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How Avaaz is sponsoring fake war reports from Syria

By NicolasDavies - Posted on 09 March 2012


There are fake video reports coming out of Syria and we have good reason to believe that these are at least sponsored by the U.S. Avaaz foundation.

Let me recommend to watch this video. A Syrian citizen journalist "Danny" is preparing for a live call by CNN's Anderson Cooper.

The area is quiet. Nothing really happens, no shots are heard until he is on live TV. Then he suddenly screams of mortar attacks and "200 death in the last 3 hours" and the sound of shots is played in the background. It is all Wag The Dog part II.

The "Danny" guy is a partner of Khalid Abu Saleh who's various fake videos of him being wounded we wrote abouthere. You can see them together in this video with "Danny" playing the panicked civilian asking for help and Khaled Abu Saleh again playing a wounded person.

As As'ad AbuKhalil wrote yesterday:

It seems that Syrian regime had agents among the rebels; or it seems that the Syrian regime obtained a trove of video footage from Baba Amru. They have been airing them non-stop. They are quite damning. They show the correspondent or witness (for CNN or from Aljazeera) before he is on the air: and the demeanor is drastically different from the demeanor on the air and they even show contrived sounds of explosions timed for broadcast time. I have to say that Aljazeera and the affiliated Ikhwan media win the award for the largest volume of lies in this crisis. Their lies have been rather helpful to the Syrian regime which now fills its airtime with exposing the lies and exaggerations of the Ikhwan-led Syrian opposition.

PS This is really scandalous. It shows the footage prior to Aljazeera reports: they show fake bandages applied on a child and then a person is ordered to carry a camera in his hand to make it look like a mobile footage. It shows a child being fed what to say on Aljazeera.

The video with the not-woundedwounded child is here (hat tip to sate3) and with English subtitles here. The video shows Kahled Abu Saleh preparing the child for its testimony on AlJazeerah and the actual AlJazeerah appearance.

This whole rebellion, at least in the western media, is much made from such video propaganda. Notice that the equipment for such TV stunts has come through Avaaz, a progressive U.S. activist foundation that originally did global online clicktivism but has now become an operation that is smuggling journalists and equipment into and out of Syria:

First off Avaaz sent in hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of communications equipment – satellite phones and internet connections known as BGANs – that gave the protesters a link to the outside world.

As with earlier Arab spring engagements in Tunisia and Libya, they realised that equipment alone was not enough: the protesters needed to know how to use it if they were to be effective. So Avaaz sent in trainers who could give grounding in how to use the satphones as well as basic training in citizen journalism. 
Reports coming from Avaaz-trained citizen journalists in Homs and other key conflict zones, channelled through the Avaaz communications hub outside the country, has been a major source of information on the uprising and the regime's bloody response, used by news outlets around the world.

That would be those fake propaganda reports by "Danny" and Khaled Abu Saleh and their like. Notice that Khaled Abu Saleh was also in the video of the wounded western journalist Edith Bouviers who Avaaz had smuggled into and later out of Syria. So there definitely is a connection between Avaaz and these fake reporters. So where would you guess the rather expensive equipment "Danny" and Khalid are using and which enables them to appear with their fakes on CNN and AlJazeerah is coming from?

Avaaz says on its about page that it "is wholly member-funded." While the web-page has a donation button, it is unclear what this "member-funded" thingy means. According to its latest 990 form the "Avaaz Foundation is comprised of two members: Res Publica (U.S.) Inc and Civic Action." So these are the two members funding the "member-funded" Avaaz? From the 990 form, which seems redacted, it is not clear to me where the money to Avaaz, over $6 million in 2010, is actually coming from or where it is going. Could this be another U.S. government funded non-government organization like the National Endowment for Democracy or the International Republican Institute which act as fronts for the CIA and other secret services?    


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