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An open letter to ABC Melbourne Local Radio's Jon Faine

On Tuesday 24 of July I phoned Jon Faine's ABC local Melbourne Radio 774 program in an attempt to put a view about Syria to his listeners that was different to what had so far been put to them by Jon Faine and the corporate newsmedia. I was eventually told to ring back tomorrow. I intend to do so, but have decided to also put this letter to Jon Faine on the public record on the Internet. Updates: Jon Faine does not have a view on Syria!? does not consider Syria important!? - 8:40AM; My anti-war views censored by ABC 'talk-back' radio, 10:00AM See also: Who is fighting in Syria? of 24 July by Thierry Meyssan on, US Prepares For Direct Intervention in Syria of 22 July by Tony Cartalucci on candobetter.

On Tuesday 24 of July I phoned Jon Faine's ABC local Melbourne Radio 774 program in an attempt to put a view about Syria to his listeners that was different to what had so far been put to them by Jon Faine and the corporate newsmedia. I had phoned once earlier in the morning and was told to ring back at 10:20AM. When I did I was put on hold for 20 minutes until the listeners' open line ended at 11:00AM . I was then told to ring back tomorrow. I intend to do so, but have decided to also put this letter to Jon Faine on the public record on the Internet.

Dear John Faine,

On your ABC Local Melbourne Radio 774 Morning program you have depicted the long-running conflict in Syria, as you did the Libyan conflict of last year, as a popular uprising against the supposedly brutal supposed dictatorship of Bashar al-Assad.

For my part, I have extensively researched the Syrian conflict, for example on the site Global Research, the URL of which I texted you on Wednesday 18 July[1]. I have found all of the claims made against the Syrian government to have been fabrications conjured up on behalf of the US Government, NATO, Arab dictatorships, Israel and the corporate interests they serve.

The truth about Syria is that its government enjoys the support of most of its people. It seems more than likely to me that this is because, unlike the governments of its enemies including the US, Canada, and their European NATO allies, the Arab dictatorships and Israel, it has acted in past years to put the interests of its people ahead of international corporations.

Given that the leaders of the countries sponsoring the so-called "Free Syrian Army" (FSA) terrorists in Syria are known have lied repeatedly[2] through the past two decades in order to provide pretexts to wage illegal wars against Iraq and Afghanistan in which many hundreds of thousands have died, I fail to understand how you have come to so uncritically accept the latest collection of fabrications by these same proven liars.

Even if you are unable to see through the lies against the Syrian government at least you cannot be unaware that others, including me, hold views which are different to yours. So why not give others a chance to express a different view to your listeners and let them make up their own minds? Surely, if you are confident that your own point of view is backed up by evidence and logic then what have you to fear from free and open discussion on your program?

See also

Who is fighting in Syria?

of 24 July by Thierry Meyssan on

Though the Western press portrays the Free Syrian Army as an armed revolutionary group, for more than a year Thierry Meyssan has affirmed that it is on the contrary a counter-revolutionary body. According to him, it would have progressively passed from the hands of reactionary monarchies in the Gulf to those of Turkey, acting for NATO. Such a non-mainstream affirmation needs demonstrative proof...

US Prepares For Direct Intervention in Syria of 22 July by Tony Cartalucci on candobetter.


Unsuccessful attempt to put my anti-war view to ABC listeners

8:40AM, 25 July 2012: I have posted this open letter to the ABC radio contact form. Then I phoned 1300 222 774 and spoke to Jon Faine's telephone receptionist. I was told again to ring the open line at 10.35AM unless Jon Faine chose the Syrian conflict as a topic of interest for discussion on his program before then. My name and the topic I wished to discuss would be listed on his computer screen and should Jon Fain decide that Syria was of interest I would be given an opportunity to speak. I pointed out that people who wanted to discuss topics that I consider far less pressing than the threatened breakout of war in Syria, which could easily cost tens of thousands of lives, had been selected by Jon Faine in preference to me yesterday.

If the Syrian Charge D'Affairs Jawdat Ali -- has been expelled from Australia as a consequence of the fabricated claim that the Syrian government had committed the massacre at Houla and if Australia has applied economic sanctions against Syria how could Faine consider the Syrian conflict not of concern to him and his audience?

She also claimed that Jon Faine had not expressed a personal view on Syria, an absurd claim in my view given that he has uncritically conveyed to his listeners misleading reports about Syria and has, so far, only allowed people who supported the mainstream media deception to speak on his program. A specific example is a Syrian Australian "Michael", who repeated the mainstream lies about Syria. Members of the Syrian Australian community who support their government have not been able to put their views on Jon Faine a far as I am aware. According to Blogger Syd Walker Syrian Australians who have expressed support for the Assad government have face death threats and drive by shootings.

Anti-war views censored by ABC 'talk-back' radio

10:00AM: As instructed, I phoned in at 10:38AM and was put on hold. As I feared, Jon Faine did not allow me to speak. Instead, during the ensuing 18 minutes until the 10:00AM news he spoke to: past Olympic gold medallist, Cathy Freeman, four people about the problem of foxes in urban Melbourne, one person about the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games.


[1] I texted to Jon Faine on the 18 July: Why not inform yourself & and your listeners of the facts about Syria @ ?

[2] Two such lies include the incubator babies' lie of 1990, which was used to gain public acceptance of US plans to wage war against Iraq in 1991 and the Iraqi Weapons of Mass Destruction lie used to provide a pretext to launch the 2003 invasion of Iraq. (Of course, it is beyond the pale, in the respectable circles in which Jon Faine mixes, to even dream of questioning the pretext used to justify the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan.)

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Published on PressTV on 25 July 2012.

Syrian security forces and armed gangs are currently fighting in the cities of Aleppo and Homs, while calm has returned to most parts of the capital, Damascus, Press TV reports.

Foreign-backed armed rebels have attacked security checkpoints in Aleppo, while there have been reports of sporadic clashes between Syrian troops and armed groups in Homs.

The security forces are battling rebels in the al-Bab and Sha'ar districts of Aleppo, where many members of the armed opposition have reportedly surrendered.

Syrian security forces engaged the rebels all across the country on Tuesday, with Naher Aisheh, a suburb of Damascus, being the latest area fully cleared of foreign-backed armed gangs. Most neighborhoods are now calm in the capital.

Meanwhile, security forces have foiled repeated attempts by armed groups to infiltrate into Syrian territory from neighboring countries.

Syria has been experiencing unrest since March 2011, with demonstrations being held both against and in support of President Bashar al-Assad's government.

The Syrian government says outlaws, saboteurs, and armed terrorists are the driving factor behind the unrest and deadly violence while the opposition accuses the security forces of being behind the killings.

Damascus also says that the chaos is being orchestrated from outside the country and the security forces have been given clear instructions not to harm civilians.

See also: Syrian forces destroy armed gangs hideout in Homs, seize weapons of 16 July 2012, Syrian forces, gunmen clash in Aleppo of 22 July 2012, Syrian troops clear Khan Sheikhun in Idlib of armed groups of  July 2012, Syrian forces kill terrorists in Douma suburb of the capital Damascus of 29 June 2012, Calm restored in Damascus, fighting continues in Homs, Aleppo of 24 July 2012.

Published last month on PressTV on 22 June

Armed groups fighting against the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad have killed 25 more civilians in the northern province of Aleppo.

According to Syria’s official news agency, SANA, the massacre took place in Daret Azzeh area in Aleppo countryside on Friday and the victims had been kidnapped by armed gangs earlier in the day.

Some reports suggest that the victims are all government supporters. Many civilians are still being held by the terrorists and their fate remains unknown.

Meanwhile, the United Nations has announced that 1.5 million people are in need of humanitarian aid in Syria and that the growing violence was seriously hampering aid deliveries.

Damascus has also said that armed groups are hampering rescue efforts in the crisis-hit city of Homs by opening fire at the International Red Crescent and the Syrian Red Cross delegation trying to evacuate the wounded, the elders, children and women from the city.

Syrian authorities say terrorist groups are holding nearly 5,000 civilians hostage in Homs, who are in need of immediate help.

Syria has been experiencing a deadly unrest since mid-March 2011, the violence has claimed the lives of many people, including large numbers of security forces.

While the West and the Syrian opposition say the government is responsible for the killings, Damascus blames ''outlaws, saboteurs and armed terrorist groups'' for the unrest, insisting that it is being orchestrated from abroad.

I noticed that Jon Faine had as a guest a woman who had once managed the ABC. She was talking about the political pressure on management over content, which she conveyed was heavy. If Jon Faine wanted listeners to hear the other side, maybe it wouldn't be worth his career. It is as if we are at war with Syria already and no-one is allowed to raise any questions about our attitude because there are troops there. It is like an information lockdown in wartime. But we are not at war with Syria and we have no troops there. howevver there are troops there - mercenaries - as is reported far and wide on the internet.

Does Faine have time to know what the other side is anyway? He seems to spend most of his time talking to the Lord Mayor of Melbourne and a few others about what a great thing more roads and houses is.

Someone has to pose the questions you are posing, anyway. Now we have a record that we did not have before the non-existent weapons of mass destruction started this whole sequence of invasions off.

Since we hardly ever hear a peep from the Syrian community in Victoria on this, it sounds like they might disagree with the government position (as promoted by the ABC) and just not dare say how upset they all are about a bunch of westerners supplying mercenaries and weapons to destabilising forces there.

774's line up this week, 5.30am-6pm; Red Symons, Jon Faine, Libbi Gorr, Rafael Epstein. It's all very cultish and clubby. The bias is just as obvious in the "Conversation Hour". It should be called "Voice for our mates hour".

What chance have you got with a view that is anything other than sycophantically pro-Israel and pro-Zionist with such gate keepers? What would happen if any other ethnic minority had such a stranglehold on the public broadcaster? It is a very strange situation. Is there only one talented ethnicity in Australia? The national broadcaster has been captured by a specific agenda.

Whilst we have serious concerns about Israel's role in fomenting terrorism against Syria and promoting threats against Iran, its nuclear weapons program and its brutal oppression of its native Palestinian population, we do not support antipathy towards any particular ethnic group. The Australia, US and British governments have similar policies. It is not clear how the military industrial complex arrives at such unity, but one assumes an interest in supporting a hegemony to dominate access to energy resources.

That said, we can only agree that diversity of political opinion going beyond narrow government policy on any public media commentating on international affairs, is sadly lacking in Australia. We did notice that the SBS evening news on Friday gave better coverage of Syria than the ABC or the Murdoch/Fairfax press have been giving. This was a welcome variation in SBS's otherwise narrow and dishonest reporting on this area previously.

Red Symons is neither Jewish, nor is he serious...although, perhaps his utter callousness regarding animals e.g if they are injured especially on our traffic laden roads is a way of lulling his listeners into not caring. His child like demeanor on his morning radio spot has been an absolute winner since he took over from the comparatively intense Lynne Haultain a few years ago. If you don't want to start the morning off with a jolt , Red Symons is your man. He engenders a feeling that everything is amusing and everything's all right. If you listen to Red Symons you may be able more easily to skim the surface and sail through the next hour or so of your day. This morning sedative is only available to Melbourne radio listeners.

On the other hand, you could just remain drunk.
(Instead of relying on the ABC as a sedative.)

This morning I caught about 3 minutes of Jon Faine’s show on the car radio. What I heard shocked me.

A man rang in saying that he had a friend who was a Muslim- a regular bloke who loves his “footy” . He said he had known this bloke for “long time, maybe 2 years”. This Muslim friend had come up with something to which he had no answer and he wanted to know what JF would have said to this person.

The Muslim man had said that he thought that stoning was an appropriate punishment for adultery.

The caller pressed JF to say how he would have reacted. JF said he would have ignored it as though the bloke were not serious. The caller insisted that the bloke was dead serious. JF said something like “well he is just quoting what his religion says on the matter, it doesn’t mean he is saying he would do it."

Co-host Sally Warhaft expressed surprise that JF would not condemn this. I had to turn the radio off so didn’t hear the rest and now would have to listen to the whole show to find it, but I was thinking, "God, JF should be given the sack for condoning anyone advocating stoning. There has been so much publicity over at least two years about family violence, that normalizing someone who says stoning is appropriate punishment on the ABC undermines a whole heap of the work that has been done. It seemed to me that Anyone listening who has a propensity to violence would feel normalized.

I thought it was shockingly poor judgment and/or a bad case of cultural relativism He was put on the spot –but it was his true reaction. Sally Warhaft did not react in the same way in a bit longer timeframe.

Only women can be stoned for "adultery", even victims of rape, because men are allowed to create an temporary "wife", whereas women aren't allowed to. Why aren't feminists up in arms about the assault on women, coming from Islam? What's being faced now is a long way from the challenges previously - of married women being prohibited from working, votes for women, access to jobs and status etc. Now, we are faced with primitive 11th century ignorance, barbarism, and misogyny. We have FGM, women's faces covered, whipping and/or stoning for adultery, and potentially "honour" killings!

Someone rang in begging to differ, saying that such remarks confirm his view that the ABC should be ditched. JF talked all over him bringing in Ukraine. The caller stuck to his guns, saying that had it not been for Russia that the Assad regime would have been annihilated, tho they did it for self interest… At this Jon Faine exclaimed, "Ah , well there you go …"

This is the problem with publicly officially annointed 'authoritites'. They think they can say anything. They think they know everything. Faine knows absolutely nothing about foreign affairs and wars, never criticises our role in these, yet he thinks he has the right to reiterate the government's easily proven lies with impunity. It is no wonder, with this kind of official disinformation, that Australians who rely on the mainstream just don't have a clue.

That man seems typical of his class of mainstream corporate news-jocks. A couple of weeks ago he promoted an energy storage scheme for the Snowy River as if it worked by perpetual motion. I nearly fell out of my chair! Someone with a modicum of thermodynamic knowledge rang in to gently correct him. Unusually Faine didn't try to bluster this one out - since Faine is anything but scientific. He actually sounded embarassed - an emotion I thought beyond him. He said something like, "I must have missed that lesson at school." Well, he sure did! A heap of lessons. He should go back to school.

But consider it, the 'authorities' so many people listen to on radio and tv usually have a grasp of science or themodynamics about equivalent to someone in the Old Testament. They are 'savages', to all intents and purposes. Maybe that's why they just don't question war.