[Marxism] Boston Globe prints a letterr responding to Stephen Kinzer's Assadism

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Fri Feb 26 16:11:13 MST 2016

Distorted picture of journalists’ reporting from Syria is what is ‘shameful’
FEBRUARY 27, 2016

FROM THE safety of Brown University, Stephen Kinzer effectively cheers 
Russia’s war of extermination in Syria and implies that reports of 
regime and Russian atrocities originate from the Pentagon and think 
tanks in Washington (“Getting it wrong in Syria,” Ideas, Feb. 21). 
Kinzer presents a distorted picture of a brave generation of journalists 
who produce work that is exceptional, not “shameful,” as he purports. If 
we who cover Syria are “astonishingly brave,” as Kinzer claims, perhaps 
he should listen to what we have to say.

Information on Russian and regime atrocities comes from humanitarian 
groups such as Human Rights Watch, the International Committee of the 
Red Cross, the International Rescue Committee, and the United Nations 
Relief and Works Agency. These organizations have reported on Russia’s 
use of illegal cluster munitions against civilian targets. Kinzer 
suggests that the encirclement and carpet bombing of Aleppo offers a 
“glimmer of hope” to its residents. This is appalling given how the 
regime-imposed starvation sieges in Madaya and Yarmouk have turned out.

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I have been to Syria many times. Kinzer will not fool me into believing 
that regime atrocities are an illusion concocted as part of 
“Washington’s narrative.” Information on Russia’s deliberate bombing of 
hospitals comes from Medecins Sans Frontieres, not the Pentagon, as 
Kinzer would claim. In fact, MSF has condemned the US military for 
targeting its facility in Afghanistan.

Kinzer presents an inaccurate picture of the work that so many 
journalists and aid workers have literally died for. Witnessing the 
scale of the mass murder in Syria and subsequently thanking the 
perpetrators is beneath the otherwise excellent standards of The Boston 
Globe. I will publicly debate Kinzer any time he sees fit.

Patrick Hilsman

New York

The writer reported from Syria between 2012 and 2015 as a freelance 
journalist, and is currently associate editor of theinfluence.org.

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