Who Are the White Helmets?

Who Are the White Helmets?

The White Helmets comprise an unarmed, neutral organization of more than 3,000 volunteer rescue workers operating in opposition-held areas of Syria. When airstrikes rain down on civilian targets in the war-torn nation, the men and women of the White Helmets carry out search-and-rescue operations to save as many lives as possible.

“Any human being, no matter who they are or which side they’re on, if they need our help…it’s our duty to save them,” explains Abu Omar, a former blacksmith and current member of the group, in the Oscar-winning 2016 Netflix documentary “The White Helmets.”

Under the direction of its current leader, Raed al Saleh, a former electronics trader, these ordinary citizens—who in previous lives were engineers, pharmacists, bakers, tailors, carpenters, students and more—do extraordinary, difficult work. Since Syria’s civil war began in March 2011, dozens of bombs land daily in neighborhoods throughout Syria, leaving dead and injured in their wake. The White Helmets deal with the aftermath. They dig for survivors using tools and their bare hands. They evacuate the injured. They help bury the dead and notify victims’ families. The group says it has saved more than 99,000 lives.

In addition to lifesaving, White Helmets deliver public services such as securing damaged buildings, reconnecting electrical cables and offering safety information to children. The group, also known as the Syria Civil Defense, takes its nickname from the color of its personnel’s protective hard hats.

When possible, they travel to Turkey to be trained by AKUT, a voluntary, non-governmental organization involved in search-and-rescue efforts after natural disasters. At these trainings, the White Helmets receive life-saving instructions and exposure to new equipment. Then they return to Syria—and to their daily mission of responding to barrel bomb and missile strikes.


James Le Mesurier: The Former British Mercenary Who Founded The White Helmets

James Le Mesurier, a British ex-mercenary, founded the White Helmets in 2013. The group has been lauded for its “humanitarian” efforts in Syria, but they have actually functioned more as a logistics and propaganda arm of Syria’s al-Qaeda branch, complete with training from Le Mesurier.

O ver the past two years, enlightening information has been revealed that thoroughly and unequivocally debunks the “humanitarianism” of the White Helmets in Syria, sometimes referred to as the Syrian Civil Defense.

Since they were founded in 2013, much of Western media has sought to elevate the White Helmets as the “bravest” and most heroic of Syrians. They have been the subject of a Netflix documentary , which won an Oscar, and has consistently been plastered across TV screens in surprisingly well-produced videos showing them removing children from rubble in war-torn areas claimed by Syria’s “rebels.”

However, missing from this unambiguously positive coverage has been the group’s ties to terrorist groups like al-Qaeda , their doctoring of footage , their role in executing civilians and their use of children – both dead and alive – as props for producing pro-intervention propaganda . Also absent is how the White Helmets have received over $123 million from 2013 to 2016 from the U.S. and UK governments, as well as Western NGOs and Gulf state monarchies.

While numerous articles have been devoted to dispelling the propaganda that surrounds the group and detailing their shady ties to known terrorist organizations like Syria’s al-Qaeda branch Al-Nusra Front, significantly less attention has been focused on how the group was created, particularly on the man who founded them – James Le Mesurier, a British private security specialist, and former British military intelligence officer.

Le Mesurier’s role in founding the White Helmets and propagating its mythology to a Western audience was exposed in 2015 thanks to the work of independent journalist Vanessa Beeley.

Beeley, who spoke to MintPress News at length for this report, notes that it was Le Mesurier’s “‘realization that humanitarian aid was more effective at maintaining war than an army” that spurred his creation of the organization in order “to maintain public support for another costly war in a country that is, in reality, posing little to no threat to mainland America” or its allies.


Story behind Florida Gators’ white helmets

"For me, especially on a homecoming game, it was an opportunity to link the present -- with the 'Gators' script on one side -- and unite it with the past with the 'Block F' on the other side," said Florida Gators head coach Jim McElwain.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Rumors circulated for days that the Gators planned to alter their uniform in some fashion for last week’s homecoming game against Vanderbilt.

Those rumors turned to fact when the Gators raced out of the tunnel for the opening kickoff wearing a two-logo white helmet.

The helmet choice was a popular topic on social media for Florida fans throughout the Gators’ 9-7 victory over the Commodores. The last time the Gators wore white helmets was in the 2009 SEC Championship Game.

Team captains traditionally choose Florida’s uniform combination each week. The Gators have yet to wear the same combination in back-to-back games this season.

With an opportunity to clinch the program’s first trip to Atlanta in six years, the Gators opted for the white headgear.

Florida Gators news

"This time it was in front of the whole team," senior defensive back Brian Poole said. "The whole team pretty much made the decision."

However, the decision had nothing to do with the potential return to Atlanta.

"Some of our players asked about a white helmet and of course, I looked around the building and there are pictures of white helmets everywhere, so I just thought we had them and found out we didn’t," Florida head coach Jim McElwain said.

With the players interested in wearing them, once McElwain learned white helmets are not part of Florida’s regular inventory, he set in motion a plan to order them to use during his first season.

Homecoming seemed the perfect opportunity. The helmets featured the familiar "Gators" script logo on the left side and Florida’s "F" logo on the right side. A blue stripe ran from front to back, bordered by a pair of orange stripes.

"I think there is some true symbolism in those helmets," McElwain said. "For me, especially on a homecoming game, it was an opportunity to link the present — with the ‘Gators’ script on one side — and unite it with the past with the ‘Block F’ on the other side. That was really the driving force behind it and our guys appreciated it because some of them were recruited here thinking they were going to wear a white helmet sometimes."

"I was excited we could do something for them and in turn honor all of those who played here in the past with the different logos on the helmets."

The Gators revisited the past during homecoming weekend in more ways than wearing the alternate helmet. They had a captain’s lunch on Friday afternoon that featured several former players.

McElwain enjoyed the interaction between the current and former players.

"As I speak to our guys about legacies, about what it means to wear that Florida Gator helmet and to play in The Swamp, part of the responsibility is that you are playing for all those players who have played there in the past," he said. "[We try] as much as we can do to link that and open our doors, because those past players are the ones who have built what is the University of Florida."

Coincidentally, McElwain has a two-game win streak when the Gators wear white helmets. He was Alabama’s offensive coordinator in 2009 when the Crimson Tide defeated the white-helmeted Gators in the SEC title game.

McElwain said Florida’s traditional orange helmets have significant value to the program’s brand. He also understands players and fans like to mix it up once in a while.

"When you look around college football, I think there’s a couple of things you see, people looking for a splash and an identity," he said. "Where at the University of Florida, quite honestly, the tradition of our orange helmets, when those are on TV everybody knows who it is, which makes this a special place. There are certain programs around the country who are like that. And yet, there is something exciting about just having an alternate here or there.

"That’s part of what we do. But in our alternates, I’m a true believer in honoring the past and that’s something we wanted to do with this."


Wartime humanitarianism

So much of their experience is neither new nor unique. The triumphs, travails and tragedies of the White Helmets are just the latest instalment in the long, brutal story of wartime humanitarianism which stretches back over 150 years. Similar tales were played out on the battlefields of the Franco-Prussian War (1870-1871) and the Balkans Uprisings (1875-1878). Both involved cases of clearly identified humanitarians being targeted for violence and having their motives questioned.

In these instances, it was not White Helmets, but Red Crosses and Red Crescents that distinguished the volunteers from the fighters. They were the symbols enshrined by the articles of the Geneva Convention as indicating the neutrality of battlefield medics. But these “sacrosanct” symbols did not protect the volunteers from suspicion and attack.

Dr Frédéric Ferrière. International Committee of the Red Cross

Red Cross hospitals were routinely shelled throughout the Franco-Prussian War. During the siege of Paris a number of volunteers were shot in the belief that they were using their “neutral” Red Cross status as a cover for committing acts of espionage. Like the White Helmets of today, the idea that volunteers could act in the service of all war’s victims raised eyebrows.

The Swiss volunteer, Frédéric Ferrière was imprisoned on suspicion of being a spy, despite offering his medical services to the “enemy” Prussians.

The French volunteer nurse, Coralie Cahen, was also forcibly ejected from a camp by Prussian troops when she tried to gain access to starving prisoners of war, testament to how – then as now – humanitarians’ actions were also politicised. Cahen was later lauded by the national press as a symbol of French humanitarian spirit triumphing over Germanic barbarism.

Coralie Cahen who treated thousands of wounded in 1870. International Committee of the Red Cross

Contemporary questions over the White Helmets’ funding and motive are also nothing new. During the Balkans Uprisings of the 1870s, a British organisation called the Stafford House Committee sent a humanitarian mission to the troubled region. Although serving under the Red Cross and Red Crescent – and therefore supposedly impartial – Stafford House’s volunteers were characterised in the press as medical mercenaries acting in favour of the Turkish army and taking gold from the Sultan and pro-Turkish backers in Britain.

The grounds for these accusations were far firmer than those currently being thrown at the White Helmets. But the fact remains that the murky grey area between political agendas and “neutral” humanitarian action has always existed, along with slur campaigns and violence from those who are threatened by the work of humanitarian volunteers.

In this sense, the White Helmets’ evacuation from Syria may mark the end of their individual story. But, if history is any guide, the sobering and sadly familiar aspects of their tale will continue elsewhere in future.


The continuing story of ‘the White Helmets’ hoax

by Rick Sterling October 20, 2016 8.7k Views

The White Helmets Phenomenon

Unknown to most people, the White Helmets brand was conceived and directed by a marketing company named “The Syria Campaign” based in New York.

They have managed to fool millions of people. Walt Disney might have made a great movie about this: unarmed volunteers fearlessly rescuing survivors in the midst of war without regard to religion or politics. Like most other “true life” Disney movies, it is 10% reality, 90% fiction.

Due to its success, Western countries are dedicating ever larger amounts of funding. The White Helmets were the 17 October TIME magazine cover story . Nikolas Kristof at the NY Times has gushed over them for years. They recently won a 2016 Right Livelihood Award .

Netflix has recently released a special ‘documentary’ movie about the White Helmets. With impeccable timing, the mainstream media acclaim reached a crescendo with both The Guardian and The Independent in Britain calling on the Nobel Prize Committee to award this year’s Nobel Peace Prize to the White Helmets.

Here’s the trailer of the Netflix documentary. Note the comment section and that there are also as many dislikes as there are likes for the trailer. People are beginning to see through the propaganda:

It’s not just the establishment that has gushed over the White Helmets. Codepink recommended the Netflix movie about them, and DemocracyNow! ran a puff piece interview with the infomercial directors. The Intercept published an uncritical promotion of the White Helmets and their dubious leader. (CodePink received a lot of criticism and later issued a correction.)

The Reality Behind the White Helmet Image

In contrast with the uncritical promotion of the White Helmets, there have been some investigations of their reality during the past 1.5 years. This timeline shows the early investigations.

In April 2015 Dissidentvoice published an expose of their actual creation and purpose. Since then there have been an increasing number of articles and videos revealing what is behind the ‘feel good’ veneer.

Vanessa Beeley has produced numerous articles including documentation of the REAL Syrian Civil Defenc,e which was founded six decades ago. She initiated an online Change.org petition which gathered 3.3 thousand signatures to NOT GIVE THE NOBEL PEACE PRIZE to the WHITE HELMETS.

That was twice as many signatures as the petition to GIVE the Nobel Prize to them. Apparently that fact upset someone influential people because Change.org removed the petition without explanation.

Did it violate “community standards”? You can judge for yourself because the petition is shown here .

Another online petition, also at CHANGE.ORG, is still up and running. It calls on the Right Livelihood Foundation to RETRACT their award to the White Helmets.

The petition includes ten reasons why they do not deserve the prize and are not what they are presented to be: they stole the name Syria Civil Defence from the real Syrian organisation they appropriated the name “White Helmets” from the Argentinian rescue organisation Cascos Blancos/White Helmets they are not independent – they are funded by governments they are not apolitical – they actively campaign for a No Fly Zone they do not work across Syria – they ONLY work in areas controlled by the armed opposition (mostly al-Nusra/Al Qaeda) they are not unarmed – they do sometimes carry weapons they celebrate terrorist victories and they assist in terrorist executions.

In recent weeks, information about the true nature of the White Helmets has been spreading. Max Blumenthal has a two part expose at Alternet: “ How the White Helmets became International Heroes while Pushing US Intervention and Regime Change in Syria” and “ Inside the Shadowy PR Firm that’s Lobbying for Regime Change in Syria”. Scott Ritter has written an article which critically looks at the White Helmets’ “lionisation”. Internationally, the Israeli TV station I24 ran a special report with the title “White Helmets: Heroes or Hoax?”, giving equal coverage to supporters and critics. Even “The National” out of United Arab Emirates has documented the controversy around the White Helmets.

Franklin Lamb Lashes Out at White Helmet Critics

Some supporters of the White Helmets have lashed back. The British military contractor who initially set up the organisation has accused his critics of being ‘proxies’ for the Syrian and Russian governments.

And in recent days, Franklin Lamb has leapt to the defence of the White Helmets with an article titled “ Political Defamation Campaign targets Rescue Workers in Syria”.

Lamb’s critique is almost as misleading as the group he defends. It appears he has not read many of the serious criticisms and exposes of the White Helmets. He does not provide references or sources so that a reader can compare his description with what critics actually said.

Lamb accuses critics of waging a “malicious campaign” against the Syrian Arab Red Crescent and International Committee of the Red Cross as well as the White Helmets.

That is false. Here is what has been actually said :

“Unlike a legitimate rescue organisation such as the Red Cross or Red Crescent, the “White Helmets” only work in areas controlled by the armed opposition.”

The online petition to RETRACT the Right Livelihood Award says

“The NATO White Helmets actually undermine and detract from the work of authentic organisations such as the REAL Syria Civil Defence and Syrian Arab Red Crescent.”

Lamb echoes White Helmet propaganda by repeatedly referring to them as volunteers. But they are not. They are all paid–with the White Helmet media managers in Brooklyn New York, Gaziantep Turkey and Beirut Lebanon making sizeable salaries. As to the on-the-ground ‘White Helmets’ based Nusra territory in Aleppo and Idlib, they are paid much more than full time Syrian soldiers for their part time real and staged rescue operations.

Lamb laments the fact that MSF (Medicins Sans Frontiers /Doctors without Borders) has been criticised. However MSF has shown itself to be politically biased.

The organisation has no staff inside Syria yet continues to issue statements as if they had clear compelling evidence when it seems they do not. Recently MSF claimed that four hospitals in terrorist controlled sectors of East Aleppo had been bombed and two doctors injured. They do not identify the names or locations of the hospitals or the names of the doctors. The report is apparently based on hearsay.

Perhaps MSF does not identify the name or location of the hospitals because when they did report names and locations, such as with Al Quds Hospital in April 2016, it was found that their report was inconsistent and full of contradictions.

“According to hospital staff on the ground, the hospital was destroyed by at least one airstrike which directly hit the building, reducing it to rubble. ”

P hotographs from before and after the event showed this assertion to be untrue. The so called “Al Quds Hospital” was an unidentified largely vacant apartment building with sandbags at the ground floors.

MSF’s bias is also shown by the fact they refuse to provide any services or support to the 90% of the Syrian population which is in government controlled areas.

MSF has not responded to a previous open letter questioning their bias. Nor have they responded to invitations to visit government controlled Aleppo to evaluate the reality versus the claims of their allies in Nusra/Al Qaeda territory.

“The White Helmets are being attacked with all sorts of unfounded accusations and conspiracy theories”.

On the contrary, the evidence is overwhelming.

White Helmets are funded by Western governments which want ‘regime change’. White Helmets pick up bodies after execution. White Helmets carry weapons and celebrate jihadi victories. White Helmets ONLY work in areas dominated by Nusra or an ally. White Helmets actively campaign for a No Fly Zone.

These are not “conspiracy theories” they are facts easily proven in the videos and articles about them.

“White Helmet rescuers are much like Syria’s population in general, including most of the 12 million refugees, who have come to abhor politics.”

It is true that nearly all Syrians abhor the war that has been imposed on them. However, the vast majority of Syrians also hate the terrorists while most ‘White Helmets’ are allied with them.

Lamb is also wrong on the refugee count. There are about 12 million internally displaced persons but the number of refugees is closer to 4 million. Two thirds of the internally displaced persons are living inside Syria in areas under government control.

The White Helmets were “branded” by a marketing company called The Syria Campaign which itself was “incubated” (their term) by a larger marketing company called Purpose. Along with managing the online and social media promotion of the White Helmets, the Syria Campaign has parallel efforts in support of “regime change” in Syria. One of these efforts has been to criticize United Nations and humanitarian relief organizations which supply aid to displaced persons living in areas protected by the Syrian government.

This situation is documented in an editorial here where the author says:

“The allegations made by the Syria Campaign and others were written by people who know nothing about the UN and how it must work.”

Apparently unaware of the facts about The Syria Campaign, the outraged Franklin Lamb calls this “defamatory nonsense!”

Lamb echoes the White Helmet propaganda that they have saved “65,000 Syrian citizens, many being their neighbours, families and friends”.

This is extreme exaggeration. The areas controlled by the terrorists have very few civilians living in them. A medical doctor visiting east Aleppo two years described it as a ‘ghost town’. When cat videos were popular on social media, the White Helmet video team produced their own fake cat video . It showed White Helmet members playing with stray cats in empty neighbourhoods. They say, “The homeowners abandoned this district and its kittens.” Yes, most of the civilians abandoned it because the terrorists invaded it.

In short, this number of rescues is an extreme exaggeration. The real number is probably just a few percent of that.

Lamb believes the critics of the White Helmets are ‘defaming” them. It’s almost laughable except that it is bitterly ironic. The REAL Syrian Civil Defence works on a shoestring budget with REAL volunteers without a video team accompanying and promoting them. Most in the West are unaware they even exist. The situation for the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, which is a genuinely neutral and independent relief organisation, is similar although they at least have a good website .

Lamb complains about “the massive use of pejorative language to smear rescue workers”.

The reality, of course, is the precise opposite in the case of the “White Helmets”. There has been a flood of uncritical praise for this three year old organisation created by the West and for goals of the West. On the contrary, they have not been sufficiently examined and exposed. Lamb’s heartfelt concern about the poor White Helmets being unfairly criticised is bizarre.

Franklin Lamb claims to have filed his article from Aleppo University Hospital. This is located in government protected Aleppo. Why does he make no reference to the victims of terrorist bombings, sniping and attacks who fill the Aleppo University Hospital? Why does he make no reference to the REAL Syrian Civil Defence which brought to the hospital many injured victims?

In his closing Franklin invites anyone interested to visit the White Helmets with him. Is he serious? Very few journalists or Western ‘observers’ have been in terrorist controlled Aleppo for years. Two of the last batch were James Foley and Stephen Sotloff, subsequently murdered by ISIS.

Franklin needs to provide some evidence that he actually was in East Aleppo with the Nusra and the White Helmets. Otherwise one might question whether his conversations with White Helmet ‘volunteers’ were actually in Gaziantep Turkey.

The Controversy Continues

As the Syrian government and allies try to finally crush or expel the terrorists from Aleppo, the White Helmets have become a major tool in the West’s propaganda toolchest. The image of the White Helmets deflects attention from the sectarian, violent and unpopular nature of Nusra and other armed opposition groups.

This is used in parallel with accusations that Syrian and Russian attacks are primarily hitting civilians. Western media gives an image that there are only civilians and White Helmets under attack in east Aleppo the terrorists have been whited out of the picture.

White Helmets have gone from being talked about to the ones doing the talking. News stories increasingly use White Helmet witnesses as their theme or source.

One day CNN says a White Helmet aid centre has been hit. Another day it is claimed that White Helmet individuals are being “hunted” .

A White Helmet performs the role of journalist not first responder as he claims to be “eye witness” to Syrian barrel bombs destroying the humanitarian convoy and warehouse on September 19 in Orem al Kubra.

There are reasons to be suspicious. For example, in the case of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) convoy that was attacked in Orem al Kubra:

* This is the same town where the documentary “Saving Syria’s Children” was filmed. A detailed investigation has shown that sequences in that BBC movie were largely if not entirely staged.

* This town is controlled by the infamous Nour al Din al Zinki terrorist group which recently filmed itself beheading a young Palestinian Syrian boy.

* It is illogical that Syrian or Russian planes would attack a SARC convoy. They could have stopped the convoy when it was in government held territory. The Syrian government works together with SARC. Why would they attack the convoy?

* The one to ‘benefit’ from the atrocity is the US Coalition and those supporting the regime change project. The attack took attention away from the US killing of 70+ Syrian soldiers on Sept 17 and facilitated the resumption of accusations against Syria and Russia. More contradictions and inconsistencies regarding the White Helmet witness are pointed out in this incisive analysis.

* The Russian and Syrian governments called for an independent investigation of the attack site but this has not been done, presumably because the terrorists controlling the area have not allowed it.

With massive publicity, there is now greatly increased public awareness of the three year old White Helmets. Ironically SARC, which works with neutrality, have been largely ignored. And the original 60+ year old Syrian Civil Defense continues to work with absolutely no recognition in the West.

Are the White Helmets heroes or politically motivated hoax? The time to investigate is now. It does little good to uncover falsehoods and manipulations years later. This is especially true because the people who created and uncritically promoted previous hoaxes such as Nayirah and the Kuwaiti incubators, Curveball and the Iraqi WMD have gone without penalty or punishment despite the enormous cost in lives and resources. The White Helmets should be seriously investigated lest they be used to promote more war in Syria.


What’s wrong with the White Helmets? A history of humanitarians under attack

The evacuation of 422 White Helmet volunteers from Syria seemingly marks the end of a daring five-year humanitarian mission in one of the world’s most war torn countries. Founded and initially trained by a retired British officer and comprised of local recruits, the White Helmets (AKA the Syrian Civil Defence) were formed in 2013. Their aim was to carry out search and rescue operations for victims of bombings in rebel held areas of Syria.

The White Helmets, who claim to have saved the lives of more than 100,000 people, stand as a beacon of light for much of the international community amid the darkness of the Syrian civil war . They have becoming the subject of an Oscar-winning Netflix documentary and earned a Nobel Peace Prize nomination in 2016 .

But this rosy picture of humanity at its best has been tainted by the politicisation of the outfit’s activities and the establishment of a counter narrative in which the volunteers appear as anything but battlefield angels.

Propaganda and smear campaigns

The White Helmets have been demonised by Russian-backed propaganda outlets as everything from being partial to the rebel cause (despite the group’s motto being “to save a life is to save all humanity”) to collaborating with ISIS, to staging chemical weapons attacks, to simply being an all-purpose front for unofficial Western meddling into Syrian president Bashar Al-Assad ’s affairs.

The latter claim, in particular has been repeated in press outlets sympathetic to the Syrian president, which reference the fact that the White Helmets have been funded primarily by Western governments.

Aside from this smear campaign, the White Helmets have also been the victims of more direct action. This has included the bombing of several of their hospitals and, most unambiguously, a midnight raid on one of their safe houses in August 2017 in which seven of the volunteers were executed by assassins still unknown.

This might read like chapters of a modern war thriller – indeed, the tale of the White Helmets is scheduled to become a George Clooney-led film .

Wartime humanitarianism

So much of their experience is neither new nor unique. The triumphs, travails and tragedies of the White Helmets are just the latest instalment in the long, brutal story of wartime humanitarianism which stretches back over 150 years. Similar tales were played out on the battlefields of the Franco-Prussian War (1870-1871) and the Balkans Uprisings (1875-1878) . Both involved cases of clearly identified humanitarians being targeted for violence and having their motives questioned.

In these instances, it was not White Helmets, but Red Crosses and Red Crescents that distinguished the volunteers from the fighters. They were the symbols enshrined by the articles of the Geneva Convention as indicating the neutrality of battlefield medics. But these “sacrosanct” symbols did not protect the volunteers from suspicion and attack.

Red Cross hospitals were routinely shelled throughout the Franco-Prussian War. During the siege of Paris a number of volunteers were shot in the belief that they were using their “neutral” Red Cross status as a cover for committing acts of espionage. Like the White Helmets of today, the idea that volunteers could act in the service of all war’s victims raised eyebrows.

The Swiss volunteer, Frédéric Ferrière was imprisoned on suspicion of being a spy, despite offering his medical services to the “enemy” Prussians.

The French volunteer nurse, Coralie Cahen, was also forcibly ejected from a camp by Prussian troops when she tried to gain access to starving prisoners of war, testament to how – then as now – humanitarians’ actions were also politicised. Cahen was later lauded by the national press as a symbol of French humanitarian spirit triumphing over Germanic barbarism.

Contemporary questions over the White Helmets’ funding and motive are also nothing new. During the Balkans Uprisings of the 1870s, a British organisation called the Stafford House Committee sent a humanitarian mission to the troubled region. Although serving under the Red Cross and Red Crescent – and therefore supposedly impartial – Stafford House’s volunteers were characterised in the press as medical mercenaries acting in favour of the Turkish army and taking gold from the Sultan and pro-Turkish backers in Britain.

The grounds for these accusations were far firmer than those currently being thrown at the White Helmets. But the fact remains that the murky grey area between political agendas and “neutral” humanitarian action has always existed, along with slur campaigns and violence from those who are threatened by the work of humanitarian volunteers.

In this sense, the White Helmets’ evacuation from Syria may mark the end of their individual story. But, if history is any guide, the sobering and sadly familiar aspects of their tale will continue elsewhere in future.

This article was originally published on The Conversation and has been republished under creative commons. For the original click here.

James Crossland is a Senior Lecturer in International History at Liverpool John Moores University. He is an expert in the history of international humanitarian law.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article reflect the opinions of the author and not necessarily the views of The Big Q.


White Helmets…”and the winnner is…anything but truth”

Looney Tuns become Clooney Tunes

[ Editor’s Note : Has Clooney gone looney? If he ever had any presidential aspirations they will be going up on smoke if he makes this movie on the White Helmets.

Anyone who could be suckered into white washing the White Helmets for their aiding and abetting terrorism in Syria would be considered a major security risk.

But that said, Clooney versus Trump for the White house, now there’s a reality TV show for you.

If Clooney wins he can replace his Secret Service detail with the White Helmets, and have ex-Mossad people for his National Security Council, and the old Blackwater people saved for doing odd jobs.

As some anonymous person once said, “You just can’t make this stuff up.” But apparently Clooney has an ego to match Trump’s, with hopefully fewer girls in the closet.

VT is not done pounding the wooden stake into the cold heart of corporate media for swallowing without question all the crap put out by the western PR helpers of the jihadis. I can see the letter campaign from the people of Syria going in to Clooney’s house as soon as his address gets spread around… Jim W. Dean ]

Well we might be seeing the jihadis that would sell anything for money hooking up with Clooney who might do the same

– First published … December 29, 2016 –

George Clooney, one of Hollywood’s biggest box office names, a man with pretentions for the presidency for sure and sworn enemy of President-elect Donald Trump, has announced plans to make a film honoring Syria’s White Helmets. To the much of the public subjected to fake and censored news, the White Helmets are heroes.

Always in areas controlled by “moderate opposition” or, quite frankly outright terrorists like ISIS and the group formerly named Jabat al Nusra, this organization has been lauded as the savior of the Syrian people from the beastly depredations of the “regime” and its “brutal dictator,” Assad.

The truth is something a bit different, a truth it would have taken Clooney only a few moments on the internet to discover, that or the most minimal research, which he either did or didn’t do.

If he didn’t do the research, he is a dupe, meaning he has been fooled into supporting a terrorist group against a legitimate democratically elected government for purposes of protecting and supporting paid mercenary murders. Sound harsh? Probably not harsh enough as we will get into shortly.

The other possibility, of course, is that Clooney is buying his way into politics by making friends with the same ultra-rightest groups that founded the White Helmets and have used similar fronts with the same roots, as we will show, to propagandize color revolutions that have turned into disaster after disaster. From Vanessa Beeley for Global Research:

The Western media mythology goes as follows:

James Le Mesurier

They are made up of former bakers, builders, taxi drivers, students, teachers, pretty much anything apart from rescue workers,” according to the much repeated phrase used by their British ex-military, USAR (Urban Search & Rescue) trainer, James Le Mesurier who specialises in outsourcing warfare – the kind of private security operations exemplified by the likes of Blackwater (now known as Academi) and DynCorp, and other well-known global suppliers of mercenaries and CIA outreach assassination experts.

Running operations through Blackwater gave the CIA the power to have people abducted, or killed, with no one in the government being exactly responsible.

White Helmets founder Le Mesurier, who graduated from Britain’s elite Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst, is said to be an ‘ex’ British military intelligence officer involved in a number of other NATO ‘humanitarian intervention’ theatres of war, including Bosnia, Kosovo and Iraq, as well as postings in Lebanon and Palestine.

He also boasts a series of high-profile posts at the UN, EU, and UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Not to mention his connections back to the infamous Blackwater (Academi).

Beeley goes further, outlining her own experiences in Syria with the White Helmets:

They claim they are not “tied to any political group in Syria, or anywhere else”, yet they are embedded with Al Nusra Front, ISIS and affiliated with the majority of US allied terrorist brigades infesting Syria.

In fact during my recent trip to Syria, I was once again struck by the response from the majority of Syrians when asked if they knew who the White Helmets were. The majority had never heard of them, others who follow western media noted that they are a “NATO construct being used to infiltrate Syria as a major player in the terrorist support network.”

One of the major issues of what may have been called the Syrian Civil War, but might best be described as an invasion by NATO auxiliaries, is the use of NGO’s or “Non-Governmental Organizations” to move jihadists around the world, move weapons and produce fake news. The White Hats has been very much a part of all of these activities but, truth be told, they are hardly “non-governmental.”

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.”

Requests have been made of the Secretary General of the United Nations to challenge their NGO status as even a cursory investigation shows they are funded as nearly all intelligence agencies fronts are. Further, of course, has been their ability to work closely with what were “opposition” groups in Syria that, since early 2014, had melded into the al Qaeda organization after a period of infighting.

The “moderate opposition,” under non-terrorist control has only recently reappeared and that is only in Northern Aleppo, seemingly under the direct command of the Turkish Army, and is primarily being used to fight against Kurdish groups opposed to ISIS. Is this all coming into focus now? If it is for you, you are it seems the only one who gets it.

The White Helmets could be coming to a studio near you

The White Helmets are actually run by a terrorist, which might well explain why they get along so well with terrorists and why they are able to function freely. Of course that they continually report “regime” atrocities, always directly in line with the narrative promoted by US Ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, may well only be coincidental.

Thus far, the White Helmets have been silent on all that goes on around them, seeing nothing and only acting “heroically” while those they are allied with, as is now clear to the world, executed thousands, trafficked tens of thousands of women and children into sex slavery and plummeted chlorine and mustard gas projectiles on the residents of “regime held” West Aleppo for years.

The truth is actually worse, much worse but let’s deal with a bit about Raed Saleh, the leader of the White Helmets first. From 21 st Century Wire:

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.”

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.”

Saleh’s real history is more complicated, born in Israel, Saleh has a long history of opposition to Israel and involvement in justice related causes, particularly “anti-Zionism.” He has been particularly critical of the role, in the past at least, Turkey has played in promoting Zionism. In fact, Saleh has positioned himself as a fanatic anti-Zionist and has often been accused of anti-Semitism as well.

How then do we explain the financing for the White Helmets or their allegiance to organizations fighting against the Damascus government who maintain strangely friendly ties to both Israel and Turkey?

Yulia Tymoshenko

Then there’s Clooney himself, whose wife is an “alleged” human rights activist. However, Amal Clooney’s clients include not only Julian Assange, whose Mossad ties were exposed in 2010 by Zbigniew Brzezinski but also former Ukrainian Prime Minister Julia Tymoshenko, a strong supporter of NATO who has openly advocated ethnically cleansing Ukraine using nuclear weapons.

It seems like Clooney’s liberal activism has garnered more than one strange bedfellow. Then again, Clooney’s finance partner is Israeli Grant Hezlov, producer of the anti-Iranian blockbuster Argo, a film many activists believe was timed to prestage public opinion against a nuclear settlement with Iran.

The issue with Clooney is that he has mostly avoided pitfalls of this type. Let’s take a conspiratorial look at the White Helmets for a bit. Were one to look at their roots, Saleh who makes no sense at all considering the obvious CIA funding of the White Helmets, and their openly “fabulous” relationship with the MSM, Clooney should be running for the hills.

Then again, there is more than enough circumstantial evidence that something is very wrong. With the media frenzy over Aleppo “genocide” dying now that media are moving around a city, not conquered but “liberated” and with UN observers on their way with Russia’s blessing, it has to be clear to Clooney that the White Helmets are not what they seem.

The math here is simple as two plus two, if the press lies fell apart in only days, 14 foreign spies caught running the al Qaeda “operations room” and so many of the atrocities videos now proven staged, then the equally staged and fictional history of the very government funded “non-government” White Helmets would be “fake” as fake news also.

Then there are the rumors, that the funding and logistics for the White Helmets brought in poison gas and that Press TV’s Serena Shimm was murdered because she got too close to “busting” this group as complicit in mass murder.

In fact, for nearly 4 years, Russia tried to introduce evidence to the UNSC in order to prove assertions made by the Syrian Human Rights Observatory and the White Helmets were, in fact, fabrications by pro-terrorist propaganda organizations funded by western intelligence agencies.

Then we come to who Clooney is himself. Clooney, a charismatic outspoken liberal, could well challenge Trump for the presidency, should history lend itself to this political confrontation. Grooming Clooney as another “useful idiot” it how the system works.

Those who have admired Clooney have hoped he would begin challenging the traditional narrative more vigorously, perhaps not to the extent Trump has, but certainly following that lead. This current effort puts that hope to rest.

Gordon Duff is a Marine combat veteran of the Vietnam War that has worked on veterans and POW issues for decades and consulted with governments challenged by security issues. He’s a senior editor and chairman of the board of Veterans Today, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”


Blockbuster: White Helmets corruption scandal deepens: Dutch gov’t investigated parent org for fraud, but covered it up

The Netherlands investigated fraud by the Mayday Rescue Foundation, which funded the Syrian White Helmets with over $120 million in Western government contracts. But top Dutch officials covered up the corruption.

Greyzone: The decade-long dirty war on Syria proved to be a cash cow for some of the most prominent US and UK regime-change operatives. Western government contractors got hundreds of millions of dollars to run schemes to destabilize Damascus – and some of them took a cut for themselves, profiting off of the pillage.

This is staggering. Utterly damning of the @bbc Questions for BBC on new White Helmets podcast series attacking OPCW whistleblowers | The Grayzone https://t.co/9XWpJYwg8J

&mdash George Galloway (@georgegalloway) November 30, 2020

One of the main players in the cottage industry of contractors that helped run the Western regime-change war on Syria, and which was eventually implicated in a massive corruption scandal, was the Mayday Rescue Foundation.

Uh oh…I edited a Wiki article about the White Helmets last week and where it said it was a conspiracy theory, I changed it to a verified story & cited The Grayzone article!

&mdash Sheri Daley (@MsQuitoSwarm) June 11, 2020

Mayday served as the fiscal sponsor of Syria Civil Defense, known popularly as the White Helmets, a deceptive humanitarian interventionist operation that became a key propaganda weapon in the dirty war on Damascus.

The White Helmets were a western orchestrated secret service Psi Op. They were essentially Al Qaeda. Le Mesurier was Mi6. Have you not read the Grayzone expose on Idlib?

&mdash ZodiacNein (@ZodiacNein) October 27, 2020

With more than $120 million in funding from numerous Western governments, the White Helmets were portrayed in servile media campaigns and by slick PR films as a noble philanthropic group dedicated to saving civilian lives. In reality, the organization functioned as the de facto civil and medical infrastructure for areas in Syria that were controlled by brutal, theocratic Salafi-jihadist insurgents.

The White Helmets operated exclusively in areas run by the Syrian armed opposition, and collaborated extensively with extremists, including ISIS and al-Qaeda. White Helmets were even filmed assisting in public executions on numerous occasions.

The White Helmets helped NATO member Turkey militarily invade and ethnically cleanse Kurdish-majority towns in northern Syria as part of a plan to repopulate those areas with Sunni Muslim Arabs who supported Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Following the invasion, schoolchildren were indoctrinated with Turkish nationalist propaganda.

A Syria producer at the BBC has even stated that the White Helmets helped stage a fake chemical weapons attack in the city of Douma, to try to pin the blame on the Syrian government and spur Western military intervention against it.

Yet while Western governments were lavishing the White Helmets with praise and funneling huge sums of taxpayer money into their parent organization, the Netherlands-based Mayday Rescue Foundation, they were also quietly investigating the group for fraud.

A series of mainstream Dutch media reports document how the Netherlands knew Mayday had presided over serious financial irregularities, but top officials covered it up, refusing to inform elected lawmakers and even ignoring recommendations from their own regulators to reclaim millions of dollars worth of contracts. read more..


The White Helmets and the Long History of Attacking Humanitarians

The smear campaign against Syria’s White Helmets, the rescuers who have saved many tens of thousands of lives since 2013, is distinctive because of the extent of the disinformation and the involvement of the Russian State in the campaign.

But the attacks are far from new. Humanitarians in wartime have always been the target of those who would prefer to operate without the intervention of those trying to provide assistance and care.

James Crossland of Liverpool John Moores University writes for The Conversation:

The evacuation of 422 White Helmet volunteers from Syria seemingly marks the end of a daring five-year humanitarian mission in one of the world’s most war torn countries. Founded and initially trained by a retired British officer and comprised of local recruits, the White Helmets were formed in 2013. Their aim was to carry out search and rescue operations for victims of bombings in rebel held areas of Syria.

The White Helmets, who claim to have saved the lives of more than 100,000 people, stand as a beacon of light for much of the international community amid the darkness of the Syrian civil war. They have becoming the subject of an Oscar-winning Netflix documentary and earned a Nobel Peace Prize nomination in 2016.

But this rosy picture of humanity at its best has been tainted by the politicization of the outfit’s activities and the establishment of a counter-narrative in which the volunteers appear as anything but battlefield angels.

Propaganda and smear campaigns

The White Helmets have been demonised by Russian-backed propaganda outlets as everything from being partial to the rebel cause (despite the group’s motto being “to save a life is to save all humanity”) to collaborating with ISIS, to staging chemical weapons attacks, to simply being an all-purpose front for unofficial Western meddling into Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad’s affairs.

The latter claim, in particular has been repeated in press outlets sympathetic to the Syrian President, which reference the fact that the White Helmets have been funded primarily by Western governments.

Aside from this smear campaign, the White Helmets have also been the victims of more direct action. This has included the bombing of several of their hospitals and, most unambiguously, a midnight raid on one of their safe houses in August 2017 in which seven of the volunteers were executed by assassins still unknown.

This might read like chapters of a modern war thriller – indeed, the tale of the White Helmets is scheduled to become a George Clooney-led film.

Wartime Humanitarianism

So much of their experience is neither new nor unique. The triumphs, travails and tragedies of the White Helmets are just the latest instalment in the long, brutal story of wartime humanitarianism which stretches back over 150 years. Similar tales were played out on the battlefields of the Franco-Prussian War (1870-1871) and the Balkans Uprisings (1875-1878). Both involved cases of clearly identified humanitarians being targeted for violence and having their motives questioned.

In these instances, it was not White Helmets, but Red Crosses and Red Crescents that distinguished the volunteers from the fighters. They were the symbols enshrined by the articles of the Geneva Convention as indicating the neutrality of battlefield medics. But these “sacrosanct” symbols did not protect the volunteers from suspicion and attack.

Red Cross hospitals were routinely shelled throughout the Franco-Prussian War. During the siege of Paris a number of volunteers were shot in the belief that they were using their “neutral” Red Cross status as a cover for committing acts of espionage. Like the White Helmets of today, the idea that volunteers could act in the service of all war’s victims raised eyebrows.

The Swiss volunteer Frédéric Ferrière was imprisoned on suspicion of being a spy, despite offering his medical services to the “enemy” Prussians.

The French volunteer nurse Coralie Cahen was also forcibly ejected from a camp by Prussian troops when she tried to gain access to starving prisoners of war, testament to how – then as now – humanitarians’ actions were also politicized. Cahen was later lauded by the national press as a symbol of French humanitarian spirit triumphing over Germanic barbarism.

Contemporary questions over the White Helmets’ funding and motive are also nothing new. During the Balkans Uprisings of the 1870s, a British organisation called the Stafford House Committee sent a humanitarian mission to the troubled region. Although serving under the Red Cross and Red Crescent – and therefore supposedly impartial – Stafford House’s volunteers were characterized in the press as medical mercenaries acting in favour of the Turkish army and taking gold from the Sultan and pro-Turkish backers in Britain.

The grounds for these accusations were far firmer than those currently being thrown at the White Helmets. But the fact remains that the murky grey area between political agendas and “neutral” humanitarian action has always existed, along with slur campaigns and violence from those who are threatened by the work of humanitarian volunteers.

In this sense, the White Helmets’ evacuation from Syria may mark the end of their individual story. But, if history is any guide, the sobering and sadly familiar aspects of their tale will continue elsewhere in future.


The White Helmets, alleged organ traders & child kidnappers, should be condemned not condoned

is an independent journalist and photographer who has worked extensively in the Middle East &ndash on the ground in Syria, Egypt, Iraq and Palestine, while also covering the conflict in Yemen since 2015. Follow her on Twitter @VanessaBeeley

is an independent journalist and photographer who has worked extensively in the Middle East &ndash on the ground in Syria, Egypt, Iraq and Palestine, while also covering the conflict in Yemen since 2015. Follow her on Twitter @VanessaBeeley

A recent panel at the UN Security Council in New York revealed the shocking evidence of White Helmet involvement in organ trafficking in Syria. The lucrative trade of human body parts, bones, blood and organs is one of the most protected and hidden harvests of war.

The potential of White Helmet involvement in these nefarious activities raises questions that must be answered. Why were the shocking revelations met by a wall of silence from corporate media present at the panel in New York?

Not one media outlet pursued the subject, preferring to divert onto more comfortable issues that did not challenge the iconization of the White Helmets that has been the default position for virtually all state-aligned media since the establishment of the group in 2013 in Jordan and Turkey.

Above is one of the slides from the presentation of Maxim Grigoriev, director of the Foundation for the Study of Democracy, given to the panel and audience at the UNSC in New York, December 2018.

In July 2017, I had interviewed residents of the East Aleppo districts that had been under occupation of the various extremist armed groups and the White Helmets. Salaheddin Azazi was a resident of the Jib Al Qubbeh area (also mentioned in Grigoriev&rsquos presentation).

Azazi went through the details of the November 2016 Nusra Front attack on civilians trying to flee via the Syrian and Russian-established humanitarian corridors which had been spun by the White Helmets into a &ldquoregime&rdquo bombing raid that resulted in a civilian massacre. It was a complete misrepresentation of reality which was seized upon by corporate media with no fact checking. My full report on that incident and the White Helmet involvement in the massacre and subsequent theft of civilian belongings from the dead and dying is here.

&ldquoThe bodies of the dead and dying were left unattended for ten hours in the street after the Nusra Front rocket attack that killed 15 civilians. The White Helmets did not help them, they stole their belongings,&rdquo Salaheddin Azazi, resident of Jib Al Qubbeh and eyewitness to events on 30.11.2016, said.

Azazi and another resident, Ammar Al Bakr (on the right, in above photo) described how the White Helmets were the &ldquorunners&rdquo for the organ traffickers.

&ldquoThe White Helmet drivers would take the injured or dead bodies to the Turkish border. Many of the injured had light wounds, nothing that needed hospitalization but the bodies would come back without organs,&rdquo said Ammar Al Bakr.

&ldquoThe bodies, dead and alive, would be inspected in the towns on the borders with Turkey before being taken by Turkish vehicles to the hospitals but if the injured civilian was a child or young and strong they would be taken directly to the hospital in Turkey because their organs had greater value,&rdquo Azazi told me.

According to both of these witnesses, the bodies were worth $2000 dead and $3000 if alive and this market was dominated by the White Helmet operatives who profited from cross-border organ trafficking.

Other civilians I met in July/August 2017 confirmed the threat of organ theft which hung over them during the almost five-year occupation of East Aleppo districts by the armed groups and their White Helmet auxiliaries. Families spoke to me of hiding their children if they were lightly injured to prevent the risk of them being abducted and taken to one of three hospitals &ndash Omar Abdulaziz, Al Quds and Zarzour &ndash that allegedly specialized in organ theft in East Aleppo, all of which had been taken over by militant gangs early on in the conflict. I was told that &ldquoforeign doctors&rdquo were operating in these three hospitals and were in charge of organ extraction. In post-liberation Eastern Ghouta, similar stories abounded.

In January 2019, I visited survivors from the Jaysh Al Islam controlled Tawbah Prison in Douma, Eastern Ghouta (known as Repentance Prison). I met with former prisoners in Adra Al Balad who spoke of the torture and violent abuse they had received after being kidnapped from Adra Al Ummaliya in 2013 by Jaysh Al Islam and Nusra Front. Familiar descriptions of the White Helmets were forthcoming:

&ldquoRegarding the White Helmets, they are terrorists and Takfiris [&hellip] they have nothing to do with Humanity [&hellip] when they used to see an injured civilian, they used to finish them off. If you come to &ldquorescue&rdquo a man would you slaughter them? The White Helmets and the terrorists are one and the same, they are hand in hand,&rdquo said Hassan Al Mahmoud Al Othman, one of the survivors I spoke to about their experiences as captives of Jaysh Al Islam and Nusra Front during the six years that Eastern Ghouta was occupied.

The evidence against the White Helmets is mounting on a daily basis and will only increase as Idlib is liberated or a political resolution is achieved in the last Syrian province effectively controlled by Hayat Tahrir Al Sham (HTS) a rebrand of Al Qaeda.

Despite this, Western corporate media and NATO-aligned think tanks, policy influencers and NGOs are stubbornly sticking to the &ldquovolunteer hero&rdquo script. The Observer recently collaborated with Reader&rsquos Digest to produce a slick homage to the White Helmets &ldquorescued&rdquo from Syria by Israel in July 2018, entitled&lsquoThe inside story of Canada&rsquos dramatic rescue of the White Helmets out of Syria.&rsquo It depicts the volunteer &ldquobankers and barbers&rdquo as heroes and downtrodden saints fleeing for their lives. A far cry from the image portrayed of organ thieves, child abductors and bone peddlers by the Syrian people who lived under the White Helmet regime of sectarian violence and exploitative abuse.

The White Helmet involvement in the &ldquored market&rdquo (a term used to describe the multi-billion-dollar trade in human body parts, tissue and organs) should come as no surprise. James Le Mesurier, the former private security and &ldquodemocratization&rdquo expert who founded the White Helmets in Turkey and Jordan was also present in Pristina, Kosovo in 1999 when he worked under the direction of the notorious Bernard Kouchner, co-founder of MSF (Medecins Sans Frontieres) and former French foreign minister.

Kouchner&rsquos tenure in Kosovo was plagued by controversy and accusations of involvement in human and organ trafficking masterminded by the Albanian mafia gangs within the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA).

Carla Del Ponte, former chief prosecutor for war crimes in former Yugoslavia, detailed these crimes in her book The Hunt: Me and the War Criminals, which was published in 2008 just after Kosovo declared its independence.

In 2010, an interim report by the Council of Europe vindicated Del Ponte&rsquos claims, which had garnered skepticism and criticism from the NATO-aligned media and spokespeople. Del Ponte persistently complained, at the time, that UN authorities in Kosovo were systematically blocking her investigations into crimes committed by the Kosovo Albanians in the KLA and the rebranded Kosovo Protection Corps (KPC).

James Le Mesurier was responsible for the rebranding of the KLA, linked to Al Qaeda at that stage alongside the Albanian warlords, and their transformation into the Kosovo Protection Corps while they were being accused of running cross-border organ trafficking operations.

A blueprint that Le Mesurier seems to be reproducing with the White Helmets in Syria while attempting to maintain an untarnished White Helmet image, at least in the aligned media and PR circles. In reality, there is an entire billionaire-supported industry of NGOs and influential global transformation institutions protecting the White Helmets&rsquo image.

A network of global carpetbaggers enabling the criminal obfuscation of White Helmet crimes against Humanity and denial of justice to the Syrian people whose accusations against the pseudo humanitarian group are systematically silenced and marginalized by the White Helmet acolytes.

The White Helmets have received an unprecedented number of awards and peace prizes, including the Right Livelihood Award 2016 (RLA), the Atlantic Council Freedom Award 2016, Tipperary Peace Prize 2017, Hollywood Oscar 2017 (one win, one nomination in 2018) and they have been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for three years running.

According to the RLA website, they &ldquohonour and support courageous people and organisations that have found practical solutions to the root causes of global problems&rdquo. There is nothing honourable or courageous about the White Helmet crimes against the Syrian people.

The White Helmets have enabled and participated in organ trafficking, one of the deepest root causes of our global problems but the RLA has made no move to retract their award from this group of criminals, thieves and terrorists. They have ignored petitions and statements from groups of peace activists and academics. Instead, in 2018, they published a counter petition signed by 29 former RLA Laureates calling upon all parties to &ldquostop targeting the White Helmets [&hellip] in Syria&rdquo.

While blaming Russia for the smear campaign against the White Helmets, the petition informs us that &ldquo(White Helmet) work is guided by the inherent dignity of human life.&rdquo The RLA claims that the evidence against the White Helmets is &ldquounsubstantiated and does not stand up to scrutiny&rdquo. One cannot help but wonder when did they scrutinize the evidence or listen to the huge number of Syrian civilian testimonies that detail the crimes committed by the White Helmets that are most definitely not guided by the inherent dignity of human life?

What all these US Coalition-aligned organizations fail to understand is that Russian media and UN missions do indeed give a voice to the Syrians who are ignored by media in the West. Russia is not the originator of the claims against the White Helmets.

While these organizations, claiming to support peace in Syria and an end to hostility, continue protecting the White Helmets who are responsible for so much of the misery endured by the Syrian people, they forfeit any credibility and become nothing more than a corrupt extension of US supremacism in the region.

Child exploitation, abuse, human trafficking and organ trafficking &ndash which often goes hand in hand with the former &ndash should never be tacitly condoned or covered up and must always be investigated or we have fallen into a moral vacuum from which there is no escape.

I invite all Western media outlets and &ldquopeace&rdquo promoting institutions to retract their White Helmet accolades and laurels, and to &ldquoscrutinize&rdquo the evidence before they too are implicated in one of the most heinous crimes ever committed against victims of war.

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.


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