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Correspondence with Q&A on Syria and balanced reporting

For the record, the below is a partial record of correspondence between Susan Dirgham, National Coordinator of 'Australians for Reconciliation in Syria', and Q&A, the Australian television program. Like most Australian media outlets, the ABC almost invariably presents Syria in a squewed, ahistoric manner that supports the continued and disastrous interference by the US, NATO and its allies in the region, maintaining war.

"The Australian newspaper is like a free market Pravda." (Dr Jeremy Salt)

Why does the mass media support false government narratives that justify our support or participation in deadly wars? Media analyst, Jeremy Salt and Susan Dirgham of Australians for Reconciliation in Syria, explore this perplexing question that shapes our times and our future.

Video & Transcript: Women's Rights in Syria and a History of Western interventions in the region

Susan Dirgham of AMRIS talks with Middle East and propaganda scholar, Jeremy Salt, about the history of western interventions in the Middle East and in Syria. She asks why the mainstream press don't tell westerners how Syria is secular and has good women's rights; women got the vote there in 1947. This article is summary plus transcript from the video of Part One of Politics and war in Syria: Susan Dirgham interviews Jeremy Salt. Susan Dirham is convener of Australians for Reconciliation in Syria (AMRIS) and Jeremy Salt is a scholar of Media propaganda and the Middle East
Jeremy Salt begins by talking about 19th century history of interventions in the Middle East, then about intervention in Iraq in 1990s. The UN ran this nominally, but really England and United States did. Two UN humanitarians objected to the inhumanity of economic sanctions against Iraq, possibly even mentioned ‘genocide’: they were Denis Halliday and Hans von Sponeck. [1] To Susan’s question, Dr Salt agrees that UN personnel no longer speak out. On the subject of the 2003 ‘weapons of mass destruction’: The use of no-fly zones to conduct aerial bombardments. [2] Libya. No-fly zone fig leaf. Syria: they wanted to get a UN resolution for a no-fly zone, but Russia and China blocked this with the UN. Next best thing [sic] was to pull down the government of Damascus by using armed gangs – mercenaries. From 2011 until now and still [the west]have not reached their main objective, which is the destruction of the government in Damascus, but they have destroyed a large part of Syria. This is similar to the Sandinista template of mercenaries used in Nicaragua.

“Australians for Reconciliation in Syria” (AMRIS) condemns Australian participation in an illegal war in Syria

This article has since been republished on the Syrian Free Press Network.

Following a meeting in Melbourne Australia of “Australians for Reconciliation in Syria” (AMRIS) today, 3 September 2015, spokesperson David Macilwain said that AMRIS unequivocally condemns atrocities committed by ‘Islamic State’ in Syria.

AMRIS deplores, however, the decision by the Australian Government to follow the lead of the United States in taking military action against IS within the borders of Syria, one of the founding members of the United Nations, without the consent of the Syrian Government.

Question David Kilcullen's war message: Letter to Geraldine Doogue from Susan Dirgham, AMRIS

In Geraldine Doogue's interview with war strategist David Kilcullen on ABC's Saturday Extra (Blood Year, 23 May 2015), there was every sign that Ms Doogue accepted his point of view without question despite his being someone who works closely with the deadly U.S. war machine in Iraq and the region. Yes, Kilcullen is an ‘expert’ in that he has spent time in the ME and he has studied terrorism. He is eloquent. He is personable. He is an Aussie: he seems calm and reasonable. But in his work for the U.S. military, what truths does he omit, what ‘facts’ does he invent?

Letter to Mr Turnbull, Communications Minister, on violence-inciting reporting on Syria

This is a letter to Malcolm Turnbull, Communications Minister, from Susan Dirgham of AMRIS. It draws his attention to the danger presented to Australia by biased reporting on Syria. Ms Dirgham points out that such biased reporting may have caused young Australians to join ISIS and other 'revolutionaries' in the mistaken impression that they were fighting for freedom. She also gives a link to where an Al-Jazeera reporter called for the genocide of Alawis in Syria and suggests that the tens of thousands of Alawis in Australia may not be immune from similar intimidation either. She asks Mr Turnbull to exercise some leadership in this matter. Candobetter.net Editor: We have updated this article (which initially contained the words of an email document sent yesterday) to reflect some changes in the wording of the hard copy which was sent today.

Video: Syria whom to support whom to trust? Impressive analysis from Susan Dirgham of AMRIS

How could we allow America, NATO, Israel or other Arab states to destroy something so ancient and valuable for all humanity as Syria - the last secular Arab state? Australian peace activist, Susan Dirgham, taught English for years in Syria and got to know the country and its people very well. She argues that, without deception and our complicity through ignorance, there could be no war in Syria. But how do we work out for ourselves what is really happening in Syria and who to help? We need to understand more of Syria's history and its geopolitical position, to which she provides insight here. Just as we need to severely question the notion of US-NATO presenting a 'majority' opinion, we also need to very carefully assess what NGOs are doing in Syria. Susan is the national co-ordinator of “Australians for Mussalaha (Reconciliation) in Syria" (AMRIS). She has travelled very widely and even lived in China before it was opened to the West. When she speaks she provides testable facts and does not talk down to her audience or ask for money. Please consider asking her to speak. You may contact her at susan.dirgham51[AT[gmail.com. There is a question and answer session at the end of this video.

Dangerous bias in terror wars : Formal Complaint to Audience and Consumer Affairs, Australian Broadcasting Commission

Ed. Title, "Dangerous bias in terror wars" added by candobetter.net editor to help readers identify content. This article contains a complaint about ABC reporting bias which editors at candobetter.net believe has immediate grave consequences with respect to war crimes. Candobetter.net is publishing it in an attempt to increase the prospects for it to receive adequate and remedial attention from the ABC, which we believe could save many lives and contribute to descale events that threaten to escalate into a third world war. The complaint concerns a Radio National AM program presented by Chris Uhlmann with reporter Matt Brown, entitled, "Mixed Response from Syrian rebels to American-led war on IS."

Australian-Syrian org begs Obama to work with Syrian Government against ISIL

Update 13 Sep 14: Embedded Syrian Girl video The ISIS Syrian Rebel Debacle Decoded added as Appendix.

Syria could be America’s key ally against ISIL and other terror groups. Instead, the U.S. has chosen to align with Saudi Arabia, a country where churches are banned and women are not permitted to drive, and a country that has funded and directed much of the insurgency, both ‘moderate’ and extreme, in Syria. President Obama's latest military action decision ignores the work of journalists Sotloft and Foley, who exposed brutality of so-called moderate rebels that Obama wants to arm. Australians for reconciliation in Syria call on the Australian and US governments to heed the wishes of the people of Syria; to support the Syrian army’s fight against terror groups; and to respect its right to work for peaceful political changes without foreign interference. We can honour our own freedoms, equalities and responsibilities in Australia by respecting those of Syrians.

Syrians say UN ignoring major atrocities in order to favor rebels

The video and letters here testify to eye-witness documentation of atrocities in Syria which Mussalaha Reconciliation Initiative in Syria spokespersons complain were ignored by the UN because they were committed by so-called ‘moderates’ supported by the US and or Saudi Arabia. The crimes ignored were so bad and so big that this accusation points to corruption in the UN on an alarming scale. Although the article summarises their content, the original letters relating to the complaint to the UN are included here. They are also published on the AMRIS site.

Kenneth Roth and “Human Rights Watch”: campaigners for war and terror in Syria

The war in Syria has entered its fourth year, yet “Human Rights Watch” and its executive director, Kenneth Roth effectively campaign for its prolongation. This article initially published on the AMRIS pages at http://australiansforreconciliationinsyria.org/kenneth-roth-and-human-rights-watch-campaigners-for-war-and-terror-in-syria/

Politics of international aid and Syria

Has capitalism, corporatisation and globalisation corrupted big international aid organisations. Is there some way we can boost the grass-roots activists and reinforce whatever is still working within troubled countries like Syria. And what are we doing there, anyway? AMRIS interview inside.

What is happening in Syria - update from Mother Agnes Mariam

In Adra, Syria, in parts controlled by the 'rebels', more than 2,500 people have been abducted. No one knows their fate, however, according to reliable reports, scores of women taken hostage are raped and exhibited naked on balconies every day. Children have been thrown from roofs as the army has advanced. Inside we have embedded a video with statements from people who have survived in Adra. The Syrian government may be making some headway, however, against the terror. As reported here in another embedded video, there has been heartening reconciliation and amnesty between 'rebels' and the government in Babbila, Yalda, and Beit Sahem, three country towns in Damascus. Australia should not interfere with Syrian government attempts to restore order. They are Syria's only hope, although you will not hear this in the mainstream news, like the ABC or Murdoch papers.

AMRIS response to calls for military action against Syria

Breaking news : (30 August, 11:30AM GMT+10) UK Parliament votes against war

In response to an as yet unattributed use of chemical weapons in Syria, the US and its allies are seriously considering military action against including surgical air strikes in Syria. Australians for Mussalaha (Reconciliation) in Syria (AMRIS), regards these proposals as an extreme escalation of the conflict. Updates inside.

Report and films of remarkable AMRIS Forum for Peace in Syria, Melbourne 6 March 2013

This is the text of the introductory speech by Susan Dirgham to what turned out to be an uplifting evening on the politics of war in Syria, as interpreted by members of AMRIS (Australians for Mussalaha (Reconciliation) in Syria). The speakers formed a panel of two young women and one man, all with different connections to Syria and different perspectives. The level of political sophistication was very high, impressive, and stimulating. For those of you who were not able to attend the Unitarian Church on Wednesday 6 March, I filmed the event in four films. The films are embedded in this article and available at http://youtu.be/HifmWKE0cg4; http://youtu.be/exoNr8r4UEU; http://youtu.be/BpWjdzlOheg and http://youtu.be/obw4M40CeDM

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