US created propaganda group White Helmets to sell US taxpayers on bombing and regime change in Syria: 3/3/2017, “An Oscar for a Propaganda Flick,“ Consortium News, Patrick Henningsen: “Hollywood activists prefer their human rights causes blessed by the U.S. government, which contributed to the dubious Oscar for “The White Helmets” propaganda flick, writes Patrick Hennigsen at 21st Century Wire.”
9/10/18, “The Netherlands is stopping support for Syrian opposition [White Helmets] due to inadequate supervision of aid projects; British organization denies criticism,“ de Volkskrant, Ana van Es (google English translation from Dutch)
“While the Idlib offensive is about to begin in Syria, the Netherlands is stopping support for rescue workers from the White Helmets. Almost all other support to opposition groups in Syria appears to have ended unexpectedly.”
“Minister Stef Blok (Foreign Affairs, VVD) and Sigrid Kaag (Development Cooperation, D66)
shut down the money supply after a critical report from their own officials at Foreign Affairs. According to the report, the Netherlands has not always exercised sufficient supervision of aid projects in the opposition area in Syria. There is a danger that rescue workers and police officers paid by the Netherlands will have ties with terror organizations such as the Syrian Al Qaeda subsidiary Hayat Tahrir al Sham.
The heaviest criticism is focused on the White Helmets, the internationally celebrated rescue workers who pluck after bombing and shelling in the rebel area. According to their own task, more than 250 emergency workers have since been killed in this work. The Witte Helmen were nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2016. Previously they gained world fame after a Netflix documentary. The then minister Bert Koenders praised the rescue workers as ‘incredibly courageous people’. In recent days, the White Helmets were, according to their Twitter account, at risk for their own lives, storing civilian victims in the rubble of Idlib.
But according to the report of Foreign Affairs, which was sent to the Lower House on Friday, the supervision of the work of the White Helmets is ‘below level’. There is a danger that Dutch money intended for the rescue workers may fall into the hands of extremist groups or be used for illegal trade. It is the first time that a Western government states that there are problems with the project. The Syrian regime and Russia have accused the rescue workers for years of cooperation with terrorists and the staging of attacks with chemical weapons, but this is seen by western governments and independent investigators as a disinformation campaign by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his Russian ally Putin.
Now that the political opposition in Syria with the approaching Idlib offensive is in danger of being wiped off the map, according to Minister Blok there is no choice but to stop the aid to the White Helmets as quickly as possible. The rescue workers are still eligible for about 188 thousand euros in already committed subsidy.
Support for another Dutch showpiece, the Free Syrian Police, has also been discontinued. These are unarmed community police officers who supervise opposition areas of Syria. According to the Foreign Affairs report, it is ‘very likely’ that these agents consult with terrorist organizations.
In addition, there is a risk that they maintain further links with this. Adam Smith International, the British organization that supports the Free Syrian Police and has received more than 14 million from the Dutch government in recent years, says Tuesday that it does not recognize itself in the criticism from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The organization denies that the Free Syrian Police tells donors a ‘polished story’ at the expense of transparency.
“We deny this claim. Ajacs (the umbrella program of the Free Syrian Police) maintains strict supervision with built-in checks and balances and (…) an objective external supervisor. The six governments that subsidize us also maintain strict supervision of all parts of our program and implementation through frequent meetings and detailed reports. (…) Our monitoring and management process guarantees complete, unfiltered transparency and is therefore praised by the British Ministry of Foreign Affairs."
Adam Smith International does acknowledge that police officers continued to collect salary via two ‘ghost agencies’ that were actually abandoned. In addition, it happened that officers had to flee their post because of the war, while they were paid their salaries from the Netherlands. “During bombing and conquests by Assad regime troops, the entire population and also the Free Syrian Police are fleeing, leaving the police stations.” Possible infiltration of terrorist movements among the agents sees Adam Smith International – just like Foreign Affairs – as a ” key risk ‘.
‘As a result of the withdrawal of the subsidy for Ajacs, the program will close, although the agents of the Free Syrian Police remain in the service of the population. But inevitably the lack of material support will become noticeable. This endangers the safety of ordinary Syrians and destroys what the participating authorities have built up over the past five years.‘
The current affairs program Nieuwsuur and newspaper Trouw state Monday after their own research that the Netherlands has supported an extremist movement in Syria, namely the Levant Front or Hayat al Shamiyah. Internationally this group does not count as a terrorist organization, but the Netherlands does try to prosecute a warrior of the group. In the context of the so-called NLA program (‘Non Lethal Assistance’), the Netherlands would have supplied pick-up trucks that were equipped with weapons by the extremist fighters. Foreign officials warn that the ‘classification’ of the NLA program, which is regarded as state secret, makes supervision difficult. The program, which is worth 25 million euros, has now been discontinued.”…
“Projects in discredit"
"Free Syrian Police
Who: Free Syrian Police
What: about four thousand unarmed community police officers in opposition areas in Syria. Investigate minor offenses, keep traffic controls. Must prevent extremist groups from attracting all power.
Dutch support: 14.8 million euros between 2015-2018.
– Most agents have never had a background check. Some may be under the influence of terrorist organizations such as Hayat Tahrir al Sham (Al Qaeda in Syria) or IS.
– ‘Very likely’ regular consultation and coordination takes place between the Free Syrian Police and extremist organizations, ‘such as Nour al-Din al Zenki or Hayat Tahrir al Sham.’
– Fraud is not always reported on time. Via ‘haunted offices’ where the Free Syrian Police were officially no longer active, agents continued to receive their wages from the Netherlands.
– The British project that includes the Free Syrian Police, Ajacs, spends a lot of time on ‘donor management’, where it is especially important to tell a ‘polished story’. This is at the expense of transparency to donors.
– Ajacs places an unreasonable confidence in the opinion of local inspectors, while they themselves have an interest in concealing sensitive information.
– The money for the Free Syrian Police is brought to Syria via the hawala system, a system for informal banking. This entails risks: there are no statements and no check as to whether the money ends up with the right people.
The White Helmets
Who: the White Helmets
What: Nearly four thousand rescue workers in rebel territory in Syria, providing first aid after bombing. Wear cameras on their helmets and provide proof of possible war crimes by Syrian government forces.
Dutch support: 12.5 million euros.
– According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the supervision of the behavior of the rescue workers is ‘inadequate’. The organization that supervises, Mayday, based in the Netherlands, is closely intertwined with the Witte Helmen itself. In practice, donors do not understand the difference between the two organizations.
– Mayday wants to spend a maximum of 0.9% of its budget on supervision of the work of the White Helmets. ‘That is why there is a lack of independent supervision of the activities and results of the project.’
– The money for the White Helmets is transferred to the Syrian border in cash or enters the country via the hawala system. It is ‘problematic’ that Mayday does not know how much money is paid via which route. That is why there is a danger that money has fallen into the hands of armed groups. The cash flow can also indirectly be used for illegal trade. Systematic control of the money flow is missing.
– The White Helmets are active in areas where armed groups are in power that are considered ‘unacceptable’ for the Netherlands. Contact between the White Helmets and local administrators who work together with extremist organizations is inevitable.
Source: report of the Directorate for International Research and Policy Evaluation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs”
Added: More on Netherlands reveals White Helmets scam, from Moon of Alabama
9/15/18, “The Dike Breaks – Netherland Ends Support For “White Helmets” Terrorist Propaganda,” Moon of Alabama
“The seemingly intentional lack of transparency practically guarantees that much of the more than $150 million the White Helmets received from various governments will have flown into the private pockets of the people who organize the scam.
This blog [Moon of Alabama] published several pieces about the White Helmets, mostly pointing out their obviously faked media productions:
- The U.S./UK Financed “White Helmets” Shtick – Fake “Child Rescued” Videos – June 1 2016
- “Dramatic Rescue! Man With Kid Runs Towards Camera!” – 44 Staged Pictures – June 21 2016
- How White Helmets Videos Are Made – November 21 2016
Vanessa Beeley, Eva Barlett (vid) and others have tried for years to point out the nefarious scheme behind the propaganda scam “White Helmets”. Roger Waters rightly calls them (vid) a “fake propaganda construct for terrorists”. But ‘western’ media loved the dramatic fake photos and videos the White Helmets produced, partly because they could put them into print and on screen free of any charge. Whoever criticized them and questioned their narratives was publicly smeared and derided.
The Volkkrant notes:
“It is the first time that a Western government states that there are problems with the project.”
It will not be the last time. More people will take note, look into the issue and pressure their governments to end their support. As the Dutch know well, once the dikes break it is impossible to stop the flood. The relentless work of a few engaged writers put pressure onto the dike and finally broke it. The White Helmet scam will soon come under a flood of public scrutiny and will be swept away into some dark corner of history.
Just a month ago Germany’s Foreign Minister Maas, also known as a “well styled NATO call boy”, met the White Helmets front man Raed al-Saleh, who was denied entry into the U.S., and promised him more money. Maas also lauded the recent ‘evacuation of White Helmets’ from the Quneitra and Daraa area to Israel which was just another scam. Israel used the White Helmet cover to evacuated a number of terrorists commanders it had paid and equipped for years in its war on Syria.
Maas and his NATO colleagues in other countries will soon be asked about the Dutch example. Can they refute the analysis the Foreign Ministry of their NATO ally Netherland made? Can Maas explain what happened with the €17 million Germany gave to them? In who’s pocket did they end up?
Update (Sep 16, 5:30 utc):
The Netherlands also ends its participation in the U.S. bombing campaign against ISIS:
“Royal Netherlands Air Force F-16 fighter jets will be pulled out of the mission against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria at the end of the year, the Dutch government said Friday, September 14.
“Cabinet has decided not to prolong the use of F-16s in the fight against IS past December 31,” the Dutch cabinet said in a statement on Friday.”
Some 80 Dutch troops will continue to provide training for the Iraqi army.
Update (Sep 16, 9:10 utc):
The publishing note from the Foreign Ministry on the report discussed above is available in Dutch language. There is a cover letter (pdf) from the Directorate for International Research and Policy Evaluation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, also in Dutch. It describes the programs the Netherland contributed to (machine translation):
“Since the start of the conflict, the Netherlands has spent more than EUR 70 million in stabilization support in Syria, in consultation with many like-minded international partners and donors. The programs aimed to contribute to some degree of liveability in the opposition area and the prevention of further refugee flows, new power facets and the influence of extremists. This support took place within the complex and fluid context of the Syrian war, during which the situation on the ground has changed drastically in seven years. The Cabinet has informed the House about contributions to the projects. Including the significant contributions to the non-lethal assistance program (NLA), White Helmets, and Access to Justice and Community Security (AJACS) program from 2015.”
The evaluation report itself is in English: Review of the monitoring systems of three projects in Syria AJACS, White Helmets and NLA (pdf).
Added: Soros and US elites: “the art of selling hate for empire:”
4/22/2016, “George Soros: Anti-Syria Campaign Impresario,” 21st Century Wire, Vanessa Beeley
“Then, let us consider who holds the purse strings of the majority of the primary propaganda rings and regime change facilitating NGO elements in Syria.
The yellow brick road of Neocon ambitions and imperialist missions– impossible in Syria leads unerringly to the global chaos strategist, George Soros, pedalling furiously behind his NGO Humanitarian shield.
First a reminder from The Wrong Kind of Green’s NGO myth shattering article, Syria, Avaaz, Purpose, the art of selling hate for Empire.
““It should not be considered a coincidence that at the same time, a polished, sophisticated and highly financed “Save Syria” campaign is being created in the board rooms of the Empire’s favourite Harvard boys.
Where, under the organization Avaaz, the public hasn’t acquiesced to an air strike on Syria, the New York public relations firm Purpose Inc. has stepped in.””
[Purpose’s partnership with Soros, Open Society Foundation is highlighted in same article]…
Avaaz who, hand in hand with the Rockefellers, George Soros, Bill Gates and other powerful elites, are meticulously shaping global society by utilizing and building upon strategic psychological marketing, soft power, technology and social media–shaping public consensus…” ~ Cory Morningstar.”…
Added: US media views White Helmets as go-to source for Syria news. White Helmets was created by the US to sell propaganda to US taxpayers who are forced to fund the Endless Unwinnable War and Regime Change Industry:
11/6/2017, “Learning to Love McCarthyism,” Robert Parry, Consortium News
“Special Report: Many American liberals who once denounced McCarthyism as evil are now learning to love the ugly tactic when it can be used to advance the Russia-gate “scandal” and silence dissent, reports Robert Parry.”…
“In particular, [US taxpayer funded] NED and USAID provided money, equipment and training for anti-government operatives challenging regimes in U.S. disfavor.
One of the most successful of these propaganda operations occurred in Syria where anti-government rebels operating in areas controlled by Al Qaeda and its fellow Islamic militants used social media to get their messaging to Western mainstream journalists who couldn’t enter those sectors without fear of beheading.
Since the [Islamist] rebels’ goal of overthrowing President Bashar al-Assad meshed with the objectives of the U.S. government and its allies in Israel, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states, Western journalists uncritically accepted the words and images provided by Al Qaeda’s collaborators.
The success of this propaganda was so extraordinary that the White Helmets, a “civil defense” group that worked in Al Qaeda territory, became the go-to source for dramatic video and even was awarded the short-documentary Oscar for an info-mercial produced for Netflix – despite evidence that the White Helmets were staging some of the scenes for propaganda purposes….
Russia-gate investigations have always sought to exaggerate the impact of that alleged “meddling” and molded the narrative to whatever weak evidence was available.
The original storyline was that Putin authorized the “hacking” of Democratic emails as part of a “disinformation” operation to undermine Hillary Clinton’s candidacy and to help elect Donald Trump – although no hard evidence has been presented to establish that Putin gave such an order or that Russia “hacked” the emails. WikiLeaks has repeatedly denied getting the emails from Russia, which also denies any meddling.
Further, the emails were not “disinformation”; they were both real and, in many cases, newsworthy. The DNC emails provided evidence that the DNC unethically tilted the playing field in favor of Clinton and against Sen. Bernie Sanders, a point that Brazile also discovered in reviewing staffing and financing relationships that Clinton had with the DNC under the prior chairwoman, Debbie Wasserman Schultz….
After all, the United States intervened in the 1996 Russian election to ensure the continued rule of the corrupt and pliable Boris Yeltsin. And there were the U.S.-backed street protests in Moscow against the 2011 and 2012 elections in which Putin strengthened his political mandate.
Those protests earned the “color” designation the “snow revolution.””
Below: 7/15/1996 Time magazine cover, US ran Yeltsin’s winning 1996 Russian presidential campaign
Comment: US taxpayers are forced to pay for both “sides” in Syria war and millions more for Al Qaeda PR group White Helmets via multiple US agencies including USAID. Even Trump released millions more US tax dollars for White Helmets whose own PR is provided by George Soros among others. In the 1990s Soros was among US gov. insiders who profited in massive plunder of Russia.…On Feb. 18, 2016, Boston Globe’s Stephen Kinzer wrote, “The media are misleading the public on Syria,” “Much of the American press is reporting the opposite of what is actually happening.”...The US is able to decree death of nations when US taxpayers are misinformed: “Our ignorance is more dangerous, because we act on it. The United States has the power to decree the death of nations. It can do so with popular support because many Americans-and many journalists-are content with the official story. In Syria, it is: “Fight Assad, Russia, and Iran! Join with our Turkish, Saudi, and Kurdish friends to support peace!” This is appallingly distant from reality. It is also likely to prolong the war and condemn more Syrians to suffering and death.“ After White Helmets’ Oscar, “Boston Globe columnist Stephen Kinzer was one of a number of serious journalists who expressed disappointment over the Academy’s selection, writing on Twitter: “Congratulations to al-Qaeda and Syrian jihadists for the #Oscar given to a film about their PR outfit, the White Helmets.””