Friday, May 4

"US ‘freezes funding’ for White Helmets as group’s Douma chem attack claim falls apart"

Actually the White Helmets claim didn't fall apart because it didn't hang together in the first place. This means the claim should not have been used as evidence in support of a FUKUS bombing raid against Syrian government facilities on April 14. But for visitors from another galaxy, the way we do things here in the United States is FIRST we bomb THEN we review whether we should have bombed. That puts the US part of the FUKUS axis a little above France and the U.K. because in those countries FIRST they review how they can blame the United States THEN they bomb.       

As to hopes that the U.S. State Department's alleged review of funding for the White Helmets means the group will be shut down -- I'd guess this is another time to watch the sky for pigs on the wing.

From RT's report, May 4, 2018:

As the reputation of the controversial militant-linked White Helmets continues to crumble, even the US State Department seems to be having second thoughts about supporting the group, reportedly placing a freeze on its funding.

The State Department’s support for the White Helmets is “under active review,” according to a CBS News report [U.S. freezes funding for Syria's White Helmets; May 3, 6:34 PM EDT]. 

The group reportedly hasn’t received funding in weeks, but neither has it received formal confirmation that Washington’s financial assistance has come to a complete halt. This would mean a significant blow for the group, as the money accounts for about one-third of the White Helmets’ overall funding.

An internal State Department document cited by CBS said that its Near East Bureau needed confirmation from President Donald Trump’s administration by April 15 in order to approve funding for the White Helmets. If that wasn't received, the department would initiate “shut-down procedures on a rolling basis.”

[Quotes from online reactions to a possible end of U.S. funding for the WH.]

The report comes amid major controversy surrounding the White Helmets, after residents of Douma, Syria, testified in The Hague at the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). The hearing centered on the alleged chemical attack that was used as a justification for the April 14 strikes by the US, Britain, and France.

In a press conference following the hearing, hospital staff and 11-year-old Hassan Diab – who is seen in troubling White Helmets footage following the alleged attack – said there was no sign of a chemical incident at the time and that the White Helmets’ video with children was apparently staged.

The footage, which showed Diab and other children being hosed down with water, was the only publicly available “evidence” that the attack ever took place. Still, Trump and his British and French counterparts deemed it sufficient proof to launch over 100 missiles on Syria on April 14, accusing the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad of being behind the alleged attack. The three allies were so keen to bomb Syria that they refused to wait for the results of an OPCW investigation before doing so.

If the report from CBS News is true, it could represent a significant U-turn for Washington. Just last month, US State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert called the group “an incredible group of individuals.” At that time she also stated that as far as she was aware, the White Helmets were still being paid by Washington, despite a $200-million freeze in US funding for recovery efforts in Syria in late March.

Although the White Helmets says it acts solely as a makeshift emergency response team in a time of crisis, claiming to have heroically saved more than 70,000 lives in war-torn Syria, others disagree with its motives]. Footage from Syria repeatedly showed members of the White Helmets assisting jihadist groups, while multiple accounts from civilians suggested they only helped “their own” and used civilians caught in the battle only for publicity. 

Russia has stated that the Douma “chemical attack” was staged by the White Helmets with the UK pressuring the group to “speed up the provocation.”

The group has enjoyed celebrity status in the West, with a documentary praising it even winning an Oscar. However, some artists have refused to give in to peer pressure and publicly spoke out against endorsing the shady group. Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters recently lambasted White Helmets at a concert in Barcelona, calling the group a “fake organization that exists only to create propaganda for jihadists and terrorists.” 

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