Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Whose Fake News?

Based on Jennifer Steinhauer's "Senate and House Leaders Call for Inquiry of Russian Hacking in Election" it looks like there will be three separate congressional investigations on purported Russian cyber-meddling in the U.S. presidential election:
[A] continuing investigation by Representative Devin Nunes of California, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.
[T]he Senate investigation would be led by Senator Richard M. Burr, Republican of North Carolina, the chairman of the Intelligence Committee. Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, the chairman of the Armed Services Committee, will add a subcommittee to look into cyberattacks, led by Mr. Graham.
“The first thing we want to establish is, ‘Did the Russians hack into our political system?’” Mr. Graham said in an interview on Monday. “Then you work outward from there. I have a high degree of confidence Russia did this.”
Graham is a preeminent neocon. So the findings of his subcommittee, as his quote makes clear, are preordained.

At the same time, the Senate has passed a "ministry of truth" bill designed to counter the fictional tsunami of Fake News conjured by Poseidon Putin.

Simultaneously, the U.S. and its clients in the Gulf monarchies are about to lose their Stalingrad in Aleppo.

Fake News is what the organs of the mainstream press produce. Read Anne Barnard's latest, "Aleppo Close to Falling Under Complete Control of Syrian Government." Barnard reports from Beirut. A couple of years back she used to write somewhat critical pieces about the Syrian National Coalition and the Free Syrian Army.

The myth of a secular, democratic opposition has almost entirely been scrapped. Now the "moderate opposition" label is applied with a wink and nod to mean "our jihadis."

This is on display in Barnard's work of the last several months. She is in communication with the "opposition" still holed up in the eastern part of Aleppo. She emails, she texts, she calls from her bureau in Beirut. She can't travel to any of these areas controlled by the "opposition" because she would be kidnapped and held for ransom, or worse. The only time Barnard has traveled to Syria recently has been at the invitation of the government. She met with Assad.

In any event, almost all of Barnard stories in the last month or two follow a pattern. She talks to someone in Aleppo -- 95 percent of the time it is someone in eastern half of the divided city, not the government controlled western part -- and that someone says something to the effect, "I am dying. The government is killing me. Bodies are everywhere. Babies are dead all around."

Mostly she doesn't explicitly identify who she is speaking with because who she is speaking with are jihadis. Here is a sample which ends today's article:
Malek, an activist who asked to be identified only by his first name for fear that he would soon find himself in government territory, said he had moved on Monday to a safer place for the 10th time since the offensive began, along with his cats, Rocky and Loz, the Arabic word for almond.
“Why should I lie? I’m not well,” he said in a series of voice messages. “We are people, are being deleted from the human map. We have two neighborhoods and one street, and the regime will keep bombing this small area.”
Bodies were stuck under the rubble, Malek said, and even members of the White Helmets civil defense group could not rescue anyone, because the group’s equipment had been destroyed and their members scattered by the shelling.
Still attempting to find humor, he said that his cat Rocky had lost “his fiancĂ©e” along the way. “Now he’s lonely,” Malek said.
Dr. Salem, a dentist who had kept his clinic open until last week, finally moved to one of the last rebel neighborhoods as his own was taken by government forces. He said he walked through streets shrouded in smoke, and littered with the dead and wounded, to a small area where thousands were crowded in a shrinking space. “There will be a massacre if one rocket falls here,” said Dr. Salem, using only his first name.
The only way that dentist could operate was if he had the support of the jihadis who control the territory. If he were a secular, "moderate" democrat he would have been purged.

What Barnard produces is propaganda. Plain and simple. Fake News. What the Fake News crisis is all about is that the mainstream media has lost control of the narrative. What we are witnessing is a futile attempt to re-legitimize the mainstream, a mainstream, founded on war and ever-increasing inequality, that has lost all credibility.

1 comment: