The Alt-Media Community has once again been hoodwinked by fake news that conforms to its members’ wishful thinking expectations after falling for the latest reports from anonymous sources alleging that Russia has supposedly stopped several “Israeli” strikes in Syria and also finally given the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) the authority to use the S-300s. The state of ecstasy that this triggered among many is more akin to a state of collective psychosis that proves just how easy it is to mislead people by simply saying exactly what they want to hear without having to back it up with any evidence whatsoever.
The first fake news report about this topic came from The Independent’s Arabic editorial and claimed that an unnamed Russian source informed them that not only had Russia stopped several “Israeli” strikes in Syria, but that it even threatened to down the self-professed “Jewish State’s” warplanes if they refused to call off their attacks. This political fantasy should have been rejected outright by anyone with even passing knowledge of the situation in Syria since the onset of Russia’s anti-terrorist intervention there after Moscow reached a military agreement with Tel Aviv to allow the latter to continue carrying out attacks against the IRGC and Hezbollah.
— H.K 🇸🇾 (@Ibra_Joudeh) September 18, 2019
This isn’t “fake news” either like the most zealous anti-Zionists in the Alt-Media Community might claim, but was officially confirmed by the spokesman of the Russian Ministry of Defense in September 2018 after the mid-air spy plane tragedy. RT reported that he also revealed that Russia carved out a 140-kilometer-deep anti-Iranian buffer zone beyond the occupied Golan Heights at “Israel’s” behest, as well as sent Special Forces into the middle of a SAA-ISIS firefight in order to dig up “IDF” remains. Nevertheless, “true believers” of The Independent’s fake news narrative claim that it must be credible if even the “Jerusalem Post” republished it.
President Putin has lavished extensive praise on the self-professed “Jewish State” numerous times as verified by the official Kremlin website
Disregarding the ridiculousness of an anonymous Russian military source leaking such explosive information to a Western Mainstream Media outlet instead of to their own national media, it should be pointed out that the “Jerusalem Post” is a liberal-leaning publication that has an interest in discrediting Netanyahu, especially after his latest successful trip to Russia and ahead of the elections that were held a few days after they reported on that fake news. The Alt-Media Community would ordinarily never believe any anonymous but negative report pushed by the “Jerusalem Post” about Syria, yet it unquestionably believed this “positive” one.
Therein lies an important point, namely that the Alt-Media Community projected its prevailing anti-Zionist perspective onto the foreign policy of Russia despite the overwhelming evidence that Russia is actually Israel’s “unofficial” ally. President Putin has lavished extensive praise on the self-professed “Jewish State” numerous times as verified by the official Kremlin website, and he even took time out of his extraordinarily busy schedule to speak at the annual conference of the “Keren Heyesod Foundation” last week where he endorsed the activities of the group that describes itself as the “fundraising arm of the Zionist movement“.
President Putin’s speech is a must-read for anyone remotely interested in the truth nature of Russian-“Israeli” ties since it includes such crucial takeaways as the Russian leader “say(ing) with pride that probably there has never been such a high level of relations between Russia and Israel”, confidently asserting that he regards “Israel” as a “Russian-speaking country”, and even boldly saying that the two are “a true common family”, the latter description of which he immediately proceeded to say was said “without exaggeration”. Quite clearly, it’s nothing short of delusional to think that Russia is against “Israel” and that Putin is secretly an anti-Zionist.
With this in mind, the second fake news report on this topic can also be seen as laughable just like the first, as can the Alt-Media Community’s acceptance of both. Avia.pro, an obscure Russian-language website that looks like it’s from the mid-2000s and only has slightly more than 2,000 members in its VKontakte group (the top Russian social media platform) which interestingly hasn’t been updated since 2015, published a report just days after The Independent’s alleging that Russia finally gave the SAA the authority to use the S-300s to down “Israeli” jets. This, too, was also picked up by the “Jerusalem Post”, which described the site as “Russian media”.
That’s not true at all though, nor are the report’s claims by yet another anonymous Russian military source, since Avia.pro cannot be reasonably regarded as “Russian media” in the sense of how the term was used. Speaking of actual Russian media, however, none of the leading outlets reported on these two fake news reports to the author’s best knowledge. Once again, the “Jerusalem Post” evidently thought it worthy to republish unverified claims by an unnamed source in order to discredit Netanyahu, a goal that also aligns with that of many members of the Alt-Media Community who predictably fell for this hoax for that same reason.
The lesson to be learned from this latest experience is that politically minded individuals — and especially those who have become disillusioned with Mainstream Media and therefore joined the Alt-Media Community instead — have a tendency to believe whatever conforms to their wishful thinking expectations even if it’s unverified and shared by “enemy media” like the “Jerusalem Post”. When the clickbait narrative being peddled so starkly contradicts the facts like in the two examined cases, however, it speaks to a larger underlying psychological issue that goes far beyond mere cognitive dissonance and might even require professional assistance to resolve.
DISCLAIMER: The author writes for this publication in a private capacity which is unrepresentative of anyone or any organization except for his own personal views. Nothing written by the author should ever be conflated with the editorial views or official positions of any other media outlet or institution.
Andrew Korybko is a political analyst, radio host, and regular contributor to several online outlets. He specializes in Russian affairs and geopolitics, specifically the US strategy in Eurasia. His other areas of focus include tactics of regime change, color revolutions and unconventional warfare used across the world. His book, “Hybrid Wars: The Indirect Adaptive Approach To Regime Change”, extensively analyzes the situations in Syria and Ukraine and claims to prove that they represent a new model of strategic warfare being waged by the US.