Blacklisted, Smeared & Silenced For Exposing NATO Destabilization Of Syria

Rania Khalek, an independent journalist who has been blacklisted for her recent reports on Syria, joins Mnar Muhawesh on ‘Behind the Headline’ to discuss the silencing of journalists who oppose the mainstream media’s pro-war agenda.
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    MINNEAPOLIS —  Though it’s been nearly six years, the subject of the Syrian conflict remains as contentious as ever. While those who characterize themselves as pro-regime change have monopolized the wider conversation on Syria, even the most tame opposition against foreign intervention, or the CIA-backed rebels—who now come in varying flavors of extremism—continues to be taboo.

    Those who refuse to support U.S. military intervention in Syria and the CIA backed regime change operation there that has been well documented for over 25 years — are branded “Assadists” — and if you’re a writer or commentator?



    Well, that gets you and your work blacklisted from publications and, in the case of journalists like myself and others who make up a long list of anti-interventionists far too long to mention here, even gets your speaking engagements shut down and kicked off of blogs, regardless of what topic they’re on.

    It seems that opposing what clearly amounts to a NATO-imposed regime change operation in Syria in order to create the next Afghanistan in the Middle East and ultimately weaken Russia and Iran gets you characterized as a supporter of genocide.

    But this is not a new phenomenon — we’ve been here before as recently as Libya and Iraq.

    During the pro-war campaign against Libya, we were told, just as we were during previous conflicts, that military intervention was necessary in order to protect civilians from a madman.

    The same loudmouthed pundits who led us down the bloody path of war have since been eerily silent in the aftermath — where Libya is now being overrun by groups like ISIS and the country is being described as a failed state.

    In Iraq, we saw an energized anti-war movement smeared as being pro-Saddam, and now, despite what we’ve learned about both conflicts, history seems to be repeating itself. Many are now suffering a kind of collective amnesia over how war is peddled to the public.

    Today we’re joined by Rania Khalek, an independent journalist who has become the latest victim  of an organized smearing and blacklisting campaign for her recent reporting on Syria. The organized campaign against her became so aggressive that several of her talks on apartheid in Israel were canceled after student groups were pressured to blacklist her events by pro-Syrian rebel activists who support US intervention and regime change.

    The blacklisting of Rania Khalek garnered the attention of many notable scholars, activists and journalists including Noam Chomsky, John Pilger and Glenn Greenwald among others who signed a petition calling for an end to censorship and warning that there needs to be more open dialogue on Syria rather than silencing journalists.

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    • Ramone

      It’s sad to see the Palestinian activist community letting itself be manipulated and divided like this. The Zionists are very pleased no doubt. The divide and rule plan implemented by the US, Israel and the Wahhabi/Salafist supporting Gulf Arab states and Turkey is working like a charm. The narrative on Syria has been completely hijacked and dominated by pro-“rebel” factions and their supporters.

      How gullible and naive are these activists and their clique to buy into a fantasy spun by sectarian Sunni extremists and their useful idiots that advocates Wahhabi/Salafist supremacy and the extermination or subjugation of Shi’ites, Alawites, Christians, Druze and Sunni who don’t buy their extremist theofascism?

      A little bit of research reveals that the pro-“rebel” side is parroting the Saudi/Wahhabi fiction about Shi’ites and Iran being the sectarian aggressors here. Wahhabis hate Shia like Nazis hate Jews…no exaggeration. Is everybody lobotomized? There is a ton of verified footage of “rebels” attacking and murdering civilians and targeting members of non-Sunni sects and Sunnis who oppose their barbarism. It is a fact that the “fall of Aleppo” and the horror stories of SAA and Hezbollah wantonly slaughtering civilians was made up “fake news” with not a shred of evidence to back it up. All it takes to find out the “rebel” narrative is a lie backed up by money from the Gulf states and the west and disseminated by the media is the ability to think critically and do some research. Israel is loving this and cheering on ISIS and the “rebels” and helping them out by providing an air force and medical care to injured fighters (terrorists).

      The bottom line is: all you people who still believe there is pro-democracy revolution in Syria, supported by Saudi Arabia, Israel, the USA/NATO countries et al (those world famous lovers and supporters of democracy and liberation) are fooling yourselves. You are deluded and being manipulated. You will realize this eventually and hang your heads in shame for falling for the oldest trick in the book.

    • Frank frivilous

      The jewish trolls on this site prefer to attack the messenger rather than discuss the merits of their argument.

    • Youri

      Rania doesn’t deserve this. I seriously hope she finds full employment soon, and is able to work. Can’t belive she’s been thrown under the bus like this, she’s championed for Palestinian causes and now they and EI want nothing to do with her, and much of what she’s written about of Syria, Vice, The Independent’s Patrick Cockburn, and tons of journalists and historians have said the same regarding the war, Saudi Arabia and so fourh. Rania I stand in solidarity with you, and if I was Democracy now, Al Jazeera English, The Young turks or Intercept or Mint Press hehe! I’d hire you in a heart beat.

    • Jo Syphus

      Syrians are not the sharpest pencils in the box. That is what the Israelis are counting on.

      • Marshalldoc

        That’s a rather bigoted blanket assessment of a national group not defined by any specific criterion beyond borders determined by Sykes-Picot. Is that a comment on the Syrian educational system? Any other ‘useful’ criteria by which to judge other ethno-religious groups like ohh, say ; Muslims, Jews, Blacks, Asians, Caucasians, Russians, Americans Latinx, others….?

      • Krishna E. Bera

        the Syrians i know are well aware of the issues but dont have big media platforms to stand on and give their views

    • Wile E Genius

      The scum bags are dying of exposure. Poor bad guys!

    • First of all, it was a shock to finally hear this “journalist”. I was incredibly surprised at her really limited rhetorical skills, straight out of the Valley Girl speech book. Perhaps she was “disinvited” because of the incoherent and juvenile way she expresses herself verbally. “Their arguments suck” is simply not a very erudite way to debate. Secondly, while what she says is true, “people are listening to people who haven’t even been in Syria!”, this fact accounts for the vast majority of those whose sources of information on Syria are pro-regime. They are generally run by Americans, Canadians, Russians, Serbians. There are countless citizen journalists in Syria and exiled from Syria who are available, but Khalek and her supporters tell you to listen to Beeley, Bartlett, Ron Paul, Tulsi Gabbard and others who have not lived through the war, who go to visit as guest of the regime and shown to places the regime permits, where they have full control over the narrative and over any possible contacts or discoveries persons might make.
      The fact that sources such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch are treated as if they are the dreaded Mainstream Media and on the payroll of the imperialists should also make some eyebrows go up to question the actual validity of some of the points these regime supporters are making.
      When the body of evidence is so thoroughly denied, it is itself a crime. That the regime has some supporters, no opposition or dissenting person will ever deny. They feel it on their own skin and bones. That the regime supporters deny there is Syrian dissent and oppression, that Syrians in the vast majority love Assad… well, this is pathological denial. They deny the existence of vast swathes of a population and their experiences and suffering.
      We are indeed lucky persons like Khalek are on the wrong side. She is definitely not any kind of articulate asset with vast research skills or an interesting perpective. You can keep her!

      • Deïr Yassin

        Well stated, I agree 100% with you ! Rania Khalek knows next to nothing about Syria or its history, her claims on Twitter that she was disinvited by Students for Justice in Palestinea due to “Zionist” pressure is just laughable. I know no Palestinians who agree with her BS on Syria, we are in our large majority in total solidarity with the Syrian Revolution ! She claims to be an “independent journalist”, even a high-school student can claim so, and I think that’s more or less the level where she stopped her studies, and if I’m correct she only spent a very short time in Syria recently, she initially accepted to participate in a conference organized by the regime before withdrawing due to protests, also from former collegues at Electronic Intifada.
        I’ve read her for years on Palestinian-related issues, but I simply can’t bring myself to read her ‘analysis’ any longer, and that goes for some of her ilks like Max Blumenthal …. they’re basically speaking about the Syrian opposition the same way Zionists speak about the Palestinian resistance.

        • thanks a lot. In fact, it’s amazing how very few Palestinians are interested in the whitewashing of the Assad regime crimes that RK and others like Max Blumenthal are currently promoting.

      • paz_y_justicia

        We are indeed lucky persons [to have journalists] like Khalek are on the wrong side.

        Your bias was pretty obvious from what your wrote… no need to highlight it.
        But I am curious:

        * Do you deny that the United States, and its allies, are in Syria in violation of international law?
        * Do you deny that the United States, and its allies, are funding and arming “rebels” against a sovereign nation, also in violation of international law?

      • tapatio

        Are you a Jewish ZioPIG posing as an Arab – with your “Hassan Ali” tripe?

        • why do you ask if I’m Jewish? I’m definitely not a zionist, and there was nothing in my comment to remotely suggest such a thing. I’m not even going to comment on your comment about a pen name, because we see YOU are hiding behind a totally anonymous identity. No clue as to who you are, so your question is idiotic.

          • tapatio

            Who is your “we”, Miss Piggy? You are a new poster with only 14 comments. Much of your commentary consists of vomiting your hatred of Syria and of Ms Khalek, who is an excellent journalist.

            Whether you are technically a Jew or Zionist is irrelevant. If it walks and oinks like a Judeo-Naz!, it’s a Judeo-Naz!.

      • Krishna E. Bera

        Points taken about Rania Khalek’s rhetoric and lack of direct experience, and that Assad’s regime engaged in torture and brutal suppressions of revolts (though it would be interesting to compare with western countries’ behavior toward their own internal independence movements).
        Now please cite evidence that “vast swathes” of Syrian population do not support the Syrian government and army. Include proof that the election was rigged or results were falsified. What reasons can you give for the great majority of war refugees fleeing *toward* government held areas? Are you against secular government and mandatory (and free) education for girls?

    • Willie Sam1

      Khalek is just an apologist for Iran, Assad, and Russia. She has no credentials and and if you ever have been unfortunate enough to hear her interviews you would know she is one of the least articulate and poorly informed people around. Now she is using one canceled speaking engagement to play the victim card. Don’t fall for this nonsense.

    • Ana Suri

      I am a Syrian living in Manchester, UK . In 2011 the BBC wanted to interview me but when they learned that my views were actually against their war narrative, they declined my offer. I was just trying to explain to them that there are millions of Syrians support Assad and are against the so called rebels who are nothing but utter terrorists.

    • Pave Way IV

      Don’t miss UNC-SJP’s recent pitiful mea culpa redux on Facebook and the intelligent replies that follow: https://www.facebook.com/UNCSJP/