CiF Watch Schadenfreude Alert: Brian Whitaker taunts the Guardian on Twitter

The fallout from Charlie Skelton’s ‘Comment is Free’ essay The Syrian opposition: who’s doing the talking?” has gotten a bit ugly.

Briefly, as we posted on July 15th, Skelton used his CiF column to warn darkly that many of the Syrian opposition leaders are connected to the U.S. government and various American neocons (who evidently are “ultra-ultra” hawks) and to promote scepticism of the protesters’ motives .

Skelton wrote:

“…spokespeople [for the Syrian opposition] are vocal advocates of foreign military intervention in Syria and thus natural allies of well-known US neoconservatives who supported Bush’s invasion of Iraq and are now pressuring the Obama administration to intervene.”

“The bombs doors are open. The plans have been drawn up….This has been brewing for a time. The sheer energy and meticulous planning that’s gone into this change of regime – it’s breathtaking….They’re selling the idea of military intervention and regime change, and the mainstream news is hungry to buy.”

The essay by Skelton, a prolific conspiracy theorist, seemed to anger veteran Guardian journalist (and Middle East Analyst) Brian Whitaker, who then Tweeted about the fact that Syrian government TV actually cited Skelton’s CiF essay on one of their programs to discredit opponents of the Assad regime. 

Here’s the Tweet:

Then, Whitaker Tweeted the Guardian (aka, his employer) daring them to publish an essay extremely critical of the political thinking of Skelton, and his fellow far left thinkers, regarding Syria. 

The essay, at a blog not at all friendly to Zionism, is written by Guardian contributor Robin Yassin-Kassab.  

Here are some of the passages:

“One of my infantile leftist ex-friends recently referred to the Free Syrian Army as a ‘sectarian gang’.

“…the problem with blanket thinkers is that they are unable to adapt to a rapidly shifting reality. Instead of evidence, principles and analytical tools, they are armed only with ideological blinkers…they read every other situation through the US-imperialist lens....”

Seumas…cough, cough, Milne, cough…

“…how do the blanket thinkers see the situation? For them it’s yet another clear-cut case of American imperialist aggression against a noble resistance regime, and once again the people are passive tools.”

“It is the duty of any right-thinking person, leftist or otherwise, to support the oppressed people in their struggle.”

Whitaker then followed up his original Tweet with another one, daring the Guardian to publish the essay.

Finally, Whitaker, who evidently received a reply to his challenge, Tweeted the following:


We will of course keep you posted on any further developments in the Whitaker – Guardian Twitter Smackdown!

14 replies »

  1. Given what we are hearing about the “restructuring” at the Guardian, I wonder whether Whitaker is among the ones required to fall on his sword?

    Could that be why he is openly criticising the Guardian?

    • Indeed. Looks like Twitter-cur may be for the chop.

      Duvidl wonders whether British bookmakers will give CiF watchers odds on who will be consigned to the fish-and-chip wrapping paper of history. Duvidl would suggest Georgina Henry as a good evens bet. As for Shameless Seaumas, he must be odds-on to have to walk the plank before the ship goes down. Cue that song again from Duvidl’s comment on the “ship sinking” thread:

  2. I can see Whitaker’s point. Most respectable newspapers don’t publish serious analysis of world affairs by comedy writers and troofers. But Skelton’s piece is actually no worse than the crap that Harriet Sherwood usually turns in.

  3. Well, that’s peterthehungarian’s suggestion that all Guardian staff are goosestepping Nazis shot to pieces.

    Not that you needed any further evidence that said suggestion was absolutely demented in the first place, of course.

    • Maybe you should point out where and when I said that all Guardian staff are goosestepping Nazis. Could it be that it is only one of your many smears and lies pretzel?

      But I did say that the Guardian and its staff members are using anti-Semitism as a mean to push their anti-American, anti-democratic and anti-liberal agenda. That Whitaker a proven lying Israel-hater himself got cold feet reading the absurd crap of a truther in the Guardian means that he is a bit more intelligent like his colleagues.
      Seems to me that what is shot to pieces here is your permanent whining about ad hominem abuses and calling me demented.

      • On another thread you suggested that Guardian staff members are like the poster TheAZCowBoy (with his classic Nazi-style claims about Jews).

        Was that supposed to be a joke? Perhaps you think this is a laughing matter. I do not.

        • pretzel you can’t recognize a joke, irony, sarcasm etc, whein it is starring you in the face. This ability is totally lacks from your certainly huge set of intellectual characteristics.

  4. The piece proposed by Whitaker, despite its anti-blanket thinkerism, is so drenched in anti-Israel venom and lies that, frankly, let these turds fight it out among themselves.

  5. My talk of ‘infantile leftists’ does not include the entire left of course. Simon Assaf of the Socialist Workers, for instance, understands what’s happening.