Mosul and Aleppo. They’re spelled differently.

Written By: - Date published: 2:05 pm, March 26th, 2017 - 17 comments
Categories: International, iraq, journalism, making shit up, newspapers, spin, Syria, war - Tags: , ,

For the briefest of seconds I thought The Guardian was going to offer up some worthwhile analysis by way of its editorials. I know. I should have known better. (Actually. I did know better. I was just interested to see what jig they’d be dancing)

This morning they ran an editorial pointing out that whereas ‘the west’ had condemned Russian and Syrian airstrikes in eastern suburbs of Aleppo, no-one was saying very much about US airstrikes in Mosul leading to large numbers of civilian deaths.

An honest editorial might have questioned where the equivalent of the White Helmets are in Mosul. Or where Mosul’s very own 8 year old Bana with her live tweet feeds is. Or why there has been no endless stream of “citizen activist” videos calling for an end to war crimes and proclaiming that ‘everyone is going to slaughtered, raped and butchered’ when the siege of Mosul is over.

Granted, that would have involved owning up to their complicity in a sustained propaganda campaign that involved among other things, passing video reports from terrorists onto the western public as more or less impartial human interest stories.

It might have brought into question the genesis and nature of the Nobel Peace Prize nominated and Oscar winning White Helmets. It might have led to uncomfortable questions being asked about why western media reports used Rami Abdul Rahman’s one man band operation that’s based in Coventry – the Syrian Observer of Human Rights – as an impartial and authoritative source of news from Aleppo. It might have required a deeper investigation of the already publicly available information, reported only once in The Guardian back in May 2016, that “Government contractors effectively run a press office for opposition fighters (in Syria) but communications conceal UK’s role.”

It might in short, and only in part, have required shining a light on some quite remarkable double standards being indulged in by western media outlets when reporting on Jihadists depending on which country those Jihadists are fighting in .

Far better and easier to just fire off another broad side at Donald Trump in the hope no-one who bought into the disgraceful litany of lies the media peddled when Aleppo was being liberated bothers to sit back and say “Hey! Just a second.”

Sadly, I’m fairly sure this latest round of bullshit and nonsense will work out just fine for them. And please, don’t ask yourself how it can be that no major media outlet could report from western Aleppo and yet can send reporters to Mosul.


Warning. This post has by necessity summarised a lot of material. That is why links have been provided. Anyone who appears to be commenting nonsense ‘off the cuff’, will be banned.

17 comments on “Mosul and Aleppo. They’re spelled differently.”

  1. Morrissey 1

    I’m sure you’re prepared, Bill, for a series of brutal strikes by some not particularly smart bombs that haunt this site. Look out for the Milt drone in particular…

  2. There’s certainly one very big difference between the Syrian government’s re-taking of east Aleppo and the Iraqi government’s re-taking of Mosul: Iraq suspends Mosul offensive after coalition airstrike atrocity.

    • Bill 2.1

      You may have noticed that the post is about how media have reported on and responded to the two operations and not about the military details of the operations themselves.


      • Morrissey 2.1.1

        He’s one of those not very well focused smart bombs, Bill.

        “This is the most PRECISE warfare we’ve ever seen in the history of warfare.”
        —-Mark Kimmitt (Washington D.C.) former Deputy Director of Operations in Iraq, praising the smart bombing of Mosul,
        Inside Story, Al Jazeera, Sunday 26 March 2017, 1:30 p.m.

        [Leave out the baiting and sniping.] – Bill

        • dukeofurl

          ““This is the most PRECISE warfare we’ve ever seen in the history of warfare”

          You just have to laugh at such bullshit. targets to him are just that ‘thingys’ in the cross hairs

          • Morrissey

            You just have to laugh at such bullshit. targets to him are just that ‘thingys’ in the cross hairs

            That reminds me—American Sniper, directed by that outstanding thinker Clint Eastwood, is the film on Television Two this evening.

            Open mike 19/08/2015

      • Psycho Milt 2.1.2

        What I took from the Guardian’s reporting on this is that it doesn’t like either Russia or the USA bombarding civilian targets, which is about what I’d expect. The answer to the question of why its editorial on this attack doesn’t go on about Syria’s White Helmets, who unsurprisingly aren’t operating in Iraq, I would have thought was self-explanatory.

        • Bill

          Sure. The White Helmets are not present in Mosul. That very fact raises many obvious questions because it’s the same people in Mosul as were in east Aleppo.

          So some questions given that they aren’t in Mosul. Who formed the White Helmets and why? Who are the people who comprise the White Helmets? How impartial or neutral are the White Helmets? What civil defense and/or medical expertise do the White Helmets have? Why were they given millions of $$$ by US, UK and EU governments? Why were the White Helmets feted by Hollywood? Why were they nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize? Why were they awarded an alternative Nobel Peace Prize?

          Why did western media put them on a pedestal, thus passing off head choppers as heroes?

          • Psycho Milt

            Given that the White Helmets are Syrians, and Mosul is in Iraq, how is it “the same people” in both places? If you mean that Da’esh was occupying both places, that’s not true – east Aleppo was never a part of the Da’esh (ie, the Islamic State). If you mean that “jihadists” were occupying both places, that’s like saying that the North Vietnamese Communist Party and the Khmer Rouge were “the same people” – all communists, right?

            • One Two

              How Syrian are the the WH’s

              As you belive them to be?

            • Bill

              The White Helmets are a western created and funded org whose members often publicly demonstrate allegiance to Al Nusra. Al Nusra is not Syrian. Some Syrians are members of Al Nusra.

              Meanwhile I’d categorise the jihadist factions (their differences) more in terms of Judea People’s Front, the Peoples’ Front of Judea, The Judea Popular People Front etc than I would Khmer Rouge and NVCP .

              All the factions (and I don’t give a monkey’s about ‘this weeks’ branding) spawned from Al Qaeda.

              But you know what? You can disagree with that take if you like.

              The post (to remind you) is about western mainstream reporting and the very different propaganda framework they constructed around the very similar situations of Aleppo and Mosul.

              • The reporting is the same in some respects (outrage over bombing of civilian targets) and different in others (so far, the Iraqi government and its patron haven’t settled in for a lengthy bombardment of Mosul’s civilian population rather than fighting the city’s occupiers, so the coverage is about one incident). You can imagine the Guardian and other news agencies busily at work constructing propaganda frameworks if you like, but from here it just looks like reporting.

                • Bill

                  This is quite a lot of dancing your indulging in for a Sunday afternoon Psycho.

                  From casting the bombardment of Mosul in almost benign terms (they’ve stopped because they hurt some people) and contrasting that with an implication that the bombardment of Aleppo was relentless or ceaseless (which it wasn’t)…

                  To claiming an editorial that degenerated into a pathetic swipe at Trump after setting itself up to be commentary on the contrasting reactions of western leaders to two different bombing campaigns….well, that editorial was just a ‘report’ on an attack in Mosul according to you….

                  Then side step to the White Helmets obviously not being in Mosul not because they were a western creation, enjoying western funding, pushing the western line of regime change in Syria but because Mosul is in Iraq…

                  And then one.two.three… ‘imagined’ propaganda frameworks.

                  I never said those frameworks were constructed by the likes of ‘The Guardian’. (Read. the. fucking. links.) They happily employ them and lend them credence though.

                  And that’s very much not simply a case of reporting.

            • John L

              Oh bollocks, Milt!

          • Morrissey

            Why did western media put them on a pedestal, thus passing off head choppers as heroes?

            Because they are violently, fanatically opposed to “our” enemies: Syria, Iran, and Hezbollah. “We” put them on a pedestal for the same reason “we” put Saddam Hussein on a pedestal until he defied orders in August 1990.

          • reason

            First difference….

            The Shia extremists …. otherwise known as Badr Brigades /militias/death squads being the tip of the spear in Iraq ….

            Badr who ? ….

            Despite earlier assurances these religious ethnic cleansers ….with their record of abduction killing and torture …… would not be at the forefront in driving ISis from Mosul ……

            “Nor is it guaranteed that the militias will abide by their agreement to fight alongside Kurdish forces and not enter Mosul, he said. After the militias agreed not to enter Fallujah during the offensive there earlier this year, he said, “they walked right in.”


            A second difference could be White phosphorous and depleted uranium …. which U.s forces have a long track record of using within Iraq …….. and fuck all reporting of it as a war crime


            Number three: …

            I read a report that the destroyed buildings in Mosul are from Isis blowing them up ….. apparently U.s.a coalition tactics do not involve trying to kill the enemy with artillery, bombing and missiles ahead of their advancing troops ….

            While the Russians were carpet bombing Aleppo … just to make sure they got every hospital

            Putin is Hitler…. while Obama is a ‘noble’ man who only backs moderate killers ..

            The same bullshit reporting we always get ….

            And the innocents are always the same

  3. In Vino 3

    I was interested to see how our TV media would report this: to my mind TV1 glossed over the serious toll at Mosul, then finished with some bombing by Assad/Russians elsewhere that was minor by comparison, but left viewers with the impression that the Russians are still as evil as the Americans, effectively neutralising the seriousness of the Mosul death numbers. TV3 explained the numbers at more length, I thought, and a discriminating viewer would see the seriousness of triple figures (Mosul) versus 16 dead (the Syrian/Russian one) which TV3 also ended with, also thereby diminishing the impact of the US bombing. I see this as obviously biased reporting, and Psycho Milt gives me the impression that he fully supports that bias. I think Bill has it right.

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