A blog that gives you truthful accounts of the world’s anti-colonial and anti-capitalist movements, and that counters the lies which the ruling class uses to try to discredit these movements (Header image is from Grenade Media)
Thursday, September 20, 2018
4 Reasons Why The White Helmets Are A Front For War Propaganda
In a post-Iraq invasion world, skepticism of Western narratives is always the most reasonable position. And the suspicions about the Syria Civil Defense-commonly known as the White Helmets-have been proven completely correct. Here are four facts about this group that have backed up the claims of the supposed conspiracy theorists:
1-They were created for advancing propaganda
The White Helmets were founded in March 2013 by James Le Mesurier, a British ex-mercenary and private military contractor. Le Mesurier’s project was made in partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)’s Office of Transitional Initiatives, which is a political wing of the agency that’s helped with American subversion efforts in Cuba and Venezuela.
The Syria Civil Defense was soon given $123 million dollars by the U.S., U.K., and Qatari governments, and by Western NGOs. The U.S. State Department continues to fund it. And as you might have guessed, these powers haven’t invested so in much in the White Helmets because they care about “humanitarianism.” In addition to all of these suspicions details, the White Helmets’ brand was conceived by The Syria Campaign, a New York-based marketing company that’s part of a larger politically focused marketing entity called Purpose.
And what has The Syria Campaign done to show that it’s an impartial force for humanitarianism? It’s organized rallies throughout the West that have the focus of demonizing Assad and Putin, paid protesters to carry out a pro-White Helmets flash mob, and put out statements that advocate U.S. military intervention in Syria-including the infamous “no fly zone” policy that experts have concluded would result in an active war between America and Russia. When this is the entity that’s supporting the White Helmets, the following details about them aren’t surprising.
2-Their members have been caught assisting in public executions and sympathizing with Islamist terrorists
In 2015, a video came out which showed an al-Qaeda fighter publicly shooting a man in the head while they were in the rebel-held Syrian town of Haritan. Immediately after the execution, two members of the White Helmets came onto the scene and disposed of the body. Amid the fallout, the White Helmets claimed that these members were fulfilling their duty by performing “the emergency burial of the dead.” But this explanation comes off as bizarre, since these White Helmets had been waiting just off camera prior to the killing. What reason could they have had to be there other than that they were assigned to help al-Qaeda?
Questions like these again appeared in May 2017, when a video came out of a public execution in the Syrian rebel-held city of Jasim. The footage shows that just seconds after an alleged criminal was shot in the head by rebel militants, three White Helmets members rushed into the crowd to remove the body-this time while one White Helmet cheered on the killing.
The White Helmets’ attempts to Whitewash this incident were flimsy. “The White Helmets are seen, not only celebrating the grizzly murder but performing their usual mop-up by carting the bleeding body unceremoniously from the scene,” observes Vanessa Beeley. “Their later claims of giving the body a decent burial and affording the victim some dignity are rendered ridiculous when one views the video.”
Then there’s the video, posted in May 2015 by White Helmets member Muawiya Hassan Agha, which showed extremist Syrian rebels torturing two captured Syrian rebels. As well as the footage of Agha celebrating the capture if Idlib by al-Qaeda forces. It’s undeniably a trend for White Helmets members to support jihadist groups in various ways.
3-Their leaders have also helped the group collaborate with terrorists
Even amid these facts, is there still plausible deniability that this group is working with terrorists? The White Helmets claimed that their members had disobeyed their rules of impartiality by assisting in the May 2017 execution, and Agha was ejected from the group for his role in rebel atrocities. But to believe that these and the other instances of White Helmets members helping jihadists have all been accidents, we’d have to ignore the organization’s proven efforts to work with terrorist groups.
Despite the attempts to refute this charge, White Helmets members have been admitted by British journalist John Cantlie to be acting as “the Islamic State’s fire brigade;” they’ve worked in close proximity to where ISIS, al-Nusra, and al-Qaeda have operated; the Dutch government recently stopped funding the White Helmets after a report came out showing that the group’s assets have likely gone to al-Qaeda; and more broadly, they’ve served as propaganda assets for the West’s war against Assad, which is a war that directly benefits these terrorist organizations.
Also, the White Helmets have been openly welcomed by jihadist leaders as allies in the fight to overthrow Assad. In March 2017, a video came out which showed an al-Qaeda leader hailing the White Helmets as the “hidden soldiers of the revolution.” And the al-Qaeda linked Saudi jihadist leader Abdullah al-Muhaysini has praisedthem as “the Mujahideen of the civil defense.”
Are we also supposed to think that the White Helmets have earned this reputation from the terrorists entirely by coincidence? Many unrelated events need to be happening in order for us to be assured that this organization has no terrorist ties.
4-They’ve been shown to neglect their “humanitarian” duties so that they can advance propaganda
To support my claim from earlier that the White Helmets have served as propaganda assets, I’ll offer some facts about what the group has actually done.
Firstly, the White Helmets have hugely exaggerated the numbers of people they’ve saved. They’ve made claims about having saved “65,000” Syrian residents, when realistic population estimates of the areas where they’ve operated prove this number to be implausible. To inflate these estimates, they’ve even had to re-use people who they’ve saved in the past for their videos; as Eva Bartlett observed in a 2016 speechabout the White Helmets’: “their video footage actually contains children that have been 'recycled' in different reports; so you can find a girl named Aya who turns up in a report in say August, and she turns up in the next month in two different locations."
The idea that the White Helmets’ goal is to help war victims has also been refuted by accounts from people who the White Helmets claim to want to aid. Interviews last year with Aleppo residents found that the White Helmets save civilians only for the purpose of filming videos, and leave behind the people who don’t need to appear in their clips; one man said that “the White Helmets came to save their own. And if they found civilians, they might help, and they might not.” Another resident has described the White Helmets as “camera posers, thieves, and raiders.” The White Helmets’ videos, unsurprisingly, have been presented to the Western public as supposed evidence that Assad is to blame for Syria’s U.S.-created civil war.
The White Helmets’ defenders have responded to this interview by claiming that the Syrian civilians have said these things under duress. But if these people aren’t telling the truth, why have the White Helmets made the mentioned efforts to inflate their rescue numbers? Why have they worked with jihadists? Why have they been extensively backed by the entities that are waging a war against the Syrian government? Given all we know about this group, it would make perfect sense for them to be staging videos in this way.
Bringing these facts to light
The efforts from mainstream media outlets to “debunk” the charges against the White Helmets are not substantive. The analyses about the White Helmets from these sources have mainly attacked the character of the White Helmets’ critics, while not disproving what these critics bring up.
An article in The Guardian from last year titled “How Syria's White Helmets became victims of an online propaganda machine” is a good example of this; when you scrutinize the piece in detail, it only calls the concerns about the group “propaganda” while giving vague statements to support its claims.
Unfortunately, the U.S./NATO empire doesn’t need to offer too many details to make its narratives believed. Since headlines influence public opinion more than the content of articles, many people are likely to skim past articles like the one I just mentioned and conclude that the White Helmets are indeed innocent. But if independent journalists work to bring out the details that these people aren’t being exposed to, the establishment’s narratives won’t be able to hold sway.