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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 12/22/16

Extracting Aleppo from the Propaganda

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It's rare for Americans to hear any version of the Syrian conflict other than the simplistic accounts favored by the U.S. government and the mainstream news media that rely heavily on rebel sources and their international supporters who often traffic in propaganda.

One of the few independent Western journalists covering the horrific conflict is Eva Bartlett who has traveled to Syria six times in the last two years and just returned from a six-month stint in the war-torn country where she investigated human rights violations and terrorism against Syrians.

Her multiple investigations have led the seasoned Canadian journalist and human rights activist to conclusions that contradict what the Western media and governments have been reporting non-stop, regarding human rights violations by all sides.

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I spoke with Bartlett last Thursday during her West Coast speaking tour about her discoveries, the situation in Aleppo, and the impact the war has had on large numbers of Palestinians who live in exile in Syria.

Dennis Bernstein: Eva, tell us, when were you last in Aleppo?

Eva Bartlett: I was in Aleppo twice in November, for my third and fourth visits to Aleppo.

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DB: Okay, and describe the situation there on the ground. What's happening, what's... daily life like?

EB: I'm going to describe what it was like then, and note that, as of the last week, things have change dramatically. When I was there, in prior visits, as well, July and August and in November, the situation was that, on a daily basis, terrorists that are in many ways backed by the West and Gulf nations, financially and otherwise, were, on a daily basis, firing a variety of bombs on the civilian areas of Aleppo, which we never hear about in the corporate media.

In these areas there are over 1.5 million people. And on a daily basis they were subject to bombings of grad missiles, explosive bullets, mortars, gas canister bombs, water heater bombs, which are basically improvised bombs using gas canisters and water heaters, stuffed with explosives and shrapnel.

When I was there, I experienced some of that myself, with a bomb going off half a kilometer away, and with an explosive bullet landing about 15 meters away. I also met with many people who had lost loved ones due to these bombings. I went to hospitals that themselves had been hit, like the al-Dabit Maternity Hospital.

In May of this year the al-Dabit Maternity Hospital was destroyed internally by a terrorist's fired rocket. And when it was destroyed, three women inside were killed, and many more were injured. This was not, to my knowledge, reported in the corporate media, although the media's always talking about alleged strikes on hospitals in Aleppo.

DB: Now... so we keep it clear, and untangled, when you say terrorists, are you talking about the people that the United States is supporting?
EB: Yes, I am. The United States will say, at least, that Jabhat al-Nusra -- which is Al Qaeda in Syria, and which tried to rebrand itself as Fatah al-Sham, but which is still Al Qaeda in Syria -- the U.S. will say that they are terrorists.

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But the United States will not say, for example, that Ahrar al-Sham are terrorists, although on their internal documents when they discuss funding, they do acknowledge that they are terrorists. But, publicly they don't state that.

They also don't state that Nour al-Din al-Zenki are terrorists, even though this particular group savagely and methodically beheaded a 12-year-old Palestinian boy, Abdullah Issa, some months ago.

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Dennis J Bernstein is the host and executive producer of Flashpoints, a daily news magazine broadcast on Pacifica Radio. He is an award-winning investigative reporter, essayist and poet. His articles and essays have appeared in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Nation, and (more...)
 

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