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The reviewer's reviews

Documentaries claim to represent the facts – they cannot be judged solely on how much emotional touch they have.

In the October issue of Ny Tid, three documentaries about Syria and the war were mentioned in a way that I think is completely uncritical of the allegations in the films. It's about the movies A Memory in Khaki (reviewed by film critic Dieter Wieczorek), Syria Disappeared – The Case against Assad (reviewed by Mark Taylor, senior researcher at FAFO) and interviewed by the director of Cries for Syria by film critic Alexander Huser. Many of the allegations made in the films are highly debatable. I think an interviewer / reviewer of documentaries should point this out.

One-sided and uncritical. Ta disappeared unilateral focus on the fact that it is the Syrian "regime" with President Assad at the head that should be punished for crimes committed during the war. Therefore No demands for such against the over 60 countries, including Norway, which have since waged war against Syria, with the use of jihadist mercenaries and through sanctions that blindly kill. "US and European sanctions are punishing ordinary Syrians and crippling aid work during the largest humanitarian emergency since World War II," as read in a UN report.

The "facts" in the film are "almost unbelievable," Taylor writes. But at least it is clear that Taylor both believes in and was emotionally affected by them.

When it comes to the movie A Memory in Khaki there are also many questions that arise – and claims that are hanging in the air. For example, what is meant by the fact that Syria "began to lose its political legitimacy" when the Soviet Union collapsed? Why does the country's legitimacy depend on the existence of the Soviet Union? Moreover, Russia is at least as loyal to Syria as the Soviet Union was. So this doesn't hang on, Dieter Wieczorek.

In the interview about Cries for Syria  coming Huser among other things into the story of 7-year-old Bana Aled, who is known for his Twitter messages. But Huser does not mention that she tweets in perfect English despite barely being able to speak the language, as revealed in an interview with her on CNN. The story of Bana is an example of the cynical use of children in war propaganda. The film also contains manipulative cross-cutting – such as when a Syrian soldier throws a hand grenade and the next second the image changes to a peaceful crowd.

The story of Bana is an example of the cynical use of children in war propaganda.

The film's false claims. A number of allegations are made in cries which are either wrong or so shameless that they give a wrong picture of the situation:

1) "Assad accounts for 98 percent of the atrocities, IS for 2 percent." There are several terrorist groups in Syria, such as Al Nusra, and IS entered the war in early 2014 – at a time when about 100 had already been killed. The bombings of the "coalition" led by the United States have also killed hundreds of civilian Syrians.

2) "1982, the people of Hama rebel against Assad [...] and kill 40 000 man." However, an acid I know told me that this "massacre" was the culmination of a six-year war, triggered by the Muslim the Brotherhood rebelled against the introduction of secular laws. And the number of people killed is disputed. Estimates vary from 2000 to 40 000. Foreign powers such as Britain should have been on the jihadists – mainly from the Muslim Brotherhood – as well. "The Islamic uprising in Syria was a series of armed uprisings between 1976 and 1982, conducted by Sunni Islamists, mainly members of the Muslim Brotherhood" (Wikipedia).

3) "Russia and Assad […] said they were fighting IS, but that is the biggest lie of all time." "Everyone" who has followed the war knows that Syria, with the help of Russia, is liberating ever larger parts of Syria from IS and other terrorist groups, most recently Deir ez-Zor (as of November 8).

4) It is also said that Assad "went after the Muslim Brotherhood". But the Muslim Brotherhood was banned in Syria in 1964, that is, six years before Hafez al-Assad seized power.

The following erroneous / debatable statements are repeated in all films:

5) The war began with a purely peaceful and popular uprising – this is claimed despite numerous testimonies to the contrary. Yes, recently even former Qatar Prime Minister Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani acknowledged that the armed "opposition" in Syria was under the command of foreign powers – the United States, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar – from the very beginning.

6. "Assad [and only Assad] has used chemical weapons gas against civilians" – but not against their enemies – which includes IS and Al Qaeda. Is this particularly likely? This is claimed despite the fact that a terrorist group, Jaysh al-Islam, has admitted the use of "forbidden weapons". Yes, the US State Department has even warned against going to Syria precisely because terror groups in Syria have used chemical weapons.

Huser does mention that the war has been insufficiently covered in Norway. But in what way? I miss coverage of the killing of over 100 Syrian government journalists, as well as over 100 government soldiers. And last but not least, I miss coverage of Norway de facto war against Syria. So far, only the tip of this iceberg has been featured in Norwegian media – and then "disguised" as aid to Syria and Syrians.

Who finances? It looks like it is easy to get funded and distributed documentaries that help the US / NATO / Norway war against Syria. So where does the money come from? This should be a task for journalists in Norway to find out, if not necessarily for film reviewers.

There are also cases such as documentary Mohammad Bayazid, who fingered an assassination attempt on himself to gain publicity and funding for a new film about the war, according to Syrian Al Masdar News.

What are the requirements for documentary filmmakers? Critical sense is at least a good start. For these films are very agitating / activist. The at least the reviewers and the interviewer should have pointed out.

Huser responds about Cries for Syria.

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