HomeArticleThe Guardian Churns Out Embarrassingly Awful Empire Propaganda

The Guardian Churns Out Embarrassingly Awful Empire Propaganda

Listen to a reading of this article:

The Guardian has put out a smear piece on critics of the imperial Syria narrative that reads like propaganda made by seven year-olds without adult supervision.

The article was initially released under the headline “Russia-backed network of Syria conspiracy theorists identified,” which was then hastily edited to “Network of Syria conspiracy theorists identified,” because the article does not even make an attempt to argue that all of the so-called “conspiracy theorists” it smears are backed by the Russian government. It claims only that the Russian government has at times cited and amplified information about Syria which is inconvenient for the US empire, which, you know, duh. Obviously it’s going to do that.

Your first clue that you are reading brazen empire smut is the feature image The Guardian uses for the article: a cinematic shot of a member of the “White Helmets” heroically carrying a child in front of a destroyed building. The photo is credited to Sameer Al-Doumy, whose own website describes him as an anti-Assad activist since childhood. Even if you knew nothing about the Syrian conflict or the White Helmets narrative control operation, if you knew anything at all about propaganda and how it’s used you would still instantly recognize that photo for what it is.

Your next clue that you’re reading a very, very obvious piece of empire propaganda is that the article’s author Mark Townsend makes no attempt to justify his claims. He names a few people he claims are guilty of “disseminating disinformation” like Vanessa Beeley, Eva Bartlett and Aaron Maté, but, rather than presenting arguments and evidence that the claims those individuals have circulated are false, he simply asserts that it is so and moves on.

Your next clue is this line:

“Since 2020, journalist Aaron Maté at the Grayzone is said by the report to have overtaken Beeley as the most prolific spreader of disinformation among the 28 conspiracy theorists identified.”

Anyone who follows Maté’s reporting knows that he is an extremely careful journalist who only makes claims he knows he can back up with hard facts. As far as I know, to this day nobody has even attempted to refute his excellent reporting on the role of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in manipulating its own investigation into an alleged chlorine gas attack in Douma, Syria in 2018.

Maté says Townsend made no attempt to contact him before sending this incendiary accusation out into the world, a glaring yet unsurprising breach of standard journalistic ethics.

Your next clue that this is a propagandistic smear piece disguised as a news story is Townsend’s sourcing. The article revolves around a report by The Syria Campaign based on information gathered by a think tank called the Institute for Strategic Dialogue. As The Grayzone’s Max Blumenthal documented in 2016, The Syria Campaign is an imperial narrative management operation that is registered as a private company in the UK and has lots of shady connections and funding. The Institute for Strategic Dialogue is funded directly by the US and UK governments and a whole host of other US-aligned nations, as well as the foundations of western oligarchs like Bill Gates, Pierre Omidyar and George Soros.

Townsend’s other sources for his smear piece are “Farouq Habib, White Helmets deputy manager,” and an unnamed “former official at the US Department of State.”

Yeah. Don’t think we need to say much more about that.

The Syria Campaign’s report contains no more evidence or substantiation than Townsend’s mindless regurgitations. It simply redefines the word “disinformation” to mean “information I don’t like,” and then discusses data about people whom it has deemed guilty of spreading that category of information. It defines extensively well-evidenced information like leaked documents from whistleblowers in the OPCW as “disinformation”, and then on that absurd basis convicts journalists like Aaron Maté of “disseminating disinformation” for reporting on it.

The Syria Campaign’s report contains blatantly ridiculous claims, like the nonsensical assertion that people who’ve said the “White Helmets” aren’t what they purport to be have somehow caused its members to be killed:

Of all the ham-fisted propaganda I’ve seen The Guardian churn out over the years, this article was definitely one of the worst. Not quite on the level of its notoriously bogus but still-unretracted Assange-Manafort report, but it’s right up near the top.

In 2019 Declassified UK put out a report on how The Guardian lost all semblance of journalistic integrity when it was successfully absorbed into the British national security machine not long after it published the Edward Snowden leaks in 2013. This tracks with comments made by Australian journalist John Pilger that there had been a “purge” of critical anti-imperialist voices around that time.

“My written journalism is no longer welcome in the Guardian which, three years ago, got rid of people like me in pretty much a purge of those who really were saying what the Guardian no longer says any more,” Pilger said in a January 2018 radio interview.

Because of its apparent respectability and ostensible place on the leftish side of the political spectrum, The Guardian plays a crucial role in manipulating public perception in a way that advantages the empire. Whether that’s smearing people who question the imperial line on Syria, smearing Assange, or smearing Jeremy Corbyn, it provides a pathway into the minds of a crucial sector of the population who would respond to such manipulations more critically if they came from conservative publications.

In reality The Guardian is no less propagandistic than the Murdoch press, and is frequently more destructive due to its ability to market right-wing horrors to an unsuspecting demographic who otherwise wouldn’t buy what they’re selling. It pushes the same agendas, and it serves the same empire. The Guardian is just Fox News for people who eat organic produce.


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Latest comments

  • “Because of its apparent respectability and ostensible place on the leftish side of the political spectrum, The Guardian plays a crucial role in manipulating public perception in a way that advantages the empire. Whether that’s smearing people who question the imperial line on Syria, smearing Assange, or smearing Jeremy Corbyn, it provides a pathway into the minds of a crucial sector of the population who would respond to such manipulations more critically if they came from conservative publications.”

    Democracy Now! serves the same function in the US.

  • The Guardian is SHIT. It’s a stinking, steaming pile of SHIT and has been since their articles revealing the 2013 Snowden leaks about NSA/CIA mass global surveillance. The UK government raided Guardian offices, took their hard drives, and then took over its editorial board and made it part of the Ministry of Defense propaganda operations. Since then, the Guardian has had a UK military person on their board of directors, directing what they publish. Having read the Guardian back in 2003 during the American invasion of Iraq, they still had some journalistic independence; but it totally, completely changed into a USA/UK military psy-op propaganda organ after the 2013 Snowden debacle and began to publish the kind of shit they now pump out nonstop, i.e. shrill “Russia is evildoer!!!” baseless war propaganda articles ad nauseam. I quit reading the Graun (pejorative nickname for The Guardian) after its post-Snowden demise in 2013. I couldn’t stand it. I mean why? Why subject yourself to the kind of shit propaganda pieces Caitlin describes in detail in this article? There’s no need to read that shit. There are so many other quality independent journalists like Andrei Martyanov, Eric Zuesse, Max Blumenthal, Eva Bartlett, Ben Norton, Doug Valentine, etc.

  • I am interested to hear what the Guardian has to say about Julian Assange so that one can see their true colors. The three journalists under the spotlight come across as genuine and highly professional in their work. If you wanna know what life was like for honest journalists under apartheid, take the way these outstanding journalists are being targeted. Day by day, it is becoming apparent that freedoms in the so-called democracies were never cast in concrete as the rulers would like us to believe. The wheels are coming off the whole Western way of life as a result of the curtailing of factual reporting by despotic bureaucrats. The obsession with what China or Putin are doing or not doing on the part of Western elites doesn’t make sense at all when they are so hell-bent on distorting the truth to keep us all in the dark.

    • The Guardian’s coverage of Assange’s plight seems pretty thin on the ground. Whenever there’s a significant event like Priti Patel last Friday opening one of the penultimate doors between Julian and life in supermax, they report the bare bones.

      Opinion pieces on JA, to my recollection, are pretty milquetoast and never have comments enabled.

      Where I’ve mentioned JA in a comment under a tangentially related artice, they have been invisibly removed, without the usual ‘this comment removed as it did not adhere’ blah blah. I have screenshots documenting this.

      Literally Orwellian. If I was an activist or journalist of Assange or Mate’s stripe, I’d be frightened. As I’m just a regular Aussie bloke, I’m merely livid.

      • haven’t read the Guardian for years, but they published a lot of smear articles on Assange when I was did. they also never retracted the Luke Harding article claiming Assange secretly met Manafort (3 times iirc) in the Ecuadoran Embassy, one of the most surveilled places on the planet.

  • Just came across this total B/S:
    ‘New UK Army chief issues Russia rallying cry’
    The new head of the British Army has issued a rallying cry to troops – telling them they need to be ready to face Russia on the battlefield.

    Gen Sir Patrick Sanders, who started the job last week, addressed all ranks and civil servants in an internal message on 16 June, seen by the BBC.

    Russia’s invasion of Ukraine shows the need “to protect the UK and be ready to fight and win wars on land”, he says.

    He adds the Army and allies must now be “capable of…defeating Russia”.
    Yep, just as soon as his finished in Ukraine, next on Vlad’s list is the invasion of Britain! The most despicable thing about these people is not only that they could have prevented the war in Ukraine and all the death and destruction and carnage by addressing Russia’s legitimate security concerns, but they would ALSO have people believe that Russia poses a potential threat to Britain, or some European Nato member country! It is of course just a Blind to reinforce the idea in peoples’ heads that Putin has grandiose ambitions of empire building, and that the military action has nothing to do with Nato’s eastward expansion.
    And in another BBC article there’s yet MORE of the same B/S:
    Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky has warned Russia will intensify its attacks on his country in the coming days, as Kyiv awaits news on its bid to join the EU.
    And Mr Zelensky warned other EU members that they too could expect retaliation from Moscow in the coming days.
    “Obviously, we should expect greater hostile activity from Russia,” he said. “And not only against Ukraine, but also against other European countries.”

    • Not even mentioning other planets whose leaders former EU president Jean-Claude Juncker said he’d met. They were worried about Brexit then he said. They must be apoplectic about the Russian invasion! Who’s gonna come up with that one now that Juncker is gone?
      Anyway, as Voltaire remarked, “those who can be made to believe absurdities can be made to commit atrocities”. And also “it is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere”.

      • the last one is a great quote I’ve never heard before.

    • What is surprising is how quickly they have abandoned their Brexit/Pandemic hoaxes and sprang back into European collective affairs with gusto.Honest and hard working UK citizens have been duped big time by these moneyed elites that their country was done with being dictated to by foreigners. Like the election of Joe Biden, the whole Brexit exercise was a hoax just as is the call to arms to conceal their failures and crimes.

  • Syria is one of many places where a sensible person should not support any side.

    • Bullshit.

      • That’s a bright response. The spelling is good so I’m guessing you have copy/paste down.

        If you live in Syria then do what you have to do.

        If you don’t live in Syria then please leave.

    • A”sensible” person wouldn’t make such an idiotic comment as yours. You are obviously insensible. The US , its European stooges and its appendages in the levant and Asia minor. -Israel and Turkey – created the war in Syria to advance their seedy economic and political objectives…any “sensible” person would find this abhorrent and objectively unacceptable, no matter what their badly informed opinions of Syria are.

      • Maybe “sensible person” above is one who suspects that Nato wars are not really what the official media is telling but they are not bothered about all that, what counts as sensible varies a lot.

        • They aren’t ‘Nato wars’, they are globalist wars. All sides ultimately have the same leadership at the top.

          Anybody who defends Assad junior is as stupid as anybody who defends those who carefully keep him alive so his followers can be fought.

          Every side is filled with idiots who are sure they have it all figured out, but idiots are still idiots.

      • I remember when Hafez al Assad was in the news regularly.
        The only “seedy economic and political objectives”, as you put it, are war.

        There is no secret endgame, aside from endless war.

        Both Assad’s puppetmaster and “The US , its European stooges and its appendages in the levant and Asia minor. -Israel and Turkey –”, as you put it, are on the same side.

        Once the dollar decline accelerates and there is a strong push for isolationist policies around the globe the countries in that region will form a unified bloc and the globalist pawns you see as powers will be put in their place.

        In the mean time, if you support any side you are supporting those who control all sides.

        Look at Lebanon right near by. Effectively the exact same situation as Syria, but without the armed conflict at the moment.

        Somebody might first look at Israel as the culprit until they step back and look at how Israel is used the same way as Lebanon and Syria.

        Syria and Lebanon will exist in ten years.

  • The manipulated OPCW report about Douma is par for the course when reminded of threats made to then OPCW head Bustani—who was negotiating an agreement with Saddam to allowed unannounced OPCW weapons inspections in Iraq (before the invasion). Bolton’s “we know where your kids live” is a post 9/11 line for our times, exemplifying the extent of moral degradation that power-seekers stoop to. And of course the Syrian tragedy, well-covered by actual journalists Beeley and Bartlett (who went there), shows just how vile, malevolent, & merciless state-sponsored terrorism can get. The motherfuckers set them some new standards. I think they’re still reaching,

    • As Voltaire wrote about John Bolton, “the human brain is a complex organ with the wonderful power of enabling man to find reasons for continuing to believe what he wants to believe”. He forgot the best part though: “Especially if there’s money in it” :o)

      • Man, Voltaire was really something. Such “power” in truth.

  • The twin tragedy of the people who produce this pond scum and then the folk who ingest it.

  • MediaLens compiled a list of 107 Guardian articles regarding anti-semitism and Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party published in the space of just one year, from September 2017 to September 2018:

    • Up until he was elected leader of the Labour Party, and during the time Jeremy Corbyn was leader, Keir Starmer kept a low profile regarding the anti-semitism blitz, and until just now, I’d never come across an article in which he throws his tuppence worth into the ring, but here’s a Guardian piece from April 2018:

      Keir Starmer hits back at McCluskey in Labour antisemitism row

      • I wonder who put Starmer there… Anyway, while they’re dealing with anti-Semitism (a kind of war on terror on steroids), they won’t break balls about wages, food shortages and gas prices.

  • Rational Liars (it’s just a job) https://drjohnsblog.substack.com/p/rational-liars
    There are recent rumors that “the west’ will try to inflict punishment upon non-rules-following Russia in Syria, presumably with a coalition-of-the-willing, which might be cagey Turkey and entitled Israel, both of which have relations with Russia and are variously hesitant to really piss-off the bear.
    I can imagine that Judoka Vladimir would “use the opponent’s own force against them” in such a setting.
    That might be a dramatic reversal.
    Syria-the-underdog winning against the empire would mean what?
    What would be a big prize? Just wondering.

    • The big prize would be the rat bastards of western finance capital fucking off and taking their illegally deployed troops out of Syria..

  • “Maté says Townsend made no attempt to contact him before sending this incendiary accusation out into the world, a glaring yet unsurprising breach of standard journalistic ethics”.

    That’s old standard journalistic ethics. New standard journalistic ethics in corporate media are “never let the truth get in the way of a hit piece”.

    So of course, you don’t call the guy.

    You’ve got to admire the way they spin their shit though. They first tell their readers in passing that cows have five legs. If there is no pushback – and there usually isn’t any because most of those readers don’t go to the country much and even if they do, they won’t see cows because they’re raised in battery cages on top of one another until they reach the weight to be slaughtered and sliced into little pieces that will end up in shrink-wrapped trays in supermarkets before you get a chance to count their legs -, they repeat it again and again until the fact that cows have five legs becomes self-evident.

    Then it can be selected for hit pieces as part of the readers’ credo. They write: “Imagine Thingamajig’s credibility! He claimed that cows have four legs!”

    Consternation among the readers: “Honey, can you imagine that? Thingamajig just claimed cows have four legs!”

    “You don’t say! What’s the world coming to if guys like this are allowed to spread such obvious Russian disinformation in total impunity!”

    Each presstitute has his own string of bullshit that he’s trained his readers to believe. The fact of not having to support it with evidence (the belief, the illusion) is what bonds them together. They belong! As Montaigne wrote, “nothing is so firmly believed as that which we least know”.

    Einstein once made a horrible answer to a journalist who asked him if he believed in God. He replied: “Tell me what you mean by God and I’ll tell you if I believe in it”.

    Isn’t that horrible? It’s like I saw a guy once asking people in the street 1/ if they believed in American values, to which of course people answered yes and 2/ what American values were.

    Couldn’t get crueller than that! If you’re asked if you believe in God or in the American values, you’ve got two options: 1/ yes and you’re a good guy (TM) 2/ no and you’re a bad guy (TM).

    Of course, there are some atheists out there but they don’t usually carry out this kind of inquiries in the streets. On the whole, you’re adopted as a good guy (TM) if you believe in God and in the American values. You belong!

    Asking on top of it what God and the American values are is the sure sign of a convoluted mind. The people asked couldn’t come up with an answer, which confirms. The guy who asks this is a pervert who will start stealing old ladies’ purses, robbing stores at gunpoint and finally end up not going to mass on Sundays…

  • After an epic scamdemic and Ukraine some outcomes are crystal clear about the future:
    1) The US, EU and Great Britain don’t have any moral credibility. It is forever marked with iron and fire in their foreheads – LIARS.
    2) Not counting European-Turkey oil and gas companies just a few people are aware that Nord stream 1 is closed for “maintenance”. Somehow I don’t know what a EU membership will mean for ukraine because no gas in Europe and Ukraine is not enough to warm up the couch besides logs and coal to provide some insulation against the cold winter. Israel a couple of weeks ago announced it would provide gas for Europe. Turns out the gas to be provided is from Lebanon as soon as Israel could be able to seize Lebanese gas. But after losing its own war games a two weeks ago they had to cancel gas supplies for Europe because they cannot steal anything from anyone anymore. My bet is that perhaps the US and Great Britain will be expelled by force from the Middle East to never return. Things are hidden for now but it will become clear in the coming months.
    3) US and Great Britain are on the verge to expelled from Asia by force for good. No one wants them there anymore but mafia and terrorists graduate by CIA-Mossad-MI6 will miss them a lot.
    4) Assange coming for America like a modern version of Jesus, Krishna, Zoroaster, Rama has everything to make public hate towards the White House come up.
    5) I hope all American politicians end up beheaded by their own citizens as soon they realize there is no more empire but reality.

  • There’s a science to marketing. Whether it’s selling wars or cheeseburgers, it’s the same basic approach.

    • And what’s really depressing is that even the best, most courageously independent voices must now market themselves relentlessly, as in please click “like”, subscribe, re-tweet, become a patron, spread the word to your friends, etc. Self-promotion and truth-telling do not fit well together. Few run this gauntlet with as much integrity and class as the author of this extraordinary blog.

  • White helmets, Black flags. Photos of infants victims of previous conflicts regurgitated for your viewing fear porn pleasure

  • The Guardian is the NY Times of Great Britain.

    • not bad, but i liked caitlin’s line better: ‘The Guardian is just Fox News for people who eat organic produce.’

  • ….it’s a cookbook!….from the amerikkkanamits with their bullshit constitutions, declarations, and bibles waved around as the salvation of humankind….530 years of white supremacist cuisine……..

  • Two things really highlight the stupidity of the smears against Aaron Mate:

    1. Anytime someone uses the term, “conspiracy theory,” or its permutations, as a form of justifying their attacks against someone, they don’t have any ammo in their attack;
    2. Do any of these “think tanks” do any valuable thinking? It seems they are always the ones that promote all the propaganda of the Empire, but attach a group name to their bad ideas so that the Empire isn’t blamed.

  • “The Guardian is just Fox News for people who eat organic produce.” Thanks for your commentary. The confirmation bias so prevalent in the sheeple deserves to be called out.

    • Much organic produce is not really organic and technically they are the same. MSM is similar. They try to act different but are actually all the same. Mouthpieces for the government.

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