AQ not necessarily “the very group responsible for 9/11”

How the WaPo Deceives Us About The War In Syria
Ahab Jezebel, Moon of Alabama, Oct 16 2017

The WaPo clearly has no built-in review mechanism for monitoring the quality and veracity of its source material relating to the coverage of war zone news. This is particularly apparent with regard to the reporting of the ongoing war situation in Syria. At present these professional standards have slipped and the paper has placed itself outside the ranks of real journalism and professionalism on which it built its enviable reputation, long before the war in Syria. Spreading propaganda and relying only on activists is not professional. It resembles paid publicity designed to affect public opinion, and it takes advantage of less informed readers and politicians. We can open a small window into one of the latest articles on Syria by the WaPo entitled “Civilian casualties spiral in Syria as air raids target areas marked for cease-fire.” The article was not written from Syria but from Beirut, although it speaks authoritatively about Syria in great detail, and this from a journalist who has never been to Syria, and certainly not during the six years of the war. In its second paragraph, the newspaper talks of “groups monitoring the conflict,” but every single human being on Earth interested in the Syrian war is monitoring the conflict, including my 87 year-old neighbour Louise, who is able to tell me stories about daily bombing and “Daesh” attacking “every day and maybe coming to Europe,” according to her conclusions drawn from monitoring mainstream media. She believes Syria is a country of ghosts and that Assad, Daesh and Pindostan are “working together against evil Russia.” The WaPo further undermines its own credibility by quoting the “White Helmets,” who apparently report that “80% of attacks targeted civilian areas.” Not everybody knows how biased the White Helmets are. In fact some of their histrionic performances have been said to rival Shakespeare. Professional journalism by a reputable newspaper should be ill at ease when quoting “a fake professional exhibitionist group.” And where, indeed, in Syria were the White Helmets based? In an AQ-controlled city, working very closely with that terrorist group- the very same group responsible for 9/11! The newspaper doesn’t stop at that. According to its title and introduction, it insinuates that “pro-government forces launched hundreds of bombing raids across areas marked for international protection,” yet the same journalist who wrote that article re-tweeted this:

So how that is possible to sustain a title (usually not under the control of the individual journalist) and an introduction stating the opposite? Readers absorb and trust the newspaper they are faithfully attached to, trusting that the information is reliable, corroborated and trustworthy. General readers find the truth hard to come by when “professional journalists” distort it. The article continues, quoting the “Syrian Observatory for Human Rights Monitoring Group.” This group is based in London with many sources on the ground, including activists. It is known to be biased and its orientation is anti-Syrian government. Any information provided by this partial source may be taken into consideration, provided there is serious corroboration and first-hand trustworthy information. In fact, no such corroboration is presented. The information seems to be thrown together in an article to support the journalist’s idea or “newspaper policy,” with the risk of misleading the readers. But the problem persists. In the next paragraph, Tim al-Siyofi, defined as an activist from the besieged Damascus district of Douma, is quoted as a way of consolidating the introduction. But why on earth would readers buy a newspaper to read what an activist is saying, when the social media are full of them, and free? But that is not the end of the article, only the beginning:

Analysts took the violence as a sign that the piecemeal ceasefires struck in the Kazakh capital of Astana have done little to change the core objectives of the Syrian government.

Whatever these are, or were, is left unstated. The “analysts” are dead wrong, misleading and probably expressing wishful thinking. Astana stopped the war in three huge parts of Syria and allowed the Syrian Army to liberate tens of thousands of sq km in al-Badiya (semi-desert) and to lift the siege of Deir ez-Zor by concentrating the majority of forces against Daesh. The SAA, supported by the RAF, bombed for more than a week and killed dozens of AQ militants for violating the Astana de-escalation agreement related to the city of Idlib, when the group carried out several attacks on three different fronts. Simply, AQ wanted the war to carry on: an important detail the journalist perhaps ignored for being far from Syria. In fact, the same article contradicts itself further down, quoting a former Syrian general based in Istanbul who says:

These de-escalations freeze the problem.

So the question is: how it can be, according to the analyst quoted in the article, that Astana has done little, yet the Syrian anti-regime general believes it has frozen the problem? Is the WaPo asking too much from the reader’s brain, or not enough! Is it relying on a lack of critical mind on the part of its readers? It’s difficult to know, with such contradictions. The article is using once more the same old rhetoric used in the last six years of the war, accusing the Syrian government (and now Russia) of “targeting hospitals” without quoting a source, any source, and omitting Pindostan’s own revelations that Jihadis in Syria and Iraq keep their headquarters in hospitals, if such information is correct. But worse is to come: “Interviews with civilians in the area.” Is it the journalist who is in Beirut who is running these interviews in the northern AQ-controlled city of Idlib? Of course, of course, it is “Abd’ul-Hamid.” It sounds quite exotic. Further down, the article goes on to deal with the human side of the war:

We just want to eat, to let up the siege, and to live in peace and not get bombed.

The atrocities of the war in Syria are not up for discussion. In point of fact the city of Idlib is wide open to Turkey and fully supplied on a daily basis. The transit of goods is or was one of AQ’s main incomes. No-one is actually starving these days in Syria. After liberation, the besieged cities have shown themselves to be packed with food supplies and ammunition. Generally speaking, the war in Syria has mushroomed all kinds of fake analysts and “journalists” who put bits and pieces together according to their wishful thinking and call it an article. The problem would stop there, except that a very respectful newspaper, careless about the quality of its material and professional standards, allows this “cut and paste” journalism to happen and endorses it. But the world is not completely stupid. Dan the pizza delivery driver seems much more critical, and aware of the complexity of the war in Syria than the WaPo with its misleading articles. This is not the first time, nor is it surprising when Daesh is not described as a terrorist group but as a “local militia.” Maybe readers are not as naïve as the newspaper apparently believes them to be.

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