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Al Jazeera’s American debut: Hyping a dubious chem-war attack in Syria Printer friendly page Print This
By Wayne Madsen
Intrepid Report
Sunday, Sep 1, 2013

Just as Americans were led astray by the cable news media about Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction prior to the disastrous U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq, once again, viewers of cable news channels are being subjected to another information warfare campaign. This time it is an alleged Syrian government chemical attack on “thousands” of civilians in the Ghouta region outside of Damascus.

Syrian rebel sources, trained in the art of disinformation by CIA, MI-6, and Mossad advisers, claim between 1,000 and 1,300 Syrian civilians were killed in a chemical weapons attack. However, the dubious reports are not merely imprecise of numbers of civilians killed but are even inconsistent in what type of chemical weapon was used. Some reports claim it was mustard gas and others say it was nerve gas. The Syrian attack was said to have occurred as UN chemical weapons inspectors arrived in Syria, certainly an unwise time for President Bashar al Assad’s forces to use chemical weapons on civilians.

What proof do the rebels provide of the attack? Suspiciously, they only offer up video footage taken by the rebels themselves and some statements by rebel-supporting “eyewitnesses.

The timing of the report of the attack and the video footage coincided with Al Jazeera America’s (AJAM) debut on four U.S. cable services—Verizon Fios, DirectTV, Comcast, and Dish Network—previously denied to the Qatar-based news network. In fact, AJAM’s first news reports for its American audience featured the scenes of dead Syrian civilians, including a number of children, provided, of course, by the very same rebels supported militarily and financially by Qatar’s Muslim Brotherhood-supporting government.

President Obama previously said any use of chemical weapons would represent a “red line” which would result in U.S. military intervention, far beyond Obama’s current policy of supplying the Syrian rebels with arms. The term “red line” comes right out of the Israeli playbook as it has been continually used against Iran’s nuclear power program. Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has used “red line” to describe various stages of Iranian uranium enrichment that would result in an Israeli military strike on Iran.

The Syrian rebels used the premier of AJAM to precipitate an imaginary crossing of a “red line” in the supposed Syrian government chemical attack in the Ghouta region.

Although Qatar’s new emir, Tamim bin Hamad al Thani, has reversed the policy of his father and recognized Saudi Arabia as the Gulf region’s leader, Tamim continues to support the Syrian rebels. An important element of Tamim’s support is the continued support by Al Jazeera for the Syrian rebels. WMR’s sources within the Qatar-based network report that the senior Qatari and other Arab management is composed almost exclusively of supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood. The Brotherhood’s influence over Al Jazeera news content was the major reason why its reporters cheered on the Libyan Islamist rebels who overthrew Muammar Qaddafi and continue to incite supporters of Egypt’s ousted Muslim Brotherhood President Mohamed Morsi.

One Al Jazeera insider told WMR that the “Qatari fuckers” constantly manipulate the news by using doctored videos and photographs to demonize Assad, just as they did with Qaddafi, Mubarak, and now the transitory Egyptian government.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague, who lied about Qaddafi’s presence in Venezuela after Islamist rebels seized Libya, is claiming the video tape of dead Syrian civilians from a government-ordered chemical attack in authentic. Hague has been backed by the French and Turkish governments, all of which are supporters of the Syrian rebel leaders. Many of the Syrian rebel leaders have spent years of luxurious exile in fashionable districts of London, Paris, and Istanbul on fat salaries provided by British, French, Turkish, American, and Israeli intelligence services.

Some members of the UN Security Council, including permanent members Russia and China and non-permanent members Pakistan and Argentina, not willing to be forced into supporting a resolution that would give the green light for a Libyan-style NATO intervention into Syria, suspect that if any chemical weapons were used in Syria it was the Syrian rebels, using stockpiles captured from Libya or provided by Israel, who were responsible for the war crime to embarrass Assad as UN chemical weapons inspectors arrived on the scene. However, AJAM will not report such stories to its new American viewers. Instead, AJAM, which has legitimized itself by hiring such familiar cable news faces as Soledad O’Brien, Joie Chen, David Shuster, and Ali Velshi, is pushing the same Muslim Brotherhood line, which glosses over Al Qaeda’s major influence over the Syrian rebels. Al Jazeera played the same propaganda game during the Libyan uprising and ignored the presence of Al Qaeda fighters among the rebel leadership ranks.

In fact, Al Jazeera news teams are permitted as much unfettered access to Al Qaeda-controlled regions of Syria, including the “Islamic State of Iraq and Levant,” as they have in the “Islamic Emirate of Derna” in the eastern Libyan province of Cyrenaica.

AJAM needed a debut ratings bounce among its new American audience. It figured if it broadcast videos of dead Syrians killed in a dubious chemical attack, it would not only make a dent in the ratings game but advance the propaganda of the Syrian rebels. Not to be outdone by AJAM, Fox News, MSNBC, and CNN all joined in to propagate the Syrian chemical weapons attack claim. Cable news reporting is no longer journalism, it’s reality TV entertainment.

Source: Intrepid Report

Previously published in the Wayne Madsen Report 

Copyright © 2013 WayneMadenReport.com

Wayne Madsen is a Washington, DC-based investigative journalist and nationally-distributed columnist. He is the editor and publisher of the Wayne Madsen Report (subscription required).

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