Unpaid, Unarmed Lifesavers in Syria

Side by side with the worst of humanity you often see the best. In Syria, the best is an extraordinary group called the White Helmets.

Comments: 63

  1. "A reputation for nonpolitical humanitarianism" -- isn't it interesting how such a reputation enhances their effectiveness? Maybe things would cool down a bit in the Middle East, and elsewhere (our Congress?), if everybody tried to incorporate a little more nonpolitical humanitarianism into their lives and work.

    As for the plight of the Syrians, it is terrible to see a country destroyed before our eyes. I find it hard to understand how a leader can believe his leadership, his being in office, is so much more important than all these lives, and cities and hospitals and schools and so on. The White Helmets have certainly found a way to light a candle rather than curse the darkness. I agree it's inspiring.

  2. "how about now dispatching [American troops] on a temporary mission to Jordan to build schools for Syrian refugees?" No, we should not do that, because we apparently do not even have enough money to fully fund the IRS, or house our homeless, or feed our poor, or repair our infrastructure; and it takes money, lots of it (Trillions), to be the World Cop.

    Instead of criticizing our President, why not criticize Putin? After all, he supports the evil dictator Assad before the United Nations, and supplies him with weapons.

    It is amazing how Mr. Kristof feels a constant need to bleed the United States in every corner of the world, all the time. I disagree with him. Charity (and defense) begin at home. Besides, unless homo sapiens evolves into something better, there will always be vicious men all over the world, torturing, pillaging, raping, and slaughtering. It is part of our nature, and enough to keep us busy in our own backyard. The folks who live in the Middle East need to take care of their own, and powerful jerks from countries like Russia need to stop enabling the real monsters like Assad.

  3. @Cassandra - I empathize with your position although both Russia and the U.S. are guilty of interfering with the internal affairs in the Middle East. The CIA has admitted responsibility of the 1953 Iranian coup d'état and installation of a puppet government led by the Shah. The British & U.S. displaced Palestinians from their homelands in order to create what is now Israel in 1948. If Assad was such a cruel dictator, why not seek justice by bringing him to trial in the International Criminal Court in The Hague like the global community did with the leaders of Yugoslavia in 1993? There were many other options other than arming and training rebels against Assad. The international community needs to monitor leaders if they commit atrocities, although should do it in a court of law with evidence and facts rather than with violence. Evil only creates more evil unless civility steps in to give liberty a chance to sthrive.

  4. I can certainly understand America not spending funds and human lives in fighting in the middle east, but to not help children? To not do what we do best in giving humanitarian aid? That is not very American of you.

  5. Many of Syria’s moderates would agree with Mr. Kristof’s assessment. There were innumerable opportunities to more aggressively support moderates in Syria in a way that would not have allowed them to actually win—and would have been unlikely to put Americans at risk of another Middle East War—but might have led Assad’s major backers to agree to a peace agreement that would have seen his departure. It’s hard to see IS becoming the force it has had that occurred. But such an outcome has been derided as fantasy by the Administration. We will never know.

    But we do know that when many Americans were cautioning against such support to the moderates for fear of dragging the U.S. into another war and many rejoiced at the President’s decision not to take action when the Assad regime crossed his red line numerous times ultimately using chemical weapons to kill some 1,200 civilians in one attack, that those who supported tougher U.S. action said such action was our best chance of averting a war none of us wanted. They argued that tens of thousands of civilians were still being slaughtered and millions were being displaced from their homes. Leaving such a situation to fester would invariably lead to an even greater problem down the road. And we know that attacks against civilians and American aid increased dramatically after it was clear the Administration would not act.

    And we do know that this week the President asked for Congress to authorize yet another war in the Middle East.

  6. The current problems in Syria are not and never have been amenable to an American military intervention. Warriors over there receive American weapons and then quickly change sides. Have we learned nothing from our military catastrophes in the Middle East thus far? Each time we have chosen a side and intervened we have made things much worse for the people who are trying to live normal lives over there. Those who are fighting in the desert are entirely different from those who might come here to attempt terrorist acts. The latter are best handled by the intelligence services and Homeland Security, not our military forces.

  7. I think that last idea, building schools for refugees, is a good one. As to when we should have helped? I am tired of war. I am not so sure we wouldn't have made things worse. I don't think we owe anyone anything and I don't know what we should do any more. How sad, even with a feel good, white hat story.

  8. I find it infuriating that Mr. Kristof is urging us to celebrate more innocent lives being thrown into this hell hole. Any rational mind would already have conclude that the situation in Syria is irredeemable and must be played out to the end by the psychopaths who initiated and sustained the conflict and coalition forces. Deliberately allowing decent civilians (journalists like Foley and Sotloff or aid workers like Kayla Mueller, for example) to wander among these tribes of murderers has become indefensible; they only serve to provide fodder for ISIS' horrific propaganda. I've been increasingly surprised and saddened by Mr. Kristof's niavete; I'm sure his heart is in the right place, but the solution is no longer to invest fresh lives. Let this barbarity end of and by itself in the apocalyptic ruins of Syrian cities without allowing it to swallow up more innocent aid workers, journalists and idealists. It's a war, not a Hollywood film.

  9. The White Helmets are, indeed, today's heroes, willingly risking their lives to save the victims of the carnage of war. The agents of destruction, such as ISIS and Assad, are the antithesis of heroism, thugs in a position of power, and supported by thug countries financially. Our world is upside down, greed on the rise, and faith-based violence an intolerant malignancy in our midst. Although the valiant resolve of the White Helmets is without parallel, it may be too little and too late for too many. Under these dire circumstances, claiming there is a loving god watching, is incomprehensible, an insult to this god if there ever was one.

  10. We learned that military support would not be effective in Middle East to establish peaceful society. It is impossible for the people to retrieve the stable society without resolving the problem of the poor. So it is an effective way to support financially to build schools instead of sending the army.

  11. President Obama's policy has certainly failed in Syria. Let us demand that our drone program in Syria attempts to minimize civilian deaths. It is hard to imagine the courageous White Helmets having the added burden of attempting to rescue injured children from US directed strikes.

  12. very good suggestion to support the white helmets. After WW2 there were care packages. I got a care package as a child in Germany and I will never forget it: some pencils and some chocolate in it. How could US citizens send care packages today? Gary Sinisi had a program Operation International Children and it worked together with the US military to send packages to the Middle East via a warehouse run by the President Eisenhower People to People in Missouri . But it was dismanteled now that the US military is changing mission. We need such a program. Lets start a civilian to civilian program...

  13. The White Helmets argue the the West is "so focused on the Islamic State that it is ignoring the far greater killing by Assad". Correct and no secret.

    Dr. al-Habib states: "When we started the revolution, we thought we shared the same values as the West...But I'm ashamed to say our friends failed us. We should have had friends like China, Russia, Iran because they were credible". They also seem to be loyal, unfortunately to Mr. Assad. The same cannot be said about the West, too often only "fair weather" friends.

    Prof. Landis, a Syrian expert states: "They're going to be like the Palestinians, floating around the Middle East for decades". Like the Palestinians? According to the UN, 3 million (!) Syrians are now refugees in neighboring countries and another 6.5 (!!!!) million are displaced internally. Combining the (maximum )#s of Palestinian refugees from both 1948 and 1967, even using Palestinian figures (but not their descendants), there were 1 million refugees and even factoring in descendants there are fewer than Syrian refugees and those displaced. Syria as a refugees problem is far worse.

    Whatever the solution is, it has to include not just ISIS but also the removal of Mr. Assad. It is not clear that the West is willing to pursue that.

    As for Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon, one might ask both King Abdullah and President Erodogan why the Syrian refugees are not in schools. Does King Abdullah need American troops to build schools?

  14. Thanks for the uplifting column, and for voicing support for more than military interventions alone. Spreading care and humanity is an urgent mission.

  15. The courage of such people is really quite amazing in the face of the daily murder and destruction. Thanks for the article.

  16. Why do we, the USA, need to step in? Lets say that we are no longer the world's police or private security for oil companies.
    I don't want to see the next generation of our kids fighting someone else's battles. It always galls me when the avid hiker wants to take off alone in a dangerous area or a surfer wants to experience the stormy waves or the property owner who skimps on wiring when he has his neighbor (a mailman) do it and has not smoke detectors. Then the rescue teams come out and are putting their lives on the line for complete lack of judgement and lunacy. This is Where you want us to get involved yet again? How about a Middle East summit held by, funded and worked out by.....the Middle East? They have gazillions of dollars and plenty of people doing nothing in the likes of innovation and constuction (discounting their fervor for stimulating mid evil hate and bomb making). Don't advocate another generation of kids going to a place where they are constant targets and sending them back here broken and PTSD ridden. Have them rebuild our bridges and our highways, engineer our country and live a better life. Africa has had the ability to clean up their water, they chose not to. So sitting in a sweltering suit fighting off a horrific disease and then going to build a school in a country that hates them is what they signed up for? Doubtful. We need them home, here, helping and being appreciated by their fellow citizens.

  17. Syria unravels from one dictatorship to another, as does Iraq. Iran plays with the west for a decade while developing the ultimate weapon of mass destruction, ISIS shoots up a speech on freedom of speech and then goes on to murder another Jew at prayer. This following 210,000 dead, thousands of beheadings, and the sex enslavement of thousands more. Kristoff has the time to (rightly) condemn a triple murder in N. Carolina (but seems to ignore the fact that in this case it seems to be a murder over a parking space and not a hate crime per se) and to condemn anti-muslim sentiments.
    But the murder of hundreds of thousands, numerous attempts by many Muslims of various organizations to end free speech and anti-Semitic acts anywhere rarely make it onto his articles. Seems some murderous offenses are much more important than others.
    When you have a single standard of behavior, Kristoff - let us know. As long as your standards are so very flexible, as long as you can only praise a select few, as long as you always ignore the crimes of a select few regardless of how heinous they are, your praise loses its value and your silences are very loud.

  18. The selfless service of the White Helmets in a ravage torn country is truly inspiring. I don't agree with you that the United States should take a lead in setting up schools for the children of Syrian refugees. One can' expect the US to be everywhere and, moreover, as the Syrian children speak only Arabic, it would not a wise move send teachers from the Western block. It is incumbent of countries in the Middle East like Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain, Qatar to take initiative in arranging for the education of these children. Other countries can, at best, arrange for fund for setting up of schools.

    Assad is playing the fiddle, when Syria is burning. The west should bring pressure on Assad to step down, if peace has to be restored in Syria.

  19. " Arming rebels might have worked in 2012, but it may be too late now."

    There is no more reason to believe that than to expect that the invasion of Iraq would bring peace and democracy to the Iraqi people.

  20. "But what we can do is provide more support for the White Helmets and, above all, do far more to help Syrian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey"
    Who is "we"? There is plenty of mention of the US role, but none of the oil-rich Arab governments especially those of the Arabian Peninsula expending money, military force and political will to remedy the suffering of the Syrian refugees and above all resolving the conflict. There is no mention of the incendiary mendacious role of the Iranian government, jockeying for hegemonic control over this region. All due respect Mr Kristof, you too often, you let too many of the other players off the hook in this situation. Why is this situation so different from Darfur, which you wrote so eloquently about, and where you spoke truth to the powerful and rich Arab nations, who can do something!

  21. Saudi Arabia has been far more incendiary and mendacious than Iran.

  22. The relative effect of the efforts of the White Helmets compared to those of all the various killers in Syria seems like a good tragic commentary on the relative impact of good and evil on our sad planet.

  23. I'm not an Obama fan, but let's give him a break regarding policy on Syria. If he had intervened in Syria and successfully dumped Assad who would have filled the resulting power vacuum? Obviously it would have been ISIS or the forerunners of ISIS. I mean does anyone really believe that the dentists and accountants that comprise the " moderate " Syrian opposition would stand a chance in a power struggle against ISIS? The Middle East is in the grip of a vicious sectarian war, analogous to Europe's Thirty Years War between Catholics and Protestants ( 1618 - 1648 ), pitting Sunni Muslims and Shia Muslims against each other and made all the more destructive by Sunni subgroups also fighting each other. Our course of action, with the exception of humanitarian aide and use of air power and specialized forces to prevent one side or the other from completely dominating the region, is to stand aside and be thankful that Western Civilization had it's Age of Reason and Enlightenment several centuries ago along with the hope that the cataclysmic violence in the Middle East will burn itself out in a couple of decades or so.

  24. As always, Mr. Kristof...so crucial and pertinent. I may have just missed it....but how can we contribute? Thanks to you, I Know now of the White Helmets,,,and can activate the fact that I Care.

  25. "President Obama's greatest foreign policy failure has been Syria" according to columnist Kristof. Should we have armed them and trained them as we did the Iraqi Shiites only to see them to throw down their arms and run away? It is American arms seized by the Sunnis which are facilitating the ISIS rampage. Or is this all just a bit too confusing for a rational approach? Everything we have touched in the Middle East has turned to dross. It is time to realize that everything we have done has only made things worse and we should get out of there and allow them to fight out their civil war.

  26. I commend the White Helmet heroes in Syria as outstanding examples of the extraordinary capacity for humankind to do good in the world at their own peril. While here in the U.S. we debate about such idle pastimes as whether 50 Shades of Grey is really a feminist movie or just a marketing gimmick. We complain about our political leaders and their corporate influences.

    The irony is that the U.S. and our buddies in the region including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait & Turkey helped arm & train the rebels fighting under the umbrella of the Free Syrian Army (FSA.) This was the first major opposition group to form & fight Bashar al-Assad's forces in Syria in 2011. During Syria's version of the Arab Spring, the US & our allies claim that Assad rounded up & tortured hundreds of protesters. Many would criticize the CIA for interfering in the internal affairs of a sovereign nation with the pretext that Assad is so evil that he had to be removed through secretive & covert action.

    By funding a rebel army & providing arms to fight Assad, ISIS had free range to move into the lawless areas of Syria from its hiding places in Iraq. They were able to morph into a much more brutal & menacing entity than if the outside intervention in Syria hadn't taken place. Now that they've killed thousands & kidnapped/raped hundreds of girls, it seems that Assad's evil might seem pale in comparison. The White Helmets are a small force of good in a region overwhelmed by chaos & violence & I wish them well.

  27. If we provide aid to the heroic White Helmets, it will just put their lives even more at risk. ISIS likely would execute them as CIA spies. We need more unilateral action by Muslim locals to stop the conflict. As for us, GW Bush tossed the lit cigar into the powder magazine in 2003, and when the disastrous consequences of that misguided invasion will end no one knows.

  28. If you click on the link to "the white helmets" in the second paragraph, it directs you to a site where you can donate specifically for non military items used to save people.

    If our government cannot do enough, we can at least raise the humanitarian flag ourselves.

  29. Yes, the White Hats are a ray of light in a black room called Syria. (Also, take a look at Mayday Rescue, which trains the White Hats), But to use them as ammo to attack U.S. policy in Syria is a specious argument for intervention, which is how Kristof is using them.

    Once again on the subject of Syria, Mr. Kristof prefers assertion to logic. He asserts, "President Obama’s greatest foreign policy failing has been Syria," then admits, "It’s not clear that other approaches would have succeeded," and then doubles-back to say, "But his policy and the world’s have manifestly failed." And what would Mr. Kristof have done? Perhaps we should charge in and kill Assad the way we did in 2011 in Libya with Gadaffi? That worked well. Not.

    God save us and the Syrian people from do-gooders like Kristof. The road to hell is paved with good intentions. Would that Kristof and his merry bank of interventionists had to actually solve difficult problems like Syria. Perhaps they would have to deal more rigorously with facts and logic.

  30. The problem with Nicholas Kristof is that he considers all of us worthy of saving. He thinks more like a Peace Corps volunteer than a clear thinking politician or soldier. Forget about treating others as you would want to be treated yourself. That's just squishy liberal thinking; we've got to be realistic about whom we can help in this world. If we spend money buying food, water and medicine for all the poor fools who need these things, how can we ever have the money to build more weapons and planes to sell to our international buyers who need them to kill their enemies?

    We should stop talking about garbage like "do unto others what you would want them to do unto you!" Who was the fool who said that anyway? Darn that Nicholas Kristof! Why can't he just leave well-enough alone?

  31. Look at Libya if you seek evidence of the foolishness of Mr. Kristof's policy suggestions.

  32. Excellent use of Poe's Law!

  33. there will always be a glimmer of hope in the worst of situations , but.....it should be necessary not to identify hope with the reality of what is occuring in Syria and other parts of the middle east . The situation is very bad and seems to be getting worse especially when politicians start identifying previous murderers as the new saviours . All too soon is Assad seen as a stabilizing force by some European and American leaders . He is not anything but part of the the regional problem as are ISIS , Hizballah , and other supposed saviours .

  34. Joshua Landis is indeed one of the few real experts who actually knows what he is talking about regarding Syria however he is wrong stating Syrian refugees are "going to be like the Palestinians". We are now 3 years into this nightmare, no special UN agency for them, contributions promised are inadequate and even less actually collected, no special Security Council resolutions, no howling hoards in London, Paris or Madrid. No, they are already forgotten because they haven't worked out how to blame Israel.

  35. The power and strength and hope behind these White Helmets is that they are civilian Syrian citizens. Instead of condescending paternalistic meddling Americans.

    Sending American troops into this ethnic sectarian socioeconomic political educational civil war conflict on a humanitarian mission is a very bad idea. This is not a fight against an infectious disease epidemic.

    Besides America has armed Jordan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, U.A.E. and Bahrain to bring more death and destruction to the region. Caught between opposition to the Alawite Muslim rule of Bashar al-Assad and his Christian, Shia and Kurdish allies and the Sunni Muslim Abu Bakr Al- Baghdadi and ISIL and the al Qaeda affiliated Al-Nusrah Front America has a lot of very bad options. This all began with the American invasion and occupation of Iraq.

    Humanitarian aid to displaced persons and refugees is the primary job of the UN, Red Cross/Crescent, Doctors Without Borders, etc. It is not the job of the American military.

  36. "This all began with the American invasion and occupation of Iraq.". That too, but originally? With a man who lived 1300 YA with a genius mind for inventing an imperialistic expansionist religion based in fear and terror, some simplistic ideas and rewards in the next world for just following his agenda.

  37. "We should have had friends like China.,Russia and Iran."
    Here is the lead from a story here in the NYT in 2012:
    "Diplomatic efforts at the United Nations Security Council to address the Syria crisis suffered a potentially fatal blow on Thursday when Russia and China vetoed a British-sponsored resolution that would have punished the Syrian government with economic sanctions for failing to carry out a peace plan."
    And now?

  38. I enjoy Nick's columns, but absolutely agree with Cassandra on this one.

    Mary Mazzocco

  39. Including women as members is the right move but it was done for the wrong reasons. Even in a time of desperate need the arcane attitudes toward women being seen by men when not fully clothed is ridiculous. Women should be included because they are willing, able bodied, deeply compassionate and natural caregivers. Instinctively women are better able to comfort a terrified baby or child.

    It gives me hope for this region that this kind of compassion exists. Good luck to them!

  40. Further, women empowerment is the only power that can eventually kill the Middle Eastern dysfunction at its root. The deep causes of all this havoc in the region is patriarchal family structures.

  41. Kristoff is one of my heroes...and as a senior citizen, the number of them has dwindled as the world has become desensitized to suffering and ruled by financial gain. However, I am struck by how few comments are noted here compared to other topics in today's NYT (over 1300 about harmful tweets), and I can only believe it is because that we have become so self absorbed that the plight and horror of people facing harm in other parts of the world has become so commonplace that we are not "grabbed" by news about them. How sad for them, and for all humanity, that we have entered a global economy, but have become more emotionally insular and isolated. We need more media coverage beyond the exceptional views of opinion writers...we should receive as much information about the impact of global decisions on populations as we do about the political and national leaders. Perhaps we could then be more involved in choosing our leaders based upon how they lead rather than what their campaigns promise.

  42. What is needed is an international effort which would include Arab nations to militarily intervene, occupy, and bring the fighting to an end in Syria. Without a functioning government in Syria and with millions destitute, standing by and doing nothing is a poor option.

  43. The White Helmets are true heroes. But the solution cannot be to simply provide more humanitarian aid to rescue and assist Syrian civilians and refugees. Our new war/airstrikes are obviously NOT the answer either. All parties (including Assad and IS) need to come to the table for a negotiated political settlement. And Syria and Iraq probably need to be partitioned. That's the only real way that residents of the region will ever see peace again.

  44. I can't help but wonder if the White Helmets have a paradoxical effect on ISIS related terrorism.

    By performing their role, they may save a few trapped, incapacitated victims, but they in some small way legitimize the terrorism equation by behaving as if ISIS attacks are a necessary evil to be dealt with in this humanitarian way. When the White Helmets run in to see what can be salvaged, they turn the spot light just a little bit away from the perpetrators who might otherwise attract more scorn or condemnation.

    Suppose, as a mundane example of this principle, ISIS destroyed a critical bridge in the center of a major city in Syria. If it was not rebuilt, the rubble would serve as a reminder of the waste and chaos of the civil conflict far better than a new bridge that was a supposed shining example of the will of the people to overcome its losses.

    If the White Helmets slow and delay the process of the Islam communities working out their political differences, the few lives they save may end up being a fraction of the losses from additional years of conflict.

  45. The human, civilian toll in Syria is without a doubt one of the worst in in recent history. This Op Ed speaks to this human toll and the civilians who are courageous enough to risk their lives to save the lives of those civilians. I am not sure who most of the readers are who find all type of issues with this Op Ed, but as a mother of children, and grand children of a boy about the age of the boy in the photograph, my heart cries for this boy who is seemingly in shock. Why can we not all agree on the fact that innocent civilians being killed, in all parts of the world, regardless of who the perpetrator is, is a topic that deserves reporting on?! In Syria this has been going on too long and the world is simply standing by. It pains me as a professional dealing with holocaust survivors that we seemingly learn nothing from lessons supposedly learned. Thank you, Nick Kristof, for pointing out repeatedly the human cost of war.

  46. Indeed. Thank you for your comment.

  47. Mr. Kristof, thank you for sharing. Israeli soldiers and doctors have saved the lives of over 1300 wounded Syrians and have surreptitiously returned them to Syria so that no one will find out that they spent time in "Zionist enemy" territory. That makes for an uplifting story as well.

  48. Q: "... how about now dispatching them on a temporary mission to Jordan to build schools for Syrian refugees?"

    A: Because they will just get bombed! Syria is an active war zone.

  49. I fear that any schools we built would become targets of anti-Western, anti-education savages like Boko Haram. It seems that anything that has our fingerprints on it quickly becomes a magnet for terrorists. Like it or not, we may have to accept the fact that there just isn't anything we can do to help.

  50. One of the things that the both Korea "intellectuals" like to preach is there is never a military solution to various wars. What history shows is there is always a military solution. It is just not cost free. We can leave Assad in power, have Isis do what go away by itself? Those who want Assad out what non-military solution is there?

    There needs to be a lot more fact telling, and understanding about what is wrong within the Islamic and Arab Worlds from Afghanistan to the Mediterranean. Shiites are being murdered at prayer with a regularity that is horrifying. Shiites are trying to kill Jews with a bit to much regularity. Arabs slaughter Arabs while the Saudis and the Persians of Iran fund various proxy wars. The reguees will be used by both sides to help fuel this modern Thirty Years War.

  51. Very few nations or institutions, including especially the Arab world and the U.N., are going to care for or publicize the plight of Syrian refugees because there is no way to blame Israel for the problem. 'It's not news if you can't blame Jews.'

  52. These individuals are an example of those that will risk their lives to help in dire times. I am sickened by the U S policy. What will it take to convince the masses war is not the answer?

  53. The volunteers are admirable. Those in power should give peace a chance. Indeed, everyone with means should talk about peace and against violence/war. It is maddening that such senseless killing still exists in the 21st century.

  54. The soldiers returning from West Africa aren't necessarily skilled in building homes. and Kristof didn't ask the Jordanian royal family or the Jordanian people about their thoughts about a visible American presence on their Islamic soil. I do guarantee that among the displaced Syrians are many idle men with an actual background in construction. I haven't talked to my Hashemite friend King Abdullah II about whether his country wants to build permanent housing for millions. ask the Palestinians who languished in refugee camps for the nearly two decades the West Bank was under Jordanian control about that legendary Arabic hospitality and empathy.
    Besides the above, what construction needs next is money. Not far from Jordan are countries flush with oil money. ask the Saudis if they have experience building madrassas abroad. (note: only Sunnis need apply. displaced Shias can beggar Iran.)
    I'm a liberal. But Kristof is a bleeding heart kumbaya always willing to commit American dollars and manpower to solve complicated quagmires of quicksand halfway around the globe. I thought that was a Republican specialty?

  55. He made no mention of building homes, it was schools. What better way to employ some of the refugees than by building schools for their own children.

  56. Yet another "white man's burden" column from Nick. Sad, really.

    (Of course the NYT mods will never post this comment)

  57. And yet, they did! Didn't they.

  58. So let's pay homage to the knights - the knights in 'White Helmets'. There is still some hope. There are still a few good, kind people on our Planet gone mad. Sorry, it's not our Planet. It's US. The so called Humans.

  59. At first I thought this article was about the unpaid, unarmed lifesavers of Syrians (doctors, EMT's, nurses) working in northern Israel to save the lives of thousands of Syrians injured in their Civil War.

  60. Thank you Nicholas for introducing us to the White Helmets. I will remember this story. Will also remember that as of mid-Sunday there are only 51 comments, yet these men and women are heroes.

  61. Thank you for investigating the situation in Syria to find out about the White Helmet rescue efforts. It's good to learn that some persons are taking charge to help others who have been caught in this horrendous situation of on-going violence. I liked your suggestion about sending US persons to Jordan to help them build schools for Syrian refugee children. Let's make it happen!

  62. Thank you. We need to support this group and add to their numbers.