The Passionate Attachment

America's entanglement with Israel

An Open Letter to Antiwar.com: Censorship on Syria?

with 5 comments

Dear Antiwar Staff:

In response to Jason Ditz’s latest “analysis” of the Syrian crisis, I tried to post the following comment:

Barak also predicted that

“When the Assad family falls, it will be a major blow to the radical axis led by Iran,” Barak said. “It will weaken Iran, it will weaken Hezbollah and weaken the backing for Hamas, and it will deprive the Iranians of a real stronghold in the Arab world. It will strengthen Turkey, which is a natural rival to Iran’s hegemonic intentions. . . . This is something positive for Israel.”

And that’s why the Israel lobby’s think tanks and media outlets have been supporting the opposition from the start of this crisis. Why hasn’t Antiwar reported this? Too busy breathlessly reporting opposition propaganda?

Usually my comments have to be moderated — for whatever reason — but this time I got this message instead:

This comment has been deleted by the administrator.

Whatever happened to Antiwar since Justin Raimondo wrote these words in an April 16, 2005 piece entitled “Cashing in on the Bush Doctrine”?

“Say You Want a Revolution,” is the title of a piece by neoconservative Michael “Faster Please” Ledeen, a tireless advocate of the U.S. waging endless wars of “liberation,” and Peter Ackerman, chairman of the International Center for Nonviolent Conflict (ICNC). Its theme: more U.S. tax dollars to fund “revolutionaries” in a new model of “regime change” – as in Ukraine, Georgia, and Kyrgyzstan. According to these two, Iran, Lebanon, and Syria are next. Now, before you say anything, it’s just a coincidence that all these countries are in the Middle East and just happen to be Israel’s worst enemies – stop being such a killjoy! Besides, the “revolutionaries” are ready to roll, but they can’t do it without U.S. tax dollars and other assistance.

If you’re still as “devoted to the cause of non-interventionism” as you were then, why are you now censoring information about the Israel lobby’s key role in the current crisis? As you can see from readers’ comments on the subject, I am far from being the only one who is wondering about your curious reporting on Syria.

Sincerely,
Maidhc Ó Cathail

p.s. I am well aware that Philip Giraldi, Eric Margolis and Pepe Escobar have raised the subject of Israeli involvement in Syria on Antiwar yet this doesn’t seem to have had the slightest impact on the daily reports by Mr. Ditz.

Update: The comment has been “undeleted.” It remains to be seen, however, whether anything will be done to address the substantive critique above.

Written by Maidhc Ó Cathail

December 15, 2011 at 12:54 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

5 Responses

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  1. Whether I agree with you or not, I can’t understand why they would delete your comment (and I realize that they’ve undeleted it). I think that as long as the discussion is respectful, a range of opinions should be accepted.

    I’m also curious about the moderation. It seems like there are flags, like certain words and maybe links? (One I put to a Youtube video seemed to flag it for moderation.)

    ummabdulla

    December 15, 2011 at 7:03 pm

  2. Thank you for your comment, Ummabdulla.

    I agree. They say that they had “difficulties” with their comment interface.

    I’m also curious about their moderation policy. I think (too many) links, certain words (beginning with “J” and “Z,” for example), and certain commenters are automatically put into moderation. Most of my comments eventually appear, but by that time the articles are often no longer on the front page.

    Maidhc Ó Cathail

    December 16, 2011 at 6:06 am

  3. Antiwar.com uses a commenting platform called ‘IntenseDebate’, which is either full of glitches or has an internal, automatic ‘flagging’ system. ID does a loud job of denying the existence of a censorship mechanism, but I’m afraid “it doth protest too much”. And, yes, it’s primarily “J’s” and “Z’s” that set off the alarm.

    ID also provides a “report” link, for “objectionable” content, objection which is sent first to ID and then on to the site manager. There can be little doubt that ID, like google / youtube, keeps track of “objectionable” posters. — Data of this sort is worth money, you know! …

    Although Antiwar may indeed have deleted your comment on its own initiative, it’s possible, too, that it was reported to Antiwar, via an anonymous crank who has a particular dislike of Maidhc Ó Cathail’s incisive commentary, and Antiwar deleted it automatically.

    That Antiwar eventually brought it back would tend to affirm such a scenario.

    [Thanks for your invaluable contributions, Maidhc].

    Hyssop

    December 16, 2011 at 5:28 pm

  4. And thank you for that very informative comment, Hyssop.

    Maidhc Ó Cathail

    December 17, 2011 at 5:22 am

  5. Fyi, the website Information Clearing House, which uses the ‘Intense Debate’ platform, was hacked in the last 24 hrs, leading to the loss of hundreds of comments. The site owner, Tom Feeley, is trying to rectify the situation. — In other words, opinion that is unwelcome to some is increasingly the target of censorship.

    Hyssop

    December 17, 2011 at 2:16 pm


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