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Falsified New York Times Middle East Reports

by Stephen Lendman Sunday, Aug. 21, 2011 at 4:59 AM


Falsified New York Times Middle East Reports - by Stephen Lendman

They appear daily like weeds on all topics. As a result, Times reports aren't fit to read, let alone print. August 18 was no exception, publishing lies about Libyan insurgent victories.

On August 18, headlining, "Libyan Rebels Gain Control of Oil Refinery as Qaddafi Forces Flee," Kareem Fahim's article was pure Pentagon propaganda, duplicitously lying to readers.

Yet he said "(r)ebel fighters claimed complete control of a sprawling (Zawiyah) oil refinery, seizing one of (Gaddafi's) most important assets after just three days of fighting and delivering the latest in a string of small victories that have suddenly put the rebels at Tripoli's door."

Reporting from Tripoli, independent Middle East/Central Asian analyst, Mahdi Nazemroaya refuted him, telling Progressive Radio News Hour listeners that:

-- Gaddafi forces are winning;

-- rebels are in disarray;

-- the so-called National Transitional Council (NTC) is falling apart;

-- Misrata was liberated from rebels;

-- Tripoli is peaceful and calm, despite daily NATO bombing, willfully targeting civilians and nonmilitary sites;

-- scattered fighting continues along routes to Tunisia and elsewhere;

-- arteries between the two countries remain open;

-- Intense Western propaganda wants to intimidate Gaddafi supporters to give up hope of prevailing;

-- it's had the opposite effect, in fact, galvanizing Libyans overwhelmingly behind Gaddafi, making him by far the most popular African/Middle East leader; and

-- his forces control Gheryan, Sorman, Sabratha, and Zawiyah, its oil refinery and others; reports saying otherwise are lies; rebels are south of the city, not in it.

In an August 18 morning email, he added:

"Nothing has changed thus far. There is fighting in the area, but (rebels) do not have control. Bombings over Tripoli are very bad though."

As part of NATO's intimidation campaign, they continue daily, inflicting pain and suffering on Libyans unrelated to military necessity. As a result, they're war crimes, what Times and other major media sources won't explain.

Moreover, in times of war, the first casualty is duplicitous reporting, journalists lying for a living, prostituting themselves for a buck.

Daily The New York Times lies. So do other Western broadsheets, magazines, US television, the BBC, National Public Radio, Public Broadcasting, and other mainsteam sources, showing their managed news lacks credibility.

For example, Fahim falsely claimed:

-- Gaddafi forces "mounted (no) forceful counterattack;"

-- signs indicate that the conflict "reached a critical moment, if not its final stage;"

-- "the vital highway from Tunisia to Tripoli has remained closed, controlled by rebels;"

-- thousands of refugees flee Tripoli daily to escape "mounting hardships" and "be safer in rebel-held areas;"

-- rebels show increasing confidence;

-- morale among Gaddafi forces is near collapse;

-- daily defectors joins rebels; and

-- rebels now control former Gaddafi held cities.

In fact, his article reads more like bad fiction than news. Independent reports refute him and others, including about other Gaddafi held cities claimed in rebel hands.

On August 17, writers Susan Lindauer and Joanne Moriarty headlined, "Libya: Gadhaffi Retakes Key Towns," saying:

"Is Gadhaffi losing? Au contraire. In total contradiction to the propaganda push on CNN (and other Pentagon mouthpieces, independent) sources inside Libya say" Gaddafi, not rebels, is prevailing.

In fact, pockets of insurgents are in all these areas, but they're "isolated and surrounded by the Libyan army." In addition, most tribes, including major ones "are fighting with Gaddafi" against rebels.

His forces are motivated, not demoralized, as falsified reports claim.

On August 17, Scott Taylor's Chronicle Herald article headlined, "Gadhafi Support Soars Amid NATO Bombing," saying:

Libya's insurgency "has been more of a media war than a full-scale armed clash." In fact, despite an embargo, sea blockade, theft of Gaddafi's assets, and ferocious daily bombing, "the ragtag collection of fractious" rebels haven't managed "to make any serious headway against Gadhafi loyalists," let alone topple him.

His overwhelming popularity is key, polls showing it about 85%. Moreover, over 2,000 of Libya's 2,335 tribes support him, including the largest ones.

At the same time, Libyans revile NATO and cutthroat rebels with good reason. They're destroying, not liberating Libya for well understood imperial reasons. As a result, popular sentiment is determined to resist.

On August 16, the Mossad connected DEBKAfile headlined, "Libyan rebel 'gains' smokescreen for talks in Tunisia to end war," saying:

Claims about rebel advances and Gaddafi forces near collapse are pure propaganda, not facts because government and TNC representatives "have been meeting in semi-secrecy on the Tunisian island of Djerba...."

Fighting on the ground has been "tailing off and morphing into direct talks between the two" sides.

DEBKA sources explained "a step-by-step" process, involving Gaddafi yielding power in stages to a new government to include top positions for his sons, key loyalists, supportive tribes, and TNC turncoats. In addition, Gaddafi will remain in Libya, his personal safety guaranteed.

DEBKA also confirmed independent reports that TNC "leadership is being torn apart by infighting," especially after its field commander, Gen. Abdel Fatah Younis was assassinated.

"By broadcasting false reports of victories, such as the conquest of....Brega (Zawiyah, and other Gaddifi held cities), the rebels hope to cover up their internal disputes and inability to win the war, while at the same time (hoping falsified victories will be) bargaining chips for the negotiations."

The only so-called rebel gains, in fact, were made by "Berger tribes (that) reject any ties whatsoever with" insurgent forces.

Clearly, the scripted media victory claims are pure Pentagon propaganda - ball-faced lies with no credibility whatsoever. Reporters, commentators, and editorial writers regurgitating them function solely as imperial tools, disgracing their profession in the process.

A Final Comment

Misreporting on Syria matches Libya propaganda. On August 18, New York Times writer Steven Lee Myers headlined, "US and Allies Say Syria Leader Must Step Down," saying:

Obama and other Western leaders "called on Syria's Bashar al-Assad to give up power." Obama also froze "all Syrian assets within American jurisdiction, banned imports of Syrian oil and barred American citizens from having any business dealings with the Syrian government...."

In addition, he called on other countries to impose similar sanctions.

An August 18 White House Office of the Press Secretary statement was propaganda rubbish, saying:

"The United States has been inspired by the Syrian peoples' pursuit of a peaceful transition to democracy. They have braved ferocious brutality at the hands of their government. They have spoken with their 'peaceful' marches, their 'silent' shaming of the Syrian regime, and their courageous persistence....For the sake of the Syrian people, the time has come for President Assad to step down."

Aside from the audacity of demanding regime change anywhere, as well as imposing sanctions harming civilians, not government officials, the entire statement falsified what's been ongoing in Syria for months.

A previous article explained, accessed through the following link:

More on it below.

An August 18 Times editorial headlined, "Truth About Syria," saying:

"It took too long, but (Obama) finally - and unequivocally - called for (Assad) to step down and end his murderous war against the Syrian people....Any fantasies that Mr. Assad is a guarantor of Syrian stability or could lead a peaceful transition have been rightly jettisoned."

Even Saudi and Bahrain despots can't "stomach (h)is killing spree...."

Expecting truth on New York Times pages is like imagining a progressive awakening in Washington, Republicans and Democrats renouncing imperial wars, holding past and current culpable officials accountable, nationalizing the Federal Reserve, breaking up too-big-to fail banks, and prosecuting Wall Street and other corporate kleptocrats, confiscating their stolen assets for starters.

The above linked article compared events ongoing in Syria to what began in Libya, pitting imperial powers against ruling governments for destabilization and control. In Libya, it's by war for regime change, colonization and plunder. In Syria, it's to establish another client state, no matter who heads it.

Clear evidence shows armed non-Syrian insurgents responsible for much violence, killing civilians and security forces. Western media, European leaders, and complicit regional ones falsely blame Assad, despite legitimate nonviolent opposition to his regime. They, in fact, are caught between hostile sides.

On August 6, Lebanon's Al-Akhbar newspaper said government security forces foiled an attempt to ship large quantities of arms to Syrian insurgents, including high-quality Kalashnikov and M-16 rifles. Suppliers were arrested after delivering them to a Beirut neighborhood.

On August 8, Lebanon's As-Safir newspaper quoted a security official, saying:

"The recently foiled operation is still under investigation, and there has been highly significant information gleaned from those involved who are affiliated with a prominent tendency in the March 14 alliance. This is not the only operation that they have carried out."

March 14 is the anti-Hezbollah/anti-Syrian Saad al-Hariri-led alliance, son of assassinated Rafik Hariri in February 2005, a Mossad operation falsely blamed on Hezbollah.

Washington, Israel, and Saudi Arabia back March 14. Seizing arms for Syrian insurgents provide more evidence of imperial efforts to destabilize Assad's government, replacing it with a pro-Western one, controlled by America.

According to DEBKAfile and Israeli intelligence, internal anti-Assad elements also have or will get heavier weapons, including machine guns, mortars, anti-tank and air rockets. Syria's army also said hundreds of Islamist Salafi fighters were detained, including Afghans.

On August 16, Michel Chossudovsky's Global article headlined, "The Pentagon's 'Salvador Option:' The Deployment of Death Squads in Iraq and Syria," saying:

Turkish troops may intervene in Syria. A broader military confrontation may result, and "(i)n recent developments, Islamist death squads have penetrated the port city of Latakia's Ramleh district, (including) rooftop snipers (who) are terrorizing the local population."

Imperial Washington orchestrated and escalated North African/Middle East/Central Asian conflicts. Involving Syria risks expanding them to general war, perhaps involving Russia and China for their own interests, opposite America's.

Washington's imperial arrogance suggests a possible global conflict, especially to divert public attention from deepening economic Depression.

The strategy is tried and true, scaring people enough to put safety above pocket book issues, besides enlisting public support for greater geopolitical aims.

Attacking weaker countries is one thing, involving China and Russia potentially quite another. As a result, understanding the risk and stopping it is crucial. The alternative is too grim to imagine.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at

Also visit his blog site at and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

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