If you are already well aware of the extent to which Mainstream Media Lie, you don’t need to read this. If in doubt, read on. Here we deconstruct a Daily Telegraph article of 9th May 2019. See the full article here on the Telegraph website, or the text with numbered paragraphs at the bottom of this article.
The lie of Assad deliberately targeting hospitals in the Syria has often been used to justify the war against his Government. Little has been reported in the last few months, since the Syrian army has cleared almost their entire territory of Sunni Jihadist rebels. The one remaining area, in the province of Idlib, is subject to a patchwork of truce agreements involving the Russians and the Turks. But the expectation has always been that at some point the Syrian Government would fight to clear these rebels, at least from the major trading highways that pass through Idlib.
Early in May an offensive started. It began with heavy aerial bombardment of relevant areas by both the Syrian and Russian Air Forces. This, of course, is normal. Soldiers only rarely attack defended positions without prior “softening-up” by artillery and/or air strikes.
The Telegraph article in Paragraph 2 tells us:
Nearly 80 civilians, including 23 children, have been killed and 12 hospitals have been targeted by Russian and Syrian regime warplanes
Those are very accurate casualty figures, and not far out of line with reports from other sources. However, the twelve targeted hospitals is a special twist. Even the BBC reports did not mention this, though they reported on damage and casualties in peoples homes. The hospital lie is easily debunked by a little analysis, First, note that these are not mere mortar attacks, but aerial attacks, meaning bombs of 250 Kg or more can be used accurately. Such a bomb could go through the roof and several floors of a hospital, exploding on the ground floor. Fifty deaths might easily result. With several bombs on each of twelve hospitals, we should expect casualties of a thousand or more. But the Telegraph tells us of less than eighty deaths. If half of these occurred in the targeted hospitals, that would only be about three deaths per hospital, which is patently absurd had they really been bombed.
The same paragraph also gives the source of the information: the White Helmets. Though funded by British Taxpayers, the White Helmets are a very far cry from the Red Cross. They are an integral part of the Jihadist rebels. It would be very hard to find a more biased or controversial source of information. When an unsupportable claim comes from an unreliable source the conclusion should be obvious: the report is false.
Always, with civilian casualties, remember that in war they are unavoidable. This is just one of the reasons that war is wrong. Civilian casualties caused by “Our Side” are called “Collateral Damage”. One example of such Collateral Damage is that during the Allied invasion of Normandy some twenty thousand French (that is, friendly) civilians were killed by Allied bombing.
In Paragraph 3 we read:
civilians are trapped in Idlib, which is dominated by Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), a jihadist group linked to al-Qaeda.
The second statement is true. Idlib is indeed held by Jihadi rebels who oppose the secular Syrian Government. Assad himself is an Alawite Muslim, but his Government allows different Muslims, Christians and others to practise their faith freely. The Jihadis are violently opposed to such freedoms for “Infidels”. One wonders if the Telegraph would be so upset by the secular UK Government attacking such rebels if they controlled the Home Counties? Would the Telegraph be telling us that the RAF targeted local hospitals when they bombed the rebels?
There are, of course, never any reports of rebel fighters killed in the attacks. They are the actual target, but such information is militarily sensitive and never revealed.
The first statement in the quote above is a lie. Idlib has a border with Turkey, and Turkey supports the rebels. There is a way out for both fighters and civilians. They may not wish to move, but nobody is “trapped”.
In Paragraph 5 we read:
There will be no green buses this time. . . . . . In several (earlier) major battles where rebel forces were defeated by the Syrian regime, opposition fighters and their families were allowed to leave on green buses . . . .But with Idlib . . . . .both rebel and regime forces believe that there is nowhere left to run
In previous battles the Syrian Army were mostly taking pockets of rebel territory which they had completely surrounded. It is at least good of the Telegraph to acknowledge that “Butcher Assad” laid on Green Buses to evacuate rebels and their families, even taking with their infantry weapons with them. In the case of Idlib, as already stated, there is in fact a way out into Turkey. Hence no need for the Green Buses.
In Paragraph 8 we read:
a withering rain of airstrikes, deliberately targeting hospitals to try to break the morale of civilian communities
That hospital lie again! But now with an explanation, “to break the morale of civilian communities”. However, the Syrian Army are not fighting civilians, they are fighting well-organised armed formations. Civilian morale is irrelevant. In any case, did German bombing of London break British morale in World War II? Did mass bombing of Germany break German morale? Did the shooting of unarmed civilians on Bloody Sunday in Northern Ireland achieve anything, beyond turning many to join the IRA? The article is now truly in the realm of fantasy.
In Paragraph 8 we also read:
Mustapha Hassan, a father-of-five, compared the aerial attack to the Russian assault on Grozny
Who is Mustapha Hassan? The Telegraph doesn’t tell us, and “father-of-five” detail means nothing, except to cast him as a family man. Is he the source of the unsupportable statements already made? Does he really know about Grozny? If we give Hassan credit for reliable, first-hand Grozny knowledge, we must also assume that he has somehow managed to be in two very different places that were, or are now, blighted by Jihadi wars. The natural conclusion is that he is one himself. Not a good source of information; but if the Telegraph is happy with the White Helmets, an active Jihadi would be right up their street.
Paragraph 9, the final paragraph, is most interesting. It takes up almost one third of the entire article, and is all about the supposed possibililty of prosecuting hospital-bombing pilots as War Criminals. Since the hospital bombing hasn’t happened, this is all nonsense, but the paragraph lends credence to the idea that it has. The key character in this paragraph is Hamish de Bretton-Gordon, yet another source who lacks credibility. Following the alleged chemical weapons attack on 7 April 2018 in the Syrian town of Douma, Hamish de Bretton-Gordon said:
“A sophisticated nerve agent was used at Douma, not just chlorine. Only Assad has the capability to produce these substances inside Syria. And using chemical weapons is his standard modus operandi.”
Bretton-Gordon has an OBE and is ex-British Army, so doubtless his words have some influence. Immediately after Douma, one hundred cruise missiles were fired at Syria in response to the alleged attack. Many months later the OPCW eventually released its full report. It stated that only chlorine was used, no nerve agent, and they were quite unable to say who used the chlorine. Given that the Syrian Army were about to take Douma anyway, they had no incentive to use gas. Given further that America had promised action if gas was used, the rebels had every incentive to use it, and blame Assad, just before their final surrender. Bretton-Gordon therefore has a track-record as an unreliable and biased source. The Telegraph has used not one, not two, but three deceptive sources to concoct this “news”.
The key point here is that the Mainstream Media have their agendas. It is completely impossible to write articles debunking all the wrong things they say; time simply does not permit. I do so occasionally when something really irks me, as it has done today, and also did here with the BBC. If you’re happy with fantasy, just sit back and soak it up what the media says. If you have the desire to know the truth, uncritically absorbing what they say is a personal disaster. And when millions simply absorb, that is an international disaster.
1 Assad regime forces have vowed they will crush the Syrian rebellion once and for all in the province of Idlib, saying there will be “no green buses” like the ones that allowed rebel fighters to evacuate after past defeats. After eight months of relative quiet following a Russian-Turkish ceasefire deal, Syrian regime forces and their allies have launched a fierce air and ground assault on Idlib, the last remaining province in opposition hands.
2 Nearly 80 civilians, including 23 children, have been killed and 12 hospitals have been targeted by Russian and Syrian regime warplanes in the last ten days, according to the White Helmets rescue group.
3 Around 3 million civilians are trapped in Idlib, which is dominated by Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), a jihadist group linked to al-Qaeda. Aid groups warn of mass civilian casualties and vast refugee flows if Assad’s forces launch an all-out assault.
4 Syrian regime troops and allied militias have so far focused their ground offensive on the southern edge of the province and this week captured the strategic town of Kafr Nabudah.
5 Fighters from a pro-regime unit posted a video of themselves celebrating amid the ruins of the town and warned they would push on into the rest of Idlib. “There will be no green buses this time,” one fighter said. “They will be buried under the roofs of their houses.” In several major battles where rebel forces were defeated by the Syrian regime, opposition fighters and their families were allowed to leave on green buses to Idlib as part of a surrender deal. But with Idlib the last area under opposition control, both rebel and regime forces believe that there is nowhere left to run and that the province will be the site of a final battle for control of Syria.
6 It is not yet clear if Bashar al-Assad’s forces are trying to seize complete control of the province or have more limited aims, like recapturing two key motorways which connect Aleppo, Syria’s largest city, to the Mediterranean coast.
7 Vladimir Putin, who has strongly backed Assad, said last week that he was not ruling out a full-scale attack but he believed it was “inadvisable” for now. Moscow is also cautious about angering Turkey, which has troops in Idlib and is vehemently opposed to an attack.
8 So far Russia and the Syrian regime have launched a withering rain of airstrikes, deliberately targeting hospitals to try to break the morale of civilian communities, according to people in Idlib. Mustapha Hassan, a father-of-five, compared the aerial attack to the Russian assault on Grozny, the capital of Chechnya, which left the city almost completely destroyed in 1995.“It is methodological destruction and expulsion because we demand freedom. This is happening under the eyes of the world. The world has no sense of humanity,” he said.
9 The UK government has been urged to use British military radar systems in the Mediterranean to identify the aircraft doing the bombing so their pilots can be “named and shamed” and potentially prosecuted by international courts. Hamish de Bretton-Gordon, an advisor to several medical groups in Idlib, said that RAF and Royal Navy radar systems could easily identify the individual Russian and Syrian jets involved in the bombing. Using social media and other open source materials it may then be possible to identify the pilots responsible for each bombing run against hospitals or civilian area. That evidence could potentially be used in a future war crimes proceeding. “If we are not prepared to intervene to help these people, the bare minimum we can do is to name and shame the aircraft attacking these hospitals,” Mr de Bretton-Gordon said. “Pilots might think twice about dropping bombs on civilians in they think they may one day face their comeuppance in the International Criminal Court. The Ministry of Defence did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the proposal. Mr de Bretton-Gordon raised the idea in a meeting at the Foreign Office on Thursday and was told the UK would consider raising it at the UN.