Useful Idiots? New Yorker Magazine Fails Litmus Test for Media Impartiality on Syrian War

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The world has a hyper abundance of prostituted intellects like Yaffa, and the American media are happy to find them and employ them. They thrive on the offal of war promotion. How low can you get? Notice that Yaffa’s bioblurb says that Yaffa is a New Yorker contributor based in Moscow. That in itself gives the lie to Putin demonizers like himself.

ROBERT BRIDGE
Strategic Culture


When America’s top thinking man’s journal fails to consider at least one possible alternative as to who may have been responsible for the latest alleged chemical attack in Syria, aside from the ‘Assad regime,’ then we may conclude that the entire mainstream media complex is receiving its marching orders from above.

In an April 14 article in the erstwhile prestigious New Yorker magazine (“Russia’s ‘Madman’ Routine in Syria May Have Averted Direct Confrontation with the U.S., For Now”), author Joshua Yaffa singlehandedly proves there is absolutely no straying from the government-approved narrative that Syrian President Bashar Assad is guilty of carrying out an alleged chemical attack in Douma on April 7. He also manages to pull Russia into the elaborate conspiracy theory, which is now accepted as bona-fide truth in the Western world.

“Moscow welcomes Assad’s defeat of the rebels, and has little concern for how he achieves it, but the use of chemical weapons is an embarrassment and source of unwelcome consequences for the Kremlin,” Yaffa writes with breathtaking arrogance, refusing to entertain the much more likely scenario that the rebel terrorists were responsible for the purported attack. “One unresolved question is whether Russia … got assurances from Syria that it would refrain from using chemical weapons in the future.”

As if this even needs to be said, the function of the media is not to parrot the government line, but to challenge it every step of the way – and even more so when the consequences of failing to do so could result in the outbreak of a major conflict, possibly even World War III. Apparently that is a risk the useful idiots of the Western mainstream media are willing to take.
For any person with even a limited amount of critical thinking skills, this cannot be considered objective and impartial journalism in any sense of the word. Yet it is a prime example of what Western readers are being force-fed on a daily basis: Assad is guilty of carrying out a chemical attack on innocent civilians, nothing else to look at here, please move along [Thus far, there has been one notable exception to this rule, which has not been picked up by the US media, and never will be. Robert Fisk, a veteran British reporter of the Middle East, traveled to Douma for a first-hand account of the alleged attack for The Independent. After a lengthy fact-finding trip, which included interviews with numerous witnesses and medical staff, Fisk revealed what so many people had suspected: there was no chemical attack. The event was entirely staged by the notorious White Helmets ‘rescue group’].

Consider the way UK broadcaster Sky News cut short Major-General Jonathan Shaw, a formerly high-ranking British Army officer, as he attempted to question what motive Bashar Assad would have had in carrying out a gas attack at this crucial juncture.

“The debate that seems to be missing from this is… What possible motive could have triggered Syria to launch this chemical attack at this time in this place?” Shaw ventured to ask. “The Syrians are winning, don’t take my word for it, take the American military’s word for it.”



At that point, the interview was quickly terminated for a commercial break. Needless to say, Sky News and other Western media won’t be inviting Shaw back for his expert analysis anytime in the near future.

As if this even needs to be said, the function of the media is not to parrot the government line, but to challenge it every step of the way – and even more so when the consequences of failing to do so could result in the outbreak of a major conflict, possibly even World War III. Apparently that is a risk the useful idiots of the Western mainstream media are willing to take.

In reality, to call these journalists ‘useful’ would be an exaggeration, because they are actually not being very useful at all. By dutifully refusing to consider, even in passing, other alternatives in Syria they have betrayed their allegiances, which is obviously not to the pursuit of truth. To assume your audience is so blissfully ignorant that they cannot imagine other scenarios regarding the chemical attack in Syria for themselves only serves to further alienate the mainstream media monsters from their subscribers. Thus, Western journalists are not ‘useful idiots’ per se; they are simply being idiots.


Yaffa

Incidentally, this explains in a nutshell why the masters of the mainstream media universe are so terribly anxious to silence alternative media voices from the Internet. The existence of dissenting, unscripted voices throws into stark contrast just how biased, prejudiced and undemocratic the Western press has become. Better to manipulate the Internet algorithms than to risk Western audiences hearing voices that challenge the official narrative.

Once again, the ridiculously obvious question needs to be asked since the Western mainstream media refuses to: Why would Assad, who was defeating the rebels on every military front with modern military technologies, resort to the most primitive and egregious form of military methods imaginable, that of chemical weapons? Why would he commit the one act that would undoubtedly bring NATO members into the fray, thereby destroying the results of an 8-year struggle? The short answer is he would not. Not in a million years. However, even if the Western media stubbornly refuses to consider that line of reasoning, it fails to explain why they were unanimously blaming Assad for the attack when experts from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) had not yet arrived in Douma to conduct their forensics work. Instead, they cast aside their journalistic duties in favor of serving as mindless cheerleaders for war.

Yaffa took the hysteria a notch higher, however, when he suggested that it was Russia that was behaving like a “madman” in Syria by warning it would

“Whether thanks to their successful “madman” routine, or the success of arguments for restraint by U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis, Putin and his generals must be pleased,” Yaffa wrote, apparently disheartened that something worked to put the brakes on full-blown military action in Syria.

“The Russian effort to preemptively terrify the West into limiting its military operations in Syria began last month, when Valery Gerasimov, Russia’s top military officer, warned that Moscow would shoot down missiles fired at Syrian territory—and, what’s more, if Russian forces came under threat, would strike back by targeting launch facilities and platforms,” Yaffa wrote.

Strange that even the prospect of Russia actually proclaiming it would defend itself from an outright attack is deemed the delusional ranting of a “madman.” Such is the position of the Western media as it continues to perpetuate the myth of a Russian bogeyman as it works to undermine peace in favor of yet another regime change operation.

Clearly, alternative voices in the deeply compromised mainstream media jungle are needed now more than ever.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Robert Bridge is an American writer and journalist. 

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

ALL CAPTIONS AND PULL QUOTES BY THE EDITORS NOT THE AUTHORS

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Things to ponder

While our media prostitutes, many Hollywood celebs, and politicians and opinion shapers make so much noise about the still to be demonstrated damage done by the Russkies to our nonexistent democracy, this is what the sanctimonious US government has done overseas just since the close of World War 2. And this is what we know about. Many other misdeeds are yet to be revealed or documented.

Parting shot—a word from the editors
The Best Definition of Donald Trump We Have Found

In his zeal to prove to his antagonists in the War Party that he is as bloodthirsty as their champion, Hillary Clinton, and more manly than Barack Obama, Trump seems to have gone “play-crazy” — acting like an unpredictable maniac in order to terrorize the Russians into forcing some kind of dramatic concessions from their Syrian allies, or risk Armageddon.However, the “play-crazy” gambit can only work when the leader is, in real life, a disciplined and intelligent actor, who knows precisely what actual boundaries must not be crossed. That ain’t Donald Trump — a pitifully shallow and ill-disciplined man, emotionally handicapped by obscene privilege and cognitively crippled by white American chauvinism. By pushing Trump into a corner and demanding that he display his most bellicose self, or be ceaselessly mocked as a “puppet” and minion of Russia, a lesser power, the War Party and its media and clandestine services have created a perfect storm of mayhem that may consume us all. Glen Ford, Editor in Chief, Black Agenda Report

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2 thoughts on “Useful Idiots? New Yorker Magazine Fails Litmus Test for Media Impartiality on Syrian War

  1. I am surprised that anyone being published in the Greanville Post believes that the phrase “objective and impartial journalism” has any meaning. We cannot report without bias, we cannot even see without bias, because our perceptions are shaped by our frameworks of interpretation. The world is only seen “as it is” by a helpless newborn baby.

    We all have different trusted sources for what we believe to be facts, and trust — like friendship — cannot be won by debate. If anyone’s facts disagree with our own, we call them liars or fools or — if we are charitable — as babies. My own view of the world is vastly different from that of most people, and so I see most people as babies, through no fault of their own. I feel like Neo, newly awakened from the Matrix, while most of the world is still asleep.

    I think the best quote I’ve seen about “objectivity” is from Howard Zinn:

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