“The media is the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that’s power.”Malcolm X
In the summer of 1997, Major (P) Ralph Peters, responsible for future warfare at the U.S. Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence, wrote a paper titled, “Constant Conflict”.
“We have entered an age of constant conflict. Information is at once our core commodity and the most destabilizing factor of our time.
.. the constant conflicts in which we selectively intervene will be as miserable as any other form of warfare for the soldiers and Marines engaged. The bayonet will still be relevant; however, informational superiority incisively employed should both sharpen that bayonet and permit us to defeat some–but never all–of our enemies outside of bayonet range. Our informational advantage over every other country and culture will be so enormous that our greatest battlefield challenge will be harnessing its power. Our potential national weakness will be the failure to maintain the moral and raw physical strength to thrust that bayonet into an enemy’s heart.
Only the foolish will fight fair.”
Is information warfare being waged against Syria? Who is playing fair? Who is playing dirty?
In complaint letters to the BBC, a UK citizen, Robert Stuart, shows that a BBC report on an alleged napalm attack on a school may owe more to Hollywood than the truth.
On a blog entry in March 2012, American documentary filmmaker Matt VanDyke claims to know what the “Founding Fathers who supported independence from Britain would say about the Arab Spring”:
- Which imperial or colonial powers are the ‘revolutionaries’ in Syria wanting to be free of?
- Who will they kill for their ‘freedom’?
- Which God have they manufactured to justify their killing?
- When you kill for ‘God’, can the killing ever stop? Who has the authority to sign a peace treaty?
Uploaded by Arabi Souri and titled: Islamists Gift to Obama & his Stooges in the Coalition
On April 11 2011, three teenage boys were murdered in their hometown, Homs, by armed men. It was a public holiday and they were in a car with General Abdo Khodr al-Tallawi, the father of two of the boys. The violent ‘revolution’ came early to Homs.
In 2014, western documentary film audiences are called upon to respond subjectively to the war in Syria. So in “Return to Homs”, they empathise with Abdelbasset Sarout, a young sniper in Homs, knowing nothing about his heroes and their ideologies or his deeper personal demons and motivations.
But our sympathy must be extended to 23 million Syrian people: they are all victims of a proxy war in their country. One of those victims was Mohamad Rafea, a protagonist in a very different documentary film about Syria.
In order to prosecute war against Syria, an information war must be waged. Victims must be produced for this war, so children, such as Sari Saoud in Homs, are murdered.
And the voices of millions of women are ignored.
Women in Syria: Collage of images mostly taken from Syrian TV in 2012 and 2013. (NB: one woman was interviewed in a refugee camp outside Syria.)
THE HUMANITARIAN WAR
In the war against Syria, their president must be demonised. And unless they are fighters for the ‘revolution’, for ‘freedom’, they must be presented as mere victims – passive and needy. One stage in the war against Syria is the humanitarian war. Syrians need to be ‘saved’ by NGOs and the international community, led by the United States.
But Syrians are strong enough to direct the saving themselves.
If not Gandhi or Martin Luther King, who inspires people who believe in killing for ‘freedom, dignity, justice, equality and democracy’?
Who inspires people to want to kill and keep killing for ‘freedom’? Does Sheik Yusuf Qaradawi, who has sanctioned the killing of millions of Syrian civilians in order to topple the ‘heretical regime’?
One Syrian from Homs killed by the ‘revolution’ was journalist Maya Naser, the son of a Christian and a Muslim and named Maya as his father wanted him to have a girl’s name to show there should be no difference between the opportunities for women and men. (Ref: Hala Jaber, Sunday Times journalist)
In July 2012, Maya wrote on his blog, “Bombs and bullets aren’t smart enough to distinguish the right from the wrong. Bottom line is: my people are dying and I am still in the line, waiting my turn.”
Is a ‘revolution’ in Syria being funded by Saudi Arabia and Qatar, among others, to enhance the basic freedoms Syrians already enjoyed before the ‘Arab Spring’, e.g. freedom of religion and freedom of opportunity for women?
Is an ‘information and humanitarian war’ being waged against Syria?
Is Syria’s army resisting a campaign to destroy independent and secular Syria?
For Syria’s and our sake, the subjective and objective responses to those questions should align.
Is reconciliation and peace the answer or more talk of revolution, freedom and killing?