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Note to Jeremy Scahill re Mother Agnes, Syria


This note was sent to Scahill through his website  

 
Dear Jeremy, 
 
I read your book "Dirty Wars" and admired it greatly. It led to me to obtain a great deal of respect for your courage and poltical judgement. 
 
You tweeted that you "informed organizers of @STWuk that I will not participate in their conference if Mother Agnes is on the platform." 
 
If you haven't already, I think you shoud provide a very clear public explanation for your publicly announced stance. 
 
There are extremely nasty allegations being circulated about Mother Agnes based on zero evidence. 
 
For example, this piece accuses Mother Agnes of helping the Asaad regime assassinate journalists in Syria. 
 
To avoid lending any credibility to toxic crap like this, I think you should elaborate on your position regarding Mother Agnes. 
 
Joe Emersberger
 
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British pundit, Owen Jones, joined Scahill in boycotting the conference in protest at Mother Agnes' presence. The interventionsWatch blog points out
 
…unlike his continuing embrace of the blood soaked Labour party, he's just going to shun the conference altogether, thus giving plenty of ammunition to those who are trying to smear Stop The War, and anti-war people in general, as pro-Assad. 'Even Owen Jones wants nothing to do with them, see!'. 
 
My hunch is that he's scared of being tarred with a pro-Assad brush, because that would be damaging to his reputation (certainly in the eyes of a state-corporate media Establishment that has embraced him) in a way that being being seen as broadly pro-Labour – despite their horrific track record and the massive trail of corpses they left behind them last time they were in power – isn't, given that Labour are part of that Establishment themselves.
 
I would add that Jones also writes for the UK independent, the paper that published a Bruce Anderson piece advocating child torture.  and that has continued to published him, as I blogged here.
 
In fact, the Independent editors applauded the 2004 coup in Haiti and the 2009 coup in  Honduras.[1]
 
None of this prompts resignation letters from Jones. Mind you, I'm not actually arguing that Jones should resign, but there is that expression about glass houses and stones, especially since, as far as I am aware, Jones has never publicly expressed the slightest criticism of his editors.

UPDATE nov 20, 2013:

Jones basically admits that he didn't know what he was doing but acted assuming Scahill did know what he was doing when he publicly singled out Mother Agnes as being unworthy to share a platform with him. 



To his partial credit, Jones now tries to explain himself rather than hide behind snarly tweets, but without quite admitting he acted dishonorably. 



Hopefully he'll learn from this. 



Jones writes 



"Mother Agnes is perhaps most infamous for publishing a 50-page report claiming that the video footage of the Ghoutta massacre was faked, that the children suffocating to death had been kidnapped by rebels and were actually sleeping or "under anaesthesia". This was the most striking, crank-like example of Mother Agnes blaming what were widely accepted atrocities on the rebels, and therefore her detractors regard here as a mere mouthpiece for the Assad dictatorship." 



The track record on both sides is so horrible that false flag by either side cannot be dismissed out of hand. 



Would Jones have been scared off had Mother Agnes stated that she thought one of the "widely believed" videos showing a rebel atrocity had been faked -like the infamous liver eating one? 



Easy question to answer I think.

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[1]  Independent Editorial; "At Last, The US joins France to send Forces to Haiti", March 1, 2004: The editors wrote that Aristide "became in the end, just another dictator in a region where he'd once been the great democratic hope" a day after a US led coup.



Independent Editorial; "Guns and Deomcracy" June 30, 2009: The editors stated "But despite a natural distaste for any military coup, it is possible that the army might have actually done Honduran democracy a service."

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