Monday, 23 April 2018

Conspiracy Theorists

Here's an interesting article from the Huffington Post which explains how an obscure British blogger and conspiracy theorist, Vanessa Beeley, became a key ally of Russia in Syria's brutal civil war.

Vanessa apparently believes that the attack on Charlie Head was staged, that al Qaeda was not behind the 9/11 attacks on America and that France is ruled by Zionists.

I suspect Vanessa would feel perfectly at home in Jeremy Corbyn's Labour Party.

How An Obscure British Blogger Became Russia's Key Witness Against The White Helmets

By Chris York- Huffington Post

Vanessa Beeley is a British blogger who believes the attack on French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo was staged, al-Qaeda wasn’t behind the 9/11 attacks and that “Zionists rule France”.

But her real passion is trying to convince the world that the White Helmets, the group that rescues people from the rubble of Syria’s civil war, is a terrorist-linked organisation that fakes its activities to illicit sympathy in the West for a regime change plot against Syrian leader, Bashar al-Assad.

Beeley, 53, is the daughter of the late British diplomat Sir Harold Beeley, and worked in various sales and management roles before turning to activism in 2012.

She would have remained in the fringe world of conspiracy theorists, blogging on alternative news sites and speaking at events alongside holocaust deniers and David Icke if it weren’t for one thing - she, like thousands of other people, became embroiled in a Russian disinformation campaign.

But unlike most, she would take centre stage. In May of 2017 Petr Iliichev, Russia’s ChargĂ© d’Affaires at the UN Security Council, submitted a report containing “information on the work of the White Helmets in Syria”.

The evidence in the document consisted solely of a presentation Beeley had given in London earlier that year.

So why would Russia, a state with extensive intelligence gathering services and boots on the ground in Syria, rely on the word of an unknown British blogger?

RT - Beeley is regularly invited to speak on Russian state media.

Scott Lucas, journalist and Professor of Political Science and International Studies at the University of Birmingham, told HuffPost UK it’s all about how the White Helmets document evidence of possible war crimes.

“One of the things that Russia does is they hit medical sites and civil defence headquarters and they carry out double-tap strikes to target rescuers,” he says.

“So delegitimising the White Helmets does a couple of things - one is it makes them legitimate targets, paradoxically. Because if they die, the Russians can just so ‘they were associated with terrorists anyway’.

“Secondly it tries to hinder the White Helmets in putting out information about the Russian attacks that are taking place.”

Russia intervened in Syria at the behest of the Assad regime in September 2015, and until a year later, the White Helmets do not appear to have been on the radar of Russian authorities.

During this time the group had been documenting and posting the aftermath of Russian attacks in Syria, including “double taps” – where a target would be hit then hit again a few minutes later in order to deliberately target rescue workers.