War in Syria 4

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MegB
War in Syria 4

Continued from here.

NDPP

Syrian Soldiers Repel ISIL Offensive in Southeastern Aleppo

http://bit.ly/2jYb5j5

"Heavy death toll reported."

josh

Syria's justice ministry on Wednesday rejected an Amnesty International report of mass hangings of as many as 13,000 people in a prison near Damascus, calling the allegations "totally untrue" and part of a smear campaign.

The ministry's statement, published by Syria's state-run news agency, came a day after Amnesty released its report , based on a year of research and interviews with 31 former detainees of the Saydnaya prison near Damascus and over 50 former guards, prison officials, judges and experts.

Amnesty's report included chilling details from witnesses who saw various stages of the killings, down to the actual implementation and last- minute wishes of the men hanged, most of whom were civilians.

In Damascus, the justice ministry said "misleading and inciting" media outlets carried the Amnesty report with the intention to smear the Syrian government's reputation on the world stage — particularly after recent "military victories against terrorists groups." The government refers to all armed opposition as "terrorists." 

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/world-news/syria-amnesty-international-mass-hangings?utm_content=buffer4980c&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

 

 

 

NDPP

Hearsay Extrapolated

https://t.co/2G2azE1H8D

"Amnesty claims mass executions in Syria - provides no proof."

 

Amnesty - The Latest War Propaganda on Syria

https://twitter.com/timand2037/status/829373604915712000

"The US State Dept, Amnesty and Human Rights Watch regularly swap officials.

sherpa-finn

Much of the substance if not all the details of the Amnesty report was provided in last year's report of the UN Human Rights Council "Out of Sight, Out of Mind: Deaths in Detention in the Syrian Arab Republic". 

http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/HRBodies/HRCouncil/CoISyria/A-HRC-31-CRP1...

Attempts to whitewash the horrific abuses of human rights by all sides in the Syrian conflict (but overwhelmingly by the state apparatus of the Assad Gov't) are pathetic and an affront to all.

josh

I'll take Amnesty's word over any of the sides, and their benefactors, in the war.

NDPP

The Farce That Is Amnesty International's 'Human Slaughterhouse' Study

https://t.co/a8M0J9vcJP

"It is, quite literally, fake news gone viral..."

sherpa-finn

The above article in summary:

1. We have found one of the rebel soldiers that provided eye-witness testimony to Amnesty - and he is ALIVE! So therefore Assad did not kill everyone in his prisons. Which leads us to conslude that Assad didn't kill anyone in his prisons.

(I suppose we should lament that such rigorous rules of evidence were not in force at Nuremberg.)

2. The agencies that provided this information (Amnesty and Syrian Network for Human Rights) are all stooges of the west. Except when they criticize the west (see #4, below.)

3. The Amnesty report includes aerial photographs. The US used aerial photos in making the case for WMD case in Iraq. Therefore this too is false.

4. At the very same time, Amnesty is denouncing Trump for his Muslim ban executive order. This shows how political they are.  

How pathetic is that?

NDPP

AI Admits "Saydnaya' Report Fabricated Entirely in UK

https://t.co/DM7VmI2Xbs

 

josh

Despite repeated requests by Amnesty International for access to Syria, and specifically for access to detention facilities operated by the Syrian authorities, Amnesty International has been barred by the Syrian authorities from carrying out research in the country and consequently has not had access to areas controlled by the Syrian government since the crisis began in 2011. Other independent human rights monitoring groups have faced similar obstacles. 

 

As I said, I'll give the benefit of the doubt to AI.  This is just more reason to do so. 

sherpa-finn

Yeah. Its exactly the same argument that Assad apologists use for criticizing the White Helmets humanitarian organization that won last years global Right Livelihoods Award (known popularly as the 'Alternative Nobel Prize').

First the agency is denied access to Gov't controlled areas because it refuses to comply with state restrictions. And then it is denounced by the same authorities for only working behind rebel lines. So lame. 

Mobo2000

IMO, AI has changed character over the past 15 years.   They used to talk about American aggression in a much more straightforward way.   Sort of like the Guardian.   I used to think of them as more neutral, but they have been used, willingly or no, to bolster the case for the second Iraq invasion, Afghanistan, Libya, etc as NDPP's twitter link above mentions.  

Producing 3d models of prisons to recreate the horror of Syria prisons for Western audiences is sketchy as hell.  

RE: governments refusing access during conflicts, well, Syria isn't the only government that has expressed concern that western humanitarian organizations are fronts for western government interests.   And we have seen it in effect the other way around as well - US intelligence or covert operatives posing as MSF staff in combat zones during the first Iraq war.   

 

Mobo2000

Amnesty International is telling me that the 13,000 people (allegedly, but I am prepared to believe it is true) executed in Syrian prisions since 2011 is an affront against human rights, and it must END NOW.   Their report urges the UN and the international community to use all their influence to get Syria to comply with international law.   Personally I'm not optimistic more influencing from western governments will do the trick.   

Sherpa-finn says:  

"Attempts to whitewash the horrific abuses of human rights by all sides in the Syrian conflict (but overwhelmingly by the state apparatus of the Assad Gov't) are pathetic and an affront to all."

Talking about AI's reliability, trustworthiness or their choices in which human rights abuses in the world deserve their "coverage" is a separate topic from the horrific abuses of human rights occuring in Syria, or elsewhere.   To discuss the former isn't dismissing the latter.    

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Syrian security forces are fighting against people who car bomb markets and want to enforce a Islamic system that would be at least as bad as the Saudi people have to endure living under. I have no idea how many suspected jihadists have been killed but the number would certainly be high. However I don't for a minute think that a report based on accusations by your enemies constitutes anything except recycled rumours being used as propaganda. 

Quote:

However, even at a cursory glance, before even reading the full body of the report, under a section  titled, "Methodology," Amnesty International admits it has no physical evidence whatsoever to substantiate what are admittedly only the testimony of alleged inmates and former workers at the prison, as well as figures within Syria's opposition.

Within the section titled, "Methodology," the report admits:

Despite repeated requests by Amnesty International for access to Syria, and specifically for access to detention facilities operated by the Syrian authorities, Amnesty International has been barred by the Syrian authorities from carrying out research in the country and consequently has not had access to areas controlled by the Syrian government since the crisis began in 2011. Other independent human rights monitoring groups have faced similar obstacles.

In other words, Amnesty International had no access whatsoever to the prison, nor did any of the witnesses it allegedly interview provide relevant evidence taken from or near the prison.

The only photographs of the prison are taken from outer space via satellite imagery. The only other photos included in the report are of three men who allege they lost weight while imprisoned and a photo of one of eight alleged death certificates provided to family members of detainees who died at Saydnaya.

 

http://landdestroyer.blogspot.ca/2017/02/amnesty-international-admits-sy...

 

josh

The victims are overwhelmingly ordinary civilians who are thought to oppose the government. Since 2011, thousands of people have been extrajudicially executed in mass hangings, carried out at night and in the utmost secrecy. Many other detainees at Saydnaya Military Prison have been killed after being repeatedly tortured and systematically deprived of food, water, medicine and medical care. The bodies of those who are killed at Saydnaya are buried in mass graves. It is inconceivable that these large-scale and systematic practices have not been authorized at the highest levels of the Syrian government.

From December 2015 to December 2016, Amnesty International researched the patterns, sequence and scale of violations carried out at Saydnaya Military Prison (Saydnaya). In the course of this investigation, the organization interviewed 31 men who were detained at Saydnaya, four prison officials or guards who previously worked at Saydnaya, three former Syrian judges, three doctors who worked at Tishreen Military Hospital, four Syrian lawyers, 17 international and national experts on detention in Syria and 22 family members of people who were or still are detained at Saydnaya.

 

 

https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/mde24/5415/2017/en/

 

 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Actually Josh I read that already. It is not proof it is hearsay spoken by people who hate the Syrian government. I have no doubt that people have been tortured and killed for being suspected jihadists. However this story has the stench of babies in incubators with the same eye witness accounts or maybe the vaigra fueled rape squads in Libya.  I refuse to believe stories that sound unbelievable without actual proof.

josh

And what would that proof consist of exactly?  I guess verbal reports of the Holocaust and the Killing Fields wouldn't have satisfied you.  Unlike the examples you cite, AI doesn't have an axe to grind.

Sean in Ottawa

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Actually Josh I read that already. It is not proof it is hearsay spoken by people who hate the Syrian government. I have no doubt that people have been tortured and killed for being suspected jihadists. However this story has the stench of babies in incubators with the same eye witness accounts or maybe the vaigra fueled rape squads in Libya.  I refuse to believe stories that sound unbelievable without actual proof.

2. METHODOLOGY
The research for this report took place between December 2015 and December 2016. Amnesty International interviewed 31 men who were detained at Saydnaya (also spelt Sednaya) between 2011 and 2015.1 Of these, 20 were detained in the prison’s “red building”: five who were part of the Syrian military at the time of their arrest and 15 who were civilians. The remaining 11 were detained in the prison’s “white building”, including nine who were part of the Syrian military at the time of arrest and two who were civilians. As explained below, the majority of those detained in the red building of Saydnaya since 2011 are civilians, and the majority of those detained in the white building are soldiers or officers in the Syrian military.2
Amnesty International also interviewed four prison officials or guards who previously worked at Saydnaya; three former judges, one of whom served in the Military Court in the al-Mezzeh neighbourhood of Damascus;3 three doctors who worked at Tishreen Military Hospital; four Syrian lawyers; 17 international and national experts on detention in Syria, such as investigators, analysts and monitors; and 22 family members of people who were or still are believed to be detained at Saydnaya. The majority of these interviews took place in person in southern Turkey. The remaining interviews were conducted by telephone or through other remote means with interviewees still in Syria, or with individuals based in Lebanon, Jordan, European countries and the USA.
In total, Amnesty International interviewed 84 people for this report. In many cases, two or more interviews were conducted with key witnesses to evaluate the consistency and veracity of the information they provided. In all but two cases, interviews with witnesses were conducted separately. Several interviewees shared their testimonies with Amnesty International at significant personal risk.
For this report, Amnesty International reviewed reports from UN agencies, international NGOs, local monitoring groups and the media. Amnesty International also co-operated with individual activists and Syrian monitoring groups to establish contact with former detainees as well as with the families of persons who have been detained by the Syrian authorities. These groups include Urnammu for Justice and Human Rights, the Syrian Network for Human Rights, and the Syrian Institute for Justice and Accountability. Finally, Amnesty International liaised with the Commission for International Justice and Accountability to corroborate some of the identities of detainees at Saydnaya and several relevant Syrian officials.
Most of the interviewees in this report are referred to by their first name only, following requests by the interviewees. Several asked for their names to be withheld completely, either to protect their own safety or the safety of family members living in Syria. In these cases, Amnesty International has included their testimonies but their names have been changed. These names appear in quotation marks.
Despite repeated requests by Amnesty International for access to Syria, and specifically for access to detention facilities operated by the Syrian authorities, Amnesty International has been barred by the Syrian authorities from carrying out research in the country and consequently has not had access to areas controlled by the Syrian government since the crisis began in 2011. Other independent human rights monitoring groups have faced similar obstacles.

Amnesty International has attempted to engage with the Syrian authorities on human rights concerns, including torture and other ill-treatment, enforced disappearances and deaths in custody, though various means since 2011, in particular by submitting to them cases via communications from its Urgent Action network and by sending letters in advance of the release of public reports. On 6 January 2017, Amnesty International sent a letter to the Syrian authorities requesting clarifications regarding the allegations raised in this report and reiterated Amnesty International’s request for access to all persons deprived of their liberty in Syria. At the time of the publication of this report, Amnesty International has received no response to this letter or to its other requests for information. If the organization receives such a response in the future, it will reflect the government’s observations in subsequent publications.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Why would anyone engage with AI, it is no longer a unbiased organization. 

Quote:

Suppose it nevertheless be insisted that the evidence clearly enough shows Assad to be presiding over mass destruction of his own country and slaughter in his own people: surely the ‘international community’ should intervene on the people’s behalf against this alleged ‘mass murderer’?[21] In the climate of opinion and with the state of knowledge abroad at the time, that may have sounded a plausible proposition. It was not the only plausible proposition, however, and certainly not in Syria itself. Another was that the best sort of support to offer the people of Syria would lie in pressing the government more firmly towards reforms while assisting it, as was becoming increasingly necessary, in ridding the territory of terrorist insurgents who had fomented and then exploited the tensions in the original protests of Spring 2011.[22] For even supposing the government’s agents of internal security needed greater restraint, the best way to achieve this is not necessarily to undermine the very government that would be uniquely well-placed, with support and constructive incentives, to apply it.

I do not find it obvious that Amnesty was either obliged or competent to decide between these alternative hypotheses. Since it nevertheless chose to do so, we have to ask why it pre-emptively dismissed the method of deciding proposed by President Al-Assad himself. This was his undertaking to hold an election to ask the people whether they wanted him to stay or go.

120226101932-syria-vote-horizontal-large-gallery

Although not widely reported in the West, and virtually ignored by Amnesty[23] – a presidential election was held in 2014, with the result being a landslide victory for Bashar Al-Assad. He won 10,319,723 votes – 88.7% of the vote – with a turnout put at 73.42%.[24]

Western observers did not challenge those numbers or allege voting irregularities,[25]with the media instead seeking to downplay their significance. ‘This is not an election that can be analysed in the same way as a multi-party, multi-candidate election in one of the established European democracies or in the US, says the BBC’s Jeremy Bowen in Damascus. It was an act of homage to President Assad by his supporters, which was boycotted and rejected by opponents rather than an act of politics, he adds.’[26] This homage, nonetheless, was paid by an outright majority of Syrians. To refer to this as ‘meaningless’, as US Secretary of State, John Kerry did,[27] reveals something of how much his own regime respected the people of Syria. It is true that voting could not take place in opposition-held areas, but participation overall was so great that even assuming the whole population in those areas would have voted against him, they would still have had to accept Assad as legitimate winner – rather as we in Scotland have to accept Theresa May as UK prime minister. In fact, the recent liberation of eastern Aleppo has revealed Assad’s government actually to have support there.

We cannot know if Assad would have been so many people’s first choice under other circumstances, but we can reasonably infer that the people of Syria saw in his leadership their best hope for unifying the country around the goal of ending the bloodshed. Whatever some might more ideally have sought – including as expressed in the authentic protests of 2011 – the will of the Syrian people quite clearly was, under the actualcircumstances, for their government to be allowed to deal with their problems, rather than be supplanted by foreign-sponsored agencies.[28]

(I am tempted to add the thought, as a political philosopher, that BBC’s Jeremy Bowen could be right in saying the election was no normal ‘act of politics’: Bashar Al-Assad has always been clear in statements and interviews that his position is inextricably bound up with the Syrian constitution.  He didn’t choose to give up a career in medicine to become a dictator, as I understand it; rather, the chance event of his older brother’s death altered his plans. Until actual evidence suggests otherwise, I am personally prepared to believe that Assad’s otherwise incomprehensible steadfastness of purpose does indeed stem from a commitment to defending his country’s constitution. Whether or not the people really wanted this person as president is secondary to the main question whether they were prepared to give up their national constitution to the dictates of any body other than that of the Syrian people. Their answer to this has a significance, as Bowen inadvertently notes, that is beyond mere politics.)

Since the Syrian people had refuted the proposition that Amnesty had been promoting, serious questions have be asked. Among these, one – which would speak to a defence of Amnesty – is whether it had some independent justification – coming from sources of information other than its own investigations – for genuinely believing its allegations against the Syrian government well-founded. However, since an affirmative answer to that question would not refute the point I have sought to clarify here I shall set them aside for a separate discussion in the next episode of this investigation.

My point for now is that Amnesty International itself had not independently justified its own advocacy position. This is a concern for anyone who thinks it should take full responsibility for the monitoring it reports. Further discussion has also to address concerns about what kinds of advocacy it should be engaged in at all.[29]

http://rabble.ca/babble/international-news-and-politics/war-syria-4

 

josh

What does Assad's performance in a presidential election have to do with whether human rights violations took place or AI's investigation of same.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

The problem is foreign interference in the internal politics of Syria. The AI report is yellow journalism that is designed to pound the war drums for an even greater intervention in Syria.  I do not believe that the people of Iraq or Libya are better off than they were under the much vilified regimes that we had to overthrow because of how evil they were. The election route is the path to peace not more regime change rhetoric.

josh

Separate issue. One can oppose foreign interventionism and still speak out against the human rights violations of the government. It isn't yellow journalism. AI is not a newspaper. It's merely an effort to kill the messenger.

sherpa-finn

We can only be grateful that kropotkin wasn't around through the 1970s and 80s when reports from Amnesty and other NGOs and human rights organizations were front and centre in fueling the solidarity work that so many of us were doing in support of liberation struggles in Central America and Southern Africa.

Or is the implication that those reports were good because they criticized America and its allies? While these more recent reports are bad because they criticize opponents of the US and its allies?

Which would suggest that krop believes that human rights are not in fact universal, but strictly a geo-political convenience. Accessible to some, but not others. Sad.    

Unionist

kropotkin1951 wrote:

The problem is foreign interference in the internal politics of Syria.

Exactly.

Quote:
The AI report is yellow journalism that is designed to pound the war drums for an even greater intervention in Syria.

I don't know whether that's true or not. I haven't seen evidence of AI promoting foreign intervention in countries with terrible human rights records, though I stand to be corrected.

Quote:
I do not believe that the people of Iraq or Libya are better off than they were under the much vilified regimes that we had to overthrow because of how evil they were.

I think that's probably correct. But that's not the standard by which foreign-engineered conflict and regime change should be measured. Foreign intervention, against the wishes of a sovereign country, must be opposed. Otherwise imperialism will last forever, to our applause.

Quote:
The election route is the path to peace not more regime change rhetoric.

I agree that regime change rhetoric - which oftern masquerades under the lily-white "Responsibility to Protect" label - is dangerous and deadly. But how a people chooses its path to peace - whether elections, or consensus, or hereditary leaders, or whatever - is its own business, as long as it doesn't send soldiers and weapons and bombers to bring "peace" and "human rights" to other countries, while accidentally maybe plundering their resources and adding them to their imperial spheres of influence along the way.

So I go back to your first sentence, krop - and that's where we need to focus our attention. For years, the U.S. and its gang members have said "Assad must go" as a condition for any peace deal. These are the ones whose gang members assassinated Saddam Hussein and Moammar Gaddafi and so many others. Where and when Assad goes is the business of the Syrian people. Those who scream themselves hoarse about his crimes and those of Russia, but act as if the U.S. and its gang members (like Canada) don't even have any military presence in the area? They should have their human rights credentials verified for forgery.

 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

sherpa-finn wrote:

We can only be grateful that kropotkin wasn't around through the 1970s and 80s when reports from Amnesty and other NGOs and human rights organizations were front and centre in fueling the solidarity work that so many of us were doing in support of liberation struggles in Central America and Southern Africa.

Strange how people like you said little to nothing about Honduras and Haiti during the last couple of years. Oh yeah its because Canada was involved on the wrong side so we mustn't say anything. Don't look at our government and corporations actions look over there at Assad. Why don't you and Josh work on stopping the death and destruction caused by our politicians instead of presuming you can tell other people what to do with their government.

Unionist

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Strange how people like you said little to nothing about Honduras and Haiti during the last couple of years. Oh yeah its because Canada was involved on the wrong side so we mustn't say anything. Don't look at our government and corporations actions look over there at Assad. Why don't you and Josh work on stopping the death and destruction caused by our politicians instead of presuming you can tell other people what to do with their government.

But you can get into trouble that way, no?

Sean in Ottawa

kropotkin1951 wrote:

sherpa-finn wrote:

We can only be grateful that kropotkin wasn't around through the 1970s and 80s when reports from Amnesty and other NGOs and human rights organizations were front and centre in fueling the solidarity work that so many of us were doing in support of liberation struggles in Central America and Southern Africa.

Strange how people like you said little to nothing about Honduras and Haiti during the last couple of years. Oh yeah its because Canada was involved on the wrong side so we mustn't say anything. Don't look at our government and corporations actions look over there at Assad. Why don't you and Josh work on stopping the death and destruction caused by our politicians instead of presuming you can tell other people what to do with their government.

I think this might be a little unfair. The level of awreness about Haiti and Honduras is very low. Even here on this site there is rarely information shared. People not talking about these countries may not be due to apporval so much as a lack of awareness. Perhaps Krorpotkin you could update in a new thread on each country instead of taking ignorance for agreement. (Both what is happenign there and Canada's involvement.)

The fact that there is so little coverage even though Canada is involved is terrible.

 

articles from last year:

http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/yves-engler/2016/10/probing-sources-bias...

http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/yves-engler/2016/11/peacekeeping-and-his...

http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/haiti-canada-blog/2016/10/another-round-...

josh

kropotkin1951 wrote:

sherpa-finn wrote:

We can only be grateful that kropotkin wasn't around through the 1970s and 80s when reports from Amnesty and other NGOs and human rights organizations were front and centre in fueling the solidarity work that so many of us were doing in support of liberation struggles in Central America and Southern Africa.

Strange how people like you said little to nothing about Honduras and Haiti during the last couple of years. Oh yeah its because Canada was involved on the wrong side so we mustn't say anything. Don't look at our government and corporations actions look over there at Assad. Why don't you and Josh work on stopping the death and destruction caused by our politicians instead of presuming you can tell other people what to do with their government.

Isolationist human rights. Interesting. "Carry on Mr. Hitler. Far be it for for us to tell you how many people you can slaughter. None of our business."

sherpa-finn

Kropttkin and Unionist on international solidarity:  As Canadians, its not our place to say anything about bad things happening to people in other countries. Its none of our business. 

Nelson Mandela on international solidarity: I am also here today [receiving the Nobel Prize] as a representative of the millions of people across the globe, the anti-apartheid movement, the governments and organisations that joined with us, not to fight against South Africa as a country or any of its peoples, but to oppose an inhuman system and sue for a speedy end to the apartheid crime against humanity. These countless human beings, both inside and outside our country, had the nobility of spirit to stand in the path of tyranny and injustice, without seeking selfish gain. They recognised that an injury to one is an injury to all and therefore acted together in defense of justice and a common human decency.  Because of their courage and persistence for many years, we can, today, even set the dates when all humanity will join together to celebrate one of the outstanding human victories of our century. When that moment comes, we shall, together, rejoice in a common victory over racism, apartheid and white minority rule. 

Sherpa-Finn: Geez, its a tough call, but forced to make a choice between the two, - well, I am leaning towards Mandela.   

josh

Unionist wrote:

josh wrote:
Isolationist human rights. Interesting. "Carry on Mr. Hitler. Far be it for for us to tell you how many people you can slaughter. None of our business."

While Hitler was slaughtering my relatives - not in Germany, but in a country he invaded, contrary to international law - your country did nothing.

When Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, the U.S. declared was - against Japan. Still in love with Nazi Germany.

Then Hitler, in compliance with his treaty with Japan, declared war on the U.S. Which, to the best of my recollection, did nothing to slow or stop the slaughter in Eastern Europe. Still hoping that the Soviets and Nazis would finish each other off.

So please, josh, don't lecture us about "isolationist human rights" from the bowel of the country which has murdered more millions than any other since World War II - in the name of bringing freedom to people too stupid and backward to win it themselves. From the bowel of the country which sobbed crocodile tears over the women and girls of Afghanistan not getting an education, and Gaddafi "murdering his own people", and Cuba expropriating its own infrastructure from the U.S. bloated pigs who "owned" it, to the countries of Southeast Asia which needed to be "saved" from godless communism, to Saddam Hussein who was no longer doing the bidding of your elected leaders so he had to be hanged, to Aristide and Zelaya and Ortega and Allende and Diefenbaker (yeah, I haven't forgotten that little coup by JFK) and all the others.

Save your tears for the Syrians you think are being hanged, while your police are murdering your fellow citizens in the streets and ghettos, and your armed forces are murdering people around the world, every single day.

 

I didn't know we had to choose. That it was either/or. And I have no idea where you got the idea that the U.S. was in love with Nazi Germany. Or that it hoped Germany would take care of Russia. As I recall, it was France and Britain that signed the Munich agreement and refused Russia's offer to form an alliance against Hitler. Meanwhile FDR was raising the alarm regarding Hitler, despite being constrained by a Neutrality Act passed by an isolationist congress. And who maneuvered around the law to aid Britain after the fall of France.

NDPP

Fake News: AI Claims 13,000 Hanged by Syrian Govt

https://youtu.be/xkrxD-wS21k

 

AI Debunked

https://youtu.be/DfyZTM5OiUY

 

Syrian Opposition in Riyadh For Talks Ahead of Geneva Meet

https://t.co/zSadpd42TZ

'Syrian opposition' in Saudi Arabia. No surprise...

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

sherpa-finn wrote:

Kropttkin and Unionist on international solidarity:  As Canadians, its not our place to say anything about bad things happening to people in other countries. Its none of our business. 

Nelson Mandela on international solidarity: I am also here today [receiving the Nobel Prize] as a representative of the millions of people across the globe, the anti-apartheid movement, the governments and organisations that joined with us, not to fight against South Africa as a country or any of its peoples, but to oppose an inhuman system and sue for a speedy end to the apartheid crime against humanity. These countless human beings, both inside and outside our country, had the nobility of spirit to stand in the path of tyranny and injustice, without seeking selfish gain. They recognised that an injury to one is an injury to all and therefore acted together in defense of justice and a common human decency.  Because of their courage and persistence for many years, we can, today, even set the dates when all humanity will join together to celebrate one of the outstanding human victories of our century. When that moment comes, we shall, together, rejoice in a common victory over racism, apartheid and white minority rule. 

Sherpa-Finn: Geez, its a tough call, but forced to make a choice between the two, - well, I am leaning towards Mandela.   

Perhaps you could point out where that Mandela quotation mentions sending military forces to South Africa to bomb the bad Afrikaners. Mandela is clearly speaking of non-violent international activism, which both Unionist and kropotkin are in favour of. This is a most dishonest post.

Unionist

josh wrote:
Isolationist human rights. Interesting. "Carry on Mr. Hitler. Far be it for for us to tell you how many people you can slaughter. None of our business."

While Hitler was slaughtering my relatives - not in Germany, but in a country he invaded, contrary to international law - your country did nothing.

When Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, the U.S. declared war - against Japan. Still in love with Nazi Germany.

Then Hitler, in compliance with his treaty with Japan, declared war on the U.S. Which, to the best of my recollection, did nothing to slow or stop the slaughter in Eastern Europe. Still hoping that the Soviets and Nazis would finish each other off.

So please, josh, don't lecture us about "isolationist human rights" from the bowel of the country which has murdered more millions than any other since World War II - in the name of bringing freedom to people too stupid and backward to win it themselves. From the bowel of the country which sobbed crocodile tears over the women and girls of Afghanistan not getting an education, and Gaddafi "murdering his own people", and Cuba expropriating its own infrastructure from the U.S. bloated pigs who "owned" it, to the countries of Southeast Asia which needed to be "saved" from godless communism, to Saddam Hussein who was no longer doing the bidding of your elected leaders so he had to be hanged, to Aristide and Zelaya and Ortega and Allende and Diefenbaker (yeah, I haven't forgotten that little coup by JFK) and all the others.

Save your tears for the Syrians you think are being hanged, while your police are murdering your fellow citizens in the streets and ghettos, and your armed forces are murdering people around the world, every single day.

 

Unionist

sherpa-finn wrote:

Kropttkin and Unionist on international solidarity:  As Canadians, its not our place to say anything about bad things happening to people in other countries. Its none of our business. 

Apparently allergic to nuance and civil conversation, you resort to caricature.

Let me see:

Sherpa-finn: Let's bomb the crap out of every world leader who gets in the way of U.S. expansion and domination, and pretend we give a crap about those people's rights.

Ah yes, I see how it's done - neat!

It's so much easier than actually, you know, reading, thinking, engaging, changing one's mind in the face of facts, all that very troublesome sort of stuff.

Remind me to check back and find the last time you had a single negative thing to say about the Obamas and Clintons of this world.

Unionist

Michael Moriarity wrote:

Perhaps you could point out where that Mandela quotation mentions sending military forces to South Africa to bomb the bad Afrikaners. Mandela is clearly speaking of non-violent international activism, which both Unionist and kropotkin are in favour of. This is a most dishonest post.

Thanks for reading, listening, and understanding, Michael. It's a rare commodity in these days of shouting.

 

Unionist

josh wrote:
And I have no idea where you got the idea that the U.S. was in love with Nazi Germany.

I have no idea where you concluded that that was my idea. I made a number of simple, historical points. One being that even after being attacked at Pearl Harbor, the U.S. was still hoping to stay out of the European war - Hitler had to drag them in. Was I mistaken on that historical sequence? You want dates and documents? Second was that my family and millions of others were slaughtered without the U.S. lifting a finger to help. Did I get that wrong? Not that I'm saying they had a duty to help. What I'm saying is that the phony tears about poor Syrians and poor Libyans and poor Afghan women and girls and poor Iraqis etc. should not be given credence by people who cherish humanity, peace, and progress. Especially not by those who elect the murderers.

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Or that it hoped Germany would take care of Russia. As I recall, it was France and Britain that signed the Munich agreement and refused Russia's offer to form an alliance against Hitler.

Very true. France and Britain were no better.

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Meanwhile FDR was raising the alarm regarding Hitler, despite being constrained by a Neutrality Act passed by an isolationist congress. And who maneuvered around the law to aid Britain after the fall of France.

Poor little FDR, just like poor little Obama who spent eights years murdering people abroad because he was constrained by a Republican congress, so what could the poor baby do? And FDR aided Britain? To do what... to save people being slaughtered by the Nazis and their collaborators (which if you recall was the reason I raised these historical parallels - to give the lie to the American bullshit about caring for human rights abroad)? You'll really have to point me to the time and place when they did that. I don't recall those noble gestures. What I, and my people, vividly recall is the U.S. of FDR [url=http://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/1/27/14412082/refugees-histo... away refugees[/url] from Nazism. Were you aware of that, josh? 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

josh wrote:

And what would that proof consist of exactly?  I guess verbal reports of the Holocaust and the Killing Fields wouldn't have satisfied you.  Unlike the examples you cite, AI doesn't have an axe to grind.

I haven't trusted AI's reports for a very long time. They have been vilifying the US's enemies for decades now. Some of their reports are true and others are fabrications, After the babies in incubators story I take everything AI produces with a heavy measure of skepticism especially if it is about a country that the US is at odds with. Notice how the story was corroberated by testimony from evacuees.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xkrxD-wS21k&feature=youtu.be

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In her emotional testimony, Nayirah stated that after the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait she had witnessed Iraqi soldiers take babies out of incubators in a Kuwaiti hospital, take the incubators, and leave the babies to die.

Her story was initially corroborated by Amnesty International[3] and testimony from evacuees. Following the liberation of Kuwait, reporters were given access to the country. An ABC report found that "patients, including premature babies, did die, when many of Kuwait's nurses and doctors... fled" but Iraqi troops "almost certainly had not stolen hospital incubators and left hundreds of Kuwaiti babies to die."[4][5] Amnesty International reacted by issuing a correction, with executive director John Healey subsequently accusing the Bush administration of "opportunistic manipulation of the international human rights movement".[6]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nayirah_(testimony)

 

6079_Smith_W

The Americans and the Israelis agree with you there. (and the Catholic Church, for that matter).

AI are lying liars, and they don't play fair with anyone.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticism_of_Amnesty_International#cite_no...

 

josh

Unionist wrote:

josh wrote:
And I have no idea where you got the idea that the U.S. was in love with Nazi Germany.

I have no idea where you concluded that that was my idea. I made a number of simple, historical points. One being that even after being attacked at Pearl Harbor, the U.S. was still hoping to stay out of the European war - Hitler had to drag them in. Was I mistaken on that historical sequence? You want dates and documents? Second was that my family and millions of others were slaughtered without the U.S. lifting a finger to help. Did I get that wrong? Not that I'm saying they had a duty to help. What I'm saying is that the phony tears about poor Syrians and poor Libyans and poor Afghan women and girls and poor Iraqis etc. should not be given credence by people who cherish humanity, peace, and progress. Especially not by those who elect the murderers.

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Or that it hoped Germany would take care of Russia. As I recall, it was France and Britain that signed the Munich agreement and refused Russia's offer to form an alliance against Hitler.

Very true. France and Britain were no better.

Quote:
Meanwhile FDR was raising the alarm regarding Hitler, despite being constrained by a Neutrality Act passed by an isolationist congress. And who maneuvered around the law to aid Britain after the fall of France.

Poor little FDR, just like poor little Obama who spent eights years murdering people abroad because he was constrained by a Republican congress, so what could the poor baby do? And FDR aided Britain? To do what... to save people being slaughtered by the Nazis and their collaborators (which if you recall was the reason I raised these historical parallels - to give the lie to the American bullshit about caring for human rights abroad)? You'll really have to point me to the time and place when they did that. I don't recall those noble gestures. What I, and my people, vividly recall is the U.S. of FDR [url=http://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/1/27/14412082/refugees-histo... away refugees[/url] from Nazism. Were you aware of that, josh? 

Well aware of the St. Louis. FDR was constrained by the restrictive immigration laws passed in the mid-1920s and the Neutrality Act. He risked impeachment had he violated the law. He had to bend it simply to get things like Lend Lease through. What this all has to do with whether thousands were tortured and killed in a Syrian jail, I have no idea.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

6079_Smith_W wrote:

The Americans and the Israelis agree with you there. (and the Catholic Church, for that matter).

AI are lying liars, and they don't play fair with anyone.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticism_of_Amnesty_International#cite_no...

AI has a pattern of publishing extremely damaging reports based on hearsay. The babies in incubators in Iraq. They apologized for their shoddy reporting and claimed the US had manipulated them. Just before Libya was bombed back to the stone age AI reported that the Libyan government was using foreign mercenaries against its own people. They apologized for that too but you know they helped set the stage for the killing of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and Libyans. 

I will not take any of AI's hearsay based reports at face value because they have a documented history of spreading disinformation against the US enemy du jour. But lets be clear I am convinced that the Syrian government has engaged in torture in its prisons and I am sure that they have executed people they believed were terrorists. I know they torture people because we used to send people to them for interrogation. However I do not advocate bombing any of the countries nor attempting other forms of regime change that we know that have engaged in torture. That includes not bombing the US or Israel or Saudi Arabia because frankly the people don't deserve to pay for the sins of their rulers. 

6079_Smith_W

Not sure what you are saying there. That you don't consider AI a reliable source, but you think they are right about the torture and the executions?

And do you think it is okay to do that if they are suspected terrorists?

That is kind of what Guantanamo is all about, no?

 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Not sure what you are saying there. That you don't consider AI a reliable source, but you think they are right about the torture and the executions?

And do you think it is okay to do that if they are suspected terrorists?

That is kind of what Guantanamo is all about, no?

It is the scope of the report that I don't believe. They have taken the truth and made it into a sensational story and that is one of the hallmarks of effective propaganda.

I did not say I thought it was okay to torture anyone and I take your insinuation as a extremely nasty personal insult. Of course you didn't actually say it you only implied it. Do you think it is okay to act like a total asshole in a chat room?

Did you advocate for regime change in the US because of Guantanamo, if you did please post the links. After that lets here were you have advocated regime change for Saudi Arabia. You are a useful ally of the NATO propaganda machine. 

6079_Smith_W

Nope, I asked it quite directly.

You added "they believed were terrorists" so I figured it was fair to ask if that was some sort of qualifier.

After all, Cheney and Rumsfeld were pretty sure they had the bad hombres too.

And this has nothing to do with regime change. this is about people being tortured and murdered.

If it is a question of scale, what it the number of people being tortured and murdered that change it from a legitimate concern to propaganda?

Or do we just slag AI as a matter of course because we think they have served the wrong side in the past, so obviously they can't be telling the truth here.

Even though everyone - including the Americans - is pissed at them for uncovering their dirty secrets.

 

NDPP

Fake News, Propaganda and Threats to Journalism   -  by Professor Piers Robinson

http://spinwatch.org/index.php/issues/propaganda/item/5942-fake-news-pro...

"...Does it go too far to say there is now a crisis across Western public spheres whereby propaganda and 'fake news' emanating from mainstream media and governments has created a situation in which there is 'major media malfunction.'? When a country can be invaded based upon spurious and bogus claims regarding weapons of mass destruction, whilst a second subjected to a five-year-long regime-change war based upon, it seems likely, propaganda and lies, all within the space of 10 years, there are signs that something is seriously wrong."

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

To what end is this report to be used and by who?  It cannot be verified by AI because given their record they are not trusted. I think it is a blatent attempt to build a case for intervention on a massive scale just like AI did in Iraq and then in Libya. If AI remains true to form then after the bombs have been dropped they will offer up an apology and explain that their numbers were a tad high.  

josh

Should note that "fake news" is the line being pushed by the Trump administration in response to just about every negative story that comes out.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

josh wrote:

Should note that "fake news" is the line being pushed by the Trump administration in response to just about every negative story that comes out.

One should note that fake news exists and did long before Trump ran for office. Not a very subtle insult but then you don't have to be subtle when you are exceptional enough to tellother people what they should do.

Tell me Josh how many more millions of people need to be displaced and how many killed before you will be happy with other peoples governments? What country should the US and NATO destabilize next for crimes against humanity? 

Why do you think a few people being tortured is a good reason to displace MILLIONS of civilians while bombing their cities into rubble? WTF is your problem that you can't see your "cure" is actually far worse than the illness?

6079_Smith_W

Is AI calling for the displacement of millions of civilians?

And which bombing campaigns are we talking about here?

 

JKR

Does President Bashar al-Assad bear any responsibility for the state his country finds itself in?

Will he be allowing for democratic elections in Syria?

josh

kropotkin1951 wrote:

josh wrote:

Should note that "fake news" is the line being pushed by the Trump administration in response to just about every negative story that comes out.

One should note that fake news exists and did long before Trump ran for office. Not a very subtle insult but then you don't have to be subtle when you are exceptional enough to tellother people what they should do.

Tell me Josh how many more millions of people need to be displaced and how many killed before you will be happy with other peoples governments? What country should the US and NATO destabilize next for crimes against humanity? 

Why do you think a few people being tortured is a good reason to displace MILLIONS of civilians while bombing their cities into rubble? WTF is your problem that you can't see your "cure" is actually far worse than the illness?

I have no idea what you're talking about. Where have I ever supported intervention in Syria? Or bombing? But that doesn't mean I'm obligated to look the other way and remain silent at human rights violations, especially when they are on a massive scale, as these appear to be.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Here is a good summary of what critics say about the AI report.   

Quote:


Amnesty International’s International Kangaroo Court Report on Syria,
 by Rick Sterling:

“The Amnesty International report is a combination of accusations based on hearsay and sensationalism. Partially because of Amnesty’s undeserved reputation for independence and accuracy, the report has been picked up and broadcast widely.  Liberal and supposedly progressive media outlets have dutifully echoed the dubious accusations. In reality this report amounts to a Kangaroo court with the victim being the Syrian government and people who have borne the brunt of the foreign sponsored aggression. If this report sparks an escalation of the conflict, which Amnesty International seems to call for, it will be a big step backwards not forward ….just like in Iraq and Libya.”

...


Amnesty International is US State Department Propaganda,
 by Tony Cartalucci:

“Amnesty does indeed cover issues that are critical of US foreign policy, toward the bottom of their websites and at the back of their reports. Likewise, the corporate-media selectively reports issues that coincide with their interests while other issues are either under-reported or not reported at all. And it is precisely because Amnesty covers all issues, but selectively emphasizes those that are conducive to the interests of immense corporate-financiers that makes Amnesty one of the greatest impediments to genuine human rights advocacy on Earth.”

http://21stcenturywire.com/2017/02/08/amnesty-international-humanitarian...

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