U.N. reporter Ian Williams denies endorsing Syrian bid for Security Council seat

In response to our earlier post, Ian Williams, a U.N. reporter who has written for The Guardian and regularly appears on the Iranian regime’s Press TV propaganda channel, is now denying having supported the candidacy of Bashar al-Assad’s Syrian regime for the U.N. Security Council:

Reading of the cited text show [sic] no evidence of advocacy whatsoever for the Al-Assad regime winning a seat.. it merely accurately predicts the failure of the US department’s attempts.

Really?  Well, let’s read his 2001 Washington Report article together.

Did Williams merely offer a prediction, with “no evidence of advocacy whatsoever for the Al-Assad regime”?

The opposite is true. Consider:

  • Williams blatantly crossed the line from news reporting to shilling for Assad when he praised the State Department for “wisely” having “resisted any urgings to launch a campaign against the Syrian candidacy.”  Those who do news — just see any U.N. dispatch from Reuters or AP — do not, ever, interject judgments like “wisely” when reporting government positions, let alone on a dictator’s U.N. candidacy.
  • Williams also crossed that line into hackery when he attacked opposition to Syria’s bid — a morally obvious, just and noble opposition by any human rights standard — and portrayed it as entirely negative.  In Williams’ rendering, raising Syria’s crimes against peace and human rights was nothing but “a campaign to discredit Syria.” In Orwellian fashion, to oppose Assad was to act illegitimately.
  • Williams’ piece focused entirely on Israel. He refused to address the merits of Syria’s bid — if anything, he argued that the regime was a good neighbor that did not run afoul of U.N. resolutions — and he omitted to mention the documentation by major human rights groups of Syria’s systematic repression. For Williams, the notion that Syria was a state sponsor of terrorism would “carry little weight in the international community.” Why? Because, he argued, Israel is a criminal. This was his logic.

Finally, Williams tries now to recast his 2001 piece as something that “merely accurately predict[ed] the failure of the US department’s attempts.”  Yet in fact his original article made no mention of any such attempts. On the contrary, he wrote that the State Department had so far not made any attempts at all — “wisely.”

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