International Conflicts

Issues ››› International Conflicts
  • Conservative Media Ignore Bush Administration, Blame Obama And Clinton For North Korean Nuclear Proliferation

    North Korea Became 8th Nuclear State In 2006 Under George W. Bush

    ››› ››› BRENDAN KARET

    Right-wing media figures immediately attacked President Obama and Hillary Clinton, following North Korea's announcement that they conducted a nuclear test. Right-wing media pundits blamed Obama, Bill, and Hillary Clinton for North Korea's Nuclear proliferation, ignoring that North Korea's first successful nuclear test occurred under the George W. Bush's administration in 2006.

  • Covering For Donald Trump, Conservative Media Blame Clinton For Terror Group's Recruitment Video Featuring Trump's Islamophobia

    ››› ››› NICK FERNANDEZ

    In an attempt to cover for Donald Trump, right-wing media blamed Hillary Clinton after the Republican presidential candidate's anti-Muslim rhetoric was featured in a terrorist group's recruitment video. Conservative media claim that Hillary Clinton inspired the terrorist group to create the video when she stated that Trump's Islamophobic rhetoric could help ISIS recruit.

  • United Nations Refugee Chief Condemns Trump-Style Rhetoric As Best Propaganda For ISIS

    UN High Commissioner For Refugees: "Those That Reject Syrian Refugees [...] Are The Best Allies Of The Propaganda And The Recruitment Of Extremist Groups"

    Blog ››› ››› BRENDAN KARET

    U.S. Mission Photo by Eric Bridiers

    The Guardian highlighted UN High Commissioner for refugees Antonio Guterres, who recently responded to anti-Muslim and anti-refugee rhetoric pushed by Donald Trump and other conservatives, stating that "[t]hose that reject Syrian refugees, and especially if they are Muslim, are the best allies of the propaganda and the recruitment of extremist groups."

    Guterres' comments come in the wake of Donald Trump's unconstitutional proposal to ban all Muslims from entering the United States, and vindicates media outlets that argued Trump's extreme rhetoric "feeds into the ISIS narrative," and is "counterproductive to our efforts" to defeat the terrorist group. Guterres affirmed to the UN Security Council that "We must not forget that - despite the rhetoric we are hearing these days - refugees are the first victims of such terror, not its source." From The Guardian:

    People who reject Syrian refugees are the "best allies" of Islamic State militants and other extremists, the United Nations refugee chief said on Monday after US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump proposed an entry ban on foreign Muslims.

    More than 4.3 million Syrians have fled a nearly five-year civil war. UN High Commissioner for refugees Antonio Guterres told the Security Council they cannot be blamed for the terror they are risking their lives to escape."

    Those that reject Syrian refugees, and especially if they are Muslim, are the best allies of the propaganda and the recruitment of extremist groups.

    Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said on Saturday that Islamic State is using Trump's rhetoric to enlist fighters to radical jihad. Trump rejected her claim and called her a "liar."


    Several US states said they would close the door to Syrian refugees, while Trump - currently the Republican Party's front-runner for the November 2016 election - called for a ban on foreign Muslims entering the United States."

    We must not forget that - despite the rhetoric we are hearing these days - refugees are the first victims of such terror, not its source," Guterres said. "They cannot be blamed for a threat which they're risking their lives to escape.

    [Photo credit: U.S. Mission Photo by Eric Bridiers]

  • How The Media Fell For A Lie That A Muslim American Veteran Was Arrested For Connection With ISIS

    The Intercept Debunks Right-Wing Media Lie: "The Widespread Smearing Of Saadiq Long As Having Joined An ISIS Cell, Is Completely False"

    Blog ››› ››› KATE SARNA

    An investigative report by The Intercept explained how national and local media outlets uncritically repeated a false right-wing story that claimed a Muslim American veteran was arrested in Turkey for his connection with the terrorist group ISIS. The story originated from a right-wing blog that used anonymous sources with no knowledge of why the veteran was detained. Saadiq Long was not arrested for or accused of having a connection with a terror cell and currently faces no criminal charges.

    In November, PJ Media published a story claiming that Long, an American veteran who received media attention after he was secretly placed on no-fly list, was "arrested in Turkey as part of ISIS cell."

    Fox NewsRedState, and right-wing anti-Muslim figures like Pam GellarRobert Spencer, and Ann Coulter also pushed the story. Local media in Oklahoma, where Long's family resides, also joined the conservative media outlets repeating the false story.

    The Intercept's Glenn Greenwald and Murtaza Hassain debunked the PJ media story in a December 10 Intercept post reporting that "the widespread smearing of Long as having joined an ISIS cell, is completely false" (emphasis added):

    A RIGHT-WING BLOG called "Pajamas Media" published an article on November 24 claiming that Saadiq Long, a Muslim American veteran of the U.S. Air Force, was arrested in Turkey for being an ISIS operative. Written by Patrick Poole, a professional anti-Muslim activist and close associate of Frank Gaffney, the article asserted that Long "finds himself and several family members sitting in a Turkish prison -- arrested earlier this month near the Turkey-Syria border as members of an ISIS cell." Its only claimed sources were anonymous: "U.S. and Turkish officials confirmed Long's arrest to PJ Media, saying that he was arrested along with eight others operating along the Turkish-Syrian border. So far, no U.S. media outlet has reported on his arrest."

    Long's purported arrest as an ISIS operative was then widely cited across the internet by Fox News as well as right-wing and even non-ideological news sites. Predictably, the story was uncritically hailed by the most virulent anti-Muslim polemicists: Pam Geller, Robert Spencer, Ann Coulter, and Sam Harris. Worst of all, it was blasted as a major news story by network TV affiliates and other local media outlets in Oklahoma, where Long is from and where his family -- including his sister and ailing mother -- still reside.

    But the story is entirely false: a fabrication. Neither Long nor his wife or daughter have been arrested on charges that he joined ISIS. He faces no criminal charges of any kind in Turkey.


    To begin with, it's irresponsible in the extreme to spread claims that someone has been arrested for joining ISIS without a very substantial basis for believing that's true. That's a claim that will be permanently attached to the person's name. The people who uncritically spread this "report" had nothing approaching a sufficient basis for doing so, and worse, most of them simply repeated the assertion that he was an ISIS operative as though it were verified fact.

    Beyond that, the only outlet to have "reported" this claim about Long and his family is Pajamas Media. Does anyone find that to be a credible news source, let alone one credible enough to permanently vilify someone as an ISIS member? The specific author of the report, Poole, swims exclusively in the most toxic, discredited, anti-Muslim far-right swamps -- he's a favorite of Frank Gaffney, last seen as the prime mover of Donald Trump's "ban Muslims" proposal -- and it is nothing short of shameful that so many people vested this anonymous smear with credibility. 

  • VIDEO: Here's Why Fox News Is Wrong To Dismiss The Link Between Climate Change And Terrorism


    Fox News pundits have spent much of the past year mocking and dismissing comments by President Obama, Democratic presidential candidates and others who have described the connection that climate change has to terrorism and the rise of the jihadist group ISIS. But as world leaders strive for an ambitious agreement at the conclusion of the United Nations climate change conference in Paris -- the site of horrific terrorist attacks by ISIS in November -- it's more important than ever that Americans and people around the world recognize the relationship between global warming and global security.

    Voiceover by Eric Wuestewald.

  • Ranking Member Of Benghazi Select Committee Pushes Back Against Baseless Allegation That DOD Emails Contradict Leon Panetta's Benghazi Testimony

    Press Release: "This Email Yet Another Example Of How Conservative Conspiracy Theorists Use Bits Of Information Out Of Context To Rehash Baseless Allegations"

    Blog ››› ››› NICK FERNANDEZ

    Ranking Member of the House Select Committee on Benghazi Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) is pushing back against false claims that a recently unredacted Defense Department email is a "smoking gun" that supposedly "seems to contradict testimony from former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta who in 2013 told lawmakers there was no time for an immediate response" to the September 11, 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya.

    Fox News recently seized on the unredacted Department of Defense email, claiming that the "email shows [the] Pentagon was ready to roll as Benghazi attack occurred." Fox News claimed that the email, first obtained by right-wing Judicial Watch, directly contradicts testimony from former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta in 2013.

    But the "smoking gun" email hyped by conservative media outlets doesn't contradict statements made by Panetta. During his 2013 testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee, Panetta explained that military assets were deployed that night.

    Rep. Elijah Cummings denounced the allegations in a December 9 press release that criticized right-wing media's attempt to rehash a "conservative conspiracy theory" by using "bits of information out of context to rehash baseless allegations that have been debunked time and again." The press release includes transcript of Secretary Panetta's 2013 testimony and also includes an unredacted version of the email released by Judicial Watch: 

    Today, the Select Committee on Benghazi Ranking Member released an email in unredacted form that debunks recent rehashed allegations from conservative news outlets about the Department of Defense's response on the night of the Benghazi attacks.

    Conservative commentators have called the redacted email a "smoking gun" and claimed that it "seems to contradict testimony from former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta who in 2013 told lawmakers there was no time for an immediate response," and that "[military assets] were awaiting sign off from the State Department and they never acted."

    However, the unredacted email confirms the previous testimony of Defense Department officials to Congress, supports the findings of previous Congressional Committees, and debunks these recent rehashed allegations.

    The email in question is released in full here.

    A Democratic Spokesman stated:

    "This email is yet another example of how conservative conspiracy theorists use bits of information out of context to rehash baseless allegations that have been debunked time and again."

  • After Trump Proposes Ban On Muslims, Rupert Murdoch Calls For "Refugee Pause"

    21st Century Fox Chairman Cites "Radical Muslim Dangers" To Push For Pause In Refugees

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    News Corporation and 21st Century Fox executive co-chairman Rupert Murdoch cited "radical Muslim dangers" to endorse a "complete refugee pause" one day after Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump called for a total ban on Muslims immigrating to or visiting the United States.

    On December 7, Trump called for a "total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United states until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on," citing a flawed poll from an Islamophobic organization to claim that Muslims are a danger to America.

    Murdoch, a top executive of Fox News' parent company, previously echoed calls by Republican presidential candidates Jeb Bush and Ted Cruz to limit the admission of Syrian refugees to "proven Christians":

    On December 8, amid widespread condemnation of Trump's proposal, Murdoch asked whether Trump has "gone too far," but then claimed that the "public is obsessed on radical Muslim dangers," and added that a "complete refugee pause to fix vetting makes sense":