The Propaganda War

Written By: - Date published: 10:38 am, October 2nd, 2016 - 89 comments
Categories: International, making shit up, Media, Syria, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, war - Tags: , , ,

Today’s front page of the Guardian (UK edition) carries a headline on Syria where, yet again, allegations are reported as facts, and yet another video from the White Helmets’ is propagated.

This time we are to be moved and outraged as a medic and a ‘Syrian Civil Defence’ volunteer weep while attending to the head wound of a one month old baby saved from the rubble of a four storey apartment building that was bombed by Assad forces. At least, that’s their story.

Two hours they’ve been working to save this baby’s life and yet…the baby’s bright green/yellow baby suit looks like it just came out of the wash: there is no blood on the medic who has been working on a head injury and the video ends with the baby doing that baby grizzle thing being carried through a throng of people to be placed on a polythene covered mattress.

I guess most people are expected to uncritically accept the tears of the White Helmet guy as real, interpret the presence of a face mask as proof that the guy with the sponge is indeed a medic and be blind to the glaring cleanliness of a jump suit that has been in rubble for however long.

Then, from witnessing this barbarity of the Assad regime, those same people might be expected to dutifully take their place in the line of a war dance mambo.

It’s a formula that seems to have worked so far.

On the other side of the dance floor, we have some people actually trying to get to the bottom of some footage coming from Syria (first video) and (second video) further questions being asked about the provenance of the Nobel Peace prize nominated White Helmets.

If this post comes across as partial to your way of thinking, then maybe the far more measured press conference given by a delegation of the US Peace Council at UN HQ in New York will be much more your cup of tea. The basic take home message is the same.

89 comments on “The Propaganda War”

  1. Colonial Viper 1

    Thanks Bill. The western media has been very busy, uncritically disseminating anti-Assad “Assad must go” propaganda stories.

    The fact that the US, Turkey, UK, France and other NATO powers are all operating in Syria totally illegally is not even mentioned.

    That Aleppo is 3/4 government controlled, and that the Islamic extremist rebels are now being successfully pushed out inch by inch out of the rest.

    Let alone the 101 flavours of foreign Jihadists supported by the US and the US key regional allies, who are using Islamic terrorism as a tool of illegal regime change.

    Mostly, I’ve been disappointed at how so many “lefties” are actually little more than western colonial war hawks.

    And who generally ignorant of the fact that the Assad Government is a socialist government, providing public services with free universal healthcare, free education, including free tertiary education (annual fees for medical school are around US$50 per year).

    • Chooky 1.1

      +100 …well said CV

      and re “Assad Government is a socialist government, providing public services with free universal healthcare, free education, including free tertiary education (annual fees for medical school are around US$50 per year”.

      …so also was the Gaddafi government of Libya a socialist government with a high standard of living for all Libyans…housing , food , education, gold reserves

      …now Libya is in ruins and Isis has taken over and there is a massive refugee crisis in Libya….all heading for Europe

    • Bill 1.2

      I’m under no illusions that Assad headed up a punitive regime in Syria, but that much like Hussein in Iraq, the Syrian government was happy enough to provide state funded services to those who kept their heads down and mouths shut.

      I’m no supporter of state governance, though can see good points and bad points with regards that way of ordering affairs. It would be nice if this thread didn’t become a re-run of white hat/black hat arguments that any mention of Syria tends to illicit.

      I don’t really care who thinks Assad is more good than bad or the other way around. I’m also fairly tired of the same approach being taken with regards the US, Russia and others. The reason I’m tired of it all is that it goes nowhere as people just climb ever higher on their soap boxes and attempt to shout ever louder to drown out others on their respective soap boxes.

      Maybe I’m asking way too much in wanting fairly incisive and less nakedly opinionated commentary on a ‘standard’ post? We’ll see…

      • Colonial Viper 1.2.1

        It boils down to the fact that it is illegal for any nation state(s) no matter how rich and powerful to demand and facilitate the fall of a sovereign foreign government that they do not approve of.

        • Chooky

          +100 CV

        • Draco T Bastard

          Not just illegal but immoral as well and yet our Western ‘civilisation’ does it all the bloody time in nations which have governments that our ‘leaders’ don’t like.

          The only time that any nation should be active in the overthrow of the government in another nation is when the people of that nation rise up in popular revolution and that rebellion formally asks for assistance.

          None of this cloak and dagger BS that the US and it’s sycophants do.

          • Colonial Viper

            is when the people of that nation rise up in popular revolution and that rebellion formally asks for assistance.

            This is the road that the West has taken in the last decade or two, fuelling covert regime change via “colour revolutions”, funneling funds and support to opposition NGOs, opposition political parties, etc.

            • Draco T Bastard

              No it’s not. It’s certainly been made to look that way but usually it’s been a minority that’s been supported by the West/US to overthrow the regime with the support starting before the uprising ever begone.

          • Bill

            I can’t think of an instance where one government has given assistance to people rising up against another government unless the government offering ‘assistance’ has skin in the game – ie, can advance its own agenda through encouraging the actions of a foreign populace.

            A bit of an aside, but the shenanigans during World War 1 offer a fairly good example of governments aiding and abetting various revolutionary tendencies in the territories of their enemies. I think the only one that bore fruit in the end (a putrid one) was Germany’s interference in the internal affairs of Russia.

            • Draco T Bastard

              I can’t think of an instance where one government has given assistance to people rising up against another government unless the government offering ‘assistance’ has skin in the game – ie, can advance its own agenda through encouraging the actions of a foreign populace.

              Exactly which is what makes all of them illegitimate.

      • Chooky 1.2.2

        at least Assad held Syria together and secularism and/or holding religious beliefs was safe…people could live side by side at peace with different religious beliefs…as they could in Iraq and Libya…Assad and his wife Asma al-Assad are from different religions. She is Sunni. He is Alawite Shia

        …without Assad the country will descend into Isis chaos…which imo is what USA and Israel want

      • garibaldi 1.2.3

        Bill,, when 99.9% of the media reporting on Syria is pro American, is it any wonder we have to question it and try to seek the truth?
        Time and time again the total whitewash and lies coming from the “official” media releases of any conflict the Americans are involved in are repeated ad infinitum so that Joe Blogs just accepts them as the truth.
        ” The first casualty of war is the truth” has been turned into an art form by the west.
        Congratulations to CV and Chooky for their line on this.

        • Colonial Viper

          The status quo left think that the corporate media can effectively co-ordinate to demonise Jeremy Corbyn, provide political cover to Key’s right wing government, push pro-corporate narratives over issues like the TPP.

          Yet cannot seem to understand that this same kind of media bias gets turned up to a totally new volume when the western powers decide that they want to promote regime change somewhere.

          Everything from Saddam’s non-existant WMDs to Assad’s use of nerve gas which finally turned out to be chemical weapon use by anti-Assad rebels.

        • Bill

          Maybe you misunderstood my comment above garibaldi. And…hmm – you’re aware it was me who wrote the post, yes?

          The post is essentially about media reporting…how it’s skewed, doesn’t stand up to scrutiny and how it endlessly peddles a pro-war line.

          So I’d like the comments to focus on that, rather then descend into the pointless back and forth of Russia bad/Russia justified – US bad/US justified – Assad good/bad…or any other bullshit dichotomy informed by mere opinion or that comes across as just more subjective opinion.

          I’d like sources or arguments to be presented that cut through the whitewashing and the bullshitting that’s sliming its way out from most of our media. I’ll take critical scrutiny over any echo and amplification of any ‘official’ narrative any day. And that’s qualitatively different to (say) throwing an RT report up against a BBC report and leaving it at that.

          • Chooky

            re…”The post is essentially about media reporting…how it’s skewed, doesn’t stand up to scrutiny and how it endlessly peddles a pro-war line…

            ” I’ll take critical scrutiny over any echo and amplification of any ‘official’ narrative any day. And that’s qualitatively different to (say) throwing an RT report up against a BBC report and leaving it at that.”

            …so I guess you are off to the Middle East yourself Bill to do your own RAW reportage from the ground to find out YOUR ‘facts’ and YOUR ‘truth’…I look forward to this…Bill from ‘The Standard’ reporting to us all from on the ground in Damascus or Aleppo or …but it will be YOUR view on things and still from a limited perspective unless you are God

            ( so Bill quite frankly I dont see how one can get away from the expert opinions, reading and gathering and citing sources and sifting evidence ….which you have done in this Post and which is actually what RT does…and as well it uses experts from the Middle East and the USA and London and Brussels…experts from different nationalities, careers and with different and opposing points of view …so not propaganda!…CrossTalk is an excellent example of this)

            • Bill

              What you on about Chooky?

              You apparently agree that various sources ought to read but not taken at face value, and yet you submit some pile of dismissive (and slightly abusive) bullshit??!

              Or… is it merely that you’ve got a bee in your bonnet at the suggestion that RT isn’t objective and impartial?

              Whatever that comment’s all about, I’m not really interested and would far rather you stuck to the subject matter of the post.

          • garibaldi

            Yes Bill I was aware you had put this great post up. I did not mention anyone other than USA/Western interests and was merely commenting on your”white hat/black hat” phrase. My motivation was more on the historical ,from Vietnam through to present day. Sorry about the confusion.

  2. Chooky 2

    +100 interesting…at least on ‘The Standard’ you can get the other side of the picture from a variety of sources and can thrash it out and learn

    … the msm is too lazy to think about the core issues in depth, so called ‘facts’ that dont seem to make sense or fit in … and find it much easier to accept USA propaganda uncritically ie get rid of the problem which they argue is Assad

    ‘Leaked Kerry comments prove US involvement in Syrian crisis from onset’

    “Closed-door comments by US Secretary of State John Kerry reveal much about US involvement in Syrian crisis, Dr. Jamal Wakeem, professor of history and international relations at Lebanese University in Beirut, told RT.

    The New York Times acquired the taped conversation between the US Secretary of State and two dozen Syrian civilians from education, rescue, and medical groups working in rebel-held areas, during a meeting on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly.

    The leaked recording reveals how angry John Kerry really is about being unable to topple President Bashar Assad by military means…

    • The leaked recording reveals how frustrated both Kerry and a lot of civilians are with Barack Obama’s reluctance to involve the USA in the Syrian civil war. Personally, I think Obama’s right to minimise US involvement, but from the commenters here you’d imagine he was making some all-out military effort in support of the rebels. That’s propaganda for you.

      [No-one has claimed there is “some all-out military effort in support of..”. If you want to continue commenting on this post, then bin the bullshit.] – Bill

      • Colonial Viper 2.1.1

        CIA spent up to US$1B per annum training and arming Syrian rebels.

        Many of the arms given to these rebels (and the US trained rebels themselves) ended up inside headchopping, minority targeting Islamist groups.

        • Bill

          You got a link for that CIA expenditure?

          • dukeofurl

            BBC: Arming Syrian rebels: Where the US went wrong

            and this
            Wall St Journal:Covert CIA Mission to Arm Syrian Rebels Goes Awry

            PBS:Syrian Rebels Describe U.S.-Backed Training in Qatar

            and the money quote
            Washington Post:Secret CIA effort in Syria faces large funding cut
            ‘The House Intelligence Committee recently voted unanimously to cut as much as 20 percent of the classified funds flowing into a CIA program that U.S. officials said has become one the agency’s largest covert operations, with a budget approaching $1 billion a year.

            • Bill

              Cheers DoF.

            • Colonial Viper

              Thanks dukeofurl

              The Pentagon had its own regime change efforts going on in Syria independent of the CIA…this is how CIA backed Islamists ended up attacking Pentagon backed Kurdish forces…

              • Bill

                The link I put up yesterday – the Jürgen Todenhöfer interview, suggests that type of shit’s happening all of the time. Mercenaries are doing the bidding of their respective pay masters and sometimes the agendas get all kind of messed up.

                Not what you’d expect to see in a situation where a population was fighting an uprising against a government – that would have fairly clear and consistent lines of demarcation vis-a-vis the agenda to be followed and the objective to be achieved.

                • Colonial Viper

                  I notice that quite a few pro-western intervention websites have taken pains to try and discredit the Jürgen Todenhöfer interview.

                  Meanwhile, have you seen this on Robert Parry’s Consortium News website?

                  Written by Alastair Crooke, a former diplomat and former ranking official in MI6.

                  How the US armed up Syrian Jihadists

                  Murphy writes: “While the games continue on, morale sinks for the Special Forces men in Turkey. Often disguised in Turkish military uniform, one of the Green Berets described his job as, ‘Sitting in the back room, drinking chai while watching the Turks train future terrorists’ …

                  “Among the rebels that U.S. Special Forces and Turkish Special Forces were training, ‘A good 95 percent of them were either working in terrorist organizations or were sympathetic to them,’ a Green Beret associated with the program said, adding, ‘A good majority of them admitted that they had no issues with ISIS and that their issue was with the Kurds and the Syrian regime.’”

                  Buried in the text is this stunning one-line conclusion: “after ISIS is defeated, the real war begins. CIA-backed FSA elements will openly become al-Nusra; while Special Forces-backed FSA elements like the New Syrian Army will fight alongside the Assad regime. Then the CIA’s militia and the Special Forces’ militia will kill each other.”


                  • dukeofurl

                    Much like what is now Saudi Arabia.
                    During WW1 and just after the UK administration based in Egypt backed Lawrences pick of the Hashemite family who ruled the Hejaz.
                    Once WW1 had ended the British India administration which ran things for UK in Gulf region backed the Al Saud family who were rulers of the central Nejd region.

                    The Hejaz region was very cosmopolitan as there were large numbers of different groups from throughout the Muslim world but they ended up with the austere rule under the Sauds Wahabism sect.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Thanks, the early history of what eventually became Saudi Arabia is something I am only peripherally aware of,

            • Psycho Milt

              BBC: Arming Syrian rebels: Where the US went wrong

              This one details the US reluctance to get involved in the conflict and their refusal to supply the rebels with anything other than non-lethal military equipment in the first couple of years of the war. Ironically, the article declares “where the US went wrong” was in not arming the Syrian rebels in those first two years.

              PBS:Syrian Rebels Describe U.S.-Backed Training in Qatar

              In 2014, three years after the start of the war and long after Russian and Iranian involvement had started.

              and the money quote
              Washington Post:Secret CIA effort in Syria faces large funding cut

              …in 2015, referring to the programme begun in 2014. All of the above actually testifies to US reluctance to become involved to start with, and reluctance to commit significant resources to it once they accepted a need to be involved at some level.

              • Colonial Viper

                It seems like the US has been intent on destabilising the legitimate and democratically elected Syrian Government for many years.

                You do know that is illegal under international law, right?

                It is also clear that the US Deep State is divided over how deeply to get stuck into Syria, fearing another total Islamist disaster.

                BTW The Russians and the Chinese are in Syria legally, at the invitation of the legitimate Damascus government.

                • The Russians and Iranians, I presume you mean. Big whoop – the US was in Vietnam legally, at the invitation of the legitimate government, and the Soviet Union was in Afghanistan legally, at the invitation of the legitimate government. There are many other unedifying examples of big-power intervention to suppress popular uprisings against dictatorships. Pretty much every revolution ever has been against the “legitimate” government – your fig leaf is a bit tattered.

                  • Adrian Thornton

                    You really are one seriously deluded individual, “the US was in Vietnam legally, at the invitation of the legitimate government,”

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Pretty much every revolution ever has been against the “legitimate” government – your fig leaf is a bit tattered.

                    And in the last 60 years the US has been behind most of them.

                    I think it was Rafael Correa who said – the reason that the USA does not suffer from coups is because the USA does not have an American Embassy.

          • Jenny

            No of course he hasn’t Bill.

      • D'Esterre 2.1.2

        PM: ” Syrian civil war…”
        It isn’t a civil war. Watch video press conference posted above.

  3. It’s reassuring to learn that no civilians were harmed in the creation of all those bombed-out neighbourhoods in rebel areas. On second thoughts, no, it’s not. This post is the communist version of all those pro-Israel internet warriors who immediately comb any media stories of casualties caused by IDF attacks on Palestinian areas for discrepancies, so they can decry the stories as propaganda created by terrorists to suck in the gullible.

    • joe90 3.1

      The pallywood boot’s on the other foot – say it ain’t so.

    • Bill 3.2

      1. I’m not a communist. (not in the way you probably intend the term to be understood anyway)
      2. I’ve no interest in thoughtless posturing for the sake of scoring ideological brownie points.
      3. I asked you yesterday to come back when you’d upped your game (when you thought you were ready to actually engage in discussion/debate/argument) – that request didn’t expire at mid-night.
      4. I’m about to submit a test comment to see if the ‘Open Mike’ function is up and running yet so that stupid comments like your one above can be shunted off of this thread.
      5. If it ‘s not up and running yet, I guess I’ll have to think about throwing you into moderation and releasing your comments on a comment by comment basis. That’s going to piss both of us to a degree and we’d both be happier if you just saw your way to submitting comments worthy of submission.

      • garibaldi 3.2.1

        Good move Bill. These people who are so good at calling anyone who is left of Maggie Thatcher a Communist don’t even know what a Communist is. Trouble is they don’t know what a Fascist is either!

      • Psycho Milt 3.2.2

        The “Pallywood” comparison was an analogy. I’ll elaborate:

        Of course the White Helmets are part of the Syrian rebel forces and of course they’re producing propaganda, as is everyone else involved in the conflict. Their situation will be the same as the Palestinians in Gaza when the IDF attacks them – western journalists will be sympathetic but have to tell them that their editors won’t be interested in this story unless there’s some compelling still images or video to go with it. The locals then ensure that said compelling still images/video are produced.

        About ten years ago, the Israelis were doing a good line in destroying Palestinian ambulances, and photos of a destroyed ambulance were released to western media, which duly ran the story. Pallywood-spotters soon figured out that the Palestinians had taken an old, disused ambulance, trashed it, taken photos of it and supplied them to western media as photos of an ambulance destroyed in an Israeli air strike. Right-wing blogs ran lots of stories about us gullible dupes who actually believed this risible propaganda by Hamas terrorists. I annoyed moderators on those blogs as much as I’m annoying you now, by arguing that the fact it was a propaganda fake in support of Hamas didn’t alter the fact that yes the Israelis really were conducting military attacks against residential neighbourhoods and shooting up Palestinian ambulances. If there are dumbasses out there who won’t believe that’s happening until someone shows them a photo of a trashed ambulance, someone’s going to show them a photo of a trashed ambulance – that’s just human nature.

        I’m making the same argument in response to your post: these photos/videos may well be reconstructions or downright fakes, and the people producing them may well be Muslim extremists, but that doesn’t alter the fact that yes the Russian government and its local client are bombing residential neighbourhoods and situations like the ones in those “White Helmet” videos are occurring as a result.

        • Colonial Viper

          but that doesn’t alter the fact that yes the Russian government and its local client are bombing residential neighbourhoods and situations like the ones in those “White Helmet” videos are occurring as a result.

          Yes, Russian and Syrian forces have launched a massive air and ground campaign against the South West sector of Aleppo which is still held by Turkish/US/Saudi/Qatari/Kuwaiti backed Jihadist headchoppers.

          This is dirty block by block, apartment by apartment, urban warfare.

          It is the very same process as what US forces have done or helped get done in Fallujah, Sirte, Mosul, Kobane, etc.

          • Stuart Munro

            Don’t be taking Fallujah for an example – US attacks may have been tough but it hasn’t pacified the area, in spite of the criminal use of white phosphorus to make sure ‘no child was left behind’.

            The “Turkish/US/Saudi/Qatari/Kuwaiti backed Jihadist headchoppers” would be fighting among themselves – you need a better understanding of the situation on the ground to judge these things – something only locals have really.

            I’m sure your idol simply calls them all черножопый.

        • Bill

          ‘Everyone’ is bombing residential neighbourhoods PM.

          And so situations like the ones the White Helmets claim to rush into are happening in both government held areas and non-government held areas. so slating all of everything back to Syria’s army and the Russians (as western media are doing) is nonsense and bollocks.

          btw – to up the ante on the ‘Pallywood’ front. During the collapse of Yugoslavia there was footage of a civilian – an elderly woman from memory – being shot by a sniper. It was used to garner support in the international arena. Turned out that the very people who were seeking sympathy/support were the ones who set up the whole scenario and were the ones who committed the murder. Western media took it hook line and sinker. Never questioned how it was that a camera ‘just happened’ to be set up and running on an innocuous street scene and focused on a person about to die.

          Shit goes down everywhere and is dropped by most if not all sides. But when we’re told that only one side is culpable and events are predictably reported as fact or allegation depending on which side is being reported on, then we could do worse than wonder what is is we’re being asked to think/believe and why.

          btw – Did you watch the second vid provided in the post about the background of the White Helmets?

          • Psycho Milt

            How is “everyone” bombing residential neighbourhoods when only one side has air attack capability? The IS rebels have some heavy weapons, but not in the major cities. Only one side is mounting a massive aerial bombardment campaign against residential areas, which is why only one side is being featured in news reports about massive aerial bombardment of residential areas.

            I’m sure that if the rebels had cut off west Aleppo from regime forces rather than vice versa, we’d be getting some tear-jerkers about the siege of west Aleppo – but that isn’t what’s happened, so the tear-jerkers are about the siege of east Aleppo. It may be unfair, but if Russia doesn’t like it, it could always try going back to negotiating a ceasefire.

            I did watch the second video about the origins of the White Helmets – it’s very good propaganda, in that it presents mostly factual material in a way that’s misleading or implies things that may not be true. Given the use of the word “terrorist” throughout the video for anyone opposing the Assad regime, I assume it’s the regime’s propaganda.

            I don’t know why anyone would expect the people in rebel areas who are providing emergency services to be impartial – they’re participating in a civil war, for fuck’s sake. Quite a few of them will be Muslim extremists, because that’s not unusual where they are – especially since it’s only places like Saudi Arabia and the Da’esh Caliphate that have given the rebels any significant support. That doesn’t alter the fact that they are the local rescue services and are actually pulling people out from under collapsed buildings, which they deserve some credit for. The regime’s emergency services will have quite a few Baath Party Stalinists among them, are funded by a murderous dictatorship and are working to impose that dictatorship back on the rest of the country, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t also out there doing their jobs.

            • Bill

              A mortar ‘bombs’ an area or a building just the same as something launched from a plane. (Or a drone.) Where do you get this information that various mercenary groups only have heavy artillery in rural areas?

              What factual material in the White Helmets vid misleading and what ‘things that may not be true’ are implied by it? Why would the word ‘terrorist’ when applied to foreign fighters suggest that the vid was produced by the Syrian government? (It was actually produced by a group called “Hands Off Syria (that) was formed by concerned Australians and Syrian-Australians, in response to the outbreak of the ‘dirty war’ on Syria.”) It shouldn’t be difficult to find out more about them if you’ve a mind to.

              Are the White Helmets providing ’emergency services’? In the vid that you say you watched they are shown variously celebrating alongside mercenaries, bearing arms, spouting highly sectarian nonsense and being in attendance at executions. And then there’s the very disturbing Mahmoud Rslan who took the ‘boy in the ambulance’ photo: who was also present at the beheading of a 12 year old child and who later took selfies with the beheaders; tried to defend the beheading and who is also, allegedly, involved with the White Helmets.

              Syria is not in a state of civil war. A civil war would involve factions of the population fighting one another, not foreign fighters fighting the local population and the government.

              Why do you say “it’s not unusual” for Syrians to be extremists? Given that it was until recently a secular country, I’d have thought that claim you’re making would have to be backed up somehow. And Assad heads a government that was elected (not a dictatorship seeking to annex territory).

              And sure, there will be Baathists within the Syrian government. But then, Baathism was the Arab expression of state communism in the region. Given numerous comments across many threads over an extended time, I don’t think I need reiterate how I’m no fan of such governance structures, yes?

              Anyway. I could ask more questions relating to the assertions made in your comment, but as per usual, I wouldn’t expect any answers to be coming from you because it appears you’re unwilling to question the line you find comfort in and happily cleave to it as though it was some self evident truth. Maybe you were a bible thumper in another life? 😉

              • A mortar ‘bombs’ an area or a building just the same as something launched from a plane.

                Most mortars are light weapons for infantry support. Suggesting they cause anything like the damage being inflicted by the air forces involved is ludicrous.

                Where do you get this information that various mercenary groups only have heavy artillery in rural areas?

                I haven’t said anything about any mercenary groups.

                What factual material in the White Helmets vid misleading and what ‘things that may not be true’ are implied by it?

                It’s a long read, but since you asked:

                The fact that a British guy started training Syrians to deal with rescuing people from destroyed buildings is presented as meaning the White Helmets are “not Syrian.” It implies the White Helmets are part of a foreign campaign in Syria without saying so explicitly, as that would prompt the viewer to wonder what evidence there is for that claim.

                It asks why the White Helmets only operate in “terrorist”-held areas, as though the areas that rose up against the regime were somehow captured by terrorists. The obvious answer to the question, that they only operate in rebel-held areas because, uh, duh-uh, the regime isn’t operating rescue services in rebel-held areas, isn’t mentioned.

                It asks why the White Helmets advocate for NATO to enforce a no-fly zone over rebel-held areas while showing a photo of Hillary Clinton, as though they were doing her bidding. Again, the obvious answer, that they’d like a no-fly zone because, uh, duh-uh, they’d like the Assad regime to stop bombing their cities, isn’t mentioned.

                Next comes an assertion that the White Helmets serve only as a propaganda tool for western governments to justify military intervention (something no western government has any interest in doing). That assertion ignores the fact that the Syrian regime and its Russian patron are creating a huge amount of work for rescue services to do, and the White Helmets are doing it (the White Helmets aren’t the only people filming them in action).

                Next, a couple of White Helmet propaganda lies exposed – they aren’t actually impartial, and some of them aren’t unarmed. No surprises there – all parties involved in this conflict are telling lies about themselves, and it would be surprising if they weren’t.

                Next, the leader of the White Helmets was refused entry to the USA. This suggests that he is a terrorist, like every other Muslim refused entry into the USA, apparently. This pretty clearly refutes the earlier claim that the White Helmets are a propaganda front for NATO, but maybe they figure viewers won’t notice.

                Next, the White Helmets may have received funding from USAID, which again means they’re not Syrian, apparently. This stuff’s straight from the Putin playbook, in which any local group that receives any level of funding from a foreign country is a “foreign agent.”

                Next, the White Helmets cart an execution victim’s body away after some Muslim extremist shot him. Well, you know what? Somebody carts away the dead bodies when the regime executes people for no good reason too. Most likely they’re standing by waiting to take the body away at the point the regime executes them. Those people are not “facilitating executions” – only the people ordering and carrying out the executions are doing that.

                Why do you say “it’s not unusual” for Syrians to be extremists?

                It’s a Muslim country, so there are plenty of extremists, same as every other Muslim country. It was a “secular” country to the extent that it was run by the Baath Party and anyone who wanted it to be otherwise got an extended tour of Assad’s torture chambers and an unmarked grave, but once his remit stopped at regime-controlled areas, the locals could follow their own consciences. Also, the fact that the main support the rebellion has had has been not from western democracies but from extremists like the Saudi government and Da’esh has promoted extremism in the rebel-held areas. Ironically, it would be a good thing if the “Imperial Colonial West” (to quote CV) actually had supported the rebels.

                I don’t think I need reiterate how I’m no fan of such governance structures, yes?

                And my comments on here over the last few years should make it pretty clear I’m no fan of Muslim terrorists.

                …it appears you’re unwilling to question the line you find comfort in…

                Straight back atcha.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Also, the fact that the main support the rebellion has had has been not from western democracies but from extremists like the Saudi government and Da’esh has promoted extremism in the rebel-held areas.

                  Turkey has been the main supply route for ISIS and the other Jihadists.

                  Turkey kept its borders porous, made medical facilities available to injured jihadists, and buys $$$ worth of ISIS oil to help fund ISIS.

                  NATO/US has either turned a blind eye, or actively supported Turkey in this.

                  • So, Syria’s neighbours have their own interests and aren’t obedient servants of the US government. Got it. Any other irrelevant pearls of wisdom to offer?

            • Colonial Viper

              The IS rebels have some heavy weapons, but not in the major cities.

              How do you think they took those cities in the first place? Heavy weapons.

              How do you think ISIS were carrying out sieges of Syrian towns like Kobane? Heavy weapons.

      • RedLogix 3.2.3

        we’d both be happier if you just saw your way to submitting comments worthy of submission.

        Which we all know PM is more than capable of.

  4. Adrian Thornton 4

    Yes well the sooner left progressives understand that The Guardian and other so called liberal MSM news sources are in fact establishment trojan horses, that would of course defend the establishment status quo to their dying breath, and rather eat their own babies than give progressive change to the average citizen any chance of taking root.

    I have used these links before, but incase you haven’t seen them, this is The Guardian’s position on any chance in real left change in the UK…

    The damning report, over 80% negative media bias against Corbyn,including the Guardian…..

    The Guardians unbelievable response…

    • dukeofurl 4.1

      Opinion columns are exactly that :opinion.
      Thats the whole idea, you are welcome to read them and laugh, or believe it all.

      • Adrian Thornton 4.1.1

        There is nothing to believe or not believe here, and sure as hell nothing to laugh at, the facts are The Guardian and nearly all MSM in the UK where biased against Corbyn, end of story.
        The Guardian,rather than apologizing for this travesty, in light of being exposed as being biased, stick to their now plainly obvious ideological neo liberal position and instead deliver a snide piece claiming, where is the harm in this avalanche of negative news, this blatant disregard for unbiased news coverage, where’s the harm of what can only be described as outright propaganda …I mean, come on are you really going to defend that?
        Are you really happy with news media covering any topic with this type of crazy outright unashamed bias?
        I know I am not.

        [Interesting as coverage of Corbyn has been and continues to be, it has no direct relevance to reporting on Syria. If you want to generate a discussion around Corbyn/Guardian, take it to open mike, submit a post on it, or wait for such a post to be put up by someone else. Cheers.] – Bill

  5. Cinny 5

    Thanks for the info and links. Comments are just as interesting.

    Mainstream media twists and turns stories and events to suit their greater interests, maybe they believe some would be shocked at reality, or maybe it is mass manipulation to sway opinion in an attempt to justify their actions.
    The truth is we are numb and not surprised by the truth of war, the bloodshed and loaded propaganda.

    The top 1% of the top 1% who like to play god with peoples lives.

    Syria is a pressure cooker and the outcome of the USA election will be a catalyst to their recipe.

    Would one be labelled a terrorist if they went to Syria just to find out for themselves what is really happening?

    • Bill 5.1

      Would one be labelled a terrorist if they went to Syria just to find out for themselves what is really happening?

      Australia passed legislation that banned Australians from entering swathes of Syria including the autonomous cantons of Rojava. A member of the Australian Labor Party and Trade Unionist (can’t remember his name atm) went to Rojava and was arrested on his return.

      The UK has put people on trial who have returned from Rojava.

      I don’t know what the story is with NZ, but can’t imagine it being too different.

      Meanwhile…charlatans in parliaments have evoked the spirit of those who went off to fight in the Spanish Civil War. Go figure.

  6. dukeofurl 6

    Talking about a Propaganda War

    Why Some Wars (Like Syria’s) Get More Attention Than Others (Like Yemen’s)[and others]

    Who would have guessed? But of course the US involvement is hardly mentioned other than as this years narrative – they are coming for us-

    Other stories have a different version of this years narrative- those nasty russians , its all their fault.

  7. Wayne 7


    Not everyone is bombing residential neighbourhoods. That is basically the tactics of Assad, and perhaps Russia.

    The western coalition has better technology. That is why you don’t read about the western coalition causing large scale civilian casualties.

    Say what you might about drones, but they allow very precise targeting. The targets are observed for some time (drones only go about 150 mph), an intelligence assessment is made and then a strike is made (or not made) using relatively small weapons. All western manned aircraft are using laser and GPS targeted weapons. Assad uses barrel bombs, the Russians use “dumb” bombs. They simply do not have enough smart munitions.

    Russia has never really moved to precision warfare. Both their technology and the doctrine don’t allow it. They are still stuck pretty much where the US was at the end of the Vietnam war when precision weapons had just been invented. Even though the Russians have got newer technology, they simply don’t have enough of it.

    So for me it is pretty easy to say who is the primary cause of civilian casualties. It is Assad, and to a lesser extent Russia.

    • Bill 7.1

      Let’s nut this down a bit.

      Can we believe that hospitals are bombed? – Yes.
      Can we believe it is by accident? – Yes.
      Can we believe it is deliberate? – Yes.

      So the question is…if it’s deliberate, who gains from that? Who loses from that? Y’know, that kind of helps pinpoint the likely culprits.

      So would a government that looks to be a government in the future deliberately destroy the country’s infrastructure? Or would a pile of foreign mercenaries with no skin in the game be more inclined to destroy infrastructure if it meant negative propaganda for their adversary and positive propaganda for themselves?

      Barrel bombs. Nice emotive term that conjures images of barbarity. Apparently they don’t exist. (Peace Council link)

      When you say ‘western coalition’ are you acknowledging that the US and others are in cahoots with Al Nusra?

      When you say drones are all high tech and dinky, are you forgetting the Syrian army position that was pounded or the hospital that the US did the mea culpa on?

      When you say we don’t hear reports about civilian casualties in government held areas, are you seriously suggesting western media is even handed; that much of what we hear isn’t spoon fed to them by the likes of the White Helmets (always a vid folks!) and that Syria really is the simplistic black and white/ good and evil situation your comment suggests it to be?

      When Hillary Clinton gets elected President and pushes for ‘no fly zones’ and (possibly) boots on the ground, are you going to back those calls or oppose them? Do you currently favour the illegal sanctions that are akin to the ones imposed on Iraq and that led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children in the 90s and that are leading to the deaths of Syrian children right now?

      • Colonial Viper 7.1.1

        Barrel bombs. Nice emotive term that conjures images of barbarity. Apparently they don’t exist. (Peace Council link)

        The term “barrel bomb” is a thought-stopper phrase designed by western PR to halt the flow of inquiry into what is actually happening in Syria.

        Barrel bombs are at best low yield improvised explosive devices which are extremely limited in the damage that they can do compared to say – an artillery shell.

        They are also almost undeliverable and unusable because light arms fire from rebels can take down the Syrian government helicopters which the west say are used to deliver these IEDs.

        The pictures of utter devastation we see of Syrian towns and cities – that wasn’t done by “barrel bombs”. That was done by massive quantities (thousands of tonnes) of artillery and heavy weapons fielded by both sides of the conflict.

        Who supplied the Islamists with these weapons and how were they paid for is the question to ask.

    • venezia 7.2

      For once I agree with Wayne. I have been watching the latest from Al Jazeera (who often seem to present the Syrian Army point of view as well as the opposition). Al Jazeera cameras tell a graphic story.

      • Colonial Viper 7.2.1

        Just remember that Al Jazeera is funded by Qatari money; that will help you balance the messages that it gives.

        For instance, a very recent panel discussion they held on the Syrian conflict, they used the usual term “regime” for the legitimate elected government of Syria, never once mentioned that the US was operating in the country illegally, insisted that the US wanted peace in the country and that it wanted ISIS gone but Russia was in the way, and didn’t once mention arms and men joining ISIS through the Turkish border.

      • D'Esterre 7.2.2

        Venezia: ” I have been watching the latest from Al Jazeera…”
        I also used to think Al Jazeera as a reliable source. No longer though: Qatar and all that.

    • Stuart Munro 7.3

      This accuracy argument was made for smart bombs in Iraq – but the smallest smart bomb the US use is still 1200 pounds of high explosive – enough to bring down an apartment building, not just a roomful of wrongdoers. These same smart bombs are being final assembled in Kuwait or Bahrain to keep up with regional demand, though some will be falling in Yemen.

      But the Russian state has never cared unduly either for the lives of its servicemen or for civilians. Zatchistka in Syria will be no pretty thing, though it will no doubt wait for saturation bombing of civilian populations to be completed.

      And some here will cheer for Putin as cynically as Blairites cheered for Bush.

      • Wayne 7.3.1

        Stuart Munro

        The smart bombs on manned aircraft used to be 500kg, they are now down to 250kg, but I agree both create huge explosions as you see on the released aircraft video. The coalition usually claim they are used against industrial oil facilities and military bunkers.

        However, drones have missiles that are typically 5 kg to 10 kg, which is why they are preferred in built up areas.

        • Stuart Munro

          The technical possibilities of the so-called ‘revolution in military affairs’ to maximise finesse rather than brute force are unfortunately unlikely to be realised through the operations of a country that has friendly fire casualties in the 30-40% range. They treat their own people as disposable – how much worse will they treat enemy combatants and civilians?

          The drones afford similar opportunities – but the evidence released by the likes of wikileaks shows that realising a significant reduction in bystander casualties has not been the result so far.

      • Edward 7.3.2

        Shilling for child-murdering terrorists whether in Russia or Syria, it’s all the same to you isn’t it? You picked up the word ‘Zatchistka’ from some cretinous BBC apologia for the Beslan killers, and you’re so proud of cramming one foreign word into your yokel brain that you throw it around as if it were magic.

        • Stuart Munro

          In fact I had a few Chechen refugee connections – I know what Russia got up to while the world was watching Bush invade Iraq. The same thing in Bosnia was called genocide. And Russia will do it in Syria because, bad as US forces are as occupiers, Russian ground forces are routinely worse.

    • Jenny 7.4

      The reason Western bombing of residential neighborhoods doesn’t get any press, is not because they are more accurate.

      If they were that accurate, how did the Australian airforce manage to mistakenly bomb a contingent of the regime’s forces?

      (And before you say it wasn’t a mistake)

      The Western Powers and the Bathist regime in Syria have been working together for a long time to oppress the Arab people. See my links further down this post, and Syria was one of the nations in the original “Coalition of the willing” supplying 19,000 Syrian soldiers.

      Also note the muted response of the regime to this blunder.

      The only reason that Western bombing of civilian areas doesn’t get any press, is because “We are the good guys” sarc

      Western air power was bombing Syrian cities alongside Assad before the Russians became involved. The Russians just saw an opening where they too could bomb other countries, just like the Americans, and get away with it.

      How could the US object?

      The target of all these arrayed powers is the Syrian people for daring to stand up to autocracy, dictatorship, and super power backing of repressive regimes.

      The narrative that Bill and CV are trying to push that the people’s revolt in Syria is a all a Western plot is completely unhinged and not in touch with the reality.
      By uncritically reposting the regime’s propaganda maligning the rebels, Bill and CV have become unwitting gullible Assad stooges, apologists for mass murder.

  8. Byd0nz 8

    Assad government,democraticly elected
    Recognised and a member of the united nations
    The so called moderate rebels,fight
    Unelected, backed with american weapons
    The west want regieme change in their favour
    So support the rebels bid to overthrow Assaad.
    Russia ally of the elected government
    Answered the call of help to defeat the rebel traitors, traitors against their own people who voted in the international observed elected government. So under the wests actions…..,
    It seems OK that the parliamentry opposition,
    Can take up arms against the party elected ,
    To hold the populace as human shields,
    Ruin the infrastructure coz they were rejected.
    Does not seem democratic to me,
    Makes one question the motives of the west
    Their interference in others lands
    The use of rebels is underhand
    Corporate news media puts your head in the sand.
    All this just a game to the one percent
    World domination they are hellbent
    So dont be fooled by the lies they tell
    Max out your credit cards and dont pay
    Steal off them, make them pay.

  9. Jenny 9

    I was in Syria in late 2010.

    I know a police state when I see one.

    In 2011when the Arab spring that had swept the Middle East reached Syria peaceful demonstrators were shot down in the streets on Assad’s orders for daring to aski for relatively minor democratic voting reform.

    This is very different take to the narrative being presented here.

    I suppose it depends on whether you believe the Arab Spring was a genuine mass people’s movement for democracy, or a foreign plot by the US to topple oppressive despots from Tunisia, to Egypt, to Syria.

    When Assad’s troops refused to follow his orders to shoot on unarmed protesters, Assad ordered the rounding up and arrest and torture of the soldiers’ family members, to compel them to return to the ranks. Many of these family and relatives of the deserting soldiers, women and children, and old people died in Assad’s prisons.

    This wasn’t enough for Assad to regain control, and Assad lost control of his army. The only military force that remained loyal to the regime was the privileged elite air wing.

    Having no army to speak of on the ground, Assad ordered the bombing of his own country from the air. Even suburbs in Damascus were bombed on Assad’s orders.

    But air power has never won a war. Every military historian knows this. Wars are won by soldiers on the ground, pickets who can hold territory and impose control on the populace. Anything less is terrorism.

    Even before the age of air power, military commanders knew this was true. Calvary, cannot win a war, only infantry.

    Murdering people from the air does not gain control of the ground. Whoever lives to crawl out of the rubble, cannot but help be the people who end up running whatever remains of society and infrastructure that hasn’t been destroyed.

    The secular rescue agency the White Helmets, so hated by the Assad regime, (and their supporters), is one such agency to arise from the orgy of destruction and mass murder unleashed by Assad. Isis is another.

    Having no army to speak of, (or that could be relied on), and slowly seeing his air bases being overun, one by one, Assad sought the help of foreign forces, Hisbola, and Iran on the ground and Russia and the Western powers in the air.

    Contrary to the perverted narrative being related here, all these forces have been bombing and attacking the Syrian people to preserve the regime.

    Prior to to 2011 Basha Assad had been a darling of the Western Powers, opening up his country to the IMF and the world bank who imposed neoliberal reforms and demanded the privatisation of all state assets, a program from which the Assad family gained massive kickbacks, Basha Assad’s uncle becoming infamously known as Mr Ten percent.

    Assad also allowed his country to become a destination for the CIA program of ‘Special Rendition’ for the purposes of torture.

    “If you want someone killed send them to Eygpt if you want someone tortured send them to Syria” became the CIA’s motto.

    For prostrating his country Assad was feted in the Western capitals, being the only Arab leader to overnight as a guest of her Majesty at Buckingham Palace, and notoriosly, recommended for a British Nighthood by Tony Blair.

    All this made Syria ripe for revolt when the Arab Spring started spreading through the Arab world.

    Assad witnessing the toppling of Western backed dictators Ben Ali in Tunisa and Mubarak in Egypt decided to make a fight of it, and determined he would drown the Arab spring in blood before he would grant reforms or step down.

    The initial US response to the upheaval in Syria was more nuanced than that of the later Russians and the Iranians, US officials have been reported saying that they want to preserve the Bathist regime, but think that Assad should step down. (Allowing the figurehead to be toppled but propping up the regimes, follows the pattern the western powers adopted to confront the Arab Spring in both Tunisia and Egypt.)

    The Russians seeing a gap in the market, have thrown their full support behind Basha Assad. Even the Chinese have become involved.

    Rival regional and international powers have sought to take advantage of the crisis.

    All the rival regional and international powers have been involved with Assad in mercilessly putting Syrian cities to the torch for their own ends.

    Have we heard Assad criticising any of the powers putting his country and people to the torch of for boming his cities. Only when the Australian airforce caught up in the orgy of destruction mistakenly dropped bombs on one of Assad’s few miserable remaining detachments on the ground.

    Meanwhile millions of Syrians have been forced to flee the aerial bombardment of their cities. And tens of thousands have been killed.

    You only have to look at the video footage of the destruction wrought by Syrian and foreign air forces on Syrian cities, reminiscent of the aerial bombing of Dresden and Warsaw, available on You Tube to know the falsity of the Western narrative of refugees fleeing Isis. For all their horror Isis do not have an airforce.

    So why do the Syrian people still resist?

    For one thing, there is no one to surrender to, because Assad has not been able to mobilise enough forces on the ground to enter Syrian cities or even enter the outer suburbs of Damascus. The other reason is that the Syrian people know that from past history of the regime that the blood letting will not stop with surrender. But will be the eve of a massive wave of revenge and murder by Assad and his allies particullarly the extremely sectarian Hisbollah who have been given free rein to attack the civilian Sunni majority.

    And all this by a Basher Assad who once paraded himself around the West Capitals as a “Progressive”. ( Read pro-Western), “Secular” leader.

    • …the Syrian people know that from past history of the regime that the blood letting will not stop with surrender. But will be the eve of a massive wave of revenge and murder by Assad and his allies…

      Exactly. There’s a reason why the people being subjected to this don’t just surrender, and it’s because they know what will happen to them if they do. That’s what makes it so annoying when you see regime stooges like the US Peace Council talking about a “Minister of Reconciliation” to help people who’ve violently opposed the Syrian government see the error of their ways – there may be people in the West who fall for that, but the locals know different.

    • Venezia 9.2

      Yes. When I see civilians and hospitals being bombed repeatedly, ambulances targeted, medics having to zip the living into body bags because there are now so few doctors that triage systems have come to this, can we afford to argue in detail about the the latest conspiracy theories?

    • Bill 9.3

      Syria was an oppressive police state. The initial reaction to protest was utterly lamentable and fucked up. We agree on that Jenny – the fundamentals.

      But then your take on things twists and unravels.

      But whatever. I don’t really care too much about elevating supposed good guys or condemning supposed bad guys. The fact is that foreign fighters are being supplied and supported by foreign governments that are pursuing agendas different to the agendas of those they offer support to – there’s a huge element of “my enemy’s enemy is my friend” bullshit going on.

      The sanctions being applied to Syria are killing people just like the sanctions that were applied to Iraq killed people. And when we reflect on the fact that the overwhelming number of refugees who managed to cross borders are from the middle classes – doctors etc, and stack that alongside the sanctions that prevent medical supplies (drugs and equipment) from getting into the country – then we get a picture that isn’t very flash.

      I haven’t presented any narrative. I’ve presented info that undermines the official narrative and sought to question some general assumptions. I’m not interested in taking sides. But whatever, take it all and shoehorn it into a simplistic black hat/white hat conclusion if that’s as far as your quest for understanding will allow.

      • Jenny 9.3.1

        Basha Assad is no Che Guevara, or Ho Chi Minh, or Patrice Lumumba, fighting imperialism.

        How low the Left have sunk when we publish posts in support of a hereditary despot like Basha Assad who slaughters his people from the air with the assistance of foreign powers.

        • One Two

          The article is about propaganda which you have provided an example of through your unbalanced and frankly unhinged rant

          Apparantly you managed to miss or ignore that!

          • Colonial

            I saw that. Absolutely stunning.

            Another very detailed and thoughtful angle on the material here.


            • Jenny

              CV, from the link you provided is this paragraph.

              “The agency he co-founded has had a roster of clients including repressive regimes and Asma al-Assad, the wife of the Syrian president.”

              I think Bill and CV you need to take this into account when you repost propaganda of a mass murderer as some sort of truth.

              As Winston Churchill once said the first victim of war is truth.

              And before you get all high and mighty CV I can recall that right from the very beginning in 2011 you were writing on this site that the unarmed peaceful protesters that Assad was slaughtering in the streets, were all armed agents and provocateurs of the CIA and they deserved what they got.

              When soldiers refused to kill unarmed protesters and started fraternising with them instead, Assad upped the ante by arresting and holding soldiers family members. Many of whom, children, wives, parents, died in Assad’s prisons of neglect and torture.

              This tactic misfired.

              It was this crime that tipped the deserting soldiers into turning their weapons on the regime. Starting the civil war. Only the elite and privileged air forces stayed loyal,

      • Jenny 9.3.2

        ” I don’t really care too much about elevating supposed good guys or condemning supposed bad guys”

        Yeah right

        Reposting regime stooge’s propaganda attacking and defaming the White Helmets, the self sacrificing and unarmed first responders in the liberated areas of Alleppo. Bill is aiding and abetting the regime and their Russian and US allies to increase the campaign of mass murder from the air. On a people whose only wish was to escape dictatorship and oppression.

        • Stuart Munro

          Hear hear. The legitimacy of a movement is determined locally, not by Faux News or RT.

          Never went to Syria – but my Jordanian colleague explained – Assad is useless and corrupt. The Jordanian leaders are too, but Assad is worse, his people have gone backward.

          Rather like kiwis under Key, though we haven’t gone as far. Yet.

          • Jenny

            Indeed there are some similarites in the neoliberal “reforms” imposed Syria by the regime. Leading up to the revolt, the same looting of the public purse by privatising all state assets that we saw here, was carried out by Assad, with his close family members getting big kickbacks and highly paid directorships. Assad’s cousin Rami Maklouf who became widely known as Mr Ten Percent.
            Being a poorer country than New Zealand the effects of all the job lay offs resulting from the coporatisation and the fall in government revenue were much more savage.

            CV in particular and the stooges in Bill’s video keep making the claim that there was no revolt, that there is no civil war it is all the work of foreign US backed agents and “mercenaries”. On various occassions in 2011 Colonial Viper wrote appalling comments on this website supporting the murder of protesters by Assad.

            And so it goes until their support for mass murder becomes so glaring that they bring this website and the left at large into disrepute.

    • Edward 9.4

      Jesus Christ, do you Al-Qaedabots have to be so long-winded? Just write Allahu Akbar next time.

  10. Jenny 10

    “A staggering map of the 54 countries that reportedly participated in the CIA’s rendition program”

    The section on Syria is disturbing. That government’s record of horrific abuses has spilled out into the open since the uprising of 2011 became a civil war, with more Syrians subjected to – and speaking out about – a torture regime that sounds as if it were from another century. According to a 2005 article by the New Yorker’s Jane Mayer, quoted in the report, Syria was one of the “most common destinations for rendered suspects.” Government forces, according to the report, held some U.S.-provided detainees in a prison known as “The Grave” for its coffin-sized cells and subjected them to “torture involving a chair frame used to stretch the spine (the ‘German chair’) and beatings.”

  11. Jenny 12

    Australian warplanes mistakenly bomb regime troops.

    The US ticks off the Russians urging the Russians not to try and score political points over this mistake.

    As these rival fremenies tip toe around each other in bombing Syria.

    Notice the Syrian authorities have never critised the US and Nato military war planes bombing in their country making a lie of the claim that Syria is being invaded by the US. The US and Nato have been invited in by the regime, and given free run.

    If Bill and CV and the so called peace activists in the video’s claim that this is not a civil war but an invasion, why do the Syrian forces not engage or attack the US and Nato warplanes bombing Syrian cities?

    If these unwitting stooges were really interested in peace they would be calling for all foreign forces, US, French, UK, Russia, Hesbollah, Iran Israel to stop propping up the regime.

  12. Jenny 13

    ‘Good in parts’

    The curates egg speaks.

    The so called peace delegation spokesman in the video supplied by Bill complains that the,

    “The US is bombing parts of Syria without the consent of the legitimate government. That violates international law.” @34:33 minutes

    What on earth does that mean?

    Presumably the US is bombing parts of Syria with the governments consent?

    And these so called peace activists are OK with that?

    That they are also OK with the other parts of Syria that the regime itself is bombing?

    What mealy mouthed hypocrites.

    The question these stooges didn’t ask, was who is who is bombing Syrian cities and is responsible for all the scenes of destruction we see on the internet, and which is driving millions of Syrians to flee?

    Western air forces?

    Russian air forces?

    Assad’s air forces?

    All of them?

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    So, Judith Collins has done a Facebook rant about climate change, peddling the same shit National has been shovelling for the past twenty years: the impacts are overstated, there's no need to do anything about it, and its too hard anyway (oh, and its so unfair that people who peddle ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • The environmental footprint of electric versus fossil car
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to There is a lot of discussion on the benefits of ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 days ago
  • “Manifest” by Andrew Bird – A Song For The Times.
    I came across this song quite by accident. If it isn't one of Greta Thunberg's favourites - it should be.Video courtesy of YouTube.This post is exclusive to Bowalley Road. ...
    2 days ago
  • Passing the buck
    Last month, NZDF's shoddy coverup of what it knew about civilian casualties in Operation Burnham began to fall apart, with the revelation that a report on the matter, which NZDF claimed not to have, had been sitting in an NZDF safe for the past nine years. Yesterday, the man responsible ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • India a major player in Earth observation satellites
    While many imagine that countries like the USA and Europe dominate space activities, in fact India is now a major player on this stage. It launches satellites for its own purposes and also commercially, and has constellations orbiting our planet and returning data of vital importance to that nation in ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    3 days ago
  • The rot at the top (2).
    Thanks to a report from the Acting Inspector General of Intelligence and Security following a complaint by Nicky Hager, we have come to find out that the SIS illegally spied on Mr. Hager on behalf of the NZDF after publication of Hager’s 2011 book, Other People’s Wars. The NZDF justified ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    3 days ago
  • Common misconceptions about “Global Warming”
    COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING MYTH 1: Global temperatures are rising at a rapid, unprecedented rate. FACT: The HadCRUT3 surface temperature index, produced by the Hadley Centre of the UK Met Office and the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia, shows warming to 1878, cooling to 1911, ...
    An average kiwiBy
    3 days ago
  • A climate of tyranny
    For the past week, Extinction Rebellion has been peacefully protesting in London to demand action on climate change. The British government's response? Ban their protests:Police have banned Extinction Rebellion protests from continuing anywhere in London, as they moved in almost without warning to clear protesters who remained at the movement’s ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Collins crushes climate
    An essay by Judith Collins MP reported on Carbon News yesterday seems to show an alarming shift in attitude within the National Party. Collins argues against the Zero Carbon Bill, the Paris Agreement, and downplays the magnitude of climate impacts. The Paris Agreement was adopted in December 2015 and ratified ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    3 days ago
  • More disappointment
    When they were running for election, Labour promised to overhaul the Employment Relations Act and introduce fair pay agreements to set basic pay and conditions on an industry level, preventing bad employers from undercutting good ones. They followed this up by establishing a working group, which reported back in January ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • What do these mother-child studies really say about fluoridation?
    A list of indicators of bad science – many of these are found in articles promoted by anti-fluoride activists. Anti-fluoride activists have been pouring money into a scaremongering campaign warning pregnant women not to drink fluoridated water. They claim fluoride will lower the IQ of their future child. Fluoride ...
    3 days ago
  • Losing Labour’s Mills-Tone.
    Nothing Left To Say: Labour's pollster, Stephen Mills, remains swaddled-up in the comforting myths of the 1980s. As if the experience of Roger Douglas’s genuinely radical post-Muldoon policy agenda was literally a once-in-a-lifetime thing – as much as the party could possibly absorb for at least the next 50 years.MEMO ...
    3 days ago
  • Speaker: Disability and the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse
    The Royal Commission on abuse in care is very significant for the disability community. For many decades last century, thousands of disabled children, and adults who managed to survive, were locked away from families and communities. This was not for anything they had done, but for the perceived threat their ...
    3 days ago
  • Spain is not a democracy
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • UK Conservatives hate democracy
    With an unfair voting system, uneven electorates and an un-elected upper house, the UK's "democracy" is barely worthy of the name. But now the government wants to make it worse:The government has been accused of suppressing voters’ rights with the potential disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of people after plans ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • What is wrong with our building industry?
    Back in the 90's and early 2000's, the building industry was building leaky homes which should never have been granted consent. Now it turns out they've been building dodgy office blocks as well:New imaging technology has revealed hundreds of major buildings nationwide have defective or missing concrete or reinforcing steel. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Local bodies
    Local body election results were released over the weekend, to joy or despair depending on where you live. In Auckland, Phil Goff trounced John Tamihere, who is muttering darkly about running for Parliament again (but which party would want him?) Wellington is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Weta Workshop, except ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • A future of government
      How could government evolve over the next decades? Reports of democracy’s imminent demise are greatly exaggerated.  However, satisfaction with political systems in many countries is low, so there is much to do for governments of all political stripes to improve relevance and trust. Digital technologies are seen as one ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    6 days ago
  • Speaker: Catalonia, interrupted
    Two years have now gone by since the Friday afternoon when my university-student son and I headed out of our Barcelona flat to a nearby primary school, designated as a polling station for the vote that was to be held the following Sunday: the referendum on Catalonia’s independence from Spain ...
    6 days ago
  • Sage Decisions Unwisely Over-Ruled.
    Overruled: The joint decision of Finance Minister, Grant Robertson (Labour) and his Associate Minister, David Parker (Labour) arguably the two most powerful ministers in Jacinda Ardern’s government, to grant OceanaGold the consents which Land Information Minister, Eugenie Sage (Greens) had earlier denied them, offers bitter proof of how hard fighting ...
    6 days ago
  • Government may ban voting in effort to get more people to do it
    More than double the number of people who will vote in this year’s local body elections have tried marijuana or urinated somewhere they shouldn’t have. As local elections look set for the lowest turnout in decades, with many regions falling well short of 40%, the Government is exploring a number ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    7 days ago
  • Woman: Deleted.
    A Statement on Abortion Law Reform by the Council of Disobedient Women   On the eve of bringing an end to antiquated, anti-women abortion laws Green MP Jan Logie intends to write women out of the Bill. With a stroke of the pen, the woke are aiming for total erasure ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • The Hollowest of Men Ride Again… SURPRISE!
    Musings continue apace about “the experienced businessman!” soon to be taking up a National Party MP position. Or to be more accurate, being parachuted into a seat to shut down their former MP Jamie-Lee Ross, who despite his own shortcomings shed at least some more light on the inner workings ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Barbaric
    The Ugandan government wants to murder gay people:Uganda has announced plans to impose the death penalty on homosexuals. The bill, colloquially known as “Kill the Gays” in Uganda, was nullified five years ago on a technicality, but the government said on Thursday it plans to resurrect it within weeks. The ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Fighting Monsters.
    Freedom Of Speech? The Säuberung (cleansing by fire) was the work of the German Student Union which, on 10 May 1933, under the watchful eye of the Nazi Reichminister for Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, consigned 25,000 books to the flames in a ritual exorcism of “un-German thought”. According to the logic of the ...
    1 week ago
  • The next wave of kaupapa Māori politics: its constitutional, it must be.
      “There can be no such thing as kaupapa Māori political parties or politics in Aotearoa” (Willie Jackson, Labour Party (2017). Māori TV, General/List Election Special) I begin with that claim because at the time, I was confounded at first that it fell out of Willie Jackson’s mouth, and then ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Night lights of NZ from orbit
    New Zealand has prided itself for decades with regard to its lack of pollution, and all will be aware that the ‘100% Pure New Zealand‘ meme is under threat through land, water and air pollution of various causes. There is another type of contamination that the country also faces: light ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • Reporters deliver uplifting news to fleeing Japanese residents: they won’t miss any rugby
    New Zealand’s media is doing its part in Japan, reassuring those in the path of the storm that they won’t miss any rugby while away from their flooded homes. New Zealand sports reporters stationed in Japan for the Rugby World Cup have had the rare and heartwarming opportunity to inform ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Government in contentious discussions about whether to put surplus on red or black
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones is the only Cabinet member in favour of putting it all on green. As Finance Minister Grant Robertson finds himself with an enormous $7.5 billion surplus, the Government has begun intense, at times contentious conversations about whether to put the money on red or black at ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Jordanian teachers’ successful strike has lessons for here
    by Susanne Kemp At the start of September close to 100,000 school teachers went on strike in Jordan.  They demanded a 50% pay rise.  A pay rise actually agreed to by the regime back in 2014. In early October, however, in the face of government repression and threats, the teachers’ ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Why some people still think climate change isn’t real
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to Why do people still think climate change isn’t real? David ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The SIS unlawfully spied on Nicky Hager
    Back in 2011, journalist Nicky Hager published Other People's Wars, an expose on NZDF's activities over the previous decade of the "war on terror". NZDF didn't like this, and especially didn't like the fact that it was base don leaks from their own. So, they had the SIS investigate him ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • October 2019 – Newsletter ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • And they wonder why we think they’re environmental vandals…
    The Zero Carbon Bill is due back from select committee in two weeks, and will likely pass its final stages in November. So naturally, farmers are planning a hate-march against it. But they're not just demanding lower methane targets so they can keep on destroying the planet; they're also demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Paying the price in California
    Last year, California burned. This year, to stop it happening again (or rather, to stop themselves from being found liable if it happens again), Pacific Gas and Electric is cutting power to half the state for a week:Schools are closed. Traffic lights down. Tunnels dark. Businesses unopened. Hospitals running on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Let’s Hear It For Up-Close-And-Personal, Hard-Copy Democracy!
    The Best Way: Missing from the on-line voting debate is any reference to the voting system that produces turn-out figures ranging from 77 to 93 percent of registered voters. The voting system used to collect and count the votes cast in our parliamentary elections. The system that involves citizens making ...
    1 week ago
  • 10/10: World Day Against the Death Penalty
    Today, October 10, is the world day against the death penalty. Out of 195 UN member states, 84 still permit capital punishment. Today is the day we work to change that. This year's theme is children. Having a parent sentenced to death or executed causes long-term trauma and stigmatization which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Talking Freer Lives: a Marxist gender-critical perspective from Australia
    Among the great new bunch of political friends we have been making recently is the excellent Australian-based Marxist gender-critical site, Freer Lives.  So we asked the comrade who set up that blog to write something for Redline on the blog, himself, his analysis of the rise of gender politics and ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Government spin accepted by union leadership
    by Don Franks  The Auckland City Mission is struggling with a 40 percent increase in demand for food parcels this year. A total of 23,020 were needed by June. Last month Missioner Chris Farrelly told the Herald the “cupboards are bare” and without an emergency food drive, he can’t see ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Forbidden Thoughts
    by The Council of Disobedient Women   Massey Wellington Student Association had a sit-in today. Imagine a sit-in. On a campus. Against a women’s rights meeting. Did the ’60s really happen or did we fucking dream it? They gathered in the student square, an echo chamber. Sitting on soft pillows ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Much love to my loyal Ukrainian readership
    For some reasons, my post about the mystery message from inside the Downing Street bunker seemed to catch people's attention.  Quite a lot of hits from NZ (unsurprisingly) and the USA (a bit more puzzlingly, but hi there, USAians!!) and 76 views from the Ukraine.I've celebrated my Ukrainian readers in ...
    1 week ago
  • Another day of bonkers GNUmours (again, sorry)
    First, almost a score of Labour MPs seem to have sent a letter to the EU basically begging them to accept a deal - any deal - just so Britain can get the Heck on with Brexiting instead of being trapped in limbo:
    To avoid no deal, deliver on the ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour vs working class immigrants – again!
    by Phil Duncan In 2016 the National-led government suspended the Parent Visa Category, through which migrants were able to bring their parents into New Zealand.  Since then over 5,700 people have been in immigration limbo, stuck on the visa wait list. Labour is now bringing back the scheme.  Well, sort ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women press statement: on Massey University and Feminism 2020
    The following was released yesterday (Tues, October 8) by the women’s liberation organisation Speak Up for Women. On 23 September Speak Up For Women announced that we would be holding an event at the Massey University Theaterette in Wellington. The event is called Feminism 2020. The intention of the event ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Farmers support dirty rivers
    The government is currently consulting on plans to improve freshwater quality. So naturally, farmers oppose it:South Taranaki farmers are preparing to fight proposed national freshwater changes that some fear will bankrupt them. The Government's proposed National Environment Standard on Freshwater Management, released in September, rated the Waingongoro River as one ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No-one cares about local government
    Yesterday was the last day for (reliably) posting your vote away in local body elections. Turnouts are mostly much lower than the equivalent time last year (Palmerston North is down 2.3%), and so naturally people are pushing their online-voting snake oil again. Because the online census worked so well, lets ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The political ghosts of eugenics may matter more than the genetic
    This essay, on the political legacy of the eugenics movement, by Kenan Malik was originally published in the Observer on 6 October 2019, under the headline ‘The spirit of eugenics is still with us, as immigrants know to their cost’. Birth control. Intelligence tests. Town planning. Immigration controls. It’s striking how ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • “Surplus” again
    Another year, and the government has announced another enormous government "surplus". And just like last year, its nothing of the sort. When we have people homeless and sick and hungry, when we have schools and hospitals still falling down, when we have underpaid public servants and infrastucture unmaintained or unbuilt, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Inside the Downing Street bunker
    James Forsyth at The Spectator (I know, I know) has tapped one of his contacts inside Number Ten for an insight into the Johnson administration's thinking and strategy.It is fascinating, unsettling and quite, quite mad.  Some key points:Negotiations have stalled and the Johnson administration are keen to blame the EU: ...
    1 week ago
  • Taking Control Of The Nation’s Story.
    Fatal Contact: With the arrival of captain James Cook in October 1769, the islands of what would become New Zealand ceased to be the preserve of Polynesian navigators and settlers and became a part of both the world’s map and the world’s history.THE MAORI NATIONALIST assault upon the historical meaning ...
    1 week ago
  • Are GNUs extinct?
    Another round of tactical talks about forming a Government of National Unity have come to nothing with the Liberal Democrats still refusing countenance putting Jeremy Corbyn into Downing Street:Opposition talks on Monday made little headway over when to try and vote down Boris Johnson's government and who might succeed him as ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour chickens out again
    When the government was elected, it promised to lead the way on electric vehicles, and specifically to make the government vehicle fleet emissions-free where-practicable by 2025.They lied:There are 15,473 vehicles in the government fleet and only 78 are electric. When the coalition Government came into power in late 2017, the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Transgender extremism, violence at work against feminist meeting at British Labour Party conference
    by Nick Rogers The debate around the meaning of sex and gender made an appearance at this year’s British Labour Party conference in Brighton. Women’s Place UK – an organisation that questions the demand that biological males who self-identify as woman should have access to women’s spaces, to all-women shortlists, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Rebelling in Wellington
    Yesterday I went down to Wellington to participate in the Extinction Rebellion protest. Its part of the latest global wave of XR actions, with actions happening all over the world. Some of those protests are massively disruptive: in Canada, XR is blocking major bridges, stopping people from getting to work. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • ‘The Workshop’ – Report: Talking about Poverty and Welfare Reform: A Guide to Strategies that ...
    The Workshop is a charitable trust for public good. The Workshop undertake research to find ways of communicating that will build support for the solutions that work to solve complex social and environmental problems. See their Report on Talking about Poverty and Welfare Reform below. ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • Exclusive language
    What is language? We generally assume that it a facility unique to humans, allowing us to share what’s in and on our minds. We can tell of our plans, our past exploits, our knowledge. It also allows us to lie. And yet there are vast numbers of people we can’t ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    2 weeks ago
  • April 2018 – Submission to the NZ Govt Tax Working Group
    You can read our submission HERE ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • 2018 – Submission to the NZ Government Tax Working Group
    Read our submission here ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • Guardian: Poll shows DISASTER for Corbyn and the End of Times
    The Guardian - ever eager to forewarn of doom and disaster on the left - are leading with a new poll from Opinium, which puts the Conservatives 15% clear of Labour.Con 38% +2Lab 23% -1Lib Dem 15% -5Brexit 12% +1Green 4% +2This isn't good news, and it would be very ...
    2 weeks ago
  • How prostitution became the world’s most modern profession
    Being and Being Bought (Spinifex Press, 2013) by Kajsa Ekis Ekman  A synopsis and commentary of Chapters 1-2 by Daphna Whitmore Ekman, a Swedish journalist and critic, brings together a Marxist and feminist analysis of prostitution and surrogacy in this groundbreaking book She opens the discussion with a definition of ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago

  • Methane reducing cattle feed one step closer
    The Government today announced its support for a project that could substantially reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions from cattle. The announcement was made as part of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor’s visit to Nelson’s Cawthron Aquaculture Park. The Cawthron Institute will receive $100,000 from the Government’s ...
    16 mins ago
  • Bill to refresh superannuation system passes first reading
    Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni has welcomed the first reading of the New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension Legislation Amendment Bill. “Every New Zealander has a stake in New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension,” says Carmel Sepuloni. “They are our most common form of social assistance – nearly 800,000 New ...
    2 hours ago
  • Government announces next steps in fight against measles
    Babies in Auckland aged six months and over can receive a free vaccination and children will all have access to vaccines, Associate Minister of Health Julie Anne Genter announced today at Papatoetoe High School.   The move comes as part of Government efforts to step up the fight against measles. ...
    3 hours ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures: Connections, Identity...
    ***Check against delivery*** Good morning. It is a pleasure to be here, and to have the honour of opening this important conference on behalf of the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs. Let us take the opportunity to acknowledge all the people who have helped make today possible, including our special ...
    4 hours ago
  • Police trial new response to high risk events
    Police Minister Stuart Nash says the safety of frontline officers and members of the public will be the focus of a new trial of specialist Police response teams in three of our largest urban centres. Police have this morning released details of an initiative to be trialled in Counties Manukau, ...
    4 hours ago
  • New awards celebrate fisheries sustainability
    The Minister of Fisheries is calling for entries for a new public award to celebrate innovation in our seafood sector. “I have established the Seafood Sustainability Awards to recognise and celebrate those throughout industry, tangata whenua and communities who demonstrate outstanding dedication and innovation towards the sustainability of New Zealand’s ...
    6 hours ago
  • More progress for women and we can do more
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter welcomes leaders in the private sector taking action on closing their gender pay gaps to ensure a fairer workplace for all New Zealanders. Ms Genter today launched a new report, Addressing the gender pay gap and driving women’s representation in senior leadership, from the Champions for ...
    10 hours ago
  • Proposals to curb environmental damage help our coasts and the oceans
    Government Ministers today welcomed the release of a marine environment report highlighting the four key issues affecting our oceans, estuaries and coastlines.  The release underlines the importance of government proposals to combat climate pollution, ensure clean freshwater, protect biodiversity, make land use more sustainable, and reduce waste and plastic.    Environment ...
    21 hours ago
  • New mental health facility for Waikato
    The Government has approved funding for a new acute mental health facility for Waikato which will provide better care and support to people with mental health and addiction issues. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Dr David Clark announced the $100 million project to replace the aging Henry Rongomau ...
    1 day ago
  • 500 new te reo Māori champions in our classrooms
    The Government is making progress on its goal to integrate te reo Māori into education by 2025, with over 500 teachers and support staff already graduating from Te Ahu o te Reo Māori,  Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Kelvin Davis made the announcement at an awards ceremony in Waikanae today, for ...
    1 day ago
  • Minister James Shaw welcomes 2018 Census first release
    Statistics Minister James Shaw has welcomed the first release of 2018 Census data. The first release of data today, 23 September, includes key data on population, regional growth, the number of homes and the size of different ethnic groups in New Zealand. Data from the 2018 Census will support the ...
    1 day ago
  • Driving transparency, ethics and accountability in government use of algorithms
    Minister for Statistics James Shaw today announced a public consultation on a proposed algorithm charter for government agencies. The charter has been developed by the Government Chief Data Steward in response to growing calls for more transparency in government use of data. Computer algorithms – procedures or formulas for solving ...
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand and the Netherlands working together on climate change
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, Climate Change Minister James Shaw and visiting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte co-hosted a business roundtable in Auckland this morning focused on working together to address climate change.  “The Netherlands is an important partner for New Zealand. We share a strong agricultural history. Sustainable agribusiness and ...
    1 day ago
  • Protecting fairness for workers and businesses
    The Government is taking action to build an inclusive economy where more of us receive our fair share at work and businesses can compete on great products and services, not undercutting wages and conditions, Immigration and Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. Two consultations launched today seek feedback ...
    1 day ago
  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
    The future for New Zealand’s threatened indigenous freshwater fish looks brighter with the passing of the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill in Parliament today said Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “Until now, our freshwater fish legislation has been 20 years out of date. We have lacked effective tools to ...
    2 days ago
  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
    At 1.30pm tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis will join about 65 million people around the globe in ShakeOut, the world’s biggest earthquake drill. The annual drill is to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake which is to Drop, Cover, Hold, and to practise their ...
    2 days ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
    Kiwis are benefiting from higher wage growth and low inflation under the Coalition Government. Stats NZ data out today shows the rise in the cost of living remains low, as annual Consumers Price Index (CPI) inflation fell to 1.5% in September from 1.7% in June. “The low inflation comes as ...
    2 days ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
    New Zealand’s economic strength and resilience has been recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released overnight shows a reduced global growth forecast over the next two years as issues like the US-China trade war and Brexit take hold. ...
    2 days ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
    Justice Minister Andrew Little has today introduced a new Bill to prevent terrorism and support the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill gives the New Zealand Police the ability to apply to the High Court to impose control orders on New Zealanders who ...
    2 days ago
  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
    A Bill that proposes targeted changes to simplify the processes for Māori land owners when engaging with the Māori Land Court has had its First Reading today. “The approach taken by the Government is to ensure that the protection of Māori land remains a priority as we seek to improve ...
    2 days ago
  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
    Let me first thank all the new unionists and members in the room. There is nothing more important to improving people’s working lives than people making the decision to care, to get on board and help, to take up the reins and get involved. Congratulations to you. You bring the ...
    2 days ago
  • Minister ensures continued Whenuapai flight operations
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has signed a certificate exempting the activity of engine testing at Whenuapai Airbase from the Resource Management Act 1991. The Act gives the Minister of Defence the power to exempt activities for the purposes of national security.  The certificate will mean the recent Environment Court ...
    2 days ago
  • NZ joins Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced New Zealand will join the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action while attending APEC meetings in Chile. The objective of the 39 member Coalition is to share information and promote action to tackle climate change. It was formed in April this year, in ...
    2 days ago
  • CTU speech – DPM
    Ladies and gentlemen, NZCTU President Richard Wagstaff, members of respective unions – thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This might be preaching to the choir, but the importance of trade unions in New Zealand’s historical arch is difficult to understate. And it is my belief that ...
    3 days ago
  • Police Association Annual Conference
    "Let’s start by acknowledging that it has been a huge year. " Police Association Annual Conference James Cook Grand Chancellor Hotel Wellington Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, ka nui te mihi, ki a koutou katoa. President of the Police Association, Chris Cahill; Members of the Association and ...
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand announces a further P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark have announced the New Zealand Government’s decision to again deploy a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea. New ...
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand deeply concerned at developments in north-east Syria
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand continues to have serious concerns for peace and stability in north-east Syria. “Recent reports that hundreds of ISIS-affiliated families have fled from a camp are deeply concerning from a humanitarian and security perspective”, Mr Peters says. “While we acknowledge Turkey’s domestic security ...
    3 days ago
  • Government on high alert for stink bugs
    Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor is warning travelling Kiwis to be vigilant as the high-season for the crop-eating brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is under way. “We’re on high alert to stop BMSB arriving in NZ. The high season runs until April 30 and we’ve strengthened our measures to stop stink ...
    3 days ago
  • Better protections for students in halls of residence
    The Government is moving swiftly to change the law to improve the welfare and pastoral care of students living in university halls of residence and other tertiary hostels. Cabinet has agreed to several changes, including creating a new mandatory Code of Practice that sets out the duty of pastoral care ...
    4 days ago
  • New trapping guide for community and expert trappers alike
    The Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage has launched a new comprehensive trapping guide for community trappers to help them protect our native birds, plants and other wildlife, at Zealandia in Wellington today. ‘A practical guide to trapping’, has been developed by the Department of Conservation (DOC), and was launched during ...
    4 days ago
  • Widening Access to Contraceptives Welcomed
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter welcomes PHARMAC’s move to improve access to long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs). PHARMAC has today announced it will fund the full cost of Mirena and Jaydess for anyone seeking long term contraception, lifting previous restrictions on access to Mirena. “I welcome women having greater choices ...
    4 days ago
  • Major upgrade for Taranaki Base Hospital
    The Government has approved the next stage of a major redevelopment of Taranaki Base Hospital, which will deliver new and improved facilities for patients. Health Minister Dr David Clark has announced details of a $300 million dollar project to build a new East Wing at the New Plymouth hospital. It ...
    5 days ago
  • Extra support for rural families
    Extra funding will allow Rural Support Trusts to help farming families, says Minister for Rural Communities and Agriculture Damien O’Connor. “I know that rural families are worried about some of the challenges facing them, including the ongoing uncertainty created by the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak. “Those concerns sit alongside ongoing worries ...
    6 days ago
  • Howard Leaque Beekeeper programme graduation
    Thank you for the opportunity to be here to present certificates to the 16 graduates who have completed a beekeeping course delivered by the Howard League.  Let us start by acknowledging Auckland Prison’s Deputy Prison Director Tom Sherlock, and Acting Assistant Regional Commissioner of Corrections Northern Region Scott Walker - ...
    7 days ago
  • Finance Minister to attend APEC meetings
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson leaves this weekend to attend the APEC Finance Ministers meeting in Santiago, Chile. Discussions between APEC Finance Ministers at the meeting will include the effects of the current global economic uncertainty, risks for APEC economies and sustainable development of the region. While at APEC Grant Robertson ...
    7 days ago
  • Pacific languages are a source of strength, they ground us and build confidence
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says for Pacific people, language can be a source of strength. It can help ground us and give us confidence. When we speak them, our languages provide us with an immediate and intimate access to our identity and our story - and ...
    7 days ago
  • Major boost to support disabled people in sport and recreation
    The Coalition Government has announced an action plan to improve the wellbeing of disabled New Zealanders by addressing inequalities in play, active recreation and sport. The initiative includes training to develop a workforce that understands the needs of children and young people with a range of impairments, advocacy for fit ...
    1 week ago
  • More prefab homes to be built as red tape cut
    The construction sector is being freed up to allow more homes to be built more quickly as the Government cuts through some of the red tape of the Building Act.  “Every New Zealander deserves a warm, dry, safe home and old inefficiencies in the Building Act make building slow and ...
    1 week ago
  • Further details of Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall visit to New Zealand
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has welcomed further details on the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall’s visit to New Zealand next month. Their Royal Highnesses will visit New Zealand from 17-23 November – their third joint visit to New Zealand and first in four years. They arrive in Auckland ...
    1 week ago
  • O’Connor in Thailand to push for RCEP deal
    Minister of State for Trade and Export Growth and Minister of Agriculture, Damien O’Connor, heads to Thailand today to attend the final Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Ministerial meeting, as negotiations enter their final stages. “The RCEP Agreement would anchor New Zealand in a regional agreement that covers 16 countries, ...
    1 week ago