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On the trail of fake news;connecting the dots from Syria to Hollywood

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Read a great feel-good news story in my Sunday Star today. Seems that some “opposition activists” (code for the al Qaeda /ISIS crowd fighting for regime change in Syria) have teamed up with some entrepreneurial Americans to develop an app that gives those plucky activists a heads-up that a pro-government fighter-bomber is heading their way.

They’ve got planespotters lurking around Syrian airbases. When they spot a jet taking off they call in the particulars to a “foreign server,” where the information is plugged into magic algorithms. Almost instantly, the algorithms calculate where that plane is heading, and then send a warning to those target areas on social media. A simple cell-phone app has saved tens of thousands of civilian lives!

I was surprised that war-torn Syria would have such robust cell-phone coverage, especially in the rebel-held areas. Doesn’t the Syrian government control the cell networks? Wouldn’t they just turn off the coverage for any area they planned to bomb?

Something doesn’t add up, so I thought I’d dig around a little. The Star filched the story from the Washington Post, and the Post’s story appears to be an abbreviated version of this story at Wired from a few days before. This story provides a little more background on the three partners who founded Hala Systems: Dave Levin, the American entrepreneur, John Jaeger of the US State Department, and “Murad,” the Syrian coder working in Turkey on “data management” for the White Helmets.

The White Helmets are the civilian defense outfit that works only in areas under the control of the so-called rebels, primarily ISIS and various affiliates of al Qaeda. There is an abundance of evidence that strongly suggests institutional ties between the White Helmets and the terrorists, and the White Helmets have received at least $100 millions in financing (and an Oscar!) from the very Western countries that have sponsored the overthrow of Assad from the beginning.

So far our good-news story has ensnared the White Helmets, their sponsors in the US and other countries, and their links to the terrorists that we’ve supposedly been fighting since 9/11, but where’s the Hollywood connection?

Here you go. Dave Levin, inventor of the miracle app saving lives in Syria, is listed as a collaborator on the website of USC’s World Building Institute. Take a gander at their partners page. You’ll find the aristocracy of the global infotainment industry very well represented indeed!

Among other things, these connections clarify how little Bana made it so smoothly from Aleppo to Turkey to Hollywood.

As for that story being flogged via Wired, WaPo, and the Toronto Star, I don’t know why you’d need spotters lurking around Syrian air bases when the US military can see every airplane in the sky anywhere over Syria.

But it gives the story a human touch, doesn’t it?

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