Muslim Press has conducted an interview with Tim Anderson, 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.
Below, the full transcript of the interview has been presented.
Muslim Press: You have referred to the White Helmets as a “fake humanitarian group”. Would you clarify what you mean by that?
Tim Anderson: They and their sponsors pretend they have humanitarian motives, but they are the same people who murder civilians for their beliefs, or because they support the Syrian Government. They take selfies of themselves ‘saving’ children, only to fool gullible people. But there is no such thing as a humanitarian terrorist.
MP: How do you assess their role in the war propaganda against the Syrian government?
Tim Anderson: Along with the lies about the Syrian Government bombing its own hospitals and schools, the role of the US-UK sponsored White Helmets has been quite important. It is not possible for the imperial powers to run a long term war of aggression without fooling their own people that this is done for some higher purpose.
Naked aggression irritates most people and creates a reaction. If there were no fake humanitarian pretext, it would be hard to sustain the blatant violation of international law and human rights, explicit in the arming of terrorist groups against a sovereign country.
MP: What’s your take on The White Helmets documentary that won an Oscar?
Tim Anderson: It is a culmination of PR marketing in the context of US culture, which says everything has a price. It is a master stroke of marketing, but it creates its own reaction – now more people will look more critically at this Frankenstein’s monster I believe al Qaeda’s Oscar is more a triumph of marketing than one of acting or documentary making.
MP: What points does this documentary insinuate?
Tim Anderson: The overt message is: keep supporting the lovely moderate head-choppers (and their child welfare branch) against the evil Syrian government.
The underlying message is: imperial cynicism has no real boundaries; vicious terrorism can be sold to the gullible masses as saintly benevolence.
MP: Some might say the Oscars awarded to The White Helmets and The Salesman were purely because of political reasons. What’s your take on this?
Tim Anderson: Yes I agree. But Hollywood has always had a role in promoting war and the delusion of US ‘exceptionalism’. Imperial politics and soul-less culture go hand in hand.
Tim Anderson has degrees in economics and international politics, and a doctorate on the political economy of economic liberalisation in Australia. His current research interests relate to (i) Development strategy and rights in development, (ii) Melanesian land and livelihoods, and (iii) Economic Integration in Latin America. He is a Senior Lecturer in Political Economy at the University of Sydney. He has studied the Syrian conflict since 2011.