Yesterday, I went to a talk at MIT on behalf of the Center for International Studies, SYRIA: The Mainstream Media and Its Role in the War, presented by news photographer, Jonathan Alpeyrie.
Jonathan Alpeyrie's career, which stretches over a decade, has brought him to more than 25 countries and 9 conflict zones, mostly in East Africa, the South Caucasus, the Middle East and central Asia. In the spring, while in Syria, he was taken hostage for 81 days by Syrian rebels. Born in Paris in 1979, Mr. Alpeyrie moved to the United States in 1993. He graduated from the French high school of New York City in 1998, before going to the University of Chicago to study medieval history. Today he is a staff photographer for Polaris Images. His work has been published in Paris Match, Aftenposten, Time magazine, Newsweek, Boston Globe, Glamour, BBC, World magazine, Popular Photography, the New York Times, and ELLE.
Newsman Alpeyrie's story of being held hostage by rebels, who were supposed to be allies of the West, is a newsworthy story unto itself. At the beginning of his ordeal, they pretended to execute him, then kept him blindfolded and handcuffed to a bed. He heard them torture Christian captives in the next room for days on end. He managed to survive by being friendly to his abductors, who tried to convert him to Islam. They asked him what he thought of Osama bin Laden, which he answered as any New York City native would, and he in turn asked them what they thought of OBL and was shocked by their answer.
He is a great man. He did what he had to do for the Muslim people.Alpeyrie was freed by a member of Assad's regime, who was looking for missing journalists and had to pay the pro OBL rebels a heavy ransom for his release.
The MSM has not invited Alpeyrie back after his interviews with FOX and CNN, during which he opined that the rebels, not Assad, were more likely behind the August 21 gas attack in Syria.
He pointed out that there was no motive for Assad to foolishly "cross the red line" by gassing his own people as he was winning at that point and had nothing to gain and everything to lose, because his use of CW would trigger American intervention. He also pointed out that eyewitnesses interviewed in Ghouta reported that rebels had been provided with chemical weapons.
Alpeyrie responded to an audience member's point that it would be impossible for the rebels to launch CW from multiple locations at the same time, by informing him that the rebels had acquired a lot of sophisticated weaponry and that it was indeed possible. Alpeyrie said that the UN report was inconclusive in assessing blame and that due to the degradation of CW traces, it is impossible to assess blame with any certainty.
Jonathan Alpeyrie's interview on CNN about his kidnapping:
When Anderson Cooper asked him whether he would go back to Syria to cover the war, he said "no," because the rebels would probably capture him again. Thus, we do not have journo boots on the ground in Syria and are instead inundated with snooped snippets of conversations collected by spooks as the "incontrovertible proof" to bomb countries on the PNAC hit list, which when put into context of the conversation in its entirety tell a completely different story.
Abductions of journalists by Al Qaeda affiliated rebels is yet another salvo in the war against truth. When journalists are terrorized not to dare cover the truth about war, propaganda prevails.