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Susan Dirgham

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.

Video and Transcript: Politics and war in Syria: Part One. Susan Dirgham interviews Jeremy Salt

Susan Dirgham is convener of Australians for Reconciliation in Syria (AMRIS) and Jeremy Salt is a scholar of Media propaganda and the Middle East. In Part One, they discuss the history of western interventions in the Middle East and the most recent in Syria. Then, on western mass media, Susan raises the question of why we don't hear about how Syria is a secular country, with women's rights and where women were granted the vote in 1949. Below is a mixture of description, summary and transcript. If you want to cite exactly, then you would need to listen to the video.
PART ONE:

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.

Tonight! Box Hill - 6 Nov 7.30pm: Speakers: 'Peacemaking in Islamic Traditions' and 'Valuing Secularism in Syria'

Speakers are Susan Day Dirgham, on “Valuing Secularism in Syria” and Fr Bruce Duncan, on “Peacemaking in Islamic traditions”. This is a Social Policy Connections Public Forum at The Study Centre, Yarra Theological Union. Best entry via 34 Bedford Street, Box Hill. The forum will go from 7:30pm - 9pm, Thursday 6 November.

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.

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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