The fox, the Guardian & the chicken coop

Having the current Turkish minister for foreign affairs discuss the unfolding crisis in the Middle East is like asking Rolf Harris to elaborate on what he thought went wrong with regards to child abuse at the BBC in the 70’s.

OK, so the Guardian give these geezers a platform to spout their finely tuned propaganda – but it’d be nice if they made it completely clear WHO they were and WHY they were allowed to have such a prominent platform.

The article I refer to is HERE

His title of ‘Turkish Foreign Minister’ is stated at the top of the article in small print and is seemingly missed by many of the commentators.

More importantly – why has he been given such a prominent position on the Guardian website? Has money changed hands? Were there any conditions? Will the Guardian gift the Syrian foreign minister the same kind of platform?

Next up to bat is none other than the Prime Minister of Qatar himself. He’s also been given a tasty prime time slot on the Guardian website in an attempt to convince its readers that Qatar “aint on that terrorism thang yo” (sic)

To counter the claims of this Qatari spokesperson I recommend the following articles;

America’s Allies Are Funding ISIS (The Daily Beast)

Meet the Frankenstein monster of Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Or as we know them, Isis (The Independent)

Qatar and Saudi Arabia ‘have ignited time bomb by funding global spread of radical Islam’ (The Telegraph)

Ukraine: A New Front

Over the past few weeks The Guardian has taken a keen interest in the turmoil taking place in Ukraine. For all of the articles, opinion pieces and readers comments that discuss this ongoing & fluid situation – I feel that the following comment (posted by RadioPartizan on 26/02/14) sums up what many have noticed with regards to The Guardian’s overall reporting on the subject. The comment was left in response to the following article: Russia puts military on high alert as Crimea protests leave one man dead

Not too much hope of a ‘unity’ government seeing as the people in power in Kiev and western Ukraine has a distinctive nationalist agenda – one of their first acts was to ban Russian as an official language. Such acts are bound to increase the fears of ethnic Russians – many of whom see themselves as Ukrainian first and foremost.
Also I wonder if the guardian are aware that the red and black flag in the photo is that of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army? They were Ukrainian Fascists who at one point fought alongside the Germans in WW2 and were were heavily involved with war crimes against poles and jews. The symbol has been adopted by the right sector ultra nationalists – who seem to have a lot of influence over the interim government.
There are also a lot of reports – and some fairly convincing footage – of former government personal and offices being targeted by ultra-nationalists. There are also a lot of pictures of war memorials being pulled down and daubed in Swastikas and other nazi graffiti.
It seems that the Ultra nationalist militias have taken over security in Kiev and other parts of western Ukraine. Now some of this may well be exaggerated Kremlin inspired propaganda – but the air brushing of the far right out of this situation by the media has been astonishing – so its difficult to know what to believe.
Seeing as the Fascist Svoboda are being blandly described in this piece as ‘nationalist’ ( and have previously been described as ‘moderate’ in other articles in this paper) I really don’t trust the guardian (or any of the western media) any more than Russia Today.
Some links -
This is from Oblast in western Ukriaine and – as far as I understand it – features an Ukrainian ultra nationalist telling the administration there to stand down – at gunpoint.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XtxbGjkpkF8
This is from russia today – pics of war monuments lenin statues being pulled down and daubed with Nazi graffiti.
http://rt.com/news/ukraine-monuments-nazi-symbols-645/

I have seen no attempt by the likes of the guardian to properly investigate and report the disturbing role of the far right in these events. It is certainly significant and it is certainly being airbrushed out of the news we are seeing – and it is also certainly being used by the Russians for their purposes.
So how about some proper balanced reporting for the first time in this whole sorry mess?
Or are we only going to find about this when the country descends in a Yugoslavia type cluster fuck with each factions nationalist militias marching around ethnically cleansing each other?

Rime Allaf

This is the first time I’ve ever focused on one particular writer but after reading her four articles on the Guardian’s website it’s probably best that her work is at least documented. I’m not going to accuse her of anything – you can make up your own mind.

According to the Guardian;

Rime Allaf is a Syrian writer and researcher. She is on Twitter as @rallaf

Here are some choice quotes from her articles;

It is such incredible foresight that gives Qatar an edge other countries miss. Equally at ease with Islamist and secular parties, with liberals and conservatives, Qatar is reaping what it sowed and patiently nurtured years ago, giving it enough political capital on top of its formidable wealth to influence the region. To reword the obligatory cliché about its position, Qatar isn’t punching above its weight but has become a heavyweight.

Even under its lead, however, the Arab League has shown tremendous reluctance in its decisions on Syria, letting repeated deadlines pass without acting on agreed sanctions. It is not foreign intervention that Qatar seeks, but on the contrary a regional solution that would stop the Syrian regime in its destructive tracks, for the Syrian people’s sake, but also for that of the entire region.

Taken from “Qatar’s influence increases in the Middle East” – Thursday 15 December 2011

For all Obama’s platitudes about the world’s responsibilities, it is the US foremost that has the power, interest and obligation to help bring justice and peace to Syria and end the conflict. Real friends of Syria would break Assad’s siege, neutralise his air power, and convince Syrian people and revolutionaries alike that there is hope in Geneva, that a transition is imminent, that the nightmare is ending. Anything less than that merely pushes Syrians into further despair, and the region into even greater instability.

Taken from “Give Syria peace, not a process” – Sunday 27 October 2013

First, by agreeing to the process, the Assad regime has recognised that there is a formal, organised opposition, and that the uprising is not the global conspiracy or the terrorist invasion it has always claimed.

Second, by discussing issues such as prisoner exchanges, the regime has recognised that this opposition is the only political entity capable of co-ordinating with the Free Syrian Army, and that the foreign Islamist factions in Syria, therefore, have no relation with either the opposition or the Free Syrian Army.

Taken from “Geneva’s endless peace process plays into Bashar al-Assad’s hands” – Sunday 26 January 2014

Whether Rime Allaf is singing Qatar’s praises, calling for US bombing campaigns or whitewashing the alliance between the Free Syrian Army and the “Islamist factions in Syria” – one thing is clear. This is neither in-depth analysis or any form of serious journalism. These are seemingly biased, opinionated articles which could easily be classed as propaganda by some.

Here is another quote taken from “Give Syria peace, not a process” – Sunday 27 October 2013

A group of foreign ministers declared last week that Bashar al-Assad“would not have a role in Syria” when a transitional governing body was established to move the country forward. For all the media excitement over the announcement, this Friends of Syria grouping merely reiterated a basic condition of the Syrian National Coalition, the main political opposition group, recognised by more than 100 countries as “the legitimate representative of the Syrian people”.

According to Wikipedia the fact about 100+ countries recognizing the SNC seems massively incorrect. Wikipedia states;

Prior to joining the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces, the Syrian National Council had been recognised as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people by several UN member states.

If the writer actually means the “National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces” – Wikipedia only lists 20 countries as giving this organisation “diplomatic recognition”. This statement appears to be an inaccuracy and is not an isolated case with regards to her articles.

UPDATE – 30/01/14 -

It has been brought to my attention that Rime Allaf was “an Associate Fellow at Chatham House from 2004 to 2012″ (according to her LinkedIn account). Chatham House has long been linked with Neoconservative think thanks. Make of that what you will.

UK establishment’s preferred attack dog on the former Soviet

I’ve written frequently about the anti Russian bias on the Guardian website. Myself and others noticed this worrying trend as they reported on the conflict in Syria.

For examples of this writing please see my previous posts;

Prejudiced analysis

Proxy Propaganda

Adding weight to these blog posts I made back in 2013,  Julian Assange recently described the Guardian as…

“… the UK establishment’s preferred attack dog on  the former Soviet”

This quote was taken from an interview with the Wikileaks founder which can be found here. During the interview Assange points to other aspects of the Guardians reporting which could be considered as blatant anti Russian bias.

A Neocon platform

I know the Guardian intends to be balanced and offer its readers opinion from across the entire political spectrum – but when neoconservative, war hawks are regularly given column inches to fill, I think it’s worth documenting.

John Robert Bolton’s latest article is entitled “We cannot verify and must not trust Iran’s promises on nuclear weapons”.

The subheading reads; “Ignore the ‘moderate’ smokescreen. Sanctions have failed, so our choice is stark: use military force or let Tehran get the bomb”

Some of the other headlines written by Bolton during his employment by the Guardian include…

Edward Snowden’s leaks are a grave threat to US national security – 18 Jun 2013

Overthrowing Saddam Hussein was the right move for the US and its allies – 26 Feb 2013

It’s reassuring to see almost all of the readers comments disregard Bolton’s article. Only the briefest of searches online illustrates that Bolton is clearly a paid propagandist for the neoconservatives inside America.

Taken from wikipedia -

Bolton has long spoken in favor of the People’s Mujahedin of Iran (also known as the Mujahedin-e Khalq, or MEK),[111] “an armed Islamic group with Marxist leanings”[112] which has long been on the U.S. State Department list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations.[113] According to the State Department, the MEK “[f]ollow[s] a philosophy that mixes Marxism and Islam.”

Also from wikipedia

Bolton has been a prominent participant in some “neoconservative” groups such as the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA), and the Committee for Peace and Security in the Gulf (CPSG). But Bolton disputes the label “neo-conservative” attached to him,[11] pointing out that he was a conservative since high school, when he worked on the 1964 Goldwater campaign.[37]
Bolton was formerly involved with the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), Federalist Society, National Policy Forum, National Advisory Board, Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, New Atlantic Initiative, Project on Transitional Democracies.

In conclusion – WTF Guardian?

Prejudiced analysis

This particular subject not only applies to the Guardian but to many, if not all, Western mainstream news organisations that have been assimilated into the corporate borg. As the tragedy in Syria rolls towards its third year, so much has been written about this civil war yet so little actually learnt. The 24 hour news cycle in cyberspace focuses on war crimes, refugees, Asma al-Assad’s shopping habits, sporadic skirmishes and other lowlights from the days events. A running commentary on the ins and outs of the unfolding conflict is welcome but where is the substance? Where is the geopolitical analysis which so many people crave and in doing so are driven to alternative, independent news sources to acquire?

As evidenced in my previous blog post entitled “Rewriting the Syrian Script” – The State Department has played a key role in the fomentation and on-going escalation of the crisis. Working in lock-step with Israel they have covertly and often overtly pressed for regime change in Syria. For all the thousands of articles, editorials and opinion pieces written on the subject  – how come so few have stopped to ponder the question ‘why’? The same goes for Saudi Arabia and Qatar who have spent millions (possibly billions) funding and arming the rebels. Where is the in-depth analysis on these particular players?

In contrast, we are repeatedly informed that Bashar al-Assad fights his opponents in order to cling on to power for his family dynasty. For protecting his interests he has been compared to Hitler – whilst the Jihad sponsors in the Gulf, attempting to carve out their own interests in an equally brutal manner, have been compared to no one. Russia’s involvement in protecting its interests has repeatedly been put down to Mediterranean naval bases and arms contracts – whilst Israel’s quiet yet determined, pro war lobby groups, work towards regime change in Syria with the mainstream media refusing to analyse their motives.

The silence is deafening.

I’m going to give you a perfect example of what I’m talking about.  The Israeli Government recently granted a U.S. subsidiary of a company called Genie Energy the first license to explore for oil and gas in the occupied Golan Heights. The company is advised by former vice president Dick Cheney and its shareholders include Jacob Rothschild and Rupert Murdoch. This development was documented online (including Bloomberg) far and wide and would obviously be an important factor when considering Israeli and U.S involvement in the Syrian war – but when we type ‘Genie Energy Golan Heights’ into the Guardians own search bar we are told…. No results!

NO - results

Here is a list of reasons (taken from a recent YouTube comment) as to why this Western backed insurgency in Syria could be taking place – non of which have been discussed in any great detail by the aforementioned press.

POSSIBLE REASONS BEHIND SYRIAN ATTACK:

Shut down Syrian independent banking system
Split anti-Zionist alliance; Iran-Syria-Lebanon-Palestine
Destroy Russian-Iranian-Syrian Silk Road Pipeline
Benefit Israeli Leviathan gas, oil & transportation industry
Benefit Al Saud family’s/Qatari gas industry
Benefit Industrial Military Complex multi billion contracts
Allow Israel annex South Lebanon for water supply & Golan Heights for oil & gas
Advance Zionist Agenda for “Greater Israel”; New World Superpower

Whilst the complicit, mainstream media continues to paint the enemies of Western, financial hegemony in an evil, nefarious light – who’s motives are always callous and cold – it simply ignores its paymasters motives in the conflict altogether. Articles refer to ‘American strategic interests’ but seldom delve any deeper. Writers refer to ‘humanitarian intervention’ as if to suggest the repressive petro-monarchies in the Gulf spend their millions on mercenaries with nothing but charitable intentions.

I pay my respects to the small number of journalists within the mainstream media who challenge the status quo and inform their readers of the true motives behind these complicated conflicts – some of whom work directly for the Guardian. This blog decided to specifically target the Guardian as a way to highlight how far our ‘liberal’ and ‘progressive’ media had strayed off course.

On that note – I’ll leave you with something our mainstream media needs more of: Illuminating, in-depth, geopolitical analysis. This is a video by the excellent James Corbett, entitled Who Is Really Behind the Syrian War?’

Syria Now

Since the chemical weapons incident near Damascus on August the 21st 2013 the mainstream media has gone into overdrive with regards to reporting on Syria – the Guardian included.  We still have the occasional pro interventionist, opinion article containing misinformation and half truths – and of course we still have the Guardian failing to report on huge stories such as…

Syrian Opposition Condemns Jihadists Targeting Alawites (Al Monitor article – August 14, 2013)

Syrians In Ghouta Claim Saudi-Supplied Rebels Behind Chemical Attack (Mint Press News article –  August 29, 2013)

Syria chemical weapons: finger pointed at jihadists (Telegraph article – March 23, 2013)

As mentioned in my previous post entitled “The State of Play” – the general “day by day” propaganda assault that we witnessed during the height of the Libyan and Syrian conflicts has somewhat simmered down. On the whole, the editorials have become less gung-ho – perhaps because all out war looms closer. One thing however, is for certain – judging from polls in both the USA and the UK - the propaganda has failed miserably. The populations of both countries do not want to be involved in any more wars and after the catastrophe that was Iraq – they no longer trust their governments to make such decisions.