Democracy Now, Syria War Propaganda Outlet?


It's come to my attention that there is an online petition to try to stop the Academy Awards from giving an Oscar to the Netflix film, "White Helmets", in tomorrow's ceremony. It's not too late to add your voice.

Why? Because it's war propaganda, a war propaganda flick.

* It is more infomercial than real documentary. The film-makers never set foot in Syria. Some footage from inside Syria appears staged.

* Claims that the “White Helmets” are apolitical volunteers are false. White Helmet leaders actively campaign for US/NATO enforced “No Fly Zone”. The White Helmets only operate in areas controlled by the armed opposition, primarily Nusra/Al Qaeda.

* “The White Helmets” organization is a creation of foreign powers supporting the ‘Contra’ war to overthrow the government of Syria. The White Helmets were initiated by a British military contractor with major funding from the USA and UK. The “White Helmets” brand is managed by a New York based marketing company called “The Syria Campaign” directed by an Irish American woman who has never been to Syria. This is primarily a media campaign with the netflix movie being one of their promotions."

There is a plethora of information available via the internet that documents and explains the true nature of the White Helmets in Syria. I've known the real story since not long after they started appearing in the media. That's not uncommon, the truth about the war in Syria was known from the outset and documented on the internet by bloggers and "alternative" news sites. The same with Ukraine, Yemen, Iraq, everything. The truth is absolutely out there for the taking. There are plenty of people that are all over it.

There's not much excuse anymore in my opinion since all you have to do is ask the fucking computer some questions. We used to have to go to libraries and use the dewey decimal system, and even then you wouldn't find stuff like we can now.

Back to the White Helmets (think about that Hollywood/CIA sounding name for a sec).

"They are not primarily Syrian; the group was initiated by British military contractor James LeMesurier and has been heavily funded by the USA, UK and other governments.

They are not volunteers; they are paid. This is confirmed in the Al Jazeera video which shows some White Helmet “volunteers’ talking about going on strike if they don’t get paid soon. Most of the heavy funding goes to the marketing which is run by “The Syria Campaign” based in New York.

The manager is an Irish America woman Anna Nolan who has never been to Syria. As an example of its deception, “The Syria Campaign” website features video showing children dancing and playing soccer implying they are part of the opposition demand for a “free and peaceful” Syria . But the video images are taken from a 2010 BBC documentary about education in Syria under the Baath government.

When eastern Aleppo was finally freed from the armed militants, it was discovered that the White Helmets headquarters were alongside the headquarters of the Al Qaeda Syrian militant group. Civilians from east Aleppo reported that the White Helmets primarily responded when the militants were attacked. Soon after departing Aleppo in government supplied buses (!) the White Helmets showed up in the mountains above Damascus where they allied with terrorist groups in poisoning then shutting off the water source for five million people in Damascus.

The White Helmets’ claim to be neutral and independent is another lie. They only work in areas controlled by the rebel groups, primarily Nusra/ Al Qaeda. Their leaders actively call for US and NATO intervention in Syria. Video shows White Helmet workers picking up the corpse of a civilian after execution and celebrating Nusra / Al Qaeda terrorist battle wins.

The movie is as fraudulent as the group it tries to heroize."

Lots of information and some videos at the above link. If you want to know.

And these:

Then there's Democracy Now!

The White Helmets: As Syria Death Toll Mounts, Meet the Rescue Workers Saving Thousands of Lives

"AMY GOODMAN: The trailer for the new Netflix documentary The White Helmets. We go now to London, where we’re joined by Orlando von Einsiedel, the director of The White Helmets. His previous films include the Oscar-nominated documentary Virunga.

We welcome you to Democracy Now! Why don’t you start off by laying out just who the White Helmets are and why you did this documentary about them, Orlando?

ORLANDO VON EINSIEDEL: Sure. The White Helmets are a group of nearly 3,000 volunteers, made up of ordinary Syrian civilians. They are teachers. They are builders. They are carpenters. They are students. They’re just normal people, just like me or you, who decided not to pick up a gun, decided not to flee Syria, and instead decided to every day wake up and risk their lives to save complete strangers."

Democracy Now basically allowed this guy on to spread war propaganda without any debate. In fact, they even set him up to paint the Assad regime as the problem.

"ORLANDO VON EINSIEDEL: I mean, that’s absolutely true. I think you need to ask the Assad regime why they don’t—they won’t let the White Helmets operate there. The White Helmets would certainly like to operate throughout the entire country, but they’re not allowed to operate in regime-controlled areas. And the regime actively targets them. I mean, you know, just two weeks ago, four of their centers in Aleppo were destroyed. And, you know, that was direct, deliberate targeting."

Pitiful. I noticed DN also continued to cite the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) as a legitimate reporting source when in fact that is also a NATO/western intelligence sponsored propaganda outlet.

"Meanwhile, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reports at least four children were killed and 10 wounded earlier today when shells landed near a school in western Aleppo, the area controlled by the government."

Here's some truth about the SOHR which you evidently won't hear from Democracy Now.

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Granma's picture

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Deja's picture

I wonder what Greenwald has to say about this being on DN. He's on there often.

I first heard about the white helmets on 60 Minutes (Yes, I know - another propaganda spewer), but then read an essay by Alex Ocana here on c99 where he explained how to determine if photos were legitimate, and he too mentioned them not being what we were all led to believe they were.

I guess nothing is really what it seems to be. Nothing.

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snoopydawg's picture

Trump and his administration has done according to the people who writes on the site.
The white helmets story was about how the person who has been filming them for the last 5 years can't get to the awards ceremony because his passport is flagged for some reason no one can figure out.
Here's one of the comments from the article and the rest were in the same vein.

This is McCarthyism all over again. Shame on the Trump Administration, all ugly gargoyles in the White House who are trying to make Americans look backward and repressive. The White Helmets are one of my heros and Khaled Khatib is worth more than the whole Republican party and it's puppet administration. On behalf of humanitarian America I apologize to Mr. Khatib. We are working to stop this evil.

I read both conservative and so called progressive websites and it's amazing how so many people are ignorant of the true facts about so many topics.
The conservatives are the ones who believe that our military is fighting to defend our freedoms and country and all the troops are heroes. As are all the police.
The progressives are just as naive but they believe that the democrats are not in the pockets of their donors and that if the republicans hadn't blocked Obamas's legislation, he would have passed legislation that would have helped Main Street Americans.
Oh and they still believe that he ended two wars and hasn't started any new ones.
That little military exercise in Libya and Syria didn't count.

BTW Big Al I read your GBCW diary and the one that helped you make the decision to write it. It was fun to read and see so many people who have dropped off DK and haven't been seen on other sites. But a lot of the people who were in your corner are here now.
I miss deadhead and many others and hopefully one day they will find this joint.

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The donor class doesn’t want it, and Americans elect the bribed. So suck it up.

The Ostrich should be the national bird not the Eagle

CB's picture

what is going on.

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CB's picture

proved to be a reliable source of news.

Journalist Max Blumenthal shares his latest investigation into the public relations firm Syria Campaign and the USAID-backed White Helmets, both of which are calling for a no-fly zone in Syria

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mimi's picture

activities and the petition drive to not give the filmmaker group an Oscar tonight. I tried to read several of the links in there. I tend to believe most of the things they say about staged video snippets.

But how do you think anyone can just throw Democracy Now under the bus? I am not willing to follow you there. If it turns out that the whole documentary is what is said about it, a piece of lying visual shit, so to speak, and Amy Goodman might not have caught that 'on time', then that is also excusable. It's no reason to call her whole show a "propaganda outlet". You will end up calling all reporting news outlets "propaganda outlets". What does that help?

It's just too easy to produce any sort of video clip and any sort of guy to put themselves in front of a camera and play "a role" as an "investigative reporter". I don't reject them, but I don't just follow them like a lost sheep not knowing what news outline to follow, osciallating like a jo-jo from believing one report now and the other report the next day.

Technology has made propaganda and lying and spreading them with visuals too easy.

What I find 'strange' is that first the news media made a big deal of the cineatographer being barred from entering the US. The White Helmets cinematographer barred from entering U.S. for Oscars, AP reports
and lately this little tid-bit, saying that that the White Helmet film-maker group will not appear at the Oscars.
Syria's White Helmets group to shun Oscars over growing regime bombing.

Rescue workers from Syria's White Helmets group -- the subject of an Oscar-nominated documentary -- will not attend this weekend's Academy Awards ceremony because of intensified regime bombing, their leader said Saturday.

"I am not going because of our workload due to intensified regime strikes on the provinces of Damascus, Daraa and Homs," Raed Saleh told AFP.

"There are many things that have to be done on the ground, such as managing operations and providing emergency vehicles," he said.

Saleh and fellow White Helmet member Khaled Khatib had been set to attend Sunday's ceremony in Hollywood, where "The White Helmets" is shortlisted for best short documentary.

Istanbul-based Khatib, who shot much of the footage, also confirmed that he would not attend the ceremony, despite obtaining an American visa.

Aha, he might be afraid of some inconventient questions and may be he is too busy to rescue civilians in Syria, I guess.

In any case, who wants to read or watch "the news" with that kind of overflow of "wobbly psaudo news talk"? And why should I believe in one of those reports more than the other? Attacking one news outlets reputation like that one of Democracy Now is based on 'making your own alternative news blog' more credible and getting your minutes of news lime light?

Ah, Defense One, is also spreading the movie's worthiness, I assume. Who are they?

Oh, and even Trump now is getting cold feet and refuses to appear at the White House Correspondent Dinner and HA. Finally some camera men can have a day off. Good for them little working people.

Blame less, research more, question everything, I think will be my motto.

And btw just asking questions to the google is not cutting it either. I think I need to study what is put automatically in my junk folder. Who decides that? Some frigging algorithm I am supposed to understand and believe in?

No offense meant to your essay. It's always worthwhile reading the links. To know what's serious "truth talk" isn't easy for anyone. In that sense I always value your efforts to "make us see" more than the propaganda wars.

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TheOtherMaven's picture

The Academy does not decide ad-hoc on the night of the broadcast who does or doesn't "deserve" to win. It's all decided weeks ahead of time by Hollywood insiders, whose votes are then collected, tabulated, and kept secret until the Big Night. Anybody who thinks a last-minute petition could possibly make any difference is smoking something pretty strong.

I flat-out refused to watch the circus, even though I had an open invitation from my mother, who has (expen$$$ive) cable TV. They're not getting any advertising buck$ off me.

If you want to make your voices heard, don't pay to go and see a flick you don't approve of, and try to talk your friends and neighbors into not going either. Kick 'em in the wallet, it's the only thing they understand and the only place they can be hurt.

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There is no justice. There can be no peace.

Alex Ocana's picture

Everyday I follow tweets and news from all sides of the invasion of Syria. Just recently, for example, there have been reports of chemical attacks (chlorine) on civilians by the Assad "regime" which resulted in a failed UN Security Council to place even more sanctions on Syria. I might also mention some other smear attacks against both the Kurds and the Syrian government which, drilling down, come from the White Helmets and other suchlike regime change shills.

Watching the tweets on the chemical attacks they all, like just about every other "atrocity" picked up by the neocons and neoliberal press, are sourced from the White Helmets. No verification needed because they are lionized by people like Amy Goodman and George Clooney. The chemical attacks are staged by Al Qaedah (they keep changing names, its blah blah al Sham presently) filmed and reported by White Helmets then spread by lazy news outlets. No verification whatsoever.

Their White Helmet films are as phony as Britney Spears' boobs. I have watched them all. I have also watched films of professional civil defense units in Chile, Haiti etc. and in person at the scene, and have certified EMS training. The films are not only staged, but the acting and knowledge of rescue is atrocious and would be deadly to the children they pretend to rescue. Makes me sick to watch them.

There are by now hundreds of photos which show the "White Helmet" personnel celebrating and bearing arms elbow to elbow with the head-chopping Al Qaedah mercenary gangs they support.

The White Helmets sole purpose is as a propaganda arm of Al Qaedah and the kind of Syrian exiles who have fortunes to gain if the Syrian people lose the battle against jihadi "moderate rebels".

The Academy Awards should be renamed the Goebbels Awards and the Oscars should be called "Josephs".

I turned off Ami Goodman after watching her unverified, and completely false reporting on Aleppo.

Note: If the looney President of the USA has any brains and wants to get rid of ISIS he will: 1. Continue supporting the SDF and Kurdish forces, 2. Continue working with the Russians as they support the Syrian government and 3. End any and all sanctions against Syria and the Northern Syrian Confederation; 4. Make certain the Turks leave Syria ASAP and; 5. Have an exit strategy also ASAP.

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From the Light House.

Alex Ocana's picture

Its called a facebook friend list full of jihadis.

white helmet leader.jpg

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From the Light House.