Posts tagged ‘propaganda’

February 23, 2016

Maltai, Dohuk, KRG, Iraq: Peshmerga have not used ancient Assyrian art for target practice

[Evidently, it is necessary for me to explain: yes, I do object to nationalists who vandalise cultural property; and yes, I am concerned with the suffering of the Assyrian community, as I am with the suffering of other civilian communities. In my work on state crime, I have highlighted how plunder of cultural property was a constituent element of the genocide of Assyrians.]

Based on multiple media reports and social media comments, I tweeted that Peshmerga had ‘practiced shooting and painted [a] flag on [the] ancient Assyrian city of Khenis (Dohuk, KRG, Iraq)’. Thankfully, Simone Muehl quickly pointed out that this was wrong.

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February 17, 2016

If Americans are scared of refugees in Europe, there is a very simple solution for them – to not come to Europe

While this post is somewhat off-topic for this blog, the material is too offensive not to comment. foreign(?) Assadist propagandists, pathologically anti-Obama Islamophobic American propagandists, even seeming Serbian nationalists are appropriating evidence of illicit arms trafficking between Turkey and Libya in order to incite hatred of refugees from Syria and Iraq.

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July 31, 2015

‘The smuggler had been smoking a cigarette when he pulled into an ISIS checkpoint’

When the Islamic State conquered Palmyra, ‘the world recoiled in horror, fearing [its] destruction’. The week after, Buzzfeed’s Mike Giglio ‘sat in a sunlit living room near the border with a looter from Palmyra who had spent much of the last 15 years robbing grave sites there’, and secured evidence for the events and processes that influence the flow of antiquities from vulnerable communities in Syria and Iraq to exploitative markets in the West.

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July 30, 2015

Buzzfeed’s Mike Giglio’s been in Turkey’s borderlands after Syria’s looted antiquities

‘Over the course of a month’, Buzzfeed’s Mike Giglio ‘traveled along Turkey’s 565-mile-long border with Syria to meet more than a dozen people involved in this illegal trade, from the grave robbers and excavators who steal the artifacts to the middlemen and dealers who sell them.’

I couldn’t believe it when I spotted the matches for the antiquities from Palmyra, but Mark Altaweel, Michael Danti and Amr al-Azm confirmed it. I’ll write that update (to this post) tonight…

July 3, 2015

Palmyra: looting under the rebels, the Assad regime and the Islamic State?

As I’ve worked and reworked this, I’ve found (and removed) half-finished sentences from previous edits, and I’m posting it now because of the latest developments, but if I rediscover forgotten information, I will add it. It is too long to read, and it is a bit rat-a-tat-tat (in jumping from section to section), but you can skip to “flogging propaganda” for my thoughts on the Islamic State’s destruction of antiquities from Palmyra.

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June 22, 2015

Hostage to misfortune: blackmail by the Islamic State and failure by the international community

Following on from reports that the Islamic State had mined the Temple of Bel and the Roman theatre in Palmyra with TNT, which were first reported in Palmyra News Updates, a ‘former resident still in contact with relatives inside’ Palmyra told the Telegraph’s Louisa Loveluck and Magdy Samaan that ‘masked jihadists had announced their intention to rig Palmyra with explosives earlier in the week, delivering the message to residents gathered in the main market square. “We will accelerate pressure on the regime, and push the international community to stop them from shelling civilians.”‘

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April 15, 2015

Nimrud under attack: an analysis of destruction by Simone Mühl

A member of the monitoring and documentation group for Endangered Heritage Sites in Iraq, Simone Mühl, has conducted an excellent analysis of the destruction at Nimrud. She drew on photos of the Museum of Nimrud under Islamic State occupation (through Milad Walid Kattan in a monitoring and documentation group for Monuments of Mosul in Danger), video frames from the propaganda, (now open-access) archives of Nimrud Photos and Topo[graphic] Survey and other open-source data; added historical information; and identified further evidence of the manipulation of the material in the video.

April 12, 2015

Islamic State B-movie of attack on Nimrud

I woke up to messages from all over the place. So, “thanks” to all of the bearers of bad news (and to Allison Cuneo @aecuneo and @oivej, who pointed out other Arabic-language material). The Islamic State has released yet another video. Following its action B movies from Mosul Museum and the Nergal Gate Museum at Nineveh (thoroughly assessed by Christopher Jones) and Hatra (again assessed by Christopher Jones), it’s released a video of its attack on Nimrud.

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November 4, 2014

Thirty to fifty percent of Islamic State’s assets come from antiquities trafficking? Six hundred million to one billion dollars? WTF?

I’ve just woken up and I’m rushing to get out, so I’ll be brief. ‘Abu Bakr al Baghdadi’s ISIS has amassed a kitty of over $2 billion, thirty to fifty percent of which comes from the sale of artifacts stolen and vandalized from museums and archeological sites in Syria and Iraq.’ Or should I say “…?” The two-billion-dollar guesstimate included military equipment and other physical assets (and a massively overblown or even mythical bank heist). And, to state the obvious, thirty to fifty percent of two billion dollars would be six hundred million to one billion dollars.

First it was claimed that antiquities looting-and-smuggling was the Islamic State’s second-largest income source, which could only be known by a senior figure in the Islamic State’s administration, now the (fairly) precise share has been “calculated” (by an unknown source that was not even credited as an anonymous informant). I am really sorry to be so blunt, but, WTF? I rather suspect unknowable information is being planted. Who needs to make the Islamic State look worse than it is and does!?

October 1, 2014

There is only one thing worse than not being read, and that is being read (by AQIS and ISIS)

Within hours of me showing that the Armenian Genocide Memorial Church in Deir ez-Zor had been destroyed by the Islamic State (or factions within the Islamic State) @conflictantiq, the comparison image had been appropriated by abualtidore @abualtidore: ‘[the] Armenian Church in #DeirEzzor [has been] destroyed by #USA Coalition Airstrikes’. (Since then, his account has been suspended.) Others spread that line, including accounts associated with Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) and the Islamic State itself.

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