrayed Baba Amr," he said.
"Those who took the decision to withdraw are cowards. Now they are drinking tea and chit-chatting in Qusayr [a nearby town] and watching Baba Amr being destroyed."
He went on: “Why didn’t they do something to protect us? They could have attacked the artillery positions from behind. They waited until after 30 days of bombardment to withdraw. They could have left on the first day if that’s what they were going to do.”
On Monday afternoon the Free Army pulled back again, hurriedly leaving the village just outside Homs where we had been staying.
Furthermore, satellite imagery clearly showed/shows that evil in April, people were not returning to their homes. Rather, large areas of Homs are practically deserted due to the ongoing fighting in the city. Compare the satellite imagery from August of 2011 in comparison to April 2012. Samsomhoms, an activist active on Twitter and living in Homs itself, tweeted on the 4th March that:
"All signsof life are absent here in #Homs since Feb 5th- shops, institutions , banks, schools, universities are all closed #Syria”
The allegation by Ankhar is further damaged by the fact that Abo Emad, another activist inside Homs itself at the time, reported in early March that:
"The main humanitarian need in Homs is for the Assad militias to leave, because they are the people who are killing us. That’s more important than the lack of food and water and medical supplies.
"They [the authorities] have been trying to clean the Insha’at and Baba Amr area so that they can say ‘armed gangs’ did all the damage. It’s a kind of setup."
Emad said the regime was bringing in supporters from pro-regime neighbourhoods to Baba Amr in a stage-managed ploy to demonstrate support for the government.
Regime forces recaptured Baba Amr last Thursday but residents say Damascus deliberately delayed allowing the UN and the Red Crescent to make a visit in order to cover up evidence of atrocities and carry out “mopping up” operations by pro-government soldiers and militias.
Then there’s the laughably ludicrous assertion - that Ankhar arrived on a visit to Bab Amr, “totally out of the blue” and surprised a group of soldiers who were placing “pot flowers” outside deserted homes for the returning people.
How could any sort of journalist or reporter gain access to Homs and turn up unexpectedly without the regime’s knowledge, when organisations like Red Cross have been barred from entering the area several times, the people who live there have been expelled, and journalists who managed to enter were killed, and so on? It smacks of an untruth through and through. They were evidently on a stage-managed visit; the regime knew they were coming and was prepared accordingly. Thinking from a logical perspective, soldiers who have been massacring innocents one minute, plant flowers for what’s left of their families the next?
RT: Why do you keep calling people fighting against the Syrian government bandits?
AK: Because I have seen what they do to the kidnapped people. I have been to the torture chambers; I have met mothers who saw their children die. The whole country loathes them as bandits. There is nothing worse than being loathed by your own nation. They killed a mufti’s son, they kill Christian priests, and they kidnap and torture children. A few days ago they killed two elder brothers of a five-year-old boy to take vengeance on him for reciting poems at rallies to support Syria. They massacred the whole family of an MP. I have been to homes turned into bandit hideouts. I have seen empty liquor bottles; how does it square with Islam? I have been to churches destroyed by bandits in Homs. I have been under their fire, with grenades dropping right next to me. I have been targeted by snipers who could perfectly see I am a woman, not a soldier. In the bustling street where I lived, near the marketplace, they blew up a few cars. Why blow up civilians shopping for food?
This is now becoming pathetic. This smacks totally of an individual who has been taken on a Syrian government-sponsored tour of the ‘cleaned’ areas formally occupied by the ‘armed gangs’, and who has totally embraced their narrative.
Talk is made of alleged “torture chambers” used by the rebels. Yet, as is usual in this report, next to no evidence is given that might back up this claim. But, in the meagre defence of this allegation, Human Rights Watch has declared that Syria’s rebels are also guilty of human rights abuses, which include torture. Yet the report also declares that they are much fewer and further between in comparison with the level of atrocities committed by the government. This is in utter contrast with what Ankhar is doing here - completely ignoring the huge number of reports and first-hand testimonies that blame the government for what is being called a widespread policy of state-sanctioned torture, to the extent that it is a ‘crime against humanity’. Instead, all the focus is put into staying entirely mum on these allegations, and putting a disproportionate level of blame on the rebels.
What Ankhar is doing here is doing what all totalitarian apologists do when justifying atrocities by their favourite dictator - seeing things in black and white. Here, she is portraying the rebels are portrayed as a sacreligious (hence the “empty liquor bottles”, conveniently forgetting the fact that not everyone in Syria is Islamic), drunken, civilian-murdering, assassinating, bomb-detonating, homogeneous mass of mercenaries and bandits. This could not be further from reality - the rebels are actually a rather disorganised mass of different armed groups opposing the Assad regime, as is documented in this well-sourced, objective assessment of them by Nir Rosen - a report which is the exact opposite of this piece of claptrap.
It is true that the rebels have not been saints - but as a whole, the crimes of the minority should not be used to brand the majority. How does she know for sure that they are responsible for the car bomb attacks which “blow up civilians shopping for food”? On the contrary, these attacks do not even seem to be carried out by the general rebel groups, but possibly by a non-aligned group of Islamists known as the al-Nusra front, who claimed responsibility for the attacks, or other such extremist groups - not the rebels in general.
Then, after some 17,000 innocents have died, she even has time to briefly lament the loss of Mufti Hassoun’s 22 year old son in an assassination (she doesn’t do the same for any such individual connected to the opposition) and the alleged death of the family of an MP (who is very conveniently left unnamed), and claim that she was shot at by snipers - and blame it all on the evil rebels on the basis of no evidence whatsoever. The rebels are not one armed group with the same ambitions and beliefs - they are many. If one group commits atrocities (atrocities are unacceptable on both sides, for the record) then it does not mean that the entire opposition cause is something inherently evil as Ankhar would like the readers believe.
Besides, Mufti Hassoun has threatened the Western world with suicide bombers, criticised President Assad and then gone back on his word, and so on. Hardly an innocent observer in this crisis a Ankhar would have you believe.
I don’t think I even need to address the poisonous, vicious, generalised sneering expressed in the statement claiming that “The whole country loathes them as bandits. There is nothing worse than being loathed by your own nation.” She evidently hasn’t seen, or has ignored, the countless rallies held all over the country by thousands of people wishing to show support for the Free Syrian Army.
RT: The opposition and the insurgents have sought to assure me that this is all the doing of criminals released and hired by the Syrian government. The insurgents also claimed it was the Syrian government that staged explosions in public places.
AK: This theory is ridiculous. The government has announced nine amnesties for criminals and opposition activists never implicated in any murders. Yet now the government is blamed for these amnesties! Let me remind you that the bandits would first set court archives on fire with files of criminal cases and smuggling. A few terrorist attacks targeted buildings that stored the intelligence and police archives. For example, on December 23, 2011, suicide bombers set the intelligence archives ablaze before blowing themselves up in a car.
These attacks targeted these buildings because they were housing organisations that are notorious for being important outlets of Syrian government repression. Besides, it is not known it was responsible for those bomb attacks, so how can this ‘journalist’ rubbish the notion that the government could be responsible with such ease? In fact, many Syrians do in fact blame their own government for the bombings. As usual, the assertions in this article are largely based on hearsay and opinion.
RT:Are the escape of the Syrian pilot to Jordan and the Turkish aircraft incident related?
AK: When the aircraft got hijacked on July 21, I was in Beirut, at the Al Mayadin TV channel which was headed by Ghassan Bin Jiddu, the former chief of Al Jazeera’s bureau in Libya. He was the one who caused a scandal by quitting the channel due to lies that the channel had been broadcasting for the last year and a half. On that day, this channel was the first to report the jet hijacking in Jordan. The first question was, how quickly Jordan would return the plane, which it was obliged to do according to the international laws. It wasn’t as much about the aircraft itself, but rather about the friend/foe enciphering system. According to military experts, it takes about a week to decipher it. The fact that the aircraft wasn’t returned immediately gives a reason to doubt Jordan’s neutrality. There are reasons to suggest that the incident was thoroughly staged. On 23rd June, a Turkish reconnaissance aircraft flying at an extremely low altitude intruded into Syria. Some experts believe that by then, Jordan could’ve deciphered the codes, and that Turkey made an attempt to use them.
What a preposterous allegation. There is no evidence suggesting that the aircraft was hijacked by an opposition bogeyman whatsoever, nor does Ankhar attempt to provide any. She’s also completely marginalised the fact that a Syrian pilot was piloting the plane - if that isn’t true, then where is the pilot? Because all CREDIBLE sources say that the pilot is in Jordan and has been seeking asylum. Besides, Jordan is one of the many nations appalled by the Syrian government’s barbarity. No wonder the aren’t returning the jet. Even Jordan’s monarch has spoken out against President Assad. The theory about the codes sounds plausible, given that all nations are self-interested, but there is no evidence to prove it. Again, an attempt is made to discredit the entire opposition on the basis of the alleged media bias of Al-Jazeera. Can someone please remind this ‘journalist’ that no media outlet is unbiased?
RT:Turkey denies its plane was flying over Syrian territory. What do they say in Syria
AK: The aircraft was flying at an altitude of 1,000 meters. It deliberately performed several circles over neutral waters and land. It was then shot down with a weapon of a range not exceeding 3,000 meters. A machine gun was used, rather than a missile launcher, as the world’s media insist. Immediately Syria proposed establishing a bilateral commission for investigating this incident. But Turkey refused doing it. And now, the latter has been declaring that it was Syria that didn’t want to do it. It gets even funnier than that: Turkey says that it will not let Syrian provocations go unanswered. They are bringing a large number of armored vehicles to their border, even though provocations, arms smuggling and militants infiltration are happening on the part of Turkey, with the consent of the Turkish government.
The claim about the machine gun seems to be true at least, with US intelligence agencies seemingly agreeing with the Syrian government story and not the Turkish one. Or is it? Recent information seems to suggest that the jet may have been brought down in an accident. Besides, why complain at Turkey for increasing border defences and refusing talks after a direct attack on military personnel and their hardware? No state would let such an act happen without showing a strong face in response.
RT:Reports say that Burhan Ghalioun, a Syrian opposition leader, has sneaked into Syria and there are already areas in Latakia and Homs beyond the control of Damascus.
AK: The Benghazi scenario is impossible in Syria. So in order to justify a possible intervention, they spread sensational yet false information. It is only recently that the media have stopped huffing and puffing over the takeover of an air defense base in Al-Rastan. A video even claimed the missiles would target the presidential palace in Damascus. The next day I was in Homs, which is within a distance of some 10 km from Al-Rastan. When asked about the seized base, the officers joked and treated me to tea, while the province governor was holding a conference to restore the affected regions and provide aid to citizens. If the information on the seized base and weapons were true, they would only be concerned about the air defense base rather than compensations for destroyed homes. This is copybook deception. When you hear that the presidential palace is under fire, you will believe it, because you have already been brainwashed that there are enough weapons to open fire. They used the same method of preemptive lies in January. First they said that hostilities were rife in the center of Damascus when there were none, next they doctored rumors of the president’s allegedly fugitive family.
To deny that there are areas of the country beyond government control (which she seems to be doing) is to deny reality. Al-Qusayr has been out of government control since at least November of 2011, despite frequent Syrian army attempts to retake it. Al-Rastan has changed hands at least twice, despite several vicious army offensives. Half of Homs is still out of government control, despite a fierce siege since early May of 2011. Even your camera crew caught them on film, clearly in control of a Damascus suburb. Caught in your own trap of lies, eh? This is to name but a few examples. The media naturally stopped “huffing and puffing” over the takeover of the air defence base in Al-Rastan because it happened OVER A MONTH AGO. The conflict in Syria is changing constantly every day, to focus on an individual topic for too long would not be appropriate.
You were clearly taken in by these lovely officers treating you “to tea”. What did you talk about over the cuppa, Ankhar? How many civilians they had massacred? How many shells were indiscriminately fired into the city? While you were snuggling up to the Syrian military’s higher ranks, people were being slaughtered all over the country. Besides, just because the Syrian military deny a story, it does not mean that what they say is bible truth, or that they are an objective source of information. Quite the contrary. I believe you are forgetting that they work for a government that classes any form of opposition as the work of Islamist and terrorist bogeymen.
Besides, if anyone should pay “compensations for destroyed homes” then should it not be the military which is responsible for destroying them through intense shelling. How can a large, disorganised and often penniless rebel group carry out a guerrilla war and find the time and money to carry out repairs?
Besides, nobody in the evil Western media ever said the FSA rhetoric about the missiles and the presidential palace was a certainty. They merely quoted the FSA rhetoric in their report/reports. You are so focused on the ‘brainwashing’ of the Western media, that you fail to address the bias of the Eastern media - outlets such as RT (which you work for) have constantly been parroting the Syrian government narrative and marginalising other pieces of evidence?
AK: This is a lie. All the military I know sneer at these messages. Naturally, they’ve intimidated some people into doing that and paid others. They made other people choose between an officer’s honor and familial honor, but 90 per cent of videos that feature desertion cases show soldiers abducted by bandits. They read a text someone else wrote.
I will never forget a military pilot with his hands bound and two dozen insurgents behind his back. If they bound his hands, it means he fought to the utmost. They kidnap soldiers from their homes; they attack their cars and capture the passengers. Sometimes bandits would stop a regular bus and take the military hostage. First they make the soldiers claim they are deserters, next they torture them, and finally kill and play them off as victims of the army. Kidnapping people is a major business of the so-called revolutionaries. Lately, they have kidnapped 12 Lebanese pilgrims on their way home and two Iranian drivers on the same day.
Not even good lies. A small number of armed men could not possibly abduct dozens of soldiers, and get them to stand in front of a camera, against their will. Especially not with weapons in their hands. They would resist or refuse to be filmed, or even be tied up, clearly exposing such a video as fake. Dozens of videos of army defectors exist - often of defections of whole units which have filmed themselves - and none of the soldiers look restrained or as if they are forced to stand for the videos, let alone as if they are about to be killed afterwards. What is more, figures exist to back up the alleged 60,000 or so defections, showing that as many as half the conscripts have not shown up in the past three call-ups. Explain that.
If soldiers were being abducted and murdered on this scale, then their families and others would create such an outcry that even the media outlets that you so despise would not be able to hide it. If the Free Syrian Army are kidnapping or killing soldiers then that may be true, but in war, each side is allowed to target the combatants of the other. How you can completely marginalise the torture, kidnapping and murder carried out against thousands of innocents by the Syrian government is beyond me, especially when you live in Syria.
Then again, maybe that isn’t so surprising. The reason you are the only journalist living permanently in Syria is due to the fact that you are an unmitigated parrot of the Syrian government narrative. Anyone denying this needs to read this article, and note the lack of Western journalists or others living in Syria.
The opposition claims that the people do not support the government, even though it has to use mercenaries from Iran and Hezbollah. They claim that there are 15,000 soldiers in Syria, but so far the opposition has only been able to show the world a video with five Iranian electricians. They must have killed the sixth one to intimidate the rest. Wait and see when they show us “Iranian mercenaries” and twelve “Hezbollah mercenaries”, they have to make use of the kidnapped people after all! I have seen what they do to the military captives. This is the price they pay for having chosen this job. The military are one of the main targets for attacks. They can be killed for wearing a military uniform. So why flop over to those who can kill for wearing a uniform?
Ahh, now this I find interesting. Your own employers were one of the most significant parroters of the reports that up to 15,000 Iranian soldiers are currently assisting the Syrian government inside Syria. By your logic, is that not a media lie - therefore, are RT and others (hypothetically) lying too? What is more, Iran, a strong Syrian ally, has admitted sending troops to Syria as admitted by General Ismail Qa’ani, Deputy Commander of the Revolutionary Guards. This corroborates earlier reports of Iranian soldiers and Hezbollah fighters on the ground. Again, an Iranian official admitted the presence of Hezbollah fighters in Syria, specifically mentioning around Zabadani.
Regarding the Iranian electricians, nobody is sure of the answer to that question. But it is said that Iran has been sending military men under the guise of electricians and others. Taking the above evidence into account, it is ignoring evidence in the extreme to suggest that “so far the opposition has only been able to show the world a video with five Iranian electricians”.
RT:Does Damascus still have the situation under control?
AK: Due to the commitment to suspend fire, the army has slowed down slightly.
There never was a commitment to suspend fire. The army never slowed down. The ceasefire plan only exists on paper and in Mr Annan’s head. Hence why he has been frantically flying around the Middle East in an attempt to save it.
But if necessary, all areas can be quickly brought under control again. The bandits “supervise” the places from which the army has been withdrawn upon the order of the United Nations. So, these territories were not occupied by military operations. They can’t and they don’t know how to fight the army. I have information that a military invasion of Western forces into Syria is expected to take place in August-September. But there’s hardly any reason for justifying such invasion. They’ve searched for this reason for the whole year. But they didn’t give any information about the exact deadline. Now it’s done – and we should expect new provocations and new information during the time that is left. If the world believes this, it will empower the aggressor.
Can I point out at this stage that the point of propaganda is that it is supposed to be a convincing bunch of biased reporting and/or lies. This is none of those. Ankhar has no proof that the UN are behind the FSA control of these areas, the evidence clearly shows that the army is degrading and cannot defeat the armed opposition fighters (which seemingly know very well how to fight the army, given the high casualty rate sustained). Furthermore, her lies are clear. When asked to produce her evidence, she declares…
RT: What kind of information regarding this decision is there? What is the reaction to it in Syria?
AK: I’m not going to reveal my sources. I have no doubt about their reliability. In Syria there’s no panic or certitude about such an attack. People in Yugoslavia, Libya and Iraq didn’t believe in the possibility of such invasion until recently. One of the indirect pieces of evidence regarding the information I have is the widely spread news that Russia and China allegedly agreed to remove Assad. This is as much a lie as all the trash that the media sells to its audience.
Of course you aren’t. They don’t exist. How stupid do you think we are? Can I also point out the hypocrisy of calling such reports “trash” when you have written one of the longest strawmen since the conflict began - based on too little evidence, and too much hearsay.
RT: Who takes part in pressurizing Syria and how is it done?
AK: Iraq, especially in light of the fact that about 2 million of its citizens live in Syria, supports it, in particular, by helping combat smuggling. Lebanon helps the struggle against smugglers, but Saad Hariri’s Mustaqbal movement is one of the major stakeholders in the anti-Syrian campaign. This person finances the militants, supplies them with weapons and manpower. His media empire leads the information war against Syria. We’ve recently witnessed the turmoil in Beirut. Hariri’s people tried to pull the forces from the border by inciting the riot in the capital as the army almost overtook the smugglers. As for Jordan, its state can’t be envied. On the one hand, the country is much dependent on its relationship with Syria – economically, in food supplies and transit, but, on the other hand, if Jordan isn’t much of a compliant ally of the USA an NATO, the King isn’t likely to save his power during the «Islamic awakening».
Smuggling has been going on across the Syrian border on all sides since the Cold War, and before. I can also see right through your clever linkage of Saad Hariri to this. Saad is the son of the late Rafiq Hariri, the Lebanese politician who was assassinated in 2005 (in an assassination which Syria and their ally Hezbollah seem to be responsible for) due to his anti-Syrian stance (given Syria’s long-term occupation of much of Lebanon, ended by the consequences of the Hariri assassination). Given that Ankhar is such a shameless parrot of her hosting government’s narrative, it seems she has shamelessly adopted their anti-Hariri stance (stemming from his position opposing the Syrian government) and split any hairs she can so as to paint his son in a similarly negative light by making up nonsense about his “inciting the riot” in the capital - again, based on a tiresome lack of evidence and a conspiratorial attempt to put two and two together and make five.
Regarding Jordan’s alleged dependence on Syria, then I’m sure a post-Assad government would be more than willing to deal with Jordan in terms of economic supplies. Besides, after a year or so of Syrian civil war, Jordan has had plenty of time to forge new routes and relationships with the surrounding Arab nations. What that was, is a not-so-subtle attempt to frighten Jordanese people away from aiding Syrians, and hypocritically waving the threat of an uprising in the face of Jordan’s ruling clique. A stab is also taken at the Arab Spring in general - it is referred to as the “Islamic awakening” to stirr up all the typically drilled-in preconceptions about Islamists, and their often large-scale participation in the Arab Spring across the Middle East.
Civil war and instability in Syria are very profitable for Israel. Apart from this situation, nobody raises the issue of returning the Golan Heights and Jerusalem. The specific characteristic of Israeli mass media is making up sensational news. As for Qatar, one could speak for ages about this nano-aggressor: they provide weapons and money supplies in an attempt to solve their own internal problems.
Another incorrect misconception. By being all talk and no action against Israel for years, Assad has been guaranteeing Israel’s borders for years and keeping up regional stability - stability which has increasingly shown with time. Israel has no love for the Assad regime, but it would take no pleasure in seeing it suddenly collapse - with all the insecurities about dangerous weapons (which are already causing some alarm), rampant civil war, and refugee influx that it would likely create if something resembling an invasion destroyed such a centralised system of repression, Deja Vu Iraq…
But of course, RT and other Kremlin-satellite news outlets could never resist the traditional whining and finger pointing against Israel (the regime of which I am no supporter of) could they?
To conclude, a naked piece of propaganda designed to promote the Russo-Syrian/Iranian agenda and smear the Syrian uprising in the eyes of all who care to read it. Sadly, many of RT’s most zealous, unscrupulous supporters will probably swallow this as bible truth. I know the media in the West are not the most objective sometimes, but is this the only alternative? Biased reporting, parroting of a dictatorial agenda, and unscrupulous marginalising of evidence? Is the notion that the Arab Spring is not selective, and that all these dictators from Saleh to Assad are tarred with the same brush really so hard to fathom? She can deride the atrocities by the government all she likes - they are reported by sources too numerous to state, and impossible to gloss over.
Countless cynics will no doubt disagree with me or deride me for taking this stance, but I felt unable to stay silent when I read this naked piece of propaganda. All I can do I thank you for reading, and hope that the sceptics will at least study my article with a practical eye.
- Ben, 18, soon-to-be university student, UK.