Monday, December 12, 2011
Madison Ruppert, Contributing Writer
In a clear act of censorship, after a video was uploaded to the official Facebook page for the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) which exposed the highly manipulated ABC interview with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, the page was removed by Facebook.
The video was of a press conference held by the spokesman for the Syrian Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Ministry, Jihad Makdessi, showing how the ABC interview was deceitfully edited.
“The conference showed how the US TV channel ABC manipulated the content of their interview with President Bashar al-Assad and distorted it through editing and omission,” writes SANA.
Syrians on Facebook have apparently already created a new page dedicated to the Syrian TV station, but this instance of Facebook controlling the narrative is hardly something which can be ignored.
The entire interview, conducted by Barbara Walters, is an exercise in Western propaganda which is completely divorced from objective reality and instead based solely on pulling the heart strings of viewers in hopes that they will not go through the effort of verifying any of the claims.
In this article we will also explore just how Walters goes about misrepresenting the truth and misleading the viewer during the interview.
Why you shouldn’t trust the Western media’s picture of Syria
First off, as Tony Cartalucci aptly points out, the United Nations Human Rights Council report on Syria was based on no independently verified information whatsoever.
The report was solely based on so-called evidence gathered from “victims and witnesses of events” who were found via “A public call … to all interested persons and organizations to submit relevant information and documentation that would help the commission implement its mandate.”
In total, “223 victims and/or witnesses, including personnel who defected from the military and the security forces, were interviewed.”
Clearly, they were seeking out “relevant information and documentation that would help the commission implement its mandate,” showing that they were only looking for information that would further their narrative and justify foreign military intervention in Syria.
To make matters even worse for those who would like to point to the report as a legitimate investigation, the three so-called experts who were assigned to the commission: Paulo Pinheiro (the Chairperson), Yakin Ertürk and Karen Koning AbuZayd, all had clear conflicts of interest.
Paulo Pinheiro has prime globalist credentials, including heavy involvement with the corrupt, unaccountable United Nations and membership in several so-called “civil society organizations” as you can see in his 2004 curriculum vitae.
Yakin Ertürk sits on the board of the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD) which is “an official partner of several online knowledge portals, including the South-South Learning Gateway and OpenDemocracy,” which is not only funded by George Soros’ Open Society Institute but has also featured writings of Soros as well.
Karen Koning AbuZayd is on the board of directors of the Washington-based “think tank” Middle East Policy Council, where she serves alongside former CIA agents; the former commander of U.S. Central Command; the former chairman of ExxonMobil, Saudi Arabia, Inc.; a former senior fellow of the National Defense University; the President of the U.S.-Qatar Business Council; former Defense Intelligence Officer for the Near East and South Asia; a senior fellow of the Center for American Progress; and more.
This clearly makes AbuZayd as compromised as the rest of the team, as her association with the Middle East Policy Council makes her anything but objective.
The Center for American Progress shills for the Obama administration, as I have previously shown, and the U.S.-Qatar Business Council includes corporations that greatly benefit from the type of unrest we are seeing throughout the Middle East, while all of the other members also have conflicts of interest themselves.
The United Nations and the Western establishment media rely on people not actually looking into who is behind these reports and how they are compiled, and many people don’t go that far.
Thankfully there are independent researchers who can connect the dots and prove that these reports are just as fraudulent as all of the manufactured reasons we are brought to war.
The report perfectly served exactly what Western nations like the United States have been pushing for, which is wholly unsurprising when one investigates the providence of the report.
The Walters interview is based on a wealth of false pretenses on top of the UN report, including the demonstrably false assertion that the protesters are peaceful.
As I have exposed in the past, there are many heavily armed and violent elements of the uprising which have been murdering Syrian security forces and attacking government compounds and vehicles.
I always must point out that if any protest were to turn violent in the United States, those involved would be slaughtered without hesitation.
Yet, for some reason, people in the West seem to think that when it happens in Syria it is some kind of special case that is completely different from the rest of reality.
It is also worth noting that Abdulhakim Belhadj, the head of the Tripoli Military Council and former leader of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), which is listed as a terrorist group by the U.S. State Department, met with senior members of the Free Syrian Army last month.
He was dispatched to meet with them on the border with Turkey and in Istanbul at the request of the interim Libyan president Mustafa Abdul Jalil.
Clearly the NATO-backed Libyan rebels are attempting to help yet another Middle Eastern country overthrow their leader in order to install more globalist-friendly regimes.
The Western-backed assault on Syria is far from a new plan. As General Wesley Clark revealed in 2007, the scheme to attack Syria has been in the works for some time now.
This was emphasized once again in 2002 when Syria was added to the so-called “Axis of Evil” along with Libya, which has already been taken over by Western interests, and Cuba, which was under covert attack at the hands of the United States for years (and arguably still is).
Furthermore, after The Washington Post published WikiLeaks cables in April of this year, which showed the State Department’s funding of Syrian opposition groups, projects, and anti-government TV channels, State Department spokesman Mark Toner attempted to marginalize these activities in an article published by CNN.
The article, which was posted the day after The Washington Post published the WikiLeaks cables, quotes Toner as saying, “We’re not working to undermine that government. What we are trying to do in Syria, through our civil society support, is to build the kind of democratic institutions, frankly, that we’re trying to do in countries around the globe. What’s different, I think, in this situation is that the Syrian government perceives this kind of assistance as a threat to its control over the Syrian people.”
Toner’s claims are laughable at best, given the fact that Americans have been directly interfering with Syrian domestic affairs and undermining the Syrian government.
This was exemplified by U.S. Ambassador Robert Ford openly criticizing the Assad government and even meeting with prominent opposition figure Hassan Abdel-Azim in September.
The people of Syria aren’t happy about Western meddling in their affairs, as shown by the assault on Ford’s motorcade on route to the meeting with Abdel-Azim and the attempts to break into the office where they were meeting.
Just like all of the pro-Assad protests are either glossed over or ignored entirely by the Western media, these incidents are treated selectively in order to further the manufactured narrative.
Armed with the above facts, the interview with Barbara Walters and Bashar al-Assad should be quite clearly skewed, and in the rest of this article I will detail just how dishonest it really is.
Exposing the deceitful interview between Bashar al-Assad and Barbara Walters
It is even more ridiculous when one thinks about the fact that she was invited to interview Assad by the man himself, and despite her claim that Syria is in a state of total bedlam, she was able to make it to the interview unscathed.
“You don’t have the support of your people,” Walters said, and quickly realizing that this is completely untrue she corrects herself and says, “Of all of your people.”
By Walters’ logic, President Obama (with a 44% approval rating according to a CBS poll) and our Congress (with a 9% approval rating according to a New York Times poll) should be currently faced with violent uprisings, but of course her thinking is so myopic that it can only extend to situations which she decides it can apply to.
“But you have people who are against you who are protesting every day,” Walters says, once again showing that she either supports violent revolution in the United States or only thinks that protests count in Arab countries.
I guess the Occupy Wall Street protesters and their allied movements across the nations don’t count?
Once again, Walters betrays her own myopia and proves she is either so divorced from reality that she doesn’t think people are protesting in the United States on a daily basis, or only thinks that leaders need to listen to the people in foreign countries.
When Walters says that people don’t want to wait until 2014 for the next Presidential election, she yet again shows that she either a) supports violent revolution or b) doesn’t understand the democratic process.
If the people of the United States decided tomorrow that we want to hold the elections next month and not in 2012, it wouldn’t matter.
Is Walters really naïve enough to think that we have the power to demand a Presidential election whenever we want in the United States?
Or is she again applying her double standard in which other nations have to follow rules which the United States doesn’t?
Hilariously, Walters cites the uprising in Egypt as a case where a leader was overthrown. Does Walters not realize that the military junta put in place after Mubarak was ousted is arguably even worse than before?
When Walters asks if mistakes were made in the crackdown on protests, Assad nods replies, “Self-evidently yes, for one reason, because when you don’t prepare yourself for new situations you’re going to make mistakes.”
“Have the people who made the mistakes been found accountable? Have they been punished?” Walters asks.
“Some of them, yes, according to the evidence. But you cannot punish anyone according to rumors or allegations. So this judicial committee – independent judicial committee – it’s its job to detain people if they are guilty and to send them to the court for prosecution,” Assad replied.
Walters then goes on to cite the completely illegitimate United Nations human rights report, which Assad points out is totally devoid of names of people who have been raped and tortured.
People can make allegations all they like, but without evidence which can be investigated, there is nothing that can be reliably proven by independent parties.
When Assad points out that they did not provide any names to substantiate the claims, Walters reverts to saying, “They have issued this report. They have accused you and your regime,” at which point Assad interjects, “According to what?” to which Walters responds, “Well according to what they said is 225 people. Witnesses, men, women, children, who they interviewed and identified. And that’s when they called it crimes against humanity.”
“As long as we don’t see the documents and the evidence, we cannot say yes. That’s normal. We cannot say just because the United Nations – who said that the United Nations is a credible institution, first of all?” Assad retorted.
“We know that you have the double standard in the world. In the United States policy, in the United Nations that is controlled by the United States and the West, so it has no credibility,” Assad said.
Walters then seems completely taken aback and asks, “You do not think that the United Nations is a credible organization?”
“No, for one reason. They haven’t implemented – they never implemented any of the resolutions that related to the Arab world. For example, to the Palestinians, to the Syrian land. Why don’t they? If they talk about human rights, what about the Palestinians suffering in the occupied territory? What about my land and my people that left their land because it is occupied by Israel? Of course it’s not,” Assad said.
Walters then repeats the question as if she is going to get a new answer or that his last answer wasn’t detailed or legitimate, which it clearly was.
He points to the fact that the entire region does not see the United Nations as legitimate, and I might add that many outside of the region, like me, do not see the United Nations as a legitimate or credible institution.
When Walters asks Assad about the defections in the military, Assad says that defections are a relatively common occurrence but he says that they are indeed happening more often now.
However, he points to the fact that the majority of Syria is stable as evidence that most of the military is not defecting as the Western media is portraying.
Despite the picture Walters is trying to paint in the interview, even she has to admit that since they had been in Damascus it was “business as usual.”
When Walters claims that most of the world is against Assad and he confronts her on this question, she points to nations like Turkey and the members of the Arab League as proof that he is losing favor even among his neighbors.
In response, Assad rightly points out that these countries don’t care about the Syrian people, they have their own agendas.
The fact that Walters would make such an absurd statement while the members of the Arab League crack down on their own domestic protests once again shows she is either wildly ignorant or a propagandist.
When Walters presses Assad to say what exactly the agenda is, he tells her to go ask them as they will tell her that they have an agenda themselves.
“You should ask them. I cannot talk about their will, I don’t know about their will, to be frank,” Assad said.
He then said that they would indeed allow monitors dispatched by the Arab League, so long as they respected Syria’s sovereignty and cooperate with the Syrian government.
Assad added that they are currently discussing the conditions on which monitors will be allowed in Syria.
Walters then asked if foreign journalists would be allowed, claiming that they had been blocked, when in reality Webster Tarpley, a foreign journalist, was allowed in Syria and was featured in an interview on Syrian TV just last month.
When Assad asks if in the two days Walters had been in Syria if she had been told where she could and couldn’t go, she just ignores the question entirely.
Walters then boldly lies and claims that Assad has not let any foreign correspondents into Syria, which is clearly untrue as Tarpley has proven.
Assad emphasizes the fact that the crackdowns were not a product of Syrian policy, but instead the product of mistakes made by a few people.
However, he does say that they have an official policy of fighting militants and points to the fact that the United States sent the National Guard, the Army and the Marines to put down the 1992 riots in Los Angeles.
Walters erroneously claims that in the United States people are not killed which is, once again, untrue as 10 people were murdered by law enforcement and the National Guard during the 1992 riots.
Furthermore, the recent violence at the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations doesn’t paint the glorious picture of American law enforcement Walters seems to be pushing.
Assad said he did not give the order to attack protesters and that whenever military forces used machine guns against protesters they were breaking the law.
He further said that most of the civilians who have been killed are in fact pro-government and not anti-government protesters as the media has portrayed
“Our view is that there are peaceful protesters, they were killed, some were tortured, it was a brutal reaction. Are we wrong in thinking that?” Walters asked.
“Every brutal reaction was by individuals, not by institutions. That’s what you have to know,” Assad said.
“Done by the military or done by whom?” Walters asked.
“We don’t know everything. In some cases done by the police, some cases done by civilians. Civilians who support the government, not by police,” Assad replied.
“But not by your command?” Walters asked.
“No. No one’s command. There was no command to kill or to be brutal,” Assad said.
“Do you feel guilty?” Walters asked, even though he repeatedly said throughout the interview that he didn’t order any acts of brutality.
“I did my best to protect the people, so you cannot feel guilty when you do your best. You feel sorry for the lives that have been lost, but you don’t feel guilty when you don’t kill people. So it’s not about guilty. You do your best and you have to do your best. You have to fight terrorists to protect other civilians in Syria,” Assad answered.
I am very curious to know what was so damning in the press conference footage to justify Facebook removing the page in a blatant act of censorship.
Clearly the interview was rife with leading questions, presumptions, and the repetition of questions but I would love to know how the footage was manipulated as it is almost impossible to tell what the original was when watching the end product.
I also wonder how Facebook will respond, if at all, to clear attempt to steer the narrative in the direction preferred by the West.
Hopefully this action taken by Facebook will serve to wake more people up and make them start looking into the Syrian issue with a more critical eye; if not, we could likely see much of the West get suckered into another Libya.
This article originally appeared at End the Lie
Madison Ruppert is the Editor and Owner-Operator of the alternative news and analysis database End The Lie and has no affiliation with any NGO, political party, economic school, or other organization/cause. He is available for podcast and radio interviews. If you have questions, comments, or corrections feel free to contact him at admin@EndtheLie.com