News that the “White Helmets” have been nominated for an Oscar for a second time seems to mark an end to any possibility of sensible discourse between the supporters of Syria and her enemies. Although the Academy Award would notionally be for another docu-fantasy about “Al Qaeda with a Facelift”, called “Last Men in Aleppo”, it evidently indicates that the Hollywood celebrity industry is now an integral part of the US state’s propaganda machine.
But the fact that another puff piece lionising these “Syrian first responders” could even be made indicates something far worse – that we have lost the battle in our efforts to break through the walls of the Western media echo chamber, and rescue its millions of victims.
This has happened despite the best efforts of hundreds of independent observers, analysts and journalists, and the testimony of thousands of witnesses. The sources of the West’s toxic and criminal propaganda have also remained impervious to credible and consistent reports from major media organisations such as RT, as well as damning condemnations from Russian and Syrian leaders and representatives.
This defensive wall has maintained and helped develop a completely delusionary narrative about all aspects of the War on Syria in the minds of the ordinary public, but also apparently amongst most mainstream media commentators and reporters – who have such control over that public. Only the leaders and Intelligence agents – for the most part – seem to know the truth, and so lie.
While there are many different aspects to what we might call the “Guardian version” of the false Syrian story, including the false sectarian narrative, the “moderate rebel” narrative and the “workers’ Revolution” narrative, these stories coalesce around the “Last Men in Aleppo” like flies round a rotting carcase.
What has been revealed by the “resurgence” of the White Helmets is written in their acronym – shared with WhiteHall and the White House. The centrality of this propaganda arm of the UK FCO and the Pentagon in their relentless drive to destroy Syria’s government is demonstrated in many ways, including the White Helmets’ role in staging the Khan Shaikoun “Sarin attack”, and in the constant stream of false stories about the siege of Eastern Ghouta.
It has only really become clear in recent weeks that Syria’s enemies are intent and unrelenting in their assault on the Syrian government, and are intensifying both their military and media support for terrorist groups resisting the Syrian Army campaign to clear them from Eastern Ghouta. Much like the Oscars replay of White Helmets adulation, “East Aleppo 2.0” is now hitting our TV screens, and emulating the criminal media campaign that gave us Bana Alabed and Omran Daqneesh during the fight to liberate East Aleppo a year ago. France’s President Macron even made this comparison, cleverly deflecting attention from his undoubted role in the East Aleppo 2.0 Project.
Also reflecting and supporting this assessment of the challenge we must counter is the recent campaign being run through “The Guardian” – now so appropriately titled – that aims to destroy the credibility of the White Helmets most intransigent media opponents. Special venom is reserved for our dear colleagues Eva Bartlett and Vanessa Beeley who have worked so hard and had such success in stripping off the paper masks of these terrorist enablers.
The hatchet piece on these whistleblowers and all their co-workers for Syria published in the Guardian in December was written by the uncredited and barely-known Olivia Solon, a resident of San Francisco who evidently knew little about Syria. This made her the perfect conduit for the Syria Campaign’s propaganda message, contained in a slick and social media-friendly 45 page document called “Killing the Truth”.
For a giddyingly unpleasant glimpse into the Orwellian world of Western Russophobia, and an understanding of the minds behind what would be better called “Resurrecting the Lie”, this paper is dangerous but essential reading.
Putting this into an immediate context, and providing a little protection from the tide of Eastern Ghouta propaganda is this story from Vanessa Beeley in Damascus. But it is no story – Vanessa had only just left Bab Touma when a rain of missiles struck the scene:
“We were leaving Bab Touma just as the schools finished for the afternoon, around 1.30pm. The streets were teeming with children of all ages, laughing and talking excitedly as they headed for the many school buses waiting for them. The car horns echoed around the streets from the impatient drivers packed into the narrow, cobbled streets.
It was wonderful to see all the colours of their coats and school bags. It was a warm day, the sun was bright and heightened the colour & clamour from these children. One little girl walked past the car giggling with her friend, her smile broke her face in two, it was so broad and expressive.
As we turned left towards Bab Sharki gate to leave the Old City, the children were still pouring onto the streets, walking hand in hand in front of the car, taking their time, gossiping & laughing in the sunshine.
About 10 minutes after we left the Old City gates, death struck these children in Bab Touma and Qasaa. Terrorists from East Ghouta fired mortars into these areas murdering 9 innocent children & adults. One young girl who survived the blast has had her leg amputated below the knee. She was a “lucky one”.
Another young girl, Rita Eid was murdered…her father Nidal owns Ghassani supermarket where friends of mine buy their groceries.
Death stalks everyone in these streets every day. The smiles I saw just before the mortars rained down may have been crushed beneath the rubble. A child who left for school this morning, full of excitement, may never come back.
What did these children do? How can it ever be called a “revolution” when these monsters in East Ghouta deliberately fire mortars into an area brimming with school-children. It is a systematic massacre of Syrian civilians being carried out by the terrorists the US Coalition-of-terror finances, arms & paints as “freedom fighters”.
Where are these missiles coming from? How are these terrorists receiving supplies to manufacture bombs, yet claim they are starving?
As a dear friend said to me, “from the names of the dead and injured, over 80% are Christian, this is such a small community, everyone knows each other… ”
How much longer will we passively support what our governments are inflicting upon the Syrian people?
Rest In Peace all these souls…
Mike Raddie, another independent journalist who has spent time in Syria recently, expanded on this “story”, including pictures of some of the young girls before this barbaric and mindless crime changed or ended their lives for ever.
Western news agencies however, if they reported this war crime at all, either understated it or framed it as a “response” to a punishing siege by Syrian government forces, in line with the propaganda from the Islamic Militants and their Western supporters, including the UN.
So we need to be clear. Regardless of the circumstances, and regardless of the actor, firing missiles into a residential area of a city is a war crime, and when – as in this case – carried out by “non-state actors” can only be called an act of terrorism. And should those responsible for firing and collaborating in the attack be apprehended, then summary execution might be deemed appropriate.
But it is not sufficient to make this case in a way that might simply allow Syria’s enemies to admit equal guilt and “agree to” a ceasefire; the truth of the “Siege on East Ghouta” must be spelt out, and exposed the way that the truth of East Aleppo was exposed. As suggested by Emmanuel Macron – intentionally or not – the situation in these two sieges is very similar, both in the conditions on the ground and in the way they have been massively misrepresented by Western leaders and in the media.
Tragically, and thanks to the total failure of those Western media organisations to investigate what happened following the liberation of East Aleppo, leave alone to visit the city and examine the evidence, Western powers have been able to try the same dirty trick a year later in Eastern Ghouta without the fraud being exposed by their own media. Suppressing the truth being revealed by Russian, Syrian, Lebanese and independent media has necessitated the invention of “fake news”, a concept that itself is fake – something even Orwell could barely have imagined.
For fear of drawing out this examination of Imperial deviance, it is however necessary to spell out the “siege tactic” being used by Western powers in their ongoing attempts to destroy Syria and the “Resistance”, ultimately including Russia. Fortunately this is quite simple.
Both Ghouta and East Aleppo were invaded by violent armed groups in 2012, who found support from some of the residents. But their intentions were never to defend the local population against attacks from the Syrian Arab Army, or to assist them in surviving the blockade – imposed because of them, but turned onto the locals by their own commandeering and hoarding of aid.
These were forward bases for the armed insurgency, as well as conduits for foreign aid and munitions. They were also centres for the generation and propagation of propaganda through “activist” networks and channels like Al Jazeera based in neighbouring Turkey. The “Aleppo Media Centre”, based in Gaziantep, has now been replaced by the “Ghouta Media Centre” as well as the “Idlib Media Centre”, which clearly work through the same channels to bring false reports to the Western world.
Just as residents of West Aleppo were besieged for years by random shelling and sniping from the terrorist groups in the East of the city, and thousands of innocent men, women and children killed or horribly injured by attacks on their schools, homes, markets and hospitals, so the residents of Damascus have been under attack from East Ghouta and Douma. What must be emphasised – and is the complete opposite of the situation perceived by Western media audiences – is that the bombing and shelling of these insurgent-occupied suburbs by the Syrian Army is and always has been a targeted response.
Because the insurgents occupy buildings in residential areas, effectively holding the local population hostage as well as making them targets, both the Syrian Army and the majority of the besieged civilians want to see the “rebels” forced out, killed or arrested. They have long since given up any ideas of “revolution” and now fear government by sectarian Salafists under the control of Saudi Arabia, Israel and the US.
It’s about time “The Guardian” woke up to it, and set about undoing some of the damage it has done to its innocent victims.