And The Oscar Goes To — Al-Qaeda? Syrian War Propaganda Wins an Academy Award

white helmets

Los Angeles, CA – In what amounts to nothing less than a major win for the massive propaganda campaign aimed at regime change in Syria, the Netflix movie “The White Helmets” won an Oscar in the “short documentary” category at the Academy Awards last night.

One thing the public needs to understand is that the “White Helmets” are part of a large-scale propaganda campaign meant to coalesce support for a Western-led regime change operation in Syria – and the documentary is nothing less than a contrived infomercial meant to sway public opinion.

Similarly to how the CIA worked with Hollywood to propel the film “Zero Dark Thirty” into the pop culture sphere, in an effort to propagandize the public into believing a phony narrative regarding the killing of Osama Bin Laden, the “The White Helmets” being awarded an Oscar, speaks to how easily Hollywood is utilized as a tool for war propaganda in an attempt to justify bloody “regime change” operations in the Middle East.

Commonly espoused propaganda holds that the White Helmets are a Syrian civil service group of volunteers. However, in reality, they were launched as “Syria Civil Defense” in Turkey in 2013 before being re-branded as the “White Helmets” in 2014, according to Consortium News. Additionally, journalist Vanessa Beeley exposed the fact that the White Helmets are phonies that claim to be the Syrian Civil Defense, when in reality there is already an actual Syrian Civil Defense, which began in the 1950s and is currently a member of the International Civil Defense Organizations.

In fact, the group is not even Syrian and was started by a British military contractor named James LeMesurier, who has deep ties to the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Funding for the group relies heavily (about $100 million) on money from the U.S., U.K. and other governments.

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According to a report by Consortium News:

Most of the group’s heavy funding goes to marketing, which is run by “The Syria Campaign” based in New York. The manager is an Irish-American, Anna Nolan, who has never been to Syria. As an example of its deception, “The Syria Campaign” website features video showing children dancing and playing soccer implying they are part of the opposition demand for a “free and peaceful” Syria. But the video images are taken from a 2010 BBC documentary about education in Syria under the Baath government.

There is no mistaking the archaic archetype of “good vs evil” propaganda at play with the Academy’s selection of the White Helmet infomercial as an Oscar winner. The narrative they are obviously selling to the public is that the virtuous White Helmets are fighting against the evil forces of the Assad regime.

According to a report from Alternet:

But like The Syria Campaign, the White Helmets are anything but impartial. Indeed, the group was founded in collaboration with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)’s Office of Transitional Initiatives, an explicitly political wing of the agency that has funded efforts at political subversion in Cuba and Venezuela. USAID is the White Helmets’ principal funder, committing at least $23 million to the group since 2013. This money was part of $339.6 million budgeted by USAID for “supporting activities that pursue a peaceful transition to a democratic and stable Syria” — or establishing a parallel governing structure that could fill the power vacuum once Bashar Al-Assad was removed.

The western media propaganda offensive surrounding the “moderate” rebels holding out in east Aleppo – with the help of the White Helmets – was largely a lie, as most of these rebels fought under the command structure of Al Qaeda’s Nusra Front and its fellow Islamist jihadists in Ahrar al-Sham.

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Consortium News went on to report:

Western “human rights” groups touted not only the White Helmets but the “moderate rebels” who we now know were largely a P.R. cover for the terrorists and jihadists, as well as an excuse for the U.S. and its allies to funnel in weapons that were then turned over to the extremists.

 

When eastern Aleppo was finally freed from the armed militants, it was discovered that the White Helmets headquarters were alongside the headquarters of Al Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate. Civilians from east Aleppo reported that the White Helmets primarily rallied their “humanitarian” operations when the militants were attacked.

Canadian journalist Eva Bartlett highlighted exactly how this propaganda campaign has operated in the video shown below:

The fact that the White Helmets won an Oscar reveals exactly how powerfully contrived, controlled and scripted information disseminated to an unsuspecting public can be. Most Americans that watch this movie will come away from the experience thinking the White Helmets are selfless and noble, never realizing the fact that their perceptions are being manipulated by NGOs and governments in an effort to coalesce support for regime change operations.

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Jay Syrmopoulos is an geopolitical analyst, freethinker, and ardent opponent of authoritarianism. He is currently a graduate student at the University of Denver pursuing a masters in Global Affairs and holds a BA in International Relations. Jay's writing has been featured on both mainstream and independent media - and has been viewed tens of millions of times. You can follow him on Twitter @SirMetropolis and on Facebook at SirMetropolis.