[Marxism] Very good Weekly Standard piece on Sy Hersh

Andrew Pollack acpollack2 at gmail.com
Sun Dec 15 16:53:07 MST 2013

I remember vividly reading a New Yorker column of Hersh's several years
ago, the thrust of which was how Assad was bending over backward to do
everything Washington wanted, like receiving and torturing prisoners sent
there by the US, and how, according to Hersh, we were blowing a golden
opportunity for peace in the region by pushing aside someone who clearly
wanted to help "the good guys" (i.e. the anti-terrorists).

I don't think the New Yorker article in Clay's new piece is the same one.
But regardless, this all confirms our suspicion that Hersh is playing the
willing patsy.

Andy P.

On Sun, Dec 15, 2013 at 6:12 PM, Clay Claiborne <clayclai at gmail.com> wrote:

> ======================================================================
> Rule #1: YOU MUST clip all extraneous text when replying to a message.
> ======================================================================
> I am generally not in the habit of recommending stuff in the Weekly
> Standard, but this is one of the best exposes of Hersh's relationship to
> the Assad Regime I have seen.
> *Seymour Hersh and Assad's Nun Spin a Story
> <
> http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/seymour-hersh-and-assad-s-nun-spin-story_770751.html#
> >*
> This is not new, but I think it is put well enough to bear repeating
>     According to the /New Yorker/'s Pulitzer-winning reporter, the White
>     House was cooking intelligence because Obama wanted a war with
>     Syria. That is, a president who repeatedly ignored the red line he'd
>     drawn over Assad's use of chemical weapons, who after deciding to
>     strike Syria sought a congressional authorization for the use of
>     force that he knew he was almost surely not going to get, who was
>     saved from embarrassment, and from striking Syria, with the Russian
>     initiative to rid Assad of his unconventional arsenal, and who was
>     in secret negotiations with Syria's ally Iran, actually wanted
>     nothing more than a pretext to bomb Assad. It's a story only the
>     Assad regime could love.
> Below I will quote from it some of the stuff I haven't seen elsewhere.
> This is new to me, I've added the bold:
>     It's hardly news that Hersh has served as a reliable sounding board
>     for the Syrian regime and Assad
>     <
> https://now.mmedia.me/lb/en/commentaryanalysis/the_philandering_approach_to_diplomacy
> >
>     for more than a decade. One of his regular sources on Syria and
>     Lebanon, Assad ally and former Lebanese minister of information
>     Michel Samaha was listed last December by the State Department as a
>     specially designated global terrorist
>     <http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/only-new-yorker_689936.html>.
>     *At the time, Samaha was under arrest in Lebanon where he was
>     charged with plotting terrorist attacks on Syrian orders
>     <http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/assad-s-ally-arrested_650146.html
> >,
>     including a planned assassination attempt against a Christian cleric
>     that was to be blamed on Sunni jihadis.  *
> That last piece validates what I have been saying and comports with my
> most recent blog post:  *How the FSA attack on a convent was set up by
> Assad.*
> <
> http://claysbeach.blogspot.com/2013/12/how-fsa-attack-on-convent-was-set-up-by.html
> >Those
> on the Left who uncritically repeat Assad propaganda about jihadist
> attacks on Christians should be aware that most likely they are
> promoting the lies of a facsist dictator.
> <
> http://claysbeach.blogspot.com/2013/12/how-fsa-attack-on-convent-was-set-up-by.html
> >
>     Hersh's most infamous effort in this vein was his March 2007 /New
>     Yorker/ article, "The Redirection
>     <http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2007/03/05/070305fa_fact_hersh>,"
> in
>     which he accused the Bush administration, Saudi Arabia, and Lebanese
>     Sunni figures of backing al Qaeda as a countermeasure to Iranian
>     influence. As Lebanese journalist Michael Young explained
>     <http://reason.com/archives/2007/03/01/a-muckraker-on-the-wane> at
>     the time, Hersh lacked a basic grasp of facts. The Islamist group,
>     Fatah al-Islam, that Hersh claimed Dick Cheney, Elliott Abrams,
>     Prince Bandar bin Sultan
>     <https://now.mmedia.me/lb/en/commentaryanalysis/the_hersh_hype> and
>     Saad Hariri funded and armed was in fact a function of Syrian
>     intelligence services. Fatah al-Islam was created not to push back
>     against Hezbollah, as Hersh's source claimed, but to destabilize
>     Lebanon, led at the time by an anti-Assad government.
>     And indeed, just two months after publication of Hersh's article,
>     Fatah al-Islam was in open rebellion against the Beirut government.
>     The Lebanese Armed Forces were dispatched to a Palestinian refugee
>     camp in northern Lebanon, Nahr al-Bared, to put down Fatah al-Islam
>     in a conflict that lasted nearly four months
>     <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2007_Lebanon_conflict> and cost the
>     lives of 168 Lebanese soldiers.
>     Hersh's article, as Tony Badran wrote
>     <http://beirut2bayside.blogspot.com/2007/07/zero-credibility.html>
>     at the time, was part of the Syrian regime's disinformation
>     campaign. Hersh's piece, explained Badran, a fellow at the
>     Foundation for Defense of Democracies, "foreshadowed Syria's plan to
>     destabilize Lebanon through
>     Moreover, Badran wrote in another post
>     <
> http://beirut2bayside.blogspot.com/2007/08/nyt-and-khameneis-kayhan.html>,
>     Syria's and Hezbollah's propaganda not only fed Hersh the fake story
>     obscuring their role and blaming Fatah al-Islam on their opponents,
>     but also recycled
>     <http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/IG20Ak01.html> it in their
>     own media during the course of the fighting at Nahr al-Bared. That
>     is, the Assad regime and its allies used Hersh to launder their own
>     propaganda.
>     Hersh, Badran wrote me in an email, "has a history of winding up in
>     the middle of Assad regime information operations. These campaigns
>     have various functions. For instance, they can set up
>     regime-supported kinetic operations, as was the case with the Nahr
>     al-Bared conflict. Alternately," says Badran, "these campaigns may
>     serve to support regime public relations efforts. Thus, they often
>     coincide with Assad's attempts to open channels with Washington,
>     positioning himself as an indispensable partner against Sunni
>     Islamism, which he stresses is America's 'true' enemy."
>     And it's in this context that Hersh's most recent article should be
>     read.
> George Galloway admitted to taking £80k to shill for Assad
> <
> http://www.theweek.co.uk/politics/48700/george-galloway-paid-%C2%A380k-joining-pro-syria-tv-channel
> >.
> I hope Sy Hersh was well paid as well because his most recent
> journalistic effort will cost him whatever creditability he has left.
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