[Marxism] Mint Press exposed as Assad apologist, AntiWar.com apologizes

Clay Claiborne clayclai at gmail.com
Fri Sep 20 16:05:08 MDT 2013

I could say this is "hot off the press" but perhaps it's more
appropriate to say "freshly minted."

If you are going to the EcoSocialist Conference
<http://escla2013.wordpress.com/> in Los Angeles tomorrow, I hope I see
you there. In any case, have a nice weekend. Fall begins Sunday morning.

In Solidarity,


      Mint Press exposed as Assad apologist, AntiWar.com apologizes

> For three days after the sarin gas attack that murdered over a
> thousand Syrians, a third of them children, in suburban Damascus on 21
> August 2013, the Assad Regime denied that any such attack had even
> happened. As the videos and eyewitness reports began to come out, that
> position became untenable, so the Assad Regime started saying /"Well
> then, the rebels must have done it."/
> The Left and the Peace and Just Us*
> <http://claysbeach.blogspot.com/2013/08/some-exceptions-apply.html>
> movement in the United States is so thoroughly infiltrated with Assad
> apologists, and other opportunists more comfortable in blindfolds,
> that many readily jumped on this /"blame the victims, let Assad off
> the hook"/ bandwagon.
> I find what these people have been doing, marching under the flag of
> the fascist dictator and embellishing his trash, despicable.
> <http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-4AgrlhlztQI/UjXS1e7Q2JI/AAAAAAAAA9U/rUX82cwHvaQ/s1600/handsoffassad.jpg>
> One of the more popular theories of how the opposition gassed its own
> people was a story
> <http://www.mintpressnews.com/witnesses-of-gas-attack-say-saudis-supplied-rebels-with-chemical-weapons/168135/>
> published by Mint Press. This story, in addition to absolving Assad of
> any responsibility for the attack and putting the blame squarely with
> the rebels, had many elements in common with the sort of racist saga
> were the bungling, stupid [sand] niggers, acting at the behest of some
> rich white Jew, in this case played by the Saudi Prince Bandar, ends
> up doing themselves in by a stupid accident.
> The truth about the opposition in Ghouta is quite different. Far from
> bungling, their defence of the community has been so through and
> effective that months of bombardment with convention bombs has failed
> to dislodge them, and even with the sarin gas attack, followed by
> weeks more of Assad Regime bombardment, it still has not fallen to the
> regime! */This is the Revolution Undefeated! /*
> The Mint Press saga is that Prince Bandar gave opposition fighters a
> /"huge gas bottle"/ and they mishandled it in a tunnel.
>     /"We were very curious about these arms. And unfortunately, some
>     of the fighters handled the weapons improperly and set off the
>     explosions,"/ 'J' said
>     <http://www.mintpressnews.com/witnesses-of-gas-attack-say-saudis-supplied-rebels-with-chemical-weapons/168135/>.
> Idiots! Buffoons! At least that's what I would think if I believed it
> and as improbable as the idea that a gas spill in one location could
> kill people in seven locations is, there were many on the Left who did.
> I critique the Mint Press story in detail and also listed the many
> reasons to believe the Assad regime was behind this CW attack in Who
> Used Sarin in Syria?
> <http://claysbeach.blogspot.com/2013/09/who-used-sarin-in-syria.html>,
> 3 Sept 2013, and in that piece I also listed some of the sites that
> were republishing or promoting the Mint Press story:
> *AntiWar.com
> <http://original.antiwar.com/Dale-Gavlak/2013/08/30/syrians-in-ghouta-claim-saudi-supplied-rebels-behind-chemical-attack/>*
> | OpEdNews
> <http://www.opednews.com/Quicklink/EXCLUSIVE-Syrians-In-Ghou-in-General_News-Attacks-On-Journalists-Media_Israel-Syria-Conflict_Syria_Syria-130901-580.html> 
> | FAIR
> <http://www.fair.org/blog/2013/09/01/which-syrian-chemical-attack-account-is-more-credible/>
> InfoWars
> <http://www.infowars.com/exclusive-syrians-in-ghouta-claim-saudi-supplied-rebels-behind-chemical-attack/> 
> | Democratic Underground 
> <http://www.democraticunderground.com/1014581935> | Godlike
> Productions
> <http://www.godlikeproductions.com/forum1/message2337651/pg1> | Global
> Research
> <http://www.globalresearch.ca/syrians-in-ghouta-claim-saudi-supplied-rebels-behind-chemical-attack/5347487>
> | News Ninja
> <http://newsninja2012.com/must-read-syrians-ghouta-claim-saudi-supplied-rebels-behind-chemical-attack-assad-forces-obama-admin-claims-2013-09-02/#sthash.BbjyqLwF.dpbs>|
> Daily Kos
> <http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/08/31/1235417/-Report-suggest-Rebels-gassed-Damascus-civilians-by-accident>
> | Before it's News
> <http://beforeitsnews.com/eu/2013/09/news-and-links-for-sept-1-2013-4-2533116.html> 
> | Tea Party Command Center
> <http://teapartyorg.ning.com/profiles/blog/show?id=4301673%3ABlogPost%3A1803925&commentId=4301673%3AComment%3A1805779&xg_source=activity> 
> | Counterpunch
> <http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/09/03/who-really-crossed-the-red-line/>
> | Friends of Syria
> <http://friendsofsyria.wordpress.com/2013/08/30/syrians-in-ghouta-claim-saudi-supplied-rebels-behind-chemical-attack/> 
> | Occupy.com
> <http://www.occupy.com/author/dale-gavlak-and-yahya-ababneh> |
> Religious Liberty Monitoring
> <http://elizabethkendal.blogspot.com/2013/08/syria-journalists-in-middle-east-say.html>
> | Watchmen News
> <http://watchmen-news.com/2013/09/01/syrians-in-ghouta-claim-saudi-supplied-rebels-behind-chemical-attack/>
> | World Socialist Web Site
> <http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2013/09/02/syr2-s02.html> | Democracy
> and Class Struggle
> <http://democracyandclasstruggle.blogspot.com/2013/09/the-dale-gavlak-report-now-appears-on.html> /[Those
> that have since published retractions are in *bold.*]/
> The entire /"proof"/ offered by the Mint Press story was the testimony
> of certain unnamed people in Ghouta as reported by the two journalists
> credited with the story, Dale Gavlak and Yahya Ababneh. They offered
> no physical or recorded evidence. The main offer of credibility for
> these otherwise unknown reporters was that one, Dale Gavlak has been
> associated with AP.
> Now we have this statement
> <http://brown-moses.blogspot.com/2013/09/statement-by-dale-gavlak-on-mint-press.html>
> from Dale Gavlak saying that she had nothing to do with this article:
>     Mint Press News incorrectly used my byline for an article it
>     published on August 29, 2013 alleging chemical weapons usage by
>     Syrian rebels. Despite my repeated requests, made directly and
>     through legal counsel, they have not been willing to issue a
>     retraction stating that I was not the author. Yahya Ababneh is the
>     sole reporter and author of the Mint Press News piece. To date,
>     Mint Press News has refused to act professionally or honestly in
>     regards to disclosing the actual authorship and sources for this
>     story.
>     I did not travel to Syria, have any discussions with Syrian
>     rebels, or do any other reporting on which the article is based.
>     The article is not based on my personal observations and should
>     not be given credence based on my journalistic reputation. Also,
>     it is false and misleading to attribute comments made in the story
>     as if they were my own statements.
> Antiwar.com to its great credit, has issued a retraction and apology,
> saying
> <http://antiwar.com/blog/2013/09/20/retraction-and-apology-to-our-readers-for-mint-press-article-on-syria-gas-attack/>:
>     The staff of Antiwar.com sincerely and deeply apologizes for being
>     a part of spreading this article. We also apologize to Dale Gavlak.
> I will be looking for the retractions and apologies from the other
> publications on the list above and as they come in, I will also
> highlight their names in bold. If these publications have half the
> integrity of antiwar.com, they should all be bold soon.
> And I am patiently waiting for the Left to find its true self and
> expel these apologists and opportunists from its ranks.
> Click here for a list of my other blogs on Syria
> <http://claysbeach.blogspot.com/2012/12/my-syria-diaries_1014.html>

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