Peter Hart talks about Syria and chemical weapons claims, and author Dilip Hiro joins the show to talk about how stories about Afghan corruption fail to explain the U.S. role in creating that corruption.
Chemical claims should be investigated, not used as pretext for war
Official claims once more treated as facts
Anonymous government sources speaking to the New York Times, along with intelligence based on satellite imagery, tell a frightening story: The brutal leader of an unfriendly Arab country is preparing to unleash chemical weapons. Sound familiar? There are significant differences between the allegations about Syria’s WMDs today and Iraq’s nonexistent weapons in 2003. But the similarities are notable for what they reveal—not about U.S. foreign policy plans, but about the corporate media’s ability to churn out a stream of alarmist coverage based on the thinnest of evidence. Now, as then, the New York Times drove the initial storyline. On December [...]
Real atrocities, dubious sources
As I.F. Stone taught us, all governments are liars, and the Syrian government is a particularly good example, refusing to acknowledge the legitimacy of a homegrown opposition and denying the overwhelming evidence (CBS News, 2/4/12) that it has shelled civilian neighborhoods (Human Rights Watch, 2/9/12).By nearly all accounts, the Syrian government is responsible for a lion's share of the killing in that nation's civil war. It has also been accused of purposely killing journalists (Reporters Without Borders, 5/7/12). Because the Syrian government allows journalists almost no independent access, and perhaps in part because of the pro-opposition sympathies of much of [...]
Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: Journalistic access to the unfolding crisis in Syria is dangerous and sparse. But that hasn't kept Western officials from insisting that the situation is black and white, with the Syrian regime of Bashir al Assad the bad actor, and rebel Syrian militias the good guys. How accurate is that? We'll be joined by Conn Hallinan, former head of the journalism school at UC Santa Cruz and a columnist for Foreign Policy in Focus. Also on the show: Gearing up to host the Olympic Games means ribbon-cuttings at newly built venues and international media attention. [...]
Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: The election is not over as we record this show, but no matter who wins, the Iraq War was largely a second-tier issue for the media, more of a discussion of the past than the present. Not even the war spilling over into Syria seemed enough to push the war back into the campaign spotlight. We'll ask national security reporter Bob Dreyfuss for his take on the U.S. attack inside Syria, and what he makes of the current political situation in Iraq itself. Also on CounterSpin today, the presidential election is not the only [...]