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Monday, August 12, 2013

Stephen Lendman's Fraud & the Phony Tal Abyad Massacre

It has now been one week since the Iranian Fars News Agency broke the story of "120 Children Slaughtered in Syria's Tal Abyad" and one week since I debunked this story by showing that the picture purported to be of the massacred children was actually a picture of children killed in a US drone strike in Afghanistan.

It has also been demonstrated that a video offered by a number of pro-Assad sources as documenting the burning of three Kurdish men in the same massacre was in fact a video of gay men being burned to death in Iraq.

In other words, both "proofs" of the alleged massacre have been proven to be frauds and in the ensuing week, no other images of this allege massacre have been offered. There have been no reports of this massacre from Kurdish sources and in fact, one Kurdish human rights group, concerned about the stories, sent a team of investigators that reported back that there had been no massacre.

Meanwhile we have new reports, with video, of the Assad regime's air force bombing Tal Abyad and killing five Kurdish civilians.

None of this has stopped the phony massacre story from going viral as it is being vigorously promoted by all the usual pro-Assad and pro-Putin outlets.

One of those propagandists is Stephen Lendman, his story on thepeoplesvoice.org didn't use the fraudulent picture. It used another picture that shows someone loosely tied to a pole. This picture is not identified and in any case, while the person is restrained, she doesn't look to be massacred. So why didn't Stephen Lendman use the picture of dead kids on the ground that accompanied many of the other reports?

Perhaps the reason is that he knew that photo had already been overused at thepeoplesvoice.org. Larry Pinkney had already used it exactly 6 months before for The U.S. military: Killing machine for the empire:
And Stephen Lendman had used it himself at thepeoplesvoice.org in 2012 for A Decade of America Ravaging Afghanistan. At least when he used it there it was legit because those kids really were killed by the U.S. military in Afghanistan, but he could hardly use the same picture again, himself, and now claim that these children have recently been killed by jhadists in Syria could he?
Oh wait, he can and did, he just didn't do in on thepeoplesvoice.org where it would be blatant. When Stephen Lendman's story was posted to the Sleuth Journal it was again reunited with the fraudulent picture with which it first appeared.

I am currently involved in a discussion with Veterans for Peace about Syria. One VFP member who thinks I'm "acting like a typical troll or a spoiled child" sarcastically suggests that if "you want to support the Syrian Revolution for real, I suggest that you get your ass over there in person, and pick up a rifle, and fight Assad. Talk is cheap."

I guess he never heard that the pen is mightier than the sword because when I publicize the truth about the conflict in Syria and especially when I debunk frauds like this, I think I am fighting Assad for real. Just as war is politics by other means, the political struggle remains even after the guns have become angry and waging the propaganda war is as important to the fight as any other aspect of war.

This false story about a massacre has been fabricated by the pro-Assad forces precisely because it serves to muddy the waters and that allows the real child killers, the Assad regime, much more freedom to act. So when I prove that this story is a lie, I feel sure that that somehow saves lives.

On the other hand, I also believe those that spread these false stories, like Stephen Lendman, have blood on their hands. The photo cannot be excused as just a poor choice because this false story has no other supports. It only serves to create confusion as to the real problems Syria faces, sows sectarian discord between Kurds and Sunni, and most significantly, it helps Bashar al-Assad get away with murder.

Click here for a list of my other blogs on Syria

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