[Diggers350] Former Guardian staffer takes George Monbiot to task

Mark Brown mark at tlio.org.uk
Fri Jan 26 08:23:47 GMT 2018

RE: The White Helmets in Syria

The White Helmets, officially called the Syria Civil Defence, (not the REAL Syria Civil Defence who have existed since 1953 in Syria who the the first-responders you get when you call 113 inside Syria) were founded in 2013 by James Le Mesurier, a British private security specialist, former British military intelligence officer and Vice President for Special Projects at the Olive Group, a private mercenary organization that has since merged with Blackwater-Academi into what is now known as Constellis Holdings. 

The White Helmets, set up by MI6, working under the pretext of humanitarian assistance, “working side by side with the Nusra Front and other extremist groups such as Nour Al Din Zinki in East Aleppo, where their ‘humanitarian’ centres were invariably alongside Nusra Front or even in the same building.” (quote from 21st Century Wire Associate Editor Vanessa Beeley), have specialised in disseminating (sometimes staged) PR to facilitate regime change propaganda, through western and Gulf state media outlets producing pro-intervention propaganda (have you noticed that footage of civilian casualities in the Syrian theatre of war over the last few years have almost exclusively been as the result of, or puported to have been as a result of bombing by the Syrian army). The White Helmets have received over $123 million from 2013 to 2016 from the U.S. and UK governments, as well as Western NGOs and Gulf state monarchies.

UN do not recognise the White Helmets as a civil defence organisation

21st Century Wire Associate Editor and freelance journalist Vanessa Beeley: has stated that the group’s founding took place just after “the Syrian government had raised concerns about a terrorist chemical weapon attack in Khan Al Asal against the SAA [Syrian Arab Army].” Source: http://21stcenturywire.com/2017/08/01/james-le-mesurier-the-british-mercenary-who-founded-the-white-helmets/
[Note: the only chemical factory in Aleppo (producing chlorine among other substances) was actually captured by the Al Nusra Front coalition in 2012. It is located about 10km east of Aleppo’s airport on the road towards Raqqa. The chemicals factory was taken over by Nusra Front and allies three years ago, they emptied everything out of it including potential ingredients for use in chemical weapon attacks. Part of the facility was shipped to Iraq.  They destroyed the factory completely].

Listen to part of a talk given by Vanessa Beeney at a Stop the War Coalition public meeting in Frome in November 2016 on the subject of the White Helmets, broadcast on Tony Gosling and Martin Summer’s Bristol Community Radio Friday Drivetime Politics Show broadcast on Friday 11th November 2016, 36 mins 44 secs onwards: http://www.radio4all.net/files/tony@cultureshop.org.uk/2149-1-20161111180002.mp3

(although recommend you listen from 33 mins 20 seconds onwards with discussion between Tony and Martin)

More recent: Vanessa Beeley Presents Exposé on White Helmets at Swiss Press Club in Geneva http://21stcenturywire.com/2017/11/28/vanessa-beeley-presents-new-white-helmets-expose-to-swiss-press-club-geneva/

Other info: https://www.globalresearch.ca/the-real-syria-civil-defence-exposes-natos-white-helmets-as-terrorist-linked-imposters/5547528

Netflix documentary exposing the White Helmets: https://www.netflix.com/gb/title/80101827

> On 13 January 2018 at 01:46 "Tony Gosling tony at cultureshop.org.uk [Diggers350]" <Diggers350-noreply at yahoogroups.com> wrote:
> Monbiot is not only a hypocrite, but a bully too
> Written by 
> <https://bsnews.info/author/jonathan-cook/>Jonathan 
> Cook on January 12, 2018 - https://bsnews.info/monbiot-not-hypocrite-bully/
> It is time for George Monbiot’s legion of 
> supporters to call him out. Not only is he a 
> hypocrite, but he is becoming an increasingly dangerous one.
> Turning a blind eye to his behaviour, or worse 
> excusing it, as too often happens, has only 
> encouraged him to intensify his attacks on 
> dissident writers, those who – whether right or 
> wrong on any specific issue – are slowly helping 
> us all to develop more critical perspectives on 
> western foreign policy goals than has been possible ever before.
> I do not lightly use such strong language against 
> Monbiot, someone I once admired. But his column 
> this week drips with hypocrisy as he accuses the 
> rightwing media of being the real villains when 
> it comes to “no-platforming”. Monbiot 
> <https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jan/10/free-speech-obsessives-no-platforming-establishment-universities>writes:
> But perhaps the real discomfort is that the worst 
> no-platforming of all takes place within our 
> newspapers. In the publications most obsessed 
> with student silliness, there is no platform for 
> socialism, no platform for environmentalism, no 
> platform for those who might offend the interests of the proprietors. …> 
> I believe that a healthy media organisation, like 
> a healthy university, should admit a diversity of 
> opinion. I want the other newspapers to keep 
> publishing views with which I fiercely disagree. 
> But they – and we – should also seek opposing 
> views and publish them too, however uncomfortable this might be.
> What free speech advocate would disagree with 
> that. Except it is Monbiot himself who has been 
> using his prominent platforms, at the Guardian 
> and on social media, to discredit critical 
> thinkers on the left – not with reasoned 
> arguments, but by impugning their integrity.
> Denied a platform
> It 
> <https://www.jonathan-cook.net/2014-10-07/george-monbiot-the-lefts-mccarthy/>started 
> with his unsubstantiated claim that scholars like 
> Noam Chomsky and the late Ed Herman, as well as 
> the acclaimed journalist John Pilger, were 
> “genocide deniers and belittlers”. It now 
> <https://www.jonathan-cook.net/blog/2017-11-21/monbiot-still-burying-his-head-in-the-sand/>focuses 
> on childish insinuations that those who question 
> the corporate media’s simplistic narrative on 
> Syria are Assad apologists or in Vladimir Putin’s pay.
> But worse than this, Monbiot is also conspiring – 
> either actively or through his silence – to deny 
> critics of his and the Guardian’s position on 
> Syria the chance to set out their evidence in its pages.
> The Guardian’s anti-democratic stance does not 
> surprise me, as someone who worked there for many 
> years. I found myself repeatedly 
> <https://www.jonathan-cook.net/2010-11-01/publish-it-not/>no-platformed 
> by the paper – even while on its staff – after I 
> started taking an interest in the 
> Israel-Palestine conflict and writing about the 
> discomforting issue of what a Jewish state 
> entails. My treatment is 
> <https://www.jonathan-cook.net/blog/2014-12-04/why-the-guardian-axed-nafeez-ahmeds-blog/>far 
> from unique.
> Now the paper is denying a platform to those who 
> question simplistic and self-serving western 
> narratives on Syria. And Monbiot is backing his 
> employer to the hilt, even as he professes his 
> commitment to the publication of views he 
> fiercely disagrees with. That’s the dictionary definition of hypocrisy.
> ‘Selfless’ White Helmets?
> The latest instalment of the Guardian and 
> Monbiot’s long-running battle to silence Syria 
> dissidents arrived last month when Olivia Solon, 
> the paper’s technology writer living in San 
> Francisco, developed a sudden and 
> <https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/dec/18/syria-white-helmets-conspiracy-theories>unexpected 
> expertise in a controversial Syrian group called the White Helmets.
> In the western corporate media narrative, the 
> White Helmets are a group of dedicated and 
> selfless rescue workers. They are supposedly the 
> humanitarians on whose behalf a western 
> intervention in Syria would have been justified – 
> before, that is, Syrian leader Bashar Assad 
> queered their pitch by inviting in Russia.
> However, there are problems with the White 
> Helmets. They operate only in rebel – read: 
> mainly al-Qaeda and ISIS-held – areas of Syria, 
> and plenty of evidence 
> <https://www.alternet.org/grayzone-project/how-white-helmets-became-international-heroes-while-pushing-us-military>shows 
> that they are funded by the UK and US to advance 
> both countries’ far-from-humanitarian policy objectives in Syria.
> “The White Helmets have been filmed describing 
> Syrian Arab Army bodies as “trash” and one 
> particular video shows them standing on top of a 
> pile of SAA soldier’s bodies, whose boots have 
> been removed or stolen. The White Helmets talk 
> about the bodies in pejorative terms and they 
> flick a victory V sign as the truck drives off “~ 
> White Helmets Campaign for War not Peace
> There are also strong indications that members of 
> the White Helmets have been involved in war 
> crimes, and that they have staged rescue 
> operations as a part of a propaganda offensive 
> designed to assist Islamic extremists trying to 
> oust Assad. (Solon discounts this last claim. In 
> doing so, she ignores several examples of such 
> behaviour, concentrating instead on an improbable 
> “mannequin challenge”, when the White Helmets 
> supposedly froze their emergency operations, in 
> the midst of rescue efforts, apparently as part 
> of a peculiar publicity campaign.)
> Guardian hatchet job
> Whatever side one takes in this debate, one would 
> imagine that Monbiot should have a clear agenda 
> in support of hearing evidence from all sides. 
> One might also imagine that he would want to 
> distance himself from Solon’s efforts to tie 
> criticism of the White Helmets to a supposed 
> “fake news” crisis and paint those critical of 
> the group as Putin-bots. According to Solon:
> The way the Russian propaganda machine has 
> targeted the White Helmets is a neat case study 
> in the prevailing information wars. It exposes 
> just how rumours, conspiracy theories and 
> half-truths bubble to the top of YouTube, Google and Twitter search algorithms.
> Those are the same algorithms that have been 
> <https://www.jonathan-cook.net/blog/2017-11-22/from-an-open-internet-back-to-the-dark-ages/>changed 
> in recent months to make sure that prominent 
> leftist websites are increasingly difficult to 
> find on internet searches and their writers’ views effectively disappeared.
> Yet Monbiot has been using social media to 
> promote Solon’s cheerleading of the White Helmets 
> and her hatchet job against on-the-ground 
> journalists who have taken a far more critical view of the group.
> As 
> <https://timhayward.wordpress.com/2018/01/12/the-guardian-white-helmets-and-silenced-comment/>set 
> out by Prof Tim Hayward, the Guardian’s response 
> to criticism of Solon’s piece has been typical. 
> The comments section below the article was 
> hastily closed after many criticisms were voiced 
> by readers. The journalists who were singled out 
> for attack by Solon were denied a right of reply. 
> A group of concerned academics led by Hayward who 
> submitted their own article, which detailed 
> publicly available evidence to counter Solon’s 
> simplistic account of the White Helmets, were 
> ignored. Meanwhile, the Guardian’s editors and 
> the reader’s editor have ignored all efforts by these parties to contact them.
> Given his claim to be an uncompromising defender 
> of free speech and a fierce advocate of providing 
> platforms to those who can back up their 
> arguments with evidence, however discomforting, 
> one might have assumed that Monbiot would at the 
> very least have lobbied on behalf of Hayward and 
> his fellow scholars. But not a bit of it. Yet 
> again he has joined the dogs of the corporate 
> media baying for blood. Instead he turned to 
> Twitter to claim Hayward and Piers Robinson, an 
> expert on propaganda, had 
> “<https://twitter.com/GeorgeMonbiot/status/943499954877804544>disgraced” 
> themselves.
> Undermining climate concerns
> The many tens of thousands of leftists who defend 
> Monbiot, or turn a blind eye to his hypocrisy, 
> largely do so because of his record on the 
> environment. But in practice they are enabling 
> not only his increasingly overt incitement 
> against critical thinkers, but also undermining 
> the very cause his supporters believe he champions.
> Climate breakdown is a global concern. Rewilding, 
> bike-riding, protecting bees and polar bears, and 
> developing new sustainable technologies are all 
> vitally important. But such actions will amount 
> to little if we fail to turn a highly sceptical 
> eye on the activities of a western 
> military-industrial complex ravaging the planet’s poorest regions.
> These war industries fill their coffers by using 
> weapons indiscriminately on “enemy” populations, 
> spawning new and fiercer enemies – while often 
> propping them up too – to generate endless wars. 
> The consequences include massive displacements of 
> these populations who then destabilise other 
> regions, spreading the effect and creating new 
> opportunities for the arms manufacturers, 
> homeland security industries, and the financial industries that feed off them.
> A true environmentalist has to look as critically 
> at western policies in Iraq, Libya, Syria, 
> Ukraine, Venezuela and many other areas of the 
> globe as he does at UK policy in the Welsh hills and the Lake District.
> All indications are that Monbiot lacks the 
> experience, knowledge and skills to unravel the 
> deceptions being perpetrated in the west’s proxy 
> and not-so-proxy wars overseas. That is fair 
> enough. What is not reasonable is that he should 
> use his platforms to smear precisely those who 
> can speak with a degree of authority and 
> independence – and then conspire in denying them 
> a platform to respond. That is the behaviour not 
> only of a hypocrite, but of a bully too.
> ----------
> <https://www.jonathan-cook.net/blog/2018-01-12/monbiot-bully-hypocrite/>Originally 
> published: Jonathan Cook 
> <https://www.jonathan-cook.net/blog/2018-01-12/monbiot-bully-hypocrite/>(Blog)
>  From South America, where payment must be made 
> with subtlety, the Bormann organization has made 
> a substantial contribution. It has drawn many of 
> the brightest Jewish businessmen into a 
> participatory role in the development of many of 
> its corporations, and many of these Jews share 
> their prosperity most generously with Israel. If 
> their proposals are sound, they are even provided 
> with a specially dispensed venture capital fund. 
> I spoke with one Jewish businessmen in Hartford, 
> Connecticut. He had arrived there quite unknown 
> several years before our conversation, but with 
> Bormann money as his leverage. Today he is more 
> than a millionaire, a quiet leader in the 
> community with a certain share of his profits 
> earmarked as always for his venture capital 
> benefactors. This has taken place in many other 
> instances across America and demonstrates how 
> Bormann’s people operate in the contemporary 
> commercial world, in contrast to the fanciful 
> nonsense with which Nazis are described in so much “literature.”
> So much emphasis is placed on select Jewish 
> participation in Bormann companies that when 
> Adolf Eichmann was seized and taken to Tel Aviv 
> to stand trial, it produced a shock wave in the 
> Jewish and German communities of Buenos Aires. 
> Jewish leaders informed the Israeli authorities 
> in no uncertain terms that this must never happen 
> again because a repetition would permanently 
> rupture relations with the Germans of Latin 
> America, as well as with the Bormann 
> organization, and cut off the flow of Jewish 
> money to Israel. It never happened again, and the 
> pursuit of Bormann quieted down at the request of 
> these Jewish leaders. He is residing in an 
> Argentinian safe haven, protected by the most 
> efficient German infrastructure in history as 
> well as by all those whose prosperity depends on his well-being.
> <http://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fspitfirelist.com%2Fbooks%2Fmartin-bormann-nazi-in-exile%2F&h=eAQErj17O>http<http://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fspitfirelist.com%2Fbooks%2Fmartin-bormann-nazi-in-exile%2F&h=eAQErj17O>://spitfirelist.com/books/martin-bormann-nazi-in-exile/

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