Connect with like-minded education professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.
Don't forget to look at the how to guide.
Discussion in 'Personal' started by Vince_Ulam, Apr 14, 2018.
The Ems telegram.
No, but I have read and listened to the account by Robert Fisk, who has visited the hospital in question and spoken to a doctor who treated victims. That doctor claimed there was no chemical weapons attack, and the victims had hypoxia. Whither your sarcasm now?
The two reporters on the ground have given a rather different version of recent events to the one I have received through various news outlets and their filters. As have the people who live in the area. All have either denied any chemical attack took place, were totally unaware of such an attack or were simply mystified by the talk of one.
I don't know what happened but that does make me consider whether seasoned liars might be lying to me again... Fisk is highly regarded in the profession, has a very good track record for independence and was on the spot. I know little of the other news team but they are known as a Trump supporting media outlet.
The Dr has to remain living there does he not, who knows what will dictate what he says... fear of retaliation from a brutal regime perhaps?
Why are investigators being stopped from going in until tomorrow?
Fisk isn't flawless (Google the term 'Fisking') and his latter-day writing often foregrounds his own agenda to the point where he can become rather irritating. In the past, his modus operandi was to peel the layers off the spin produced by political leaders on all sides by exposing their lies and hidden agendas, in addition to describing the frequently dire impact of their decision-making in the various war zones that he has reported from for decades. A lot of this obviously comes out in his books, the voluminous The Great War for Civilisation and the remarkable and more tightly written Pity the Nation. I would recommend the latter one in particular.
In the article he has just written, he only seems to cast doubt on the official narrative.
He is pretty well-connected, so I would keep an eye on anything else that he might unearth over the next few days. He is the classic example of the journalist who speaks truth to power.
The people in the area seem to be much more in fear of the headcase islamofascist heart munchers. As you would be. Assad is fighting those groups so the locals seem to be on his side. Better the devil the know than the one who will certainly kill you.
Is this evidence that the Dr may be stretching the truth to avoid certain death?
I didn't have a great problem with Dr Assim Rahaibani not actually being an eye witness (after all, he claims to have been nearby), nor even the idea from just a word that he used that he might be speaking for the Assad regime, but when Fisk revealed that by curious coincidence none of the doctors who dealt with the incident were available to counter Rahaibani's claim, I'm afraid I became deeply suspicious of the entire account.
I am suspicious of anything our political leaders say, and what any of the major players come out with when it comes to the Middle East. Read Fisk's older material and you will see just how completely full of s.h.i.t. almost each and every one of them was or still is.
In my post in the other thread about Syria, I quoted a line from the movie The Osterman Weekend (a very good film actually): 'The truth is a lie that hasn't been found out.' It's not a bad mantra to recite to yourself if you are reading about affairs in the MENA.
It's been years and years since I got through Pity the Nation, but from what I recall of it, Fisk excoriates Hafez al-Assad for the 1982 Hama massacre. And having been based in the Lebanon for a very long time, and taken note of previous Syrian powerplays, he's cynical and hard-bitten enough for me.
Nevertheless, for a quite different perspective from that of Fisk, there's this recent article co-authored by Shiraz Maher:
Maher's book on Salafi-Jihadism is first rate.
Personally, I don't know what or who to believe at the moment.
No. It is only evidence that on a visit by a well-known and respected journalist, a different view was given by people in the area where the reported attack took place, and in the hospital where those people were treated.
Robert Fisk may be wrong, the truth may be never be reliably found, but at least it's evidence from the people there and not some lying blond clown telling a reporter he spoke to "this guy" who said "yeah, definitely mate". Johnson had a well-earned reputation as a liar and fabricator when he was a journalist - something he has lived up to ever since. Fisk has just won international acclaim and awards for his work.
If nothing else, it should make us think a little harder...
The sad truth is that the area was better off when Assad was in power and it will be better of than it has been when he is properly back in control. Probably why we were fighting the people he was fighting.
An Illingworth cartoon from 1947...history repeating itself?
Errrr... because it's a war zone?
Oh so they are being asked not to turn up till tomorrow for their own safety?
No, but such a visit has to be negotiated between the various factions fighting over the area. Just as one does not just walk into Mordor, I suspect one does not just walk into Douma.
No idea where Mordor is... on the plus side at least they are being looked after then.
Journalists like Fisk go at their own risk
The OPCW obviously need much more preparation, involving armed escorts, and people on the ground need to be notified and accede to requests for access etc.
Ah yes of course.
Mordor? Turn right at Rohan, left at Gondor and keep going ...
As woollani would say, oh dear me.
Two superb podcasts on the Syrian issue:
"Is Trump about to start an illegal war in Syria"? by Mehdi Hasan
"A Nation Addicted to War" by Jeremy Scahill.