American researcher, author, anti-Israel activist, and son of former Clinton advisor, Max Blumenthal, has been widely slammed on the internet over his recent visit to Syria through which he is accused of “whitewashing” the Syrian regime crimes.
Blumenthal has gone to Twitter to share photos from his trip to Damascus claiming to show the reality in Syria while praising the Syrian regime for allegedly trying to rebuild Syria after the eight-year war that caused massive destruction, killed and forced millions of Syrians to leave their homes.
In a Twitter thread, Blumenthal said he visited the Syrian capital to provide a perspective from inside the country where most Syrians live, a narrative being “ignored” by the Western media, as he claimed, to give grounds for the war in the past years.
Here I am near the border of Jobar, a neighborhood east of Damascus occupied by the Saudi-backed Jaish al-Islam until early last year. Militia control extended close to the tall building behind me. The one I’m in is in a mostly Christian area was hit by a mortar in April 2018. pic.twitter.com/lMFZzu9kd1— Max Blumenthal (@MaxBlumenthal) September 8, 2019
One photo Blumenthal shared is for a poster of members of the Ja’afari force, an Iran backed military forces providing fighters from Afghanistan and Iraq. However, Blumenthal, who could not read the Arabic poster, claimed it is “honoring the Syrian army soldiers” who were killed in the war against “foreign-backed extremists”, Blumenthal tweeted.
Twitter users were quick to point out the embarrassing mistranslation. One user said, “This is what happens when you don't know anything about Syria or how to read Arabic.”
This is what happens when you don't know anything about Syria or how to read Arabic. The green poster is not from the SAA but rather from the Jaafariya Force, part of the Sayida Ruqaya brigade, an Iran backed sectarian militia with many fighters from Afghanistan & Iraq. https://t.co/RLlSaWCT8k— شنشون (@humanprovince) September 8, 2019
Meanwhile, many Syrians who have a significant role in the Syrian uprising of 2011 and were forced to leave the country amid fears of being targeted by the regime, have harshly criticized Max Blumenthal as the “White American son-of-a-millionaire-politician” who whitewashes the Syrian regime crimes.
Why not interview #Syrians who have been tortured, raped, humiliated etc. by the regime's security apparatus? Why not report on the "foreign backed extremists" mobilized by #Iran and imported by #Assad that ethnically cleanse #Sunni majority areas and humiliate their inhabitants?— Nizar Mohamad نزار (@NizarMohamad1) September 8, 2019
One activist who had left Syria in 2014 and can’t return back over fears of her life have condemned Blumenthal’s attempt to visit Syria and promote a fake narrative of how peaceful and calm it is while still ruled by the same Syrian regime who destroyed Syria and still able to detain, torture and kills any critics.
I had to live in Lebanon, Turkey, &now the US alone since I was 17. Went through things I’m still learning how to talk about.— Sarah Hunaidi (@SaraHunaidi) September 8, 2019
But Max Blumenthal can go inside Assad’s Syria and take pictures whitewashing our dictatorship. Ok.
Another user accused Max Blumenthal of being complicit in promoting “brutal tyrants” with his American-government passport.
Syrian activists can't go back to their homes but the white American son-of-a-millionaire-politician Max Blumenthal can go in and out as he pleases to tell us of how things are much better now that the Assad regime is finishing to slaughter all remaining activists.— joey ayoub #ClimateEmergency (@joeyayoub) September 8, 2019
Blumenthal is known for his controversial and changing positions in the Syrian war. He was known for his work with the Lebanese newspaper, Al Akhbar, in 2011 but he left a year after in a protest against the newspaper's "pro-Assad" editorial line. However, Blumenthal visited the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan and changed his position since then. Later in 2015, he began to claim the White Helmets were connected to Al-Qaeda and anti-Assad Syrians were members of the group.
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