Monday, November 02, 2015

Take Two: How New York Times justified the placement of Alawite civilians in cages to be used as human shields

1) Typical of the New York Times: Alawite sect is always referred to as "Bashshar Al-Asad's sect", as if he is its prophet or as if he owns it.  This is bigotry in the extreme and has provided justification and jubilation for war crimes by Syrian rebels.  It would be disgusting anti-Semitism if one were to refer to Judaism as "the religion of Ariel Sharon" or to refer to Islam as "the religion of ISIS".
2) Like the HRW statement (see below) the article immediately gives readers justification of the cage war crime: "Two days after Syrian government forces shelled a rebel-held suburb of the capital, Damascus, killing at least 40 people in a market".  That is it: the reader is immediately persuaded to sympathize with the war crimes of the rebel by telling them that the Syrian regime started this.  Notice that New York Times has been doing this constantly and it is a propaganda service that the New York Times has never rendered except to Israeli occupation forces.  You will look in vain to find any reference to a war crime by the regime in which a sentence is inserted to remind readers of a war crime by Syrian rebels.
3) Instead of condemning the act, the article in fact makes an effort to blatantly justifiies it and does not even refer to its practice as human shields: "apparently to shield the area from further bombardment".
4) Wait: how were they able to capture "army officers" with their families? The officers were on the battle fields with their families?  "the prisoners were captured army officers from President Bashar al-Assad’s Alawite sect and their families. " Another desperate attempt to provide justifications.
5) Joshua Landis is wrong: it is not uncommon for Syrian rebels to impose Sunni-style veiling on Alawite women: "Joshua Landis, a Syria expert at the University of Oklahoma, suggested that some of the women appeared to be Sunni Muslims."
6) The NYT even tries to present the leader of the group which committed those war crimes in a positive light: "The Army of Islam, a group with financial backing from Saudi Arabia, is led by Zahran Alloush, a Sunni commander who seemed to back away from sectarian anti-Alawite statements in an interview with an American journalist, Roy Gutman, in May."  That is all what it takes for NYT to be convinced that he is no more anti-Alawite? I am sure that Times would have been impressed with Ribbentrop statements in Nuremberg as well.
7) Obama's administration is in contact with this war criminal: "Mr. Alloush, who said his faction had been in direct contact with Daniel Rubinstein, the Obama administration’s special envoy for Syria".
8) Another attempt by Alewives to justify indiscriminate war crimes against all Alawites: "Alawites from the Assad family have ruled Syria for decades, even though most Syrians are Sunnis."  Imagine how the NYT would be outraged if an Arab were to insert a statement about the murder of Jews by Palestinians to the effect that: "Jews have ruled Palestine since 1948": such a reference would be categorized as anti-Semitism in a sentence about violence.
9) Another justification in the same article for the cage war crime: "The rebel stronghold of Eastern Ghouta has been under intense bombardment since the insurgents managed to block the main northern entrance to Damascus ".
10) They managed to even Skyped with someone to give them another justification: "“It’s to protect the civilians,” Bilal Abu Salah, a media activist from Douma, said in a Skype interview on Sunday."  And by referring to this supporter of war crimes as "media activists" they only lend his voice credibility.
11) Then a medication justification for the cage war crime: "A paramedic from Douma who asked to be identified only by his first name, Ahmad, said the casualties of the recent strikes there “were women and kids mostly.”"
12) Another justification: "said the Sunni Islamist group had copied the strategy of using “kidnapped people — including whole families — as human shields,” seen earlier in Alawite-majority towns seeking to deter shelling by insurgents." Where did the Times correspondent see that in Alawite-majority towns? Why not name them and provide readers with pictures?