These days, in western media, it is all about the White Helmets. From the cover publications of the Times Magazine, to interviews done by the Atlantic, and praises by a documentary made by Netflix; if that is not enough, the Guardian and the Independent have pushed the Nobel Committee to give this year’s Nobel Peace Prize to the White Helmets.
Therefore, who are the White Helmets and why are they in the spotlight? To put it simply, the White Helmets are an NGO that help people in different parts of Syria, reported as the humanitarian hand at work in the war-torn nation – well, at least that’s how the western media presents them.
However, the other side to this saintly look, according to an article published by 21st Century Wire, is the White Helmets are not just good Syrians helping other Syrians – showing up and helping the families caught in the brunt of war – for more than five years, they’re rather, an NGO linked to a terrorist group. According to the article, the White Helmets only operate in areas that are controlled by the rebel groups, which leads us to believe more is at play.
Who Are They?
The White Helmets’ NGO was created in the United States of America. This organisation was given its name by The Syria Campaign, a marketing company based in New York. The Syria Campaign is brooded by another marketing company called Purpose, who has a lot of political influence.
However, according to Vanessa Beeley, who wrote the 21st Century Wire article, the Syria Campaign not only manages the NGO’s online social media accounts, but because of their monopoly of information in those restricted areas, they also support the regime alterations occurring in these regions.
The Role of the Media
Just like how the media once made Amanda Knox an overnight sensation, similarities can be seen in this case as well. For instance, many papers published that the White Helmets saved more than fifty thousand people; such claims are simply an over-exaggeration, as their work in areas controlling the Nusra Front (an Al Qaeda group) have very small populations living in them. This statement can be confirmed by a doctor who visited the area in question (east Aleppo), where the large number of people were supposedly saved, who says that the area is nothing but a ghost town.
In addition, the reason why the White Helmets have gained such notoriety in the western media is the fact that these areas are off limits to journalists from the western world. Thus, this gives the advantage and the monopoly power to the group as to what information should be placed out for public scrutiny. While publishing heartfelt stories on their social media accounts, in reality, they’re masking the violent and the hideous nature of Nusra Front operating in an area under constant bombardment, affecting the lives of innocent civilians.
As a result, many mainstream news outlets are using the White Helmets as an internal source to the war-torn occurrences on the forbidden ground, thus portraying them as heroic providers of the news.
The western media has also taken the NGO’s word for saying that Russian and Syrian aircraft attacked a SARC convoy; that it was preventable, as all of it took place in a high government area.
Yet it begs the question, that because the Syrian authorities are in collaboration with SARC, why would they take such action against them? The ones to profit from the strike were the rebels and their American backers who reported this inhumanity as another excuse for “regime change,” and to sentence the Russians for aiding the Syrian government. The assault also grabbed interest away from the bombardment that was instigated by the United States, which resulted in the deaths of more than fifty Syrian soldiers.
This is just one of many examples of the media perpetuating misleading information. You can read the full article by Vanessa Beeley by clicking here, to understand how the White Helmets are not helping, but rather, how they are causing hysteria amongst the local community.
Source: 21st Century Wire, The Atlantic, RT, Mail Online
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