Stephen Cohen and Joshua Landis. What do they have in common? Besides both being professors that is. Both are self proclaimed experts in their respective areas of study. In Landis's case that would be Syria and Assad. While Cohen's area of "expertise" is Ukraine. Take a closer look though, rather than being experts they really are no more than paid or volunteer shills for their respective dictators. So needless to say when I watched Cohen on Democracy Now! And read his editorial in The Nation magazine I was appalled. Basically blaming the Western media for the toppling of a dictator, Viktor Yanukovych, in Ukraine. Sighting every reason under the sun except the truth, Cohen basically implies the people of Western nations are ignorant as to the truth. The Truth is that Yanukovych was a corrupt, incompetent politician who ordered his police to open fire on demonstrators with sniper rifles killing dozens. Volunteer medical staff who tended to the wounded stated they had no chance. " The shooters were professional. Chest shots, neck and head shots. Wounds to the lungs and heart." That was the fatal blow which did not topple those wanting freedom, but toppled the man that ordered the shootings.
Cohen had the nerve to say "If demonstrators were hurling Molotov Cocktails, burning federal buildings in the US our government would do the same." Well, if our government resorted to kidnapping and disappearing demonstrators, torturing them, and finally resorting to firing live ammunition on peaceful demonstrators, I would hope the American public would respond in kind. The US made that mistake once before in modern history, that was Kent State University on May 4, 1970. There the National Guard fired wildly killing four unarmed protesters and wounding nine others. They were not using snipers Mr. Cohen. And thank God that hasn't happened since.
As for Landis, his story is the same. For some reason, feeling compelled to defend the dictator Bashar al Assad through whatever murdering spree he may be on at the moment. Whether it is gassing civilians, starving them or dropping barrel bombs on them, it is always the victims fault according to this "expert." Not sure why the want to deliberately mislead the American public and support such murderers. Both always blaming the worst of the worst in both conflicts. Are there some very bad people on the opposition side, yes there are, and they got there by people like Landis and Cohen confusing the Western Public. Cohen insists this has nothing to do with Putin, Landis the same. In both it is Putin who stymies any action on removing such dictators, it is Putin whose weapons and ammunition slay the Syrian people. It is Putin who wants to re rasie the Iron Curtain and rein in the former Soviet satellite countries through extortion and threats.
Amy Goodman, the host of Democracy Now! does some very good work on one hand. On the other hand, sometimes I'm not to sure where it is she is going. Both Cohen and Landis have appeared on her show, both calling the demonstrators, not their governments "Fascist" in some instances with no guests to to counter their charges. I noticed another thing about Goodman, not that she throws anyone under the bus, but she does let them slide under it. Razan Zaitouneh, a Syrian human rights lawyer was an occasional guest on the show, at great risk to herself she was interviewed several times by phone or Skype by Goodman. She eventually disappeared, was kidnapped in mid December of last year. Goodman never even mentions the woman now, almost like she got what she wanted out of her, and too bad she is missing. Maybe because Razan was so insistent that the West do something in regards to Assad, especially after the sarin attack, maybe that was not what Goodman wanted to post. Another guest from Syria who appeared at great risk on her show, was named Basil al Sayid, a citizen journalist who risked life and limb reporting on the unjustified, illegal and horrible government crackdown on the people of Homs by Assad's forces, met with similar fate to Razan. Except he was shot and killed by a government sniper. He was known as the "Eye of Truth" and saw it as his duty to get the news out of Syria, the news of what Assad was doing to unarmed demonstrators. He filmed his own demise in the city he was trying to save. Goodman presents more"experts" supporting the regimes point of view now than she did before. To her credit, Goodman did donate a small section to Basil, but not much.
Cohen and Landis are not experts, they are full of shit, they sell books. Razan and Basil were the experts, one is missing and one is dead. And Assad is still there with the help of people like Landis and Cohen.