By Professor Anders Romelsjö.
Swe TV anchor added blunt propaganda to the propaganda-movie “Cries for Syria”: “Your documentary contains some of most outrageous scenes I have ever seen”, says Anna Hedmo to Afineevsky. The Swe TV program not called “AGENDA” for nothing.
Editors Note: Just days after the propaganda movie “Cries for Syria” was released, Swedish Television had already showed it to the public. The Swedish TV main program “AGENDA” did an interview with its maker Evgeny Afineevsky and finishing with a ‘Syrian expert’ opinion absolutely condemning the Syrian government. No criticism was ever raised in the movie –or in the Swedish TV program “AGENDA”– on the fake life-saving maneuvers propagated by the “White Helmets”, or the terrorist activities of its associates at al-Qaeda, al-Nusra Front. And not one mention is done about the ‘rebels’ being financed and armed by Western powers, including Sweden (who provided White Helmets funds in a notorious award).
Well, the program is not called “AGENDA” per chance…
It is worth noticing that in an interview with Afineevsky about his movie “Cries for Syria” published in YouTube, he admitted that (interviews or scenes, not clear) were “a reconstruction”. / Prof M. Ferrada de Noli.
Shocking: Swedish State TV broadcast propaganda for jihadist-terrorist organizations operating in Syria
The Swedish State Television showed on March 26, 2017, the propaganda movie “Cries for Syria” – a film by Evgeny Afineevsky, a film-maker now operating from the United States after a period in Israel.
In my opinion, the film is ethically improper and constitutes a strong support for the terrorist organization “al-Nusra” (al-Qaeda in Syria). This organization changed its name to “Jabhat Fateh al-Sham”, and lastly to “Tahrir al-Sham”.
In presenting the propaganda movie to the Swedish public, the Swedish TV-program anchor (Anna Hedmo) shows with a brief interview with Afineevsky. She asked Afineevsky on whether Russia is fighting against terrorists in Syria. To this, Afineevsky only laughed as an answer. Ensuing, the Swedish anchor asked Afineevsky what were the sources he used in the movie. Director Afineevsky replied only, “good sources”. This answer was enough for the Swedish TV anchor.
Below is a summary of my criticism on the propaganda movie showed by Swedish TV. For a wider context on the Syria conflict I will refer the reader to Tim Anderson’s book: The Dirty War Against Syria.
In the film, there is no criticism whatsoever of the role of the United States – well known to have been behind the proxy war in Syria. The information, sourced in the Pentagon’s official plans, was reported amongst others by the former Presidential candidate and NATO Chief: Wesley Clark.
- In an interview in the TV show Democracy Now in March 2007, the former NATO supreme commander and presidential candidate general, Wesley Clark, stated that he saw in 2001 a Pentagon document that showed that the United States planned to destabilise, amongst others, Syria, Iraq and Libya [http://www.democracynow.org/2007/3/2/gen_wesley_clark_weighs_presidential_bid]
- Pulitzer prize winner, Seymour Hersh, reported in the article The Redirection (New Yorker, 2006), that the United States changed its policy regarding the support for Sunni factions, and, in practice, to al-Qaeda.
- According to the documents released by WikiLeaks, the United States Department of State has been funding, since 2006, oppositional organizations to the Syrian Government in London.
- April 1, 2012, the United States and other countries decided to support the fractured Syrian National Council with weapons, and with the equivalent of 130 – 140 million Swedish kronor. The largest sum was from the United States.
- Ayman al-Zawahri, supreme commander of the organization al-Qaeda, which was originally a creation of the CIA, declared in February 2012 that the organization supported the Syrian rebels.
- Hillary Clinton admitted the same month that al-Qaeda as well as the United States worked to topple Assad’s regime.
- Daily Star wrote in an article dated 26/8/2012: “Nearly 200 elite troops (SAS and SBS troops) were in Syria, or near Syria, in the hunt for weapons of mass destruction. People from the intelligence organisations – MI6 and the CIA, and French and American soldiers – accompanied these elite troops.” [Editors Note: translated from the Swedish text, not from the originally source]
- The New York Times on 4/8/2012 reported that Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, are providing weapons, with the help of officials from the CIA, who train and receive rebels and are working with officials in the State Department.’
- An article in the New York Times 24/3/2013 provides evidence of increased weapons support from the United States and allies to the rebels in Syria: “With help from the CIA, Arab Governments and Turkey have significantly increased military aid to Syria’s opposition and established a secret airlift of weapons and equipment from the uprising against al-Assad – according to data from air traffic, interviews with officials in several countries, and data from rebel leaders.” [Editors Note: translated from the Swedish text, not from the originally source].
- DN recounted 13/5/2015, an interview with president Obama in the London-based Arab-language newspaper Asharq al-Awsat. Obama said “the Islamic State (IS) is ultimately a result of the United States-led invasion of Iraq”.
- In a speech to students at Harvard 2/10 2014, United States Vice President Joe Biden said that ISIS is a creation of the United States’ allies. Asked about US policy in Syria, Biden touched on the dirty secret of the current US-led war against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. “ISIS (or ISIL as the Obama administration terms it) is essentially the creation of its allies who fomented civil war in Syria against the government of President Bashar al-Assad.” Referring to Turkey, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
- In an interview this spring, admits retired lieutenant general Michael Flynn, Donald Trump’s brother-Adviser, said that the United States’ administration consciously “unleashed” Al Qaeda in Iraq, Syria and ISIS. Michael Flynn is the former Director of the U.S. Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA). He confirms the authenticity of a renowned report from DIA from August 2012, which shows that the United States leadership already knew the Syrian opposition, had taken a sectarian direction. Obama, Biden, United States-general: we have deliberately released al Qaeda and ISIS in Syria.
- Former Presidential candidate and ex-NATO commander, Wesley Clark, said live on CNN this spring, that ISIS is created and financed by “our closest allies.”
- Sputnik News, report 7/12: “Outgoing US President Barack Obama has acknowledged his country’s role in the emergence of Daesh, echoing earlier public opinion voiced by Syrian President Bashar Assad and even by his successor in the White House, Donald Trump. In shaping our response [to Daesh], we refused to repeat some of the mistakes of the 2003 invasion [of Iraq] that have helped to give rise to the organization that became the ISIL in the first place.” Obama said during a major speech on the fight against terrorism at MacDill Air Force base in Florida on Tuesday – Sputnik News.
- Business Insider wrote just over a year ago: “Since 2013, the CIA has been training and equipping various moderate rebel elements in the Syrian civil war in an effort to convenience, shallow goals the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and force him to the negotiating table. Among the range of munitions and supplies that the CIA has funnelled to the various claimed of the Free Syrian Army and other moderate groups through Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Turkey are TOW anti-tank missiles.” – Business Insider.
- The Last Secretary of State Hillary Clinton knew of the aid to ISIS. In an e-mail in August 2014, Clinton wrote: “While this military/para-military operation is moving forward, we need to use our diplomatic and more traditional intelligence assets to bring pressure on the governments of Qatar and Saudi Arabia, which are providing clandestine financial and logistic support to the ISIL [ISIS] and other radical Sunni groups in the region.”
- Member of the United States Congress, Tulsi Gabbard (Democrats) have condemned and protested against the United States’ support for terrorist organizations. https://youtu.be/_qdf2WH4g9k
- In December 2016 the United States decided to invest a further $300m on arming terrorist organizations. Syrian experts claim that the rebels have long been dominated by terrorists, and that the “free Syrian army”, has long weakened cooperates with terrorist organizations.
- The recording shows that the United States preferred ISIS to Syria’s elected President.
The film do not inform on the support for insurgents and terrorists from the United States, the West, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey. For instance, the United States Department of Defence was aware of Turkey’s oil purchase from ISIS.
Non-authorized intervention in Syria, with aerial bombing and military personnel. United States and Turkey’s violation of the UN Charter and international law. These very serious crimes are not mentioned in the film.
The Syrian government is depicted in the movie as the major villain. In fact, the Syrian government – with legal assistance of Russia and Iran – is only trying to defend the country against the Western-supported aggression.
Description of the war’s start in the Daara is one-sided, and where only the ‘rebel‘ version presented. There are, however, a variety of versions about what was really happening in Daraa. According to the opposition, they launched protests where security forces captured teenagers for just writing slogans about the uprising in Tunisia on the walls. According to Syria’s government, the protesters’ side fired against the security forces and killed several men before the security forces responded to the fire.
According to Israel news, seven police officers were killed (Gavriel Queenann, Syria: Seven police killed. Buildings torched in protest. Israel National News, Arutz Sheva 21/3 /2011). The Lebanese newspaper, Ya Libnan, stated in reference to Al Jazeera that the protesters: “burned the headquarters of the Baath party and the Town Hall in Daraa.” The Arab League reported large, peaceful demonstrations in support of the Government against the Daara.
Syrian people’s 23 km-long demonstration in support for Syria’s government
White Helmets (WH), which has been shown to be in association with al-Nusra, and who wrongly have exploited children in their information/propaganda (also according to CNN) are presented as “heroes” in the film. This current video shows that al-Qaeda leaders thank White Helmets, after 5 minutes and 20 seconds and states that al-Qaida is beholden to al-Qaeda leaders. It is Abu Jaber al-Sheikh, head of Hay ‘ at Tahrir al-Sham (Organisation for the liberation of the Levant), also known as al-Nusra (Nusra-front) or al-Qaeda in Syria who made a speech on March 16, in occasion of the celebration of the 6th anniversary of the jihadi uprising in Syria.
The liberation of Eastern Aleppo from the terrorist organization al-Nusra and its allies is portrayed as a disaster.
It is apparent that civilians suffer. This is true, but occurs in all wars. Recently, for example, 200 civilians were killed in the bombings by the United States in Mosul.
The movie stated that all the hospitals were bombed in Aleppo. This has been argued repeatedly by Western media, but has been shown to be incorrect.
In the movie it is claimed that Syria and Russia deliberately bomb civilians and infrastructure. Evidence for this is lacking.
President Bashar al-Assad is portrayed as a cruel dictator. Polls from the West speak of substantial support for Assad. In May, NATO reported that 70% supported Assad. At the presidential elections in June 2014, 11.6 million voted, 74% of 15.8 million registered voters and president al-Assad received 88% of the vote.
ISIS is described accurately as the very brutal organization it is. But an older man in uniform claims that Assad accounted for 98% of all atrocities and ISIS only for 2%. I.e. – the Syrian Government is portrayed as worse than ISIS is. On the other hand, the movie mentions no criticism whatsoever about ISIS ideological and political jihadist twin al-Nusra (al-Qaida) operating in Syria, which is fighting against democracy, oppresses women, are religiously very intolerant and does not allow for regular school attendance.
Children are exploited in the film merciless.
* Lots of children were interviewed, saying the appropriate things, with a vocabulary that often come from adults.
* These included of course, seven-year-old Baana and “the boy in the ambulance”.
* The picture with the boy has been arranged.
Syrian experts claim that the rebels have long been dominated by terrorists, and that the “free Syrian army”, has long been cooperating with terrorist organizations. For instance, the New York Times reported that the United States backed ‘moderate rebels’ fighting alongside al-Qaeda are not mentioned.
Afterwards, the Swedish TV anchor Anna Hedmo has a talk with Leif Stenberg, who presented in the program as being a ‘Syrian expert’. He of course comments that all the experts agree that Assad is responsible for most of the destruction and atrocities in the war. No evidence for this was ever presented.
This article is a translation of a Swedish article originally appeared in Jinge.se with the title “SvT visar ‘Cries for Syria’ – propaganda för al-Qaida“
Professor emeritus Anders Romelsjö (Karolinska Institute and Stockholm University) is vice-chairman of Swedish Doctor for Human Rights and member of The Indicter editorial board. He is the publisher of one of top-ranked Swedish political blog, Jinge.se
Prof Anders Romelsjö is a co-author of the book (Swedish) “USA as World’s Police”.