Tasnim News Agency
White Helmets’ Whole Existence Fraudulent; Oscar-Winning Film Fraud
An American political analyst described the White Helmets in Syria as a “fraudulent construct”, stressing that it is not a real search and rescue organization.
“…they are not a real ‘search and rescue’ organization. Their whole existence is a fraudulent construct,” Patrick Henningsen told the Tasnim News Agency.
Henningsen is an author and founder of the 21st Century Wire news website and regular geopolitical analyst for Russia Today.
He added, “Hollywood ever let facts and data get in the way of a good war propaganda story? Also, this Netflix-sponsored documentary is a fraud in itself, because all of the alleged ‘rescue’ footage was supplied to the western film production company by the White Helmets themselves – so the Netflix producers have no way of independently verifying what they’ve been given. Clearly, they do not care whether its real or staged, because reality is not the objective of this bogus documentary, rather, the film’s purpose – despite the claims by its front persons Joanna Natasegara and Orlando Von Einsiedel – was to reinforce the US-led Coalition fake narrative on Syria which has never resembled the facts on the ground.”
Following is the full text of the interview:
Tasnim: A film on the White Helmets in Syria won the 2017 Academy Award for best documentary. What is your take on the move? What are your thoughts about the documentary on the White Helmets?
Henningsen: This has to be historic low for Hollywood and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. To be honest, when I first heard about this film being promoted by Netflix, I wasn’t surprised at all because ever since the Syria Conflict began in 2011, the US media industry has been going out of its way to falsely promote it as a “Civil War”, and have used this so-called ‘NGO’ which calls itself the ‘Syria Civil Defense’ aka “The White Helmets” as its primary media protagonist in furthering that narrative. The fact that the producers received an Oscar Award this particular film only goes to prove what a glorious bubble the entertainment industry lives in, and how easy it has become for the establishment to present an outright deceptive film designed to reinforce a US-UK foreign policy project – and pass that film off as an authentic documentary, and then be showered with rewards afterwards. This is a level of corruption that would make even Joseph Goebbels’ head spin.
One of the saddest parts of this whole story is also that because of these propaganda films produced by the White Helmets, along with this multi-million dollar Hollywood Netflix production – members of the public, have been duped into donating their hard-earned money for this phony NGO that essentially functions as a support group alongside violent terrorists groups like Al-Nusra and al-Din al-Zenki and others – known terrorist groups operating inside of Syria, armed and supported by the US, UK, France, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and given safe haven by Turkey and others. That is a fact that has been proven by a number of eyewitness testimonies already. Lastly, the staged White Helmets video and photo propaganda has also aided in the recruitment of news terrorists – new fighters from the West, Middle East and Asia – who see the contrived news reports in their countries of origin and believe the false narrative being portrayed by mainstream media news agencies. In this way, you could say that because the media are not vetting any of this material and are complying with Western foreign policy bias by spinning all of their stories into emotive productions that reinforce a NATO and (P)GCC-led ‘regime change’ and completely fake “moderate rebel” narrative – the media are complicit in the recruitment of terrorists internationally. By anyone’s definition, they are providing material support and comfort to known violent, religious extremists terrorists. When you break it right down, that’s exactly what is happening here. Undoubtedly, Hollywood is guilty of this.
Tasnim: Some experts say that the White Helmets are an invention of state intelligence agencies and NGOs who seek the overthrow the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Others argue that they are nothing more than terrorists masquerading as humanitarians. Who are the White Helmets? Who exactly are its members and its leaders? Who or what group is funding them?
Henningsen: For the last 3 years, the group has existed for the singular purpose of producing propaganda that dovetails with US-led foreign policy for Syria. Therefore, the White Helmets’ primary financiers – the US State Dept (via USAID), the British Foreign Office, The Netherlands, along with other EU member states and Qatar. Since at least 2011, each of these nation stakeholders has had a vested interest in overthrowing the Syrian government and destabilizing Syria. Direct funding to the White Helmets from these countries already exceeds $150 million – and they want a return on that investment which comes in the form of dramatic ‘search and rescue’ videos, some of which may have even been produced in Turkey, and which are then sent to in a highly coordinated fashion the editorial desks of CNN, NBC, BBC, Al Jazeera, Al Arabiya, New York Times, Washington Post, The Guardian and others. At no time have any of these western or (P)GCC-based ‘journalists’ ever queries the authenticity of the staged video and photographic productions supplied by the White Helmets. Mainly, their videos have been designed to create a public push for a No Fly Zone, or ‘Safe Zones’ in Syria by creating the false impression that somehow Syrian and Russian air forces are targeting civilians in a Blitzkrieg fashion, using crude “barrel bombs”. Outside of the White Helmets propaganda, there is scant evidence of these ‘barrel bombs’ supposedly dropped by the ‘Assad Regime’ every day according to the White Helmets. In their PR literature, the group claim to have “saved over 82,000 lives” since they were formed in 2013. At no point have they ever been able to produce any data to back up this outlandish claim – so we can only conclude that this claim, like so many other claims by the group, is fraudulent. But when has Hollywood ever let facts and data get in the way of a good war propaganda story? Also, this Netflix-sponsored documentary is a fraud in itself, because all of the alleged ‘rescue’ footage was supplied to the western film production company by the White Helmets themselves – so the Netflix producers have no way of independently verifying what they’ve been given. Clearly, they do not care whether its real or staged, because reality is not the objective of this bogus documentary, rather, the film’s purpose – despite the claims by its front persons Joanna Natasegara and Orlando Von Einsiedel – was to reinforce the US-led Coalition fake narrative on Syria which has never resembled the facts on the ground. The US-UK establishment could not have handpicked better tools for this job than Natasegara and Von Einsiedel. If they were real filmmakers interested in the truth, they would have paused to question why this group was founded by a senior British Military intelligence officer, James Le Mesurier; why it is based in Turkey and not Syria; and why the group only operated exclusively in Al Nusra (al Qaeda in Syria), Arar al Sham (al Qaeda affiliate) and ISIS-held areas in Syria, why are White Helmets members routinely pictured with arms, and with terrorists. The answer is simple to anyone with half a brain and who is being honest: the White Helmets are comprised of mainly partisan extremists. That’s a fact. Unlike Natasegara and Von Einsiedel’s child-like storybook version of the White Helmet – there’s no shortage of readily available evidence to back-up the White Helmets’ ties to terrorists. My guess would be that the filmmakers knew about the extremist links and the US-NATO funding of the group but chose to ignore this in favor of producing their expensive piece of propaganda, and as we saw this week, both were all too happy to lap up the awards – even though the fiction they created has aided in giving political cover to illegal weapons transfers by the west and (P)GCC states and has also been instrumental in wrongly demonizing the Syrian government and legitimizing Coalition-backed terrorism in Syria.
Tasnim: The White Helmets are also referred to as the “Syria Civil Defense.” Is it the same thing?
Henningsen: The US and UK creation of the “White Helmets” required that they steal the name “Syria Civil Defense” from a real existing civil defense group based in Syria. Unlike the fraudulent western construct, the REAL Syria Civil Defense was founded 63 years ago and is a registered member of the International Civil Defense Organization based in Geneva. For the REAL Syria Civil Defense you call 113 inside Syria. The White Helmets have no such number because they are not a real ‘search and rescue’ organization. Their whole existence is a fraudulent construct. Our journalist Vanessa Beeley, has travelled to Syria and spoken at length to the REAL Syria Civil Defense and what the crew told us was shocking.
Members of the White Helmets accompanied by armed terrorists arrived at the real civil defense headquarters during the ‘rebel’ (terrorist) invasion in 2012 of East Aleppo. They stole equipment, killed and kidnapped actual members as part of their operation to destroy the existing institution there. They also detailed how terrorist Hell Cannon attack besieged the Old City of Aleppo, which lies right on the border with the Al Nusra front lines and is a regular target for their indiscriminate attacks. Terrorist Hell Cannons use an assortment of containers – gas canisters, water heater tanks packed full of explosives, glass, metal and any other limb-shredding materials – these were fired indiscriminately into civilian neighborhoods in Aleppo and they just happen to have the exact effect as the alleged “barrel bombs” which the White Helmets constantly claim are being used the “The Regime” (Assad). While Hell Cannons terrorized the civilians of Aleppo, the White Helmets did nothing – because they are with the terrorists who were launching them. So it’s pretty obvious how this propaganda cycle has been functioning, although apparently, not obvious enough for Netflix’s highly paid propagandists Joanna Natasegara and Orlando Von Einsiedel.
Their beloved White Helmets stole their name from an existing, legitimate state first-responder agency – and that theft is all part of an over-arching western strategy which is related to the term ‘Smart Power’ where western governments create shadow state organizations to usurp real state agencies – in effect weakening the real civil body and replace it with a fake version of the original. In the calculus of war planners in the US and the UK, if they were successful in toppling the Assad government in Damascus, then these fake NGO who only ever operated in “rebel” areas would then be viewed as legitimate civil organizations and would then replace the real ones. Similar projects have undertaken to replace the police with the “Free Syrian Police”, as well as western and GCC-sponsored projects in terrorist-held Idlib to create uniformed civil cleaning staff, and so on. Why doesn’t Netflix make a documentary exposing that? If they did, that would be real filmmaking, but instead what we get is a public relations bumph for a failed Western foreign policy. If Natasegara and Von Einsiedel deserve any reward today it should really be the Leni Riefenstahl Award for Best Propaganda Film.