First, and fascinatingly, is Eva Bartlett’s ‘Organ theft, staged attacks: UN panel details White Helmets’ criminal activities, media yawns’, RT Dec. 25, 2018
“Utter silence. That is the sound of Western corporate media days after a more than one-hour-long panel on the White Helmets at the United Nations on December 20.
Journalists were present, so the silence isn’t due to lack of access. And in any case it was live streamed on the UNTV channel, and remains available on Youtube for keen observers to watch.
More likely, the silence is due to the irrefutable documentation presented on the faux-rescue group’s involvement in criminal activities, which include organ theft, working with terrorists — including as snipers — staging fake rescues, thieving from civilians, and other non-rescuer behaviour.
On the panel was one of corporate media’s favourite targets to smear, British journalist Vanessa Beeley, who gave a fact-based lecture on her years of research into the founding, funding and nefarious activities of the White Helmets, research which includes numerous visits to White Helmets centers, countless testimonies from Syrian civilians, and even an interview with a White Helmets leader in Dara’a al-Balad, Syria.
Maxim Grigoriev, the director of the Foundation for the Study of Democracy (a member of the UN’s Global Counter-Terrorism Research Network) spoke at length, detailing some of the over 100 eyewitnesses his foundation has conducted interviews with.
These include over 40 White Helmets members, 15 former terrorists, 50 people from areas where terrorists and WH operated, with another over 500 interviewed by survey in Aleppo and Daraa.” [long snip regarding organ theft, fake chemical attacks, (bellingcat and WaPo naming exposing the WH: russian disinformation.]
“Canadian journalist Cory Morningstar in September 2014 exposed the role of the New York based PR firm, Purpose Inc, in marketing campaigns for the White Helmets.
And as I wrote, “In April 2015, American independent journalist revealed that the White Helmets had been founded by Western powers and managed by a British ex-soldier, and noted the “rescuers” role in calling for Western intervention—a No Fly Zone on Syria.”
The April 2015 link above goes to Rick Sterling, including this outtake:
“White Helmets is the newly minted name for “Syrian Civil Defence”. Despite the name, Syria Civil Defence was not created by Syrians nor does it serve Syria. Rather it was created by the UK and USA in 2013. Civilians from rebel controlled territory were paid to go to Turkey to receive some training in rescue operations. The program was managed by James Le Mesurier, a former British soldier and private contractor whose company is based in Dubai.
The White Helmets work primarily with the rebel group Jabat al Nusra (Al Queda in Syria). Video of the recent alleged chlorine gas attacks starts with the White Helmet logo and continues with the logo of Nusra. In reality, White Helmets is a small rescue team for Nusra/Al Queda.”
“These, and the subsequent numerous investigations by Vanessa Beeley, including on the ground in Syria, taking countless testimonies of Syrian civilians on the matter of the White Helmets, far precede any Russian media reporting on the group.
That Russian media and bodies have since done their own investigations does not equate to a “disinformation campaign”, but rather doing the job corporate media are clearly incapable of, and unwilling to do.”
Zo. Boss Tweet claims he’ll bring the troops home from Syria because ‘we’ve beaten ISIS’. But of course that was never the reason Amerika was IN Syria: it was to putsch Diktator Assad, as well as a proxy war against Russia an Iran, as well Syria being ground zero for the Ultimate Pipelinestan War. (Pepe Escobar).
But western ‘leftist’ columnists were full of outrage akin to Patrick Cockburn’s ‘Trump’s Abrupt Withdrawal From Syria Might Provide Exactly the Anarchic Conditions in Which ISIS has Always Flourished’, December 21, 2018, CP.
Herr Trump’s later Tweet saying he’d bring a few thousand troops home from Afghanistan apparently pissed off Mad Dog (the only adult left in the administration) Mattis to resign. That resignation caused the chattering classes to explode, most notably the Cruise Missile Left.
In Joseph Kishore’s Dec. 24, 2018 column at wsws.org, ‘Trump administration in question as political warfare in Washington intensifies’, he writes:
“The year 2018 is coming to a close amidst a historic political crisis in the United States. In the past week, Washington has been convulsed by conflicts over Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw US troops from Syria and reduce troop levels in Afghanistan, and the ensuing resignation of Defense Secretary James Mattis. This has coincided with a sharp drop on the stock market and a partial government shutdown that could extend well into next year.
It is not Trump’s fascistic attack on immigrants, his war on the working class or his belligerence toward China that has triggered paroxysms of rage within the state and from the Democratic Party. It is, rather, his seeming intention to wind down the wars in Syria and Afghanistan, both of which are undeclared and illegal.”
He offers that the future of the administration is being called into question, and offers examples I’ll shorthand.
Chuck Todd, the host of NBC’s “Meet the Press” program, said on Sunday that the resignation of Mattis in protest over the troop withdrawals could be the “beginning of the functional end of this presidency.”
Democratic Senator Chris Coons declared on CBS’s “Face the Nation” Sunday that “President Trump is handing a great big Christmas gift to Vladimir Putin in Russia and to the Ayatollah Khamenei of Iran.”
Of the Butcher of Fallujah, Democratic Senator Chris Coons declared on CBS’s “Face the Nation” Sunday that “President Trump is handing a great big Christmas gift to Vladimir Putin in Russia and to the Ayatollah Khamenei of Iran.”
“Amidst the raging political warfare in Washington, there are certain voices notable by their silence. Socialist Worker, the publication of the International Socialist Organization, has said nothing. Jacobin magazine, aligned with the Democratic Socialists of America, has said nothing. Socialist Alternative has said nothing. Nor have the Democratic Party politicians they have promoted—Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, incoming New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, etc.
They are silent because they support the line of the Democratic Party. They support war and they support American imperialism.
Their real political line is articulated by the Nation’s Joan Walsh, frequently cited by Socialist Worker and other pseudo-left publications. In “As Trump Rages, God Bless Us Every One,” Walsh bemoans Trump’s decision to neglect the counsel of “a lifelong military leader and public servant like Defense Secretary Jim Mattis.”
Bibi has announced that Israel plans to fill the void in Syria, Danny Zaken at al monitor posts why that is: Iran, of course. And there’s this enigmatic ad in recoil Magazinr, Tweeted by defense news on Twitter:
‘We are coming’: Chilling Blackwater ad triggers fears of Trump seeking to privatize Mideast wars’, 26 Dec. 2018, RT
I dunno that it’s chilling, I’d long suspected that Trump had actually taken Erik’s offer to privatize the war in Afghanistan (Acadamei: ‘Managed support services’), so I reckon time will tell how his (ahem) ‘former company’ Blackwater fits into the mix.
The Institute for the Study of War’s tab on Syria, including the most recent: ‘The Looming Vacuum in Syria’ By the ISW Research Team, Dec. 21
“Key Takeaway: Russia and Iran are poised to exploit the U.S. withdrawal from Syria announced by U.S. President Donald Trump on December 19. They and their proxies hold positions along the Syrian-Iraqi Border surrounding areas that the U.S. Anti-ISIS Coalition and allied Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) currently hold. Russia and Iran will undoubtedly attempt to fill the security vacuum left behind by the U.S. in Eastern Syria. The Russo-Iranian Coalition is nonetheless stretched thin and likely cannot secure this new terrain without opening exploitable vulnerabilities for ISIS and Al-Qaeda in Syria and Iraq. Turkey and other regional actors will also likely attempt to exploit this opening to compete for terrain and influence in Syria.”
You’ll also remember the agitprop from ‘the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights:
The Wiki: One Sunni Syrian in the UK, but hilarious counter-narratives as well as accolades; In 2013 the New York Times reported that that Rami Abdulrahman had received small subsidies from the European Union and one European country. Medialens said that journalist Ian Sinclair confirmed “in communication with the Foreign Office” that “the UK funded a project worth £194,769.60 to provide the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights with communications equipment and cameras.
Adding to the avalanche of disinformation on Syria is (tada!) The Integrity Initiative: Defending Against Disinformation. Well, okay, a search for Syria on their site kicks up Russia as well, and includes one mentioning ‘talking to Eliot Higgins.’ They’re not in chronological order, so I won’t choose one to feature. Ain’t you glad of that?
(cross-posted at caucus99percent.com)