Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Fake News is a reality but all sides do it

The beginning of fake news in the Middle East was in 2006, when Israeli intelligence would leak fake stories into the (Saudi) Arab media.  They invented a story that Lebanese star, Haifa Wahbe, had criticized Nasrallah and they even attributed a fake quotation to her.  By 2011, the fake news industry went into high gear: both sides of the Syrian war would invent interviews and stories about the other side.  But the US had also resorted to fake news by 2001 after Sep. 11 when they would leak fake stories to Arab media: they even dropped (photoshopped) pictures of Bin Laden in a suit and tie over Pakistan and Afghanistan to say that he fled leaving his loyal terrorists behind (Also, do we have evidence other than a claim that he had a stash of porn on his computers in his compound? Would a man who never used a phone since 1998 due to his obsession with his own security feel free to download porn on a computer when he didn't even connect his computers to internet in the compound)?.  The US government also leaked stories about Saddam Husayn by 2002 into Arab media (presumably through the Lincoln Group in DC).  They also leaked stories about how many palaces Saddam had built and as ostentatious and tyrannical Saddam was, the stories were quite exaggerated and sometimes fabricated.  And the Obama administration, invented fake news about Libya to justify the NATO invasion: they falsely claimed that some 100,000 Libyans were botched by Qadhdhafi when the number was later found out to be less than 10,000 (not to minimize the number but the other side in the Libyan war were terrorists and some were of the Jihadi variety).  Gulf regime in concert with the Syrian rebels also fabricated stories and planted them in Western media (remember the story by Daily Telegraph about Ali Mamluk being ousted from the regime)?  Syrian regime also fabricated interviews and sayings by Arab celebrities supporting its cause.  But the notion that Facebook or some authority would decide what is real news and what is fake news is a fake news story in itself.  And the recent stories in Western media about the illness of Bashshar is part of the active fake news industry of Gulf regimes and their loyal Syrian rebels.