Bullshit upon Bullshit.

Written By: - Date published: 9:31 am, April 18th, 2018 - 34 comments
Categories: articles, International, journalism, making shit up, Media, news, Propaganda, spin, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags: ,

The Union of Medical Care and Relief Organisations was founded in France in 2012. Organisations that form the coalition are from the US, Canada, UK, France, Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland and Turkey. So no member organisations from Syria, or anywhere else in the Middle East. Yet the Guardian has seen fit to quote them and uncritically run a major piece off what they are saying in the aftermath of Douma.

There’s a lot to unpack. Far too much for me in the time I have between coffees and starting my day.

Maybe someone should have pointed the Guardian to pieces by Robert Fisk and others who have been to Douma and who have spoken to doctors from Douma. The UMCRO assures the Guardian that doctors from Douma (their “colleagues” apparently – as though they work right beside them) are being threatened by the Syrian government should they “speak out” about what happened in Douma. The thing is, when Robert Fisk and others spoke to doctors, none said they were fearful for their safety or lives, and none said that a chemical attack had taken place.

Here’s the Guardian.

The head of the largest medical relief agency in Syria claims that medics who responded to the suspected gas attack in Douma have been subjected to “extreme intimidation” by Syrian officials who seized biological samples, forced them to abandon patients and demanded their silence.

Dr Ghanem Tayara, the director of the Union of Medical Care and Relief Organisations (UOSSM) said doctors responsible for treating patients in the hours after the 7 April attack have been told that their families will be at risk if they offer public testimonies about what took place.

A number of doctors who spoke to the Guardian this week say the intimidation from the regime has increased in the past five days, a timeframe that coincides with the arrival in Damascus of a team from the Organisation for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which aims to determine whether chemical weapons were used. All the medics insisted on anonymity, citing the fear for their lives and those of their families.

And “the number of doctors who spoke to the Guardian this week” (and who insist on anonymity)…well, the doctors who spoke to Fisk and others weren’t bothered about their names being known. And the residents of Douma who reporters approached weren’t fearful of speaking either. So, I’ll state the obvious. The doctors who spoke to the Guardian are either members of UMCRO or ‘First Responders” – ie, White Helmets. And those same doctors from UMCRO who have been speaking to the Guardian, well let’s just say it’s remiss for the Guardian to allow them to suggest they are “colleagues” of doctors from Douma as though they work at their sides day after day. They are no more “colleagues” than say a lawyer might say that all lawyers were his or her colleagues.

Y’know, at least back in the day of the USSR, everyone knew that PRAVDA was a crock of shit. Everyone knew that to get a sense of what was actually happening, it was necessary to read between the lines, read carefully, or pay attention to what was not being reported. It’s much less straightforward dealing with western corporate/liberal media. There is an illusion of plurality dancing around grey, lock-step uniformity. Case in point. Do you think any mainstream liberal/corporate outlet will take the two minutes to rip apart the piece of nonsense the Guardian is pushing? Of course not! But another outlet would have eviscerated the piece if it wasn’t true or accurate, or if it was seriously misleading, right? Because that’s what happens in a pluralistic  environment when we’re talking about serious news pieces. And so the fact that isn’t happening, must mean the piece is accurate enough, truthful enough and sign-posting the right stuff.

Welcome to this world we’ve made.

34 comments on “Bullshit upon Bullshit.”

  1. Flock 1

    If “the number of doctors who spoke to the Guardian this week” insist on anonymity, are they doctors? Do they even exist?

    Why did they talk to neither Robert Fisk nor Pearson Sharp anonymously?

    But wait, there’s more
    US: Russia Hacked The Evidence Of Chemical Attack In Syria
    “It is our understanding the Russians may have visited the attack site,” reports U.S. Ambassador Kenneth Ward. “It is our concern that they may have tampered with it with the intent of thwarting the efforts of the OPCW Fact-Finding Mission to conduct an effective investigation.”

    http://www.mcscnetwork.com/2018/04/17/us-russia-hacked-the-evidence-of-chemical-attack-in-syria/

    • Bill 1.1

      I dare say UMRCO has a fair whelter of doctors in its ranks. None of them in Douma (or even in Syria) though.

      If your read the piece carefully enough, the idea that doctors from Douma were speaking is only ever implied.

      Meanwhile, we also get Russia (read “Kremlin”) cyber attacks and threats to infrastructure.

      Meanwhile, we also get the residuals from the story of Russians (read “Kremlin”) running facebook posts to undermine democracy in …the US, Germany, Spain…..

      Meanwhile, we also get Russia (read “Kremlin”) poisoning retired spies and “half” of an English town.

      I’m sure there’s more. (Where PRAVDA threw a bullshit line, “our” media throw booksworth, serials and mini-series’ of the stuff)

      To be honest, I’ve more or less given up on corporate/liberal media for info, bar the level of stuff I’d use “wiki” for – ie, not a lot beyond basics.

      • Win Win 1.1.1

        Yip. Never trust MSM. Not after what they did to Iraq and weapons of mass destruction. Pulling the same shit in Syria with these random chemical weapon attacks when Assad has won the war and peace is about to break out. Just waiting for Nikki Haley to hold up a phial of some chemical found in Syria, in the UN, then it will be all the compliant and complicit press running the line they are told to.

    • Cemetery Jones 1.2

      Silly Americans, they’ve painted themselves into such a dumb corner with this.

      We know they have these areas under more than adequate aerial surveillance to supply the world with pictorial evidence should the Russians attempt to decontaminate the site. There’s no way you could discreetly clean down an area which wasn’t just allegedly hit with gas, but bombed aerially and sits in the middle of a rubble-strewn urban hellscape by just going around and spraying some soapy water or giving it a bit of a scrub. You’d inevitably miss more than enough spots for the OPCW to find something with a decent analysis of the site and its surrounds.

      Plus, I’d imagine that the sort of decontaminants you need to use in order to properly clean up the site of a legit chem weapon attack would themselves be very detectable by any professional agency. I’d imagine they would go over the site in great detail swabbing surfaces and collecting various items of clothing, dirt, brick, flooring, etc. and bagging them up for lab analysis. Surely the chemicals used for decontamination would have their own signature, and would therefore provide a dead giveaway of a decontamination op, had one actually taken place.

  2. james 2

    Yeah, been pretty disappointed with the Guardian lately. Thought I could trust them.

    • Bill 2.1

      Trust them to always side with power and parrot official lines on matters of importance, and you won’t go far wrong. It’s the way they’ve been since 1800 and whatever.

      • reason 2.1.1

        The Bullshit predates post world war II …. But this Interview / Audio doco gives a good insight into the start of the cold war ….. the lies that were used to scare people …. and the influence of far right / nazi groups upon usa foreign policy.

        It’s all very relevant to the propaganda today …. and the eternal wars still going on

    • D'Esterre 2.2

      James: “Yeah, been pretty disappointed with the Guardian lately. Thought I could trust them.”

      Try the Off-Guardian. And The Canary.

  3. Stuart Munro 3

    They used to say “there’s no news in the Truth and no truth in the News” V Pravde nyet izvestii i v Izvestiakh nyet pravdy.

    Russian journalists did not investigate, that was a possibly dangerous practice, instead they reported the opinions of party mouthpieces and the trivium of uncontentious meetings. As with North Korean newspapers, without the passionate condemnation of external enemies (who “must be annihilated”) the news would be too bland to be worth reading at all.

    • Win Win 3.1

      Yes but the Russian people knew their news was all shit. Unlike us more ‘informed’ Westerners. sac

      • Stuart Munro 3.1.1

        You don’t understand – Russia had no journalists – only pathetic repeaters like Hosking or Garner.

        We still have some real ones – the difference between that and undiluted kremlin drivel is important.

        • One Two 3.1.1.1

          Which journalist’s do you….

          * Reject
          * Endorse

          • Stuart Munro 3.1.1.1.1

            I think Campbell of Scoop is one of the better ones. It is more a matter of what they do than who they are. If they use sources properly they’re real, if they are merely a channel for noise they are not.

    • Cemetery Jones 3.2

      I like that other Russian saying which has since emerged: “We knew they were lying to us about the Soviet Union; now we know they were telling us the truth about the West.”

      • Stuart Munro 3.2.1

        Look, there’s plenty wrong with the West. But the migration patterns remain fairly consistent – the democracy of money is more permeable than the democracy of influence.

  4. You_Fool 4

    So one report is from those that fled, i.e the rebels/whatever, whilst the other is from those that stayed, also known as loyalists…

    I wonder if both sides have an agenda to push?

    I know we all like jumping to conclusions, but it seems to me that so far there is no real knock-out blow either way….

    Personally, given the previous use of chemical weapons and other mass-bombing of civilians by the Syrians I am probably more inclined to think they did do it, but I am open to find out I am wrong…

  5. Kevin 5

    US needs a reason to remain fighting against Syria because they know Russia and the Chinese have won the end game. To many the ‘gas attack’ was not unexpected, and the US now has another few months grace to try and get a position at the aftermath function.

    The problem for the US is that Assad has won. ISIS is defeated. Turkey is more than happy to keep kicking the shit out of the Kurds and the government forces have to all intents and purposes beaten the rebels thanks to Russian help.

    So now Russia gets to put bases in Syria and extend their influence and have a nice new overwatch position on Israel. Assad now has his oil back the dollars that come from that. Iran now has a major ally in a much better position defensively and the US and Israels position has been weakened.

  6. McFlock 6

    In the report linked to yesterday, Fisk didn’t actually speak to any “doctors responsible for treating patients in the hours after the 7 April attack”.

    • bill 6.1

      Are you suggesting ‘the guardian’ talked to any on duty personnel apart from those associated with Jihadists and who are now holed up in Turkey or Idlib?

      • McFlock 6.1.1

        No, just that from what I read Fisk didn’t talk to any on-duty personnel whatsoever.

        • Bill 6.1.1.1

          He stated quite openly that all the doctors who had been on duty were in Damascus giving evidence. Talking to one of their colleagues who was off-duty at the time (and therefor not in Damascus giving evidence) – Dr Assim Rahaibani who lived only 300m away is a pretty good second best imo.

          Put that beside There are the many people I talked to amid the ruins of the town who said they had “never believed in” gas stories – which were usually put about, they claimed, by the armed Islamist groups. and that his companions were personal, trusted friends (so no “overseers” or potentially dodgy translators) and I’d say the picture he painted is likely very close to the truth.

          • McFlock 6.1.1.1.1

            He stated openly that that is what he was told by the single doctor who was speaking to him.

            As for the others, those are the folks who didn’t run. So it’s probably the truth for them.

            The idea of a gas panic in the hospital, rather than an actual attack, is actually pretty reasonable. But what doesn’t seem to quite fit is the diagnosis of “hypoxia”. That covers a multitude of causes which all have their own specific diagnoses and a variety of different treatments. It’s actually an impressively vague term that includes strangulation, COPD, asthma, drowning, suffocation, and yes chlorine gas inhalation. Or, equally, dozens of people in a poorly ventilated bunker running a diesel generator.

            Point is, I’m not sure I’ve ever heard a doctor use a term that broad to describe a group of casualties.

  7. In Vino 7

    Is ‘Flock’ the same as ‘McFlock’? One might suppose that we should all notice the difference, but I smell a rat somewhere here. If someone new is coming in, I propose that his name is too close to McFlock to be allowable.

    • McFlock 7.1

      They’re not me, but I’m not too worried.

      Although it’d be funny if an admin told them to get the “Flock” outta here… 👿

  8. Lettuce 8

    On the subject of the Guardian publishing unquestioning bullshit about Syria and especially the White Helmets…

    http://21stcenturywire.com/2018/02/12/white-helmets-james-corbett-open-letter-olivia-solon-guardian/

  9. Flock 9

    Ah no.
    Flocksquat is truncated to FLock.

  10. Adrian Thornton 10

    As I have said many times here, The Guardian is the Trojan Horse of neo liberal power structure of any real Left wing project getting established anywhere in the World, and in that light must be regarded as one of the most dangerous enemies of progressive change.

  11. Draco T Bastard 11

    In the NOW is with Rania Khalek. (Video)

    Imagine America’s adversaries funding and arming the KKK to invade and occupy cities in the US and then calling them “moderate rebels” and “freedom fights” as they kill minorities and shell civilians in Washington or New York

    • reason 11.1

      +100% ….. The “moderate rebels” nonsense gives me the shits

      Now,….. I may have considered the last National government, and with good cause,,,,,, to have been a corrupt outfit working against the best interests of New Zealand and New Zealanders

      But If I had taken up violence ….. and started murdering members of our Police and Army ….. so I could overthrow them … would anyone in New Zealand have called me a ‘moderate’ ??? .

      When moderates are murderers …. they are no longer moderates.

      But its just one of the logical twists we are expected to swallow in the latest assault on a middle eastern nation the usa / NATO / britain / Israel are trying to destroy

    • Bill 11.2

      That a pretty succinct 3min vid there Draco.

  12. Philg 12

    Another video explaining US foreign entanglement.

  13. Jenny 13

    When you’re in a hole, the best advice is to stop digging.

    In your head, in your head

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