“Our weapon is the camera”

Reports from Sirte, Gaddafi‘s hometown, state that townspeople have emerged from the siege expecting to be murdered by their “oppressors”. That they are greeted with a “water bottle and a smile” and not a bullet suggests that Gaddafi’s propaganda is still working. Perhaps the measure of political control in Libya is calibrated by fear.

In Syria, where Assad’s militia shoot citizens on sight, those daring to protest against the kidnapping  and torture have resorted to the camera to give testament of what is going on. The various clips aired on BBC’s panorama left us in no doubt of what is going on in Deraa.

The program stopped short of criticising the current UK Government for its complicity in Assad’s behaviour – it did not need to. William Hague does not seem to me insensitive to the fate of men woman and children in Syria. His is the invidious task of maintaining the wider peace in the Middle East which comes at the cost of “tolerating” the violence.

The publication of the video images on BBC last night is enough. I cannot now avoid Syria, the pictures haunt me now and will haunt many others who saw the program. The camera has spoken.

Nor I feel can the Governments of the West sustain the détente with Syria despite the stability the Syrian junta brings to the region. The Israeli prime minister, in his speech to the UN last week praised the bravery of the Syrian citizens.

The lingua franca of Arab political dissent is the grainy image from a mobile phone, translated to us via the net , delivered to us by you tube. This language cuts across conventional political dialogue rendering UN speech’s , pronouncements from William Hague and the preposterous propaganda of Assad, Gaddafi and their like ridiculous.

 We can only hope that the end of Assad’s regime is brought forward by programs such as “Our weapon is the camera”. The fear is that it will put in peril the lives of those filmed but their bravery is in the defiance of Assad that was clear as they spoke to camera. I cannot imagine living in such conditions, my brain and body recoil.

So this blog is dedicated to the citizens of Deraa who have no choice but to live with the terror of their Government from day to day.

About henry tapper

Founder of the Pension PlayPen, Director of First Actuarial, partner of Stella, father of Olly . I am the Pension Plowman
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