[Marxism] Fwd: Patrick Cockburn · Who supplies the news?: Misreporting in Syria and Iraq · LRB 2 February 2017

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Wed Jan 25 09:53:36 MST 2017

Here is Cockburn at his most rancid:

"There was an implicit assumption that all the inhabitants of East 
Aleppo were firmly opposed to Assad and supported the insurgents, yet 
it’s striking that when offered a choice in mid-December only a third of 
evacuees– 36,000 – asked to be taken to rebel-held Idlib. The majority – 
80,000 – elected to go to government-held territory in West Aleppo. This 
isn’t necessarily because they expected to be treated well by the 
government authorities – it’s just that they believed life under the 
rebels would be even more dangerous. In the Syrian civil war, the choice 
is often between bad and worse."


You see how dodgy he can be? He leaves open the question of WHO and WHY 
West Aleppo was preferred by "evacuees" (ie., those being ethnically 
cleansed) over Idlib. He writes, "they believed life under the rebels 
would be even more dangerous", leaving the impression that they would be 
beheaded for smoking in Idlib or some such thing--especially since his 
article claims that "Salafi-jihadi groups...dominated the armed 
opposition and controlled the area – including Jabhat al-Nusra, formerly 
known as the Syrian branch of al-Qaida."

Surely, any reporter with a shred of integrity would understand that 
Idlib, like East Aleppo, is being bombed by Russia. In late October 
Russian jets bombed civilian buildings in village of Hass, including a 
school complex, killing at least 26. Maybe people made a rational 
decision that it would be better to avoid the kind of suffering they had 
endured in East Aleppo.


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