On November 24 the Swedish Institute of International Affairs hosted an event with the White Helmets.
On November 25, they were awarded the Right Livelihood Foundation’s 2016 Award.
But below you’ll find out who the White Helmets really are.
Why does the Swedish Institute of International Affairs and the Right Livelihood foundation risk their reputation, goodwill and integrity by supporting such a dubious front organisation for less noble goals?
And will media swallow it all with no investigative efforts and make fools of themselves?
Fortunately some media are beginning to ask questions.
The Syrian Civil Defence — or White Helmets — are presented in the media as a genuine humanitarian organisation saving lives in Syria.
But Syria already has a Civil Defence. Since 1953.
The WHs were supported in no time by NATO governments such as the US, the UK, Denmark, the Netherlands and Germany with around US$ 100 million.
The WHs are said to be nearly 3000 “bakers, tailors, pharmacists, painters, carpenters, students and many more, the White Helmets are volunteers from all walks of life.”
This down-to-earth bunch however spends millions on super slick websites, on videos and photos that touch the heart, on media strategy and outreach — aimed to get themselves the Nobel Peace Prize!
But perhaps it’s a bit too smart?
What do you say to a Mannequin Challenge video exploiting a seemingly wounded war victim? See it! Morally outrageous or tasteless are not too strong words.
Could it be that the White Helmets is a dual-purpose organisation?
A humanitarian front but a murky back consisting of a network of intelligence, mercenary, oil interests, “people power” NGOs, and smart marketing?
It’s media campaigns are for a No-Fly Zone (we know what that means) and strongly anti-Assad (pro regime change), anti-Russia and anti-UN?
Not a word about terrorists, al-Qaeda, al-Nushra, ISIS etc or the interventionist policies, arms trade and bombings since 2011 by everybody else in Iraq and Syria!
We live in an age of deception and propaganda wars, closely connected to the wars on the ground.
PR merchants of death for millions of dollars — even nice looking NGOs = NEAR-Governmental Organisations.
To help you understand this better the war framing of Syria, TFF has been digging a bit and found interesting stuff, a cobweb of actors.
And the WH are not that white anymore…
Judge for yourself. Begin here and here!
Jan Oberg is a peace researcher, art photographer, and Director of Transnational Foundation for Peace and Future Research (TFF) where this article first appeared. Reach him at: [email protected]. Read other articles by Jan.