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11 February 2015

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b

The BBC reporter name is Jeremy Bowen.

I found his questions petty and propagandistic. He didn't even try to go into some strategic depth that could have been interesting.

Assad towards the end showed some contempt for him but in his place I would have kicked Bowen out and asked the BBC to send someone of serious intellect.

rick

There are certain topics for which the need to explain the absolute basics is, or at least should really be, the subject of deep embarrassment for all parties.

In NY state we are now in the midst of the cycle of scandal and "ethics reform". I always characterize the reform process as the boys sitting around and saying, "Oohhhhh, you mean DON'T take bribes...oohhhhh,now we get it, ok, we didn't understand the "don't" part"...ok."

I am embarrassed for my country that this post needed to be written. "Oooohhhh, you mean DON'T believe everything you read...Ohhh, ok. This is news to me."

I would, in childish sarcasm, ask why I should believe this post, but I know the answer is that I shouldn't just believe it, any more than anything else.

Babak Makkinejad

Col. Lang:

Was the press coverage of the War in Vietnam more honest, accurate, objective?

The Beaver

Colonel

It was "Le Monde" which concocted the story about Assad using chlorine on his people and Fabius wanted that "discovery' to be like the Italian letter of 2003.

Don't know whether Quai d'Orsay has been infiltrated by the partisans of Likud or the neo cons but for sure Le Monde has been .

Rd.

 They are something less than objective truth.  Why is that?  pl 

The desires for hegemony and exceptionalism often cloud one's objectivity. Over-reach is the natural by product.

Natan-yahoo and his neo-con's over-reached with his congressional fantasies and now they are back peddling.

ISIS, mainly an outcome of US policies and funded by the dear saudi ally over-reached with his brutality 'shows' and will be facing the piper. Same for US ME policies. and hopefully same for the royals.

The Ukie policy of the necon managed to shoot way above their hips and now is 'likely' on retreat.

Brian Williams, supposedly a respected and well liked anchorman over-reached with his imaginary super war hero rhetoric and now is in retreat.

The corp media too, will have their day in the court of the public opinions. Perhaps one reason they quickly throw williams under the bus, just to save whats left of the corp media and their less than objective truth propaganda.

confusedponderer

Anatol Lieven has made an interesting comment on this, in which he describes how western reporters exercise rigorous self-censorship or engage in outright (counter-)propaganda.

Lieven explains it that way:

Because apparently they *feel* - owing to inherited bigotries and attitudes or western (particularly US) government prodding - that, when they concede that Putin or Assad or some other foreign devil make a valid argument or truthful statement, they'd *help* him.

Because they don't want that, they seem to feel they have to meet lying Russian (or Syrian) propagada, with lying propaganda of their own.

Lieven makes this point, elaborating on his own experiences, at around 49 min in the following talk on Ukraine (which is, though somewhat dated by now, quite worth be be listend to in full).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UDlZVOC0rZk

I think what he describes for western reporting on Russia fully applies to western reporting on Syria.

Bill H

Related point; for three nights in a row CBS Evening News has run reports in which they emphasize Ukranian forces complaining that the US has "not done enough to help," specifically that they need weapons which we have not sent to them. Last night in addition to Ukranian pleas for weaponry, they ran a piece where Kurdish Peshmerga were telling the reporter than they had lost 1000 fighters because we had not sent them enough armored vehicles.

CBS News is, of course, owned by a corporation aligned with other corporations which manufacture weaponry. And now you know why we do not get the truth from the media.

the Unready

The Syrian Government uses barrel bombs frequently. I have no idea why Assad didn't simply say something like "this is what we can afford at the moment and barrel bombs are no worse than many other types of bombs".
He tried, in a hamfisted way, to say that all bombs are bombs (regardless of their shape or how they're made) but it came out sounding disingenuous.

r whitman

During the Vietnam war we had something called "The Credibility Gap". The USG lied so much to the press that reporters disbelieved any news release or pronouncement from the White House, the State Dept or the Pentagon.

turcopolier

All

Try focusing on the truth or falsehood of assertions and assumptions made about this war rather than 1/galaxy scale generalities. pl

r whitman

Any information on barrel bombs comes from the rebels. Exactly what our host was warning about. I watched the interview with Assad and I thought he did not know what a barrel bomb was. He sounded more baffled than disingenuous.

turcopolier

r whitman

I think that DoD and the US government in general did not "lie" about VN. They believed their own BS in mass consensus in exactly the same way. The path to success now lies in believing and propagating similar nonsense. pl

turcopolier

All

The techniques for misleading mass human belief are well known by the PR industry. In essence all that is needed is to start a "ball rolling" with well planted untruths (or truths). If that is repeated enough, then the human herd instinct takes hold and such suggestion becomes unassailable truth as people strive for their place in the herd. pl

Fred

Col.,

“Actually, why not ask for "embedding" throughout the Syrian Armed Forces…”

I believe that if any of the MSM hacks, ah “reporters” did so they might find the same type of discussions you eloquently about in your WBS series. I recommend that these reporters use the British source from our own Civil War, Colonel Freemantle.
(Here’s the link you originally provided: http://docsouth.unc.edu/imls/fremantle/fremantle.html)

Readers will find Col. Freemantle’s comments on the discussions of rank and file soldiers about the political leaders in both the US (federal government) and the Confederate government. I am certain that any embedded reporter with units of the SAG Army could find discussions amongst Syrian soldiers that would at least shed light on what those men feel about their government and why they still actively engaged in defending that government.

If they won’t embed with SAG why not with the “Free Syrian Army” - i.e. the rebels - that Barrack Obama is so gung ho to arm, train, equip and fund? I would love to hear what any soldier of the FSA has to say about the “Free Syrian” Government President (insert name here – I’ve never heard one but maybe the Obama Administration can tell us who that is? BBC? CNN? MSM? Anybody?). While we’re at it maybe we can get an on the ground view from the FSA troops – the rebels we support – on some other key government officials:
How about the Vice President of the “Free Syrian” Government (insert name here – I’ve never heard one maybe the Obama Administration can tell us who that is? BBC? CNN? MSM? Anybody?).
Who will be the Treasury Minister in the new ““Free Syrian” Government (insert name here – I’ve never heard one maybe the Obama Administration can tell us who that is? BBC? CNN? MSM? Anybody?).
Maybe we could get a local view too, like who’s going to be the head of the Homs Governate in “Free Syrian”. Opps, they just lost there didn’t’ they?
How about the one in Aleppo, or Deir ez-Zor; or is that now an ISIS Governate? Paging Mr. Bowman of BBCNews- how about an update on who will lead the new government of Free Syria? It is why the rebels are fighting isn’t it, the leadership of Mr. XXX (Insert name here) or maybe it is Ms. XXXX? (Insert name here).

I can’t wait for news from the embedded reporters with the FSA (if they don’t wind up getting knocked off by the ISIL elements within those 22 battalions – it was 22 in 2011, or so we are told). Can’t wait, it’s only been four years……

the Unready

Do you expect government supporters to show you videos of barrel bombs??
The airforce drops them on rebel - held territory.
I suggest you search youtube for a few minutes.
You may even find some videos uploaded by bragging soldiers.
For a closer look, here's one that failed to detonate:
http://youtu.be/etDJ1S7Q__c

If you honestly think he's not disingenuous then you haven't been following the Syrian war closely enough. He's being too clever by half - perhaps too fixated on or bemused by the media's obsession
with "barrel" - but nevertheless EVERYONE in Syria knows what a barrel bomb is. In Arabic people don't even refer to them as barrel bombs any more, simply 'barrels'.

In fact, this is part of his problem. In his three famous speeches he acted as if he was unaware of the bloodletting going on in his country - as if war is an academic question.

turcopolier

the Unready

I don't really care about the barrel bomb thing. They are just bombs. You have not responded to my argument about media dependence on rebel supplied "information." BTW, "the Unready" is a Brit or someone who lives in the UK. pl

Medicine Man

Col.: Regarding the possible fiction of Assad's barrel bombs, I think the media is pivoting off the widely believed myth that "precision" bombs don't inflict civilian casualties (because they are so accurate). Thus Assad's use of crude, non-precision munitions is evidence of his monstrousness.

The Beaver

Colonel

may be "the Unready" is so hooked on the "facts" provided by the unemployed so-called expert "Brown Moses"s who does his Syrian war analysis by watching videos . Yep never worn the uniform let alone attend military colleges and yet he is the authority on Sarin, Chlorine, bombs, missiles , any weapon you name it he is the go-to person for HRW and pseudo-think tanks.

Brown Moses hails also from the UK and his wife is from Turkey !However, never set foot in waring Syria

scott s.

Bill H:

How is CBS News (AFAIK, owned by privately held National Amusements) aligned with other corporations which manufacture weaponry? If we look at, say, NBC, we see a media outlet that has gone through various corporate owners, now Comcast. It's hard for me to see a significant difference in news slant as ownership changes.

turcopolier

All

I have banned "the unready" for asserting my ignorance because I am "not following the situation closely enough." pl

Charles I

I'm sure he knows all about bomb/barrel lexicographical warfare. Just as they know that the dangerous part of a drone or a gun is not the barrel but the load and the shooter. The man is at war in his own country, existentially threatened, consistently cool when faced with fervent cognoscenti agog that bombs are part of war and he drops them. Its hardly academic and hysteria from press or foe won't clarify anything for him whatever its refractive powers to us..

In the West we get a video feed of the highest tech possible that makes us imagine that our bombs, so delightfully barrel-free, are moral and others immoral. Fat people are bad. Plus ours are bigger, louder, and we got so many of 'em we're giving 'em away.

What do we expect of him, demeanour-wise? For all his faults he'd be on solid ground ridiculing his some of his interlocutors a la Stephen Cohen or Stewart and Colbert

the Unready

That's a shame. I didn't intend to offend you.

MRW

What does SAG mean here?

mo

The BBC long ago became a propaganda tool for the UK govt when it comes to foreign policy. I cannot recall the last time they challenged a sitting govt over foreign policy.

The assertions about Assad, from barrel bombs to chlorine use have all come from so called rebel groups. All so called evidence over the use of gas has been debunked so the whole barrel bomb claim may be just another fiction.

Every Syrian civilian I know (and 90% of them are Sunnis) support Assad, not because they love him, but because they know this war is about bringing foreign control over Syria.

In regards to embedding with Syrian soldiers, he only needed to ask. The Sunday Times' Hala Jaber and the Independent's foreign correspondent Robert Fisk have both spent time with them. Famously in the case of Mr Fisk, it caused something of an about turn in his reporting about Syria.

turcopolier

the Unready

Tell you what, I have lived in England, worked in England and for an English company. I know that English culture and American culture differ over the issue of what we consider politeness, especially in the American South, so we will start over again. Make your comment without the personal reference. pl

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