White Helmets

Aeneas

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
I just wanted to put the article about the White Helmets that Angelburst put up in another thread, just to have them 'all' in one thread.

http://www.workers.org/2016/09/21/white-helmets-pawns-for-u-s-militarism/#.V-WTLq0lk3v

‘White Helmets’ — pawns for U.S. militarism

By Workers World staff posted on September 21, 2016

The dangerous U.S. military escalation of its 5-year war to overturn Syria’s government can be seen in the Sept. 17 bombing, which killed 62 Syrian Army soldiers and aided the position of the Islamic State group. The attack sabotaged a U.S.-Russian brokered ceasefire and led Russia to call for an emergency U.N. Security Council meeting.

At the same time, there has been a heavy barrage of U.S. war propaganda. “White Helmets,” a new film, is part of the sophisticated disinformation campaign.

War propaganda is always more insidious on the home front, but it is an essential ingredient of imperialist wars. Charging the enemy with genocide, baby killing, mass rapes, mass graves and weapons of mass destruction have all been debunked after a U.S. war. But they saturate the media before a war and seem indisputable.

Samantha Powers, U.S. ambassador to the U.N., has denounced both Russia and Syria. She labels U.S. wars “humanitarian interventions,” and has used unsubstantiated war propaganda to justify wars in West Asia, North Africa and the Balkans that have decimated countries, killed hundreds of thousands of people and displaced millions.

Social media hype

The film praising White Helmets, a U.S.-British-funded group embedded with U.S.-funded reactionary opposition forces, is trending on Netflix. The documentary’s well-publicized launch is calculated to help it win awards and convey the call for deeper U.S. military involvement in Syria. It premiered the Sept. 17-18 weekend at the Toronto International Film Festival.

NBC News praised the featured group as “Angels on the Front Line.” The Washington Post, New York Times and Wall Street Journal sang the movie’s praises and White Helmets’ “selfless, humanitarian role.”

The White Helmets defines itself as unpaid, unarmed first responders in Syria, claims 3,000 members and alleges it is a Syrian Civil Defense group. It claims to have saved 40,000, even 60,000 lives in Syria, by rescuing survivors from bombsites.

Most claims about the White Helmets are unverified self-promotion on social media. Interviews with and media coverage of the grouping show desperate appeals for an increase in U.S./NATO military action in Syria — not peace and reconciliation. New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof and other journalists have quoted its calls for a no-fly zone as a “humanitarian” option.

The much-hyped White Helmets is not a Syrian organization, nor was it created by Syrians, nor is it educational. It is a U.S.-British creation. Former British Army officer James Le Mesurier, self-described as a British “security” specialist, founded it. He previously worked for Blackwater, the mercenary organization universally condemned for its murderous brutality in Iraq.

U.S. AID funding


The White Helmets’ website declares the group is “unfunded, independent and neutral.” At an April 27 press conference, U.S. State Department Deputy Spokesperson Mark Toner acknowledged the organization has received $23 million from the U.S. Agency for International Development. That agency’s website explains, “Our work … advances U.S. foreign policy objectives.”

Additionally, the White Helmets receives millions of dollars from billionaire financier George Soros, the Netherlands and the British Foreign Office. Equipment and vehicles come through Turkey.

The White Helmets has never functioned as a neutral force. While attacking the Syrian government and calling for more U.S., British and NATO bombing, the group functions exclusively in Syrian areas held by the Nusra Front, a terrorist organization linked to al-Qaida. This well-funded group operates on the ground with U.S.-, British-, Israeli- and Saudi-funded militias committed to destroying Syria’s government.

While claiming to be “unarmed,” the White Helmets appears in videos with weapons, surrounded by armed militias.

The U.S. brought White Helmets’ leader Raed Saleh to the U.N. Security Council in 2014 to testify against the Syrian government and to lobby for a U.N. resolution approving a U.S.-enforced no-fly zone — meaning direct U.S. intervention. Saleh promotes bombing to “save” the people of Syria and is hardly “neutral.”

Washington later barred Saleh from the U.S. when he tried to attend a gala dinner honoring White Helmets with a keynote speech from USAID. The State Department deported him, citing his connections to “extremist organizations.”

The White Helmets is the latest of a series of front groups, designed to give a “humanitarian” gloss to Washington’s latest war of regime change in the Middle East.

White Helmets was established as a social media presence of the Syria Campaign, AVAAZ and Purpose — interlinked campaigns that push for U.S. destruction of Syria. They quote each others’ material and create the illusion of a democratic, independent opposition in Syria.

These forces are also pushing for a Nobel Peace Prize nomination for White Helmets to further legitimatize their calls for an expanded war. They also campaigned for Washington to bomb Libya under the guise of a “humanitarian” no-fly zone.[And we all know how that went. Libya is today a failed nation]

Resources that tell the truth

While the corporate media and TV entertainment channels seem to be taken in by this slick film, it takes little effort to expose who White Helmets is and reveal its role in the ugly U.S.-funded war in Syria. Information is available online in various formats. But this has not stopped the constant, orchestrated promotion of White Helmet.

“The White Helmets — al Qaeda with a Facelift” is a 4-minute video on Youtube which reveals the truth about the grouping. (tinyurl.com/zojokn3) The Syria Solidarity Movement, including Eva Bartlett, Vanessa Beeley, Ken Stone and Hands Off Syria, which made the video, has extensively researched White Helmets’ funding and role.

Change.org’s petition opposes the Nobel Peace Prize nomination, concluding that the White Helmets is “terrorism and neocolonialism under the umbrella of Humanitarianism.” (tinyurl.com/z52cttu)
 

Javi

Jedi
I just want to thank for all of this collection of information. It is shocking what is happening :cry:, and the high degree of ignorance and total subversion of the reality in which the population is in Western countries. It is already very difficult to argue with anyone about this. The newscast here in Spain already have changed from saying half truths disguised (al least were half truths) to directly tell lies on the war of Syria.
 

Aeneas

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
South Front has this article about the White Helmets. It has many pictures exposing the White Helmets as terrorists with as they write, a day job as a White Helmet "volunteer" and a night job as a terrorist. The article has no author as such but the pictures come from a twitter user named Gjoene: _https://twitter.com/search?q=gjoene&src=typd

https://southfront.org/double-life-of-white-helmets-volunteers-by-day-terrorists-by-night-photos/
September 29th 2016
Volunteers of the White Helmets civil defense organization have a double life: they are ‘volunteers’ by day and terrorists by night.
WhiteHelmets.jpg

A worker of a social canteen (Photo: twitter.com / Gjoene)

Photos, published online, reveal ‘the second life’ of volunteers of the White Helmets civil defense organization that operates throughout the Syrian territory, controlled by the ‘moderate’ opposition.

According to the photos, the volunteers spend one part of their lives, providing assistance to civilian population, and then transform into members of terrorist groups and shoot at the same civilians.

The White Helmets, also known as the Syrian Civil Defense (SCD), was founded in early 2013 by British security consultant James Le Mesurier. The organization is supported by Mayday Rescue, a foundation, registered in the Netherlands. The SCD was created as “a response to indiscriminate bombardment of civilian communities in rebel-held areas by the Syrian Arab Air Force.” However, according to an official statement, the mission of the White Helmets is “to save the greatest number of lives in the shortest possible time and to minimize further injury to people and damage to property.”

Now volunteers of the White Helmets operate in 114 local civil defense centers across 8 Syrian provinces with high presence of various militant groups: Aleppo, Homs, Idlib, Damascus Countryside, Hama, Latakia, and Daraa.
Ctb2-SBW8AEDJTK.jpg

This man is a humanitarian worker of the White Helmets in one his life, and a soldier of jihad, who is ready to cut heads of ‘faithless’ – in another life (Photo: twitter.com / Gjoene)

obtersh.jpg

Another volunteer of the White Helmets. Apparently, he earns more, throwing corpses of Syrian soldiers in garbage than just killing them (Photo: twitter.com / Gjoene)

CtcSHQlWYAA18Ue.jpg

Photo: twitter.com / Gjoene
CtcSIgjXYAY4fy_.jpg

Photo: twitter.com / Gjoene
CtcSJ7DXEAAFVMr.jpg

Photo: twitter.com / Gjoene

ubsruzzz.jpg

This ‘hero’ of the humanitarian front likes to shoot at civilians with a machine gun during his breaks between the processes of ‘taking care about people’ (Photo: twitter.com / Gjoene)

rackubl.jpg

A standard Syrian humanitarian volunteer, armed with a peaceful light anti-tank weapon (Photo: twitter.com / Gjoene)

CtcaRp8WEAA2sFt.jpg

Nevermind the black flag on the wall… Nothing to see there (Photo: twitter.com / Gjoene)
 

angelburst29

The Living Force
Western TV news outlets are routinely using video footage from the White Helmets, supposedly taken in the aftermath of air strikes on Aleppo. This is an astounding abdication of any journalistic ethics of independence and impartiality.

US Outcry over Syria... Tears Followed By NATO Bombs (Finian CUNNINGHAM)
http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2016/09/28/us-outcry-over-syria-tears-followed-nato-bombs.html

The crescendo of US-led condemnations against Syria and Russia over alleged humanitarian crimes in Syria grows louder by the day. The eerie sense is that this «outcry» is being orchestrated as a prelude to a NATO-style intervention in Syria.

Such a NATO maneuver would follow the template for former Yugoslavia and Libya, leading to greater civilian deaths, territorial disintegration, a surge in regional terrorism and more international lawlessness by Western states.

The concerted, emotive appeals over the past week – bordering on hysteria – indicate a propaganda campaign coordinated between Washington and its Western allies, the mass media and the US-led NATO military alliance.

It was US ambassador the United Nations Samantha Power who led the chorus of accusations against Russia and its Syrian ally, using the Security Council emergency meeting last weekend to condemn «barbarism» of renewed violence around the northern Syrian city of Aleppo. Britain and France piled in with more unsubstantiated condemnations of war crimes, as did shameless UN officials, Ban Ki-Moon, the secretary general, and Staffan de Mistura, the UN’s special envoy to Syria.

Few people would countenance war, but surely Syria has the sovereign right to defend its nation from a foreign-fueled war on its territory. In all the lachrymose lecturing from the likes of Samantha Power, the pertinent question of who started this war in the first place gets lost in rhetorical fog.

Days later, NATO civilian chief Jens Stoltenberg issued a statement denouncing Russia and Syria for «blatant violation of international laws» in Aleppo, adding that the military actions by both were «morally totally unacceptable».

All the while, Western news media outlets have run saturation coverage of what they depict as a humanitarian hell in Aleppo, the strategic Syrian city where the final throes of the country’s nearly six-year war seem to be playing out.

The New York Times published an article with the gut-wrenching headline: ‘The Children of Aleppo, Syria, Trapped in a Killing Zone’.

It goes on to say: «Among the roughly 250,000 people trapped in the insurgent redoubt of the divided northern Syrian city are 100,000 children, the most vulnerable victims of intensified bombings by Syrian forces and their Russian allies.»

In a separate article, euronews.com reports: ‘Nowhere to hide’ – volunteer describes conditions inside Aleppo’.

The implication in the Western mass media is that Syrian and Russian air forces are bombarding indiscriminately across civilian districts of the city. The same desperate tone and bias is ubiquitous in all Western media outlets.

However, if we ascertain the sources for this saturation information, it turns out to be a limited range of anonymous «activists», or the Western-funded group known as the White Helmets, which purports to be a humanitarian response network, but which in actual fact is integrated with illegally armed insurgents, including the al Qaeda terror organization Jabhat al Fatah al Sham (al Nusra Front), as writer Rick Sterling details.

Western TV news outlets are routinely using video footage from the White Helmets, supposedly taken in the aftermath of air strikes on Aleppo. This is an astounding abdication of any journalistic ethics of independence and impartiality.

These same media outlets rarely, if ever, carry reports from the western side of Aleppo where a six-fold greater population – 1.5 million – live in government-held districts, compared with the «rebel-held» eastern quarter.

As independent writer Vanessa Beeley recently reported, some 600,000 people fled to the western side of Aleppo from the al Nusra-dominant stronghold on the eastern side. According to medics quoted by Beeley, the majority of the population in the eastern quarter are being held hostage as human shields by the insurgents, or as the Western governments and media call them «moderate rebels» and «activists». There are also credible witness reports of terrorists shooting at people fleeing from the east through humanitarian corridors set up by the Syrian government.

In recent weeks, hundreds of civilians in the western districts of Aleppo have been killed from indiscriminate shelling and sniping by militants from the eastern side.

When do you ever hear or read the Western media reporting on those crimes? You don’t, because that would unravel the propaganda narrative aimed at demonizing, criminalizing and delegitimizing the Syrian government and its Russia ally.

And a key leitmotif of the official Western narrative is to create the perception that innocent civilians in Aleppo are being slaughtered by Syria and Russian forces. Both Damascus and Moscow reject claims that they are targeting civilian areas. Moscow has vehemently refuted Western claims that it is committing war crimes. Even the normally jingoistic US outlet Radio Free Europe quotes a legal expert from Amnesty International as saying that there is no evidence to indict Russia of such crimes.

And because the anti-government militants restrict access to their stronghold, including for UN aid agencies, it is hard to verify the claims and footage coming out of there. Which notwithstanding has not restrained Western media from broadcasting the information verbatim.

The Western mantra of «humanitarian crisis» and «war crimes» has the unmistakable connotation of contriving a public acceptance of certain policy objectives that Washington and its allies are striving for.
At the very least, one of those objectives is to create a political atmosphere whereby Syria and Russia are obliged to comply with calls for no-fly zones, as recently demanded by US Secretary of State John Kerry. So far, Syria and Russia have rebuffed any such initiative, saying that it would give succor to the illegally armed groups who are now decisively in retreat.

Still, a more far-reaching objective could be Washington and its allies fostering a public mandate for military intervention by the NATO alliance. The outcry over «humanitarian suffering» in eastern Aleppo is a repeat of the «responsibility to protect» (R2P) ploy which NATO invoked to previously intervene and dismember former Yugoslavia in the late 1990s, and a decade later in Libya in 2011.

The US official inimitably qualified for such a political objective is Washington’s ambassador at the UN – Samantha Power. Her recent diatribes against Russia show a total disregard for diplomatic or legal protocol. Suffused with self-righteousness and selective «humanitarian» concern, Power is evidently leading a media campaign to mandate a NATO force being deployed to Syria’s Aleppo in order to «protect the children trapped in a killing zone» as the New York Times might put it.

Forty-six-year-old Power has made her entire professional career out of formulating the «R2P» doctrine that has in the past well-served Washington’s imperialist goals.

As a young reporter in the 1990s, Power wrote one-sided screeds about ethnic cleansing and genocide in the Balkans, which conveniently demonized Serbia, culminating in the NATO bombing of Belgrade in 1999 and the subsequent carve up of Kosovo to become a NATO base. For this service to imperial interests, she was subsequently rewarded with a professorship at Harvard University and a Pulitzer-prize-winning book about genocide, a book which eminent scholars like Edward Herman have debunked as a load of plagiarism and self-serving historical distortions.

The fiery, Irish-born Power was later promoted by President Barack Obama as an advisor on his National Security Council. It was in this position that she pushed the policy of NATO bombing Libya in 2011 with a reprise of her «R2P» doctrine.

These NATO military assaults facilitated by emotive appeals to «humanitarian values» have since been shown to be reckless violations of international law amounting to foreign aggression. Earlier this year, the late Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic was officially exonerated over war crimes allegations, charges that NATO had leveled to justify its bombardment of his country. Also, earlier this month a British parliamentary committee denounced former prime minister David Cameron for his involvement in the NATO intervention in Libya as being unfounded on claims that then Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi was preparing to slaughter residents in the city of Benghazi.

But it was s0-called «liberal hawks» like Samantha Power who were instrumental in providing political and moral cover for Washington and the NATO military to conduct these illegal foreign invasions and regime changes under the pretext of protecting human rights and civilian lives.

Obama assigned his useful apparatchik Samantha Power to the United Nations in August 2013, where she has proven to be completely out of her depth in terms of diplomatic finesse. She has infused her position on the Security Council with anti-Russian vitriol in the pursuit of Washington’s hegemonic interests, regardless of international law or objective historical analysis.

The «humanitarian» propaganda drumbeat over Aleppo belies the facts and circumstances of Washington’s covert war for regime change in Syria. A dirty war in which it and its NATO allies have colluded with a proxy army of terrorist gangs, as this recent German media report by Jurgen Todenhofer confirms.

Faced with a losing covert war in Syria, through the defeat of its terror proxy forces, it appears that Washington is striving for a more robust intervention in the guise of NATO military deployment, perhaps as «peacekeepers» overseeing a no-fly zone, as seen previously in Libya with disastrous results.

Emoting about humanitarian concerns is a well-worn prelude for NATO barbarism on behalf of Washington’s geopolitical interests. Crocodile tears followed by bombs. And no better person to carry out this subterfuge than UN ambassador Samantha Power.
 

angelburst29

The Living Force
They were images so moving, it seemed like the whole world wept. From the white-helmeted rescue worker who pulled the baby out of the Syrian rubble to even the BBC news reader, introducing the report.

BBC presenter Kate Silverton breaks down in tears as orphaned baby is rescued from Syrian rubble
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/09/30/bbc-presenter-kate-silverton-breaks-down-in-tears-as-a-baby-is-r/

30 September 2016 - The tears were of joy for the month-old girl’s survival. They were inevitably tinged with a sorrow for the catastrophe that has befallen a nation - and her family.

Tragically, the baby was left an orphan after five members of her family died in the strike.

A cameraman captured the remarkable moment the baby’s rescue worker Abu Kifah broke down. Unable to contain his emotions, the tears streamed down his face; his sobbing uncontrollable. He would later explain that he imagined the baby girl as if she were his own daughter.

Against the odds, Mr Kifah had pulled the baby from the rubble and brought her to safety. She was covered in dust and had suffered just a few cuts and bruises but otherwise appeared unscathed.

The little girl had been one of the lucky ones. Her home in Idlib, 40 miles south west of Aleppo, had been bombed, allegedly by Russian jets loyal to the Syrian regime, but unlike thousands of others she had survived.

A volunteer with the White Helmets rescue charity, Mr Kifah had been sifting through the wreckage before finding her. He then held the baby to his chest to protect her from any more harm. She was then taken in an ambulance to a nearby hospital.

As the ambulance sped through the city, Mr Kifah, the tears streaming, can be heard repeating “ya Allah” - or “oh God”, over and over. He later told reporters from the agency Orient News: “With the help of God, we were able to recover the baby girl. Thank God, the baby girl did not have any single injury.

“When I held her, I thought of her as my own baby girl… I took her to the hospital while I was holding her close to my chest as if she were my own daughter.

“When I held her close to my chest, I was deeply touched.”

The footage was broadcast on Friday's BBC lunchtime news and when the segment was over, it was clear that it had also moved Kate Silverton, the BBC presenter to tears.

As she tried to introduce the next item, Ms Silverton’s voice began to tremble. Behind her glasses, tears rolled down her cheeks as she continued to broadcast live on air.

Her anguish encouraged viewers to offer messages of support to the 46-year-old newsreader, who herself has two children aged four and two.

Ms Silverton later wrote on Twitter: “To all of you sending thoughts – thank you – no words really – my job to be inscrutable & impartial but I am also human #syria @BBCNews.”

In a later post she wrote: “There are no words are there...”

Viewers were impressed, with one praising her “utmost poise and professionalism following an extremely distressing piece” while another wrote on Twitter: “We are all human beings and all upset, no crime to show your feelings in public. Well done.”

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least 11 civilians, among them seven children, had died in the bombing raids on Idlib on Thursday in which the little girl survived.

In a week’s fighting, it has been reported that 388 people have been killed, including 106 children.
 

Aeneas

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
angelburst29 said:
They were images so moving, it seemed like the whole world wept. From the white-helmeted rescue worker who pulled the baby out of the Syrian rubble to even the BBC news reader, introducing the report.

BBC presenter Kate Silverton breaks down in tears as orphaned baby is rescued from Syrian rubble
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/09/30/bbc-presenter-kate-silverton-breaks-down-in-tears-as-a-baby-is-r/

>snip<

A volunteer with the White Helmets rescue charity, Mr Kifah had been sifting through the wreckage before finding her. He then held the baby to his chest to protect her from any more harm. She was then taken in an ambulance to a nearby hospital.

As the ambulance sped through the city, Mr Kifah, the tears streaming, can be heard repeating “ya Allah” - or “oh God”, over and over. He later told reporters from the agency Orient News: “With the help of God, we were able to recover the baby girl. Thank God, the baby girl did not have any single injury.

“When I held her, I thought of her as my own baby girl… I took her to the hospital while I was holding her close to my chest as if she were my own daughter.

“When I held her close to my chest, I was deeply touched.”

The footage was broadcast on Friday's BBC lunchtime news and when the segment was over, it was clear that it had also moved Kate Silverton, the BBC presenter to tears.

As she tried to introduce the next item, Ms Silverton’s voice began to tremble. Behind her glasses, tears rolled down her cheeks as she continued to broadcast live on air.

Her anguish encouraged viewers to offer messages of support to the 46-year-old newsreader, who herself has two children aged four and two.

Ms Silverton later wrote on Twitter: “To all of you sending thoughts – thank you – no words really – my job to be inscrutable & impartial but I am also human #syria @BBCNews.”

In a later post she wrote: “There are no words are there...”

Viewers were impressed, with one praising her “utmost poise and professionalism following an extremely distressing piece” while another wrote on Twitter: “We are all human beings and all upset, no crime to show your feelings in public. Well done.”

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least 11 civilians, among them seven children, had died in the bombing raids on Idlib on Thursday in which the little girl survived.

In a week’s fighting, it has been reported that 388 people have been killed, including 106 children.

I think that is what is called emotional porn, where in true Hollywood style they milk all the emotions out of the BBC audience. And the negative part of that emotional energy is then being directed against Russia and the Syrian government, as they were singled out for causing this misery, while the positive aspect is channelled towards the 'rescuers', the White Helmets. The PR campaign for the Nobel prize is in full swing.
 

angelburst29

The Living Force
Aeneas said:
In the letter from John Ryan that Voyager posted above, there is this bit that I also seem to have read somewhere else.

http://cassiopaea.org/forum/index.php/topic said:
The White Helmets venture, promoted by the entire mainstream media, has been amazingly effective. The most recent effort has been the Netflix “White Helmet” documentary that premiered on September 16 at the Toronto International Film Festival. It appears to be essentially a promotion video with the “Kid rescued from rubble” as the standard shtick. After the hideous murder of British MP, Jo Cox, a special fund was established to raise money for three of her causes, one being the White Helmets. Seeing that this was done within hours of her death it seems to be a cynical and obscene exploitation of her murder to try to maintain the credibility of the White Helmets. Smart as Jo Cox was, it appears that she had been taken in by the media promotion of the White Helmets.

Yes, it could well be that the sleek PR team behind the White Helmets took advantage of the emotional upset by the people to the murder of Jo Cox. They know how to milk emotional energy and "seeing an opportunity in a disaster" as the openly say. Sickening and also to see that it works in conning people into supporting terrorism.

As for all the stars/actors who joined the chorus, it is not so surprising. They are used to follow a script without thinking. This also goes for most of those who are stars, but not actors. They have promoters and PR teams who create the image and tell them how to 'be true' to the 'brand'. :rolleyes:

This Jo Cox Fund for the White Helmets has Soro's written all over it? Donations are current and listed on the right side of the page.

https://www.gofundme.com/jocox

In celebration and memory of Jo Cox, we are raising funds to support causes closest to her heart, chosen by her family:

The Royal Voluntary Service, to support volunteers helping combat loneliness in Jo's constituency, Batley and Spen in West Yorkshire.
_http://www.royalvoluntaryservice.org.uk/

HOPE not hate, who seek to challenge and defeat the politics of hate and extremism within local communities across Britain. (The latest from our blogs.)
_http://www.hopenothate.org.uk/

The White Helmets: volunteer search and rescue workers in Syria. Unarmed and neutral, these heroes have saved more than 51,000 lives from under the rubble and bring hope to the region.
_https://www.whitehelmets.org/

In her husband Brendan’s words:

"Jo believed in a better world and she fought for it every day of her life with an energy, and a zest for life that would exhaust most people. She would have wanted two things above all else to happen now, one that our precious children are bathed in love and two, that we all unite to fight against the hatred that killed her.”

Let's come together and give what we can to help create that better world.

More information:

This page has been created by Jo Cox's friends in London, including Nick Grono (CEO, The Freedom Fund), Tim Dixon (MD, Purpose), Mabel van Oranje (Chair, Girls Not Brides), and Gemma Mortensen (Chief Global Officer, Change.org), in close collaboration with her husband Brendan Cox. Once funds are gathered they will be split between Jo's favourite causes, chosen by her family.

We have received several messages asking why there is no option to claim Gift Aid on donations to Jo Cox’s Fund. At this stage that is not possible. The rules for Gift Aid are that it can only be offered to UK taxpayers, and only for donations to UK charities that are registered in the UK.

Jo Cox’s Fund was set up in the hours after Jo was killed, because we wanted to do something practical to help advance some of the causes Jo cared most about. In these circumstances, it has not been possible to go through the complicated process of seeking charitable status from the charities commission (which could take several months). In addition, there are restrictive rules around charities, which means that some causes are not considered charities (for example, The White Helmets are based in Syria, and HOPE not hate’s campaigning arm is also not eligible). These causes were nonetheless incredibly important to Jo. She worked closely with them all over the last few years and would be so proud of the work they will do as a result of your donations.

If you only wish to give to a charity registered in the UK in order to claim Gift Aid, of course you are more than welcome to donate directly to the Royal Voluntary Service (registered with the Charity Commission in England and Wales number 1015988 and in Scotland number SC038924), or to HOPE not hate’s separate charitable arm, HOPE not Hate Educational Ltd (number 1013880). Thank you.

More than £500,000 has been donated in just one day to three charities that were close to Jo Cox’s heart.

Jo Cox GoFundMe Page Exceeds £500,000 As Donations Flood In For Hope Not Hate, White Helmets And Royal Voluntary Service (Photos - news video)
http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/jo-cox-gofundme-exceeds-500000-hope-not-hate-white-helmets-royal-voluntary-service_uk_57653a2ae4b0d033a57566bd

More than 17,000 people donated money. More than £500,000 has been donated in just one day to three charities that were close to Jo Cox’s heart.

The GoFundMe page set up in honour of the murdered Labour MP has seen hundreds of thousands of pounds flood in for charities that rescue people from extremism, loneliness and violence in Syria.

The mother-of-two was shot and stabbed outside her constituency office on Thursday.

Her family, who set up the fund on Friday afternoon, has announced that Hope Not Hate, the Royal Voluntary Service And The White Helmets will receive the donations.

On Saturday morning, the man charged with Cox’s murder, Thomas Mair, appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court.

The 52-year-old gave his name in court as “Death to traitors, freedom for Britain”. He was remanded in custody and is due to appear at the Old Bailey on Monday.

The page includes a quote from Cox’s husband, Brendan, who said: “Jo believed in a better world and she fought for it every day of her life with an energy, and a zest for life that would exhaust most people.

“She would have wanted two things above all else to happen now, one that our precious children are bathed in love and two, that we all unite to fight against the hatred that killed her.”

“Let’s come together and give what we can to help create that better world,” the page says.

Hope Not Hate (HnH) has campaigned against extremism to defeat “the politics of hate... within local communities across Britain”.

The group was founded in 2004 when the British National Party (BNP) began to win electoral success.

Since 2010, HnH has worked to oppose groups like the English Defence League and nearly 50,000 people signed its letter opposing Islamophobia in the wake of Lee Rigby’s murder.

A HnH spokesman told HuffPost UK on Friday: “We are extremely humbled to be chosen for support in this way. Jo was a brave and principled woman, whose passion was clear.

“In life, she fought for the rights of of many, from her constituents to the plight of refugees.

“In her untimely death, a light has gone out, but we will strive to remember her in the many projects and work we carry out to combat hatred and forge unity between all our communities.”

The White Helmets, as the Syrian Civil Defence, is another charity the page is raising money for.

The White Helmets is a group of unarmed, neutral firefighters who “have saved more than 51,000 lives from under the rubble and bring hope to the region,” according to the fundraising page.

Speaking in 2014, one member told The Huffington Post: “When we hear the sound of an airplane, we respond quickly. We ask civilians where the bombing took place.

“We ask the neighbors if they know if there is still anybody under the destruction... Sometimes we’re able to rescue lives, when we have the proper equipment. And sometimes we can’t.”

Before her election as an MP in 2015, Cox was an aid worker in the world’s war zones, including Syria, and passionately advocated Britain taking in refugees fleeing the war there.

Lastly, the page will raise money for the Batley and Spend branch of The Royal Voluntary Service, which works with lonely, isolated elderly people to help them get out more.


Jo Cox’s Fund

Wow – a million pounds has been raised in Jo’s honour in just three days thanks to you all. She would be so proud.

Jo Cox – Her Favoured White Helmets – Why does it Take an Australian Female peace Activist to reveal the truth?
https://caltonjock.com/2016/06/21/jo-cox-her-favoured-white-helmets-why-does-it-take-an-australian-female-peace-activist-to-reveal-the-truth/

June 21, 2016 - Who are the White Helmets? This is a question that everyone should be asking themselves.

A hideous murder of a rising star in UK politics, Jo Cox, MP has just sent shock waves across the world. Within hours of her death, a special fund was established in her name to raise money for 3 causes. One of those causes is the Syrian White Helmets.

Are we seeing a cynical and obscene exploitation of Jo Cox’s murder to revive the flagging credibility of a US State Department & UK Foreign Office asset on the ground in Syria, created and sustained as first responders for the US and NATO Al Nusra/Al Qaeda forces?

If this is the case, and I fear it is, the depravity of our government, the US government, the state led media and associated Syria Campaign support groups have reached a new level of perversion of Humanity. The White Helmets have been demonstrated to be a primarily US and NATO funded organisation embedded in Al Nusra and ISIS held areas exclusively.

This is an alleged “non-governmental” organisation, the definition of an NGO, that thus far has received funding from at least three major NATO governments, including $23 million from the US Government and $29 million (£19.7 million) from the UK Government, $4.5 million (€4 million) from the Dutch Government. In addition, it receives material assistance and training funded and run by a variety of other EU Nations.

A request has been put into the EU Secretary General to provide all correspondence relating to the funding and training of the White Helmets. By law this information must be made transparent and available to the public.

There has been a concerted campaign by a range of investigative journalists to expose the true roots of these Syria Civil Defence operatives, known as the White Helmets. The most damning statement, however, did not come from us, but from their funders and backers in the US State Department who attempted to explain the US deportation of the prominent White Helmet leader, Raed Saleh, from Dulles airport on the 18th April 2016.

“It was unclear whether Mr. Saleh’s name might have shown up on a database, fed by a variety of intelligence and security agencies and intended to guard against the prospect of terrorism suspects slipping into the country.” ~ New York Times

Mark Toner, State Department spokesperson:

“And any individual – again, I’m broadening my language here for specific reasons, but any individual in any group suspected of ties or relations with extremist groups or that we had believed to be a security threat to the United States, we would act accordingly. But that does not, by extension, mean we condemn or would cut off ties to the group for which that individual works for.”

UK defence minister Hammond with members of the white helmets

The White Helmets are perhaps being demonstrated to be the most crucial component of the US and NATO shadow state building inside Syria. Led by the US and UK this group is essential to the propaganda stream that facilitates the continued media and political campaign against the elected Syrian government and permits the US and NATO to justify their regime of crippling economic and humanitarian sanctions against the Syrian people.

If this latest mechanized ‘NGO’ blueprint is successful then we could see it being re-deployed as key to future neo-colonialist projects. The White Helmets are a direct intra-venus line into the terrorist enclaves within Syria, acting as a conduit for information, equipment and medical support to maintain the US NATO forces.

Is this the future of warfare, is this the “swarming” outlined in a 2000 report produced by the RAND Corporation and entitled: Swarming and the Future of Conflict.

“The emergence of a military doctrine based on swarming pods and clusters requires that defense policymakers develop new approaches to connectivity and control and achieve a new balance between the two. Far more than traditional approaches to battle, swarming clearly depends upon robust information flows. Securing these flows, therefore, can be seen as a necessary condition for successful swarming.”

Is this why we are seeing what is, in effect, crowd funding for proxy war? Do we really want to look back and be “judged by history” for enabling conflict and state terrorism, violating international law and invading sovereign nations. Are we prepared to accept the consequences of such actions, consequences that should be taken by our governments alone but are now being diffused outwards to the general public. Is this an attempt by our government to disassociate themselves from their criminal actions?

To condense our research on the Syria White Helmets, we have collated all relevant articles and interviews below. We condemn wholeheartedly any senseless murder but we recommend that there is serious public and political re-evauluation of the morality of funding a US NATO organisation established to further “regime change” objectives in Syria.

Mass murder is being committed across Syria and the region by US and NATO proxy terrorist militants. Funding the White Helmets will serve to prolong the suffering and bloodshed of the Syrian people.

Mint Press: US Propaganda War in Syria: Report Ties White Helmets to US Intervention
http://www.mintpressnews.com/us-propaganda-war-in-syria-report-ties-white-helmets-to-foreign-intervention/209435/

“White Helmets primary function is propaganda” reported an independent journalist, who tied the group to George Soros and the controversial advocacy group Avaaz.”

Soros Sponsored NGO in Syria Aims at Ousting Assad not Saving Civilians
https://sputniknews.com/politics/20150908/1026752193/ngo-rescue-civilians-western-propaganda.html#ixzz3lAx78S1D

“One of the largest humanitarian organizations operating in war-torn Syria – the White Helmets – has been accused of being an anti-government propaganda arm that encourages direct foreign intervention.”


(Comment) In regards to "Swarming and the Future of Conflict" I get the impression that
OSCE Monitoring Mission Teams in Ukraine are a spin-off of the White Helmets only a slightly different function (outwardly). Propaganda style in promotion and activities follow a similar pattern to that of the White Helmets. OSCE teams are outfitted with white hoods and vests.

OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine
http://www.osce.org/ukraine-smm (Home page)
http://www.osce.org/ukrainecrisis

OSCE responses to the crisis in and around Ukraine include high-level diplomacy and multilateral dialogue; monitoring the security situation on the ground; promoting respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms; and strengthening democratic institutions and practices.
 

Voyageur

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
angelburst29 said:
(Comment) In regards to "Swarming and the Future of Conflict" I get the impression that
OSCE Monitoring Mission Teams in Ukraine are a spin-off of the White Helmets only a slightly different function (outwardly). Propaganda style in promotion and activities follow a similar pattern to that of the White Helmets. OSCE teams are outfitted with white hoods and vests.

OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine
http://www.osce.org/ukraine-smm (Home page)
http://www.osce.org/ukrainecrisis

OSCE responses to the crisis in and around Ukraine include high-level diplomacy and multilateral dialogue; monitoring the security situation on the ground; promoting respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms; and strengthening democratic institutions and practices.

Anythings possible or, what starts off as one thing gets infected during its operation or infiltrated (which is likely), so perhaps OSCE is something to monitor. So far though, based on what people like the OSCE's Andrey Kelin have indicated against Western allegations, is that:

https://www.sott.net/article/284530-OSCE-repeats-There-are-no-Russian-troops-or-military-equipment-in-Ukraine-Poroshenkos-telling-porkies

rearranged from direct quote said:
1. We have said that no Russian involvement has been spotted, there are no soldiers or equipment.

2. Accusations relating to convoys of armored personnel carriers have been heard during the past week and the week before that - All of them were proven false back then, and is being proven false again now.

3. There is no sense in these accusations.

This goes against the actions of shill operators, like the White Helmets and other humanitarian NGO types who's objective is to vilify by information proxy, mainly Russia, or in the case of Syria, both Russia and al-Assad (Putin and al-Assad the individual targets of repeated focus).

This "Swarming and the Future of Conflict" certainly was taken as a change in war-information/disinformation to help line up citizens and their respective governments, to give them permission to break international laws and murder at will.

Great connecting articles, thanks for keeping up the focus.
 

angelburst29

The Living Force
The ‘White Helmets’ Exposed: U.K. intel created, U.S. funded, Al-Qaeda helpers in Syria
https://syrianfreepress.wordpress.com/2016/10/

One of the most Damning videos you will ever see, exposing the White Helmets NGO AKA the “Syrian Civil Defence force” as UK intel created, US funded, Al-Qaeda group in Syria. A bunch of gun wielding, head chopping terrorists the U.S. government gave 23 million dollars to.

Please download, save and spread this video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hc_qNwNuLBo (4 min.) (May 5, 2016)

The ‘White Helmets’, fake aid workers, real terrorist supporters
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=56xTAYp6zz0 (1:33 min.) ( Mar 30, 2015)

The UN has reported that its humanitarian convoy en route to two residential areas in the Aleppo and Homs provinces was bombed. The International Red Cross Committee has confirmed the death of one volunteer and 20 civilians.

Russia points finger at Al-Nusra White Helmets over UN convoy "fire"
http://www.fort-russ.com/2016/09/russia-points-finger-at-al-nusra-white.html

September 20, 2016 - Fort Russ News -
RIA Novosti - translated by J. Arnoldski -

Saudi Arabia’s permanent representative to the UN has accused Syrian government forces of bombing the convoy. The US State Department has since stated that they will “reconsider the prospects of cooperation with Russia on Syria.”

The Kremlin has called accusations against Moscow and Damascus unfounded and the Ministry of Defense that the Russian and Syrian air forces did not launch any airstrike against the humanitarian convoy.

What happened? On Monday, the UN announced the shipment of humanitarian aid to two residential areas in the provinces of Aleppo and Homs. The convoy was marked with the UN emblem and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent. Permission to pass was received from both Damascus and the armed opposition. The convoy was carrying aid for 78,000 people, including blankets and basic necessities.

However, near Urum al-Kubra, northwest of Aleppo, the convoy was bombed. 18 of the 31 trucks came under fire. “At the present moment, we can confirm the death of one of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent’s employees. But we are still assessing the information and have different figures,” RIA Novosti was told by the International Federation of the Red Cross’ (IFRC) press secretary, Benoit Carpentier.

Carpentier added that it was the IFRC’s division director responsible for the operation that was killed. Later it became known that the victims of the bombing included at least 20 civilians.

A warehouse and Syrian Red Crescent hospital also came under fire. After the attack, the IFRC decided to postpone the delivery of humanitarian aid to four Syrian cities.

As RIA Novosti was told by the Bureau for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Jens Lerche, the UN has reported the shelling to Russia and the US and is counting on an investigation to be launched.

International reactions Saudi Arabia has blamed the strike on the humanitarian convoy on Syrian government forces. A similar position has been echoed by the US State Department.

According to Secretary of State John Kerry, “the Russians should exercise their influence on Assad who is obviously indiscriminately bombing everything, including humanitarian convoys.”

However, Kerry recognized that Washington “does not have all the facts on this issue” and urged for new information to be awaited.

“The United States will raise the issue with Russia. Given flagrant violations of the ceasefire, we will reconsider the prospects of cooperation with Russia,” the State Department head stated.

Russian presidential press-secretary Dmitry Peskov has remarked that that there is an “extremely tense situation with the ceasefire in Syria” and recalled that Syrian soldiers were the only units that complied with the ceasefire. The defense ministry has emphasized that neither Russian nor Syrian air forces launched any airstrikes on the UN humanitarian convoy in the southwestern outskirts of Aleppo.

“What’s more, due to the fact that the convoy’s route was passing through the territory controlled by militants, the Russian Center for Reconciliation of Warring Sides in Syria supported the convoy with UAV monitoring”, , the official representative of the ministry, Major-General Igor Konashenkov, stated.

According to him, at around 13:40 on Monday, the entire humanitarian load was safely delivered, after which the Center for Reconciliation stopped monitoring the convoy and its further movement was not tracked by the Russian side.

Konashenkov added that an analysis of the video from the scene of events showed no signs of the column’s shelling, such as craters or typical damage to vehicles. He remarked that all that was demonstrated in the video footage resembles the direct consequence of a cargo fire.

Who started the fire and why “can only be answered as always ‘coincidentally’ by those who turn out in the right time in the right place with video cameras those representatives of the 'White Helmets' organization close to Jebat al-Nusra,” the defense ministry’s official representative concluded.

Russian MoD drone video of UN aid convoy in Aleppo
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wN2g71ZgQnE (0:36) (Published on Sep 20, 2016)
 

angelburst29

The Living Force
The art of "creating" the "victims" of Assad in Syria ... The "white helmets" Soros and support groups during the preparation of another victim of Syrian army ... After you take the CNN ... the BBC ... and our own domestic stooges of the west.

Η τέχνη του να «δημιουργείς» τα «θύματα» του Άσαντ στην Συρία… Τα «λευκά κράνη» του Σόρος και οι ομάδες υποστήριξης, κατά την διάρκεια της προετοιμασίας ενός άλλου θύματος του συριακού στρατού… Μετά θα αναλάβει το CNN… το BBC… και τα δικά μας εγχώρια ανδρείκελα της δύσης.

The art of "creating" the "victims" of Assad (Photos)
Η τέχνη του να «δημιουργείς» τα «θύματα» του Άσαντ

http://www.triklopodia.gr/%CE%B7-%CF%84%CE%AD%CF%87%CE%BD%CE%B7-%CF%84%CE%BF%CF%85-%CE%BD%CE%B1-%CE%B4%CE%B7%CE%BC%CE%B9%CE%BF%CF%85%CF%81%CE%B3%CE%B5%CE%AF%CF%82-%CF%84%CE%B1-%CE%B8%CF%8D%CE%BC%CE%B1%CF%84%CE%B1-%CF%84/


As one might expect, during a war, misunderstandings are often driven by interested parties. In the case of Syrian refugees in Europe a US based organization called ‘The Syria Campaign’ has helped drive some of these, including a claim that most of the refugees are ‘Fleeing Assad’. ‘The Syria Campaign’ is a Wall Street Public Relations creation and one of several interlocked, US-based groups (Avaaz, Purpose, the White Helmets) which have campaigned for a Libyan-style ‘no fly zone’ in Syria. That is, they work for NATO intervention on the side of the jihadist groups (see Sterling 2015). In any case, a careful look at the evidence allows us to see through this ‘refugees fleeing Assad’ scam.

How “The Syrian Campaign” Faked Its “70% Fleeing Assad” Refugee Poll
http://www.globalresearch.ca/how-the-syrian-campaign-faked-its-70-fleeing-assad-refugee-poll/5546220

The Syria Campaign (2015) commissioned a poll in Germany which was apparently carried out by German academic Heiko Giebler. In it, 889 Syrian refugees were said to have been interviewed in Berlin, Hanover, Bremen, Leipzig and Eisenhüttenstadt. Candidates ‘were approached on entering or leaving registration centers’. However the survey does not specify how sampling choices were made (TSC 2015). This is important because sampling error can easily undermine the representative nature of a poll. Indeed if there is no sampling error, as in this case, there is no way to assert to what extent the survey represents a broader population. The results are then almost useless, except as anecdotes.

The poll cover note, headline and graphics highlight a claim that ‘70% of refugees are fleeing Assad’. To begin with, this is a false characterisation of the actual survey (TSC 2015). It had no question at all about fleeing Assad, nor anyone else. It did have questions on whom the respondents blamed for the violence and of whom they were afraid. Of the 30 survey questions the three relevant ones seem to be number 9 (‘Who was responsible for the fighting?), number 14 (‘Who did you fear getting arrested or kidnapped by?’), and number 18 (‘What was the main reason for you to leave Syria?’). Observe that question 18 does not specify any particular threat while in questions 9 and 14 (as is made clear in the survey report) there were multiple options, so results in both cases tally to much more than 100.

The Syrian Campaign’s cover note, headline and graphics have drawn, very loosely, on some combination of those three questions. In response to question 18 69% said that ‘the main reason’ for leaving Syria was an ‘imminent threat’ to life, but without an identified source of that threat. In Question 9, 70% identified ‘Syrian Army and allied groups’ as ‘responsible for the fighting’. However as this was a multiple option question we also see that 82% have identified other armed groups (ISIS, al Nusra, FSA, YPG, other rebels). If we remove the Kurdish YPG, which has generally fought in coordination with the Syrian Army, the total is 74% anti-government armed groups. Question 14 shares the ‘multiple option’ structure of Question 9. Here 77% said they feared ‘getting arrested or kidnapped by’ the ‘Syrian Army and its allied groups’. However the combined total of anti-government groups is 82% and, if we add the YPG, 90%. The answers to both questions suggest these respondents feared the anti-government armed groups slightly more than they feared the Syrian Army. Most likely, many feared getting caught in the crossfire.

So, even before we examine the representative validity of the poll, there is no basis in any of those three questions – or anywhere else in the poll – for saying that ‘70% of refugees are fleeing Assad’. To the contrary, the poll shows that more are fleeing anti-government, jihadist armed groups. This contradicts The Syrian Campaign’s quite dishonest headline, underlined by its lead in: ‘the results are crystal clear’. A Deutsche Welle report faithfully noted: ‘Survey leaves no doubt: Syrians are fleeing Assad’ (Fuchs 2015). Apparently this reporter did not read the survey.

Further internal analysis, combined with UNHCR (2016) data for 2015 on the wider Syrian refugee population, shows The Syrian Campaign’s survey to have been quite unrepresentative, and therefore no basis for claims about the wider Syrian refugee population. As Table 2 shows, the respondents in Germany had massive over-representation from men and young men. Put together we see a 1.76 over-representation of males and a 2.25 over-representation of people between 15 and 55 (UNHCR: 18-59; TSC: 15-55). Women and children barely exist in the TSC poll. The poll also shows that 51% came alone to Europe, 61% have no children and that 68% (0.78 x 0.88) are young men between 15 and 35 years old.

Other data within the poll indicates that 74% were from areas held by anti-government armed groups, as they reported government shelling. There is no credible evidence that suggests the Syrian Army shells areas which do not contain armed anti-government groups. That is reinforced by Question 1 on area of origin, which shows hardly any respondents (just 19 people) from Tartus, Latakia and Sweida, areas which in 2015 had a combined population (swollen, from internal refugees) of at least 5 million. Respondents from Damascus (170 or 19%) are also seriously under-represented. Damascus in 2015 held over 7 million, or one-third of Syria’s population. There were many displaced people in all these areas, controlled by the Government.

On the other side, we can see an over-representation of respondents from Hasakah (164 or 19%). There are certainly a lot of refugees from the Hasakah district, in large part due to the presence of ISIS and Turkish-Kurd clashes; but its population of half a million, less than 10% that of Damascus, is represented equally in survey respondents to that of the capital. In other words, the TSC survey has a very large over-representation of men and young men, many from anti-government held areas. Quite a number of them are likely to be ex-fighters.

Putting this all together we can conclude that the poll commissioned by The Syrian Campaign (2015) did not show anything like ‘70% fleeing Assad’. To the contrary, results of the poll (TSC (2015) suggested that slightly more amongst that cohort were fearful of anti-government armed groups. On top of that, that poll was quite unrepresentative of the Syrian refugee population, as it contained a very large group of young men from anti-government (i.e. jihadist) held areas, some of them likely former fighters, and many of whom had indeed come under Syrian Army fire. Reasons for corruption of the data most likely include a combination of biased selection in Germany (selection was made by the associates of a partisan group) and a possible over-representation of young men and former fighters amongst the actual cohort of refugees arriving in those German cities. The absence of an explicit sampling process and a stated sampling error simply underlines the unprofessional nature of this survey.

Little of this seems to have registered on the western media. Like the Deutsche Welle reporter, most seem not to have even read the survey. One version or another of the fake headline ‘70% of refugees fleeing Assad’ provided by the Wall Street PR group was copied by much of the corporate media, including The Times (UK); The Huffington Post; the Wall Street Journal and Newsweek.

Sources
1.Fuchs, Richard (2015) ‘Survey leaves no doubt: Syrians are fleeing Assad’, Deutsche Welle, 11 October, online: http://www.dw.com/en/survey-leaves-no-doubt-syrians-are-fleeing-assad/a-18775789
2.Sterling, Rick (2015) ‘Seven Steps of Highly Effective Manipulators’, Dissident Voice, 9 April, online: http://dissidentvoice.org/2015/04/seven-steps-of-highly-effective-manipulators/
3.The Syria Campaign (2015) ‘Care about refugees? Listen to them’, 9 October, online: https://diary.thesyriacampaign.org/what-refugees-think/
4.TSC (2015) ‘Listen To Refugees – First Survey of Syrian Refugees in Europe’, survey results spreadsheet, The Syrian Campaign, online: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1WYn4N7STdP2eW3EYdX86Gsb6lxE4VrcNvZ4aEczsFwI/edit#gid=833561282
5.UNHCR (2016) ‘Syria Regional Refugee Response’, last updated 4 September, online: http://data.unhcr.org/syrianrefugees/regional.php
 

angelburst29

The Living Force
October 3, 2016 (Tony Cartalucci - LD) - Recent protests held across North America and Europe staged by supporters of armed militants in Syria have staged scenes in Western streets eerily similar to those featured in the photos and videos of the US-European funded "Syrian Civil Defence" also known as the "White Helmets."

"White Helmet" "Save Aleppo" Protest Proves How Easy it is to Dress Up Actors as "War Victims"
http://landdestroyer.blogspot.com/2016/10/white-helmet-save-aleppo-protest-proves.html

Saudi state media, Al Arabiya English would report in an October 1, 2016 article titled, "Worldwide protest against Assad, Russia to ‘save Aleppo’," that:
The stalling talks between international powers on Syria - with Russia ramping up its air raid campaign - has ignited worldwide protests calling for an end to the horror in Aleppo.

Protestors in Turkey, France, Netherlands, America and Canada took to the streets opposing Bashar al-Assad’s and Russia’s crimes in Aleppo, carrying posters that read “Stop bombing Aleppo” and “Save Aleppo”.

Al Arabiya's ironic hand-wringing over Syria as Riyadh devastates Yemen with its own aerial bombardment and ground incursion, attempts to portray eastern Aleppo as a horrific cauldron where "where more than 250,000 civilians are trapped without food or clean water."

And while undoubtedly war is raging in eastern Aleppo, it should be noted that the vast majority of Aleppo's population - 1.75 million in fact - live in the government-controlled majority of Aleppo. But despite this reality, the West and its allies - including Saudi Arabia - have attempted to use their sway over international public opinion to exaggerate Syrian security operations and fabricate a "humanitarian catastrophe" to serve as yet another pretext for wider Western intervention.

Central to this appeal to public opinion has been the so-called "White Helmets," also referred to as the "Syrian Civil Defense" despite the nation of Syria already having a legitimate, professional civil defense force.

Posing as an impartial rescue force, the "White Helmets" are transparently auxiliaries serving exclusively side-by-side armed militants including US State Department, UN, and EU designated foreign terrorist organizations. Their primary function is not "rescuing" anyone, but to manage a public relations campaign aimed at swaying public and political opinion, leveraging "humanitarian" sympathy worldwide.

Their primary means of doing this is publishing photos and videos of their members - wearing elaborate, matching uniforms and driving brand new ambulances - pulling dust and blood covered victims from rubble allegedly brought down upon them by Syrian and Russian airstrikes.

The veracity of their photos, videos, and many claims have never been independently verified, and in many cases, evidence suggests that much of what they present to the public across their extensive, well-funded social media presence has been fabricated.

The recent coordinated "save Aleppo" protests held across Europe and North America, perhaps revealed just how transparently fabricated and fictional the "White Helmet's" work really is. During one protest, photos retweeted by the official "White Helmet's" Twitter account showed actors dressed up as "war victims," covered in fake dust and blood, appearing almost indistinguishable from the alleged "victims" the "White Helmets" regularly "save" in Syria.

The protest, staged in European streets far from the Syrian conflict, even included children - likewise covered in fake dust and blood - cradled in the arms of adults, posing with despondent looks upon their faces. Also part of the staged scene were actors dressed like the "White Helmets" themselves.

While the acting troupe that organized this protest may have thought they were cleverly "bringing the conflict to the streets of Europe" to invoke global sympathy for their cause, what they really proved was just how easy it really is for the "White Helmets" to create "war victims" anytime, anywhere.

In Syria, where years of US-backed violence has left many parts of the country devastated, such staged scenes playing out with the devastation of war as a backdrop become all the much more convincing. With "White Helmet" videos heavily edited before reaching the public, they are able to create tragic scenes of war, anytime, anywhere - even in the streets of Europe thousands of miles away from where Syrian and Russian warplanes are operating.

Their primary goal and that of the special interests funding them tens of millions of dollars, is to manipulate the hearts and minds of the global public in support of Western-backed armed militants - not "save lives" nor bring peace to Syria.
 

Daf

The Force is Strong With This One
Wow amazing work guys!

I saw some of their propaganda on facebook and decided to search about it a bit. I hope it is not going to be redundant but I checked a bit about the propagandist found interesting connections:

So here is the link to their campaign:

https://thesyriacampaign.org/

Then the list of the governing board:
https://thesyriacampaign.org/about/

The Syria Campaign is a non-profit organisation registered as a company in the United Kingdom as The Voices Project—company number 8825761. (You can’t be a registered charity in the UK if most of your work is campaigning.)
We have a Governing Board who are legally responsible for the organisation and oversee strategy and finance for The Syria Campaign. The board members are Daniel Gorman, Ben Stewart, Sawsan Asfari, Tim Dixon and Lina de Sergie.

Sawsan Asfari is also the wife of Ayman Asfari
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ayman_Asfari

CEO of Petrofac... What a coincidence for an eventual project of pipeline.

Tim Dixon https://www.linkedin.com/in/tim-dixon-36177932

Co-founder and Managing Director, Purpose Europe
Purpose
2011 – Present (5 years)London, United Kingdom and New York, USA

The link of purpose = https://www.purpose.com/
(Lol direct link to black live matters financed by Soros.)

The others on the list do no seems relevant but I still have doubts.

So while digging a bit and checking the Officers list of THE VOICES PROJECT (see above registration)
http://companyformationuk.co/Officers/THE-VOICES-PROJECT/8825761

We could find, an interesting fella, Jeremy Heimans

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeremy_Heimans


co-founder of the political activist group "the purpose".
co-founder of the political activist group "getup".
co founder of Avaaz: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avaaz

Avaaz claims to unite practical idealists from around the world.[6] Director Ricken Patel said in 2011 "We have no ideology per se. Our mission is to close the gap between the world we have and the world most people everywhere want. Idealists of the world unite!"[10]
In practice, Avaaz often supports causes considered progressive, such as calling for global action on climate change, challenging Monsanto, and building greater global support for refugees. [11] [12] [13]
During the 2009 Iranian presidential election protests Avaaz setup internet proxy servers to allow protesters to upload videos onto public websites.[14]
Avaaz supported the civil uprising preceding the Syrian Civil War. This included sending $1.5 million of internet communications equipment to protesters, and training activists. Later it used smuggling routes to send over $2 milllion of medical equipment into rebel held areas of Syria. It also smuggled 34 international journalists into Syria.[8][15] Avaaz coordinated the evacuation of wounded British photographer Paul Conroy from Homs, but about twenty Syrian activists died during the evacuation operation.[8][16] Some senior members of other non-governmental organizations working in the middle east have criticized Avaaz for taking sides in a civil war.[14]
In the 2016 United States presidential election Avaaz campaigned against Donald Trump with the slogan "Defeat Donald Trump", and produced a software tool to simplify overseas voter registration.[17]

There is a lot of coincidence not to make the connection with some Us agenda there and this last one is in my opinion the master propagandist.
Hope it helps.
 

Daf

The Force is Strong With This One
Oups!
I skipped the page that was talking about it... Thus my post is irrelevant as the subject has been already researched. I would not mind if an admin deems appropriate to erase it. :-[
Though, if a no name like me can find the correlation and smell the rat so easily... It means that they are no longer even trying... Are they getting desperate or utterly arrogant?
 

Aeneas

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
http://21stcenturywire.com/2016/10/02/the-white-helmets-campaign-for-war-not-peace-rla-and-nobel-peace-prize-nomination-should-be-retracted/

The White Helmets Campaign for War not Peace – RLA and Nobel Peace Prize Nomination should be Retracted

October 2, 2016 By Vanessa Beeley 8 Comments

Vanessa Beeley
21st Century Wire

‘A “prize for the champions of peace, meaning Suttner, IPB and the movement for peace throughout cooperation on a disarmed brotherhood of nations” – as promoted by the peace congresses. Nobel’s letters to Suttner leave no doubt that this was his intention and the, for eternity, legally binding, purpose of the prize.’ ~ Nobel Peace Prize Watch.

The awakened world is still reeling in shock from the Right Livelihood Award being given to the US and NATO state construct, the White Helmets. The White Helmets have been proven to be no more than a support network for Al Nusra Front and associated extremist terrorist groups. In many documented instances, the White Helmets are more than a support group and have been accused of carrying out criminal acts alongside the recognised US coalition armed and funded terrorist factions. Ultimately, the White Helmets contravene all international laws regulating the behaviour of a proclaimed humanitarian NGO.

In the following statement that will be presented to the board of the Right Livelihood Award, I lay out very clear evidence to support my argument that the RLA should be retracted and that the White Helmet’s Nobel Peace prize nomination is a travesty of what this prize should represent.

STATEMENT REQUESTING THE RETRACTION OF THE RIGHT LIVELIHOOD AWARD, GIVEN TO THE WHITE HELMETS.


My name is Vanessa Beeley. I am an independent investigative journalist, writer and photographer based in France. I contribute regularly to various independent media sites such as 21st Century Wire, the Ron Paul Institute, Globalresearch, Mint Press. I have recently returned from a four week stay in Syria from 24 July until 26th August. The first week, I went as a member of the US Peace Council delegation, and the subsequent three weeks I travelled independently to as many governorates as possible, including Aleppo, in order to continue my own investigation into the organisation known as the White Helmets.

My conclusion, after my eighteen-month long analysis and research into this organisation is that they are a US and UK Foreign Office construct, funded and equipped by nations that have a proven vested interest in their stated policy of regime change in Syria & a clear geopolitical agenda in the region.

The White Helmets claim to be neutral and ‘non-aligned,’ yet they actively promote and lobby for US/NATO state intervention, including a ‘No Fly Zone’ which violates Syrian sovereignty. The majority of legal scholars agree that enforcing a No Fly Zone is construed as an act of war. This is in direct violation of the fundamental principles which underpin authentic humanitarian work and certainly not deserving of the Rights Livelihood Award.

I respectfully request that the members of the Rights Livelihood Award committee review their award of this prestigious award to the organisation known as the White Helmets.

I believe strongly that this award has been given in error, perhaps because not enough evidence was presented to the committee. I ask the committee to consider the following, documented, and supported evidence:

The White Helmets claim to be a “neutral, impartial, humanitarian NGO, with no official affiliation to any political or military actor and a commitment to render services to any in need regardless of sect or political affiliation.” I will now present evidence that should demonstrate the illegitimacy of these claims:

1: The White Helmets receive funding from UK ($65m via UK Foreign Office), US (US State Dept via USAID $ 23m), Holland ($ 4.5m), Germany ($ 7.87m) and Japan (undisclosed sum from the Intl Cooperation Agency), Denmark (undisclosed sum) – via the Mayday Rescue “foundation” that was set up by the British ex-military trainer of the White Helmets in order to transfer funding to the White Helmets. The White Helmets also receive equipment and supplies from various EU member states. This funding is concealed behind the generic heading of “Emergency Health and Relief Support to the Population Affected by the Crisis in Syria”, through the Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (DG-ECHO), formerly known as the European Community Humanitarian Aid Office.

2: The White Helmets were established in Gaziantep, Turkey, not in Syria. They are largely trained in Turkey and Jordan, not inside Syria.

3: The White Helmets are embedded exclusively in areas of Syria occupied by listed terrorist organisations including Nusra Front and ISIS, along with various associated ‘moderate rebels’ such as Ahrar al Sham and Nour Al Din Zinki. All these groups are responsible for carrying out ethnic cleansing operations and mass executions of the Syrian people. Nour Al Din Zinki was recently videoed beheading 12 year-old Palestinian child, Abdullah Issa. Like the White Helmets, all of these terrorist factions receive funding, training, equipment and support from the United States and its Coalition partners. A fact that is extensively documented.

4: During the situation in Madaya, Syria in January 2016, the White Helmets in Idlib were photographed attending demonstrations & carrying banners that were calling for the “burning and destruction” of the towns of Kafarya and Foua. These are two Idlib villages under full siege by Ahrar Al Sham & Nusra Front (Al Qaeda in Syria) since March 2015, partial siege since 2012. The siege ensures the starvation of villagers and daily shelling and sniping by Ahrar Al Sham and Nusra Front has killed over 1750 civilians during this time.

5: There is video and photographic evidence available that clearly shows the White Helmets participating in Nusra Front operations in the areas occupied or taken over by this organisation. There is one particularly damning video taken during the Nusra Front violent and brutal attack on Idlib City in March 2015. In this video White Helmet operatives are seen clearly beating a Syrian civilian prisoner of Nusra Front and circling the prisoner, mingling with heavily armed and hostile Nusra Front militia. Please watch:


https://youtu.be/56xTAYp6zz0
6: The White Helmets have been filmed “clearing up” after a Nusra Front execution of a civilian prisoner in Northern Aleppo. Although the official statement from the White Helmets claims they arrived after the execution, the speed with which they appear (in video) immediately after the prisoner has been shot in the head, demonstrates clearly that they were on the scene and did nothing to prevent it.

7: Various other White Helmet operatives have posted videos of the torture and execution of Syrian Arab Army prisoners to their social media pages with celebratory comments. One such operative, Muawiya Hassan Agha, is alleged to have been “sacked” for his participation in such executions. However, despite various demands, an official statement has never been issued by the White Helmets to this effect. Neither have they publicly condemned the torture and execution of prisoners of war, an act that contravenes the Geneva Convention. Warning graphic footage:


https://youtu.be/hnY2hlo0x_M
8: The leader of the White Helmets, Raed Saleh, was deported from Dulles Airport in the US, April 2016. No real explanation was ever given for this decision. Mark Toner of the US State Department fielded questions from media but did (i) Admit to funding the group with $ 23m and (ii) suggest that Raed Saleh might have “extremist connections”. Raed Saleh has recently been allowed back into the US in September 2016 and spoke at the UN New York with the Dutch Mission. However, no explanation has been given for this reversal of the previous decision to deport Saleh.

9: The White Helmets are also referred to as the ‘Syria Civil Defence.’ However, there is an existing Syria Civil Defence. The REAL Syria Civil Defence was established in Syria in 1953. I met with crews in Aleppo, Lattakia, Tartous and Damascus during my four weeks in Syria. The REAL Syria Civil Defence were founder members of the ICDO [International Civil Defence Organisation] which is affiliated with the UN, WHO, OCHA, Red Cross, Red Crescent. The REAL Syria Civil Defence are still paying annual subscriptions to the ICDO of 20,000 Swiss Francs. The REAL Syria Civil Defence do operate in both terrorist and government held areas, they operate with equipment that has been decimated by the war & sanctions and they do not receive up to $150 m in funding from the US, UK and EU states. The Real Syria Civil Defence are recruited and trained inside Syria.

10: During interviews with the REAL Syria Civil Defence, they informed me that the Nusra Front and associated ‘moderate rebels’ who invaded areas such as East Aleppo, Raqqa, Deir Ezzor, Idlib, massacred crew members of the REAL Syria Civil Defence and stole the majority of their equipment in those areas, including fire engines and ambulances. Many of these armed groups then became White Helmet operatives. Testimony from the REAL Syria Civil Defence suggests that the White Helmets are acting as support for Nusra Front, ISIS and other heavily armed militia described as “moderate rebels”.

11: On multiple occasions, the White Helmets have been exposed staging rescue scenes for both photo and video, recycling images of children and incidents from the conflict in Syria, to support their narrative, editing video which misrepresents the scene in question, using images from a previous incident or even fake images altogether. There are many documented instances of this.

12: The White Helmets have been filmed describing Syrian Arab Army bodies as “trash” and one particular video shows them standing on top of a pile of SAA soldier’s bodies, whose boots have been removed or stolen. The White Helmets talk about the bodies in pejorative terms and they flick a victory V sign as the truck drives off.

13: There are many images documented, that reveal the White Helmet operatives carrying arms or posing with arms alongside the various armed militia including Nusra Front. There is also further footage from Idlib showing White Helmet operatives celebrating alongside Nusra Front militia after the massacre of Syrian Arab Army forces and Syrian civilians during this attack.

14: Adulatory publicity about the White Helmets is the result of a multimillion dollar sustained commercial marketing and social media promotional campaign via a network that is funded by George Soros and various US, UK and Middle Eastern enterprises. The PR network is as follows: Avaaz – Purpose – Syria Campaign – White Helmets. The funding connects back to these organisations and US State-funded entities who have a vested interest in events in Syria. This is also extensively documented.

15: Analysts have observed, the White Helmets achieve on average 4 or 5 videos per day, depicting their heroic rescue efforts. The REAL Syria Civil Defence have evaluated these videos and cast doubt as to the White Helmets being true first responders or USAR (Urban Search and Rescue) experts. They pinpointed various anomalies (i) the equipment used is too heavyweight for the delicate operation of finding bodies beneath collapsed buildings (ii) the treatment of injured bodies is dangerous, they are flung onto stretchers with no back support or neck brace, for example. Many of the paramedic procedures shown on film are also deemed questionable. The White Helmets rarely travel without a sizeable camera team or crew of mobile phone cameramen. The REAL Syria Civil Defence do not.

16: While in Aleppo, I conducted a short video interview with Dr Bassem Hayak of the Aleppo Medical Association, based in West Aleppo. Dr Hayak still has family trapped in East Aleppo. Dr Hayak told me that his family and the majority of civilians in East Aleppo (occupied by Nusra Front and an estimated 22 brigades of armed militants) do not know who the White Helmets are which begs the question, where are they conducting their much promoted humanitarian work? Dr Hayak also said that UN agencies in East Aleppo who work with the Aleppo Medical Association are not aware of the White Helmets.

In summary, this evidence points to the White Helmets being a US, UK, EU creation established in 2013, and not an independent NGO. It is a multi-million dollar US Coalition funded organisation. It is funded by governments involved & invested in the Syrian conflict. No one can rightly call this a grass-roots Syrian organisation.

There is an existing Syria Civil Defence that is being ignored by western media. Running parallel there is a vast fund raising network constructed to collect money which is funnelled into the pseudo White Helmets designed to replace the authentic Syria Civil Defence in the minds of the western public. The REAL Syria Civil Defence is crippled by US and EU sanctions, the White Helmets have never been affected by these sanctions, their supply chain via Turkey is unbroken.

Conservative estimates put White Helmets funding at over $150 million thus far, which is far more than any real NGO would ever require in a decade, much less 3 years. Tax payers in funding countries have a right to know precisely what their money is funding.

The evidence demonstrates that the White Helmets are sectarian not impartial. They are in many instances, armed not unarmed. The promotional material produced for the White Helmets such as the recent Netflix documentary film, is often produced outside of Syria, usually in Turkey, and with any field footage supplied by the White Helmets. Who has verified the authenticity of this footage, or photographs?

The White Helmets are feeding images of “humanitarian disaster” and “war crimes” to the very same western nations who are funding them, and to politicians and media outlets who are using these visual narratives, with the explicit purpose of lobbying for a US, UK Foreign Office proposed, “Safe Zone” or “No Fly Zone” in Syria. Recent history teaches us, this No Fly Zone policy carries with it the threat of reducing Syria to a Libya-style “failed state.”

Effectively, this organisation campaigns for an escalation of war in Syria.

Many of their ‘campaigns’ have since been discredited as “war fiction”, and yet they are being used by the US Coalition as justification for continuing and increased economic and diplomatic sanctions, sanctions which are a collective punishment on the Syrian people, while the US coalition persists with equipping and arming the various militia on the ground in Syria, including Nusra Front (al Qaeda in Syria).

This only serves to ensure even more suffering and bloodshed inside Syria.

The presentation of the Right Livelihood Award to the White Helmets will ultimately discredit the Right Livelihood Foundation. More crucially, the awarding of this prize to a suspect and fraudulent organisation serves to perpetuate a western-sponsored conflict in Syria which has only delayed the possibility of any real peaceful resolution.

We call on the leaders of the Right Livelihood Foundation to investigate the evidence presented in this statement and to retract the RLA award, if this evidence is proven sufficient to disqualify the White Helmets.

Thank you for your consideration of this very important matter.

Vanessa Beeley

US Peace Council member (part of recent US Peace Council delegation to Syria July 2016)

1-White-Helmets-Syria.jpg

UK Column infographic depicting the US and NATO deep state connections of the White Helmets

All related links:

White Helmets and Mayday Rescue:
The Syrian Civil Defence: Wikipedia

21st Century Wire article on the White Helmets:
Syria’s White Helmets: War by Way of Deception ~ the “Moderate” Executioners

21st Century Wire compilation of most important articles and talks on the White Helmets:
Who are the Syria White Helmets

Original investigative report:
The REAL Syria Civil Defence Exposes Fake White Helmets as Terrorist-Linked Imposters

Cory Morningstar report:
Investigation into the funding sources of the White Helmets, including Avaaz, Purpose, The Syria Campaign

Open letter to Canadian MPs from Stop the War Hamilton (Canada):
Letter from the Hamilton Coalition to Stop War to the New Democratic Party in Canada ref the White Helmet nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize:

Open letter to Canada’s NDP Leader on Nobel Prize:
Letter to NDP from Prof. John Ryan protesting White Helmet nomination for RLA and Nobel Peace Prize.

Rick Sterling report:
White Helmets Deceive Right Livelihood and Code Pink
 

Aeneas

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
_http://www.alternet.org/world/inside-shadowy-pr-firm-thats-driving-western-opinion-towards-regime-change-syria


Inside the Shadowy PR Firm That’s Lobbying for Regime Change in Syria

Posing as a non-political solidarity organization, the Syria Campaign leverages local partners and media contacts to push the U.S. into toppling another Middle Eastern government.
By Max Blumenthal / AlterNet

October 3, 2016

On September 30, demonstrators gathered in city squares across the West for a "weekend of action” to “stop the bombs” raining down from Syrian government and Russian warplanes on rebel-held eastern Aleppo. Thousands joined the protests, holding signs that read "Topple Assad" and declaring, "Enough With Assad." Few participants likely knew that the actions were organized under the auspices of an opposition-funded public relations company called the Syria Campaign.

By partnering with local groups like the Syrian civil defense workers popularly known as the White Helmets, and through a vast network of connections in media and centers of political influence, The Syria Campaign has played a crucial role in disseminating images and stories of the horrors visited this month on eastern Aleppo. The group is able to operate within the halls of power in Washington and has the power to mobilize thousands of demonstrators into the streets. Despite its outsized role in shaping how the West sees Syria’s civil war, which is now in its sixth year and entering one of its grisliest phases, this outfit remains virtually unknown to the general public.

The Syria Campaign presents itself as an impartial, non-political voice for ordinary Syrian citizens that is dedicated to civilian protection. “We see ourselves as a solidarity organization,” The Syria Campaign strategy director James Sadri told me. “We’re not being paid by anybody to pursue a particular line. We feel like we’ve done a really good job about finding out who the frontline activists, doctors, humanitarians are and trying to get their word out to the international community.”

Yet behind the lofty rhetoric about solidarity and the images of heroic rescuers rushing in to save lives is an agenda that aligns closely with the forces from Riyadh to Washington clamoring for regime change. Indeed, The Syria Campaign has been pushing for a no-fly zone in Syria that would require at least “70,000 American servicemen” to enforce, according to a Pentagon assessment, along with the destruction of government infrastructure and military installations. There is no record of a no-fly zone being imposed without regime change following —which seems to be exactly what The Syria Campaign and its partners want.

“For us to control all the airspace in Syria would require us to go to war against Syria and Russia. That’s a pretty fundamental decision that certainly I’m not going to make,” said Gen. Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, at a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee this month.

While the military brass in Washington seems reluctant to apply the full force of its airpower to enforce a NFZ, The Syria Campaign is capitalizing on the outrage inspired by the bombardment of rebel-held eastern Aleppo this year to intensify the drumbeat for greater U.S. military involvement.

The Syria Campaign has been careful to cloak interventionism in the liberal-friendly language of human rights, casting Western military action as “the best way to support Syrian refugees,” and packaging a no-fly zone — along with so-called safe zones and no bombing zones, which would also require Western military enforcement — as a “way to protect civilians and defeat ISIS.”

Among The Syria Campaign’s most prominent vehicles for promoting military intervention is a self-proclaimed "unarmed and impartial" civil defense group known as the White Helmets. Footage of the White Helmets saving civilians trapped in the rubble of buildings bombed by the Syrian government and its Russian ally has become ubiquitous in coverage of the crisis. Having claimed to have saved tens of thousands of lives, the group has become a leading resource for journalists and human rights groups seeking information inside the war theater, from casualty figures to details on the kind of bombs that are falling.

But like The Syria Campaign, the White Helmets are anything but impartial. Indeed, the group was founded in collaboration with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)’s Office of Transitional Initiatives, an explicitly political wing of the agency that has funded efforts at political subversion in Cuba and Venezuela. USAID is the White Helmets’ principal funder, committing at least $23 million to the group since 2013. This money was part of $339.6 million budgeted by USAID for “supporting activities that pursue a peaceful transition to a democratic and stable Syria" -- or establishing a parallel governing structure that could fill the power vacuum once Bashar Al-Assad was removed.

Thanks to an aggressive public relations push by The Syria Campaign, the White Helmets have been nominated for the Nobel Prize, and have already been awarded the “alternative Nobel” known as the Right Livelihood Award. (Previous winners include Amy Goodman, Edward Snowden and Israeli nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu.) At the same time, the White Helmets are pushing for a NFZ in public appearances and on a website created by The Syria Campaign.

The Syria Campaign has garnered endorsements for the White Helmets from a host of Hollywood celebrities including Ben Affleck, Alicia Keyes and Justin Timberlake. And with fundraising and “outreach” performed by The Syria Campaign, the White Helmets have become the stars of a slickly produced Netflix documentary vehicle that has received hype from media outlets across the West.

But making the White Helmets into an international sensation is just one of a series of successes The Syria Campaign has achieved in its drive to oust Syria's government.

Targeting the UN in Damascus


When an aid convoy organized by the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) and United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs came under attack on its way to the rebel-held countryside of West Aleppo in Syria this September 18, the White Helmets pinned blame squarely on the Syrian and Russian governments. In fact, a White Helmets member was among the first civilians to appear on camera at the scene of the attack, declaring in English that “the regime helicopters targeted this place with four barrel [bombs].” The White Helmets also produced one of the major pieces of evidence Western journalists have relied on to implicate Russia and the Syrian government in the attack: a photograph supposedly depicting the tail fragment of a Russian-made OFAB 250-270 fragmentation bomb. (This account remains unconfirmed by both the UN and SARC, and no evidence of barrel bombs has been produced).

Ironically, the White Helmets figured prominently in The Syria Campaign’s push to undermine the UN’s humanitarian work inside Syria. For months, The Syria Campaign has painted the UN as a stooge of Bashar Al-Assad for coordinating its aid deliveries with the Syrian government, as it has done with governments in conflict zones around the world. The Guardian's Kareem Shaheen praised a 50-page report by The Syria Campaign attacking the UN’s work in Syria as "damning." A subsequent Guardian' article cited the report as part of the inspiration for its own “exclusive” investigation slamming the UN’s coordination with the Syrian government.

At a website created by The Syria Campaign to host the report, visitors are greeted by a UN logo drenched in blood.

The Syria Campaign has even taken credit for forcing former UN Resident Coordinator Yacoub El-Hillo out of his job in Damascus, a false claim it was later forced to retract. Among the opposition groups that promoted The Syria Campaign’s anti-UN report was Ahrar Al-Sham, a jihadist rebel faction that has allied with Al Qaeda in a mission to establish an exclusively Islamic state across Syria.

A Westerner who operates a politically neutral humanitarian NGO in Damascus offered me a withering assessment of The Syria Campaign’s attacks on the UN. Speaking on condition of anonymity because NGO workers like them are generally forbidden from speaking to the media, and often face repercussions if they do, the source accused The Syria Campaign of “dividing and polarizing the humanitarian community” along political lines while forcing humanitarian entities to “make decisions based on potential media repercussions instead of focusing on actual needs on the ground.”

The NGO executive went on to accuse The Syria Campaign and its partners in the opposition of “progressively identifying the humanitarian workers operating from Damascus with one party to the conflict,” limiting their ability to negotiate access to rebel-held territory. “As a humanitarian worker myself,” they explained, “I know that this puts me and my teams in great danger since it legitimizes warring factions treating you as an extension of one party in the conflict.

“The thousands of Syrians that signed up with the UN or humanitarian organizations are civilians,” they continued. “They not only joined to get a salary but in hopes of doing something good for other Syrians. This campaign [by The Syria Campaign] is humiliating all of them, labelling them as supporters of one side and making them lose hope in becoming agents of positive change in their own society.”

This September, days before the aid convoy attack prompted the UN to suspend much of its work inside Syria, The Syria Campaign spurred 73 aid organizations operating in rebel-held territory, including the White Helmets, to suspend their cooperation with the UN aid program. As the Guardian noted in its coverage, “The decision to withdraw from the Whole of Syria programme, in which organisations share information to help the delivery of aid, means in practice the UN will lose sight of what is happening throughout the north of Syria and in opposition-held areas of the country, where the NGOs do most of their work.”

Despite The Syria Campaign’s influence on the international media stage, details on the outfit’s inner workings are difficult to come by. The Syria Campaign is registered in England as a private company called the Voices Project at an address shared by 91 other companies. Aside from Asfari, most of The Syria Campaign’s donors are anonymous.

Looming over this opaque operation are questions about its connections to Avaaz, a global public relations outfit that played an instrumental role in generating support for a no-fly zone in Libya, and The Syria Campaign’s founding by Purpose, another PR firm spun out of Avaaz. James Sadri bristled when I asked about the issue, dismissing it as a “crank conspiracy” ginned up by Russian state media and hardcore Assadist elements.

However, a careful look at the origins and operation of The Syria Campaign raises doubts about the outfit’s image as an authentic voice for Syrian civilians, and should invite serious questions about the agenda of its partner organizations as well.

A creation of international PR firms


Best known for its work on liberal social issues with well-funded progressive clients like the ACLU and the police reform group, Campaign Zero, the New York- and London-based public relations firm Purpose promises to deliver creatively executed campaigns that produce either a “behavior change,” “perception change,” “policy change” or “infrastructure change.” As the Syrian conflict entered its third year, this company was ready to effect a regime change.

On Feb. 3, 2014, Anna Nolan, the senior strategist at Purpose, posted a job listing. According to Nolan’s listing, her firm was seeking “two interns to join the team at Purpose to help launch a new movement for Syria.”

At around the same time, another Purpose staffer named Ali Weiner posted a job listing seeking a paid intern for the PR firm’s new Syrian Voices project. “Together with Syrians in the diaspora and NGO partners,” Weiner wrote, “Purpose is building a movement that will amplify the voices of moderate, non-violent Syrians and mobilize people in the Middle East and around the world to call for specific changes in the political and humanitarian situation in the region.” She explained that the staffer would report “to a Strategist based primarily in London, but will work closely with the Purpose teams in both London and New York.”

On June 16, 2014, Purpose founder Jeremy Heimans drafted articles of association for The Syria Campaign’s parent company. Called the Voices Project, Heimans registered the company at 3 Bull Lane, St. Ives Cambridgeshire, England. It was one of 91 private limited companies listed at the address. Sadri would not explain why The Syria Campaign had chosen this location or why it was registered as a private company.

Along with Heimans, Purpose Europe director Tim Dixon was appointed to The Syria Campaign’s board of directors. So was John Jackson, a Purpose strategist who previously co-directed the Burma Campaign U.K. that lobbied the EU for sanctions against that country’s ruling regime. (Jackson claimed credit for The Syria Campaign’s successful push to remove Syrian president Bashar Al-Assad’s re-election campaign ads from Facebook.) Anna Nolan became The Syria Campaign’s project director, even as she remained listed as the strategy director at Purpose.

“Purpose is not involved in what we do,” The Syria Campaign’s Sadri told me. When pressed about the presence of several Purpose strategists on The Syria Campaign’s board of directors and staff, Sadri insisted, “We’re not part of Purpose. There’s no financial relationship and we’re independent.”

Sadri dismissed allegations about The Syria Campaign’s origins in Avaaz. “We have no connection to Avaaz,” he stated, blaming conspiratorial “Russia Today stuff” for linking the two public relations groups.

However, Purpose’s original job listing for its Syrian Voices project boasted that “Purpose grew out of some of the most impactful new models for social change” including “the now 30 million strong action network avaaz.org.” In fact, The Syria Campaign’s founder, Purpose co-founder Jeremy Heimans, was also one of the original founders of Avaaz. As he told Forbes, “I co-founded Avaaz and [the Australian activist group] Get Up, which inspired the creation of Purpose.”

New and improved no-fly zone

The Syria Campaign’s defensiveness about ties to Avaaz is understandable.

Back in 2011, Avaaz introduced a public campaign for a no-fly zone in Libya and delivered a petition with 1,202,940 signatures to the UN supporting Western intervention. John Hilary, the executive director of War On Want, the U.K.’s leading anti-poverty and anti-war charity, warned at the time,
"Little do most of these generally well-meaning activists know, they are strengthening the hands of those western governments desperate to reassert their interests in north Africa… Clearly a no-fly zone makes foreign intervention sound rather humanitarian—putting the emphasis on stopping bombing, even though it could well lead to an escalation of violence.”

John Hilary’s dire warning was fulfilled after the NATO-enforced no-fly zone prompted the ouster of former President Moamar Qaddafi. Months later, Qaddafi was sexually assaulted and beaten to death in the road by a mob of fanatics. The Islamic State and an assortment of militias filled the void left in the Jamahiriya government’s wake. The political catastrophe should have been serious enough to call future interventions of this nature into question. Yet Libya’s legacy failed to deter Avaaz from introducing a new campaign for another no-fly zone; this time in Syria.

“To some a no-fly zone could conjure up images of George W. Bush’s foreign policy and illegal Western interventions. This is a different thing,” Avaaz insisted in a communique defending its support for a new no-fly zone in Syria. Sadri portrayed The Syria Campaign’s support for a no-fly zone as the product of a “deep listening process” involving the polling of Syrian civilians in rebel-held territories and refugees outside the country. He claimed his outfit was a “solidarity organization,” not a public relations firm, and was adamant that if and when a no-fly zone is imposed over Syrian skies, it would be different than those seen in past conflicts.

“There also seems to be a critique of a no-fly zone which is slapping on templates from other conflicts and saying this is what will happen in Syria,” Sadri commented. He added, “I’m just trying to encourage us away from a simplistic debate. There’s a kneejerk reaction to Syria to say, ’It’s Iraq or it’s Libya,’ but it’s not. It’s an entirely different conflict.”

Funding a "credible transition"


For the petroleum mogul who provided the funding that launched the Syria Project, the means of military intervention justified an end in which he could return to the country of his birth and participate in its economic life on his own terms.

Though The Syria Campaign claims to “refuse funding from any party to the conflict in Syria,” it was founded and is sustained with generous financial assistance from one of the most influential exile figures of the opposition, Ayman Asfari, the U.K.-based CEO of the British oil and gas supply company Petrofac Limited. Asfari is worth $1.2 billion and owns about one-fifth of the shares of his company, which boasts 18,000 employees and close to $7 billion in annual revenues.

Through his Asfari Foundation, he has contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to The Syria Campaign and has secured a seat for his wife, Sawsan, on its board of directors. He has also been a top financial and political supporter of the Syrian National Coalition, the largest government-in-exile group set up after the Syrian revolt began. The group is dead-set on removing Assad and replacing him with one of its own. Asfari’s support for opposition forces was so pronounced the Syrian government filed a warrant for his arrest, accusing him of supporting “terrorism.”

In London, Asfari has been a major donor to former British Prime Minister David Cameron and his Conservative Party. This May, Cameron keynoted a fundraiser for the Hands Up for Syria Appeal, a charity heavily supported by Asfari that sponsors education for Syrian children living in refugee camps. The Prime Minister might have seemed like an unusual choice for the event given his staunch resistance to accepting unaccompanied Syrian children who have fled to Europe. However, Asfari has generally supported Cameron’s exclusionary policy.

Grilled about his position during an episode of BBC’s Hardtalk, Asfari explained, “I do not want the country to be emptied. I still have a dream that those guys [refugees] will be able to go back to their homes and they will be able to play a constructive role in putting Syria back together.”

In Washington, Asfari is regarded as an important liaison to the Syrian opposition. He has visited the White House eight times since 2014, meeting with officials like Philip Gordon, the former Middle East coordinator who was an early advocate for arming the insurgency in Syria. Since leaving the administration, however, Gordon has expressed regret over having embraced a policy of regime change. In a lengthy September 2015 editorial for Politico, Gordon slammed the Obama administration's pursuit of regime change, writing, “There is now virtually no chance that an opposition military ‘victory’ will lead to stable or peaceful governance in Syria in the foreseeable future and near certainty that pursuing one will only lead to many more years of vicious civil war.”

Asfari publicly chastised Gordon days later on Hardtalk. “I have written to [Gordon] an email after I saw that article in Politico and I told him I respectfully disagree,” Asfari remarked. “I think the idea that we are going to have a transition in Syria with Assad in it for an indefinite period is fanciful. Because at the end of the day, what the people want is a credible transition.”

For Asfari, a “credible” post-war transition would require much more than refugee repatriation and the integration of opposition forces into the army: “Will you get the Syrian diaspora, including people like myself, to go back and invest in the country?” he asked on Hardtalk. “…If we do not achieve any of these objectives, what’s the point of having a free Syria?”

The Independent has described Asfari as one among of a pantheon of "super rich" exiles poised to rebuild a post-Assad Syria — and to reap handsome contracts in the process. To reach his goal of returning to Syria in triumph after the downfall of Assad’s government, Asfari not only provided the seed money for The Syria Campaign, he has helped sustain the group with hefty donations.

Just this year, the Asfari Foundation donated $180,000 to the outfit, according to The Syria Campaign’s media lead Laila Kiki. Asfari is not The Syria Campaign’s only donor, however. According to Kiki, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund also contributed $120,000 to the outfit’s $800,000 budget this year. “The rest of the funds come from donors who wish to remain anonymous,” she explained.

Shaping the message

Among The Syria Campaign’s main priorities, for which it has apparently budgeted a substantial amount of resources, is moving Western media in a more interventionist direction.

When The Syria Campaign placed an ad on its website seeking a senior press officer upon its launch in 2014, it emphasized its need for “someone who can land pieces in the U.S., U.K. and European [media] markets in the same week.” The company’s ideal candidate would be able to “maintain strong relationships with print, broadcast, online journalists, editors in order to encourage them to see TSC as a leading voice on Syria.” Prioritizing PR experience over political familiarity, The Syria Campaign reassured applicants, “You don’t need to be an expert on Syria or speak Arabic.” After all, the person would be working in close coordination with an unnamed “Syrian communications officer who will support on story gathering and relationships inside Syria.”

Sadri acknowledged that The Syria Campaign has been involved in shopping editorials to major publications. “There have been op-eds in the past that we’ve helped get published, written by people on the ground. There’s a lot of op-eds going out from people inside Syria,” he told me. But he would not say which ones, who the authors were, or if his company played any role in their authorship.

One recent incident highlighted The Syria Campaign’s skillful handling of press relationships from Aleppo to media markets across the West. It was August 17, and a Syrian or Russian warplane had just hit an apartment building in rebel-held eastern Aleppo. Sophie McNeill, a Middle East correspondent for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, received a photo from the Syrian American Medical Society, which maintains a WhatsApp group networking doctors inside rebel territory with international media.

The photo showed a five-year-old boy, Omran Daqneesh, who had been extracted from the building by members of the White Helmets and hoisted into an ambulance, where he was filmed by members of the Aleppo Media Center. The chilling image depicts a dazed little boy, seated upright and staring at nothing, his pudgy cheeks caked in ash and blood. “Video then emerged of Omran as he sat blinking in the back of that ambulance,” McNeill wrote without explaining who provided her with the video. She immediately posted the footage on Twitter.

“Watch this video from Aleppo tonight. And watch it again. And remind yourself that with #Syria #wecantsaywedidntknow,” McNeill declared. Her post was retweeted over 17,000 times and the hashtag she originated, which implied international inaction against the Syrian government made such horrors possible, became a viral sensation as well. (McNeill did not respond to questions sent to her publicly listed email.)

Hours later, the image of Omran appeared on the front page of dozens of international newspapers, from the New York Times to the Wall Street Journal to the Times of London. CNN’s Kate Bolduan, who had suggested during Israel’s bombardment of the Gaza Strip in 2014 that civilian casualties were, in fact, human shields, broke down in tears during an extended segment detailing the rescue of Omran.

Abu Sulaiman Al-Muhajir, the Australian citizen serving as a top leader and spokesman for Al Qaeda’s Syrian offshoot, Jabhat Fateh Al-Sham, took a special interest in the boy. "I cannot get conditioned to seeing injured/murdered children," Al-Muhajir wrote on Facebook. "Their innocent faces should serve as a reminder of our responsibility."[ :evil:]

Seizing on the opportunity, The Syria Campaign gathered quotes from the photographer who captured the iconic image, Mahmoud Raslan, and furnished them to an array of media organizations. While many outlets published Raslan’s statements, Public Radio International was among the few that noted The Syria Campaign’s role in serving them up, referring to the outfit as “a pro-opposition advocacy group with a network of contacts in Syria.”

On August 20, McNeill took to Facebook with a call to action: “Were you horrified by the footage of little Omran?” she asked her readers. “Can't stop thinking about him? Well don't just retweet, be outraged for 24 hours and move on. Hear what two great humanitarians for Syria, Zaher Sahloul & James Sadri, want you to do now.”

Sadri happened to be the director of The Syria Campaign and Sahloul was the Syrian American Medical Society director who partnered with The Syria Campaign. In the article McNeill wrote about Omran's photo, which was linked in her Facebook post, both Sahloul and Sadri urged Westerners to join their call for a no-fly zone— a policy McNeill tacitly endorsed.
(Sahloul was recently promoted by the neoconservative columnist Eli Lake for accusing Obama of having "allowed a genocide in Syria." This September, Sahloul joined up with the Jewish United Federation of Chicago, a leading opponent of Palestine solidarity organizing, to promote his efforts.)

As the outrage inspired by the image of Omran spread, New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof (a friend and publisher of Syria Campaign board member Lina Sergie Attar) called for “fir[ing] missiles from outside Syria to crater [Syrian] military runways to make them unusable.” Meanhwile, on MSNBC's Morning Joe, host Joe Scarborough waved around the photo of Omran and indignantly declared, "The world will look back. Save your hand-wringing…you can still do something right now. But nothing’s been done.”

As breathless editorials and cable news tirades denounced the Obama administration's supposed “inaction,” public pressure for a larger-scale Western military campaign was approaching an unprecedented level.

Damage control for opposition extremists

The day after Omran made headlines, the left-wing British news site the Canary publicized another photograph that exposed a grim reality behind the iconic image.

Culled from the Facebook page of Mahmoud Raslan, the activist from the American-operated Aleppo Media Center who took the initial video of Omran, it showed Raslan posing for a triumphant selfie with a group of rebel fighters. The armed men hailed from the Nour Al-Din Al-Zenki faction. At least two of the commanders who appeared in the photo with Raslan had recently beheaded a boy they captured, referring to him in video footage as “child” while they taunted and abused him. The boy has been reported to be a 12-year-old named Abdullah Issa and may have been a member of the Liwa Al-Quds pro-government Palestinian militia.

This was not the only time Raslan had appeared with Al-Zenki fighters or expressed his sympathy. On August 2, he posted a selfie to Facebook depicting himself surrounded by mostly adolescent Al-Zenki fighters dressed in battle fatigues. “With the suicide fighters, from the land of battles and butchery, from Aleppo of the martyrs, we bring you tidings of impending joy, with God's permission,” Raslan wrote. He sported a headband matching those worn by the “suicide fighters.”

Despite its unsavory tendencies and extremist ideological leanings, Al-Zenki was until 2015 a recipient of extensive American funding, with at least 1000 of its fighters on the CIA payroll. Charles Lister, a senior fellow at the Middle East Institute who has said his research on the Syrian opposition was “100% funded by Western govts,” has branded Al-Zenki as “moderate opposition fighters.

This August, after the video of Al-Zenki members beheading the adolescent boy appeared online, Sam Heller, a fellow for the Washington-based Century Foundation, argued for restoring the rebel group’s CIA funding. Describing Al-Zenki as “a natural, if unpalatable, partner,” Heller contended that “if Washington insists on keeping its hands perfectly clean, there’s probably no Syrian faction—in the opposition, or on any side of the war—that merits support.”

This September 24, Al-Zenki formally joined forces with the jihadist Army of Conquest led by Al Qaeda-established jihadist group, Jabhat Fateh Al-Sham. For its part, The Syria Campaign coordinated the release of a statement with Raslan explaining away his obvious affinity with Al-Zenki. Sophie McNeill, the Australian Broadcasting Corp. reporter who was among the first to publish the famous Omran photo, dutifully published Raslan’s statement on Twitter, acknowledging The Syria Campaign as its source.

Curiously describing the beheading victim as a 19-year-old and not the “child” his beheaders claimed he was, Raslan pleaded ignorance about the Al-Zenki fighters’ backgrounds: “It was a busy day with lots of different people and groups on the streets. As a war photographer I take lots of photos with civilians and fighters.”

Mahmoud Raslan may not have been the most effective local partner, but The Syria Campaign could still count on the White Helmets.

In Part II: How the U.S.-funded White Helmets rescue civilians from Syrian and Russian bombs while lobbying for the U.S. military to step up its own bombing campaign.
 
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