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Amnesty International: Trumpeting for War… Again

Counterpunch

March 23, 2018

By Paul De Rooij

 

One must marvel at the first few paragraphs of Amnesty International’s recent press release:

“The international community’s catastrophic failure to take concrete action to protect the people of Syria has allowed parties to the conflict, most notably the Syrian government, to commit war crimes and crimes against humanity with complete impunity, often with assistance of outside powers, particularly Russia. Every year we think it is just not possible for parties to the conflict to inflict more suffering on civilians, and yet, every year, they prove us wrong…

 

Right now, in Eastern Ghouta 400,000 men, women and children, who have been living under an unlawful government siege for six years, are being starved and indiscriminately bombed by the Syrian government with the backing of Russia. […] The international community had said ‘never again’ after the government devastated Eastern Aleppo with similar unlawful tactics. But here we are again. Armed opposition groups have retaliated by indiscriminately shelling two villages in Idleb, which they have also besieged since 2014.” [1]

This is an unambiguous call and a justification for war; it seems that AI is calling for a NATO bombing campaign similar to the one staged in Libya in 2011.  There is also no ambiguity as to who AI deems to be culpable and ought to be at the receiving end of a “humanitarian bombing” campaign.  Before cheering yet another US/NATO war, it is useful to analyse Amnesty International’s record in assisting propaganda campaigns on the eve of wars.  It is also worthwhile reviewing AI’s reporting on Syria, and how it compares with that on other countries in the area.

A sorry record

It is not the first time that Amnesty International has played a role in a propaganda campaign in the lead up to a war.  A few examples:

Before the US invasion to ouster the Iraqis from Kuwait, president George Bush Sr. appeared on TV holding an Amnesty International report claiming that Iraqi soldiers had dumped babies out of incubators. That was Amnesty International’s willing participation in spreading a hoax — a hoax fabricated by a major American PR company.

 

In the months prior to the US-NATO attack on Serbia, Amnesty-USA put two Croatian women on a ten city-speaking-tour to project their account of their “rape-camp” ordeal — in reality one of them was a top Croatian propaganda official, a close advisor to president Tudjman, who was also known for her acting abilities.[2] Again, this hoax was pushed by a major American PR company.

 

AI’s coverage/non-coverage of Israeli mass crimes also deserves to be analysed.[3] In this case, Amnesty plays a role in adulterating and reducing criticism after wars or the misery caused by its continuous occupation and abuse of the Palestinians (discussed below).  Amnesty International-Israel served as a propaganda front busy manipulating “human rights” reports to suit Israel’s interests.[4]  AI-London has not commented on the manipulation by its Israeli siblings.

 

In 2012, Amnesty erected advertising posters in the US applauding NATO’s actions in Afghanistan — “Keep the progress going”, purportedly doing something for women’s rights. This was merely crass pro-NATO pro-interventionist propaganda. [5]

 

Amnesty-France was instrumental in propagating anti-Libyan propaganda prior to the NATO bombing of the country in 2011.[6]

Alas, Amnesty’s sorry record is much longer than these few examples indicate.

Not anti-war

One would expect a human rights organisation to be intrinsically opposed to war, but AI is a cheerleader of so-called humanitarian intervention, and even “humanitarian bombing”.[7]  In the past, when queried about its equivocal and lame statements about wars, an AI official stated that “Amnesty International is not anti-war”.  Even with this predisposition AI was honoured with the Nobel Peace Prize – yet another undeserving recipient for a prize meant to be given only to those actively opposed to wars. In Syria’s case, AI has given up this phoney “not anti-war” stance for one that is actively advocating war.  Notice that it uses a rather dubious argument about “never again” about standing by in the face of mass crimes; in reality this is an appeal to holocaust memes meant to favour this war.

Syria today…

The Syrian government is presently rolling back the jihadis who had managed to establish themselves in an area next to Damascus.  No government would tolerate to have a section of their capital city under jihadi control, an area from which the rest of the city is mortared, and an area vital to control the water supply of the city.  What would happen if jihadis took over Arlington, VA, and used it to bomb the center of Washington DC? The response would be self-evident.  For some reason AI doesn’t bestow this right of self-defence to the Syrian government, but instead refers to an “unlawful government siege [of Ghouta] for six years”.  This is laughable.

It is remarkable to find that in none of the latest press releases or reports does AI discuss the nature of the armed groups fighting in Syria.  Even those referred to as “moderates” by Washington are a rather unsavoury bunch.  Most of them are foreign jihadis; a good portion of them are Saudis. (NB: Saudis offered political and criminal prisoners a way out of jail on condition of going to fight in Syria.) And they are armed/trained/financed by the US/UK/Saudi/Emirates/Turkey/Qatar… to the tune of at least $12 billion.  The former US ambassador to Syria stated that the US contribution was at least $12bn [8]; this figure excludes the funds provided by the Saudis and other regimes in the area.  Gareth Porter reports that the quantities of weapons supplied to the jihadis were enough to equip an army. [9]  Yet, this armed gang of jihadis is barely mentioned in Amnesty’s assessment of the situation in Syria.  In Ghouta, the jihadis belong to the Nusra front (or one of its rebranded versions), that is, a group with an extreme ideology; they are an Al-Qaeda offshoot.  AI’s press release doesn’t mention this salient fact.

Amnesty portrays the Syrian government as at war against its own people — and Aleppo, Ghouta, etc., under siege; and not allowing the population to escape.  Although AI similarly condemned the liberation of Aleppo, it didn’t interview these victims after the fact.  If it interviews someone — invariably anonymous — it intones sinister fears of the government.  For all its faults, the government has popular backing, and it stands in the way of a jihadi project to carve up Syria and ethnically cleanse it.

And there is a double standard

When it comes to Israeli mass crimes AI is rather cautious in the language used and in its recommendations. It is rather coy in mentioning “war crimes” and “crimes against humanity”, and reference to the latter is virtually non-existent or couched in exculpatory language (favourite cushioning words: “alleged”, “could be construed as”).  While it sparingly uses these accusations against Israel, it levels the same accusations against Palestinians — it applies a notion that there are crimes “on both sides”.  AI’s harshest admonishment is that Israeli actions are not “proportionate”.  There are no appeals to the “international community” which should not stand by, “never again…” One wonders what Amnesty has to say about the Israeli siege of Gaza, where the population has been put “on a diet” causing a dire situation for about 1.8 million people today.  In this case, there are no reports, no calls to the “international community” to do anything, no accusations of “crimes against humanity”… AI uses another script altogether.

In the current press release, AI unambiguously states that both Syria and Russia are committing war crimes and crimes against humanity.  And if this is the case, there is an obligation for other states to act, to intervene.  AI is not requesting an investigation, it is urging intervention.

While in the Israeli case AI states that crimes are committed on both sides, when it comes to Syria it is only the Syrian government that is deemed culpable.  It is difficult to remove entrenched well armed jihadis who use residents as human shields.  Jihadis dig themselves in and around hospitals and schools [10], and when action is taken against them there, the likes of Amnesty utter their clucking sounds.

In its latest statement AI states: “It must also send a strong message that those responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity will be held accountable, by referring the situation to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court.”  Fair enough.  In 2002, Donatella Rovera, an AI researcher on the Middle East, was queried about why AI didn’t make a similar demand to hold Israel accountable at the ICC or ICJ, and she stated that AI didn’t make such demands.[11]  Another standard applies.

An issue about sources…

Amnesty reports several statements made by residents of Ghouta, all giving harrowing accounts of the conditions on the ground.  But all the statements blame the government for their predicament.  “Like many Syrians, the humanitarian worker expressed deep distrust of the government.” Or “We hear rumours of reconciliation but that can never happen. The government hates us…”  And other such unverifiable statements.  And who exactly is reporting this?  Does AI have a direct line to the “White Helmets”?  All Amnesty has to do is compare the statements made before the liberation of Aleppo and the opinion of the residents now.  If the residents are pleased with their condition without the jihadis around, then this should be sufficient to question the dubious statements originating from anonymous sources in Ghouta today.

Other examples

Amnesty International doesn’t want you to respect the Syrian government.  Reviewing its press releases about Syria, it is all one-sided; the jihadis hardly merit a meaningful rebuke.  But no report was as distorted as its multimedia presentation of the purported abuses in the Saydnaya Prison.  Here Amnesty’s methodology was on show: accept hearsay, magnify it melodramatically, extrapolate and exaggerate [12].  This is not human rights reportage, it is crass propaganda.  The timing of all these so-called reports is also dubious.  On the eve of major reconciliation talks or negotiations, Amnesty publishes a report portraying the Syrian government as beyond the pale.  Would anyone want to negotiate with such a party?  The timing of several other AI reports coincide with attempts to resolve the conflict via negotiations.  The timing of its latest press release coincides with a major Syrian government offensive into Ghouta — and portraying it as criminal in nature.

Human rights are not neutral

Harvey Weinstein, the sexual predator, made Amnesty International USA possible — he provided the funds necessary to establish the organisation. [13]  Weinstein didn’t put up the funds because he fancied AI’s lovely researchers.  People put up funds for such organisations to shape the way abuses and crimes are reported.  In Weinstein’s case, his ardent devotion to Israel might explain his financial contribution to Amnesty USA.  Amnesty is also a conduit to push propaganda desired by those who foster such organisations.  The very nature of “human rights”, its very flexible nature, lends itself to prime manipulation.

A Syrian furniture salesman based in Coventry, a small city in the UK, runs the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR).  Sitting in his living room, he produces reports about the latest atrocities, chemical attacks, and every other sordid detail to tarnish the Syrian government’s image.  He reaches his mysterious sources by phone, invariably someone hostile to the Syrian government.  The output of this one-man-band is then used by the BBC, CNN, The Independent, The Wall Street Journal,… and major media outlets to report on the situation in Syria.  It is expensive for news organisations to have correspondents on the ground, it is dangerous; so what is better than “human rights” reports obtained for free!  And does Amnesty International rely on SOHR?  At least they should footnote their reports.

The main playbook

The US and some of its sidekicks have for decades been engaged in regime change in the Middle East, Eastern Europe, Latin America…  The usual formula for this is to create civic organisations, e.g., Journalists’ union, Lawyer and Jurist guilds, select Labour unions… and human rights organisations.  These people are then trained to exercise political power effectively by staging mass demonstrations, manipulating the media, spreading rumours, disrupting the government — all the way to the take over of parliaments.  These are the so-called “colour revolutions”.  They tried this in Syria, but opted primarily to arm and organise jihadis.  The jihadis are backed by a propaganda machinery, and the US is conducting the largest disinformation/propaganda campaign in Syria today [14].   The essence of the campaign is to tarnish the image of the Syrian government, robbing it of its international legitimacy and support.  Human rights reportage is essential to this campaign.  By analysing Amnesty International reportage, it is evident that it is part of this campaign; it has weaponised human rights.

Currently there is a major buildup of US warships in the Mediterranean; and the Russian general staff fear that Syria will be the target of a major cruise missile attack.[15]  Possibly, Russian forces will also be targeted.  Couple this with the unprecedented black propaganda campaign against Russia in the US and the UK, and it seems very likely that a major shooting war is in the offing.  Given that AI has lent itself in previous propaganda campaigns on the eve of wars, one finds that the latest Amnesty International report is merely a leading indicator for such a war.  Amnesty International is embedded in a propaganda campaign — it will be cheerleading with blue and white pompons when the humanitarian bombs fall.

 

 

Endnotes

[1] AI, “Syria: Seven years of catastrophic failure by the international community”, 15 March 2018.

[2] Diana Johnstone, Fools Crusade, 20 Sep 2002.  Johnstone documents the curious case of Jadranka Cijel.  NB: AI was alerted to the fact that the accounts by the two women were questionable; it proceeded with the tour anyway.

[3]  I have written quite a few articles about Amnesty for Counterpunch.  The latest: Amnesty International: Whitewashing Another Massacre, CounterPunch, 8 May 2015.

[4]  Uri Blau, Documents reveal how Israel made Amnesty’s local branch a front for the Foreign Ministry in the 70s, Haaretz, 18 March 2017.  Neve Gordon, Nicola Perugini, Israel’s human rights spies: Manipulating the discourse, Al-Jazeera Online, 22 March 2017.

[5] Ann Wright and Coleen Rowley, Amnesty’s Shilling for US Wars, ConsortiumNews, 18 June 2012.

[6] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6RnxJ6TvFZ0&feature=youtu.be  Also: Tim Anderson, The Dirty War on Syria, Global Research, 2016.

[7] Alexander Cockburn reports that Amnesty was present during a US State Department briefing seeking to justify “humanitarian bombing”.  How the US State Dept. Recruited Human Rights Groups to Cheer On the Bombing Raids: Those Incubator Babies, Once More?  CounterPunch, April 1999.

[8] Ben Norton , US Ambassador Confirms Billions Spent On Regime Change in Syria, Debunking ‘Obama Did Nothing’ Myth, RealNews.com, 9 February 2018.

[9] Gareth Porter, How America Armed Terrorists in Syria, The American Conservative, 22 June 2017.

[10]  Robert Fisk has reported on this fact in several of his articles.  In “the Syrian hospital siege that turned into a massacre”, The Independent, 5 June 2015 there is a reference to tunnels under a hospital.  In another article, the same, but at a school.

[11] Israel hasn’t joined the ICC, and thus ICC cannot bring any action against Israel.  ICC is only meant to harass African tinpot dictators.

[12]  John Wight, The Problems With the Amnesty International Report, Sputnik News, 15 February 2017.  Important discussion with Peter Ford, the former British ambassador to Syria.   Also, Tony Cartalucci, Amnesty International admits Syria’s ‘torture prison’ report fabricated entirely in UK, Sign of the Times, 9 February 2017.  And, Rick Sterling, Amnesty International Stokes Syrian War, ConsortiumNews, 11 February 2017.

[13]  Thomas Frank, Hypocrite at the good cause parties, Le Monde Diplomatique, February 2018

[14] Tim Anderson, The Dirty War on Syria, Global Research, 2016.

[15]  TASS, US preparing strikes on Syria, carrier strike groups set up in Mediterranean, 17 March 2018

 

[PAUL de ROOIJ is a writer living in London. He can be reached at proox@hotmail.com (NB: all emails with attachments will be automatically deleted.)]

Part II – Syria’s White Helmets: War By Way of Deception — ‘Moderate Executioners’

The Wind Will Fall

October 27, 2015

by Vanessa Beeley

[Part one: Syria’s White Helmets: War by Way of Deception]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“If there is any doubt concerning the nefarious undertones of subversiveness in these NGO dealings, [National Endowment for Democracy] NED founder reportedly said the following in the 1990s: ‘A lot of what we do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA.’ What was once done at night under the cloak of ‘imperialism’ is now done during the day under the guise of ‘humanitarianism.” ~ The Wrong Kind of Green

 

Hindsight is a generous provider of absolution of the guilt from falling for the sophisticated western government or state propaganda and their media sleights of hand that so often deceive us into believing the narrative they present, one that’s so often designed to justify military intervention.

Invariably this is a narrative that all but ensures the massacre of innocent people under the pretext of ‘liberating’ them, or introducing ‘democracy’ that always promises to erase some perceived grievance of an western-backed opposition movement. Western nation-builders normally prescribe the same treatment every time: cutting a swathe through the host country’s society and culture either via proxy armies of foreign mercenaries under the guise of various terrorist factions or with an onslaught of bombs and assorted mass destruction or chemical weapons (including depleted uranium) which can render their land barren for decades and result in birth defects, increased cancer rates and a multitude of devastating side effects for generations after. While all this is going on, a parallel government has already been formed by the west, laying in waiting in some five star hotel in Paris or London.

Despite such hindsight and the universally accepted knowledge that it was in fact pure fiction that took us to war in both Iraq, and in Libya too, there is still a huge degree of cognitive dissonance at play over the Syria commentary. The lies regarding Syria, lies which are designed to justify western military intervention and arming proxy militants, are ongoing. Even today the New York Times provided a key Washington propaganda talking point in its headline which reads, “Violence in Syria Spurs a Huge Surge in Civilian Flight“, with the important subheading which states: “Government Offensives and Russian Strikes Are Catalysts“, essentially blaming Russia’s three week old air campaign for the “surge” of refugees entering Europe through Greece, all the while neglecting to mention most of these originate from the pool of almost 2 million who have been languishing in Turkey from as early as 2012. Like clockwork, western propaganda mills continues, all day, every day.

Disbelief is invariably registered when it is demonstrated that Syria is undergoing the same ‘truth laundering’ treatment as Libya and Iraq underwent previously, or that Syria’s resistance of the West’s open attempt at regime change attempts for nearly 5 years now is the reason for repeated spikes in propaganda. We’ve seen many different versions of the West’s creative narrative at any give moment, especial when Syria or its allies persistently thwarts the Colonialist vision for the region. Failed policies never play well on CNN or the BBC in real time, with any serious criticism reserved until a decade has passed and it’s safe for media operatives to comment because the politicians who sold those failed policies have since retired or have been cycled out of foreign policy decision-making positions.

Lethal Weapon: NGO Soft Power

Along with military invasions and missionaries, NGOs help crack countries open like ripe nuts, paving the way for intensifying waves of exploitation and extraction”  ~Stephanie McMillan

The NGO ‘soft power complex’ is now one of the most destructive global forces.  It is employed as an interface between civilians of a target nation, with government, economic or military structures of the colonialist force intent on harnessing any given nation’s resources or undermining its geopolitical influence. The Democratization process, or the path to regime change is facilitated by these undercover government or corporate proxy employees who, once embedded into a society, set about producing the propaganda that will justify intervention, either economically, politically or militarily. NGO propaganda will often employ slick social media marketing which is underpinned by advance applied behavioural psychology and advanced NLP-based ‘social enterprise’ sales pitches.

A recent piece by researcher Eva Bartlett entitled, “Human Rights Front Groups [Humanitarian Interventionalists] Warring on Syria“, provides a detailed insight into how this new breed of weaponized politics is being deployed right now in the Middle East.

The perception of a ‘non profit’ complex who purport to be “working for the betterment and improvement of humanity” can be a difficult nut to crack, but it must be done. In the west. charities, not-for-profits and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) are seen as “do gooders” and so they rarely fall under public scrutiny. Western governments know the general public has an inherent faith in their perceived integrity and this provides an ideal cover for western government and intelligence agencies to operate through their NGO and aid organisations.

Syria: Under Seige

As Paul Larudee states in his article, Mythology, Barrel Bombs and Human Rights Watch:

“The Syrian army relies on loyal soldiers defending their country and their homes from a heavily subsidized, markedly foreign incursion, including many mercenaries paid by the Gulf monarchies and trained by the US.  And the army is loyal because they know that although great sacrifices will be asked of them, they will be defending, not sacrificing, their families and loved ones.  The rest of the world that supposedly cares about Syria can start by making it unnecessary for them to make such sacrifices.”

Much of the propaganda surrounding Syria and the “conflict” is indeed, mythology spun-up by western agents of influence.  A mythology created and disseminated by the NGO complex working diligently on the ground in Syria and remotely in the labyrinths of power, ensures that a steady flow of misinformation continues uninterrupted, one that is custom designed to alter public perception about the situation in Syria and drive us towards supporting the identical mistakes made in Iraq and Libya.

It is no error or oversight that the media barely mention Libya these days as it is plunged deeper and deeper into anarchy, where warlords occupy the terror vacuum created by the NATO’s deceptive intervention in 2011.  Perhaps if people were confronted by images of the daily horrors endured by the people of Libya these day, they would be more reticent about the passive-aggressive re-creation of that same scenario in Syria.

MARKETING: The familiar baby motif is been a hallmark of western cointel pro regime change marketing ever since the incubators in Kuwait.

The White Helmet Myth

The NGO hydra has no more powerful or influential serpentine head in Syria than the Syria Civil Defence aka The White Helmets who, according to their leader and creator, James Le Mesurier, hold greater sway than even ISIS or Al Nusra confabs over the Syrian communities.

As we pointed out in Part I of this exposé, The White Helmets humanitarian front is mainly financed by the British Foreign Office. According to Richard Spencer of the London Telegraph:

The Foreign Office is currently the largest single source of funding. It is an irony that if Britain does effectively become an ally of Assad, and starts raids against Isil in Syria, it will be bombing from the air and paying for the bodies to be dug out on the ground. The White Helmets are also operating in at least one Isil-held area.”

In a speech given by Le Mesurier in Lisbon June 2015, entitled “Act 1: Witnesses to history in the making”, Le Mesurier informed his rapt audience that in a recent US Government survey conducted across a “diverse spectrum” of Syrian communities, 67% of those asked, nominated the White Helmets as the most influential community organisation. This, despite, their non-inclusion in the 15 respondents to the survey, that comprised ISIS, Al Nusra, & other political or armed groups. This is a bizarre claim on two fronts:

1.  That the White Helmets should be included in this list, by James Le Mesurier, his NGO is a group that promotes themselves to be “unarmed”, apolitical and neutral, inclusion in the list makes it  obvious that they are politically biased and armed (see details below).

2.  That the White Helmets can lay claim to this influence, despite the fact that when asked, the majority of Syrian people have never heard of them, except perhaps for those in Al Nusra, ISIS or [the dwindling] Free Syrian Army held territories.

Clearly, what Le Mesurier is attempting to create is the myth of an organic, non-aligned and independent  humanitarian organisation, when it’s really a synthetic covert intelligence and forward-operating disinformation asset which is being funded by the British government, and headed by one of the UK’s very best military operatives in Le Mesurier.

It is important to analyse the White Helmet mythology, all generated by an incredibly slick and high-gloss media and marketing apparatus, overseen and driven by a George Soros partnered PR company called Purpose.

The following is a direct quote from the White Helmet website:

The volunteers save people on all sides of the conflict – pledging commitment to the principles of “Humanity, Solidarity, Impartiality” as outlined by the International Civil Defence Organisation.  This pledge guides every response, every action, every life saved – so that in a time of destruction, all Syrians have the hope of a lifeline”

 

“The White Helmets mostly deal with the aftermath of government air attacks.  Yet they have risked sniper fire to rescue the bodies of government soldiers to give them a proper burial”

As part of the myth-building process, White Helmet members who are repetitively described as ‘ordinary people’, specifically, “bakers, tailors, engineers, pharmacists, painters, carpenters, students”, and are relentlessly depicted as heroes, miracle workers, saints and super-humans scaling the “Mount Everest” of war zones with impartiality and neutrality. “Unarmed and unbiased” is their strapline, as they sacrifice themselves for the “Syrian People”.  Indeed, those same Syrian people who have never heard of them. The myth-making continues…

“When I want to save someone’s life I don’t care if he’s an enemy or a friend.  What concerns me is the soul that might die” ~ Abed, the White Helmets.

 

“After the bombs rain down, we rush in to dig for survivors. Our motto, “to save one life is to save all humanity,” is what drives us on.” ~ Raed Saleh, White Helmet leader and UN spokesperson.

Can an organisation be rightly called an ‘independent relief organisation’ when it is being funded by a foreign government who is directly involved in the military over-throw of Syria’s government? Most intelligent people should have no problem answering that question.

The Myth Exposed:’Moderate’ Terrorists

Neutrality

In previous articles we have exposed the White Helmets’ associations with the terrorist group Al Nusra Front and their presence in known ISIS strongholds in Syria. We have also explored, in depth, their donor base and demonstrated how impartiality is a hard claim to justify when taking into account that their finance sources consist of hard-line regime changers, hell-bent on removing the Syrian Government and portraying President Bashar al Assad as the devil incarnate. These donors include, the British Government, known US regime change facilitators USAID, and the US and NATO-backed ‘Syrian National Council’, a parallel government in-waiting which the west claims  represents the Syrian opposition. This is discussed in depth in: White Helmets: War by way of Deception Part I

Time now to observe the White Helmets in action and question their impartiality on the ground in Syria…

Screenshot (122)

This video reveals a White Helmet operative describing the “throwing of Shabiha bodies in the trash”.  Shabiha is a derogatory term for Syrian Government militia or security forces but is liberally applied by terrorist aka “rebel” factions to any member of the Syrian military, irrespective of if they are Alawite, Sunni, or Shia.  I remind you: the White Helmets “have risked sniper fire to rescue SAA bodies to give them a proper burial.”

This same neutral White Helmet operative goes on to pledge allegiance to the terrorist forces in the region.

“They are our role models, the best of people and we have the honour to serve them”

“SERVE THEM [armed terrorists, Al Nusra/Al Qaeda]” ~ curious turn of phrase for a neutral, impartial humanitarian organisation?

He also congratulates the Mujahadeen for liberating Jisr al Shugour from Assad’s forces.

“Glad tidings have reached us in Jisr al Shugour by the hands of our Mujahadeen brothers.  May Allah strengthen them and make them steadfast on the correct way and soon, insh’Allah, the strongholds of the Assad regime in Latakia and Damascus will be liberated. “

Screenshot (449)

Moving on, another video, this time revealing White Helmet operatives standing on the discarded bodies of SAA [Syrian Arab Army] soldiers and giving the victory sign.  This display of support for the Al Nusra terrorists who have just massacred these soldiers once again demonstrates where their true allegiances lie.

It should be clear that these alleged “moderates” you are watching here are actually moderate extremists and jihadists, and the western media has been very careful in hiding this fact.

We also know via reports from within Aleppo city that it was the Al Nusra terrorists who massacred hundreds if not thousands of civilians before dumping their bodies into the River Queiq:  The Truth from inside Syria’s Terrorist Underworld rendering the water supply to Aleppo’s civilian population toxic and undrinkable.

Were these SAA bodies, piled unceremoniously one on top of the other and trampled upon by these White Helmet “saints and neutral saviours”, added to others flung before them,  into the disease infested waters of the River Queiq?

“Moderate” Rebels Targeting Civilians in Syria

This is one example of how powerful western propaganda can invert reality. For years now, there’s been a tsunami of western government and media talking points which claim that “Assad is targeting his own people indiscriminately”, and these round-the-clock allegations are always backed up by the same pro-opposition news source – the self-styled ‘Syrian Observatory For Human Rights‘ (SOHR) which until recently, was being run by Syrian ex-convict, Osama Ali Suleiman, who uses the media stage name of “Rami Abdul Rahman”. He runs his dubious organisation (see his website here) from his flat in Coventry, England, and is said to travel frequently to Turkey as part of his operation. SOHR has received funding from the EU and like the White Helmets, has been openly affiliated with the British Foreign Office, being summoned to private meetings there.

The SOHR has been the “go to” source for all civilian casualty numbers in Syria, even though the numbers put forth cannot be independently corroborated or are not checked at all for their veracity.

FIXER: Rami Abdul Rahman, head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, leaves the Foreign and Commonwealth Office after meeting Britain’s Foreign Secretary, William Hague, in central London November 21, 2011. Photo Source: REUTERS/Luke MacGregor.

The SOHR and western media completely ignore (and cover-up) regular incidents of so-called “moderate” rebels, supported directly by the US and its CIA, who regularly target civilian areas. They are targeting civilians and then blaming these attacks on the Syrian government through the same ‘activist’ media channels.

Where is the claimed ‘neutrality’ in the White Helmet reporting in these same conflict areas where they are embedded?  We hear incessantly of the “regime barrel bombs”, but we never hear one mention of the flesh tearing ‘Hell Cannon’ fired indiscriminately upon Aleppo civilians, in a hail of mortars and rockets that regularly rain down upon civilian areas, including into Damascus, from terrorist cells embedded in suburbs.

Likewise, we are never told about the car bombs that have devastated civilian areas in Homs and Latakia, including schools and hospitals. When do we hear about the tunnels dug under civilian homes and streets by the terrorists that are detonated – as a distraction to divert the SAA into ambushes and sniper fire?

These neutral humanitarians would do well to talk about the terrorist snipers who kill and maim civilians on a regular basis. Instead, they ignore atrocities committed against the Syrian army, an army which, unlike the foreign mercenary “rebel alliance” terrorists, is comprised of actual Syrian citizens.

For additional details on atrocities committed by terrorists against Syrian citizens, read: Al Houta Abyss, Raqqa: Terrorist dumping ground for the dead & the living.

A genuinely neutral report or analysis should surely take all of these factors into account, or are these “other” Syrian civilians not to be registered as such in the western electorate minds and hearts? If so, why not?

“The UN estimates 220,000 deaths thus far in the Syrian war.  But almost half are Syrian army soldiers or allied local militia fighters, and two thirds are combatants if we count opposition fighters.  Either way, the ratio of civilian to military casualties is roughly 1:2, given that the opposition is also inflicting civilian casualties.  Compare that to the roughly 3:1 ratio in the US war in Iraq and 4:1 in the Israeli attack on Gaza in 2008-9.  (The rate of Palestinian to Israeli casualties was an astronomical 100:1.)” ~ Paul Larudee. Mythology, Barrel Bombs and Human Rights Watch.

“In April and June 2014, I spent a cumulative month in Syria, in various areas of Damascus, with visits to Latakia, Homs, and Ma’aloula. At the time, Damascus was being intensely shelled by mortars, frequently in my vicinity, including just behind the hotel housing the Peace Delegation which I accompanied for the first week (photo). This attack killed three civilians and one Syrian soldier. We saw some of the 60 plus children injured in the April 15 shelling of a school, not an isolated occasion, an attack which also killed one child. Mortars rained down at close-proximity on many occasions in different areas of the Old City where I had then found lodging.” ~ Eva Bartlett

This is a statement from an Aleppo citizen.  Another Syrian civilian who has never heard of the White Helmets.

“The terrorists are using mortars, explosive bullets, cooking-gas cylinders bombs and water-warming long cylinders bombs, filled up with explosives and shrapnel and nails, in what they call “Hell Canon”.  Google these weapons or see their YouTube clips. The cooking-gas cylinder is made of steel, and it weighs around 25 kg. Imagine it thrown by a canon to hit civilians? And imagine knowing that it’s full with explosives?… Yet, the media is busy with the legendary weapon of “barrel bombs”! They came to spread “freedom” among Syrians! How dare they say that Syrian army shouldn’t fight them back?” ~ from Syria, welcome to Hell. 

Rebel Hell Cannon, Aleppo

How can the White Helmets make a claim of neutrality while providing simplistic, largely unverified,  biased and prejudicial reports that reflect only a percentage of the reality of this complex conflict and blatantly further the objectives of their donors in the region while ignoring the sacrifice being made by the Syrian Arab Army to defend their families and homeland from the invading NATO death squads.

“The Syrian Army is the Syrian people.” ~ Mother Agnes Mariam 

From our same civilian contact in Aleppo:

Aleppo city has shrunk to a fifth of its original size, and became so crowded with refugees that fled their areas after they fell into terrorist hands. I walk everyday in the city. I see children, young girls without limbs because of a terrorist mortar  or shrapnel  that targets them randomly and causes  terrible wounds and horrific memories that will never leave them. The girl who lost one leg is standing on her good leg and selling bread, while the little boy who lost one arm is selling chewing gum. Those are the “injured” people who are mentioned fleetingly in the news, just numbers in one line of a report, after each attack from the terrorists. “Injured” doesn’t mean scratched or having a bleeding finger; it means someone lost his eyes or her limbs.”

Finally, this photo was taken shortly after Russia had legally entered the conflict in Syria at the request of the Syrian Government.  Does it not seem a strange message to be conveyed by a neutral, unbiased humanitarian organisation with a self- proclaimed mandate to protect ALL Syrian people?  The White Helmets will not kneel? They are neutral are they not, to whom would they kneel or not kneel if indeed they serve all Syrians regardless of “race, religion, gender or political affiliation”

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White Helmets: Execution facilitators

There is an entire library of White Helmet propaganda images that have been proven to be recycled, fake or at best, inaccurate but perhaps the most shocking and most widely publicised was the footage of their suspected participation in an Al Nusra execution of a civilian in Hreitan,  Northern Aleppo.

This is perhaps one of the most damning indictments of White Helmet collusion with the terrorist group.

White Helmets facilitate Al Nusra execution. 5/5/2015. Aleppo

This video was wiped from most channels by the White Helmets immediately after its release, however the website Liveleak has managed to keep a protected copy which has escaped YouTube communitarian-style censorship.

Live Leak says: “As expected, youtube deleted this very incriminating video of the s-called “White Helmets” working hand in hand with Al Qaeda. Another CIA fail, trying to sell us these “White helmet” as civilian workers and volunteers, while they are simply Nusra jihadists. What to think of theri claims about ‘chlorine’?”

WARNING: EXTREMELY GRAPHIC VIDEO CONTENT NOT SUITABLE FOR CHILDREN

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=fd8_1430900709

The White Helmets were forced to release a statement explaining the events in this video. According to their own admission here, the sequence of events on the day, 5th May 2015 were as follows:  Al Nusra called the White Helmets 25 minutes prior to the execution. White Helmets arrived on the scene at 11.35 am, 5 minutes BEFORE the execution was carried out at 11.40.  These impartial humanitarian workers did NOTHING to prevent this execution, they appear a full 5 minutes prior to this murder at the behest of the executioners and they are ushered into shot immediately after the victim is shot twice at close range in the head, to collect the body.

Are these really neutral humanitarians at work saving every Syrian civilian “irrespective of race, religion, gender or political affiliation?

This is also taken from the White Helmet official statement AFTER their execution facilitation had gone viral on social media:

“We unequivocally condemn the killing of civilians no matter who the perpetrator.”

So where is their condemnation of this and countless other executions of civilians by Al Nusra in their reports to the UN?

The perpetrator is clearly Al Nusra Front, and it seems as if the White Helmet are avoiding naming the group, and readers would be right to ask why not. So where is their condemnation of this and countless other executions of civilians by Al Nusra – in those White Helmet reports to the UN?

Here are more responses by the White Helmets to the highly controversial video:

“The discussion over the video from Hreitan has highlighted the absence of a published code of conduct to which civil defence volunteers can be held accountable. The leaders of Syria Civil Defence commit to the development and publication of a code of conduct for members and its public posting on the www.SyriaCivilDefence.Org website in English and Arabic within one month.”

We are now coming up to November 2015, and there has still been no amendment to their “code of conduct”.  These humanitarians upon whose testimony, hangs the entire Western intervention policy in Syria, have not been officially investigated or even questioned over their suspected role in the “clean up” of a summary execution of a Syrian civilian by terrorist groups in Syria.

Armed or Unarmed?

 Unpaid Unarmed Lifesavers in Syria.” ~ New York Times headline Feb 2015.

 

“The White Helmets are unpaid and unarmed, and they risk their lives to save others…….. Wearing simple white construction helmets as feeble protection from those “double-tap” bombings, the White Helmets are strictly humanitarian. They even have rescued some of the officers of the regime of President Bashar al-Assad who are bombing them.”

Screenshot from video clearly showing White Helmet members carrying guns.

Video clearly showing armed White Helmets on the streets of Aleppo:

Meet another confused impartial, unarmed White Helmet, Muawiya Hassan Agha based in Sarmine, Idlib [scene of the recent alleged Russian Air Force bombing of a civilian hospital].

Muawiya Hassan Agha twitter page.

It appears that Agha plays a dual role in Syria’s conflict, White Helmet by day and Al Nusra armed terrorist by night, posing on board an Al Nusra tank, gun in hand. Here is a very clear case of the lines between unarmed humanitarian and armed mercenary being more than a little blurred. In one photo Agha is seen clearly celebrating with Al Nusra wearing his White Helmet tabard. In the stills taken from the alleged Russian hospital bombing in Sarmine, Idlib, he is spotted emerging from the “bombed” building.  His association with Al Nusra and his brazen show of armed affiliation leaves no doubt as to his role in this conflict and it is far removed from that of an impartial, unarmed Humanitarian.

In fact, the immortal words of Russian Foreign Minsiter, Sergei Lavrov, spring to mind:

“If it looks like a terrorist, if it acts like a terrorist, if it walks like a terrorist, if it fights like a terrorist, it’s a terrorist, right?”

Top left: Musawiya Agha Hassan in White Helmet mode. Top Right: As Al Nusra mercenary on tank in Idlib. Bottom left: celebrating with Al Nusra terrorists. Bottom right: Screen shot from alleged Russian air strike on hospital in Sharmine, Idlib.

A very cursory scroll down Agha’s Facebook page also reveals very recent photos of SAA corpses accompanied by a number of celebratory comments.

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In Summary

The success of the White Helmet and NGO complex propaganda is dependent upon the skewing of our moral compass by using the media and government institutions that are proven experts at “nudging” public opinion towards any particular policy.

If we really want to support Syria in this battle against such a complex array of interventionist forces, we must locate that compass and allow it to point us squarely towards the truth, however hard that truth is to accept and however remote might appear from the mainstream narrative. In fact I would go as far as to say, the further away you get from the mainstream naarative, the closer you get to the truth.

One final example of White Helmet propaganda at work:

“White Helmets claim to have rescued an SAA soldier who had in reality been captured by Al Nusra terrorists 10 days previously. In the Al Nusra version, this soldier is described as a “Shia pig” and was most probably summarily executed as an apostate according to Wahabi doctrine. Hard to imagine how the White Helmets then rescued him, unless of course they dug up his body for publicity purposes.”

White Helmets claim to have rescued an SAA soldier who had in reality been captured by Al Nusra terrorists 10 days previously. In the Al Nusra version, this soldier is described as a

At this point, the question should really be asked, are these two groups working together (or are they one in the same)?

 

END OF PART II 

 

EDITOR’S NOTE: In Part III we will analyse the recent speeches given by the White Helmet leaders, James Le Mesurier, Raed Saleh and Farouq al Habib, in particular,  who have been doing the rounds of Western media trying to regain lost propaganda ground, including their recent guest speaker spot at the prestigious Frontline club last week.

 

[Author Vanessa Beeley is a contributor to 21WIRE, and since 2011, she has spent most of her time in the Middle East reporting on events there – as a independent researcher, writer, photographer and peace activist. She is also a member of the Steering Committee of the Syria Solidarity Movement, and a volunteer with the Global Campaign to Return to Palestine. See more of her work at her blog The Wall Will Fall.]

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