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Why Are Some on the Left Falling for Fake News on Syria?


Why Are Some on the Left Falling for Fake News on Syria?

Sonali Kolhatkar

There is a deepening rift within the American left over the war in Syria. It is unfortunate that this rift is eclipsing actual activism to stop the suffering of Syrians. But since apparent support for Bashar Assad and Vladimir Putin is so strong among some sectors of the left, it is worth tackling the debate if only to try to get past it and on to the more urgent job of shining a light on the plight of Syrians and considering nonmilitary alternatives to ending the complex war.


“Are we to believe that The New York Times, Al-Jazeera, AP and The Guardian are all part of some grand conspiracy to push the U.S. to bomb targets important to Assad?”
With so much money involved, it’s not a great leap to consider that possibility. Why have trust in these propaganda organs?
I totally agree, though, that the Syrian people have been horribly used by too many horribly powerful factions.


Turn off the fucking television and stop watching and reading the major media publications. It is the only way to free your mind from the incredibly powerful social programming. Give it three months and you will actually find yourself thinking your own thoughts again. It is the first step…


Those who believe US news are not on the left. They are dupes who sympathize with humanist thinking but don’t wish to believe capitalism is destroying the world with bad health via consumption.


Ms. Kolhsatkar is not getting her information from the “US News”, she is getting it from Syrian leftists, Syrian independent reporters, and Syrian humanitarian aid organizations.


Thank-you Ms. Kolhatkar. Please be strong against the neurotic conspiracy-theory laden, Syrian-people-disregarding, left-merged-with fascist alliance which will savagely attack you.


Curious, what are you alternate sources of information then?

Isn’t it better to be view information form all sources, but be critical of information you get form ANY source - especially those associated with the interests of large businesses or a state - any state?

Also, be critical of any source that sees who see lurid conspiracies and secret cabals behind every major event. Sure, conspiracies sometimes exist. But such thinking lies at the heart of fascism. 95% of the time, things are exactly as they manifestly appear.


So superficial and naïve, she doesn’t understand the rebels regular use of false flag chemical events to trigger a US missile attack. Before this happened a lab was discovered with documents clearly pointing to it as being set up by the rebels. It was full of chlorine containers. So this latest event was expected.
“The New York Times, Al-Jazeera, AP and The Guardian are all part of some grand conspiracy to push the U.S. to bomb targets important to Assad.” Not a conspiracy, but all are compromised and highly prejudiced in favor the Western paradigm, especially the NY Times, “Pravda on the Hudson”. Al Jazeera used to be more objective but has started to tow the line less they end up getting treated like RT. Besides they are funded by Quatar which supports terrorists.
The author needs to do her homework starting with a fuller understanding of how many NGO’s, even international ones, have been compromised by the US deep state. The US disinformation apparatus is extremely sophisticated working to a great extent through the compliant media “useful idiots” as Lenin once put it; and NGO’s which either receive funding from the US and UK ,or have government lackeys on their boards.
Robert Fisk said it well, “there are no good guys in Syria”. But I may add there certainly is one big monster-the US government which orchestrated a coup d’tat there in 1949 and has been actively trying to destabilize the Assad since 2006. (see WikiLeaks reveals how the US aggressively pursued regime change in Syria igniting a blood bath, in Truthout)


Kolhatkar needs to define “the left.” I don’t accept her thesis here at all. She seems unaware that the supposed “civil war” in Syria was a war of regime change imposed by the CIA and Saudi Arabia. Whether Assad is a strongman or not is irrelevant. Where is Kolhatkar’s critique of the US/NATO’s well-oiled methodology for “humanitarian” regime change, using false flags and lies as was done in Iraq (incubator babies, remember?), Libya, and Yugoslavia? There is no rift within the American left. There is a real left and a foundation-funded, pseudo-left.

Only a pseudo leftist could write something like this:

“Are we to believe that The New York Times, Al-Jazeera, AP and The Guardian are all part of some grand conspiracy to push the U.S. to bomb targets important to Assad?”

I don’t find that hard to believe at all.


It would be interesting if what you are saying is true but I missed any Syrian sources even in a second reading and found the article a tad insulting to my own attempts to understand.

I see white helmets as some kind of complex and not particularly reputable. Nor do not support Putin and Assad with a knee jerk reaction of hatred for US eternal war. No, gradually, I have come to wonder what other countries might have become without world-wide continuous barbaric US terrorism and destruction of democracies.

What would Russia be like today if the US hadn’t supported anti revolution there?

What would China be like today if the US had not been involved attempting to break up the country with cash cow opium dens?

What would Spain be like if the US had not helped destroy freedom there after the Spanish revolution?

What would the US be like if the US had not unleashed genocide of people who arrived here thousands of years ago?

US capitalist are gangsters motivated by money alone and have a reputation they earned all by themselves.


No. Totally wrong.

Very briefly, the war started in 2011 when peaceful Syrians called for Assad to step down. Assad and his father have had the worst human rights record of any world leader - and then, on top if it, imposed austerity measures that immiserated the Syrian people pursuant to concentrating wealth in Assad family and friends. In 2011-2012, Assad brutally put the protests down, with bullets and arrests and executions of the movements leaders. The response as for Syrian citizens and military deserters to form the Free Syrian Army (FSA) who for a while prevailed and controlled a large part of Syria. Assad responded with even more brutality.

Out of this cauldron, extremist islamist elements took advantage of the situation - which Assad (and now his ally Putin, allowed to happen, because it would force the FSA, and the Kurdish libertarian-socialist YPG forces to fight a 2-front battle. This led to and even greater carnage, and allowed Assad (who is willing to totally destroy his country rather than give up power) to lump all the forces arrayed against him as “terrorists”. Of course with all outside power involvement, the defeat of the Islamists was never in doubt, but the real threat to Assad’s power was always the FSA and soon, the YPG.

I look forward to radical fascist-allied left cheering as the fascist Assad brutally massacres the Kurds and ends their most successful experiment in libertarian socialist communitarian self-organization since Cataonia in the 1930s - which was likewise crushed by a Red-Brown, left-fascist alliance.

Basically, if, say, el Salvador in the 1980’s were Syria today, the left would be siding with the murderous right wing extremist D’aubuisson, and dismissing the FMLN and the Salvadoran people as “terrorists”.


The New York Times , AP and The Guardian all got on board with WMD’s in Iraq justifying the US invasion. The premise of the statement made Ms Kohalktar is that these so called “news Organizations” are independent and serve to act as a check on Governments.

As a German Journalist revealed (he since died of a heart attack at the age of 56) the writers for these papers were provided with scripts directly from the CIA which they printed under their own names in return for cash.

A simple observation.

In a Criminal trial if 5 witnesses all claim “Yeah the guy that committed the crime was wearing a Chartreuse Green cap and Mauve trousers” and the guy arrested was in fact wearing Mauve trousers with a Chartreuse cap , then I am going to have my doubts that just because 5 separate individuals said the same thing that it therefore established as a fact. I am going to suspect collusion and coaching of the witnesses.

The exact scenario happened with Hussein in Iraq. That people questioned Iraq has having stockpiles of WMD’s had NOTHING to do with those questioning being supporters of Hussein or that Hussein was some sort of benevolent ruler. It had everything to do with why the powers wanting him removed were happy to work with Hussein for years, helped to put him into power and even supplied him with weapons including poison gas to be used against Iran only suddenly deciding he a despot justifying war against him.

My Aunt used to say “you made your own bed now lie in it”. The USA and Western Imperialist powers have made their own beds for years with false flags and false justifications for wars against other nations. For years they have propped up brutal dictators that slaughtered peoples by the hundreds of thousands in order to stay in power. At this very moment they support the brutal thugs in Saudi Arabia with arms and intelligence even as the Saudi’s fund Islamists the world over. I am not going to suddenly believe that these same thugs are suddenly concerned about human rights and am going to be awfully wary when incidents occur ANYWHERE that they the use to justify an action that will lead to an outcome that they have wanted.

The US Government and its allies HAVE made their own bed and that they lie, lie , lie about how they got there is not what my Aunt meant at all.


I, too, wish I knew how turning off all sources of news and “thinking your own thoughts” based on total ignorance of world events would solve all of our problems…


Regarding the White Helmets, heroically saving lives in the midst of falling bombs is not “reputable”??? Instead of listening to these lurid neurotic conspiracy theories, who don’t you simply look at what the white helmets do???

And regarding Syrian perspectives from Syrians, or Arabs themselves, here you are:





and no, the US did a lot of bad stuff, but:

  1. The US’s role in the White Russian counterrevolution was minimal.

  2. Colonial exploitation of China was almost entirely British, not USAn.

  3. The Spanish republic and particularly Catalonia was destroyed by an unholy alliance of the Nazis, Fascists, and the Soviet Union. The US had nothing to do with it.

You are being blinded by an obsessive, insular, US-centrism - no different than that on the right - that totally disregards the agency and power of all the other people in the world to fight against their oppressors!

And about myself, I KNOW and have spoken with Syrian refugees in Toronto. how many Syrians do YOU know?


Exactly. Except that it is worse than ignorance - they selectively seek sources which produce nothing but fabricated, lurid conspiratorial nonsense!


No. Wrong. Consider going here:

No, it is not a short read, but maybe you will learn something.


It is hard to find good information. I have half a dozen pretty reliable sources and others that it seems to depend on the day. Chris Hedges is the man. Dr Richard Wolff, Norm Chomsky, counterpunch, truthdig, truthout, The Jimmy Dore Show, Redacted Tonight, and a few others…also go for the actual source materials which you will be surprised are more available then you might think. Then you can truly make your own conclusion. But no matter what stop with the TV…it is false and misleading information…and agenda.


no. these sources of outright propaganda and misinformation are so bad that even with your defenses up. they can still fuck with your thinking. Listening to them if nothing else lets them set the agenda…decide what is important and what isn’t. That in itself is poison to the thoughtful mind. The major media is nothing but an instrument of social control. You will learn less then nothing…walk away stupider then when you showed up.


No, you are wrong. I encourage you to read Professor Chossudovsky, who has an in-depth understanding of the history of this imperialist war on Syria.




It is you who is totally wrong.

"The ‘protests’ did not emanate from internal political cleavages as described by the mainstream media. From the very outset, they were the result of a covert US-NATO intelligence operation geared towards triggering social chaos, with a view to eventually discrediting the Syrian government of Bashar Al Assad and destabilizing Syria as a Nation State.

Since the middle of March 2011, Islamist armed groups –covertly supported by Western and Israeli intelligence– have conducted terrorist attacks directed against government buildings including acts of arson. Amply documented, trained gunmen and snipers including mercenaries have targeted the police, armed forces as well as innocent civilians. There is ample evidence, as outlined in the Arab League Observer Mission report, that these armed groups of mercenaries are responsible for killing civilians."