Getting real old

Recently, while discussing my most recent article about Margarita Simonyan with a friend, he suggested there’s no point in covering her interviews anymore since every one is basically the same whataboutism-laden mess. One is basically interchangeable with another. And yo know what? He’s 100% right. A recent interview in the New York Times demonstrates this clearly.

Basically there are the two main pillars of every interview in two quotes:

“Contacted for this article, representatives from RT issued a lengthy statement from the network’s editor in chief, Margarita Simonyan, who wrote: “There is no special policy for treating any news stories differently when they pertain to Russia.”

Really? So it’s just a coincidence that RT expends zero effort questioning the claims of the Kremlin, while at the same time fostering conspiracy theories against the US and Western governments? Loyal RT staff are also fond of talking about how free they supposedly are, but how can you talk of freedom when everything you write just happens to line up with the Russian governments claims? If you want to demonstrate your editorial freedom, do some actual investigation and write a scathing indictment of any of the government’s claims or policies and see how well that does.

Oh wait…I forgot. It’s literally impossible for RT’s journalists to demonstrate their editorial freedom in that manner because the Russian government literally never does anything wrong, nor does it lie. It’s the one government in the entire world that never lies. Therefore RT’s intrepid writers could not possibly write a critical article of the Russian government not because they would be censored, but simply because doing so would entail lying.

But of course that’s not what you came here see. You want that sweet, sweet whataboutism. The kind of whataboutism that’s debunked with 5-10 seconds on Google. Well dear readers, I deliver:

“The same talking heads never mention the rampant crackdowns by the absolute monarchies, theocracies and ruthless strongmen allied with the U.S.,” Ms. Simonyan added.”

Here we go. Six seconds on Google. Here’s another one. Here’s a BBC story that talks about the civilian casualties from Saudi Arabia’s bombing campaign in Yemen:

 

Here’s a report from Vice about the Saudi-led airstrikes:

Also if we go back to Arab Spring, the Western media seemed to have no problem reporting on the crackdown of the Egyptian government, in spite of the fact that the Mubarak being well-known as a US puppet for decades.

Turkey, though it seems to be warming up to Russia lately, is still a NATO ally. I wonder if the Western media is ignoring the crackdown there. Nope. Here’s Time. Here’s Reuters. Here’s state-funded Voice of AmericaThe GuardianBBC.

Here’s one on the crackdown in Bahrain five years ago:

 

Now I know some folks who work for RT follow this blog, so if you have Margarita’s ear maybe you can pass along this small piece of advice. Stop using the word “never.” The main reason why these statements sound so idiotic is because of the way she and others insist that the “mainstream media” doesn’t cover any of these stories. If she just said something like, “They don’t cover these events as much as they cover these other ones, ergo they’re biased,” she’d be far closer to the mark. In truth, major media outlets are biased, just to the same degree as Margarita thinks and for very different reasons.

Of course the funniest thing about that particular quote is that she talks about how the media supposedly doesn’t cover the crimes of regimes friendly to the US. If that argument came from someone like Noam Chomsky (and it does, constantly), it would have more impact. The reason being that unlike Simonyan and the state she serves, Chomsky doesn’t defend the Assad regime, the Iranians, or Putin’s Russia. See if RT reported honestly about the Russian government, its activities in Ukraine, and the atrocities of the Assad regime while simultaneously devoting a significant portion of their coverage to the actual problems of Ukraine, the failure of US policy in Syria, and the human rights abuses of regimes like Qatar or Saudi Arabia, then they’d not only be objective, but they’d be a much better news network than the rest. But that’s not what we see.

Instead we get constant fawning praise for Putin, phony claims about Ukraine, conspiracy theories, and cowardly anonymous attacks on anyone who criticizes their network. I’m sorry but this isn’t the same as CNN or  BBC. As I’ve said before, the closest RT comes to a Western network is Fox News, which incidentally happens to be the shittiest network in America.

Apart from the details, my friend is absolutely right. There’s nothing in this interview that we don’t here in any interview with Simonyan or Kiselyov. “We don’t censor! We don’t have an editorial line! If we do then you do it too! We’re the same as you but somehow better!” They could write that on index cards and save a lot of journalists’ time by handing them out.

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34 thoughts on “Getting real old

  1. Jim Kovpak Post author

    A very “special” commentator has claimed that the Western media doesn’t cover Turkey’s war on the Kurds or Saudi Arabia’s war on Yemen, in spite of links to stories about the latter. Let’s fix that, shall we?

    CNN: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sUSGCiovRYA

    BBC: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3z5PVjgOjlo

    BBC again: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LWh76Qb0sLc

    VICE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bwe4msjHCXs

    On Saudi bombing in Yemen and the links to Western weapons sales:

    BBC: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N6V0bNuv1yM

    Channel 4: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=prCkjLTIoYk

    BBC again: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EnNCcDekMUI

    This took a couple minutes to compile. Remember as you watch these videos that according to RT fanboys, they do not exist. They’re just an optical illusion. The monolithic Western media (which includes Al Jazeera for some unknown reason) doesn’t report on this stuff.

    Reply
      1. Jim Kovpak Post author

        People like this are delusional. For some reason it’s the foreign ones that are totally off the rails. I bet that in person Simonyan or Boyko are far more reasonable than the Western fanboys. They know it’s bullshit but it’s a sweet job

  2. ramendik

    Well I just bounce into rampant bias by the BBC, go here and see this post!

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-36944470

    “Rebel-held parts of Aleppo have been heavily bombarded recently by pro-government forces. Rebels have launched an offensive to try to break a government siege.”

    Not a word on the fact that the bombardment is mutual, and the people in government-held areas of Aleppo are suffering in a similar way from rebel bombardment.

    The story itself is about children burning tyres to “reduce visibility” for bombardment. But indiscriminate bombardment has no need for visibility, it just needs an area, Visibility is needed to target rebels. These children. therefore, are made to participate in sheltering a rebel operation. This is a case of child soldiers, a war crime under international law, but look what the BBC makes out of it!

    Yes, the BBC will not hide things as blatantly as RT will – instead it creates gems like this, where “factual reporting” becomes a tool for distortion of reality to suit British foreign policy. It is simply *much better*, but it plays the same game.

    Reply
    1. Jim Kovpak Post author

      Who says the bombardment in Aleppo is mutual? The children burning tires are not “child soldiers” unless they are armed and performing military duties. Burning tires cannot be considered that.

      If you want to talk about violations of international law- bombing hospitals would count. But we wouldn’t want to talk about that, would we?

      Plenty of evidence shows that neither the Russian air force nor Syrian air force has shown any particular concern for pin-pointing the location of rebels vs. the civilian population.

      Reply
      1. ramendik

        There is VERY scant English-language reporting about rebel bombardment of government-held areas of Aleppo (a likely intentional media blackout), but sometimes the truth slips through.

        http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/civilians-killed-rebels-shell-government-held-aleppo-685601309
        http://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-syria-aleppo-idUSKCN0ZP0FP

        And, if government bombardment were indiscriminate, burning tyres *would not achieve a thing*. Burning tyres creates a smoke barrier, which *only* makes any sense if the government (and allied Russian) forces are actually trying to pinpoint rebel forces.

        This smoke barrier is a part of military defence by rebel forces. And they are employing children to create the defence. If not child soldiers what is this?

      2. Jim Kovpak Post author

        So the Western media does report on such things. Good.

        Burning tires still makes sense. Remember that the Russian government has often lied about who it is targeting in this campaign.

        And no, children gathering or burning tires are not child-soldiers. Children have performed such duties in many wars without being labeled such.

      3. ramendik

        It does, but the reporting is VERY scant. Note that Reuters is a news agency, not a “daily reading/watching” source for people not specifically interested in politics. The kinds of media that are watched daily concentrate on the bombing of rebel-held areas only, creating an image of some kind of one-sided slaughter. This image is false even though no wrong statements might be made.

        That’s how bias is done with high skill.

        (And of course the fact that these “rebels” are mainly al-Qaeda is very rarely mentioned).

        In what wars have children performed duties directly linked, in real time, to military defence and not been labeled child soldiers? All sorts of things did happen in World War II on many sides including the USSR, but international law has advanced since then.

      4. Jim Kovpak Post author

        So it’s good that there are Western outlets reporting civilian casualties. As I’ve pointed out, Western outlets have reported on civilian casualties as a result of coalition bombing in Iraq and Syria. What’s the only side categorically denying it?

      5. ramendik

        There certainly are such Western outlets but they are not the daily-watched media. In Russia, there also are outlets that report on civilian casualties of Russian actions in Syria. Here is a report by Interfax: http://www.interfax.ru/world/494726 . (Interfax and Reuters are both news agencies, even if their scale is not comparable, and I think it’s no coincidence that on both sides they are more balanced than the daily TV feed).

        But the BBC won’t report on rebel shelling of government-held aread in Aleppo, and RT won’t report on Russian bombardment of hospitals.

      6. Jim Kovpak Post author

        First I would say that this is moving the goal-posts, but I’ve pointed out in the past that if you just count the headlines and small blurbs yes, there’s a bias. But this is largely unavoidable. You can’t have the evening news where each headline story is followed up by a detailed analysis. This is why it’s good that more people are switching to internet sources of news.

      7. ramendik

        It’s not just about “the headlines”. Bias in Western media does not amount to absolute silencing of the opposite viewpoint, but nor does the Russian version; this would be the Soviet level of censorship, which, as far as I know, is not even attempted by China now.

        However, coverage of inconvenient truths is so restricted that even people interested in the matters often end up with a skewed picture.

        Case in point: *you* were affected. You wrote yesterday “Who says the bombardment in Aleppo is mutual?”. You are not some random person watching the evening news. You are interested in Russia and what its military forces do. You run a blog on the matter. And yet you did not immediately know that the bombardment in Aleppo was mutual.

        Recent information on the matter: http://syria.liveuamap.com/en/2016/2-august-sohr-30-killed-including-18-children-and-citizens . I could not find *any* Western media reports on this so far by any actual media outlets (liveuamap is not a media outlet, and the source they qote is in Arabic).

        So, yes, people turn to the Internet – and even there the bias awaits them unless they tread very carefully. Well-managed social media campaigns, like (in this case) the #aleppoisburning hashtag, contribute to the biased picture.

      8. ramendik

        And yes, I could not find RT reports about rebel bombardment in Aleppo, either. I think RT is losing its handle on this one. They should have had embedded journalists in Aleppo, creating a coherent counter-narrative to the endless “poor rebels #aleppoisburning evil Assad” droning.

        In general it seems that RT are dropping their quality. I really did not watch them at all since early 2015 (when I lost my satellite setup) and things seem to have gotten worse since then.

        What RT does is interesting for me and, sometimes, disappointing. I’ve been debating stuff off and on in English since frigging 2000, and was accused of working for the FSB in 2001 on the chechnya-sl mailing list because I published stories about rebel brutality and debated the pro-rebel claims. My response was that if I were to be actually paid for this, and not squeeze time from the day job, I’d be translating the testimonies of ethnic Russians in Chechnya who faced terrible violence from the “freedom fighters” even before Russia moved to try and restore control for the first time… I wonder if RT made a documentary about them since then. Such a great opportunity to explain and possibly exonerate Russian army actions…

        Sometimes I feel I could do well at a pro-Kremlin media outlet so. But I wasn’t exactly invited 🙂

      9. Jim Kovpak Post author

        Actually the worst violence Russian civilians suffered in Chechnya was when the Russian army began shelling and bombing Grozny in the first war. The city was where the Russians lived and these people were unable to get out.

    2. Sanchez Garcia

      Really odd that you spoilt the comment by uneccesarily saying “hide things as blatantly as RT will”. WHAT do RT hide? Give examples before typing doltish comments. RT makes clear the allegations of crimes made by Assad and Gaddafi….and rebukes all the spurious NATO media claims about “bombing hospitals” and “killing civilians”

      Reply
      1. Jim Kovpak Post author

        While this is not a response to my comment, what attempt has RT made to actually verify the allegations about civilian casualties in Syria?

        If you look at RT’s “rebukes,” you will find that the source is almost always the Russian Ministry of Defense. Here’s an example of Sputnik News with Russia’s claims that there has been no proof of civilian casualties in Syria: http://sputniknews.com/politics/20160208/1034415224/moscow-claims-russian-strikes.html

        This is simply laughable. You can quibble over the numbers, but the very idea that a major bombing campaign over urban areas doesn’t cause civilian casualties is ridiculous. Western media sources have reported on the civilian casualties from American and other coalition forces against ISIS. They have even published articles arguing against bombing ISIS, claiming (with much credibility) that ISIS actually wants more bombing.

        Getting back to Russian Ministry of Defense claims, they have been debunked numerous times by groups like Bellingcat, which makes its methodology completely available to others so anyone can learn how to do it.

        See when a government, particularly the military, makes bold claims about something, good media outlets are supposed to investigate that and see if it’s true. That’s kind of the basic concept of a free press. We all saw what happened when that breaks down- the Iraq War. Luckily many media outlets learned a valuable lesson from that, and those which didn’t find themselves edged out by other outlets who did.

        Now I will give RT credit for one thing. The Russian Ministry of Defense claimed it did not use cluster bombs in Syria, and RT debunked that claim. If only they’d done it intentionally: https://meduza.io/en/news/2016/06/20/russian-state-television-accidentally-broadcasts-evidence-that-moscow-uses-cluster-bombs-in-syria

      2. ramendik

        RT is not hiding anything over Syria, but it is, sadly, lacking in balanced coverage of issues in Russia itself. It has not always been that way. Pre-2014, such coverage abounds.

      3. Sanchez Garcia

        There is no knowledge of which ones are Syrian planes bombing and which are Russian bombing…none. Nothing a journalist can do about it…other than wish for the information to be leaked to him from Syrian,Russian or American intelligence . It’s safe to say that the rebel side aren’t reliable to provide ‘evidence’…nor are the Assad side. Western journalists routinely visit the Russian air base, have access to Russian generals.For obvious reasons…. that isn’t the case for them with ISIS,Al-Nusra and so on. Finding out who is or isnt a civilian, if it was or wasnt a hospital , at the time it was allegedly bombed…. is impossible without proper ground access. This is unlike the Donbass or Balkans wars where journalists had better access ( and where casualties were likely undereported)

        If there is a terrorist in the house, and he has his family of 10 sharing it with him….they don’t count as civilians in my view. There is no UN statistic available to confirm or deny civilian deaths since October 2015.

        Bellingcat isn’t credible. Proper experts,please not drivel. That would include even the US government.
        Who would you trust in that circumstances to give reliable information ? Obviously the Russians who are at least giving some information…probably without precedent in terms of sharing information into the public domain. There is the western coalition to compare it to.

        On the cluster munitions, it depends on what target it was used as to if it was illegal,and I gather ,on a technicality, those used in the video don’t actually count as such, even if they do the same thing.

        RT on the other hand have had guys on the ground in both Libya and Syria,.reported a version of what happened there , that is clearly supported by facts, given subsequent events…..and one of their correspondents was meters away from death by TOW when they were travelling in a convoy in Syria recently. I don’t know about Al Jazeera or the USA and UK print media…but RT have done much more dangerous reporting from Syria than the Atlantic television media….who often report from Beirut. This gives RT’s reporting added weight and importance

      4. Jim Kovpak Post author

        “There is no knowledge of which ones are Syrian planes bombing and which are Russian bombing…none. Nothing a journalist can do about it…other than wish for the information to be leaked to him from Syrian,Russian or American intelligence .”

        Really? Care to support that assertion? There are people reporting from the ground in Syria, including rebel-held territory. Obviously these claims all have to be scrutinized and tallied up to see what is consistent and what is not, but the idea that nobody has any idea what is going on there is simply ludicrous.

        “Western journalists routinely visit the Russian air base, have access to Russian generals.”

        Actually I know at least one correspondent who has been there on a Russian press junket (the concert in Palmyra) and things are quite restricted.

        “f there is a terrorist in the house, and he has his family of 10 sharing it with him….they don’t count as civilians in my view. There is no UN statistic available to confirm or deny civilian deaths since October 2015.”

        I’m sorry but this is ridiculous on several levels. First of all, I doubt you’d be so generous for NATO missions in Afghanistan or Pakistan. How do they know there’s one “terrorist” living in a house with ten other non-terrorists? The truth is they have no idea, which is why you don’t engage in such indiscriminate bombing with unguided bombs (proven) and cluster munitions (proven).

        “Bellingcat isn’t credible. Proper experts,please not drivel. That would include even the US government.”

        Who says Bellingcat isn’t credible? You? Please give me an example of something they’ve written that you don’t find credible, and keep in mind I’ve seen attempts to discredit Bellingcat before.

        Arbitrarily declaring them not credible and saying they’re not “proper experts” simply doesn’t cut it. Much of Bellingcat’s work, if falsified, would be easily debunked. After all, if something isn’t really where they claim it is, it would have to be somewhere else, and that can be proven.

        ” Obviously the Russians who are at least giving some information…probably without precedent in terms of sharing information into the public domain. ”

        Unfortunately the Russian Ministry of Defense has been caught lying numerous times.

        “RT on the other hand have had guys on the ground in both Libya and Syria,.reported a version of what happened there , that is clearly supported by facts, given subsequent events”

        Embedded with two regimes that were notorious for tightly controlling media and making up fantastical lies. In the case of Assad’s regime, they claimed that a video of unarmed protesters being shot in a square was actually filmed in an exact copy of the square in Qatar.

        ” I don’t know about Al Jazeera or the USA and UK print media…but RT have done much more dangerous reporting from Syria than the Atlantic television media….who often report from Beirut.”

        It’s not as dangerous when you’re embedded with the side that does the most killing and has the best weapons. And I’m very sorry but other news outlets do report directly from Syria and they have correspondents who go there.

    3. Sanchez Garcia

      Ramendik, RT have reported on allegations ( and they are allegations) of the Russian airforce bombing Syrian hospitals….several times….videos and articles on their site. That makes your analysis plain wrong and questions all these other incorrect critiques you give on RT.
      We know for a fact that these are hospitals that the western coalition has bombed….we don’t know for a fact these were hospitals, or done by Russian . that were bombed, and no reliable way of corroborating them ( as shown by yet another dubious rebel propaganda about gas)

      Reply
      1. Jim Kovpak Post author

        “We know for a fact that these are hospitals that the western coalition has bombed….

        Really? Let’s see some proof of that.

  3. Sanchez Garcia

    So go on then…who was the journalist you talk about at Palmyra?…….he’s not going to get killed if you reveal him on here ( or just give the media outlet he works for)

    Your first paragraph really doesn’t ascertain which is Syrian or Russian. With people on the ground …what height they dropping the bombs from…..how can they tell what plane it is? Reliably dating the video ( are there any?) is also tricky. It may help the Syrians and the Russians that they can just palm off who did what onto eachother…..but the fact remains nothing is available that proves who is doing what.

    The Pakistan and Afghanistan strikes, I gather, are done in more rural areas where more people live, most things spaced out, not many high-rise buildings whereas Syria is a whole load of desert and some densely populated towns where most of these strikes are talking place. There is really no excuse for the casual mistakes the Americans are making in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The US make these decisions independent of the Pakistan or Afghan government, that must mean they don’t trust those intelligence services for sharing information ( fair enough) and are relying on satellites…..but they are making a load of horrendous mistakes.

    There are plenty of Russian speaking Syrians, Arabian speaking Russians, Assad moles .Caucasian Russian members who could pass of as Syrians or terrorists working on the ground in Syria …who are likely to provide more accurate intelligence than the US in Syria or the US in Afghanistan and Pakistan. I think the Russians are less likely to make mistakes.

    RT , in fact, did a wonderful documentary on US Drone warfare in Afghanistan and Pakistan last week.

    As for supposedly “lying” MOD, – that is linked to the Bellingcat comment. Let us have our differing opinions.

    Assads men have had just as many killed as the rebels…sitting ducks when they enter rebel-held town . However bad Assad and Gaddafi were …what is in both countries now is a lot worse. Russia not vetoing the Libyan decision ( although they were lied to on that) is something also to make note of when thinking of RT’s excellent coverage. As for being “embedded”…that is better than being embedded with nobody, if you are trying to make a report, isn’t it? This is different to the Donbass where reporters could gain sufficient access to both sides , no danger of beheading., particularly a western reporter

    Reply
    1. Jim Kovpak Post author

      To answer your first question:

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2016/05/09/56-hours-with-the-russian-army-in-syria/

      I’m going to ignore your mental gymnastics about military matters you clearly know nothing about to move on:

      “I think the Russians are less likely to make mistakes.”

      Based on what? Your speculation above? Even if you do know what you’re bombing, when you use cluster bombs and unguided weapons in urban areas you’re going to hit civilians, period.

      “As for supposedly “lying” MOD, – that is linked to the Bellingcat comment. Let us have our differing opinions.”

      ‘Everyone is entitled to his opinion, but not his own facts.’

      If you have a problem with anything Bellingcat has done, by all means post the link to the Bellingcat page on the topic in question and point out where they went wrong. If Bellingcat weren’t so transparent with their methodology and they were unwilling to answer questions, I’d be more skeptical about their work. That simply isn’t the case, however.

      “However bad Assad and Gaddafi were …what is in both countries now is a lot worse. ”

      They certainly are, because Western policy in the region hasn’t been any better. However the Russian policy of “bomb the shit out of everybody and call them terrorists” isn’t a solution.

      “This is different to the Donbass where reporters could gain sufficient access to both sides , no danger of beheading., particularly a western reporter”

      There were rebel groups in both countries who had journalists with them. They’re not all head-chopping maniacs. I believe even ISIS has allowed press contacts a few times.

      Reply
      1. ramendik

        Just how is bombing the shit out of Jihadist terrorists and restoring control of territory to the lawful government of the country not a solution?

        Perhaps bombarding (not bombing, solely for lack of aviation at the time) the hell out of slave traders was not a solution too, eh? It’s a solution that worked and you have a fatherland as a result. And yes, Atlanta and the march to the sea. And also, the slave traders were not nearly as much of a worldwide danger as the Jihadists are.

        Assad and his Russian allies are doing the entire world a service by containing the Jihadist danger. Pure and simple. The best solution in Syria, except Kurdish areas, is forcible restoration of the lawful government – and that solution would have been achieved by 2012 if not for US black ops.

      2. Jim Kovpak Post author

        The problem is that they’re not just bombing jihadists. Initially they were concentrating on almost everybody but jihadists. This is a government that decided to declare war on peaceful protesters and then gave jihadists a free hand while attacking any secular, democratic opposition.

      3. Sanchez Garcia

        as RT have frequently and excellently pointed out… that “war on peaceful protesters and then gave jihadists a free hand while attacking any secular, democratic opposition” malarkey isn’t true at all. Borne out by Libya as well. Read Robert Fisk on what the Free Syrian Army is.

        What is or isn’t a jihadi…..you and me aren’t in a position to tell. Only the Russian and Syria militaries can. Plenty of the Free Syrian Army have soldiers willing to drive upto Syrian military bases and kill themselves……they are Jihadi’s in my view…even if the targets are not civilians.

        There is a puzzle between inherited dictatorship, police state like Assad………and how to get into a normal,democratised state…….but doing it like this was never the answer. And it is a form of democracy…..rightly or wrongly….the majority of Syrian people at this moment in time support Assad…..or at least support him in this war. The Army could easily have abandoned him but they didn’t. There will still be plenty of Syrians who hate him and anti-government militants…but they won’t be a majority

      4. Jim Kovpak Post author

        “as RT have frequently and excellently pointed out… that “war on peaceful protesters and then gave jihadists a free hand while attacking any secular, democratic opposition” malarkey isn’t true at all.”

        Oh so RT said it. It must be true.

        “What is or isn’t a jihadi…..you and me aren’t in a position to tell. Only the Russian and Syria militaries can”

        I’m sorry but that logic doesn’t follow.

        “There is a puzzle between inherited dictatorship, police state like Assad………and how to get into a normal,democratised state”

        Here’s a hint- Don’t go attacking the democratic opposition while letting jihadis out of your prisons.

        “the majority of Syrian people at this moment in time support Assad”

        Clearly they don’t. He was nearly toppled in 2012 and his military increasingly relies on Russians, Iranians, and Hezbollah. If he had popular support we wouldn’t have this refugee flow either.

      5. ramendik

        “If he had popular support we wouldn’t have this refugee flow either.”

        Vast areas of Syria are under rebel control yet somehow the flow of refugees is all from Assad? How would THAT work?

        Also, Assad was “nearly toppled in 2012” with a strong influx of money and weapons, at the very least, from NATO countries. If not black ops personnel. Here http://www.cbsnews.com/news/wikileaks-us-secretly-backed-syria-opposition/ is proof that these countries were at it from the very beginning in 2011.

      6. Jim Kovpak Post author

        Many refugees have left not because they are under attack from Assad, but because they didn’t want to be drafted due to the huge manpower shortage.

        Also Assad nearly fell in 2012 not due to US intervention, but rather because initially much of his army defected. He would have been toppled if ISIS attacked, but his government apparently struck some kind of informal deal with ISIS, who decided at the time to attack in Iraq and also continue fighting with the rebels, including the Al Nusra guys.

      7. Sanchez Garcia

        My military knowledge is top-notch. I could have mentioned intercepted communications and there are other methods of reconassance than Satellites….but my post was long enough already and I covered everything. This was all for the comparison of US operations in Afghanistan/Pakistan and Syria……. against Russia in Syria.

        I am happy to be corrected…but from what I see- all the alleged cluster bombs….they have tended to be found in rural areas in Syria. All the pictures I have see are of the munitions found in fields…..not densely populated areas….nevermind the cities.

        Unguided weapons? All the allegations of hospitals and schools….are that the attacks were deliberate. Is there any report of Russia hitting a building by mistake? If anything Russia is in the Israeli situation against Palestine…..where the accuracy of the target isn’t disputed, in Israeli operations, the buildings eitherside of the one struck are in perfect condition……only the ruthlessness is disputed. The unguided bombs, again may have been used on targets like infrastructure in rural areas. There needs to be painstaking investigations done to determine if the unguided bombs were used in urban areas….not allegations taken as fact.

        Since the Russians got involved there has been increased military activity in Syria…..but a signifcant drop in deaths. This is a vicious war so there is still too many…..but there has been a drop in deaths compared to 2013,14 and 15. Even estimates of …alleged…..Russian killing of civlians is 2,500. That is 1percent in the war.

      8. Jim Kovpak Post author

        “My military knowledge is top-notch.”

        Clearly it’s not. Do you think you’re fooling anyone?

        “I could have mentioned intercepted communications and there are other methods of reconassance than Satellites….”

        Oh yeah, that’s concrete proof of top-notch military knowledge!

        “I am happy to be corrected…but from what I see- all the alleged cluster bombs….they have tended to be found in rural areas in Syria. All the pictures I have see are of the munitions found in fields…..not densely populated areas….nevermind the cities.”

        It doesn’t matter. The MoD claimed they weren’t using them, and they clearly are. We know thanks to RT.

        ” The unguided bombs, again may have been used on targets like infrastructure in rural areas. There needs to be painstaking investigations done to determine if the unguided bombs were used in urban areas….not allegations taken as fact.”

        There’s plenty of evidence that these weapons have been used in populated areas. Better than Assad’s barrel bombs maybe, but that’s not saying much.

        “Since the Russians got involved there has been increased military activity in Syria…..but a signifcant drop in deaths. This is a vicious war so there is still too many…..but there has been a drop in deaths compared to 2013,14 and 15. Even estimates of …alleged…..Russian killing of civlians is 2,500. That is 1percent in the war”

        I’m sure thousands of people leaving the country and already being dead has something to do with that. Even though the Russians probably have killed far fewer than the government forces, they’ve been propping up Assad through this whole war (with some blame to the Iranians of course).

        Face it, you wouldn’t be making such excuses if it were the US doing something like this. I don’t see RT defending Saudi Arabia’s campaign in Yemen.

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