[Marxism] Fwd: Who are Syria's White Helmets, and why are they so controversial?
lnp3 at panix.com
Sat Oct 29 16:36:40 MDT 2016
The joint Russian-Assad regime campaign against the the White Helmets is
not just fought with bombs and missiles. Russian and Syrian state
outlets are circulating “information” meant to tarnish the volunteers as
allies of terrorism, dedicated only to the assistance of jihadists. As
President Assad told the Associated Press in September 2016: “They use
different humanitarian masks and umbrellas just to implement certain
The theme has been eagerly taken up by those who view the Syrian
conflict as a conspiracy of American “imperialism”.
That the White Helmets receive assistance from the US government’s
Agency for International Development – something they have not denied –
apparently means they’re American puppets, even though they draw a range
of support from around the world. The fundraising support they get from
a PR firm somehow proof that they are the vanguard of a proxy war fought
by a US military-industrial complex.
Blogger Vanessa Beeley has switched her focus from Israel and Gaza to
wage a vitriolic campaign against the White Helmets as “first responders
for the US and NATO al-Nusra/al-Qaeda forces”. Never mind that the White
Helmets explicitly stand against violence and extremism; ignore the
absurdity of the idea that the US – which is bombing the jihadists of
Jabhat al-Nusra in Syria, and which has been in a misconceived “War on
Terror” against al-Qaeda for a decade and a half – is suddenly allied
with those groups. The sight of volunteers celebrating with rebels in
the city of Idlib is apparently evidence that the White Helmets are
Max Blumenthal, another writer who has challenged Israeli policies in
Palestine, frames the White Helmets as “driven by a pro-interventionist
agenda conceived by the Western governments and public relations groups
that back them”. Never mind that the White Helmets’ “crime” is to call
for zones protecting civilians; ignore their firm declaration that they
don’t affiliate with any government or NGO. To Blumenthal, they are a
Trojan horse for “70,000 American servicemen” to invade Syria.
Having started the cycle of disinformation, Russian state outlets can
complete it by citing “investigative journalists” such as Beeley and
Blumenthal to deride the White Helmets as a “controversial
quasi-humanitarian organisation” and – invoking the magnate George Soros
as conspiracy master – a “Soros-sponsored” operation “cooking up lies”.
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