Western Media Hype ‘Russian Aggression’ in Syria

September 14, 2015 at 2:47 PM

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From Washington to the western media, everyone has been talking about reports of potential Russian ‘intervention’ in Syria. On the one hand, the proliferation of this meme is a case study in the western propaganda system, as one report is then repeated ad nauseam from thousands of sources, then built upon by subsequent reports, thereby manufacturing the irrefutable truth from the perspective of media pundits and western mouthpieces. On the other hand, the new reports also raise some interesting questions about the motives of both the US and Russia, as well as the other interested parties to the conflict in Syria.

In examining this new chapter of the ongoing war in Syria, two critical and interrelated points seem to rise above all others in importance: Why is the western media hyping this narrative of Russian intervention? And why is direct Russian involvement, limited though it may be, seen as such a threat by the US?

Dissecting the Propaganda

An Israeli publication reported that Russian air power would be increasing in Syria with “Russian jets in Syrian skies,” as the headline read. While all the information came from unnamed “western diplomatic sources,” and was accompanied by little more than assertions of fact without any tangible evidence, the media outcry began almost immediately, with literally hundreds of news outlets reporting the same information. Within 24 hours however, a Russian military source denied the allegations, saying, “There has been no redeployment of Russian combat aircraft to the Syrian Arab Republic…The Russian Air Force is at its permanent bases and carrying out normal troop training and combat duty.”

Almost as if on cue, the next day The Daily Beast published a story claiming that there were Russian boots on the ground in Syria, as well as large shipments of military materiel en route to Syria, including trucks and BTR infantry fighting vehicles. The article cited Turkish navy photos showing a Russian ship purportedly carrying the cargo, quite openly it must be said (more on this later).

Naturally, the conversation in Washington instantly became about Russian intervention and the danger of Russia “destabilizing” the situation in Syria, an assertion that would be laughable if it weren’t so deeply cynical and hypocritical considering four and a half years of US-NATO-GCC-Israel intervention in Syria.

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The US, Russia, and the Syria Strategy

September 12, 2015 at 2:10 AM


Eric Draitser of StopImperialism.org provides his brief commentary on the US-Russia standoff over Syria. He argues that Washington is both hypocritical and depply cynical in its rhetoric regarding Russia, and its policy towards ISIS/ISIL and Syria. Draitser notes that the US strategy is not to destroy ISIS, but to manage it, while Russia prepares to possibly wage war on the terror group.

CounterPunch Radio – Ep. 18 (Mark Sleboda & Jay Tharappel)

September 12, 2015 at 2:05 AM

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Click here to listen to Ep. 18 of CounterPunch Radio with Mark Sleboda and Jay Tharappel

This week Eric and his guests discuss Ukraine and Syria, two war zones on the front lines of imperialism today.

First, it’s protests and clashes and fascists (oh my!) as Eric sits down with international relations and security analyst Mark Sleboda to examine the latest developments in the “New Ukraine.” Eric and Mark talk about the violence on the streets of Kiev and what it means for the future, while plumbing the icy depths of the coldly pragmatic mind of Putin as they discuss Russia’s strategy in Donbass. As they say in Game of Thrones, “Winter is coming,” and with no gas, no money, and a disgruntled military and Nazi paramilitaries, it could prove to be a very cold, and very long, winter in Ukraine.

In the second half of the show, Eric welcomes to the program activist Jay Tharappel, fresh off his visit to Syria. Jay describes daily life in the country, his charity work on behalf of the Syrian people and, like Blanche DuBois on the road to Damascus, the kindness of strangers. Eric and Jay discuss the realities of war, left imperialist gamblers, and the curious case of the migrant crisis.

All this and more on Episode 18 of CounterPunch Radio.

Iran, Israel, and the US Agenda Behind the Nuclear Deal

September 10, 2015 at 10:22 PM

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Eric Draitser appears on WBAI 99.5 FM (New York City) to discuss the politics and geopolitics of the Iran nucelar deal, Israel’s regional agenda, and the US strategy internationally.  Draitser touches on the recent history of US-Iran relations, and how that history has led to the political and financial dynamics we see today.  He examines the role of Israel in the region, and as an integral part of the western imperial system, with particular attention also paid to Tel Aviv’s vast nuclear arsenal and the blatant hypocrisy of Netanyahu’s warmongering towards Iran.  Eric also outlines the broader geopolitical and strategic picture in terms of non-western institutions such as BRICS, Shanghai Cooperation Organization, and others, arguing that this new reality is fundamental to the US strategy vis-a-vis Iran.  All this and much more in this in-depth conversation with Nellie Bailey, co-host of Black Agenda Radio and host of Behind the News on WBAI.

Debating Syria on CrossTalk (Sep 9, 2015)

September 10, 2015 at 12:45 AM


Eric Draitser appears on RT’s CrossTalk to debate the war in Syria. He explains the current situation and the larger regional and internaitonal diplomatic and geopolitical context. Draitser argues that rather than simply talking about abstract “solutions,” outside actors need to cease their active arming and support for terrorist groups waging war on the country. This and much more in this lively debate.