2 votes

As mainstream journalists acknowledge Douma attacks were likely "Staged," the "Humanitarian" Syria Regime-Change Network Tries to Save A Sinking Ship

4 comments

  1. patience_limited Link
    @rts, with all due respect, I suggest a more cautious media hygiene strategy. You've previously posted that your preferred sources consist of: I understand the need to balance or filter out the...

    @rts, with all due respect, I suggest a more cautious media hygiene strategy. You've previously posted that your preferred sources consist of:

    A carefully crafted Twitter feed, mostly.

    I generally avoid popular news sites; I get enough big media content clips via the No Agenda podcast just to know what the general population is sorrily subjecting itself to at the current moment. I also watch RT here and there and listen to the Sunday Wire with Patrick Henningsen who I'd peg roughly as an antiwar progressive type.

    Ultimately it's been helpful in curating a collection of a few dozen journalists and cultural commentators I enjoy across the political spectrum, which I mostly access via Twitter. The curated network expands and contracts as new sources are referenced and tested and others reveal themselves as too sarcastic, too strictly performative, or as war apologists.

    I don't need to feel like I "agree" with anyone more than about 40% of the time to keep their work on my radar. But if people just seem to be passing along knee-jerk received opinion memes associated with one party or another (as most do), I unfollow them.

    Now more than ever, I demand nuance and imagination.

    I understand the need to balance or filter out the warmongers, the incessant cheerleading for the worst excesses of capitalism, and the purblind false balances or selective omissions of mainstream sources.

    And yet you've uncritically posted an article from a source with extremely questionable practices.

    Your previously mentioned preferred news sources appear to be in a (PDF warning) constellation of self-referencing sites which are evidently amplifying and spreading disinformation/propaganda.

    This portion is important in considering the sources and purposes of your preferred information cluster:

    Support of Russian Government
    Perhaps not surprising, considering the position of Russia
    as an ally of the Syrian government (which views the WH
    as assisting rebel forces), many of the domains in this
    ecosystem are explicitly supportive of the Russian government.
    Beyond RT and Sputnik, there are a few others sites
    that focus on Russia-related topics from a point of view
    favorable to the current regime: Russia-Insider.com,
    Russophile.org (Russia News Now), and Fort-Russ.com. Many
    of the other domains in Cluster B feature content supportive
    of Russian geopolitical positions (abroad) and specifically
    resistant to accusations that Russia had impact on
    recent elections in the U.S. and elsewhere.

    Shared Content across Ideologically Diverse Sites
    But perhaps more interesting—or more impactful—than
    the commonalities across domains are the differences
    between them. Superficially, many of the domains in the
    alternative media echo-system articulated here appear to
    promote different ideologies. Consider a selection of domains
    that appear in this echo-system—i.e. MintPressNews, JewWorldOrder,
    LewRockwell, FreedomBunker, UprootedPalistinians,
    TruePatriot, TheDailySheeple, TheFringeNews, Anonymous-News,
    MakeWarHistory, ActivistPost, and TheRussophile. This list includes
    websites with strong political themes reflecting distinct (and in some
    cases, seemingly conflicting) ideologies—including antiimperialist left,
    libertarian, conservative and alt-right; as well as other more niche
    ideological leanings, including explicit anti-Semitism.
    These websites are publishing the same content, but inside
    very different wrappers. The content itself is not necessarily
    tailored for each community
    (though each domain may select the articles most likely to
    resonate with its audience), but it is packaged up for them,
    appearing within a domain that features other material that
    may appeal to a reader’s existing ideology. The effects of
    this kind of sharing may be to draw people from diverse,
    niche, political and ideological communities into a set of
    common narratives.
    We may think of these niche communities
    as being isolated and distinct, but here they are connected
    (in terms of content) with other quite different communities.

    Emphasis mine.

    The best propaganda delivers palatable half-truths, surrounding a core of masked agendas and biases intended to lead towards a conclusion favorable to the propagandist.

    You can compare sets of opposed propaganda to determine where truth might exist, but it's never safe to accept a single bubble's content uncritically, or without consideration for whose agenda is being served.

    12 votes
  2. Sahasrahla (edited ) Link
    Frankly this site is setting off all kinds of alarm bells for its credibility. It apparently has a pro-Assad agenda and from what I skimmed of the OP article alone: it blames the White Helmets for...

    Frankly this site is setting off all kinds of alarm bells for its credibility. It apparently has a pro-Assad agenda and from what I skimmed of the OP article alone: it blames the White Helmets for staging a false-flag chemical attack, it says there's a conspiracy to shut it down from several tech companies (Facebook, Google, and Twitter), and they call the BBC part of a "colonial media establishment." No way is this article or "news" organization worth anyone's attention. Should this article even be posted here?

    Edit: This is an older article but a more in-depth look at Mint Press. e.g.

    Interviews with former employees and people familiar with the inner workings of Mint Press, and an examination of public records, paint a portrait of a dysfunctional outlet where employees are left in the dark about the site's sources of funding and are alienated from the Muhawesh family that runs it: Mnar, the editor-in-chief, her brother-in-law and managing editor Muhammad Muhawesh, and her father-in-law Odeh Muhawesh, 54, a Minneapolis businessman born in Jordan. They also reveal an agenda that lines up, from its sympathy with the Syrian regime to its hostility to Sunni Saudi Arabia, with that of the Islamic Republic of Iran, where Odeh Muhawesh studied under an ayatollah for five years after the Islamic Revolution, and where he visited as recently as this summer.

    12 votes
  3. AlastrionaCatskill Link
    I have to agree with the other two commenters - you seem to be in a pretty bad media bubble yourself. That being prefaced - criticism is good and so is conservatism, but half-truths and full 'fake...

    I have to agree with the other two commenters - you seem to be in a pretty bad media bubble yourself. That being prefaced - criticism is good and so is conservatism, but half-truths and full 'fake news' shouldn't be acceptable on this site.

    3 votes
  4. rts Link

    Dalati may genuinely be a rogue maverick, sickened by what he has seen. He may also be working at the behest of the BBC directors — to limit the damage to the BBC’s reputation were the OPCW to release its final report any time soon. Imagine that the OPCW final report errs toward a conclusion that no chemical attack took place in Douma: where would that leave the BBC and colonial media establishment? The trust gap would widen exponentially. Time will tell, but one thing is for sure, Schneider’s report is indicative of the distress signals being emitted by the “humanitarian” regime-change network floundering on the rocks of its own failed campaign to destabilize Syria and overthrow the majority-elected Syrian government.