latest, media watch

The recent Guardian whitewash of the White Helmet is more sinister than we realise

by Adam Garrie at Oriental Review

How the White Helmets plug in to the wider picture

The recent Guardian hit-piece against journalists Vanessa Beeley, Professor Tim Anderson and Eva Bartlett is something far more sinister than most people have yet to realise. The piece which can be read here is a very crude attempt to discredit the efforts of independent journalists who have exposed the links between a group called White Helmets and terrorists committing war crimes in Syria, in contravention of well known principles of international law.

The gist of the Guardian piece is that the findings of the aforementioned journalists are not credible because they are being “used by Russia” to justify Russia’s foreign policy in regards to Syria.

First of all, the Guardian’s premise is rather absurd to begin with, as according to international law, Russia’s presence in Syria is fully legal while that of the countries that back the White Helmets (the US, UK and France, among others) is illegal.

Consequently, the presence of a so-called NGO like White Helmets (in reality they are handsomely funded by western governments) is also illegal as they are operating in Syria without the consent of the Syrian government and without any mandate from the United Nations.

Therefore, the burden of proof in any criticisms of Anderson, Beeley and Bartlett, lies on those who are openly advocating for violations of international law.

But even more fundamentally, there is a fatal flaw in the Guardian’s hatchet job.

On the 2nd of November, an exhaustive report on the alleged chemical attack in Syria’s Khan Sheikhoun was released by the combined Foreign, Defence and Industry and Trade Ministries of the Russian Federation.

The findings of this forensic study affirm that the journalistic findings of Anderson, Bartlett and Beeley regarding both the White Helmets organisation as well as the bogus US narrative on the so-called chemical attack at Khan Sheikhoun.

The following are the crucial findings of the official Russian study:

  1. “Victims” of the alleged attack arrived at hospitals hours before the alleged attack was said to have occurred.
  2. The crater at Khan Sheikhoun was consistent with that created from a ground based crude incendiary device, not an explosive dropped from a Syrian fighter jet, as the US alleged.
  3. The video of White Helmets ‘medics’ responding to the ‘chemical attack’ is a forgery. Based on the protective wear and lack thereof, seen on the White Helmets ‘volunteers’, the men would have died instantly if dressed in such a way around a real Sarin gas attack.
  4. Forensic reports show that gas was poured into the crater in question, only after the staged ‘rescue operation’ had long concluded.
  5. The OPCW report’s findings on the issue were politicised due to the influence of the US government

Even prior to the report from the 2nd of November, the Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova stated that the White Helmets are known to travel in terrorist circles and have been guilty of terrorist atrocities themselves.

On the 27th of April, Zakharova stated,

The White Helmets not only feel at home on territories controlled by Jabhat al-Nusra and the Islamic State (Daesh) but also openly express positive attitude towards them, provide information and even financial assistance to them.

There is documentary evidence proving that White Helmets members participated in some operations carried out by Jabhat al-Nusra, as well as covered up the signs of civilian executions

Yet the Guardian’s piece about western journalists in Syria, whose independent findings were later confirmed by those of the Russian government, does not mention this fact.

In reality, the Guardian piece is more than a hit-job on Anderson, Bartlett and Beeley, it is an attack on the official statements and forensic reporting of all levels of the Russian government.

The independent findings of the western journalists and those of the Russian government have been backed up by copious amounts of evidence. By contrast, the Guardian hit-piece does not attempt to offer any exculpatory evidence in respect of the White Helmets. The report merely attempts to destroy the credibility of Anderson, Bartlett and Beeley on the basis that their work has become popular and that their findings have been discussed on the news outlet RT.

The Guardian piece neither proves nor disproves anything. It merely attempts to use crude talking points borrowed from the American “Russiagate” narrative in order to demonise anyone said to be associated with Russia, even though Anderson, Bartlett and Beeley are not associated with the Russian government.

However, unlike those alleging Russian interference in the 2016 US election, the Guardian did not have the courage to attack the credibility of the Russian study which vindicates the findings of Anderson, Bartlett and Beeley.

Perhaps this is because Russia is more than capable of responding to such a frivolous attack, not least through the social media page of the Russian Embassy in the UK. Maybe however, even Guardian readers are growing tired of the anti-Russia narrative, so instead the Guardian thought they might be able to publish something more ‘exciting’ by attacking independent journalists?

Whatever the thinking of the Guardian’s editors might be, the fact of the matter is that unless the Guardian presents evidence from a study as exhaustive and as thorough as that which Russia conducted in the wake of the OPCW report which has been forensically refuted, the findings of Anderson, Bartlett and Beeley remain not only vindicated but validated.


  1. Having spoken to Vanessa Beeley And listening and reading her many reports it is abundantly clear that her drive to do what she does is self funded and a pristine example of integrity in reporting the facts in the field. This of course what makes her so dangerous to msm propaganda narratives, she oozes trustworthiness and credibility so rare in public discourse that it shines brilliantly and carries a long way.
    I hope that others join me in helping her continue, (she is back in Syria right now), as she receives zero payment from Russia and very little from other sources. She sold her home to fund her work some time ago and her revenue stream is now dependent on people like you and me to maintain the considerable costs involved. It is only people like us that can insure she continues to be a rare voice of truth and reason. PayPal donations can be made to

    • Captain Kemlo says

      Thanks for that information. A true citizen journalist at work.

      • Joginder Singh says

        There are few “real” journalists at work in the UK now and certainly none at Al-Guardian which has not done any real journalism for at least two decades now if not longer.

        • You cannot hope
          to bribe or twist,
          thank God! the
          British journalist.
          But, seeing what
          the man will do
          unbribed, there’s
          no occasion to.

  2. MichaelK says

    Washington and London provlide the White Helmets with massive economic, diplomatic and media support, at the same time as the same governments have been actively working to overthrow the government of Syria. So, obvioslty1, there’s a direct link between the White Helmets and what they are meant to represent and the leading government’s of the West. The White Helmets are actors in a ‘narrative’ or piece of theatre designed to undermine the image of the Syrian government and show, in contrast, the basic decency and humanity of the ‘rebels’, brave, ordinary men, who risk their lives to help the innocent civilian victims of the barbaric and evil, heatless, Assad, the vicious dictator of Syria.

    What’s stunning and deeply disturbing is the credulity of the Guardian about these obvious facts. How stupid and ignorant does one have to be these days to write for the Guardian? One would think they’ed never heard of propaganda in wartime, yet, it’s something the British past masters and excell at going back to WW1. Yet, the Guardian, apparently understands that the Russians are spreading propaganda about events in Syria, but we in the West aren’t guilty of doing it, despite our long record of doing precisely this and doing it very, very, well. We, after all, wrote the propaganda rule book!

    • @MichaelK: ” deeply disturbing is the credulity of the Guardian”. Credulity? More like Hypocrisy – the whitewash over the charnel house. I stopped reading that cynical propaganda sheet in 2003 when it was cheering both Tony BLiar’s rape of Iraq and Gordon Brown’s financial genius. Follow the money: fervent Anglo-Catholic BLiar was rewarded with a job at Goldman Sachs then directorships in House of Rothschild and Rothschild’s arms company Carlyle Investment Co; those companies obviously value the services of a consummate world class liar. Stern Scots Protestant “Son of the Manse” Brown, after financing the Iraq invasion as Chancellor of the Exchequer and then “Quantitatively Easing” failed banks as Prime Minister, was likewise awarded a directorship of Carlyle arms company. In those days (Iraq rape and after) the Guardian financial Trust carried successive representatives of Rothschild on board; today’s Guardian is financed by Rothschild’s right hand man in the USA — see the Off-Guardian article re Soros. Birds of a feather flock together; not harmless doves but predators red in talon and beak.

    • tamimisledus says

      I will never be stunned by the Guardian’s credulity.

  3. Seamus Padraig says

    One really surprising thing about this Grauniad article is that, towards the end of it, the author actually admits (in her own way) that Beeley, et al., are telling the truth:

    “One former White Helmet was fired after he was filmed assisting armed militants in disposing of the mutilated corpses of pro-Assad fighters, and others have been photographed with guns despite marketing themselves as unarmed. There is also footage of White Helmets taking a body away from an execution carried out by rebel militants, which critics claim shows they are ‘assisting’ executions.”

    Yet she still goes on calling it ‘Russian propaganda’!

  4. Seamus Padraig says

    All you really need to know about the White Helmets is that it is they–and not the Red Crescent–who are allowed to operate from Al-Nusra occupied territory. Would Al-Nusra allow the White Helmets free access to that territory if they were not fellow-travelers? Of course not!

    • James Graham says

      It’s also true that the CW Inspectors, who removed CW from 25 sites in Syria approx, couldn’t remove CW from 2 sites in the so called, rebel controlled areas, because it was too risky. You didn’t hear the WHs complaining about that because it was off the propaganda message that any CW attack had to be the work of “the regime.” The WHs and their likes could not possibly have access to CW because that did not fit the propaganda script…even though they had access to all sorts of other weaponry. At this rate the only Guardian people will be reading is the Off Guardian.

  5. It’s a given now that the Guardian is trash since it tried and failed to reinvent itself becoming a pale imitation of the Beano along the way.

    Veteran and investigative reporters – not boy Luke- real ones which used to grace it’s pages such as Foot, Pilger, Steel would and are no longer able to publish there. What the Graun won’t tell you is that the real cutting edge reporting now takes place elsewhere by freelance independent journos who write because they have something to report not writing for their pay check under idiotic editorial topsy turvy land ideology and scrutiny.

    That’s why this slanderous attack is so despicable. And it shows.

    It is full of down right lies and dangerous ones at that. As Adam Garrie points out the hackette writing this completely reverses the actual truth – it is the US and western allies which are in Syria illegally under intentional law and the Helmets WERE there not as an NGO but as part of a Western funded terrorist insurgency.

    Why this article appears now is more for reasons of attacking alt media as the Helmets disappeared sometime ago vanishing along with their IS and Al Qaida head chopping buddies.

    • Even stranger how the Red Helmets (Syria’s official emergency and rescue services) disappeared (but not necessarily their bloodstained vehicles) about the same time as the Shite Helmets, sorry, ISIS, took control of Shite Helmet, sorry, Islamic State areas.

      And how come Al Beeb, Chan Al 4, and other MSM never regurgitated, sorry, broadcast, Red Helmet propaganda, sorry, news, videos.

      In fact, how come the Red Helmets never seem to have time to make a video while busy saving lives, never mind stopping to have Skype chats with MSM “news” anchors?!?!

    • James Graham says

      Good work Mog. Caustic Logic has been looking into those “documents” about Assad’s alleged torture chambers. Assad Files Paper Recycling Continues. 3/12/17 …Monitor On Massacre Marketing.

  6. garyaz says

    The illlogical roots of Putinphobia

    1 Transnational institutions and corporations, their puppet politicians, our “progressive” elites are incurable and pathological globalists
    2 National independence=enemy
    3 Syria is supported by Putin
    4 Putin is their no 1 enemy because of his commitment to national sovereignty
    5 ‘Progressives’ such as George Monbiot and Owen Jones are incurable Ideologues comitted to;
    6 A global multicultural utopia
    7 Everything (facts evidence sequence of events, unintended consequences) which undermine this vision:
    8 Are; denied/not spoken about/conflated/attacked/dismissed/buried and cause considerable existential angst
    9 Therefore they are against Putin, Assad, national sovereignty and anthing/anyone remotely supporting them.
    10 Always and at all times.

  7. BigB says

    This is an excellent article from Adam Garrie: exactly what I was saying in comments the other day. Thanks for posting it.

    A bit off point: but I’m not sure what is going on at the outlet this hails from – the previously credible Duran. I say previously, because they seem to be trying to undermine their own good work by publishing a series of articles about “Project Cassandra” – the no longer ‘secret ‘ deal between Obama and Hezbollah …to run cocaine into America!!! Yes, you read that right. There are three articles so far about this evidence free assertion: which seems to come from a Politico article and two disgruntled ex-DEA officials. I’m not sure what they are playing at, but they’ve got some pretty pissed off readers – including me!

  8. Venal British journalism in defense of The Empire goes back to the Boer War & WW1; read “The Free Press” by pro-Boer Catholic writer Hilaire Belloc on the “alternative press” in the pre-internet age.

    And this rhyme (I quote from memory) has a 20s flavour: The British journalist or scribe / He is a man you cannot bribe / But seeing what the man will do / Unbribed, there is no reason to.

  9. James Graham says

    An out and out character assassination attempt by the Guardian…that failed disastrously for them. First, the original footage of this alleged CW attack in KS was broadcast by these White Helmet con-artists themselves…throughout the social media. They had full control and a monopoly on that. They filmed it. Moreover, the viewers were in no way limited to “the cabal” or the Russians’ version of events. The audience was world wide. Second, I don’t give a hoot who is who…I insist on using my own eyes and ears because they have served me fairly well for a long time. I don’t need to be told by anyone else about what I see and what I hear. What kind of “rescue workers” save lives by putting a man face down in a puddle? Give me a break. That material was broadcast and plenty knew it was staged long before “the cabal” or the Russians responded.

    This matters a lot. Whilst some “Assad Must Go” people were getting up to mischief and playing games hundreds of thousands of unarmed, innocent and defenceless civilians were being murdered and a whole country was being reduced to rubble….and the rest. All of these victims deserve justice to be done, and if I was in charge I would be taking the names of all of the accused who had any hand in their massacre…including the Guardian.

    • Thomas Peterson says

      Right, the White Helmets’ badly acted videos stink to high heaven as propaganda even if you know nothing else about the group.

      If their rescuees actually were injured I doubt many would survive being manhandled by the White Helmets.

  10. Captain Kemlo says

    It’s oh so very simple for a working class oik like me… If the article is NOT up for comments you immediately know:
    1. It’s propaganda
    2. Or SAFE SPACE bollocks applies
    3. OR it’s about Israel
    4. OR a combination of all of the above.

    The Guardian is pish. Nothing more, nothing less.

    • Richard Wicks says

      Totally agree – ignore anything where you can’t read comments.

      Heck, to be entirely honest, before comments were removed from major news sites, I learned a lot more about what was going on from them, than I ever could from an article – which is the real reason they stopped supporting them.

      I also ignore any sites that only allow commenting through Facebook as well. I suspect they severely curtail what is allowed to be said, which is why it’s the most favored commenting system now.

      • Manda says

        Makes tracking you very simple/low tech as well.

  11. These Guardian and MSM hatchet jobs serve as a crude type of thought control. By presenting the Atlanticist narrative as objective and true and discrediting any and all information from Russian sources (and sources the media claim are connected to Russia) they reinforce the message that West = good, right and moral and Russia = bad, wrong and immoral.

    It’s propaganda by repetition. Simple but unfortunately effective.

    • Seamus Padraig says

      The thing is, it’s not as effective as it used to be. For years they tried simply to ignore Beeley, Bartlett, et al., but thanks to the internet, they can’t do that anymore. The establishment is in a state of panic. The fact that these truth-tellers are being openly denounced only gives them free publicity.

  12. Richard Wicks says

    The white helmets always seems to be right on the spot whenever a gas attack happens, yet according to Tulsi Gabbard and Dennis Kucinich nobody in Syria seems to have any idea who they are.. Hmmmmm.

    It is obvious, to me anyhow, that they are the terrorists and they are a propaganda group as well for the West. Why is their name “the white helmets”? Doesn’t sound very Middle Eastern to me, because it isn’t.

    And the shameful documentary on them. And Bana al-Abed, a little innocent kid that was supposedly almost killed while Aleppo was leveled, who never seemed to have any trouble getting on the Internet, in a warzone.

    The Guardian has sold out, so has a good deal of The Intercept. Rachael Maddow has sold out, Keith Olbermann has sold out. Everybody is corrupt. You want to know what is going on? You have to go to some dodgy website, listen, then check everything they’ve said.

    • The takeaway from the wholesale corruption that has infected the media is…well, it’s difficult to say for sure at this point. It is, however, obvious that most people cannot handle power. The cliche that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely is, with few exceptions, also a truism.

      Still, it is disappointing to see so many journalists sacrificing their reputation and integrity on the alter of establishment power.

      But what confounds me more than anything else is how easily friends and family members that I thought were intelligent, even worldly, bought into the narrative painting the US/NATO as principled humanitarian war criminals facing off against a litany of omniscient cartoon villains (Milosevic! Saddam! Putin! Assad! Gaddafi! Kim! and, er, Iran!) who mindlessly slaughter and persecute “their own people” and cough have world domination as their ultimate goal.

      How did it come to this? Is it because I never embraced the spectacle of the vapid, hyperreal pseudo-existence that plays out on “social” media? Are Google and Facebook really powerful enough to manipulate people to such a profound degree? At times l feel like my friends and family have literally been brainwashed or covertly manipulated to shut down their critical faculties. Maybe the very real possibility of apocalyptic climate change is messing with people’s minds? I don’t know…

      It’s like living in a world that is becoming a hybrid mash up of Huxely, Philip K Dick, Kafka and Orwell. With a generous dusting of Dada, Dali and Bunuel to add extra weirdness to the mix.

      • Richard Wicks says

        Still, it is disappointing to see so many journalists sacrificing their reputation and integrity on the alter of establishment power.

        I don’t think journalists just recently started to sacrifice their reputation and integrity..

        It was 15 years ago with these scum all, and I mean all, lied the United States into a war over a non existent weapons of mass destruction program. Phil Donahue, BARELY A JOURNALIST, was fired because he wasn’t on board.

        They’ve been scum for a long time.

        But what confounds me more than anything else is how easily friends and family members that I thought were intelligent, even worldly, bought into the narrative painting the US/NATO

        Boy! Do I sympathize with that!

        Nearly all the people I thought were smart and informed during the Bush regime, became morons once Obama got into office. I am still quite surprised to discover that nearly everybody is just a blind party loyalist. I live and work in Silicon Valley, I thought everybody around me was smart! NOPE.

        There’s a handful of people, that weren’t fooled by either Bush or Obama. A guy that I was office mates with, my cousin, and a neighbor of mine who was a salesman for a machinist shop.

        I think the salesman and my old office mate were heavily influenced by me. It’s very taboo to bring up anything at my current job. Trump placing a temporary moratorium of refugees from 5 nations is an OUTRAGE, but it’s just fine and dandy to murder them, as long as Obama is prezident meat puppet. I tried to have that conversation once, I literally encountered red faced rage, by an intelligent, and quite competent engineer.

        I used to wonder how the German people were manipulated into insanity back in the late 1930’s. Now I know.

        Welp… See ya in the concentration camps, buddy!

    • The white helmets always seems to be right on the spot whenever a gas attack happens,

      What’s even stranger is that they are first to be right on the spot, despite the fact that no one, and I keep asking if anyone does, knows their emergency number!?!

      • Does that mean that they notify themselves when there’s going to be, sorry, when there’s been, a gas attack?!

    • Tsk, tsk the Guardian purports to be a serious newspaper, well it still tries ever so hard to take itself seriously. All which has become an actual joke for everyone else!

      • The two problems with Al-Guardian are

        Problem #1 Dispite Al-Guardian’s delusions and the delusions of Al-Guardian’s readers for years now Al-Guardian has not been a proper newspaper

        Problem #2 Al-Guardian and its readers are happy to believe the crap Al-Guardian calls journalism, The problem is Al-Guardian is ubder the delusion that the rest of us should be obiged to believe what Al-Guardian calls news and journalism.

        Problem #3 Al-Guardian is a Stagecoach in the era of the internet a Shinkansen Yet Al-Guardian still thinks we should travel by Stagecoach

        • The Al-Guardian is for corporate people who go to lots of meetings. They need benign, inoffensive and pseudo-scientific and intellectual small talk to say, like, “I was reading Polly today, blah, blah.” or “Did you see George’s piece last week…blah, blah? “I thought Luke Harding was spot on…blah, blah.” These people never tell the truth, so they need some up-market wallpaper to cover up their lies…with more lies. They’re responding to the free market demand for guff.

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