Last addition December 21, 2014
I've been alerting people on both sides of the mental war about the new report. I was expecting some would be unable to handle hosting that info and simply delete my comments. The first one gets itself published here (below)and creates the space for the rest (above that, newest at top).
Note: Anyone irked at my review of their weakness in deleting me, don't bother commenting here. The problem is you're one show of strength behind, and the only rebuttal I won't delete is one that's on-topic and lodged here.
Weak: Eliot Higgins aka Brown Moses (added Dec. 21)
Here I compare the coverage of the Houla Massacre by Eliot Higgins aka Brown Moses with that of ACLOS-CIWCL and myself. Easily it's shown that his flakiness and calls for "cynicism" were no match for our solving the Houla Massacre case. I figured he'd be inclined to ignore our work, explaining midway:
He's all but sure to refuse the challenge because he knows when you read videos right, it can't be shown wrong, and he knows we have it right. He won't want to look stupid denying the undeniable, can't be caught agreeing with it, and has himself boxed into irrelevant silence. History will have to move on without him then, if he can't break down that cardboard box of his own construction.
But I made sure he was aware and gave him ample time, over a week total, to show the slightest public sign to the contrary. As expected, he did not deliver, and shows no sign of the strength needed to break out of that box. That's weak, if also common.
Ironic older quote, Post, Nov. 2013: "If you want someone to really question your work, just post it on the Internet," he says. "There are plenty of people who'll want to tell you you're an idiot and you're wrong." SOmetimes maybe they want to, but they just can't come out and say it, either because you're not wrong, or maybe because they're just too busy.
But then there's this other more recent comment to Syria Direct - December 17, during the challenge period - that would serve well as a segue into an actual review of the type I was suggesting. However, that's most likely a coincidence.
I think we’re facing a situation in Syria where what we need is to get more people working with open-source information ... we keep seeing videos popping up relating to certain battles, but nobody’s really doing anything with them. They need to be put into context; they need to be examined, to see what’s happening, who’s fighting, just to have a better view of the conflict. But that requires a lot more effort.Covered: the Battle for the Houla Massacre. Open source video evidence all but proves rebels launched it, won it, and exploited that by conducting the massacre after. Higgins reviewed that work, it seems to me, just enough to know he wished it didn't exist and doesn't want to touch it. Maybe I'm wrong on that, and maybe he'll want to tell me I'm wrong and an idiot, But so far he hasn't been able to vocalize anything much.
Weak: Ammar Abdulhamid, Syrian Revolution Digest
Comment submitted here July 23:
"satellite photography showing pro-Assad checkpoints all over the place." We have on-the-ground video showing rebels taking over 40% to probably 80% of those on the same afternoon right before the killings started. That trumps what their "witnesses" say. These findings - new report, following on another last year - can be reviewed and challenged here: http://taldoutruth.blogspot.com/2014/07/2014-report-main-challenge-space.html In there, I correct Hermann on some points (where the Alawites were massacred), but the evidence came out supporting that version after all. Please don't delete this.But of course I left him no choice but to delete it. As he explained:
Any person who relies in any part of his analysis on the so-called "voting record" provided by the Syrian regime demonstrates a complete lack of understanding of the farcical nature of the electoral processes in Syria under the Assad. Your analysis of anything Syrian cannot be trusted. For this reason, I will have to delete your comment. And that's how it came to be here, with this rebuttal I'll try to make sure he sees:
Well, if you have to, then that's that, right? At least you had a look, apparently. Appreciated.I could go on with an expose of this guy's slimy propaganda, absolving Islamist atrocities in a way that's got to be at least partly conscious by now, but I'm in this to save time and keep moving.
Am I wrong to trust the election results? Maybe. You noticed it wasn't my major area of study or focus. That's the kind of thing best brought to the challenge space to explain, because people have been just as knee-jerk sure who did the Houla Massacre and they were wrong. Precedent says politically charged claims against Damascus should be examined, not just accepted.
And even then, as I said there, challenges to side-issue like that are less valued than ones that actually touch the core issue of the video-evidence Battle for the Houla Massacre. Anyone who skips over the video evidence to latch onto a weak excuse to "have to" censor me has shown their intellectual weakness. Even Louis Proyect is unrepentant enough he just deletes me without the posturing.
Good luck with the book, hack weakling.
Dec. 21 note: I may cover - should have already - his exploitations of the Houla Massacre in favor of his "Assad's sectarian strategy" crap, to highlight what he does while running against the best evidence.