Nicholas πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡¦ Profile picture
Apr 18, 2018 β€’ 28 tweets β€’ 10 min read
In the thread below I critically analyse Robert Fisk's article for the independent in which he fails to find any evidence for a chemical attack in #Douma.

See thread below. πŸ‘‡

independent.co.uk/voices/syria-c…
Firstly, the headline itself uses the word "doubt" and ultimately this appears to be the purpose of the article - to give the pretence of impartiality while repeatedly posing seemingly innocent questions which feed the conspiracy theorists.
Fisk says he interviews one single doctor in Douma who contradicts the official Russian and Syrian narrative that the videos were faked. Fisk does not point this out.
Instead he puts forth a wholly new story: the victims were real but they were affected by dust.

There is no attempt by Fisk to challenge this. He simply reports it, uncritically.
Fisk, of course, has presumably seen the contents of the videos showing the victims of the attack. Victims who, according to the WHO, displayed signs of chemical weapons poisoning.
Why does he not ask the doctor to explain this discrepancy? Or acknowledge the existence of multiple images of the dead showing them with burned corneas, and with froth pouring forth from their mouths?

(I have previously posted images of this. This time I shall refrain).
Notice also the language Fisk uses. "Profoundly uncomfortable". He is clearly implying that we should be troubled by the difference between the doctor's account and the western accusations of the use of CWMD.
Here is a doctor, a senior one, he admits the video is real, so we should trust him. He then explains away the accusations.

Fisk does not fact check these claims with other doctors outside of Syria.

Can dust inhalation cause these injuries?
Nor does Fisk wonder why he has been allowed to interview this particular doctor or whether his testimony could be the result of pressure from a regime which even he later notes is a "dictatorship".
Having reported one version of events, Fisk then uses the clever phrase "This is not the only story in Douma" - as if to suggest he is about to present a contrasting one.

But he simply (conveniently) finds more people who deny there was a chemical attack.
Fisk noted that tens of thousands of locals and rebels had already been bussed out of the area. He fails, however, to acknowledge that by definition he is interviewing people likely to be pro Assad.
Again he places doubt on the accusations of the use of gas this time by use of sentence structure - ending the sentence with the emphasis on doubt.

His use of the word "troglodyte" is accurate, but subtly suggests the same "gunmen" (not women or children) are primitive.
He emphasises that he wasn't supervised yet fails to wonder why this might be the case, in a country where it is extremely difficult for outside journalists to be granted visas and where over 150 have been murdered in recent times.
Fisk acknowledges here that there were other journalists present. Fisk finds one doctor and no locals who speak about the use of chemical weapons.
But other journalists in the same group *do*. This screenshot is from a report by CBS.
CBS not only manage to visit the building where the victims died, they find a survivor from the gas attack, are able to link him to one of those in the open source videos who perished and also take a photo of the empty gas cannister.
Given that Fisk admits he had total freedom to go where he wanted, why did he not go to the scene of the crime?

He uses his failure to find any critics as evidence that the people must surely be being truthful.
There are *multiple* eyewitness accounts of the attack, reported in a wide variety of publications. Fisk, as a journalist, is presumably aware of these. But he doesn't mention any in his article which conveniently ends upon yet another seemingly innocent, but leading question.
For what it's worth, here are some eyewitness testimonies. They mention gas. They do not mention dust. They are taken from a number of different people who would all need to be lying, and lying consistently, in order for the "dust theory" to be true.
I shall include some extracts from this New York Times article.

mobile.nytimes.com/2018/04/11/wor…
Notice how this account corroborates the CBS report about the canister found on the roof.
This is from the Guardian
And from Al Jazeera
Also from Al Jazeera
Finally an interview.

aljazeera.com/news/2018/04/i…
Another good thread on the same article here.

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More from @njstone9

Aug 23, 2018
I'm going to retweet, with screenshots, the anti Semitic responses to Luciana Berger's tweet.
This is anti Semitism.
This is anti Semitism.
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Aug 22, 2018
To everyone wondering why Corbyn wouldn't answer the question as to whether the UK would be better off outside the EU...

He has answered it already.
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Aug 17, 2018
This is a great insight into Corbyn's longstanding relationship with and acting as an apologist for extremists.

There is one part of it I wish to go into more detail about: Iran's record on human rights.

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thecentreleft.blogspot.com/2018/02/breaki…
Corbyn gave a short talk about Iran at an event in 2014 where he was effusive in his praise for the regime, referring to β€œthe inclusivity, the tolerance and the acceptance of other faiths, other traditions and other ethnic groupings within Iran…”

2/

Iran's largest religious minority are Baha'is, and they number around 300,000. Baha'is have been persecuted horrifically in Iran since the inception of the faith in 1844, with estimates of around 20,000 being systematically slaughtered in the 19th century alone.

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Aug 16, 2018
What if... Corbyn knew exactly who Salah Khalaf was but took the view that he was some kind of Middle Eastern Nelson Mandela - a former terrorist turned political reformer?

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There are some clues that Corbyn a) knew who Khalaf was and b) respected him in the recent interviews he gave.

(HT @make_trouble)

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That would explain why he laid the wreath on his grave and why he refuses to apologise: he is overlooking or downplaying Khalaf's role in multiple terrorist attacks because the man later advocated for the recognition of Israel and a two-state solution.

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Aug 15, 2018
So it's #cemeterygate day 3 (or 4, 5, I've lost count). Yesterday Corbyn confirmed he had indeed laid a wreath in the cemetery (and not at the monument specifically dedicated to the 1985 Israel airstrike victims) but that he had done so to promote peace.

Labour said this:

1/
The arguments now being presented by some Corbyn supporters are as follows:

a) that the actual perpetrators of the Munich atrocity were not buried in the cemetery
b) that the men who are buried there weren't in Black September or weren't important figures

Let's check.

2/
Point A is undoubtedly true. The five terrorists killed at the scene were buried in Libya. The others were captured at the scene. Evolvepolitics, a pro Corbyn site, casts further doubt that the men in the cemetery were responsible for Munich.

3/

evolvepolitics.com/there-were-8-m…
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Aug 14, 2018
So I spent yesterday writing the thread I am retweeting here. My purpose was to prove Corbyn was present at the graves of the Black September terrorists which he admitted while I was halfway recounting the evidence!

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As time went on, I discovered some nuances and details that enable me to write a brief account here of what actually happened on that day in October 2014, and why.

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Having studied the multiple albums on the Palestinian Embassy in Tunisia facebook page, as well as other on other websites, it is possible to build up a picture of the typical visitor itinerary. It goes something like this...

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