The saturation of propaganda from massive investments by Western interests in NGOs like the "White Helmets" has skewed the public's understanding of foreign crises, such as Iraq in 2003 and Syria today, writes Rick Sterling.
Across the mainstream Western media, the "White Helmets" are hailed as heroic first responders rescuing injured civilians in rebel-controlled parts of Syria. The U.K. Guardian and The Independent urged the Nobel Committee to award this year's Nobel Peace Prize to the "White Helmets." As it turned out, they didn't get that one, but they did receive the prestigious 2016 "Right Livelihood Award."
Comment: This is the same Guardian that recently quoted a terrorist in Aleppo to support the idea that there are no terrorists in Aleppo... See: Absurd! The Guardian cites terrorist leader to prove there are no terrorists in Aleppo
On the U.S. side of the Atlantic, the "White Helmets" are treated with similar uncritical acclaim. They were the subject of the Oct. 17 TIME magazine cover story. Netflix has released a special "documentary" about them. New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof has gushed over them for years, helping the group's one-sided depiction of events inside Syria shape the pro-rebel narrative that is pretty much all the American and European publics hear about Syria.
And, this love-fest is not just confined to establishment media. DemocracyNow! ran a puff piece interview with the White Helmet infomercial directors. The Intercept published an uncritical promotion of the "White Helmets" and the group's controversial leader. Codepink recommended the Netflix movie (though after receiving criticism about the endorsement, the anti-war group removed it).
Yet, despite the favorable "group think" regarding the "White Helmets" - and more broadly about the rebel cause in Syria - there is another side to the story, including the fact that the "White Helmets" are not just some well-meaning Syrians who emerged to help all civilians suffering from the five years of war.
Not only do they only operate in rebel-controlled areas but they are a source of propaganda about the war, indeed their very existence is an element in the larger propaganda campaign to rally international support for a "regime change" war in Syria. The "White Helmets" brand was conceived and directed by a New York-based marketing company named "The Syria Campaign," which itself was "incubated" by a larger politically oriented marketing company called Purpose. ...
See the full article at SOTT