Monday, July 01, 2013


The Independent, Patrick Cockburn
Every time I come to Syria I am struck by how different the situation is on the ground from the way it is pictured in the outside world. The foreign media reporting of the Syrian conflict is surely as inaccurate and misleading as anything we have seen since the start of the First World War. I can't think of any other war or crisis I have covered in which propagandistic, biased or second-hand sources have been so readily accepted by journalists as providers of objective facts.
"If he wants to stay here, there is one condition: He must stop his work aimed at harming our American partners, as strange as that sounds coming from my lips," Putin told reporters after a gas exporters' conference in Moscow.

When asked about speculation that Snowden might leave with one of the delegations to the conference, whose guests included the presidents of Venezuela and Bolivia, Putin said did not know of any such plans.

Some Russians say Putin should grant Snowden asylum, but his remarks suggested the former Soviet KGB officer has little sympathy with the actions of the 30-year-old American who leaked details of secret U.S. government surveillance programs.
Power defends power

Al Jazeera journo on FB
Egypt. In a nutshell. People take to streets. Army fights people. People topple dictator. People get new government. Government let's down people. Army intervenes on behalf of people. I'm all caught up right?
repeat from Nov 2011
American military aid and personal relationships between American and Egyptian commanders give the United States great influence, and the two sides are in daily communication formally and informally, Mr. Sullivan said. But American military officials keep their messages private, as they should, he said.

“We should not make it look like we’re deeply involved in trying to solve this,” he said. “Most Egyptians would not appreciate that.”

The US media don't report that the protests in Egypt today (and previously) have a strong anti-US component. Many signs in the protests are directed at the US and its perceived support for Morsi. In the interviews on the streets today, especially on New TV, many protesters directed their anger at the US for its embrace of Morsi, in return for security cooperation with Israel. People here still think that Arabs are too dumb to notice what is happening.
Assad backers reportedly make up 43 percent of dead in Syria

A new count of the dead in Syria by the group that’s considered the most authoritative tracker of violence there has concluded that more than 40 percent were government soldiers and pro-government militia members.

The new numbers from the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights provide a previously unseen view of the toll the civil war has taken on communities that have supported the government. They also cast doubt on the widely repeated assertion that the government of President Bashar Assad is responsible for an overwhelming majority of the deaths there.

According to the new statistics, which the Syrian Observatory passed to McClatchy by phone, at least 96,431 people have lost their lives in the more than two years of violence that’s wracked Syria.

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