Still at it

I hadn’t posted on this blog for quite some time. Having temporarily taken a step back from following the 24 hour news cycle, I felt a little bit more relaxed in my day to day life – but hey ho – here I am again. I just had to leave a quick post as I noticed the Guardian were still at it.

The article in questions is;

Defeating Isis in Syria is essential to prevent catastrophe

The author basically blames the rise and continuation of ISIS in Syria squarely on Assad – which seems completely ridiculous. We all know Assad is a brutal dictator with a lot of enemies but to paint such a simple picture is deceitful.

Open the article yourself and search for the words ‘Qatar’ and ‘Saudi’. Not one result. This one sided analysis tells you all you need to know about it’s motivation.

One of the readers also leaves a comment which sums up the situation;

” A quick google search reveals who the author Frederic C Hof actually is and it’s staggering the guardian have given him a platform.

Served with the state department during Bush’s presidency and was a co-founder Armitage International Associates with Republican Political Richard Armitage who was Bush’s deputy Secretary of State and who had been lobbying the US president’s office to invade Iraqi since 1998 and who had threatened to bomb Pakistan back to the stone age.

Have a read what Mr Hof’s company gets up to it might give you an idea why he wants rid of Assad: http://www.armitageinternational.com/about “

The Guardian is still weaponized.

And the beat goes on….

This blog isn’t designed to pick sides in any conflict. I have no idea how involved Russian forces are in Eastern Ukraine. There’s no real way for me as an individual to find out exactly what’s going on. What this blog can do is highlight the ongoing themes & narratives throughout The Guardian’s coverage.

I’ve gone into detail about The Guardian’s anti Russian bias via the following blog posts;

Proxy Propaganda (June 2013) 

Prejudiced analysis (September 2013)

“UK establishment’s preferred attack dog on the former Soviet” (January 2014)

Ukraine: A New Front (February 2014)

Now in January 2015 we have the following Editorial;

The Guardian View of war in Ukraine: maintain the pressure on Russia

As I previously stated – I cannot pretend to know exactly what’s going on in Ukraine and I’m sure as many people support sanctions as they do oppose them. But it’s only when we place this editorial next to all of the other articles and opinion pieces written over the last few years that we can easily illustrate how The Guardian has maintained a specific stance against a country and its government.

I will however go into detail about one specific point. The above editorial opens with the following paragraph;

“Donetsk airport, its runways cratered by shelling, its buildings battered and its control tower decapitated, is a modern ruin that has long ceased to function. To lose lives over it seems senseless. Yet such is its symbolism for both sides that the fighting between Ukrainian forces and separatists there goes on unabated, with the Ukrainians now claiming to have recaptured ground they had earlier lost. Meanwhile, diplomacy has all but stalled. As the shells and missiles flew on Monday in eastern Ukraine, Europe’s foreign ministers, meeting in Brussels, determined that there were no grounds for any relaxation of sanctions”

It’s interesting to note how the Guardian supported American/UK backed separatists and rebels in Syria when they directly opposed Russian interests – but now The Guardian supports an American/UK backed Government in its fight against separatists and rebels which fight for Russian interests.

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?