Syrian Social Media All-Stars Spread Pro-War Propaganda In News & Social Media

Both the mainstream media and social media users have eagerly shared stories of strife and genocide from Aleppo, but who is really behind the pro-war messaging?
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    7 year-old Bana Alabed has amassed 359,000 social media followers. With her exceptional use of English and intriciate knowledge of social media, many observers believe Bana is being used a tool to garner support for the Syrian opposition.

    7 year-old Bana Alabed has amassed 359,000 social media followers. With her exceptional use of English and intriciate knowledge of social media, many observers believe Bana is being used a tool to garner support for the Syrian opposition. (Photo: Twitter screenshot)

    MINNEAPOLIS — The Syrian military is helping hundreds of thousands of civilians evacuate areas in eastern Aleppo which are currently controlled by rebel and extremist groups.

    While millions of Syrians have suffered since the current civil war evolved from the Arab Spring protests of 2011, it’s become all but impossible to separate real news from pro-war propaganda paid for by the United States and its allies. As dubious claims of genocide, often based on fake photos, flood social media and mainstream media alike, people are faced with the complex task of separating real reporting from U.S.-government backed “fake news.”

    Efforts to lure the West into a supposedly “humanitarian” military intervention with Syria have been almost continuous throughout President Barack Obama’s eight years in office. WikiLeaks’ archive of U.S. diplomatic cables reveals that the United States, Israel and Saudi Arabia have been planning to overthrow Syrian leader Bashar Assad since at least 2006. Although the Obama administration never openly declared war on Syria, the United States has repeatedly offered training and materiel to so-called “moderate” rebels, even though these groups have repeatedly been linked to war crimes and atrocities and have ties to terrorist groups like al-Qaida.

    In all, the State Department has spent hundreds of millions of dollars arming and training terrorists, even after some officials admitted that these “moderate” rebels were anything but moderate.

    Currently, the besieged region of eastern Aleppo is controlled by two major extremist groups, Jabhat al Nusra, a group with ties to al-Qaida also known as the Nusra Front, and Jaysh al Sham, another terrorist group receiving U.S. backing despite being designated a terrorist organization. As a result, almost no information escapes the city without their approval and involvement. With the stranglehold limiting the reporting coming from the rebel-held areas, some of the most popular journalists and activists sharing “news” from Aleppo are actually working with the backing of the rebels and, in many cases, the direct support of Western governments.

    Here are five of the most well-known Syrian “experts” and social media figures:

     

    Bana Alabed

    Since joining Twitter in September, Bana Alabed has amassed 359,000 followers. Social media users rejoiced when the 7-year-old girl, who has reportedly been tweeting from eastern Aleppo, escaped in the recent evacuation along with thousands of other civilian residents of the war-torn city.

    On closer examination, though, it seems that the image of Bana — an innocent young girl living under war in Syria — is being used to promote the aims of the U.S. government.

    Numerous analysts have cast doubt on Bana’s account. As observed by U.S. Dept. of Fear, a satirical Twitter account, even U.S.-backed human rights experts have questioned the authenticity of Bana’s Twitter account and the veracity of her experiences.

    “Her messages are sophisticated for a 7-year-old, for example, particularly for one

    whose native language is not English,” The New York Times admitted on Dec. 7. Reporters Rick Gladstone, Megan Specia, and Sydney Ember further noted the skepticism of some humanitarian aid workers:

    “International aid advocates have expressed mixed feelings about Bana’s fame —

    satisfaction that she has increased global sympathy for child victims in Syria, but concern that her story, as presented on Twitter, may not be entirely accurate.”

    While Bana appears to be a genuine 7-year-old girl who has likely suffered from the civil war, there’s ample evidence that her story has been twisted to help build support for war.

    Barbara McKenzie highlighted numerous other inconsistencies in the so-called “Bana Project” in a report for 21st Century Wire on Nov. 29. McKenzie’s analysis suggests that many of Bana’s initial Twitter followers were fake, and her apparently immediate mastery of the nuances of Twitter, such as the use of hashtags, reveals that social media experts have likely advised her on how to best reach Western audiences.

    Despite some skepticism from social media users, McKenzie wrote, “The corporate media … have without exception taken Bana to their hearts, with poignant articles free of all doubt appearing in the Telegraph, the Guardian, and on all the main television channels.”

    She concluded:

    “There can be no doubt that the Bana Project is a scam, that the tweets are written to promote the NATO narrative of the Syrian War, with regard to the participation of Syrian and Russian forces, in order to facilitate regime change in Syria.”

    While Bana’s tweets and videos tug at heartstrings around the world, they’re also building support for a war that would, in all likelihood, only increase the suffering of Syrian civilians.

     

    Bilal Abdul Kareem

    Bilal Abdul Kareem claims to be an independent journalist reporting from the ground in eastern Aleppo. Little is known about his origins, but he’s been granted unusually open access to areas held by Syrian rebels unavailable to most other reporters.

    On Dec. 12, Kareem published a desperate message which claimed that increasingly violent attacks by the Syrian government threatened his ability to report and put his life at risk.

    https://twitter.com/_Makada_/status/809311718795018241

    “Kareem, who is an American citizen by birth, presents himself as an ‘independent journalist,’ but his ‘independence’ only goes as far as parroting the ‘moderate opposition’s’ totally unverified claims that retributive atrocities are taking place all over the city,” wrote Andrew Korybko, a columnist for Sputnik News, a Russian state-owned media outlet.

    According to Korybko’s Dec. 14 analysis of Kareem’s reporting, his intimate access to Syrian rebel-held areas suggests Kareem collaborates directly with rebel groups of necessity.


    Despite Kareem’s dire-sounding “final” message earlier this month, he’s continued to post updates on social media during the civilian evacuation. A video published Tuesday on his Facebook page, showing rebel fights preparing to become suicide bombers, makes it clear that he’s most likely embedded with the Nusra Front, a terrorist group which recently underwent a “rebranding” in an apparent attempt to distance itself from al-Qaida and ingratiate itself with Washington.


    The Nusra Front is the same group implicated in burning the buses that were intended to be used to evacuate civilians from Aleppo, and they have allegedly withheld food aid from the region’s starving residents.

     

    Lina Shamy

    Another “independent” voice that’s actually tied to rebel and terrorist groups is that of Syrian activist Lina Shamy.

    Shamy, who frequently appears in the Western media to share a pro-intervention perspective, posted a tearful “final message” via Twitter on Monday. And, like Bilal Abdul Kareem, she’s also continued to tweet since then.

    “Shamy appears to be alive and well despite her previous claims of facing impending doom,” observed Will TG Miller, a reporter for Varsity, a student newspaper published by Cambridge University. In a report published Tuesday, Miller shared evidence that Shamy has shown support for extremist groups in the past:

    “One year ago, she updated her cover photo on Facebook in adulation of the recently deceased Zahran Alloush, leader of the Jaysh al-Islam terrorist group. Alloush had publicly called for the genocide of Alawites, and his group has caused extensive civilian casualties.”

    “One questions why mainstream media outlets like the BBC are relying on characters like Shamy for reporting on the situation in Aleppo, given her apparent support for genocidal terrorists,” Miller asked.

    The Facebook page of Lina Shamy, depicting the slain leader of Jabhat Fateh al-Sham (Al-Nusra), Zahran Alloush. The Arabic reads: ‘Peace of Allah, oh Moon, beauty of jihad’

    The Facebook page of Lina Shamy, depicting the slain leader of Jabhat Fateh al-Sham (Al-Nusra), Zahran Alloush. The Arabic reads: ‘Peace of Allah, oh Moon, beauty of jihad’

    MintPress News’ publisher and editor-in-chief Mnar Muhawesh also noted that Shamy’s Facebook page shows her support for the Free Syrian Army, an armed opposition group funded, trained, and armed by the CIA and other Western intelligence agencies as well as the West’s allies in the Middle East.

    “It’s people like Lina Shamy who are purposely or unknowingly spreading misinformation about the crisis in Syria to ignite international support for a no-fly zone or an all out invasion of Syria that supports regime change,” Muhawesh wrote in a Dec. 13 Facebook update.

     

    Rami Abdul Rahman and the Syrian Observatory For Human Rights

    Despite its official-sounding name, the Syrian Observatory For Human Rights is actually based out of a home in the United Kingdom and operated by one man, Rami Abdul Rahman. Rahman’s reports, which he claims to receive by phone from Syria, invariably incriminate the Syrian government while ignoring the crimes committed by the Western- and Saudi-backed opposition.

    When Reuters profiled the Observatory in 2011, Rahman told the wire service that his organization ran on a purely volunteer basis.

    But two years later, in a profile published by The New York Times, Rahman admitted that he is funded by an undisclosed European country. There’s ample reason to believe he actually works directly for the United Kingdom, as Tony Cartalucci pointed out on the foreign policy blog Land Destroyer Report in April 2013:

    “While Abdul Rahman refuses to identify that ‘European country,’ it is beyond doubt that it is the United Kingdom itself – as Abdul Rahman has direct access to the Foreign Secretary William Hague, who he has been documented meeting in person on multiple occasions at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London.”

    So why is Rahman still quoted by almost every mainstream media outlet and many independent ones? In a June 2012 analysis for Land Destroyer Report, Cartalucci wrote that Rahman’s questionable sources and funding make him a propagandist, not a human rights observer. Because Rahman’s message supports demands for Western military intervention, Cartalucci added:

    “That is why despite the overt conflict of interests, the lack of credibility, the obvious disadvantage of being nearly 3,000 miles away from the alleged subject of his ‘observations,’ or the fact that a single man is ludicrously calling himself a ‘Syrian Observatory for Human Rights’ in the first place, the Western media still eagerly laps up his constant torrent of disinformation.”

     

    The White Helmets

    Although the White Helmets, or the Syrian Civil Defense, are probably the most well-known relief organization in Syria — famous even before they became the subject of a Netflix documentary — in reality they are yet another “humanitarian” voice with Western funding and a pro-war, pro-regime change agenda, despite claiming to be independent and impartial from government funding.

    Reports have repeatedly linked the White Helmets to the so-called “moderate” Syrian rebels and their terrorist allies. They’ve been photographed with Nusra Front fighters on multiple occasions, suggesting that this “civil defense” team is actually embedding with terrorists.

    In October, Max Blumenthal, a senior editor at Alternet, revealed that the White Helmets are backed by a mysterious PR firm known as the Syria Campaign. This agency has consistently lobbied for increased U.S. and Western intervention in the region, including demands for a no-fly zone which would require 70,000 troops to maintain and could provoke war with Russia.

    While the Syria Campaign openly calls for regime change, the White Helmets claim to be impartial and open to rescuing any victim of the civil war. However, many analysts have pointed out that their claims to have rescued 65,000 victims seem to be wildly exaggerated. And far from being impartial, the group has extensive Western backing, as Blumenthal revealed:

    “Indeed, the group was founded in collaboration with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)’s Office of Transitional Initiatives, an explicitly political wing of the agency that has funded efforts at political subversion in Cuba and Venezuela. USAID is the White Helmets’ principal funder, committing at least $23 million to the group since 2013. This money was part of $339.6 million budgeted by USAID for ‘supporting activities that pursue a peaceful transition to a democratic and stable Syria’ — or establishing a parallel governing structure that could fill the power vacuum once Bashar Al-Assad was removed.”

    At a State Department briefing on April 27, 2016, Deputy State Department Spokesman Mark Toner admitted that the group receives funding from U.S. sources. Toner also admitted that the U.S. government revoked the visa of Raed Saleh, the leader of the White Helmets, because of his ties to the Nusra Front. Although he refused to comment on the specific allegations against Saleh, Toner conceded under intense questioning that the government revoked Saleh’s visa because he might pose a threat to the U.S. government. Toner said:

    “I’m broadening my language here for specific reasons, but any individual in any group suspected of ties or relations with extremist groups or that we had believed to be a security threat to the United States, we would act accordingly.”

    The women of the White Helmets , also known as the Syrian Civil Defence.

    The women of the White Helmets , also known as the Syrian Civil Defence.

    The group also has a propensity for chasing social media fame as much as it pursues its humanitarian aims, producing “cat videos” and even a staged video of a White Helmets rescue meant to evoke the popular “mannequin challenge” in which participants are filmed frozen in place.

    On Dec. 8, Rania Khalek reported for Alternet that the questionable “mannequin challenge” video, which was quickly removed from social media, also revealed the White Helmets’ ties to the Revolutionary Forces of Syria media office, a U.K.-backed opposition group that once offered to pay journalists $17,000 per month to create pro-war propaganda.

    The mainstream media continues to use footage of the White Helmets’ rescues and interview its members, despite the many questions raised about the group’s actual role in the conflict. As Blumenthal noted in his Oct. 2. review of the Netflix “White Helmets” documentary, only a few voices within the independent media have been willing to question the rescue organization’s activities, and these outlets have been widely attacked and accused of supporting the Syrian government.

    “Thus the issue has been kept off the table, along with the public debate over the consequences of a regime change policy that the Obama administration still supports,” Blumenthal concluded.

     

    Time may be running out for the regime change agenda

    Stories of genocide in Aleppo, many of which are based on fake or recycled photos, have proliferated in recent weeks, even as the voices of pro-war propagandists like Lina Shamy and Bilal Abdul Kareem have seemed to grow more desperate than ever in the media.

    An example of the many doctored, fake, and recycled photos that are being disseminted online claiming to be from Aleppo, Syria. (Photo: Twitter @Partisangirl)

    An example of the many doctored, fake, and recycled photos that are being disseminted online claiming to be from Aleppo, Syria. (Photo: Twitter @Partisangirl)

    At the same time, truly independent voices in Syria have become more rare than ever. On Saturday, Robert Fisk reported that rebel groups have been excluding independent journalists from East Aleppo, and have threatened or even murdered those who fail to comply.

    As a result, the renowned foreign correspondent noted in the U.K.’s Independent, the only “reporters” remaining must, as a consequence, work for these extremist groups. “The foreign media has allowed – through naivety or self-interest – people who could only operate with the permission of al-Qaeda-type groups such as Jabhat al-Nusra and Ahrar al-Sham to dominate the news agenda,” he wrote.

    With President Barack Obama’s term drawing to a close, President-elect Donald Trump has shown signs that he may seek to normalize relations with Syria and its allies in Russia. Since this may be the last opportunity to embroil the United States in a lengthy and destructive (but potentially profitable for the military-industrial complex) conflict, we can expect the voices calling for a so-called “humanitarian” war to grow even louder in the days to come.

    Watch “Mnar Muhawesh & Vanessa Beeley Dissect the ‘Humanitarian’ Propaganda Train Driving US War in Syria” from MintPress News’ “Behind the Headline”:

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      • tapatio

        AS SUBORDINATES OF THE ROTHSCHILD-BILDERBERG EMPIRE, WASHINGTON, ISRAEL AND SAUDI ARABIA BUILT AND OPERATE AL QAEDA, ISIS AND THE OTHER TERRORIST GROUPS OPERATING IN SYRIA (and elsewhere) TO DESTABILIZE COUNTRIES AND ESTABLISH A “CALIPHATE” THAT WOULD “COOPERATE” WITH THE EMPIRE.

        LIKE THE TERRORIST GROUPS THEMSELVES, THAT CALIPHATE WOULD BE JUST AS OPPRESSIVE AND VICIOUS AS ITS PARENT (established by Jewish/British bankers, 100 years ago) – SAUDI ARABIA. SAUDI ARABIA AND THE TERROR GROUPS SPAWNED THEY ARE THE GUTTER SCRAPINGS OF ISLAM – EQUAL IN ALL RESPECTS TO THE ZIONIST DISEASE.
        The Rothschilds created Zionism, the Saudi “royals” and the Bolshevik “Revolution” as vehicles to expand its power. Bolshevism (Communism) failed. Zionism (Judeo-Fascism) has, so far, partially succeeded.

        First is a plan, written for Netanyahu’s reign as Emperor of Greater Israel. The writer is the pseudo-American Zionist fanatic, Richard Perle………

        http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article1438.htm

        Excerpt………..
        “………by establishing the precedent that Syrian territory is not immune to attacks emanating from Lebanon by Israeli proxy forces.”

        Next is a report A Report of The Project for the New American Century completed in September 2000………..

        https://i.ytimg.com/vi/3K_gsf7UCTI/maxresdefault.jpg

        http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/pdf/RebuildingAmericasDefenses.pdf

        Compare actual events from 2001 to date to the plans outlined in this “report”. Please note, at the end of the report, the list of fanatical Zionists and their sycophants who are responsible for……

        “REBUILDING AMERICA’S DEFENSES Strategy, Forces and Resources For a New Century”

        Exercpt…………
        “Israel can shape its strategic environment, in cooperation with Turkey and Jordan, by weakening, containing, and even rolling back Syria. This effort can focus on removing Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq — an important Israeli strategic objective in its own right”

        Paul Wolfowitz
        William Kristol
        Alvin Bernstein
        Eliot Cohen
        David Epstein
        Donald Kagan
        Fred Kagan
        Robert Kagan
        Robert Killebrew
        Steve Rosen
        Gary Schmitt
        Abram Shulsky
        Dov Zakheim

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      • James Wherry

        This is non-sense: Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and the U.N. would be dead set against any military incursions against the Syrian regime by the United States. They would criticize it just as roundly as they criticized our attack on Iraq. What they are doing is raising the issue of the horrible human rights abused by the Assad regime.

        1. Russian accomplices of the War Criminal Assad are using incendiary bombs. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/sep/25/russia-accused-war-crimes-syria-un-security-council-aleppo Russia admits it! https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/sep/26/syria-aleppo-russia-bunker-buster-bomb-reports

        2. Syrian government blows up MORE hospitals. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/sep/28/aleppo-two-hospitals-bombed-out-of-service-syria-airstrikes.

        3. Russians are using cluster bombs – a fact unreported in this website, which complains about the House of Sa’ud doing the same thing in Yemen. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Ge32m5F4G0

        4.. THE GUARDIAN reports 2,000 civilians murdered by Russian bombers in 6 months. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/mar/15/russian-airstrikes-in-syria-killed-2000-civilians-in-six-months.
        Have some perspective about the Fog of War.

        5. THE GUARIDAN also reports that Syrian planes attacked and murdered 30 civilians in a “revenge” attack.
        https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jul/02/syrian-civilians-killed-in-apparent-revenge-bombing-for-pilot-death

        6. Russian airstrikes – not ISIL – are killing civilians. http://time.com/4129222/russia-airstrikes-syria-civilian-casualties-isis/

        7. Russian jets strike civilians in Aleppo. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UyVH6gdLJ8g

        Russia is nowhere near Mosul – and that’s where ISIL is collapsing. Next is Raqqa, Syria:

        America’s allies are massing around Raqqa to cut off the head of the snake – not Russia.
        http://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-carter-to-discuss-next-move-in-battle-against-islamic-state-1477399477;
        http://www.cnn.com/2016/11/07/middleeast/raqqa-syria-operation-explainer/;
        http://www.cnn.com/2016/10/25/politics/carter-mosul-raqqa-fight-overlap/; “Report

        More American Commandos Push Into Syria Before the Battle for Raqqa” http://foreignpolicy.com/2016/12/10/more-american-commandos-push-into-syria-before-the-battle-for-raqqa/

        Russia is concentrating on far less repugnant targets, since America is doing such a great job with ISIL. “‘More than 90%’ of Russian airstrikes in Syria have not targeted Isis, US says” https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/oct/07/russia-airstrikes-syria-not-targetting-isis;

        “Russians Strike Targets in Syria, but Not ISIS Areas”
        http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/01/world/europe/russia-airstrikes-syria.html?_r=0

        • TeeJae

          Talk about nonsense. All of those claims have been debunked as the pro-war propaganda they are. And the Guardian? No longer credible. Not since joining the ranks of the presstitutes like WaPo, NYT, CNN, BBC, et al.

          • James Wherry

            But apparently they have not been debunked by anyone like you, since you are in capable of posting any analysis evidence or explanation that contradicts the news articles that I have cited and the facts they report.

            Have a great holiday, but please don’t shill for a dictator like Assad.

            • Andrea Bayer

              OMG so you want to get rid of Assad? *sarcasm on* Great idea! *sarcasm off* To create the next disaster after Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria? Why are you with the supporters of the Saudi regime which funds ISIS? http://www.truth-out.org/progressivepicks/item/33180-wikileaks-reveals-how-the-us-aggressively-pursued-regime-change-in-syria-igniting-a-bloodbath

              And by the way it’s fortunately not you who has to decide about Syria. First the terrorists have to be removed. Then it is up to the Syrian people to decide how their country will be governed.

              • James Wherry

                Andrea, I don’t know why you think I said that. What I want for the USA is to stay the heck OUT of the Syrian Civil War.

                My own motto when I was in Iraq was “Yankee go home now – PLEASE??”

                But don’t you think a man who has used chemical weapons against his own people should be arrested and tried as a war criminal?

                Bottom line: neither of us has to support Assad to reject US involvement in Syria. I can hate Assad AND ISIL, al-Quaesa, al-Nusra, etc. it’s not a choice.

                • TeeJae

                  Why do you keep lying? The rebel factions committed that sarin attack, not the Syrian government. Do some research.

                  • James Wherry

                    No. The chemical weapons proliferation groups all agree that Assad has repeatedly used chemical weapons. They know this because of the delivery systems: barrel bombs from helicopters.

                    THE REBELS HAVE NO HELICOPTERS.

                    Stop ignoring the facts.

                    • John Baker

                      Hay James , your heart is in the right place.. But…. I used to have the exact same opinions as you.. I believed what I read in NYT, CNN, BBC and may more..Tipping point for me was Assad gassing his own people , which did not add up… I started to search harder for more facts behind what main stream media was saying , even joined a few on the ground Syrian groups, followed some independent reporters …What i found out was truly shocking. Every thing and I mean every thing we have been told is pure and simple lies . From Obama , To john Kerry , they are lying through their teeth . And more disconcerting is the truth behind why the US planed to dis stabilize 5 countries , starting with Iraq .. Syria on the list. .We have been lied too…Do the same .. research . Warning – the more you look harder the more you will become disheartening in man kind and in those you put your trust in . i.e USA .. I could send you a heap of links to honest research groups proclaiming from roof tops.. But thats a call you have to make. There’s a reason Trump won.. Its because lies and propaganda 101 is no longer working . Take care man. JB

                      • James Wherry

                        John, thank you for your response, but let’s examine some facts:

                        1. The Assad regime developed, built and deployed chemical weapons around the country. No surprises, there: in response to President Obama’s threat to bomb Syria, the Syrians agreed to give up chemical weapons and permitted UN teams to go in and monitor the removal of the chemical weapons. If you’re going to try and tell me that Syria had no ILLEGAL chemical weapons, you have to argue with Assad.

                        2. The Assad regime has bullied and brutalized its Sun’ni majority for decades and is not above mass murder to stay in power. The Hama Massacre in 1982 comes to mind. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1982_Hama_massacre. Today, Syria and Russia are carpet bombing the Sun’ni rebels. http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/609177/US-Russia-Putin-BOMBING-TERROR-on-Syria. This has helped ISIS. Syria and Russia are using “vacuum bombs” that suck the air out of a two or three block area and murder all civilians in the area indiscriminately. http://www.businessinsider.com/russia-syria-vacuum-bombs-devastating-civilians-2016-8.

                        3. The “7 countries in 5 years” was an off-the-cuff remark made in 2005 in response to the jihadist attacks on American troops in Iraq. Why not? Even Libya was exporting its jihadists to Iraq to murder U.S. service members.

                        But what happened? Do you notice those countries are still there and that America never made any move to engage in that regime changing agenda? Wishful thinking cannot match reality, and really, there was no way to do something like that: the neo-con’s bit off more than they could chew, and by 2005, they knew that. The only thing that “saved” them was shedding the blood, sweat and tears of our American military to fix their mess.

                      • tapatio

                        James Wherry is a “hasbara” troll for Israel. IF he ever had a heart, he sold it long ago.

                    • IanSeed

                      James Wherry you have either been brainwashed HARD or you are a simpleton.

                      Only the dumbest of the dumb would believe Assad gassed his own people under the noses of the UN inspectors when the threat of a US invasion was on the table. The absolute DUMBEST.

                      But it gets worse. Clearly the western invaders of Syria knew there was going to be a gas attack. So who was really responsible? I’ll leave that to anyone with a brain, which precludes you.

                      Btw you deserve this abuse. I’m showing you exactly the level of respect you deserve.

                      • James Wherry

                        IanSeed. It’s fairly arrogant to assume that anyone who disagrees with your position must be stupid, but then I get that from the American Left, all the time, “For our cause is just and we are right and we can do no wrong.” Seen it for years so it’s boring. Why shouldn’t I believe that Assad would use chemical weapons on his own people?

                        1. There were no U.N. inspectors in the areas attacked. The inspectors came in, only after Assad agreed to get rid of his – wait for it – CHEMICAL WEAPONS.

                        2. The Assad regime developed, built and deployed chemical weapons around the country. No surprises, there: in response to President Obama’s threat to bomb Syria, the Syrians agreed to give up chemical weapons and permitted UN teams to go in and monitor the removal of the chemical weapons. If you’re going to try and tell me that Syria had no ILLEGAL chemical weapons, you have to argue with Assad.

                        3. The Assad regime has bullied and brutalized its Sun’ni majority for decades and is not above mass murder to stay in power. The Hama Massacre in 1982 comes to mind. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1982_Hama_massacre. Today, Syria and Russia are carpet bombing the Sun’ni rebels. http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/609177/US-Russia-Putin-BOMBING-TERROR-on-Syria. This has helped ISIS. Syria and Russia are using “vacuum bombs” that suck the air out of a two or three block area and murder all civilians in the area indiscriminately. http://www.businessinsider.com/russia-syria-vacuum-bombs-devastating-civilians-2016-8.

                        4. There was never any plan or threat of “invasion.” President Obama’s own “red line” went out the window and was never used, even after Assad AGAIN used chemical weapons.

                        All of this in mind, why would it make me a “simpleton” for me to think that Assad did what he did?

              • Kenneth E. Bauzon

                I’m totally with you, Andrea. Thanks for articulating this view.

            • TeeJae

              There’s plenty of that “analysis evidence” you’re looking for here on MintPress. No need for me to reinvent the wheel. Consortium News and Foreign Policy Journal (among others) also cover the issue extensively.

              By the way, stop calling Assad a dictator. He is a democratically elected president. And I will defend any leader who is being falsely demonized by Western media for the purpose of beating the war drums.

              • James Wherry

                Assad kills his opposition: he is a dictator.

                • TeeJae

                  By that definition, the US president would be a dictator, too.

                  • James Wherry

                    Nope: Trump didn’t have Clinton put to death: her campaign died of a self-inflicted wound.

                • Peter McLoughlin

                  It’s not a case of The Good Guys in the White Hats against the Bad Guys in the Black ones; both sides are tainted and are culturally very remote from a Westminster type democracy and the world should stop viewing Syria through that prism. But Assad’s Syria did have a reasonably operating multi-faith society and operated a government system which did have a semblance of order and reasonable social provision for ll its citizens, it also had women in government who weren’t obliged to wear the burkah. The West has shamelessly sacrificed the population of Syria in a disgraceful attempt to impose a regime sympathetic to the West and no threat to Israel. Cui Bono?

        • AlexisWolf

          James, there’s a huge amount of misinformation coming out of Syria about ‘massacre’, ‘holocaust’ and CW’s etc mainly from ‘activists’ in AQ held areas. Majority of their claims are un-evidenced. Although HRW and Amnesty do great work you need to understand that when it comes to US foreign policy they are, after all, US based and heavily compromised. Ask how much land or how many Cities would the US be happy to concede to AQ and their affiliates? Here in the EU and the US we mobilise thousands of security personnel if there’s a threat from just one Jihadi, now imagine if there were up to 50 thousand being supported by foreign states! what would you like and expect your gov to do? Personally, I would race to join up and fight for my country. Lets celebrate with Syrians the liberation of Aleppo where there’s now a Christmas tree in the square and the church bells are ringing out along with the call to prayer from Mosques.

          • James Wherry

            I will not deny that terrorist organizations operating in Syria and around the world engage in massive propaganda actions. Curiously the American left never questions those actions, so long as they are directed against the United States of America and our citizen soldiers.

            I cannot agree with you when it comes to amnesty international or human rights watch: I was in Iraq in 2003 and I saw how dishonest and they were in condemning our soldiers, not just about Abu Ghraib which in fact was exposed by an American soldier, but the number of lies I saw and identified because of my personal experience lead me to understand that they are part of the “name and shame game.” They serve as a megaphone for anyone wishing to make a claim of human rights abuses. They are certainly no friend of the United States government and target us quite often because “if we let you get away with something then everyone will get away with it. We have to hold you to a higher standard than anyone else.” I was told that directly by the ICRC.

            The horrendous photographs that the defector “Cesar” smuggled out of Syria is proof of what Syrian opposition had suffered for decades. Yes, I truly do believe that Serien militias rape boys and men to keep their families in line.

            Have you considered that your own predisposition comes from a desire to avoid any more wars? I urge you to consider the following: you do not have to support American intervention into the Syrian Civil War to question and condemn the Assad regime. I firmly oppose any involvement by the United States in the Syrian Civil War, including arming or training any rebel group whatsoever, but Assad is a monster. I urge you to separate the two issues.

      • Toxik

        The mainstream media keeps up the myth that the war is a civil war….just like how I saw sasquatch, loch ness monster, ET, alien abduction, unicorns, and mermaids.

      • Dec 11, 2016 The Agenda of Corporate Media Is Regime Change in Syria – UN Press Conf Goes off Script

        Independent journalist Eva Bartlett sets a smug Norwegian reporter straight during a UN Syria Mission press conference. Please take 3 minutes from your busy schedule and watch this amazing video.

        https://youtu.be/AisvBNXPdG8

      • Kenneth E. Bauzon

        Something’s so dissonant with the message of US/Western-based corporate press calling for a halt to the “siege”. For the sake of argument, if the siege was halted, would they have wanted the city to remain under the jihadist terrorist control? Undoubtedly, I think, the US/Western media amplified the official position of governments in US/Western capitals because these governments wanted regime change in Syria, and continued control by their preferred terrorists in Aleppo — and elsewhere in Syria — fitted their scheme of creating havoc in the country as condition for their devious scheme.

        • Yep, Sep 3, 2014 “We Helped Build ISIS” – Admits retired Lt. Gen. Tom McInerney

          https://youtu.be/3SeINLuPG84

          • Kenneth E. Bauzon

            Unfortunately, you are correct. But the Obama Administration continues to mislead the public about the nature of this and an assortment of other terrorist groups being supported by the US and its surrogate allies in the region, even calling them, absurdly, “democratic” and “moderate” when none such categories apply! The US/Western-based corporate media, failing in its role to question authority, goes along with this charade.

            • TeeJae

              US/Western media’s role hasn’t been to question authority for quite a while. Rather, it’s a stenographer of that authority.

              • Kenneth E. Bauzon

                Totally agree. But beyond serving as stenographer for power, they have been advocates for war disguised as “humanitarian intervention” or support for so-called “democratic” or “moderate” forces, terms which are totally meaningless.

          • James Wherry

            A great many of you on the Left fail to understand how much you support dictatorships such as Syria or Iran and their brutality, when you try to “Blame America” for everything that happens in the world. Both Iran and Syria are simply reaping “blowback” from their own evil policies.
            “The greatest prerequisite in the war against ISIS (and AQ, Boko Haram, etc) is the recognition of EXACTLY who benefits from those terrorist organizations………..QUI BONO is the first question that MUST be asked in every criminal investigation.” So, let’s do this thing:

            1. IRAN supported ISIL’s fore-runner, AQI leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi to murder U.S. Americans Soldiers that MPN.
            http://freebeacon.com/national-security/iran-sponsored-isil-founder-sheltered-him-from-u-s/

            “Iran long provided shelter and protection to the founder and former commander of al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), the predecessor to Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS), which rose to power due in large part to Tehran’s support, according to multiple intelligence reports and outside experts.

            See also: “http://www2.unitedagainstnucleariran.com/AlQaeda

            “What ISIS Owes Iran.”
            http://www.camera.org/index.asp?x_context=2&x_outlet=118&x_article=3080

            2. SYRIA: Assad buys oil from ISIS and attacks ISIS’ enemies, instead of attacking ISIS. Assad helped violent extremist enter Iraq through Syria to murder our Soldiers – that TAPATIO also hates.

            “Syria: Isis advance on Aleppo aided by Assad regime air strikes, US says” https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jun/02/syria-isis-advance-on-aleppo-aided-by-assad-regime-air-strikes-us-says

            SYRIA helped create ISIL.
            http://www.newsweek.com/how-syrias-assad-helped-forge-isis-255631

            Syria is DIRECTLY supporting ISIL.
            http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/state-syrias-assad-directly-supporting-isis/article/2565466h

            http://www.infowars.com/israel-supports-jihadists-isis-in-syria/

            https://www.c-span.org/video/?c4506390/syria-support-isis

            • Andrea Bayer

              Hahaha again but you are happy with Saudi Arabia. Yes, I blame the US for their support of Saudi Arabia. And you will not change my opinion on this.

              • James Wherry

                Andrea, I think you are having a conversation with someone else. I despise the Wa’habi bigots in the House of Sa’ud.

                But let them deal with Assad, if anyone has to do so. Don’t let America be a proxy or a pawn. And don’t let us send American boys to die in foreign lands where everyone hates us.

                I spoke with an Officer who just got back from Qatar. “Even though we’re protecting them, they hate the American presence.”

                Don’t let the door hit me, on the way out. That doesn’t mean that I have to like the Iranian or Syrian government who also hate me. It is a lose lose situation for the United States of America: we just can’t get involved in that region because of all of the religious nut jobs who hate us.

            • Kenneth E. Bauzon

              I do not blame anyone resenting any form of dictatorship. I for one has lived under one, and do not like it a bit. What I regret is that not everyone who resents a presumed dictatorship either do not see or refuse to see the broader picture and the motivations behind the seeming contradictions underlying any anti-dictatorship rhetoric. The US has been among the most ardent advocates of despots and dictatorships around the world for much of the post-World War Two era up to now. The US motivation is simple enough to see, that it uses these despots and dictatorships as surrogates to extend its imperialist hegemony around the world. What is not so simple for much of the public, including, I’m afraid, James Wherry, is when the US appears to support anti-dictatorship political or revolutionary movements around the world, including Syria, e.g., al-Qaeda affiliate al-Nusrah, the Free Syrian Army, and even ISIS elements themselves, and then coopts these movements to create havoc as it has done in this poor country as pre-condition for the US/NATO-led regime-change, thus preempting the generic nature of these movements which then become mercenary movements, The deep disappointment in Washington and other NATO capitals over the so-call “fall” of Aleppo, rather than the liberation of this city from these US/NATO/Zionist/Wahhabi-armed and funded terrorists that occupied it for the past five years or so ,should be a clear indication as to where the sympathies of these so-called promoters of Western-oriented liberal democracy lie. In my view, the primary task is to reverse this illegal, immoral undeclared US-led war on Syrian sovereignty, then allow the Syrian people to decide.

        • James Wherry

          I can’t argue with your logic: it’s precisely what I asked about America and Iraq.

          But why should we support Assad’s brutal dictatorship with the type of propaganda from MintPressNews? A pox on BOTH their houses – just so long as the U.S. does not send in troops OR support ANY rebel group, that is.