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New York Times Misinformation on Syria

by Stephen Lendman Friday, Feb. 08, 2013 at 11:50 PM


New York Times Misinformation on Syria

by Stephen Lendman

Managed news misinformation reflects official Times policy. It's standard practice. It's longstanding.

Truth is verboten. It's systematically avoided. Readers are betrayed. They're lied to daily.

On January 31, the Gloria Center Global Research in International Affairs asked if Times editors published "obviously faked photos." PJ Media's Middle East editor Barry Rubin's report was featured.

Suspect photos should have raised red flags. They should have been rejected. Times editors gave them front page coverage. Others were featured in a gallery online.

The front page caption read:

"Top, two insurgents in Damascus took positions before being hit by army snipers; the fighter on the right died soon after being dragged from the line of fire."

"On the political front, Syria’s top opposition leader expressed a willingness for the first time to talk with the government."

Somehow a photographer "managed to be in position to capture two men supposedly in peril."

One was shot and killed. The photographer "just happened to have the presence of mind - and luck - to set up a second camera."

Did he happen to be in the right place at the right time capturing events accurately? What he shot doesn't square with what happened?

"No smoking gun," said Rubin, "but I believe there is enough accumulated evidence present to be objectively suspicious."

Reuters Goran Tomasevic was the alleged photographer. Checking with the new agency for verification and learning why "the key photo" is "missing from the gallery" was omitted from Times coverage.

"I believe the photos were falsified," said Rubin. It wouldn't be the first time fake images were used. It's common scoundrel media practice. Western media, Al Jazeera, and other unreliable sources prioritize it. Willful deception is policy.

Rubin added:

"I am not an expert on photography, but I believe these are false (photos), indeed ridiculously so."

"I believe an intelligent editor should have had serious questions about this, especially after there has been so much controversy about falsified photos."

Featuring them is official scoundrel media policy. Lies substitute for truth.

On January 20, a Times editorial headlined "The Syrian Refugee Crisis." Opening comments distorted truth enough to make a sailor blush, saying:

"More than 60,000 innocent civilians have been slaughtered in President Bashar al-Assad’s desperate bid to retain power in Syria."

"In the two-year reign of terror, he has also forced staggering numbers of Syrians to relocate within the country or flee across the border, creating a disaster that is threatening to destabilize the region."

"The international community has an obligation to do more to ease the suffering."

Fact check

Syria is Washington's war. It was planned years ago. America wants Assad ousted. It pro-Western puppet leadership replacing him.  

There's nothing civil about Syria's war. Western-recruited death squads invaded. They're Washington proxies. They're heavily armed, funded, and directed.

Current US proxy wars use earlier tactics. Syria's been ruthlessly ravaged. An entire population is terrorized. A sovereign nation is being destroyed.

Terrorists commit targeted assassinations and atrocities. They continue daily. Assad is wrongly blamed for death squad crimes. Media scoundrels turn truth on its head. They regurgitate official lies.

No one knows how many died. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay says 60,000. She provides no proof. She's a reliable imperial tool. Her mandate is distorting and suppressing truth.

In mid-January, she addressed a closed Security Council session. She urged Member States to act. She claims 60,000 is "a conservative figure."

Numbers "speak for themselves," she added. She stopped short of pointing fingers the right way.

She blames Assad for "massive scale" killing. In early January, she urged Western intervention.

"Where is the international community," she asked? "Why aren't (world leaders) acting to stop this slaughter?" She blames Assad for Obama administration crimes. Doing so turns truth on its head.

The Times repeated her lies. Washington bears full responsibility for Syria's crisis conditions. Assad defends Syrians responsibly.

It's his job. He's obligated to protect his people. Failure would be grossly irresponsible. Times editors didn't say. They point fingers the wrong way. They blame victims for imperial crimes. It's longstanding Times policy.

Its editors claim "(m)any Syrians have fled because of bombings by army troops, still others because of sexual violence."

Implied is that government forces bear full responsibility. They're protectors and defenders. They're not aggressors or rapists.

Syrians welcome them when they arrive for good reason. Without them, things would be far worse.

"Russia and China….enabled Mr. Assad in his brutal war, but (did) little to help his victims."

Both countries drew red lines. They're united against NATO intervention. They're committed against full-scale intervention.

They prioritize resolving Syria's conflict diplomatically. They want Syrians alone to decide who'll govern them.

According to international law, there's no other way. No nation may interfere in the internal affairs of others. None may attack accept in self-defense. They may do so until the Security Council acts. It has final say. Times editors didn't explain.

Washington, Israel, key NATO partners, and regional allies want Syria ravaged and destroyed. They want it balkanized and controlled. They want Iran isolated.

They want all independent governments replaced by subservient pro-Western ones. They want regional countries colonized, exploited and controlled.

They spurn democracy and self-determination. They deplore liberating freedoms. They're contemptuous of human rights. They want unchallenged dominance.

Times editors support them. They're dismissive of Syrian suffering. They're reliable imperial allies. They support wealth, power, and privilege. Popular interests don't matter. Nor does truth and full disclosure.

On February 4, Times contributor Roger Cohen disgraced himself. It wasn't the first time. He gets feature op-ed space. He takes full advantage. He headlined "Intervene in Syria."

Forget about right or wrong. Ignore rule of law principles. Disregard truth and full disclosure. Toe the imperial line. Time editors pay him to lie.

He's beholden to power politics. He's a pro-Israeli ideologue. His columns show where he stands. They're one-sided. They wreak with deception. They support what they should condemn.

"The ousting of its despotic ruler, Bashar al-Assad, would remove Iran’s sole Arab ally and cut the Iranian conduit to its Lebanese proxy, Hezbollah. That is in Israel’s strategic interest," he said.

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak urges "Assad's departure. (He) hope(s) to see it happen 'imminently.' "

"But the worst course is the one President Obama and Western leaders have fallen into: Feeble paralysis most foul."

Cohen favors "bolstering the armed capacity of the Syrian opposition, leveling the military playing field, and hastening the departure of Assad essential for the birth of a new Syria."

In other words, ignore rule of law principles. Support wrong over right. Syrian interests don't count. Imperial priorities alone matter.

Cohen quoted John McCain saying "(w)e should be ashamed of our collective failure to come to the aid of the Syrian people."

America spurns them entirely. It deplores their interests. It wants them exploited, not aided. It wants unchallenged control. Cohen didn't explain.

Washington's been arming, funding and directing proxy death squads since conflict first erupted. Cohen claims an opportunity to weaken Iran is being "squander(ed)."

It's "time to alter the Syrian balance of power enough," he says. "Assad (has) no option but departure. That means" aggressively increasing US aid.

It also means "us(ing) US cruise missiles to destroy Assad's aircraft…."

He barely stopped short of urging full-scale intervention. Maybe a follow-up column plans to.

Whenever America wages direct or proxy wars, media scoundrels march in lockstep. They shill for power and privilege. One-sided reports follow. Truth is systematically avoided.

Doing so ignores professional standards. Fundamental journalistic ethics are violated. Honesty gives way to bias. Misinformation, lying, distortion and deceit are prioritized. It's standard scoundrel media practice.

Credibility is lost. So is public trust. Readers and viewers deserve better. Alternative sources best serve them. Follow them daily. Avoid irresponsible paid liars.

Stay current on vital news and information. Understand what’s vitally important to know. It touches everyone's life directly. Protecting it matters most.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at

His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."

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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CIA Media Lip Service continues to Blame The Syrian Victim for The Crime to Protect CIA More CIA Media Blaming Victim for The Crime Saturday, Feb. 09, 2013 at 6:40 AM

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