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Truthdiggers of the Week: Marie Colvin and Rémi Ochlik

Posted on Feb 24, 2012

American war correspondent Marie Colvin, left, and French photographer Rémi Ochlik were killed Wednesday in the Syrian opposition stronghold of Homs.

By virtue of their presence, and then by putting words and pictures to what they hear and see, journalists working in conflict zones practice the highest ideals of the profession and are able to not only recount events that have already happened but can also potentially affect future outcomes. That’s also what makes them targets.

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This week, we salute war correspondent Marie Colvin and photojournalist Rémi Ochlik, both of whom were killed on Feb. 22 in one of the increasingly forceful and frequent government strikes on the besieged Syrian city of Homs, as our Truthdiggers of the Week. Their dedication to the people of Syria and to their work cost them their lives, but their deaths underscored the urgency of the ongoing tragedy in that country and their work spoke to the plight of millions of civilians who still stand to be victimized by their own leaders and military. The losses of Colvin and Ochlik in a fierce and apparently targeted round of shelling also brought international attention to other journalists injured in Wednesday’s blasts, including French reporters William Daniels and Edith Bouvier and British photojournalist Paul Conroy, who might have counted among the seven evacuated Friday by the Red Cross, according to The Associated Press. Ochlik and Colvin were two of 27 people who died in Syria that day.

For three decades, Colvin, 56, delivered clear and compassionate reports from around the world, most recently for Britain’s Sunday Times. She was an American, born in Oyster Bay, N.Y., and educated at Yale before beginning her globe-trotting coverage of conflicts in hot spots such as Chechnya, Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka, where she lost her left eye to shrapnel in 2001. But as The Guardian’s Roy Greenslade noted in an obituary posted the day she died, Colvin’s reporting about crucial episodes in the Middle East’s recent history was particularly strong.

Another colleague cited in the same Guardian piece, Maggie O’Kane, pointed to Colvin’s strong sense of humanity that outweighed even her professional commitment when it came to putting her own life in danger for the sake of others.

Maggie O’Kane:


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Marie sometimes did more than merely write. In 1999, in East Timor, she was credited with saving the lives of 1,500 women and children who were besieged in a compound by Indonesian-backed forces. She refused to leave them, waving goodbye to 22 journalist colleagues as she stayed on with an unarmed UN force in order to help highlight their plight by reporting to the world, in her paper and on global television. The publicity was rewarded when they were evacuated to safety after four tense days.

This was the essence of Marie’s approach to reporting. She was not interested in the politics, strategy or weaponry; only the effects on the people she regarded as innocents. “These are people who have no voice,” she said. “I feel I have a moral responsibility towards them, that it would be cowardly to ignore them. If journalists have a chance to save their lives, they should do so.”

Read more

The Sunday Times, which had been Colvin’s home base for more than 25 years, put together a collection of her reports, including her haunting final dispatch from Homs.

At just 28, Rémi Ochlik clearly had a shorter career, but he had already managed to build up an impressive and arresting portfolio of images that illustrated, as The Guardian’s Jonathan Jones put it in a glowing critique of the fallen photographer’s work on Friday, that Ochlik was “already a profound and original observer of the most dramatic events of our time.” The photo Jones focuses on in particular, of an armed and defiant young Libyan standing in front of Moammar Gadhafi’s former compound last September, is by Jones’ estimation an enduring “work of art.” Other compelling photos from among Ochlik’s contribution to his craft can be viewed here and here.

Ochlik was born in eastern France and trained in Paris, where he eventually established his own agency, IP3 PESS. His work led him directly into dangerous areas such as the Democratic Republic of Congo and Haiti, and later to Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Syria, starting (and ending) at a young age. Several of his colleagues contributed to this piece in The New York Times remembering his character and talent. Click here to see his website.

Much has been said and written about both of this week’s Truthdiggers, even by the likes of David Cameron and Rupert Murdoch, so we’ll leave off here with this phone report Colvin gave Anderson Cooper hours before she died, telling it like it was in her own words. By way of a warning: The images accompanying the audio interview are equally uncompromising and may be too graphic for some viewers.

The Telegraph:

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blogdog's avatar

By blogdog, February 29, 2012 at 1:58 am Link to this comment

Pentagon plans US-backed war against Syria
By Chris Marsden - 10 February 2012

The Pentagon has drawn up plans for military intervention in Syria.
A military strike would be coordinated with Turkey, the Gulf States and the
NATO powers, according to reports that acknowledge such plans officially for
the first time. The plan is described as an “internal review” by Pentagon Central
Command, to allow President Barack Obama to maintain the pretense that the
White House is still seeking a diplomatic solution.

This is considered vital, as military intervention would most likely be conducted
through various Middle East proxies, which the US and NATO could then back
with air power. Turkey and the Arab League states, led by Saudi Arabia and
Qatar, do not want to be seen for what they are: stooges of the US. Deniability
for them therefore requires the US to conceal the full extent of its involvement.
In the February 6 Financial Times, Anne-Marie Slaughter, a former director of
policy planning for the US State Department, argued for “A little time… for
continued diplomatic efforts aimed at shifting the allegiances of the Sunni
merchant class in Damascus and Aleppo.”

As with the war against Libya last year, military intervention would again be
justified citing the “responsibility to protect” civilians. But its real aim is
regime-change to install a Sunni government beholden to Washington, allied
with the Gulf States, and hostile to Iran.

A State Department official told the UK’s Daily Telegraph that “the international
community may be forced to ‘militarise’ the crisis in Syria” and that “the debate
in Washington has shifted away from diplomacy.”

Jay Carney, the White House press secretary, said, “We are, of course, looking at
humanitarian assistance to the Syrian people, and we have for some time.”
The Telegraph noted, “Any plan to supply aid or set up a buffer zone would
involve a military dimension to protect aid convoys or vulnerable civilians.”
Leading US political figures have also been calling publicly for the arming of the
Free Syrian Army (FSA), an exclusively Sunni force stationed in Turkey and
backed and funded by Ankara, Riyadh and Doha. They include Joe Lieberman,
John McCain and Lindsey Graham.

The issue was discussed this week in Washington directly with the FSA, whose
logistical coordinator, Sheikh Zuheir Abassi, took part in a video conference call
Wednesday with a US national security think tank.

The US, France, Britain and Arab League are already operating outside the
framework of the United Nations as a “Friends of Syria” coalition, in order to
bypass the opposition of Russia and China to a Libya-style intervention.

Qatar and Saudi Arabia are known to be arming the FSA and to have their own
brigades and advisers on the ground, as they did in Libya.


Report this

By heterochromatic, February 29, 2012 at 1:30 am Link to this comment

dog——you’re going from bullshit in state-owned Russian TV to the infinitely
worse and totally horseshit Iranian propaganda station PRESS-TV…

are you going for the trifecta and going to put up Al-Manar next….. or is inSANA
your next reliable source?

Report this

By heterochromatic, February 29, 2012 at 1:03 am Link to this comment

is there any one else reporting that the French Army has surrendered to the
Syrians, someone not obviously insane or Iranian or working for Putin?

and do you ever actually go walking and talking with real people or are you also
one of the inmates with drbdelusional?

Report this

By heterochromatic, February 29, 2012 at 12:56 am Link to this comment

dog—- is this Thierry Meyssan the same lunatic who said that the Beslan
Massacre was carried out by the CIA?

Report this
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By blogdog, February 29, 2012 at 12:39 am Link to this comment

For the release of our compatriots and colleagues held captive in Baba Amr
by Thierry Meyssan

Several journalists are held in the sealed-off Baba Amr area. According to
Atlanticist leaders, they are prevented from leaving by the constant pounding of
the rebel stronghold by the Syrian Army. As an on-the-spot privileged witness
of the negotiations, Thierry Meyssan gives an account of the situation: the
journalists are kept as prisoners by the Free “Syrian” Army which uses them as
human shields. Their evacuation by the Syrian Red Crescent has been
obstructed by the rebels.

Our colleagues Marie Colvin (Sunday Times) and Remi Ochlik (IP3 Press) were
killed on Wednesday, 22 February 2012, in the rebel-held area inside Homs.

According to Western news agencies quoting the Free “Syrian” Army, they were
victims of the shelling inflicted by the Damascus forces on the area. However,
the National Army made use of multiple rocket launchers only for a very brief
period to destroy firing positions, and at no time after 13 February.
Furthermore, if it were true that the city was pounded for 21 days, as reported
by the news agencies, it would have been reduced to a heap of rubble without a
living soul a long time ago.

At least three other journalists still remain in the rebel zone: Edith Bouvier (Le
Figaro Magazine), Paul Conroy and William Daniels (Sunday Times), and
probably a fourth one of Spanish nationality.

In a video posted on the Internet, Edith Bouvier, who was wounded in the leg,
and William Daniels called for a cease-fire and for their evacuation to a hospital
in Lebanon. Immediately, an intensive communication campaign was mounted
for them, including the creation of several Facebook groups and thundering
declarations by French Foreign Minister Alain Juppé.

There is no GSM or G3 coverage left in Homs, and the telephone wire lines in
the rebel zone have been cut.

It won’t escape anyone’s notice that if the journalists were able to upload a
video to call for help, it is because they had access to a satellite connection.
And if it hasn’t been possible for them to contact their families, their employers
or embassies, it is because those who control that satellite connection have
denied it to them. They are, therefore, not free in their movements and are kept
as prisoners.

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By blogdog, February 29, 2012 at 12:24 am Link to this comment

France opens negotiations with Syria to recover its 18 agents


n 13 February 2012, Thierry Meyssan revealed on the first Russian television
channel that Syria had captured a dozen French soldiers. Voltaire Network is
now in a position to confirm that as of 26 February the number of French
prisoners is 18 (eighteen).

If Paris admits that they were on a mission, they will be entitled to prisoner-of-
war status and protected by the relative Geneva Convention; but if Paris denies
having sent them, they will be considered as foreign civilians and judged in
Syria for their crimes, which are punishable by the death penalty.

France has opened three negotiation channels via the Russian Federation, the
United Arab Emirates and the Sultanate of Oman.
The ambassador of France, Eric Chevallier, returned urgently to Damascus on 23
Kofi Annan has been appointed as the joint United Nations-Arab League envoy
on the Syrian crisis.

Aware of the potential use it can make of the captives in the midst of the
French electoral campaign, Damascus called on Syrian state media not to raise
the matter at this time. It thus reserves the possibility of dealing with it under
the radar if this option proves to be more advantageous. While acknowledging
the uniqueness of this situation, the Syrian journalists, who were quick to
adapted to the freedom of expression guaranteed by the new media law,
growled that limits are again being imposed for reasons of national security.

If negotiations are kept secret, France will have to quietly pay very heavy war
indemnities, either in cash or by way of economic privileges. If they are made
public, France can hope to reduce the bill, but Nicolas Sarkozy and Alain Juppe
will have some explaining to do to their fellow citizens. Their political camp
would compromise its chances of winning the presidential election, with the
president even risking to be brought before the High Court (Articles 35 and 68
of the Constitution).

In the Rainbow Warrior affair (1985), where there was a sunken ship and one
person killed, France had formally apologized and had paid a compensation of
$ 7 million to New Zealand and $ 8.16 million to Greenpeace. Above all, Paris
had to consent to the importation of sheep of New Zealand partially destroying
its own sheep industry. In exchange, the two detained French agents were
released. Ironically, Laurent Fabius, the Prime Minister whose government had
ordered the attack on the Rainbow Warrior, is tipped to become foreign
minister if the Socialist candidate, François Hollande, becomes the next
president of France. The latter happens to be former brother-in-law of Lt. Col.
Gerard Royal, who commanded the operation.

In the secret war against Syria, France and its allies are responsible for a
conflict that caused the death of at least 3,000 Syrian soldiers and 1,500
civilians, plus economic losses and the sabotage of infrastructure estimated at
least $ 3 billion.

Report this

By heterochromatic, February 28, 2012 at 10:29 pm Link to this comment

Confessions of an ‘agent’ in Syria

———-Whether it’s a call on my phone or at the door, I feel scared to death. I
mentally prepare myself for the worst, assuming that “they” are here to take

But then, when I find a friend at the door or a homeless compatriot asking for
food, I realise that it is not my day yet, it is someone else’s.

Despite being unusually lucky, my nightmares don’t end. I rather prepare
myself to deal with a situation when Bashar’s sleuths would come to pick me up
for writing about the misery of Syrian taxpayers and democracy-lovers.



———One of my university fellows was picked up for writing a blog about a
missing seven-year-old in Dara’a. Her brother went to a police station to lodge
a report but never returned home. Three weeks later, their mother was asked to
receive her son’s body from the same police office. She not only got the body of
her 20-year-old son but also discovered the disfigured corpse of her blogger

Earlier, I hoped to change the world’s opinion with my writings but now, I am
only recording testimonies of massacres and detailing current history.

Long after they have taken me to die in their dark cells, my stories will serve as
credible evidence to try Bashar and his advisors for crimes against humanity.

Like journalism, we are learning survival techniques on our own, the hard way.
Whenever a couple of us sit together away from our parents and the listening
walls, we talk about the best ways in dealing with the worst.———

Report this

By heterochromatic, February 28, 2012 at 11:37 am Link to this comment

no one has to make you sick——you already are….dumb as a boot besides if you
can call that jackoff a peace candidate.

Report this

By truedigger4, February 28, 2012 at 5:06 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’m disgusted that the once great Truth-digs turned into another humanitarian warmonger i.e. WMD warmongers. I finally realised the neocons and the neolibs are one and the same. Same shite, different faces. You make me sick, no wonder you can’t bring yourselfs to support the only peace candidate.

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By heterochromatic, February 27, 2012 at 12:32 am Link to this comment

AD—- I agree that it’s best to accept things as usually being what they appear
to be.
but I’m tempting to say that maybe this was a “false frag” incident.

Q&A: CNN’s Nic Robertson on reporting from Syria
Senior international correspondent at CNN Nic Robertson discusses his recent
experience reporting from Syria and the attack which killed French cameraman
Gilles Jacquier

Q. Did you have a chance to investigate the killing of the French cameraman
Gilles Jacquier? What did the agents tell you about the circumstances and how
did they try to protect you?

We were not able to investigate Gilles’ death, however, we were at the exact
same location only moments before the attack
Nic Robertson
A. We were not able to investigate Gilles’ death, however, we were at the exact
same location only moments before the attack. We were in Homs the same day
and we had been filming in the road where the attack took place a little earlier.
Government officials invited us to the same pro-government rally Gilles was
attending. We turned down the offer to cover the rally and as we were driving
away saw some of the journalists in Gilles’ group following a small group of
pro-government supporters towards the rally.

Within 10 minutes we were getting calls about the mortar attack on the
reporters. The government said this was an opposition attack on the rally
because they knew international journalists would be there. Western experts in
Damascus say the opposition has never used mortars in Homs before, and the
opposition also denied they were responsible.

What I noticed was this: the rally was very small, and from what we had been
told it was organised at the last minute because we were there. It seemed to me
only a few people would have known about it in advance and they would have
been on the government side. The other thing about the attack that stood out
to me was that it was carried out in a military style. Three or four rounds were
fired allowing the mortar man using a forward observer to calibrate his fire
accurately in on a target.

Report this

By Amon Drool, February 26, 2012 at 11:59 pm Link to this comment

hetero…i can’t provide you with anything
definitive.  if you go to wiki’s page on jacquier,
you’ll find 8 references with links to various points
of view.  jacquier got killed in a pro gov’t section
of homs.  assad’s security forces were escorting
foreign journalists through town and stopped to kinda
force the journalists to talk to pro gov’t
shopkeepers.  a smallish pro gov’t demonstration
broke out close to where the journalists were talking
to the shopkeepers.  i guess the demonstration could
have been staged by the gov’t. what i infer from the
story you linked me to is that the assad regime knew
the demonstration would be subject to an RPG attack
and was willing to sacrifice 8 of its supporters just
to get sympathetic publicity.  seems to me that the
assad gov’t needs all the support it can get and
would not knowingly sacrifice 8 of its supporters.

in any case, i think it would be best for you, me and
blogdog to assume that jacquier most likely got hit
by insurgent shelling and colvin most likely got hit
by gov’t shelling until contrary evidence proves us

Report this

By heterochromatic, February 26, 2012 at 9:42 pm Link to this comment

D——here’s the gist of the AP story , there’s more if you want it look it up.

I may well be doing what the dog does, but these guys were what passes fro

If you know some more definitive, post it.

GENEVA (AP) — Two Swiss journalists said Sunday that Syrian authorities were
to blame for the death of award-winning French TV reporter Gilles Jacquier,
who was killed earlier this month in the restive city of Homs.

Patrick Vallelian of the weekly L’Hebdo and Sid Ahmed Hammouche of the daily
La Liberte newspaper, who were with Jacquier the day he died, said they
believed the attack was part of an elaborate trap set up by Syrian authorities.

“It felt like it was all planned in advance,” Vallelian told The Associated Press in
a telephone interview.

He described how a group of foreign journalists including Jacquier were on their
way to visit a hospital in Homs on Jan. 11 when their escort of Syrian soldiers
and intelligence officials ordered them to make an unscheduled stop to
interview traders in a pro-government part of the city.

Shortly afterward, an explosion was heard and soldiers told the foreign
journalists to run to the detonation site to film what had happened, Vallelian

While Jacquier and others went to the site, Vallelian and Hammouche said they
stayed behind, suspicious of the fact that the soldiers were encouraging
journalists to move toward, not away, from the danger zone.

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By blogdog, February 26, 2012 at 9:25 pm Link to this comment

you won’t get away with a sophomoric straw man conflation…

As Calls for Intervention in Syria Grow, Vijay Prashad Urges Reevaluation of
NATO Attack on Libya

Report this

By Amon Drool, February 26, 2012 at 9:20 pm Link to this comment

hetero…you’re really not too good at setting up
links.  i didn’t even bother trying to find it…i
may have come across it over the last couple days,
though.  i’m going with the human rights worker in
homs(someone who was sympathetic to the insurgents)
who said that one of the insurgents told him that
they had made a mistake in shelling the area where
the journalist was.  he gave this info to le figaro
on jan 12 and the newspaper sat on it until jan 20
when they published it.  the human rights worker told
le figaro that he would testify in front of any
investigatory commission if asked.

and aren’t you doing what blogdog is doing when he
links to very speculative stuff about the colvin
shelling?  but then again, i wasn’t able to see your
referred to huffpo piece.  if you really think it
will provide me with some kind of enlightenment, put
up the correct link.

Report this

By heterochromatic, February 26, 2012 at 8:54 pm Link to this comment

dog——- stop the crap…..... there is no NATO invasion and you’re avoiding the
questions about what legitimacy attaches to Assad and prevents his thugs from
being the terrorists.

Report this
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By blogdog, February 26, 2012 at 8:23 pm Link to this comment

tic, I told you to sod off more than once already -

trying to to stand up a straw man conflation of rejection of NATO with a defense
of Assad, same as you did in polemics over Gaddafi -

for the 10th time: what NATO will do to the people of Syria, and will have done
through their proxy Islamist terrorists, is 10 times worse than letting them work it
out with the devil they know - exactly like Libya -

but if you think bombing 100,000-plus Syrians into perdition to get one dictator
torn limb from limb is in their best interests… that’s it, SOD OFF!!!

Report this

By heterochromatic, February 26, 2012 at 8:21 pm Link to this comment

AD—-what about Gilles Jacquier?

Report this

By Amon Drool, February 26, 2012 at 8:08 pm Link to this comment

diamond: “But even silence is preferable to the
endless lies and callousness peddled by people like
blogdog, Amon Drool and Vector 56.”

rave on you crazy diamond.  when this ‘truthdigger of
the week’ post was first put up, i was hoping to keep
silent in respect for those who were mourning the 2
victims.  when truthdigger 3 and hetero got into it,
i, for whatever reason, felt i could be silent no
longer.  i pointed out that a journalist had been
killed by insurgent shelling and truthdig made no
mention of it.  but when 2 journalists were killed by
syrian gov’t shelling, the journalists were elevated
to Truthdiggers of the Week status.  certainly no
lies there.  just an observation based on fact.  if
you think i was being callous, well that’s that.

in my second comment, i let TD3 know that if an open
election was held, assad would not receive support
from the majority of syrians. 

you act like the assads have engaged in bloodletting
out of some kind of sadistic pleasure.  go to wiki
and read about the hama massacre.  there had been
low-level conflict in syria since the baathists came
to power in the sixties.  the sunni muslim
brotherhood began escalating the conflict in 1976. 
in 1980 an assassination attempt was made on hafaz
assad and he went brutal. he slaughtered 1200 muslim
brotherhood members who were incarcerated.  i can’t
justify that.  and i hope you wouldn’t try to justify
the assassins attempt to end assad’s existence.  in
1982, gov’t forces came across a local guerilla
commander in hama.  the guerillas outnumbered the
gov’t troops and killed about a dozen.  assad sent in
reinforcements and the city rose up in jihad against
the gov’t.  0ver 70 baathist officials were
slaughtered in their homes.  again assad went brutal. 
if hama residents were going to support the killing
of baathist gov’t members, assad was going to kill
them.  and he did.  the point i’m trying to make is
that, sure, hafaz was brutal, but he was brutal in
the context of the conditions of war.  think
fallujah, think hiroshima.  if you think i’m being
callous, again, that’s that.

i’m someone who didn’t keep up with the syrian arab
spring uprising of 2011.  i’ve done a quick study the
last couple days and i gotta admit bashar assad
didn’t rise to the occasion and, inadvertently or
not, has blood on his hands.  i believe he has to go. 
it’s the way he has to go that we disagree about. 
the PDF of the arab league mission statement can be
found with a google search.  if you haven’t checked
it out, i suggest you do.  the mission statement
forthrightly says the current tensions are a result
of the govt’s over reaction to syria’s arab spring. 
initially the arab league’s goal was to settle the
syrian situation in house…amongst the arab nations. 
the arab league mission members felt they were making
progress in de-escalating potentially dangerous
situations between insurgents and gov’t troops
(instances are given in the mission statement).  the
mission members in the longer term also felt they had
a shot at getting the baathist party to open up the
democratic process which would lead to an eventual
peaceful turnover over power.  but then the arab
league decided to pull the mission in late january. 
why?!!  the arab didn’t even release the mission
report of its members.  why?  i really believe the
mission members were the last shot at peacefully
resolving the syrian situation.

there’s gonna be blood here, diamond.  it just leaves
me shaking my head.  you may think the assads are
getting their comeuppance. i just see tragedy.

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By heterochromatic, February 26, 2012 at 7:57 pm Link to this comment

dog——make an argument for why Assad deserves to hold power and why it’s
mete to kill people who are marching for elections where there’s more than one
party on the ballot…....

then call me a dupe.

you’re spewing all sorts of stuff about how it’s the forces of darkness that are
opposing Assad…..but tell me where is the case FOR Assad….where is the case
for a guy who holds power because his father staged a military coup and
established a dictatorship?

all the bullshit aside, dog, what the fuck are you defending?

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blogdog's avatar

By blogdog, February 26, 2012 at 7:22 pm Link to this comment

tic, derision is really about all you do - you and diamond - if it were the Bush
regime executing these regime-change coup d’etats, as aggressively as they
covered up 9/11,  rather than the tugs surrounding Obomber, you two would be at one
another’s throats - dupes are unpredictable

Report this

By heterochromatic, February 26, 2012 at 7:05 pm Link to this comment

safe to assume it’s about everybody, but it’s especially yourself.
two eyes, dog, open both.

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blogdog's avatar

By blogdog, February 26, 2012 at 7:05 pm Link to this comment

RE: ...tell any lie, distort any fact and sink to any depths in their efforts to defend Assad’s
massacre of his own people and his murder of journalists who try to tell the truth about his

WRONG - cheap straw man conflation from a dupe

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By blogdog, February 26, 2012 at 6:45 pm Link to this comment

very good - tell me how to identify who’s been dissin’ me - wouldn’t want to take
it up with the wrong party

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By heterochromatic, February 26, 2012 at 5:48 pm Link to this comment

Yaakov, sure it’s we westerners that have controlled Syria….....except not for any
recent centuries…... 

see Empire, Ottoman

but sure, let’s blame westerners for 40 years of the Assad dictatorship.

Report this

By heterochromatic, February 26, 2012 at 5:05 pm Link to this comment

dog——Clarkson Ave, Brooklyn…. 400 block

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By heterochromatic, February 26, 2012 at 4:59 pm Link to this comment

———Now, consider this; what if the USSR and China had went to the UN
Security counsel and asked permission to arm the Rebel group in America
(Black Panthers)——

A) it certainly would be out of character to request permission

B)  they would lose the vote.

C) if the US government was shooting to death a couple of thousand Black
Panthers and raining tank fire on entire city neighborhoods wherein the
Panthers were holed up, the request would be more worthy of consideration…...

particularly if the Black Panthers were being killed because they wanted the
government to allow free elections.

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By vector56, February 26, 2012 at 3:27 pm Link to this comment

During the turbulent 1960s at the height of the conflict between the Black Panther party and the US government there were those in the FBI who charged that the Panthers were Communist being secretly funded by the USSR!

Then (as now) being pulled over for DWB (Driving While Black) was the norm. Back then the Panther deployed bands of young Black Law students who would approach Black citizens pulled over by the Cops and inform them of there rights under the Law. Remember, this was the 60s; White Cops did not take to kindly to “Afro-wearing” young Black educated punks imposing themselves in their space! Many of these young people were gunned down by the Police.

The Panthers like most “red blooded” Americans where second amendment nuts; they cherished their right to bear arms. As this went on for awhile, many of the Panthers would show up when citizens were pulled over for DWB armed. I remember seeing with my own eyes (on TV) “rolling gun battles between the Panthers and the Police! Some Cops where killed, but many, many more Black Panthers where snuffed out and later assassinated in their homes by the FBI and Cops.

Now, consider this; what if the USSR and China had went to the UN Security counsel and asked permission to arm the Rebel group in America (Black Panthers) and send in Russian and Chinese “trainers ” to allow the Panthers a fighting chance? What if the UN allowed them to set up a “buffer zone” say in Cleavland or impose a “no-fly” zone over Detroit?

You see, this is what we have done in Libya, and are about to do in Syria. As bloody as both conflicts are/were they are still just as internal to those countries as the shoot outs between the Black Panthers and the Police were to America. During the riots we call out our military (National Guard) many times, in many cities to put down our own people.

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By heterochromatic, February 26, 2012 at 3:14 pm Link to this comment

in fairness to the blogdog, I don’t think that it’s his purpose to defend the crimes
of Assad. It’s just that he can’t get his mind around the concept that every nasty
thing going on isn’t part of some western plot to commit any sort of evil deed so
as to control the planet.

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By diamond, February 26, 2012 at 2:34 pm Link to this comment

“there is growing speculation that rutabagas are an extraterrestrial form of

Exactly. Blogdog is part of a group of people who will tell any lie, distort any fact and sink to any depths in their efforts to defend Assad’s massacre of his own people and his murder of journalists who try to tell the truth about his crimes. We should also note the death of a young Syrian citizen journalist killed in another shelling attack. His last communication told the world ‘I will never forgive you for your silence’. But even silence is preferable to the endless lies and callousness peddled by people like blogdog, Amon Drool and Vector 56. It’s also instructive to note that while 24 journalists have been killed in Afghanistan, 51 journalists have been killed in Russia under Tsar Putin- so there’s more than enough blame to go around. It lifts ‘shoot the messenger’ to a whole new level of bloody horror. If Assad gets away with his crimes it will send a message to every other fascist dictator in the region that they can do it too, and the silence will continue.

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By blogdog, February 26, 2012 at 1:39 pm Link to this comment

...the street? please cite a neighborhood, so I can show up and defend
myself - don’t like the reports and analyses cited, by all means, weigh in at those
web sites and let them know - making spiteful allusions as to the ‘messenger’s’
credibility is simply more of the same: pathetically insipid attempts at comedic
derision - REJECTED! - keep it up and you’ll be told again:  SOD OFF!!!

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By heterochromatic, February 26, 2012 at 1:25 pm Link to this comment

i’m merely noting the ever-increasing speculation that you’re a tool of whatever
nonsense that comes from a paranoid conspiratorial site and the word on the
street is that you’re so hopeless that you’ll swallow any old bilge water and the
odd dead mackerel with it.

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By blogdog, February 26, 2012 at 11:57 am Link to this comment

R2P Redux on schedule:
“Now the blood of Syrians run with the blood of Europeans”

again tic, you got squat - agitprop - and your hapless forays into
‘artistic’ (sic) word smithing prove too pathetic even for a laugh

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By heterochromatic, February 26, 2012 at 10:54 am Link to this comment

dog—- don’t matter who wrote it. anybody can write
stuff such as noting the increasing speculation that
heterochromatic is an advance agent of the Amphibian
Liberation Force.

what does matter is that reprinting shit like that
without providing any evidence is a pretty lousy
attempt to dismiss rather than dispute.

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By blogdog, February 26, 2012 at 9:56 am Link to this comment

tic, your attempts at surrealism are worse than your stand-up:
rutabagas are pretty harmless outside the kitchen -
potent surrealism bites… e.g. pistols loaded finger-bowls

note, I did not write “The US-led NATO plus aggressive Arab
- Christoph R. Hörstel did - follow the link to the full article -

as for the journos… more on the way… e.g.

Bring Me The Head Of Marie Colvin: Syrian Rocket Attacks Stink Of
- Posted by: rmiglobal | February 24, 2012

Friends and family of the late veteran journalist Marie Colvin are pouring out
praise for this intrepid lady and Moshe Dayan manque with her trademark
eyepatch. She was intelligent, reserved, polite, stood out in a crowd and was a
nodding acquaintance to her neighbours in a little corner of hip west London.
She died doing what she loved!

Conflicts require legend creation in the Robert Capa mould. The NATO backed
terror group known as ‘The Free Syrian Army’ pulled this ‘own goal’, they’re a
collection of the CIA’s Al Qaeda neerdowells and they don’t mind shooting in
both directions for a bonus. The French are full in the fray as well, hot and
heavy on a mission to reclaim colonial rights as they did to Indochina post WWII
that brought us the Vietnam War.

A rocket attack in the Syrian city of Homs specifically targeted journalists, well-
paid and endlessly lauded propagandists working on behalf of the new masters
of the Near East. But who actually fired that shot? Were shots truly fired?
Wringing sympathy out of the public is an old trick and so what, there are lots
more avid suckers where they came from. Fantasists and adrenalin junkies
aren’t supposed to live too long anyhow.

But when ingenious images that started and ended wars such as the Life cover
of a sailor kissing a nurse in New York or the Spanish Civil War soldier falling
backward to his death are outed as setups, mainstream won’t touch that ‘story’
with a bargepole. Tinkering with emotions is the greater part of journalism’s
role and it is for this reason alone that all out ‘attack’ by supposed Assad forces
smells of outrageous mendacity.


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By truedigger3, February 26, 2012 at 9:27 am Link to this comment

Re: By Amon Drool, February 26 at 7:50 am

Amon Drool wrote:

” now the young dissidents find
themselves aligned with muslim brotherhood types.”

Amon Drool,
Now, those few young dissidents are not just aligned with the Muslim Brotherhood types, they have been overwhelmed and pushed aside by the Muslim Brotherhood types, as had happened and is happening in Egypt right now!!

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By heterochromatic, February 26, 2012 at 9:16 am Link to this comment

dog——-there is growing speculation that these two journos were NATO
intelligence assets -

there is growing speculation that rutabagas are an extraterrestrial form of

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By Amon Drool, February 26, 2012 at 8:50 am Link to this comment

TD3…i don’t know how you can flat out assert that a
majority of syrians support bashar assad.  a majority
MAY feel that in the short term it may be best to let
the current gov’t stand just to avoid an all-out
civil war.  the assads foot dragged too long on
democratic reform and are now paying an ugly price.

the young syrian dissidents of the arab spring
foolishly chanted “the gov’t must fall’ last year. 
if they had let the assad regime know that if
democratic reform didn’t come quicker, they would
have no choice but to get militant, i could support
that position.  now the young dissidents find
themselves aligned with muslim brotherhood types. 
there’s probably gonna be a bloodbath coming and it’s
sad to see the likes of amy goodman, nir rosen and
truthdig treating this as a good guy vs bad guy

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By truedigger3, February 26, 2012 at 8:19 am Link to this comment

The largest Arab supporters for the “democracy uprising” in Syria are Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Quatar which are the most autocratic undemocratic Arab countries. What a f*uking farce.

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By truedigger3, February 26, 2012 at 8:01 am Link to this comment

Re: By blogdog, February 25 at 11:58 pm

blogdog wrote:
“The US-led NATO plus aggressive Arab partners, all with certain credibility gaps in questions of democracy and legal appearances, will use the ensuing bloodshed to put the full blame on the Assad government. The latter is caught in the ancient quagmire to either let go and step down in favour of Washington’s ill-advised, misguided and unstable atchwork “opposition” or sacrifice their own people.”

The majority of Syrian people supports Bashar Assad.
What is happening in Syria is an uprising by a
radical Islamist faction of the Suni Muslims speaheaded by the Muslim Brotherhood of Syria against the Secular and British educated as physican Bashar l Assad. The majority of the Syrians, especially the Christians support El Assad.
The Muslim Brotherhood has strong influence in the City of Homs and are helped by thousands of NATO backed and armed radicall Islamist inflitrators from Turkey, Jordan, Iraq and Lebanon.

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By Ecommerce Web Design, February 26, 2012 at 6:11 am Link to this comment

What a total shame, not only what is happening in Homs but that it takes the
deaths of western reporters to really call attention to the violence there. This is not
a new or isolated act of violence by the Syrian military against unarmed civilians
and it was surely not the last. My hat is off to all journalists risking their lives daily
to bring the world’s awareness to these atrocities. Good-bye Marie Colvin and
Rémi Ochlik - you will not be forgotten.

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By vector56, February 26, 2012 at 5:01 am Link to this comment

“Shame on truthdig for joining other the so called “progressive” sites like commonDreams, democracyNow etc.. helping paving the way for another “humanitarian” attack on Syria. “

truedigger3’s comment above brings up something that has been bothering me as well.

At this point I consider MSNBC, Current TV, and Progressive Talk Radio (Mike Malloy being the exception) “kinder and gentler”  versions of the same Corporate Propaganda machine as FOX, CNN, Al Jazeera, New York Times….

The thing that “breaks my heart” is that somehow “they” have gotten to my girl Amy Goodman! Democracy Now was one of the last places I could go to after Hillary Clinton declared that Al Jazeera was the “only real news on TV”. So many of Al Jazeera’s reporters have been killed by US Troops that I guess the came around and “saw the light”?

This the “disclaimer” for guys like IMax or heterochromatic who slither about looking for “low hanging fruit; the death of these reporters is “tragic” as it is when any any human life is snuffed out.

That being said; after watching Democracy Now’s coverage of Libya, where Anjali Kamat basically “embedded” herself with the Libyan rebels like the rest of the Corporate media and never once bothered to report the story from the Libyan government side I realized that one of the last hold outs for real news had been compromised.

The “Arab Spring” is being hijacked by the CIA with the help of the Corporate media and many blog sites to knock off our old enemies and “recolonize” loss territories of old empires.

When a reporter is killed in Syria we all know their name. When a protestor (young lady) is shot in Iran her face was plastered over the corporate media for weeks; but the many protesters and reporters who have lost their lives by our hand or our so-called Allies (Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Bahrain and Israel) remain nameless and faceless.

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By Yaäkov., February 26, 2012 at 4:37 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Truthdiggers for one week, both of them dead, dis-abled from feeding the (Western) historical-narrative about a country and a people that suffer the outmost because, We Westerners, dictated the Middle-Eastern narrative of history for at least two centuries.

And now, the Syrian turmoil and the continued suffering of its people comes into focus through the deaths of two more Western historical-narrators.

Yet, not one word about the Western geo-political psychopaths who instigated that narrative, never missing the opportunities from a crisis, the greater, the bloodier, the better.

Truth??! Westerners, especially Americans, can’t handle truth, that’s why they need to keep on writing the narrative.

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By blogdog, February 26, 2012 at 12:58 am Link to this comment

casualties of war at the center of an armed insurgency -
there is growing speculation that these two journos were NATO intelligence assets -
maybe, maybe not - wouldn’t be the first time - in the meantime…

NATO organizes a full-scale war in Syria – covertly under the table
Posted on February 25, 2012
By Christoph R. Hörstel - Hoerstel.Ch

Terrible background information comes from reliable sources in Amman and

40-43’000 mercenaries are ready in Jordan to attack Syria. (1) Turkey has
openly set up a mercenary recruitment office in Amman’s Mekkah Street. Since
last early summer they are active in finding personnel to do dirty jobs in
neighbouring Syria. This would certainly not have been possible under King
Abdallah’s father Hussein.

But the youthful son, lacking the father’s truly exceptional political skills,
obviously and simply falls victim to the bankruptcy-driven impetus of US-led
NATO and their corruption-led Arab allies.

Where ist the much-beleaguered Ummah, where the oft-belittled Arab

Once more the awe-stricken spectator is drawn to watch muslims kill muslims
on Washingtons behalf. Unless this lesson is not only learned but heeded by
anybody directing her or his prayers to Mekkah, there is no happy future for the
Middle East.

Tomorrow’s referendum day will be used for heavy strikes. The constitution
reform project, ending the Baath single-party rule, is a historical project born
prematurely and under heavy strain. Very often these children die, especially if
the right treatment and care is not available to both mother and child. The US-
led NATO plus aggressive Arab partners, all with certain credibility gaps in
questions of democracy and legal appearances, will use the ensuing bloodshed
to put the full blame on the Assad government. The latter is caught in the
ancient quagmire to either let go and step down in favour of Washington’s ill-
advised, misguided and unstable patchwork “opposition” or sacrifice their own
people. The honest reform-oriented opposition finds itself in the worst place,
caught in the middle.


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By heterochromatic, February 26, 2012 at 12:08 am Link to this comment

Bronx…. and you’re pathetic and not worth a threat. merely a “fuck-off, fool.”

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By truedigger3, February 25, 2012 at 11:55 pm Link to this comment

Re: By heterochromatic, February 25 at 10:15 pm

multicolor wrote addressing me:
“…..... off with you.”

WOW. That is so British!. Are you threatening me, Brit?

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By Amon Drool, February 25, 2012 at 11:29 pm Link to this comment

when french journalist gilles jacquier got killed in
syria last month, TD didn’t rush to make him
truthdigger of the week.  in fact when i punched his
name into TD’s search function, no mention of him came up at all.  journalists getting caught
in the crossfire of war is all very sad.  when the
fire comes from the syrian gov’t, TD elevates the
victims to heroic status.  but when the fire comes
from the insurgents, the victim doesn’t even get a

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By truedigger3, February 25, 2012 at 11:16 pm Link to this comment

In my provious post when I wrote croll I meant crawl.  Sorry.

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By heterochromatic, February 25, 2012 at 11:15 pm Link to this comment

I completely understood your comment, voidoid.  .........  or would not have said
it was misplaced…..... off with you.

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By truedigger3, February 25, 2012 at 11:06 pm Link to this comment

Re: By heterochromatic, February 25 at 9:35 pm

Read my comment and try to understand it asshole.
I was right to expect that you will be the first TROLL with sanctimonious “indignation” to croll forward.
Yes, the world needs professional journalism but it has to be honest journalism whose primary objective is to inform and enlighten and not to serve an agenda, disinform, misiform and mislead.

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By heterochromatic, February 25, 2012 at 10:39 pm Link to this comment

professional journalism is a necessity in this sad world.

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By heterochromatic, February 25, 2012 at 10:35 pm Link to this comment

truedigger, I hope that I’m speaking for all decent people….and also myself…...
when i suggest that you shove that very misplaced comment far into the void of
which you are such a small empty piece

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By truedigger3, February 25, 2012 at 9:53 pm Link to this comment

Shame on truthdig for joining other the so called “progressive” sites like commonDreams, democracyNow etc.. helping paving the way for another “humanitarian” attack on Syria.
Yeah right! Syria will be saved by destroying it and killing tens of thousands of its people as had happened in Yugoslavia, Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya etc.
What kind of “progressive sites” are these??!!. I expect this kind of doctored and falsified crap in the NY Times or the Washington Post and NOT in a “progressive” site.

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D.R. Zing's avatar

By D.R. Zing, February 25, 2012 at 1:45 pm Link to this comment

Marie Colvin and Rémi Ochlik are truly great people.  I
offer my condolences to their friends, family and
colleagues. Remember this:  Their work renders them
immortal as long we keep their memories alive.

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By Gerry, February 24, 2012 at 7:19 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

What’s with her eye?

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