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Left Socialist Blog

Red-Brown Professor, Paul McKeigue, close comrade of David Miller, “fake Russian spy and the undercover Syria sting.”

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Eliot Higgins on Twitter: "Here's just some of the things Paul McKeigue got  up. Fortunately for the people he was reporting on it he wasn't actually  speaking to Russian intelligence, but people

Assad Apologist and Close Comrade of David Miller

Observer : The UK professor, a fake Russian spy and the undercover Syria sting

This story is the depths. One of the leading members of David Miller’s red-brown “Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media was prepared to inform on people, with potentially life-threatening consequences, to the Putin regime. There is little doubt, had the agent been real that the Assad regime would have heard as well.

Who is this creature?

A more sceptical academic than Paul McKeigue might perhaps have wondered if the emails flooding into his inbox from “Ivan”, a purported Russian spy, were too good to be true.

The Edinburgh genetics professor – who devotes large quantities of his private time to pursuing fringe theories claiming that attacks on civilians are staged to smear the government of Bashar al-Assad – dived eagerly into his new correspondence.

Over three months he filled hundreds of pages with speculation, including accusing journalists, researchers and diplomats of working as conduits for western intelligence agencies. He revealed the identity of a confidential source, and shared information she gave him.

Ivan appeared to share many of McKeigue’s own personal obsessions, particularly his desire to discredit investigators who compile evidence of war crimes committed in Syria. And he claimed access to both ready cash and secret intelligence.

But McKeigue was not writing to a Russian spy, or even a man called Ivan. The email account was controlled by a group of staff at one of the organisations he hoped to discredit, who say they went undercover because of concerns over the tactics McKeigue and his allies were prepared to deploy in an effort to defend the Syrian government and its Russian allies.

diplomat at the Geneva embassy, first secretary Sergey Krutskikh, was corresponding with fellow members of the “Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media” on encrypted systems.

This is an alliance of far-left academics and researchers who claim western journalists, NGOs and others act on behalf of the CIA and MI6 to undermine the Syrian government, including faking evidence of civilian deaths and chemical attacks.

It includes the controversial Bristol University professor David Miller, who has been accused of antisemitism by his own students, a claim he denies, and the blogger Vanessa Beeley, who has frequently visited Syria on government-sponsored trips.

Group members have questioned the veracity of chemical weapons attacks in Syria and claimed Russia was framed for the poisoning of Sergei Skripal in Salisbury in 2018.

They were also part of a years-long public campaign against the White Helmets, a civilian rescue organisation that enraged pro-Syrian and Russian factions by recording atrocities as they tried to save lives, then sharing the footage.

Shiraz has an excellent report on the story, which began with a report in the Times and then the BBC and is still unfolding: Pro-Assad academic tried to grass up human rights activists to Putin.

Meanwhile fellow Red-Browner Chris Williamson retweets another pro-Assad tout; (Chris Williamson Retweeted

Written by Andrew Coates

March 28, 2021 at 1:47 pm

One Response

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  1. writers, artists, and academics from Syria and 32 other countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, North America, Oceania, and South America, and appears in multiple languages: English, Arabic, French, Spanish, Greek, and Italian.]

    Disreputable writers and outlets, often operating under the aegis of “independent journalism” with purportedly “leftwing” views, are spreading corrosive propaganda and disinformation that aims to strip Syrians of political agency

    Since the beginning of the Syrian uprising ten years ago, and especially since Russia intervened in Syria on behalf of Bashar al-Assad, there has been a curious and malign development: the emergence of pro-Assad allegiances in the name of “anti-imperialism” among some who otherwise generally identify as progressive or “left,” and the consequent spread of manipulative disinformation that routinely deflects attention away from the well-documented abuses of Assad and his allies.

    …..

    …..

    Forgive us for pointing out that such erasure of Syrian lives and experiences embodies the very essence of imperialist (and racist) privilege. These writers and bloggers have shown no awareness of the Syrians, including signatories to this letter, who risked their lives opposing the regime, who have been incarcerated in the Assads’ torture prisons (some for many years), lost loved ones, had friends and family forcibly disappeared, fled their country – even though many Syrians have been writing and speaking about these experiences for many years.

    Collectively, Syrian experiences from the Revolution to the present pose a fundamental challenge to the world as it appears to these people. Syrians who directly opposed the Assad regime, often at great cost, did not do so because of some Western imperialist plot, but because decades of abuse, brutality, and corruption were and remain intolerable. To insist otherwise, and support Assad, is to attempt to strip Syrians of all political agency and endorse the Assads’ longstanding policy of domestic politicide, which has deprived Syrians of any meaningful say in their government and circumstances.

    We Syrians and supporters of the Syrian people’s struggle for democracy and human rights take these attempts to “disappear” Syrians from the world of politics, solidarity, and partnership as quite consistent with the character of the regimes these people so evidently admire. This is the “anti-imperialism” and “leftism” of the unprincipled, of the lazy, and of fools, and only reinforces the dysfunctional international gridlock exhibited in the UN Security Council. We hope that readers of this piece will join us in opposing it.

    [Followed by list of names]

    [Affiliations for identification purposes only]

    https://newpol.org/erasing-people-through-disinformation-syria-and-the-anti-imperialism-of-fools/

    Andrew Coates

    March 28, 2021 at 2:43 pm


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