John Cantlie pops up in time to detract headline attention away from the SAA’s advances in Aleppo with a sympathy beat down Mosul style.
Throughout the video Cantlie neglects to mention the fact that Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, has been held hostage by Islamic State for just over two years, and that the supply of water to the civilians has been a tactic Daesh used in both controlling and punishing the population. Why let the truth get in the way of a good story?
The other flaws in Cantlie’s dialogue are propped up with interviews from civilians who theatrically gesticulate explanations of the hardships living in Mosul, whilst pointing out the painful obvious. Aside from the scripted narrative and over emphasising drama verbs Cantlie looks almost ghoul like with translucent skin and bony needle like fingers. The only thing missing in this quaint story board and bad two camera swipes…the Christians.
John Cantle reappears on the internet through Amaq media reporting on the coalition bombing of Mosul and the money exchange in Raqqah. Aside from the obvious changes to Cantlie, and the missing orange prisoner garb, the dialogue revolves around the efforts of the Coalition forces to disrupt the Islamic State. With the same dramatic pathos of raising his arms summoning a drone attack in earlier releases (tangentcode), Cantlie takes the viewer on a guided tour of the bombing sites refering in the video to the April 2016 bombing of Mosul University which was targeted as part of action against a bomb making factory and the administrative controllers.
The bombing of the money changing offices in Raqqa was not just an indiscriminate bombing of a shopping centre, as Cantle describes it, the money exchange and forwarding services play a vital part in the day to day operations of Daesh, who are all about the money.
The site which Cantle stands in front of, drone camera buzzing, is the same site Daesh have used for public executions and other war crimes.
The reality of life in Raqqa can be seen in the last frames of the video, the drone turns and the viewer can see the armed, masked thugs who stands guard as Cantlie records. (The same armed thug that guard the executions and make the people attend.)
Another video appears with John Cantlie scrambling through the ruins of Halab. Cantlie goes to great lengths throughout the video to show how normal life is in the besieged area. He takes the viewer to a Sharia Law Court, or at least that’s what he says, or is it a public waiting room for an optometrist?
I’m not exactly sure what Cantlie thinks he is conveying but in reality he is doing more harm than good.
One interesting point is that he describes this video as the last in a series…what that could mean who knows?
The video lacks some of the sophistication seen in previous videos, such as colour correction details. However the same purchased transition kits gets a working out at an attempt to make a silk purse from a sow’s ear.
The ubiquitous White Helmets skulk about, loitering like pick-pockets up to no good…