Max Blumenthal Spoke to No Syrians for White Helmets Piece and Says Murtaza Hussein ‘Spoon-Fed PR’

Nov 4, 2016 · 3 min read

Max Blumenthal’s remarks at the Verso/Muftah “Syria and the Left” panel contained a number of falsehoods, misleading half-truths, personal attacks, and embarrassing admissions. All of them are documented below with time-stamped hyperlinks:

· 32:50Half-truth: Anti-aircraft weapons (MANPADS) were sent to FSA by Qatar as part of the U.S.-led covert arms program for the Syrian rebels codenamed Timber Sycamore.

Full truth: Timber Sycamore barred MANPADS from being shipped to rebel forces. Blumenthal is correct that MANPADS were sent to FSA but he is referring to one shipment during the entire five-year war of FN-6s in 2013 by the government of Qatar independently of the U.S.-led program. Since then, there have been no known or documented shipments of MANPADS to rebels by Qatar or other powers.

· 33:35Half-truth: FSA fought alongside ISIS. This was true up until the end of 2013; from the beginning of January 2014 onward the FSA has been at war with ISIS.

Full truth: The FSA has spent more years fighting against ISIS than collaborating with it.

· 50:50 — Hypocritically supports Radio Fresh and activist lawyers who receive millions of dollars in U.S. government funding while condemning White Helmets first responders for being U.S.-backed.

· 1:05:23Falsehood: Hillary Clinton is calling for a “massive military campaign” in Syria.

· 1:10:42; 1:11:34 — Taking a page from Trump’s debate performances, Blumenthal repeatedly interrupts panelist Loubna Mrie (who is also a veteran activist of the Syrian revolution).

· 1:16:16 — Hails local ceasefires as a “great idea.” These ceasefires have entailed mass starvation and mass expulsions of civilians in places like Darayya. Local ceasefires are a central component of the Assad regime’s military strategy for total victory over the both the civilian opposition and the rebels.

· 1:16:50Falsehood: Riad Hijab of the Syrian opposition’s High Negotiations Committee demanded that Assad simply step down in Geneva negotiations.

· 1:30:47 — Again Blumenthal interrupts someone, this time an audience member who was questioning his logic that ‘U.S. funded = pawns.’ Mrie’s answer rebuking Blumenthal’s attack on the White Helmets provoked the event’s only instance of stormy applause.

· 1:33:53 — Calls the Western-based lobbying group Syria Campaign which works closely with the While Helmets “insidious” for promoting the voices of Syrian revolutionaries on the ground who want to stop Assad’s and Russia’s relentless bombing of civilians by imposing a no-fly zone.

· 1:35:16 — Accuses fellow panelist Murtaza Hussein of being “spoon fed PR” by the Syria Campaign because Hussain wrote an article praising the White Helmets for their heroism. Blumenthal accused Hussein of being “spoon fed” again at 1:40:36.

· 1:38:38 — Blumenthal admits under direct questioning by Mrie that he did not speak to a single member of the White Helmets or any Syrians helped by the White Helmets before writing his hit pieces. He admitted for a second time that he spoke to not a single Syrian through Skype or any other means at 1:41:00 while he was ‘researching’ (read: plagiarizing) ‘his’ White Helmets smears.

Max Blumenthal’s journalism is so woke he can write stories about people and organizations without even talking to them. No wonder he’s a favorite over at the flagship of journalistic integrity known as Russia Today.


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