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View Full Version : Targeted Assassinations of Journalists in Syria?


Andy_S
10th Apr 2018, 12:59
Marie Colvin: Syria assassinated reporter, court told - BBC News (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-43711617)

The usual suspects, of course, will insist there is "no evidence"......

Lonewolf_50
10th Apr 2018, 16:23
Why does this surprise you? We have been living in the information age for a few decades now. There are no front lines. Information is an element of warfare. The politics of information in warfare are even more profound now than they were during Viet Nam. I am surprised that it doesn't happen more often.

There was a piece I read a few years ago about how journalists have to carefully cultivate sources and establishes networks/relationships to stay alive and still cover certain war torn areas, like in Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan. Not sure where I saw the article, but it was a very good one.

If a reporter, in Syria, is reporting significant and continuous stuff (true, false, and in between) that have a strategic influence on Mr Assad's efforts to win his civil war in his country, then I am not surprised that he had at least one targeted. I am no fan of Mr Assad. For a moment, however, put his shoes on your feet. A foreigner in your country is aiding and abetting your opponents in their efforts to win the civil war against you. That they are unarmed is irrelevant, they are a foreign agent, on your soil, using (whatever) to bring about your defeat. All of that may not even be true, in this reporter's case (her objective may have been neutral, all said and done) but that's how it looks to Assad, isn't it? Assessment: bloody, meddling foreigner helping my opponents in a civil war that is tearing my country apart. As I said above, I am surprised that it doesn't happen more often.

As to the other point: war zones are freaking dangerous, and civil war zones doubly so.

Chris Hedges made a career of covering wars all over the world for about 20 years; his profession was war correspondent, freelance and otherwise. His book "War is a Force that gives us meaning" is very good in a lot of ways, but one bit in particular struck me: his self-realization that his continual cheating of death was going to do him in eventually. By his own admission, he was lucky to have lived as long as he did while covering wars.

Marie Colvin died in February 2012 in Homs, Syria, alongside French photographer Remi Ochlik, when the building they were in was shelled.
Military memos and testimonies from defectors appear to chart how she was targeted.
Ms Colvin worked for the Sunday Times.
The sister of the highly respected correspondent, Cathleen Colvin, has brought a claim to a federal district court in the US stating her death was "an extrajudicial killing" and asking for compensation from the Syrian government.
Several defectors claim in documents submitted for the case that the government tracked journalists' satellite phone signals to find out their whereabouts.
The Colvin family's lawyer, Scott Gilmore, said the documents included evidence that the government of Bashar al-Assad had "identified media workers as targets from very early on in the conflict". I wonder how the court case will turn out. (How does a US court have jurisdiction for this case? There's probably a legally valid reason, but I don't know what it is).

Andy_S
10th Apr 2018, 17:27
A foreigner in your country is aiding and abetting your opponents in their efforts to win the civil war against you.

I'm not sure where you got that idea from.

Marie Colvin was a hugely respected journalist, and the idea that she would have taken sides has zero credibility. She would have impartially reported what she saw and what she discovered.

Of course, that may have embarrassed Assad......

Curious Pax
10th Apr 2018, 17:30
I'm not sure where you got that idea from.

Marie Colvin was a hugely respected journalist, and the idea that she would have taken sides has zero credibility. She would have impartially reported what she saw and what she discovered.

Of course, that may have embarrassed Assad......

He did say looking at it from Assadís point of view....

VP959
10th Apr 2018, 18:49
People that go into a war zone with the intention of telling the world what they observe are now inevitably going to become targets.

This may not have been so much the case when wars were fought with at least some semblance of "rules", or compliance with international treaties, like the Geneva Convention, but conflicts in many parts of the world, including Syria, are not being fought within any internationally recognised guidelines.

We're regularly seeing hospitals, civilians and journalists being targeted now, and gone are the days when any form of marking on an individual or vehicle was respected as them being non-combatants.

I think another aspect of this is that a fair bit of "journalism" is now undertaken by anyone who has a phone and is nearby, so any pretence that it is objective reporting has pretty much flown out of the window. Some journalists may well still want to just report what they observe, but I suspect they are a dying species in this age of social media driving reports in the mainstream media.

racedo
10th Apr 2018, 18:59
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_journalists_killed_during_the_Syrian_Civil_War

Why not look at all those Journalists killed.

As for military memos............................ right in middle of a civil war when Army fighting like crazy to stay alive they sit down and write detailed memos on stuff...... can just see it now (NOT).

Lonewolf_50
10th Apr 2018, 22:09
I'm not sure where you got that idea from. Take off your rose colored glasses. War zones are freaking dangerous, civil war zones doubly so, and the conceit that journalists are somehow privileged to have a protective bubble wrapped about them is yet another careless assumption. As I mentioned above, Hedges does a good job of explaining how damned dangerous it is to be a war correspondent: a journalist covering a war in situ.
Marie Colvin was a hugely respected journalist, Of that I have no doubt. The good ones go after the hard stories, and I see Syria as a hard story from dozens of different angles.
and the idea that she would have taken sides has zero credibility. You really missed the point. Go back and read my post again. She would have impartially reported what she saw and what she discovered. (1) Once again, you really missed the point, and (2) nobody on God's Green Earth is purely objective nor purely impartial. Journalists tell a story. That is their schtick. (Having looked at a little bio, she's a good one; the good ones tell the most compelling stories).
Of course, that may have embarrassed Assad...... Wow, you are really missing the point. This isn't about embarrassment. That man, like him or dislike him, is still dealing with a 7 year long civil war in his country and she's a foreigner who I am pretty sure he, or some of his inner circle, sees as aiding and abetting their enemies. (Assad has attracted quite a variety of enemies; it's a skill, I suppose).

Embarrassment is the MP or Prime Minister in a scandal; sex, drugs, embezzlement, fraud; it's the President and a porn star.

racedo
10th Apr 2018, 22:17
We're regularly seeing hospitals, civilians and journalists being targeted now, and gone are the days when any form of marking on an individual or vehicle was respected as them being non-combatants.
.


You mean like Terry Lloyd in Iraq .........................
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terry_Lloyd

Some of us do remember him.

KelvinD
11th Apr 2018, 09:12
A couple of days ago, an Israeli soldier shot and killed a journalist in Gaza, despite the victim wearing all the usual accoutrements of the Press in those situations (helmet, vest adorned with the word "PRESS" in 12 inch high letters etc.
Where is all the outrage in these pages.

Ethel the Aardvark
11th Apr 2018, 09:37
Careful Kelvin. You will be labeled an anti zionist
I really do wonder if some of these so called posters are in the employ of some country’s propaganda Dept. Tin hat back on.

Brian W May
11th Apr 2018, 10:23
A couple of days ago, an Israeli soldier shot and killed a journalist in Gaza, despite the victim wearing all the usual accoutrements of the Press in those situations (helmet, vest adorned with the word "PRESS" in 12 inch high letters etc.
Where is all the outrage in these pages.


Authenticate PRESS . . .

Just saying, not difficult to manufacture something that says that.

Being the warm and caring personality I am, I actually have little sympathy for 'War Reporters' that meet something coming the other way . . .

They're often no more than acting the moral entrepreneur role . . .

It's their choice.

TWT
11th Apr 2018, 10:28
Executions of journalists has been happening for decades. One example, from 1975 ,of 5 executed by the Indonesian TNI.

2 Britons, 2 Australians and 1 Kiwi

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balibo_Five

Pinky the pilot
11th Apr 2018, 10:35
5 executed by the Indonesian TNI.

A point of order, Mr Speaker.

Those Journos were not executed.

They were murdered!:=

TWT
11th Apr 2018, 10:41
FFS Pinky, you're splitting hairs. The difference between 'executed' and 'murdered' is irrelevant in this case, their 'deaths' if you like, were ordered by the TNI brass.

Andy_S
11th Apr 2018, 11:29
A couple of days ago, an Israeli soldier shot and killed a journalist in Gaza, despite the victim wearing all the usual accoutrements of the Press in those situations (helmet, vest adorned with the word "PRESS" in 12 inch high letters etc.
Where is all the outrage in these pages.

I hadnít heard that one. Obviously Marie Colvin was an extremely well known war reporter; that and the fact that her family have commenced legal proceedings made it a fairly big story.

War reporting is a dangerous occupation and the people involved presumably understand the risks. However, if the journalist you refer to was actually targeted by an Israeli soldier rather than being caught in the crossfire than I condemn that act every bit as much as I do the alleged assassinations of Colvin, Ochlik and others.

DaveReidUK
11th Apr 2018, 12:07
FFS Pinky, you're splitting hairs. The difference between 'executed' and 'murdered' is irrelevant in this case, their 'deaths' if you like, were ordered by the TNI brass.

The difference between execution and murder is never irrelevant.

Murder is murder, it's illegal pretty well everywhere, despite what Mr Putin would have us believe.

Execution is either judicial or extrajudicial. The former (aka the death penalty) continues to exist in around 50 countries (including, in this context, Indonesia where it's carried out by firing squad, presumably made up of military personnel).

Extrajudicial execution is, by definition, killing without due legal process, regardless of who it is carried out by.

The distinction between those is far from hair-splitting.

WingNut60
11th Apr 2018, 12:23
Let's not forget the numerous proposed and actual hits on Al Jazeera offices, some resulting in deaths.

On 8 April 2003 a U.S. missile hit an electricity generator at Al Jazeera's office in Baghdad resulted in the death of reporter Tareq Ayyoub and wounded another staff member.
On 24 February, Mohammed Jasim al-Ali had sent a letter with the coordinates of the offices to Victoria Clarke, the U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs (the location had not been officially requested by the U.S. government).

It's a dirty game and all sides play dirty.

TWT
11th Apr 2018, 12:25
FFS, I give up. Too many pedants.

'The journalists were silenced permanently by the TNI using firearms in an unjustified manner'

Happy Now ???? :ugh::ugh:

KelvinD
11th Apr 2018, 14:35
Andy: The shooting was reported in literally dozens of news outlets such as Thee Telegraph, Mail, Guardian, AFP and many others. But not (as far as I can tell) the BBC. I wonder what that tells us about the BBC?
Of course, it was also reported in the Israeli press with the IDF claiming the victim as a member of Hamas. Well, they would say that, wouldn't they!

KelvinD
11th Apr 2018, 14:39
Dave-Reid: makes a good point with this comment Extrajudicial execution is, by definition, killing without due legal process.
Perfectly true and perfectly valid.
Now, let's talk about the families of those killed by air strikes in Syria and Yemen.
Of course, a "get out" clause to shelter one from accusations of extrajudicial killing might be a declaration of war.
And we are still waiting for any of those to come along.

VP959
11th Apr 2018, 15:22
Andy: The shooting was reported in literally dozens of news outlets such as Thee Telegraph, Mail, Guardian, AFP and many others. But not (as far as I can tell) the BBC. I wonder what that tells us about the BBC?
Of course, it was also reported in the Israeli press with the IDF claiming the victim as a member of Hamas. Well, they would say that, wouldn't they!

Try here for the BBC News articles:

Israel to investigate killing of Palestinian journalist - BBC News (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-43683184)

Deadly unrest on Gaza-Israel border as Palestinians resume protests - BBC News (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-43667947)

I'm no fan of BBC News reporting, and will happily criticise them when it's deserved, but in this case a 5 second web search came up with these two reports.

BTW, the easy way to find something on a specific site (apologies in advance if you already know this) is to use a site-specific search.

In this instance I found the name of the journalist that was killed (literally just did a generic search for "journalist killed gaza") which popped up his name in the first hit, then did a BBC News specific search using this search term: Yasser Murtaja site:http://www.bbc.co.uk, and they were the first two hits.

KelvinD
11th Apr 2018, 16:14
VP959: Thanks for the update.I do resent your implication that I couldn't be bothered to search for it myself.
First, I did a general search, using duckduckgo, and found pages of entries for the various news agencies I referred to, but not a one for the BBC. This inspired me to use the search facility on the BBC's own site. I entered the term "Gaza" and found quite a few entries relating to various items surrounding the current conflict but not one relating to this incident. While writing this, I have repeated the experiment and I see 10 entries, dating back to 30th March. And none of that 10 relates to this specific story. So, what we have here is not a failure of my failure to do due diligence but a failure of the BBC's own search facility.
I note you used the victim's name in your BBC search. I was tempted to use the same term in my search but thought the term "Gaza" would suffice. After all, the term "Gaza" appears in both of the first 2 paragraphs in the article to which you refer.
To be honest, I wholeheartedly agree with you re using a site specific search, I now use other, more general search engines in the first instance as I have become used to the BBC's wild and whacky version of searching.
Try this for a laugh: go to the BBC iPlayer page and enter "Archers" in the search box. Nothing, nada, zilch relating to that happy band of social misfits from Ambridge!

VP959
11th Apr 2018, 16:26
VP959: Thanks for the update.I do resent your implication that I couldn't be bothered to search for it myself.


First off, that was not what I intended to imply at all, and I apologise if you took it that way.

Secondly, I also used DuckDuckGo, and just did the site specific search as described and those two items popped straight up as the first two hits.

Finally, pretty much every website with a built-in search facility, including this forum, seems to have pretty damned poor search performance, IMHO. I'm not sure why this is, but for years now I've been using the site-specific search capability that most of the bigger search engines support, as that pretty much always finds things with less effort. I regularly search this forum for past posts using that method, usually because I can recall a few words in a post, and perhaps who wrote them, but can't find the post using the forum search facility!

West Coast
11th Apr 2018, 16:38
Now, let's talk about the families of those killed by air strikes in Syria

This is why we canít have a focused conversation on a specific topic.

RatherBeFlying
11th Apr 2018, 17:41
An Al Jazeera office in Kabul was also an early target post 9/11. Al Jazeera had supplied the coordinates of both its Baghdad and Kabul offices before they were bombed by the US.

I look forward to the US courts taking on the case of the reporter killed in Baghdad with the same due process as accorded to Colvin's case.

obgraham
11th Apr 2018, 19:02
Of course, it was also reported in the Israeli press with the IDF claiming the victim as a member of Hamas. Well, they would say that, wouldn't they! Well, was he?

KelvinD
11th Apr 2018, 19:05
Of course, it was also reported in the Israeli press with the IDF claiming the victim as a member of Hamas. Well, they would say that, wouldn't they! Well, was he?
Well, if the IDF has claimed it to be so, I would very much doubt it.

racedo
11th Apr 2018, 22:41
Well, was he?

Is that justification ?

obgraham
11th Apr 2018, 22:56
So evidently if you put "Press" on the back of your suicide vest, or stand beside the guy firing rockets (which they bought using funds from US and Europe) into Israel with your "Press" shirt on -- you're all happy with that.

racedo
11th Apr 2018, 22:59
So evidently if you put "Press" on the back of your suicide vest, or stand beside the guy firing rockets (which they bought using funds from US and Europe) into Israel with your "Press" shirt on -- you're all happy with that.


So have you any evidence the Journalist shot by the Israelis was beside someone firing rockets ? or was he shot because someone has a photo of him and it was a targeted Assassination ?

obgraham
11th Apr 2018, 23:25
So have you any evidence the Journalist shot by the Israelis was beside someone firing rockets ? or was he shot because someone has a photo of him and it was a targeted Assassination ?Do you have evidence that he was a targeted assassination? Or are you just blowing smoke here?

KelvinD
11th Apr 2018, 23:31
OBG: Refer to the link provided by VP in post #21 above. Having done that, answer me this: why would the Israelis be investigating the shooting if it was all a clear cut "no case to answer"?

obgraham
11th Apr 2018, 23:46
KelvinD, nowhere in those links is there evidence that this was a "targeted assassination". And nowhere did I suggest it was a "clear cut no case"

And in answer to your question, the Israelis are investigating the shooting because they are a nation of laws, and if there is a question of legality they will investigate it.

When was the last time the Palestinians investigated one of theirs for killing or attacking Israelis?

racedo
11th Apr 2018, 23:56
Do you have evidence that he was a targeted assassination? Or are you just blowing smoke here?


You claimed this below


So evidently if you put "Press" on the back of your suicide vest, or stand beside the guy firing rockets (which they bought using funds from US and Europe) into Israel with your "Press" shirt on -- you're all happy with that.

obgraham
12th Apr 2018, 00:02
Why did you assume, racedo, that my two statements you quote are discussing the same incident?

My second comment references the fact that Hamas has been, and still is, a supporter of terrorist activity. They have hidden behind women and children, in hospitals, and in mosques. It is therefore logical to me, if not perhaps to you, that a man wearing a "Press" jacket, could easily be a member of Hamas, and supportive of those activities. I don't know if this man was, but I merely asked "Was he?" So far we do not have the answer.

racedo
12th Apr 2018, 00:19
Why did you assume, racedo, that my two statements you quote are discussing the same incident?

My second comment references the fact that Hamas has been, and still is, a supporter of terrorist activity. They have hidden behind women and children, in hospitals, and in mosques. It is therefore logical to me, if not perhaps to you, that a man wearing a "Press" jacket, could easily be a member of Hamas, and supportive of those activities. I don't know if this man was, but I merely asked "Was he?" So far we do not have the answer.

Whether he was or not a member of Hamas is irrelvant, he is an accredited journalist who has done for BBC among others.

He had a visible Press jacket on and was shot to death deliberately.

obgraham
12th Apr 2018, 01:02
He had a visible Press jacket on and was shot to death deliberately. Well, since it's all sorted out, why bother with an investigation?

Whether he was or not a member of Hamas is irrelvantI'll keep that in mind when Hamas resumes their usual activities.

Lonewolf_50
12th Apr 2018, 04:53
A couple of days ago, an Israeli soldier shot and killed a journalist in Gaza, despite the victim wearing all the usual accoutrements of the Press in those situations (helmet, vest adorned with the word "PRESS" in 12 inch high letters etc.
Where is all the outrage in these pages.
Try To Stay On Topic, if you please. This thread isn't about your standard and bloody tiresome Kelvin/Racedo axe grinding. Hijacking this particular thread for your pet peeve is damned bad form.

I repeat: this thread is about a particular journalist being killed in Syria. THIS ISN'T ABOUT ISRAEL.

Start your own damned thread if you want to rant on about Israel: they certainly provide a fair body of material for such rants.

racedo
12th Apr 2018, 18:37
Try To Stay On Topic, if you please. This thread isn't about your standard and bloody tiresome Kelvin/Racedo axe grinding. Hijacking this particular thread for your pet peeve is damned bad form.

I repeat: this thread is about a particular journalist being killed in Syria. THIS ISN'T ABOUT ISRAEL.

Start your own damned thread if you want to rant on about Israel: they certainly provide a fair body of material for such rants.

Journalist crosses border illegally into War Zone, gets killed.................. much as I like some of what she wrote she knew potential consequences, end of story.