ISSN 2330-717X

Yaser Murtaja And Marie Colvin – OpEd


Yaser Murtaja was a Palestinian journalist acting in his professional capacity when he was murdered by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF). He was covering the second Great Return March in Gaza and was clearly identified as press when an Israeli sniper fired a fatal shot.

Yaser Murtaja should not be forgotten. His death must be uppermost in our minds when the Syrian government is accused of deliberately murdering a journalist and is sued for $300 million in a United States court. Marie Colvin was covering the Syrian war in 2012 for the British newspaper The Sunday Times. She was killed when the Syrian army shelled the building where she and others were embedded with the Free Syrian Army, a group committed to regime change. The court filing claims that the Syrian government tracked Colvin’s movement and assassinated her. Ordinarily foreign governments can’t be sued in United States courts but as a designated “terrorist” state the rule does not apply to Syria.

War propaganda is the order of the day in the ongoing effort to continue war in Syria. President Bashar Assad has been accused of carrying out chemical weapons attacks against his people ever since the American backed effort began in 2011. We are told to believe that he would carry out these attacks on the same day that United Nations inspectors arrive or whenever he is winning on the battlefield.

The real issue is that Assad is still the president of Syria with the help of his Russian and Iranian allies. He has defeated the terrorists sent to unseat him and he and his allies are forces to be reckoned with. NATO governments know that their people will not support war against his country unless they believe that he is an evil dictator who gasses babies every day.

His opponents are armed with money and contacts at the highest levels of the American and European governments. There is an entire media industry devoted to disparaging him and in so doing making the case for continued war. The White Helmets are a fiction, a creation of al Qaeda, an organization we are otherwise told to hate and fear. Far from being disinterested rescuers the White Helmets are part of the terror network that has nearly destroyed Syria and killed thousands of people. They routinely stage footage of their rescues and of gas attacks but only the leftist media dare to point out that easily provable fact.

The White Helmets are not alone. Every anti-Assad lie comes with the seal of approval from the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR). Despite the grandiose name the SOHR is just one man living in the U.K. named Rami Abdel Rahman. Rahman is a native Syrian who actually hasn’t been inside his homeland in 16 years.

This week the SOHR reports chlorine gas attacks carried out against the civilian population by the Assad government. The moment is very opportune but there is no evidence that the latest reported attack took place at all. The terrorists use these charges to regroup and to be given safe passage so that they may attack another day. The lies are not just propagandistic. They are tools for continuing this horrible conflict.

The corporate media share in the culpability. They have chosen sides and repeat verbatim every outlandish fiction that will make the case for imperialism. None of them allow a counter narrative to see the light of day. There are many knowledgeable people whose expertise would call into question charges of gas attacks and assassinated reporters. But they are disappeared from discourse and casual followers of the news have no idea that they exist.

The lawsuit in the Marie Colvin case is nothing but war propaganda. Her family will never collect from the Syrian government but that isn’t the point of this case. Is it meant to create a compliant population who will believe anything they are told and not ask questions when the United States starts a hot war with Syria and its Russian and Iranian allies.

Who will file a lawsuit on behalf of Yaser Murtaja? He died covering protests that Palestinians have a right to hold according to international law. But Israel doesn’t need to respect the law because of American financial and military support. If there were justice both of those governments would be sued or better yet their leaders would be tried at the Hague as war criminals.

The Israelis brag that they “know where every bullet lands.” This ghoulish statement is a confession that they knowingly shot and killed a member of the press corps. His family will have no right to sue that government or its patron the United States. There is no hand wringing for Murtaja in the corporate media or from liberals who think themselves humanitarian.

Marie Colvin was killed because she was covering a war zone and was embedded with a group devoted to Assad’s overthrow. Ms. Colvin had already lost the sight in one eye after covering another war in Sri Lanka. She knew the risks of her profession and continued to take them. There is no comparison between her death and Murtaja, a man who was trapped in Gaza with 2 million other people and who devoted himself to chronicling their oppression.

Some victims are considered worthy and others are thought to be unworthy. Some are ignored and others are elevated so that the rulers can get away with advocating evil deeds. Of course no one would have died in Syria if Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton hadn’t joined with NATO and monarchy states to destroy another nation after their gruesome success in Libya. Perhaps the next lawsuit should target them and their cronies. That would be true justice.

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Margaret Kimberley

Margaret Kimberley's Freedom Rider column appears weekly in BAR (, and is widely reprinted elsewhere. She maintains a frequently updated blog as well as at Ms. Kimberley lives in New York City, and can be reached via e-Mail at Margaret.Kimberley(at)

One thought on “Yaser Murtaja And Marie Colvin – OpEd

  • September 1, 2018 at 8:03 am

    Excellent article! Thank you for writing it.


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