The ‘White Helmets’ Controversy

The saturation of propaganda from massive investments by Western interests in NGOs like the “White Helmets” has skewed the public’s understanding of foreign crises, such as Iraq in 2003 and Syria today, writes Rick Sterling.

By Rick Sterling

Across the mainstream Western media, the “White Helmets” are hailed as heroic first responders rescuing injured civilians in rebel-controlled parts of Syria. The U.K. Guardian and The Independent urged the Nobel Committee to award this year’s Nobel Peace Prize to the “White Helmets.” As it turned out, they didn’t get that one, but they did receive the prestigious 2016 “Right Livelihood Award.”

On the U.S. side of the Atlantic, the “White Helmets” are treated with similar uncritical acclaim. They were the subject of the Oct. 17 TIME magazine cover story. Netflix has released a special “documentary” movie about them. New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof has gushed over them for years, helping the group’s one-sided depiction of events inside Syria shape the pro-rebel narrative that is pretty much all the American and European publics hear about Syria.

The "White Helmets" symbol, expropriating the name of "Syria Civil Defense."

The “White Helmets” symbol, expropriating the name of “Syria Civil Defense.”

And, this love-fest is not just confined to establishment media. DemocracyNow! ran a puff piece interview with the White Helmet infomercial directors. The Intercept published an uncritical promotion of the “White Helmets” and the group’s controversial leader. Codepink recommended the Netflix movie (though after receiving criticism about the endorsement, the anti-war group removed it).

Yet, despite the favorable “group think” regarding the “White Helmets” – and more broadly about the rebel cause in Syria – there is another side to the story, including the fact that the “White Helmets” are not just some well-meaning Syrians who emerged to help all civilians suffering from the five years of war.

Not only do they only operate in rebel-controlled areas but they are a source of propaganda about the war, indeed their very existence is an element in the larger propaganda campaign to rally international support for a “regime change” war in Syria. The “White Helmets” brand was conceived and directed by a New York-based marketing company named “The Syria Campaign,” which itself was “incubated” by a larger politically oriented marketing company called Purpose.

Along with managing the online and social media promotion of the White Helmets, the Syria Campaign has parallel efforts in support of “regime change” in Syria. One of these efforts has been to criticize United Nations and humanitarian relief organizations that supply aid to displaced persons living in areas protected by the Syrian government.

The allegations made by the Syria Campaign and others were written by people who know nothing about the UN and how it must work,” according to an NGO worker operating in Damascus.

Exaggerated Claims

Claims that the “White Helmets” have saved 65,000 people also appear to be wildly exaggerated. The areas, served by the White Helmets and controlled by Al Qaeda’s Nusra Front and its rebel allies, have few civilians living in them. A medical doctor visiting east Aleppo two years ago described it as a “ghost town,” yet Western media reports cite a highly inflated estimated population of 250,000. 

Samantha Power, Permanent Representative of the United States to the UN, addresses the Security Council meeting on Syria, Sept. 25, 2016 (UN Photo)

Samantha Power, Permanent Representative of the United States to the UN, addresses the Security Council meeting on Syria, Sept. 25, 2016 (UN Photo)

Perhaps unintentionally, the “White Helmets” and one of their video teams confirmed this reality in producing a “cat video” when cat videos were all the rage on social media. In an apparent bid to bring cat lovers onto the side of “regime change” in Syria, the White Helmets’ video showed White Helmet members playing with stray cats in empty neighborhoods, saying: “The homeowners abandoned this district and its kittens.”

Besides promoting themselves as a humanitarian group, the White Helmets have become essential to the propaganda war by gaining — along with similar pro-rebel “activists” — a virtual monopoly on information from rebel-controlled areas, supplying a steady stream of heart-rending stories and images about suffering children to a credulous Western media wanting to believe everything bad about the Syrian government.

One of the reasons why the “White Helmets” have been so successful in inserting their propaganda into Western media is that most of the rebel zones of Syria, especially east Aleppo, have been off limits to Western journalists and other outside observers for years. Two of the last Western reporters to venture into rebel territory, James Foley and Stephen Sotloff, were subsequently beheaded by the Islamic State.

So, as the Syrian government and its allies finally try to expel Al Qaeda terrorists and their cohorts from east Aleppo, the White Helmets have become a major source for the Western news media which treats these “relief workers” as credible providers of on-the-ground information.

Thus, the positive image of the White Helmets and the group’s skillful use of social media deflect attention from the sectarian, violent and unpopular nature of Al Qaeda’s Nusra Front (recently renamed the Syria Conquest Front) and other armed opposition groups while hyping accusations that Syrian and Russian attacks are primarily hitting civilians.

In other words, the White Helmets have gone from being talked about to being the ones doing the talking. News stories increasingly use White Helmet witnesses as their sources, often in ways that promote the self-serving myth of White Helmet heroism. One day, CNN announced that a White Helmet aid center had been hit. Another day, TIME magazine claimed that White Helmet workers were being “hunted”.

‘Eyewitness’ Accounts

Reports from the White Helmets also have served as “eyewitness” accounts about the Syrian military using “barrel bombs,” including in an attack to destroy a Syrian Arab Red Crescent humanitarian convoy and warehouse on Sept. 19 in Orem al Kubra. But there were reasons to be suspicious of this claim since this town is controlled by the infamous Nour al Din al Zinki terrorist group, which recently filmed itself beheading a Palestinian Syrian boy.

U.S.-backed Syrian "moderate" rebels smile as they prepare to behead a 12-year-old boy (left), whose severed head is held aloft triumphantly in a later part of the video. [Screenshot from the  YouTube video]

U.S.-backed Syrian “moderate” rebels smile as they prepare to behead a 12-year-old boy (left), whose severed head is held aloft triumphantly in a later part of the video. [Screenshot from the YouTube video]

It was also illogical that Syrian or Russian planes would attack a SARC convoy, which they could have stopped when it was in government held territory. Plus, the Syrian government works with SARC. And, the ones to “benefit” from the attack were the rebels and their Western backers who cited this atrocity as another reason for “regime change” and to condemn the Russians for assisting the Syrian government. The attack also took attention away from the U.S. airstrike that killed some 70 Syrian soldiers on Sept. 17.

After the convoy was struck, the Russian and Syrian governments called for an independent investigation of the attack site but this has not been done, presumably because the terrorists controlling the area have not allowed it. Nevertheless, the narrative supplied by the White Helmets and other pro-rebel factions – blaming the Syrian government and their Russian allies – has dominated the Western media’s handling of the story.

The “White Helmets” also played a dubious role in allegations that the Syrian government was using chlorine gas in 2013 and 2014 by warning residents before the attacks to expect the Syrian military to drop chlorine bombs, although it was unclear how the activist first-responders would know that fact in advance. In one of the cases, seven witnesses told U.N. investigators that the rebels had staged the chlorine-gas attack, which could suggest that the “White Helmets” were in on the scam.

So, are the White Helmets heroes or a politically motivated hoax? The time to investigate is now, since it does little good to uncover the lies and manipulations years later, as has happened with the Iraqi and Libyan “regime change” invasions.

A Dangerous Replay

Evidence now suggests that we are seeing a replay of Curveball and the Iraqi WMD in 2003 and the bogus hysteria about stopping a Libyan “genocide” in 2011, both debunked by later investigations but too late to spare those countries from massive death and destruction.

A scene from the "Collateral Murder" video in which an Iraqi man stops his van to aid those wounded in a lethal U.S. helicopter attack in Baghdad on July 12, 2007, only to be gunned down by the American gunners.

A scene from the “Collateral Murder” video in which an Iraqi man stops his van to aid those wounded in a lethal U.S. helicopter attack in Baghdad on July 12, 2007, only to be gunned down by the American gunners.

The belated recognition by some Americans that they are being “had” again in Syria has led to some pushback against the mainstream media’s promotion of the “White Helmets” and other pro-rebel activists. In April 2015, Dissidentvoice published an expose of the group’s creation and purpose. Since then there have been other articles and videos revealing the reality behind the “feel good” veneer.

Vanessa Beeley has produced a number of articles about the fraudulent pretense that the “White Helmets” are Syrian Civil Defense, including documentation about the real Syrian Civil Defense, which was founded six decades ago. She initiated an online petition to NOT give the Nobel Peace Prize to the “White Helmets,” an initiative that must have upset some influential people because removed the petition without explanation. (You can read the text of the petition here.)

The real Syrian Civil Defense works on a shoestring budget with real volunteers without video teams accompanying and promoting them. Most in the West are unaware the real Syrian Civil Defense even exist. The situation is similar for the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, which is a genuinely neutral and independent relief organization and has a good website.

Another online petition, also at CHANGE.ORG, which is still up and running, calls on the Right Livelihood Foundation to rescind its award to the “White Helmets.” The petition includes a number of reasons why the group does not deserve the prize and are not what they are presented to be: they stole the name Syria Civil Defense from the real Syrian organization; they appropriated the name “White Helmets” from the Argentinian rescue organization Cascos Blancos/White Helmets; they are not independent; they are funded by governments; they are not apolitical; they actively campaign for a “no-fly zone” (which even Hillary Clinton has acknowledged would “kill a lot of Syrians” although she continues to promote the idea); they do not work across Syria; they only work in areas controlled by the armed opposition, mostly under the command of Al Qaeda’s affiliate Nusra Front; they are not unarmed; they sometimes do carry weapons and they also celebrate terrorist victories; they assist in terrorist executions.

Max Blumenthal wrote a two-part exposé at Alternet: “How the White Helmets became International Heroes while Pushing US Intervention and Regime Change in Syria” and “Inside the Shadowy PR Firm that’s Lobbying for Regime Change in Syria.” 

Former weapons inspector Scott Ritter, who was one of the few voices daring to contest President George W. Bush’s false claims about Iraq’s WMD, wrote an article which challenged the White Helmets’ “lionization.”

Internationally, the Israeli TV station I24 ran a special report with the title “White Helmets: Heroes or Hoax?” – giving equal coverage to supporters and critics. Even “The National” out of United Arab Emirates has documented the controversy around the White Helmets.

Not surprisingly, this dissent to the mainstream media’s love affair with the White Helmets drew return fire. The British military contractor who initially set up the group accused critics of being “proxies” for the Syrian and Russian governments (much as Ritter and other skeptics about the Iraqi WMD “group think” were called “Saddam apologists” in 2003).

The controversy also has done little to chasten the Western press corps from relying on the “White Helmets” as the go-to sources for information in Syria’s conflict zones.

Rick Sterling is an investigative journalist and member of Syria Solidarity Movement.


38 comments for “The ‘White Helmets’ Controversy

  1. Dick100
    October 29, 2016 at 4:35 pm

    Good article but we must be focused.

    .The White helmets are a British foreign office propaganda organisation run by a former British army intelligence officer.

    Same with the Syrian Observatory of Human Rights, its not one man living in the English Midlands.

    This us the cover for the FO media centre in a building in London.

    “Propaganda launderers like Bellingcat, the White Helmets, and the Syrian Observatory of Human Rights are employed as deception conduits by the more aggressive factions in Western governments, which seek to sabotage peace efforts in Ukraine, Syria and other parts of the world.”

    They are not employed the are their fron torganisations and invent the propaganda , not laundering it.

    There are no peace efforts, a coup was pulled in the Ukraine, there are no peace efforts in Syria.

    The latest one is the children.

    They are northern European children.

    So they appear to be British and the videos made in Britain.

    Elementary my dear Watson, quite elementary !!”

  2. Stan Squires
    October 27, 2016 at 1:17 pm

    I am from Vancouver,Canada and I wanted to say that the White Helmets People are reactionary and support the terrorists in Syria. They have been condemned by all people who want a just peace in Syria.The gov’ts of Canada and the USA support these reactionary Bastards.This shows that Canada and the USA are part of the problem in Syria.

  3. francesca
    October 26, 2016 at 5:30 pm

    I’m a bit late in making comments.
    I’ve emailed the “Syrian Civil Defence” requesting that they direct me to their annual report and audit. No reply so far. Does anyone know of such a thing out there ?

  4. Tahau
    October 24, 2016 at 7:03 pm

    The fact that the ‘White Helmets’ use a logo written in English (Syria Civil Defense), says it all. Like the ‘ATO’ (Anti Terrorist Operation) as spoken by the Ukrainian Fascist forces in the Donbass; its English construct betrays its US origins. Neither of these terms has an indigenous content pertinent to the people on the ground.

  5. October 24, 2016 at 11:59 am

    Everybody knows the corporate monopoly media are a joke. And their forte is propaganda. See link below:

  6. Jim Morgan
    October 24, 2016 at 11:35 am

    Yes, terrible propaganda piece by Joe Klein in TIME. I read it while having an oil change at the local service center and having read so much about the real “While Helmets”, really couldn’t believe my eyes. Blatant, blatant, lies. The shills don’t even care anymore.

  7. Liam
    October 24, 2016 at 7:35 am

    Thank you Mr. Parry. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Vanessa Beeley and 21st Century Wire have been covering this also. They have amassed an amazing amount of photo and video evidence that also backs up your article here. I have compiled a number of links to help your readers access this trove of information more easily. Once again thank you for your amazing reporting.

    Please bookmark and save this large amount of info related to the US/UK backed White Helmets as it is extensive proof that the officials of the aforementioned countries are supporting a fake group that is directly linked to terrorism. The White Helmets killed the real Syrian Civil Defense in east Aleppo, Syria in 2013. The videos and research throughout these posts, which is primarily conducted by UK investigative reporting outfit 21st Century Wire and Venessa Beeley, exposes one of the greatest war lies over told, a massive propaganda effort meant to deceive and coerce the populations of western countries into believing that al-Qaeda linked terrorists are civil humanitarians that save little children.

    • backwardsevolution
      October 24, 2016 at 12:27 pm

      Liam – thanks for the links. Great job!

  8. Tom Welsh
    October 24, 2016 at 7:23 am

    The main problem is that the average citizen cannot bring herself to imagine that the mainstream media have been systematically lying to her for many years. Those of us who are natural loners and skeptics have an advantage in this respect, but we are in a small minority.

  9. exiled off mainstreet
    October 24, 2016 at 2:54 am

    An article by Stephen Gowans on the Off-Guardian website, a corrective to the lamestream of propaganda which now issues from what was once a more sceptical anti-establishment publication, notes that, from the beginning, the story of the “revolution” was false and its main element was jihadi fundamentalists. Now, the “west” has come up with a new propaganda initiative rebranding “friendly” jihadi thugs as neutral civil defense type heroes. This propaganda effort must be particularly inventive since the idea is to foment support for a war against Syria, supported by Russia, in favour of el qaeda types. This is not only criminal but stupid, since Russia has nuclear arms, unlike Saddam Hussein, whom they could take down without threat of armageddon. The yankee imperium and its acolytes thus appear to be following previous western empires in going after Russia, notably the Napoleonic empire and the Nazi regime. We know how successful they were and alarmingly, the establishment has unlearned the lesson which enabled us to survive the cold war that direct war had to be avoided to avoid nuclear armageddon.

  10. Realist
    October 24, 2016 at 2:49 am

    The Americans like to charge the Russians with something they call the “weaponization” of information. This smells like the real thing to me, and it’s not being done by the Russians.

    I’m still trying to wrap my head around the American definition of “war crimes.” When Russians accidentally kill civilians caught in the cross fire of war it’s called a war crime. When Americans do exactly the same thing it is mere “collateral damage.” In fact, Americans can do it on purpose, in which case it’s merely an “accident.”

    I was born, raised and have lived in the country for 70 years and still do not get all the nuances of American English–well, not as spoken in Washington.

    • Kiza
      October 24, 2016 at 8:37 am

      Great comment!

    • Joe Tedesky
      October 24, 2016 at 9:54 am

      I hear you Realist, and Paul Craig Roberts does too. According to PCR the U.S. is bringing Russia up on war crimes (read the link provided). The idea that when we do it that this is the way to liberate people, but when others do it they are committing war crimes, is baked into the American cake of diplomacy. I listened the other night to a historian of the old American West, and this historian made it very clear, and proved with facts, how most of what we Americans think we know of the old West is just a myth…a lie. Remember the statesmen who wrote that ‘all men are created equal’, were slave owners. Also Realist never feel to alone with your observation, because we others here are also confused by our country’s double standard thinking as well.

  11. John
    October 23, 2016 at 9:21 pm

    It’s like an old B rated movie you’ve watched 12 times…….lol

  12. John
    October 23, 2016 at 9:14 pm

    America follows a foreign policy that reflects mostly the jewish ideal…..Has it worked ? Has America been at war for 15 years following the Wolfowitz doctrine…….How about banking……the debt growth system that follows the federal reserve…..does it work ? How long America before you discover the system doesn’t work…….reject it….why ? it doesn’t work. This doesn’t mean you hate jews…..It means you want a better system

  13. John
    October 23, 2016 at 8:58 pm

    We live in a world that follows the jewish model of profit…..I will back this statement up with how the jewish way organizes music, cinema, banking and news outlets…This is not anti Semitism …..It’s the jewish business model…….This model works initially but then falls through the cracks because of lack of originality…….There are better ways to seek profit for your efforts…..The jewish model is just one…..and not a very good one because of it’s lack of diversity………

    • Bill Bodden
      October 23, 2016 at 11:01 pm

      John: I get your point, but it is unfortunate you make a blanket statement that smears all Jews. There are many Jews in business and politics with very bad influences, but you can find, if you look around, there are other Jews who oppose the system they have helped build. Check Similarly, it isn’t too hard to find Gentiles, some of whom in the past were hostile to people of the Jewish faith, and who have just as severe negative influences as some Jews. – Jamie Dimon, John Stumpf formerly of Wells Fargo, Donald Trump, the Rockefellers, etc.

      • backwardsevolution
        October 24, 2016 at 3:12 am

        Bill – I noticed how you included Donald Trump in the list of non-Jews, but not Hillary Clinton. Trump pales in comparison to her. But as far as who has run the Federal Reserve (Greenspan, Bernanke, Yellen, Stanley Fischer as Vice Chair under Yellen, and who was Governor of the Bank of Israel from 2005 to 2013), Larry Summers, who was behind bank deregulation, and Robert Rubin at Treasury and Citigroup (again bank deregulation), a whole host of bankers (Sandy Weill, Lloyd Blankfein, Dick Fuld, Corzine), hedge funds, major newspapers, Hollywood, there are a lot of Jews in top positions, and Jews are less than 2% of the population. They appear to control politics too, with huge contributions into political campaigns.

        And had Obama had his way a few months ago, there would have been a fourth Jew on the Supreme Court (out of nine judges in total). What is up with that? Five Catholics and four Jews? Then there’s the secretive Bilderberg meetings that future presidents attend. Never mind Ivy League schools, professors, economists, top-paid journalists. I could go on and on.

        I suggest the good Jews start calling out the bad ones and start policing their own, because more and more I see people bringing up “the Jews”. It’s happening everywhere, as this journalist points out:

        “Trump’s Jewish attackers want to pretend that Trump is an anti-Semite and all of his attacks on globalist institutions or individuals is a personal attack on Jews. That’s preposterous, and projection. Trump’s Jewish attackers don’t want to admit their Jewish privilege. We Jews (yes, I’m one) are the wealthiest religious group in America and the second richest ethnic group behind Indian-Americans. For our tiny size, we are by far the most politically influential. The worlds of finance, media, journalism and law are home to extremely disproportionately high numbers of Jews. Leading globalist institutions like the World Bank, IMF, and WTO have high numbers of Jewish executives and staffers, as do organizations such as the Council on Foreign Relations, which one informal estimate claims is around 50% Jewish. Half of the US’s billionaires are Jewish. Jewish donors play an enormous role in funding Hillary Clinton’s campaign. The normally Republican and predominantly Jewish neoconservatives have thrown their support behind Hillary. None of this is evidence of conspiracy. […]

        Bringing up anti-Semitism then just reminds people of how much influence and power Jews have. Casually hurling charges of anti-Semitism at critics of globalism is incredibly ill-advised and unhelpful. Trump’s critique of globalism, global elite corruption, and the role of bankers in global affairs is not anti-Semitic but the people who allege that it is are the ones who actually foster anti-Semitism, while simultaneously protecting globalism and globalist institutions from critique. Anti-Semitism is on the rise in some parts of the alt-right. There’s no need to make it worse by shaming people who criticize global elites.”

        • Bill Bodden
          October 24, 2016 at 12:19 pm

          My point was against sloppy phrasing tarnishing the good with the bad. I agree with your list of culprits, but it didn’t have time to name them and assumed most readers of Consortium News would have their own lists.

          I suggest the good Jews start calling out the bad ones and start policing their own, because more and more I see people bringing up “the Jews”. It’s happening everywhere, as this journalist points out:

          How about and all its correspondents that I referred to above? Then there are courageous commentators in Israel such as Uri Avnery, Neve Gordon, Gideon Levy and Amira Hass. Also in Israel there is B’Tselem, the human rights organization. There are students of Jewish heritage in many universities who support calls for justice.

          When I am critical of actions out of Israel I refer to the sponsors as Israel’s right wing, or “pro-Israel” or the Israel Lobby to be specific instead of being careless with “the Jews.” We need to do something similar with those of Jewish heritage in the financial and political arenas.

          • backwardsevolution
            October 24, 2016 at 6:50 pm

            Bill Bodden – where the monied Jewish people are really hurting the American people is in the financial and political arenas. This is just wrong. As the above author said, this behavior starts to tarnish everyone of the Jewish faith. They wield way too much power, way too much!

            Who is pulling the strings at the Federal Reserve? Who put Greenspan, Bernanke and Yellen in their positions? My question is: why them? Who is doing this? Do rich Jews wield so much power that only one of their own kind will do on the Federal Reserve? Do they trust no one else? Who is pulling their strings?

            I have a feeling that the people who hold this power will be unmasked in the not too distant future, and when American people find out what’s really been going on, there will be hell to pay. And some people do know what’s going on; they’re just not talking.

            To have a group of people with less than 2% of the population control almost everything is insanity and it will stop. Did this happen in Germany before Hitler came into power? Were the Jewish people controlling everything there too? I’m just wondering (I don’t actually know).

  14. David G
    October 23, 2016 at 8:28 pm

    “… they actively campaign for a ‘no-fly zone’ …”

    I think this point deserves to be emphasized to White Helmets supporters, especially alleged left/progressive luminaries such as the Democracy Now! people, who may be open to reason. As a general proposition, and regardless of the specifics of the Syrian situation, it should be obvious that no legitimate relief organization would be campaigning for military intervention.

  15. Zachary Smith
    October 23, 2016 at 7:57 pm

    The petition includes a number of reasons why the group does not deserve the prize and are not what they are presented to be: they stole the name Syria Civil Defense from the real Syrian organization; they appropriated the name “White Helmets” from the Argentinian rescue organization Cascos Blancos/White Helmets; they are not independent; they are funded by governments; they are not apolitical; they actively campaign for a “no-fly zone” (which even Hillary Clinton has acknowledged would “kill a lot of Syrians”

    My first link tells which governments fund the White Helmets.

    The second one details how some of the videos were faked by professionals. One of a kid being killed by a sniper was filmed on the Malta set of the movie Gladiator. I’d assume most of the rest were fabricated by semi-professionals whose day jobs involved more active terrorism.

    Lars Klevberg, a director based in Oslo, said that he wrote the dramatic script after watching news coverage of the ongoing conflict in Syria.

    The 34-year-old said that he wanted to present the film as authentic in order to ‘spur debate’ and ‘spark action’ on behalf of ‘innocent children all over the world who are affected by war’.

    He told the BBC that he was not uncomfortable about potentially deceiving viewers with the video – which has been watched more than 3.6 million times on YouTube.


  16. James lake
    October 23, 2016 at 7:05 pm

    It is a propaganda group funded by the British govt. they are there to promote the regime change agenda with their fake stories about kids being killed and so many hospitals being bombed.

    The guardian has become the propaganda bull horn of the neo cons promoting regime change.

  17. October 23, 2016 at 6:56 pm

    in this video from, a man stands in sandals, adidas pant, and zip-up sweater, hands bound in front, while he is read his death sentence (i assume) in Arabic. the video cuts and the condemned is now kneeling, facing the background, as a his executioner walks toward him and shoots him hastily. the condemned twitches, it was not a direct hit, the executioner returns to fire another round at his victim’s head. within seconds of the execution (the video does not cut, and all shadows remain unchanged by passage of time), a team of white helmet personnel appear on scene with stretcher and body bag.

    they were present and witnessed the execution, possibly even took the body and presented it as evidence of Russian aggression.
    it is actual footage of a person’s last moments.

  18. Linda Gentsch
    October 23, 2016 at 6:54 pm

    Why didn’t this courageous humanitarian group bring out the wounded and the women and children to the humanitarian corridors that Syria and Russia provided. Smells fishy to me. MSM when it isn’t lying to us, it is feeding us pablum.

    • backwardsevolution
      October 24, 2016 at 1:47 am

      Linda – great point! Yeah, why didn’t they bring out the people along that corridor? It’s either because they don’t care and aren’t humanitarian at all, or there was no one there to take out (East Aleppo IS really a “ghost town”, as the article says).

      • Maria
        October 31, 2016 at 5:12 am

        You all know the government was shooting, injuring protesters in the beginning of the civil war and not allowing the protesters to get medical care at the government run hospitals. Doctors had to sneak then in! Wouldn’t that be why the wounded aren’t going to the Syrian and Russian corridors? Just a thought! In case these civilians were against the regime.

  19. ranney moss
    October 23, 2016 at 6:20 pm

    Hurray, finally someone has written another expose of White Helmets. There was a small amount of info a while ago and then nothing. I noted that TV news casts and op eds were constantly describing events in rebel held Aleppo areas as though they had reporters there – they even had video! I was confused about that because I wondered how they were getting reporters in there when the last two regular reporters were beheaded a couple of years ago. Of course none of the TV reports said that the reports and video were from the rebels. I wonder why not?? And then there was the video that went viral about the little boy covered in dust who was rescued by white helmets. But no one mentioned all the other children who were being traumatized or killed by the fanatic rebel outfits.
    This author is right, this is a major scam and we are being led down a primrose path with death and destruction at the end. He mentions the Iraq lies and also the lies about Libya which not so many know about. That was a horrifying campaign of lies accusing Gaddafi of committing genocide against his people. Obviously if anyone involved (like Hillary) had any actual knowledge or interest in Libya and its history he/she would have known that the undocumented and unproved stories were lies. But they were taken as truth by our state department and the media and we went off to butcher and destroy (again). Now we are again being told the same kind of unsupported lies that conveniently fit into our government’s plan of how things should go – i.e. regime change. America is sleep walking toward armageddon and we aren’t even going to have a discussion about it because most citizens are too ignorant and/or too disinterested to care. And why should they be interested? They are told nothing but lies and half truths to to lull us into thinking we are pure and “exceptional”. I picture America like the Oscar Wilde story of Dorian Gray. Our media tells us we are good and generous and brave and exceptional with nothing but good motives in all we do. The truth is we are greedy, sneaky, power mad and careless of human lives and the fate of the planet. And we have been that way for generations when it comes to our behavior toward countries less fortunate than ours. The actual painting of the face of America would horrify us all if we could see it.
    It’s time to call out our media and tell them we are sick of their pandering to the propaganda of our government.

    • backwardsevolution
      October 24, 2016 at 1:51 am

      rannie – great comments. As another blogger said, we should boycott all products that are advertised in these newspapers, advising the advertisers by email, phone or letter that we are doing this because we are sick and tired of being lied to. If the companies who are paying for advertising start getting hit in their pocketbooks, they might stop advertising with these newspapers or put pressure on them to start telling the truth. Boycott all advertised products. Hit these newspapers where it hurts.

      • Tom Welsh
        October 24, 2016 at 7:21 am

        Good idea. But my problem is: how can I boycott the products that are advertised in those newspapers, when I make a point of never even glancing at those newspapers?

        • backwardsevolution
          October 24, 2016 at 6:40 pm

          Tom Welsh – well, you might have to buy just one newspaper (darn, my idea didn’t work!) or look at one in the library, or glance through one at the checkout without buying it. If we all did this, they just might start losing income. It’s worth a try.

  20. Brendan
    October 23, 2016 at 6:13 pm

    The journalist Vanessa Beeley made an interesting point about the huge donations that the White Helmets receive from foreign governments. That amount, of 100 million dollars or more, is much more than is needed by “volunteer rescue workers” as they call themselves on the home page of their web site.

    “This is the kind of money you put into an army. It’s not the kind of money you put into a very simple NGO”.

    • backwardsevolution
      October 24, 2016 at 1:53 am

      Brendan – thank goodness for Vanessa Beeley. What she is getting out is invaluable. A very brave lady.

  21. Abe
    October 23, 2016 at 5:32 pm

    The fake “citizen rescuer” White Helmets are a pro-terrorist propaganda project, created by the UK and US and “fact-checked” by the fake “citizen investigative journalists” at Bellingcat.

    Propaganda launderers like Bellingcat, the White Helmets, and the Syrian Observatory of Human Rights are employed as deception conduits by the more aggressive factions in Western governments, which seek to sabotage peace efforts in Ukraine, Syria and other parts of the world.

    NGOs: Grassroots Empowerment or Tool of Information Warfare?

    Eliot Higgins’ “confirmation” of the 2013 Ghouta gas attack was debunked. In fact, the Ghouta attack was perpetrated by the same Al-Nusra forces the US currently is struggling to defend.

    Numerous Higgins and Bellingcat “confirmations” of terrorist groups’ allegations against Syria and Russia have been debunked. But the allegations were never meant to be proven. The propaganda was and is meant to be inserted into the “news cycle” for political leverage.

    Syria (since 2011), including Aleppo (since 2012) has been under siege by terrorist armies backed by multiple US allies, including Israel and NATO member state Turkey.

    US proxies are nearing defeat in Aleppo, forcing the US to risk direct armed conflict with Syria and Russia.

  22. Bill Bodden
    October 23, 2016 at 4:58 pm

    If the “moderate” or “not-so-moderate rebels allow a humanitarian organization to operate in its territory then it is time to be skeptical.

  23. Ld Elon
    October 23, 2016 at 4:39 pm

    Syrians aren’t English their Syrian… so why theme a western ‘badge’ symbol… this ideologue defeats your admission of being for Syria and its people.

    • b.grand
      October 23, 2016 at 7:41 pm

      Who do you mean by, “… your admission…” ?

      You, L.E., didn’t read this, right?

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