Part: 2 of 3
Media Lies Used to Provide a Pretext for Another "Humanitarian War": Protest in Syria: Who Counts the Dead?
Here is another example of blatant distortion:
Despite a pledge to end its crackdown, Syrian security forces continued to suppress anti-regime protestors,killing at least eighteen on Thursday in the city of Homs (al-Jazeera). (Jonathan Masters, Assad's Broken Promises, Council on Foreign Relations, November 3, 2011.)
This is an analysis from the Council on Foreign Relations, the famous and extremely powerful U.S. foreign policy think tank. It is based on the following article from Al Jazeera where the information related to the killing is markedly different:
"Dozens of people have reportedly been killed in the flashpoint city of Homs, as Syrian security forces bombarded residential areas with tanks.
The reported deaths occurred in the Bab Amro district of Homs on Thursday, the Local Coordination Committees of Syria, an activist group monitoring the country's uprising, said. (Syria “violence defies peace deal”," Al Jazeera, November 4, 2011.)
Al Jazeera’s wording “reportedly been killed” and “reported deaths” shows the deaths have not been confirmed. The Qatari media also mentions that these claims come from one source only, namely from an activist group called Local Coordination Committees of Syria (LCC). The article from the CFR changed Al Jazeera’s allegations into concrete facts.
When it comes to counting the dead, the LCC is very often cited in the mainstream media as a source for reports on killings committed by the Syrian authorities, as we can see in the examples below:
Another opposition group, the Local Coordination Committees, said it could not corroborate the Syrian Observatory’s account of the military casualties, though it also called Monday one of the uprising’s bloodier days, with at least 51 civilians killed. “We don’t have any confirmation of what they’re claiming,” said Omar Idlibi, a spokesman for the Local Coordination Committees. (Nada Bakri and Rick Gladstone, SyriaFaces New Threats as Opposition Seeks Allies, The New York Times, November 15, 2011.)
According to the opposition network, the Local Coordination Committees, at least five people were killed during the military offensives -- three in the central province of Homs, one in the eastern border town of Tal Kalakh and one in Idleb along the Syrian-Turkish border. (Roula Hajjar, Syria: Activists report manhunt for defectors and protesters, Los Angeles Times, September 5, 2011.)
Secret police opened fire and shot teargas to disperse more than 10,000 protesters in Deir Ezzour, in Syria’s tribal east, an activist from the Syrian Revolution Coordinators Union (SRCU) told Al Jazeera. Ten protesters were wounded and around 40 were arrested, he said.
The SRCU is the name given this week to one of Syria's grassroots opposition networks. The SRCU works alongside the Local Coordinating Committees (LCC), another grassroots opposition network. (Al Jazeera Live Blog – Syria, June 3, 2011.)
At least 2,200 people have been killed in Syria since the beginning of the unrest, by the United Nations’ count. An activist group, the Syrian Revolution Coordinating Union, said on Tuesday that 551 people were killed during Ramadan alone. The group said 130 others were killed on July 31, the eve of Ramadan, in an attack on the city of Hama, which was also the scene of a ferocious crackdown in 1982.
On Tuesday, four people were killed in Hara and two others in Inkil, two towns in Dara’a Province,according to the Local Coordination Committees, another group of activists who document demonstrations. (Nada Bakri, Syrian Security Forces Fire on Worshipers as Ramadan Ends, The New York Times, August 30, 2011.)
The above article mentions a "UN count" as if it were an independent source of information. However, according to one of its reports, the UN also relies on the same sources of information, the LCC, and it mentions in a note that it is unable to confirm if the information given by the LCC is true:
"At the time of writing, the mission had received more than 1,900 names and details of persons killed in the Syrian Arab Republic since mid-March 2011; all are said to be civilians 
26. This information is compiled by local coordinating committees active within the Syrian ArabRepublic in documenting the names and details of victims. The mission is unable to verify independently this information." (United Nations, Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on the situation of human rights in the Syrian Arab Republic - A/HRC/18/53, September 15, 2011.)
To be continued .........