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Friday, October 2, 2015

Does White Helmet fumble prove Russian bombs don't kill civilians?

When you are mounting a propaganda campaign to cover up imperialist mass murder from the sky, you need to do everything you can to discredit and malign the people you are killing. We have seen the imperialist media play this game many times. Now it is time for "anti-imperialist" media to play this dirty game.

The White Helmets is a civil defense rescue group in Syria that has earned a well deserved reputation for pulling people from the rubble of Assad's barrel bombs. After the first Russian air attack on Wednesday, they sent out this tweet:

33 civilians including 3 children and 1 volunteer had been killed, but there was a problem with this tweet. The photo clearly wasn't meant to represent the people killed since the two people in it are clearly alive. The problem was that the photo was not from the Russian attack but from another attack 5 days earlier. Here is the While Helmet rescue worker carrying the child in this SNHR tweet from last Friday:

Ten minutes after the White Helmets sent out the tweet about the Russian attack with the wrong photo in it, they caught their error and sent out another tweet with a replacement photo that did show the Russian attack, without however, formally retracting the first photo, as near as I can tell:

Maybe they thought nobody would catch their mistake. However, the damage was done and the "anti-imperialists" were already preparing to take this fumble and run with it. AntiWar.com rushed to press with this:
US-Funded NGO in Syria Uses Old Photo to Claim Civilian Death in Russian Airstrikes

Group Lashes Russian Official on Twitter for Noting Picture Wasn't Real
by Jason Ditz
30 September 2015
From the moment the first Russian warplanes started launching attacks inside Syria, a new campaign in the information war was also launched, with various groups trying to get their stamps on conflicting stories about what exactly Russia attacked, whether they hit ISIS, ISIS allies, pro-US rebels, or just random Syrian civilians.

At the center of one of the bigger controversies was the “White Helmets” organization. Formerly known as the Syria Civil Defense, the group is heavily funded by the US State Department, and while the group claims to be purely an aid group, and not to be taking any side in the war, their statements overwhelmingly tow the official US line, leading to allegations that the group is little more than a “propaganda outlet."

Early in the day, the group claimed Russia killed 33 civilians in its attacks, including three children, and attached a photo to the story which was quickly pointed out to be from an incident five days prior, which had nothing to do with Russia. More...
And RT was ready to be outraged:

Information warfare: Russia accused of killing civilians in Syria

The link Jason Ditz uses to show "the group is heavily funded by the US State Department" turns out to only come this close:
the U.S. has funded $13 million so far in humanitarian aid to civil defense teams like the SCD.
$13 million in humanitarian aid from the richest government on the planet is a joke. That's less than $4 for each Syrian killed and a lot less when divided among the injured and needing to be rescued. AntiWar.com calls that "heavily funded," but when you are rooting for the side doing the bombing, I guess any amount tagged for rescue seems like a huge amount. And the link that shows they tow the US line is to Mint Press which in turn links to a writer with the Syria Solidarity Movement which I have shown in other posts to be an Assadist organization.

Apparently these "anti-war" activists are hoping to use this White Helmet fumble to convince you that Russian bombs don't kill civilians.
Groups that are doing something about Assad's holocaust that could use your help:

The Syria Campaign
Syria Calling
Syrian American Council
White Helmets
Doctors Without Borders
Thanks to Brian O. for the heads-up on this.
Click here for a list of my other blogs on Syria

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