RT’s June 12 CrossTalk program focused on the origins and nature of the Islamic State.
Program host Peter Lavelle makes a general reference to the 2012 Defense Intelligence Agency document predicting the rise of ‘an Islamic State’ as he sets up the main question to be debated (at 1:10).
Middle East expert and internationally-syndicated columnist Ramzy Baroud closes the program by extensive reference to the DIA document (starting at 23:30):
“In 2012 there was a document by Defense Intelligence that predicted the rise of ISIS and they in fact refer to it as the Islamic State in those documents. Go to the writing of Nafeez Ahmed where he analyzes this document that was leaked recently. I think it’s rather important that we pay attention to the fact that much of the creation of ISIS actually goes back to American intelligence and American calculation, and this is why I did argue, and continue to argue that ISIS is essentially a western phenomenon more than being a Middle Eastern phenomenon.”
The entirety of this particular CrossTalk debate is excellent. It is a shame that one cannot find a debate that occurs at this level of analysis in mainstream American media—it’s too bad that it takes a state-owned Russian broadcast to bring us serious Middle East analysts who actually speak Arabic.
For example, the Beirut bureau chief for the New York Times, Anne Barnard, does not speak Arabic, and this is part of the reason why her reporting is so lousy, and often riddled with errors. Levant Report itself once deconstructed her sloppy reporting, after which the top Syria expert in the U.S., Joshua Landis, promoted our article, at which point Barnard “favorited” it on Twitter.
Or call to mind this AC360 segment, which ended in CNN’s chief international correspondent Christiane Amanpour frantically shouting down her fellow panelists as they discussed the conflict in Syria, even saying things like, “Wait just a second — Excuse me. Excuse me. The president of the United States and the most moral country in the world based on the most moral principles in the world … cannot allow this to go unchecked … I’m so emotional about this.”
This is what passes for analysis in the American mainstream and it’s just so embarrassing. Fewer people will feel the need to watch RT News should the U.S. mainstream decide to get its act together.