Monday, February 15, 2016

Anne Barnard is not telling the truth here about Syria

I can't stand Bouthaina Shaaban but what Barnard is attributing here is not accurate: "Earlier this week, an adviser to Mr. Assad, Bouthaina Shaaban, told Reuters that anyone backing a cease-fire wanted to “shore up” terrorist groups and “avoid the main thing that must be done, which is fighting terrorism.”"  Shaaban does not say "anyone": she clearly is talking about particular sides and states in the original interview: "telling Reuters proposals for a ceasefire were coming from states that "do not want an end to terrorism" and wanted to shore up insurgents who are losing ground."  So she is not talking about "anyone" but about particular states.  But then again: once, Ms. Barnard claimed in the New York Times that Bashshar Al-Asad dismissed all his enemies as "Sunni terrorists".  I told an editor at the Times that this was not true, that the language was never used by Bashshar.  So Ms. Barnard was queried about the matter and she came back with her evidence that Bashsar dismissed his enemies as "Sunni terrorists".  She found a statement by this same Shaaban in which she talked about Wahhabi Jihadis.  Barnard said that the reference to Wahhabi is anti-Sunni.  I kid you not. A true story.  But most importantly: regarding the article in question by Barnard here: why does she not mention anywhere that Syrian rebels: all the ones represented and not represented in the Riyadh conference, were openly and explicitly opposed to a cease-fire. She never mentions that once.