The Associated Press is an association whose members are U.S. newspapers and broadcasters. Its coverage of news in the U.S. is superb; but, occasionally, something slips the radar of their editors. Is it sheer ignorance or deliberate malice when its stringers praise the Assad and the Putin regimes? Is AP employing Russian propagandists?
Yuras Karmanau, an AP stringer, wrote an opinion story, which the Washington Post, surprisingly, published. Its title is “Former rebel stronghold in Syria begins to rebuild“. The story mainly highlights the state of affairs of Khan Sheikhoun after Assad recaptured it from the rebels. If you recall, Assad gassed Khan Sheikhoun in 2017 and Putin cluster bombed its civilian population recently.
Mr. Karmanau starts the story by highlighting Assad control and Mother Putin saintly work:
Portraits of Syrian
PresidentBashar Assad adorn a few buildings still intact after years of fighting and Russian soldiers hand out food and other supplies to residents of this Syrian town that was recently captured by the Syrian army.
BAMBI ASSAD AND MOTHER PUTIN
Hallelujah.. to Assad and Putin for their humanity. We all bow to Yuras for bringing it to our attention in the first paragraph of his story. Honestly, we were compelled for a moment, after reading the story, to donate money to Assad and Putin charitable foundations. To put for good use. Such as bombing more elementary schools and markets.
The story did not start with the obvious. That Assad gassed Khan Sheikhoun with sarin. Nor did it start with how Assad and Putin regained control by bombing hospitals, schools, and innocent civilians. No, Yuras chose to cleanse the crimes of both leaders with one opening paragraph. Where was his AP editor when Y.K. filed this story?
Then, Mr. Karmanau gives up what motivated him to write with such a vamping need:
On Wednesday, a group of foreign reporters on a trip to Syria organized by the Russian Defense Ministry saw municipal workers clearing the streets of debris, and Russian troops distributing aid.
THE RUSSIAN ‘A’ PROPAGANDA LIST
There you have it. The Russian Defense Ministry invited the AP reporter Yuras Karmanau.
For those who know anything about Russia know that if the Russian Defense Ministry invites you to report on a matter, it is because you are on their A-Propaganda List.
It also makes you wonder whether AP hiring practice and HR department have gone haywire.
Cleansing Putin from his crimes against humanity by bombing hospitals, schools, and markets where children are most likely to be found makes you wonder: Is AP now beholden to Russian propaganda?
That was not all. Mr. Karmanau insisted on justifying the Russian crimes further down the story. He wrote:
But Russia… has insisted the offensive in Idlib was necessary to uproot militants who used the area as a base to launch attacks on Syrian government troops and Russia’s military base.
Everyone who knows anything about Syria knows that the militants did not hide in schools because the Russians were going to bomb them anyway. So, why hide in a place you know does not protect you? In fact, later in the story, the stringer Karmanau mentions the elaborate tunnels the rebels built and where they hide to escape the aerial campaigns. So why does Russia bomb hospitals, markets, and schools?
WHY IS AP EMPLOYING RUSSIAN PROPAGANDISTS?
That’s not all. Mr. Karmanau interviews the pro-Assad mayor of Khan Sheikhoun who talks about the fear of the people. Then few paragraphs down, he uses that fear against Syrians and to cleanse further the image of the Assad regime and the Kremlin crimes. He wrote:
“It’s like before the war,” 45-year-old Khalia Umran said after receiving her aid package. “We can eat and sleep quietly. Under the rebel control, life was like hell. They killed my brother and abducted my daughter, but the suffering is now over.”
On both sides of the war, the Assad regime and the rebels pursued spies within. Assad had infiltrated Idlib with thousands of watching eyes who report back to Damascus. Mr. Karmanau, again, fails to explain why the rebels killed Khalia’s Umran’s family. If it really happened since he mentions no names or facts. But he sure mentions how beautiful it is to live under Assad.
Maybe Mr. Karmanau should spend his next assignment in an Assad prison to write about their star ratings and the succulent burgers Assad serves.
Maybe Mr. Karmanau should report on the delights of the Assad dungeons of torture as a VIP on behalf of the Kremlin.
What a hack job the AP distributed, and the venerable Washington Post published. Shame on both.