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Guardian, Atlantic contributor acts as a Syrian terrorist mouthpiece on Twitter, and if you don’t like it you’re a Russian stooge

Eva Bartlett
Eva Bartlett

Eva Bartlett is a Canadian independent journalist and activist. She has spent years on the ground covering conflict zones in the Middle East, especially in Syria and Palestine (where she lived for nearly four years). Follow her on Twitter @EvaKBartlett

Eva Bartlett is a Canadian independent journalist and activist. She has spent years on the ground covering conflict zones in the Middle East, especially in Syria and Palestine (where she lived for nearly four years). Follow her on Twitter @EvaKBartlett

Guardian, Atlantic contributor acts as a Syrian terrorist mouthpiece on Twitter, and if you don’t like it you’re a Russian stooge
Giving a sympathetic platform to a terrorist is reprehensible at best, downright criminal at worst, and definitely a bad look for a ‘respected’ media contributor. Oh, it’s for bashing Assad and the Russians? Go ahead, then.

A funny thing happened recently on Twitter. A journalist who contributes to the Guardian, Foreign Policy and the Atlantic tweeted—in a long thread peppered with photos of Abu Mohammed al-Jolani, the leader of an Al-Qaeda branch in Syria—about “the force that dominates” Idlib. Hassan Hassan's initial tweet coyly avoided mentioning that this force is Al-Qaeda in Syria.

And no, its not just us Russian bots who say that Idlib is infested with Al-Qaeda: former US special envoy, Brett McGurk, deemed Idlib “the largest Al-Qaeda safe haven since 9/11.”

The thread smacked of giving a platform to terrorist propaganda. After extensively quoting Jolani, Hassan weighed in with his own thoughts on the situation in Syria and his Al-Qaeda “rebels”.

Aside from whitewashing designated terrorists, the point of his thread was clearly a continuation of the anti-Russia hysteria corporate journalists are so rabidly devoted to.

These latest anti-Russia, anti-Syria headlines and tweets echo those which abounded when eastern Ghouta and Aleppo were being liberated from terrorists. Go to Aleppo now and you'll find a city that just celebrated Christmas and is rebuilding, and indeed rebuilding all over Syria, in areas once occupiedby terrorists.

More importantly, liberated areas are no longer ruled by fanatics who imprison, torture, starve and assassinate civilians. Syrian women I interviewed earlier this year in Sinjar, Idlib, spoke of being tormented by terrorists in Idlib, and called for the Syrian army to liberate all of Idlib.

But war propagandists don't care about those civilians...

Backslapping and Rebranding

The same corporate media vultures who bandy about self-righteously furious expressions for all things Russian and Syrian are normalizing terrorists in Syria, rendering ISIS into mere militants”, “fighting for survival”, as was the case in a recent Washington Post ode to ISIS.

In the regime-changers' backslapping echo chamber that ensued on Twitter, instead of celebrating the near-defeat of ISIS, corporate hacks described it as ISIS' struggle to “properly resurge”.

So the US and allies invaded Iraq under the pretext of fighting Al-Qaeda, largely destroyed that country, killed untold numbers of Iraqi civilians, maimed untold numbers more... and now the same designated terror group, Al-Qaeda, is suddenly a fuzzy li’l militant?

Likewise, a recent Bloomberg article describes the bandits ruling in Libya (with its slave markets – thanks, American humanitarian intervention!) as an “internationally recognized” government, and the terrorists heading there to create more chaos as Syrian “rebels”.

Extreme Xenophobia

Unsurprisingly, when war propagandists get called out by thinking people, they deflect blame onto Russia. A perusal of replies to Hassan's tweets reveals many (non-Russian) people object to war propaganda and the platforms that propagate it.

Hassan gets a sticker for his efforts to do best in the Russophobia challenge. He went beyond merely hurling the same old unoriginal accusations at Russia, and denigrated the entire nation as “repulsive”. Classy.

Of course, when many on Twitter pointed out his xenophobia, he scrambled to reword. But that's the thing about Twitter: no edits. The vitriol is out there, there's no undoing the racism.

Blatant war propagandists like him have, for years, acted as cheerleaders and whitewashed the civilian-murdering terrorists in Syria, slandered those of us who challenge war propaganda and bother to give platforms to civilians instead of terrorists, and relentlessly hounded Russian diplomats and media.

The Russophobia, and indeed xenophobia, has gotten preposterous. It is Russia that is actually helping Syria fight terrorism, it’s Russia that also sends humanitarian aid, it’s Russia that helps open humanitarian corridors for Syrian civilians, it’s Russia that is aiding Syria in rebuilding, and it’s Russian sappers who have done most of the demining of areas formerly occupied by terrorists.

And it is not Russia who financed, backed, and whitewashed terrorism: that honour goes to the US and its allies.

Increasingly, people on Twitter are calling the war orchestrators and their propagandists out. Of course,they must all just be Russian trolls, da?

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

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