OPINION PIECE: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views or position of Her Campus Agnes Scott.
Thank you Hollywood, for publicly proving your contests are politically controlled! Since the release of the Netflix documentary The White Helmets, many have been making jokes about the West giving terrorists an award, including Syrian President Bashar Al Assad: “First of all, we have to congratulate Al Nusra for having the first Oscar….You have many videos on the net...that condemn the White Helmets as a terrorist group.” Article after article has been released criticising the so-called documentary that won Best Documentary Short. The documentary was released in September of 2016 and shows how the group the White Helmets has been rescuing Syrians during the war. But soon after the award was given, an article and interview were released with Swedish doctors explaining how the medical procedures within the documentary are incorrect.
Professor Marcello Ferrada de Noli, Chairman of Swedish Doctors for Human Rights, collected information from doctors about the procedures shown on The White Helmets. They specifically criticize the clip below.
Dr Leif Elinder, a known Swedish medical doctor profile, author and specialist in paediatrics, summarised the following in his reply: 
“After examination of the video material, I found that the measures inflicted upon those children, some of them lifeless, are bizarre, non-medical, non-lifesaving, and even counterproductive in terms of life-saving purposes of children”.
Further, I received a detailed clinical statement from Dr Lena Oske, a Swedish medical doctor and general practitioner. In her statement, Dr Oske referred to the presumed, adrenaline injection, performed in the White Helmet video (excerpt in the photo above). Her specialist opinion dismisses the procedure conducted in the White Helmet video, as unqualified and incorrect. Furthermore, she describes the earlier assessment of the procedure by a colleague who had exclaimed:
“If not already dead, this injection would have killed the child!”
Excerpts from Dr Lena Oske’s statement to SWEDHR: 
“Intracutaneous injection with adrenaline may be used if any other resuscitation measure does not succeed. Especially under precarious circumstances – such as in field emergency settings– where safer ways for the administration of medication (i.e. endotracheal, intravenous, or intraosseus) might be difficult or unavailable. But not in the way shown in the video”.
“In order to perform the injection, CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) has to be interrupted, and then the CPR resumed immediately after. Which is not done in the procedures shown in the video.”
And referring to a correct medical procedure, the Swedish specialist MD adds:
“The technique is simple. Long needle, syringe with 1 mg adrenaline, find the 4th or 5th intercostal space and insert the needle just adjacent to the sternum, left side, deposit the medication after checking you are in the right position (aspiration of blood and no resistance), take out the needle and immediately resume CPR! So, the doctor who wrote the comment, ‘If not already dead, this injection would have killed the child’ was right! What a macabre scene; and how sad.” 
[Both colleagues, doctors Leif Elinder and Lena Oske, are senior members of SWEDHR, and on behalf of the SWEDHR board fully endorse each other’s statements.]
Not to mention the fact that the naked bodies of these children inside the makeshift “hospital” have no visible external injuries despite all the bombs and guns. If you would like a slightly more in depth dissection of this video clip with screenshots to help explain what the doctors are talking about, take a look at this article from The Indicter. You can also find the interview with Professor Marcello, here.
What’s important about this, according to the professor, is that the White Helmets have come to call themselves the Syria Civil Defense, “actually fraudulently mimicking the REAL Syria Civil Defence, established in Syria (not in Turkey) in 1953 and the only Syria Civil Defence officially recognised as such, by the (UN affiliated) International Civil Defence Organisation, based in Geneva.”
The actual ICDO, certified civil fire and rescue organisation, Syria Civil Defense has a phone number so that people can reach them for help: 113. The White Helmets don’t have that. “Why does this multi-million dollar US & NATO state-funded first responder ‘NGO,’ with state of the art equipment supplied by the US and the EU via Turkey, have no central number for civilians to call when the ‘bombs fall’?” asks British independent researcher, writer, and photographer Vanessa Beeley.
According to The Slate, the White Helmets, “officially called the Syria Civil Defense, are often the only emergency first-responders available in rebel-held areas of Syria and claim to have saved more than 58,000 lives.” The founder of the group is an “ex” British military intelligence officer, James Le Mesurier, involved in many NATO “humanitarian interventions” of wars.
The image shows White Helmets primary funding and Le Mesurier connections. [x]
Beeley continues in depth about the funding of the documentary and also explains who the REAL Syria Civil Defense is. In her article, she asks the White Helmets how they know exactly where to find the bodies of civilians, where are these rescues being filmed, as well as where the bodies come from. Even the citizens of Syria question the group. According to Dr. Bassem Hayak, one of the men in charge of the medical teams assessing refugees, “In East Aleppo, civilians living under Al Nusra Front occupation, do not know the White Helmets…even with our relationship with WHO (World Health Organisation) and the UN, we still didn't hear about the White Helmets.” Many Syrians have been interviewed and have a similar perspective, never having even heard of the White Helmets.
You might be wondering why Beeley and many others are challenging the White Helmets when you’ve heard and know them to be helping people, and when they claim to be a neutral party in the war with only intentions to save lives. In a video by RFS, you can see how the videos made by the White Helmets are staged. The 40 second clip is one of many where you see White Helmets pausing, posing over supposedly injured people. Photos can also be found of the same White Helmet members hanging out with members of ISIS and holding weapons:
In the video below, a supposedly neutral White Helmet operative shows his support for Al Nusra/Al Qaeda. He also refers to the Syrian Government militia or state-employed security forces as “Shabiha,” a derogatory term for them that the terrorists have been using. He uses an interesting choice of words considering he’s part of an “impartial” group.
“Mahmoud Raslan (in blue; bottom left) taking a selfie with two of the men who tortured Abdullah Issa. Photo: Mahmoud Raslan (in blue; bottom left) taking a selfie with two of the men who tortured Abdullah Issa [the boy who was beheaded and the video feed went viral]. (Photo: The Canary)” [x]
Mahmoud Raslan is the photojournalist who photographed Omran Daqneesh. However, after a quick google search, I don’t know anything about his other work, if he even has other work, who he’s worked for or if he’s independent or not.
Do you all remember when Daqneesh was all over the news? Simply without being a doctor, one can be skeptical about it’s authenticity. First of all, literally nothing in the picture is covered in a spec of dirt except the boy and the chair. And even the chair barely has anything on it. Two, Why isn’t the boy crying? In the (graphic) video, he’s not even shaking from being in shock. Moon of Alabama brings up an excellent point as well, that the blood on any of the injured people in that video is all stationary. Wouldn’t a head wound that produces that much blood be gushing? Wouldn’t any of those people be lightheaded or some of them at least, specifically the children, be passed out? Again, why are none of them screaming in pain or crying or shivering or showing any visible signs of distress or going into shock? Why aren’t any doctors trying to dress the wounds or hook them up to any machines? Another excellent point they bring up is the fact that none of the blood is mixed in with the dirt. It’s all very cleanly laying on top of the dust on the body. The (graphic) pictures here are what real injuries look like.
Another fact that many are unaware of is that the LEADER of the White Helmets had his visa revoked. Mark Toner, State Department spokesperson, states, “And any individual – again, I’m broadening my language here for specific reasons, but any individual in any group suspected of ties or relations with extremist groups or that we had believed to be a security threat to the United States, we would act accordingly. But that does not, by extension, mean we condemn or would cut off ties to the group for which that individual works for.” My question is why would the organization have any credibility to the United States after they themselves admit he is associated with terrorist activity and even go so far as to ban him entry into the country? To suspect this leader of terrorist activity yet not investigate an organization he created is extremely suspicious and clearly a cover up tactic.
The cinemtographer of The White Helmets, Khaled Khateeb was also banned entry into the United States. That's why he wasn't able to attend the Oscars.
Speaking of suspicious, why would the UK government not be forward about who funds such a “peaceful” organization? Take a look at these tweets:
Need more proof? Anna News created a mini documentary of sorts showing the truth behind the White Helmets and who they really are. They also pull apart and question the making of the documentary The White Helmets. After eastern Aleppo was liberated, the Anna News crew went to all the headquarters in the districts. There was graffiti of the White Helmets’ name, “Civil Defense,” next to graffiti of their other name, “Al Nusra”. Also inside the bases, they found white helmets along with their blue and yellow symbol laying next to symbols associated with extremist Muslim activities such as the Al Nusra flag:
Many testimonials have been taken before and after The White Helmets documentary was released. This clip is after the “Syrian government forces took control of parts of the historic centre of Aleppo, occupied by anti-government militants for four years.” The woman at 1:00 is saying, “May God keep Bashar with us,” and basically thanking him and the army. That yell/call she does is what Middle Eastern people do when celebrating. It’s done at weddings and other very happy occasions. And she’s doing it while standing next to the Syrian army.
Below is a testimony from Hanano. The woman keeps saying she doesn't want the government to pardon the terrorists because Al Assad has been using this tactic to get the terrorists to turn themselves in. He's been saying he will pardon them and move them anywhere in or out of Syria if they give up their weapons and turn themselves in. Many terrorists have been stopped because of this. Obviously there are terrorists being put in jail, but this method is being used because many of the terrorists were coerced into joining and hadn't actually killed anyone yet. So Al Assad was trying to convince them that they didn't have to start and ruin their lives.
At the end of December, 2016, Vanessa Beeley went to Syria and collected testimonials from Syrian citizens. The first person who speaks, the woman, explains how terrorists shot at them if they tried to escape through the Syrian Government and Russian humanitarian corridors. The man that speaks explains what it was like to live under the rule of the terrorists before the Syrian Army freed them.
If you’re wondering why the Western media would lie about all of this, well no worries, someone directly asked Canadian independent journalist Eva Bartlett at the Full Press Conference at the United Nations. In the short clip below, she explains the agenda of the West as well as the opinion of the Syrian people based on not only her visits there, but on facts such as the elections that were held in Syria in 2014. (The full press release can be found here. She also explains here how she came to speak there.)
“So, international organizations on the ground. Tell me which ones are on the ground in Eastern Aleppo? Yeah, ok, I’ll tell you. There are none. There are none. These organizations are relying on the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights [SOHR], which is based in Coventry, UK, which is one man. They are relying on compromised groups like the White Helmets which – Let's talk about the White Helmets...their video footage actually contains children that have been “recycled” in different reports. So you can find a girl named Aya who turns up in a report in month, say, August, and she turns up in the next month, in two different locations. So, they are not credible. The SOHR is not credible. ‘Unnamed activists’ are not credible. Once or twice maybe, but every time? Not credible. So, your sources on the ground – you don't have them….As for your agenda, not your, but the agenda of some corporate media...”
As many people are saying, the Syrian government isn’t perfect, but that doesn’t mean they are harming their citizens. Why is it so hard to believe that the West is spreading propaganda when the same thing was done with Iraq, Libya, and many other countries that is being done to Syria?
We have a Nobel Peace Prize winning warmonger, and now an Oscar winning terrorist organization. What are we going to do about it.
If you’re interested, here are a few more sources on the Syrian war to take a look at:
A collection of “best comments/posts on the White Helmets being rewarded for their acting” from Eva Bartlett. [x]
“Muslim Press has conducted an interview with Tim Anderson, [a professor at The University of Sydney and] the author of The Dirty War on Syria, to discuss the White Helmets and the war propaganda against the Syrian government. The White Helmets ‘take selfies of themselves “saving” children, only to fool gullible people. But there is no such thing as a humanitarian terrorist,’ Tim Anderson says.” [x]
Jonathan Cook speaks about how Robert Stuart questions the BBC’s authenticity about footage from Syria. They specifically question the documentary Saving Syria’s Children. At the end of the article is an update including a video of research done on the documentary with the help of a medical professional. [x]
Washington’s Long War on Syria by Stephen Gowans [x]
A catholic Argentinian nun who has lived in Aleppo says, “Syria was a tranquil and calm place to be… In March the war started. For 4 years I have seen much of the war… What is going on in Syria is not a civil war. It is not true that the people rose against their government.” [x]
Eva Bartlett talks about some her experiences in Syria and the words of the Syrian people in her article “Most Syrians Support Assad, Reject Phony Foreign ‘Revolution’”. [x]
At about 19:30 of the interview, Pierre Le Corf, explains how he used to sell news to mainstream media in France (which is the same kind of media as America concerning the war) but finds out the truth about Syria after he went to Aleppo. He was then attacked by French media because he keeps trying to speak about what he found out. At 16:58, he talks about how Syrians said they had great lives before the war. [x]
Brandon O’Neil takes an interesting perspective criticizing the discussion around Syria and specifically Aleppo on Spiked. He states, "The narcissism of the Western response to Aleppo is breathtaking." [x]
A debate took place in Australia giving two sides a place to speak about the war in Syria freely and with a mediator present. [x]
Fares Shehabi, Aleppo MP and Head of Aleppo Chamber of Commerce, turned an ISIS propaganda center into a school for children after the area was liberated. [x]
- White Helmet member in the background of an Al Qaeda video. [x]
Image Credit: Thumbnail