International Assadists Reference Directory

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International Assadists Reference Directory

[Author = Kester Ratcliff, Original Source = https://archive.fo/VQXiq]

[Posted & Amended by Lara Keller 21/9/18]

A references directory on 171 (?) public figures who have expressed support and/or whitewashed the Assad regime, with examples and references.

The purpose of this list is to facilitate finding the references to see and to show people who genuinely don’t know what is true and who to trust about Syria why the people on this list should not be trusted as sources. I am not expecting anyone to read the whole thing, at least not in one sitting. I suggest you use Ctrl+F on a Windows computer or ⌘+F on a Mac to easily find the name(s) you’re looking for. There may be an online database facility in future.

Each time there’s an incident in Syria which breaks through into international public attention (only nerve toxin gas attacks or >1000 civilians killed in a week seem to trigger 1–2 weeks of international attention now), we get a week or two’s rush of people who have not been paying attention to the daily reporting from Syria before then sharing articles, videos and memes from pro-regime propaganda sources, often without knowing that’s what they are, and we are busy re-finding and copy-pasting the links around to show them why they shouldn’t trust those sources. I hope this reference list will at least make that easier and more efficient next time, because unfortunately there will be a next time, as we have still not done anything to make “never again” a reality.

I decided to spend quite a lot of time in introduction articles defining terms, because otherwise what happens is the other side just call this “propaganda”, as if words have no objective meaning independent of partisanship anymore.

I cut into a separate article my attempt to understand how it happened that so many mostly good people came to believe so much evil bullshit, which I think is more due to authoritarian regimes exploiting the built-in vulnerabilities in the structure, as it has been designed so far, of the social media part of the Public Sphere than it is due to the inherent moral frailties of human nature.

How have so many people become so seriously misled about Syria?
It is tempting but probably untrue to attribute malice to most people who believe narratives about Syria which are…medium.com

[ LK: It is important to understand what is meant by Assadist, and anti-Assadist, appreciate the range of opinions these terms cover and how people develop these stances. The original author provides essential prerequisite material on this in four  parts. It is important to realize Assadist is not meant by the author as a term of abuse. This directory could be used to understand why the Assad Regime is so hated, journalists to research sources, provide information on the range of people willing to apologize for a very violent and oppressive dictatorship or to study the variety of pro Assad propaganda and its intended audiences. There is no intention to provide or encourage the access to or inappropriate use of personal information. Content is limited to public sources. ]

Prerequisite material:

I will now continue the rest of the list in alphabetical order by second name. Corporate entity names I’ve alphabetised by the first letter of the first word.

A–Surnames-or-OrgNames

  • Diane Abbott  [id=1-a1]
  • Sarah Abdallah (also known as ‘Sahouraxo’, formerly aka ‘Jnoubiyeh’ and ‘Muqawamist’) [id=2-a2]
  • Sarah Abed [id=3-a3]
  • Ali Abuminah [id=4-a4]
  • Mother Agnes [id=5-a5]
  • Nafeez Ahmed [id=6-a6]
  • Tariq Ali [id=7-a7]
  • Louis Allday [id=8-a8]
  • James Allsup [id=9-a9]
  • Kevork Almassian [id=10-a10]
  • Tim Anderson [id=11-a11]
  • Paul Antonopolous [id=12-a12]
  • Andrew Ashdown [id=13-a13]

B–Surnames-or-OrgNames

  • Steve Bannon [id=14-b1]
  • Arron Banks [id=15-b2]
  • Gérard Bapt [id=16-b3]
  • Ajamu Baraka [id=17-b4]
  • Yahya Barakat [id=18-b5]
  • Eva Bartlett [id=19-b6]
  • Thierry Baudet [id=20-b7]
  • Vanessa Beeley [id=21-b8]
  • Jens Bernert [id=22-b9]
  • Richard Black  [id=23-b10]
  • Christian Blex [id=24-b11]
  • Max Blumenthal [id=25-b12]
  • David Bromwich [id=26-b13]
  • Aisling Byrne [id=27-b14]

C–Surnames-or-OrgNames

  • Tucker Carlson [id=28-c1]
  • Mike Cernovich [id=29-c2]
  • Noam Chomsky [id=30-c3]
  • Neil Clark [id=31-c4]
  • Alexander Cockburn [id=32-c5]
  • Patrick Cockburn [id=33-c6]
  • Elizabeth Cocker ‘Lizzie Phelan’ [id=34-c7]
  • Stephen Cohen [id=35-c8]
  • Gerry Condon [id=36-c9]
  • Alistair Crooke [id=37-c10]
  • Jonathan Cook [id=38-c11]
  • Sheila Coombes [id=39-c12]
  • Jeremy Corbyn [id=40-c13]
  • Pierre le Corf [id=41-c14]
  • Alain Corvez [id=42-c15]
  • Ann Coulter [id=43-c16]
  • Baroness Caroline Cox [id=44-c17]

D–Surnames-or-OrgNames

  • Sevim Dagdelen (*1975) [id=45-d1]
  • Clare Daly [id=46-d2]
  • Golden Dawn [id=47-d3]
  • Zlatko Dizdarevic [id=48-d4]
  • Jimmy Dore [id=49-d5]
  • Bob Dreyfuss [id=50-d6]
  • Tom Duggan [id=51-d7]
  • Wierd Duk [id=52-d8]
  • David Duke [id=53-d9]

E–Surnames-or-OrgNames

  • European Solidarity Front for Syria (ESFS) [id=54-e1]
  • Pepe Escobar [id=55-e2]

F–Surnames-or-OrgNames

  • Leith Abou Fadel [id=56-f1]
  • Robert Fisk [id=57-f2]
  • Sara Flounders [id=58-f3]
  • Peter Ford [id=59-f4]
  • Benjamin Fulford [id=60-f5]

G–Surnames-or-OrgNames

  • Tulsi Gabbard [id=61-g1]
  • Uli Gack [id=62-g2]
  • George Galloway [id=63-g3]
  • Tim Gionet ‘Baked Alaska’ [id=64-g4]
  • Marco Glowatzki [id=65-g5]
  • Glenn Greenwald [id=66-g6]
  • Joachim Guilliard [id=67-g7]

H–Surnames-or-OrgNames

  • Declan Hayes [id=68-h1]
  • Tim Hayward [id=69-h2]
  • Patrick Henningsen [id=70-h3]
  • Seymour Hersh [id=71-h4]
  • Peter Hitchens [id=72-h5]
  • Katie Hopkins [id=73-h6]

I–Surnames-or-OrgNames

  • David Icke [id=74-i1]
  • Laura Ingraham [id=75-i2]
  • Robert Inlarkesh [id=76-i3]

J–Surnames-or-OrgNames

  • Ken Jebsen [id=77-j1]
  • Simon Jenkins [id=78-j2]
  • Adam Johnson [id=79-j3]
  • Boris Johnson [id=80-j4]
  • Caitlin Johnston [id=81-j5]
  • Alex Jones [id=82-j6]
  • Owen Jones [id=83-j7]

K–Surnames-or-OrgNames

  • Leila Khaled [id=84-k1]
  • Rania Khalek [id=85-k2]
  • Janice Kortkamp [id=86-k3]
  • Dennis Kucinich [id=87-k4]
  • Harald Kujat (*1942) [id=88-k5]

L–Surnames-or-OrgNames

  • Tomi Lahren [id=89-l1]
  • Joshua Landis [id=90-l2]
  • Adam Larson [id=91-l3]
  • Paul Lauradee [id=92-l4]
  • Carlos Latuff [id=93-l5]
  • Gregory Lauder-Frost [id=94-l6]
  • Régis Le Sommier [id=95-l7]
  • Christian Lindgren [id=96-l8]
  • Joe Lombardo [id=97-l9]
  • Michael Lüders [id=98-l10]

M–Surnames-or-OrgNames

  • Jeff Mackler [id=99-m1]
  • Abby Martin [id=100-m2]
  • Aaron Mate [id=101-m3]
  • Tara McCormack [id=102-m4]
  • Tara McCormack [????]
  • Ray McGovern [id=103-m5]
  • Gavin McInnes [id=104-m6]
  • Paul McKeigue [id=105-m7]
  • Barbara McKenzie [id=106-m8]
  • Kerry-Anne Mendoza [id=107-m9]
  • Guy Mettan [id=108-m10]
  • Günter Meyer (*1946) [id=109-m11]
  • Thierry Meyssan [id=110-m12]
  • David Miller [id=111-m13]
  • Seumus Milne [id=112-m14]
  • Stefan Molyneux [id=113-m15]
  • Craig Murray [id=114-m16]

N–Surnames-or-OrgNames

  • Sharmine Narwani [id=115-n1]
  • Donna Nassor [id=116-n2]
  • Ben Norton [id=117-n3]
  • Forza Nouva [id=118-n4]
  • Paul Nuttall [id=119-n5]

O–Surnames-or-OrgNames

  • Eoin Ó Murchú [id=120-o1]
  • Ken O’Keefe [id=121-o2]
  • Carla Ortiz [id=122-o3]

P–Surnames-or-OrgNames

  • Marcus Papadopolous [id=123-p1]
  • Robert Parry [id=124-p2]
  • Rand Paul [id=125-p3]
  • Ron Paul [id=126-p4]
  • John Pilger [id=127-p5]
  • Jaap Plaiser [id=128-p6]
  • Jurgen Pohl [id=129-p7]
  • Gareth Porter [id=130-p8]
  • Theodore Postol [id=131-p9]
  • Casa Pound [id=132-p10]
  • Vijay Prashad [id=133-p11]

Q–Surnames-or-OrgNames

[No Entries]

R–Surnames-or-OrgNames

  • Michel Raimbaud [id=134-r1]
  • Sami Ramadani [id=135-r2]
  • John Rees [id=136-r3]
  • Paul Craig Roberts [id=137-r4]
  • Piers Robinson [id=138-r5]
  • Dana Rohrabacher [id=139-r6]
  • Kris Roman [id=140-r7]
  • Pierre-Yves Rougeyron [id=141-r8]

S–Surnames-or-OrgNames

  • Susan Sarandon [id=142-s1]
  • MP Jean-Luc Schaffhauser [id=143-s2]
  • Elham Shaheen [id=144-s3]
  • Pearson Sharp [id=145-s4]
  • Fares Shehabi [id=146-s5]
  • Alain Soral [id=147-s6]
  • SOS Chrétiens d’Orient [id=148-s7]
  • Richard Spencer [id=149-s8]
  • Jonathan Steele [id=150-s9]
  • Jill Stein [id=151-s10]
  • Rick Sterling [id=152-s11]
  • Maram Sulsi ‘Partisan Girl’ [id=153-s12]
  • “Swedish Doctors for Human Rights” (SWEDHR)/Marcello Ferranda De Noli [id=154-s13]
  • Le Club Suisse / Swiss Press Club [id=155-s14]

T–Surnames-or-OrgNames

  • Emily Thornberry [id=156-t1]
  • Hans-Thomas Tillschneider [id=157-t2]
  • Jürgen Todenhöfer [id=158-t3]

U–Surnames-or-OrgNames

  • US Peace Council [id=159-u1]

V–Surnames-or-OrgNames

  • Beatrix Von Storch [id=160-v1]
  • Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) [id=161-v2]

W–Surnames-or-OrgNames

  • Sahra Wagenknecht[id=162-w1]
  • Roger Waters [id=163-w2]
  • Paul Joseph Watson [id=164-w3]
  • Ian Wilkie [id=165-w4]
  • Asa Winstanley [id=166-w5]
  • Ann Wright [id=167-w6]

X–Surnames-or-OrgNames

[No Entries]

Y–Surnames-or-OrgNames

  • Milo Yiannopolous [id=168-y1]
  • Patriarch Ignatius Joseph III Yonan [id=169-y2]

Z–Surnames-or-OrgNames

  • Slavoj Zizek [id=170-z1]
  • Zwart Front [id=171-z2]

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Definitions of terms and scope (Assadist Reference – By Kester Ratcliff).

Definitions of terms and scope (Assadist Reference – By Kester Radcliff).

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[Author = Kester Ratcliff, Original Source = https://archive.fo/VQXiq]

[Posted by Lara Keller 17/9/18]

‘International’ — I’m categorising the propaganda circulating among Syrian, Lebanese, Iraqi, Iranian and Russian direct participants, political or armed, in the war in Syria as ‘domestic’ propaganda, mainly to limit the scope because otherwise I would never finish this, but also because I lack the linguistic skills to research those directly myself. I hope some colleagues may join me to work more on that later. I have done a little bit of comparing and contrasting ‘domestic’ and ‘international’ sides of Assadist propaganda narratives here.

‘Assadist’ — I chose primarily this term rather than the narrower term ‘pro-Assad’, because some of the public figures in this list explicitly deny being pro-Assad but still persistently repeat core lines of regime propaganda narratives. I have used both terms, as distinct but overlapping categories—all pro-Assad people are Assadists (they repeat Assadist propaganda claims), but not all Assadists are in their own view pro-Assad; e.g. Joshua Landis denies being ‘pro-Assad’, however he persists in repeating some core elements of the regime’s propaganda narratives and in associating himself with Assadists.

‘Propagandist’=a source or a major repeater of propaganda claims. I include both sources and major repeaters as ‘propagandists’, because a) separating them would require an arbitrary definition of the boundary which would probably tend to let a lot of ‘sources’ perceived as sources by their followers off the hook, because they are really mostly just repeaters; and b) I believe that the habit of careless speech, including repeating propaganda, even if the person lacks a conscious intention to lie or cause harm, is morally culpable, because it is neglectful of moral duties to others in speaking about them.

Limitation: In this references directory I focused mainly on individual public figures who create or repeat propaganda, not corporate entities or media sites, mainly because others (1,2,3,4,5) have already worked more on network analysis of media sites already, as there are fewer of them and it is somewhat easier to collect the data, and because otherwise I would never finish.

Corporate Assadist propaganda example (3):

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Propaganda and disinformation I think can be defined as distinct phenomena, but with a large overlap. Disinformation is one way of doing propaganda, but not the only way. I think of disinformation as concealing false fact claims in a complex layered mixture of truths and falsities. Propaganda usually includes disinformation but also uses other unreasonable means of persuasion, coercion, and erosion of the public goods necessary to resist totalitarianism.

‘Propaganda’ in this context I think means mainly unreasonable persuasion tactics, but I consider the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency’s DIDI definition of ‘information influence activities’ (p.9) also highly reasonable.

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Reasonable means and attempts to persuade people are not propaganda.

Strategic communications can include propaganda, but strategic communications can also be entirely reasonable and ethical in its means as well as its objects. Strategically selecting which news to report can also be reasonable persuasion when the purposes of selectively reporting, the intention to persuade and the limited scope are fairly clear and upfront.

‘Reasonable’ in this context I think means acting with a basic minimum standard of respect for the people represented in news or opinion and for the audience, not objectifying and instrumentalising the subjects, and not trying to persuade the audience of points which they would probably not accept if they were presented with the same factual, causal or moral claims explicitly and with at least some evidence or proper reasoning. Propaganda, I would say, by definition, attempts to persuade people by hiding the most relevant and important factual, causal and moral claims among true but not logically relevant facts or with irrelevant but emotionally stimulating verbal padding.

It is true that the UK FCO has funded some Syrian civilian opposition media organisations, and that is strategic communications, but in general I don’t think media funded by a State or regime, even if it has broad strategic purposes, is necessarily ‘propaganda’ — e.g. cases where State funding of public broadcasting would not be propaganda — a) a functioning democracy requires at least a minimum degree of commonality of the public sphere, I think that is a valid fundamental reason for publicly funded broadcasting, and if, or to the extent that, it does not practice unreasonable, dishonest or coercive means of persuasion, it is not propaganda; b) post-conflict transition from a society subjected to totalitarianism for 40+ years, as in Syria or Libya, requires growing civil society institutions, including developing a genuinely free democratic media, and in that sense it is strategic to fund civil media in transitional societies trying to emerge from conflict, without the funders necessarily even aiming to persuade people of anything in particular.

‘Disinformation’ means a complex strategic combination of truth and lies, designed to seem more credible than simple misinformation. Disinformation always starts with an element of truth that is used as an anchor to make the lies mixed in seem more credible. ‘Disinformation’ is not the same thing as ‘misinformation’, which is rather simply false. Disinformation is always a layered mixture of truth and lies, so it is to be expected to find some truth in it. The difficult problem with disinformation is that readers need to be more knowledgeable about the specific subject than what they’re presented with in order to be able to pick apart the truths and lies as they’re woven together. Many people imagine they know enough to be able to filter disinformation programming for real news, but that is mostly a Dunning-Kruger effect. [LK: ie “usually we do not know enough to know we do not know enough”]

Examples may make it clearer than further abstract definition at this point —

Disinformation, e.g. — Da’aesh obtained about 12% of its military equipment when they captured Mosul and obtained weapons that had been supplied by the USA to the Iraqi army —this part is true (Conflict Armament Research report, Weapons of the Islamic State, 2017; and a brief summary of that report, by Joanne Stocker in The Defense Post), but quickly layered up with — ‘America (and regional allies) secretly instigated, supports and controls Da’esh’ — this part is false (references);

Propaganda, e.g. — “NATO’s Islamist jihadis” — this is concealing a moral judgement into the terminology describing people, rather than justifying that judgement reasonably. There is a grain of truth in each of the three terms used but overall the description is very misleading. To dissect exactly how much of this description is true and how much is factually false or an unjust judgement on the people it refers to requires a long, complicated discussion with another reference list(s), [LK: author’s links here all appear to be informed arguments against given propaganda example] but ‘a lie can be halfway around the world while the truth is still getting its boots on’, so simple propaganda repeated often has a competitive advantage in the consumerist ‘marketplace of ideas’, which is also a competition for the commodity of attention, since information now is only valued inasmuch as it agrees with consumers’ subjective preferences, or if it is entertaining, without any sense of duty to be fairly objective about the Other. [LK: author elsewhere points to lack of interest in ordinary Syrians among consumers of pro-Assad propaganda, and so lack of interest in researching issue]

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