When the “White Helmets” tried to recruit Roger Waters of Pink Floyd fame as a propaganda agent, the attempt not only failed, it backfired.
Fans of classical rock music certainly know about Pink Floyd and their lead singer Roger Waters. So does the organization ”White Helmets,” which twice attempted to recruit Roger Waters to support its mission. Recently, they asked Roger Waters for permission to go on stage at his concert in Barcelona and promote their efforts. The musician did not respond to any of the two recruitment attempts, but instead chose to comment on them on stage himself. Roger Waters said:
There was some fellow, he may well be very well meaning, a very lovely chap, his name is ‘Pascal’, something around that. And he wanted to come on stage and make a speech about Douma, East Ghouta, where he believes was a chemical attack on the people of Douma by Bashar Assad. Hang on, let me finish.
And he is one voice. I personally think he is entirely wrong. I believe the organization whom he purports to represent and whom he supports, White Helmets, is a fake organization that exists only to create propaganda for jihadis and terrorists. That’s my belief. We have opposing beliefs.
If we were to listen to this guy, and if we were to listen to the propaganda of the White Helmets and others, we would be encouraged to encourage our governments to start dropping bombs on people in Syria. This would be a mistake of monumental proportions for us as human beings.
What we should do is go and persuade our governments not to go and drop bombs on people. And certainly not until we have done all the research that is necessary so that we have a clear idea of what is really going on. Because we live in the world where propaganda seems to be more important than the reality of what is really going on,
So I would encourage Pascal to wait until the evidence is in before he leaps to any conclusions.
Waters is venomously anti-Israel and has never shown any awareness of the jihad threat. But if the White Helmets are too much even for him, that should give even their most fervent supporters pause. Another leftist who doesn’t understand the jihad threat, American journalist Max Blumenthal, manager of the Greyzone Project, was given the two emails that Roger Waters had received concerning the White Helmets, and agreed with Waters. In additional comments, Waters encourages other celebrities, who previously voiced their support for the White Helmets, to reconsider their support of the group:
”I don’t blame them for having bought in to it. On the face of it, it felt plausible that the White Helmets were just good people doing good things. But now we know they’re trying to encourage the West to drop bombs and missiles illegally in Syria,” the famous singer said.
Waters also said to Greyzone Project that Syria Campaign (which does public relations for the White Helmets) is ”a malign organization funded by people who hope to gain from the ouster of Bashar Assad because once he’s gone, it will be open season for the stealing of the assets of a failed state.”
Who are the ”White Helmets”?
The White Helmets, frequently described as a group of “volunteers,” has been tracked in detail by the independent British journalist Vanessa Beeley. According to her records, the White Helmets were founded by the British ”Security contractor” (some say “mercenary”) James le Mesurier in March 2013 in Turkey, with a seed funding of $300,000 from England, United States and Japan. Since then, the organization has received at least $123 million of foreign aid from a variety of countries and governments.
The White Helmets were created at a time where it was becoming known that the majority of Syrian rebels were in fact jihad warriors, fighting to replace the secular Syrian republic with Sharia and a Caliphate. According to independent journalist Vanessa Beeley, 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 other words, this is a partisan propaganda effort in the Syrian war. And Le Mesurier was right: this has been quite effective.
The White Helmets operate exclusively in areas controlled by the Islamist rebels, never in areas under control of the Syrian government. There is no reason to assume that they can do this without approval from the Islamist rebels. Considering the frequently observed co-location of White Helmets offices and other facilities with offices of Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham and other jihad organizations, one can safely assume that the White Helmets have a willful and direct cooperation with the jihadis. Thus how can one reasonably assume that their funding is not also funneled to the jihadis?
Do the White Helmets deserve an Oscar?
Independent journalists such as Beeley, Eva Bartlett, Pearson Sharp, Robert Fisk and Blumenthal are reporting in detail about the actual activities of the White Helmets. They travel at their own risk and expense to Aleppo, Ghouta and other war-torn areas in order to talk to people on the ground to collect direct impressions of the situation there.
These independent voices systematically state that the White Helmets work with jihadis and terrorists, but are not undertaking any honest and systematic effort to aid civilians wounded during the battles. The supposedly ”impartial volunteers” provide help only to jihad warriors and themselves, leaving civilians behind in the ruins. As Eva Bartlett put it: “They are White Helmets by day and terrorists by night.”
But this gets worse: The White Helmets are more systematic at filming their supposedly heroic efforts than at providing them impartially. There are many examples of how the same children are being “rescued” over and over by different helpers in addition to false photos of “wounded.”
The most recent example of staging is from the supposed chemical attack in Douma. Here, according to the White Helmets’ own video, we are expected to believe that a cylinder of chlorine gas broke through an iron-reinforced concrete roof without damaging the glassware below. The cylinder then levitated across the room to lie down gently on wooden double bed. The cylinder, still sealed, showed no sign of impact damage from the roof, but did somehow manage to scratch the staircase leading up to the apartment. Neither the cylinder nor its content had caused any harm to the chickens held downstairs, not to mention the supposed victims in the basement of the building.
One particularly embarrassing example was the so-called “Mannequin challenge,” a video showing a dusty man lying quietly among some rubble, rescue workers standing in frozen positions above him. On cue, the “victim” starts screaming from pain, and the workers jump into action, rushing the man elsewhere. Since this was obviously an event staged for filming, the White Helmets had to issue an apology for “error of judgment” over releasing it. But even though staged, this video proved one thing conclusively: the White Helmets are both willing and able to stage realistic-looking staged events of rescue actions. This casts doubt over every video released by them.
Given these talents, it should be obvious to give the White Helmets an Academy Award. And that actually did take place: In 2017, the White Helmets won the category Documentary (Short Subject). This 40-minute “documentary” conveniently ignores the presence of Islamist rebels in the Syrian war, not to mention their massive atrocities against Syrian civilians.
Quranic background for the White Helmets
However, White Helmets leader Khaled Khateeb was denied entry into the United States to collect the award since the Department of Homeland Security had unspecified concerns about his connections. Instead, he had the following message for the event:
We’re so grateful this film has highlighted our work to the world. Our organization is guided by a verse in the Koran, ‘To save one life is to save all of humanity.’ We have saved more than 82,000 Syrian lives. I’ll invite anyone here who hears me to work on the side of life to stop the bloodshed in Syria and around the world.
The figure 82,000 is unsubstantiated and undocumented. More interesting, of course, is the implicit reference to the oft-quoted Quran verse 5:32. Which in full reads as follows:
On that account: We ordained for the Children of Israel that if any one slew a person – unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land – it would be as if he slew the whole people: and if any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people. Then although there came to them Our apostles with clear signs, yet, even after that, many of them continued to commit excesses in the land.
The Quran-literate Khaled Khateeb will certainly be aware of the relevant context in verse 5:33:
The punishment of those who wage war against God and His Apostle, and strive with might and main for mischief through the land is: execution, or crucifixion, or the cutting off of hands and feet from opposite sides, or exile from the land: that is their disgrace in this world, and a heavy punishment is theirs in the Hereafter.
“Mischief through the land” would be opposition to Islamic law, Sharia. This speaks volumes.
What should we do?
The logical first step to the problems with the ”White Helmets” is to stop funding them. Their close cooperation with jihad organizations such as Jabat al-Nusra, Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham and Nour Al Din Zinki in itself constitutes sufficient reason to stop funding them. Latest: The US government just stopped funding the White Helmets.
Further, it would be appropriate to request that the White Helmets document in detail how they spent the lavish funding they already received.
Finally, all material published by the group should be considered suspect, and undergo critical scrutiny before being used as justifications for government action. Just like any other source.
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