Death of two journalists in Syria – and why it is significant

Marie Colvin, 55 year old British journalist and Remi Ochlik 28 year old French photographer have been killed in the city of Homs after they were deliberately targeted by the regime. (These deaths confirm my belief that the Balibo 5 as they are called, Australian journalists murdered by Indonesian army in East Timor in the 1970s was also deliberate, they were not caught in the cross-fire as claimed). You can read about what happened at this link.

What I want to concentrate on is why the death of these two journalists is significant. Marie Colvin seems to have been a woman who cared about what was taking place, and Remi Ochlik seems to be one who was prepared to take the risks by getting a record in photographs of the truth regarding the Assad regime actions against their own people. Marie had been broadcasting her story and the last one that she broadcast was apparently quite horrific.

When the action in Syria began the Assad regime immediately expelled all foreign journalists, including the Lebanese. He did not want the world knowing the truth about his retaliation, which meant that we have been relying upon two versions of the truth. Assad claims one thing, but the truth is something else again. The journalists who did sneak into Syria were warned that if they were found that they would be targetted.  A week ago they were given a warning that they had been found. The death of these journalists cannot be wiped away as being caught in the cross-fire because the Lebanese security services had in fact picked up conversation that pointed to the fact that this was a deliberate action.

Whilst I have not come out in support of the Syrian opposition, I do respect the fact that they have serious issues with the Assad regime, and that what they have been saying is more likely the truth than what is coming out of the Assad regime. The regime is shelling buildings without regard for civilians. They are honing in on any telecommunication signals and then blasting that building. Men, women and children are dying as a result of that shelling.

Just like the situation in Libya, I cannot accept that anyone sees such actions as being acceptable. It is not in the least bit acceptable to treat one’s own people in this fashion. In the case of Libya it was the deliberate shelling of the people that brought me to the side of the NTC. So for this reason, I will now take the side of the Syrian Opposition, even if they are far worse than Assad on the surface – except that we really do not know if that will be the case.

The deaths of Marie Colvin and Rei Ochlik for me are a turning point in that I am no longer neutral and will speak out against Assad until he is removed from power.

7 responses to “Death of two journalists in Syria – and why it is significant

  1. Hey Openthreads,
    Thanks for your thoughts, Journalists are taught how to write news, which means writing no-nonsense copy that gets to the important information as quickly as possible.
    I’ll be back to read more next time


  2. Just heard another rather in-depth news report of the dire situation in Syria. But even assuming the MSM has the facts right and balanced (that is a BIG assumption), I really don’t know what to make of it. The lady reporting (on location) was droning on about this and that – massacres, innocent civilians, indiscriminant burning and looting by The Authorities, perhaps even targeted atrocities to cause terror or “teach a lesson”. I closed my eyes and it sounded EXACTLY like she was reading from a history book of Atlanta Georgia in the 1860s – and the brutal and aggressive General Sherman.

    Without getting into a diatribe on the revisionist history of the Civil War – another pet peeve of mine – let’s just say that such situations are EXTREMELY MUDDY AND FOGGY – especially to any person foreign to the country and the specifics of the situation. Sometimes the current government is correct, sometimes the rebels. If you follow the binary logic, I suppose it is even possible for both to be sort of right or both be in the wrong.

    Even though (in all modesty and sufficient humility) I am way smarter and considerably move well-versed than anything you will hear on MSM, yet even I cannot know clearly who is right and who is wrong in this situation. But I am pretty sure that anything anybody in the FKO administration says or does is bassackward! So, at least for now, I say just keep the heck out of the mess.

    If Israel or some other ally asks for some specific help, we should consider that, but only that.

    (Not to condone anything The Authorities are doing, it is just that the rebels are not necessarily holy, and as Abe Lincoln said – paraphrase – sometimes unity is more important than ANYTHING else.)


  3. Like I said, it is complicated. But one thing for sure, it is getting scary that Our Leader(s) ALWAYS side with the Muslim Brotherhood. It is almost like he is one of them. Unfortunately, Santorum and other conservatives are getting sucked in also!


  4. Carlyle, Marie Colvin was not droning on about this or that, she was in fact reporting on what was really happening. She witnessed the death of a little girl who died from shrapnel wounds!!

    If you note, I had not come out on either side in Syria because I had always felt that something was missing. Yet, I cannot condone what Assad has been doing. This is the critical issue for me. Not even the death of Marie Colvin and the French photographer can move me as much as the fact that innocent children are being killed in the random attacks upon the city of Homs.

    The situation is extremely complicated because Syria is the last bastion for Iran and Russia.

    This is an angle that most people are missing in these conflicts. Russia and China supported Gadhafi. They started their attacks as soon as the French took action to enforce the no-fly zone. They went along with the Gadhafi lies and of course the usual suspects also bought the lies. Please note, even though there is some political instability remaining in Libya it has not turned into the Islamic stronghold so far that many believe will follow….. they have not had those elections so things could change….. I still believe that Libya is going to prove a lot of people wrong. There is an element that will continue to cause mayhem because they are the Salafists. They recently damaged the war graves of the British and Allied soldiers who are buried outside of Tripoli, but I am betting that the Libyan administration or some benefactor will go to the cemetary and they will set it to rights…. They have managed to preserve those graves all of this time… and on top of that those who were a part of the Sanusi army that fought alongside the British and allied forces will no doubt be very upset about the damage. The Salafists remain a minority in Libya and it is early days.

    Syria is an entirely different kettle of fish to Libya. Syria has ties to Iran. It is Iran who has been using Syria to fund Hezbollah and Hamas. Iran sent in their Quds forces to crush the rebels in Syria. This has meant that more people have gotten involved than the original few who started the whole thing rolling.

    It is because of the lack of news coverage that I have no idea who precisely is behind the turmoil. This conflict is very tribal and one can see the tribes lining up on one side or the other. It is not a Shia vs. Sunni conflict because Asshat is an Alawite and they have their own customs, and the same is true of the Druze in Syria. It is difficult to know whether this has the support of Saudi Arabia or not. All I can fathom is that the Arab League have come out against Asshat over the violence.

    The fact that Østupid has once again sided with the fanatics of Islam has been duly noted.

    And yes, I think we should all just get out of Afghanistan and let them work it out for themselves.


  5. I did not mention Marie Colvin.

    In general, I too am against the Syrian regime. They are tools of Iran and Russia. In my book that makes them wrong. That does not detract however from the fact that the insurgents are also wrong. And quite possible could be ‘wronger’.

    We get endless reports of atrocities committed by the Syria Regime and only sweetness and light about the insurgents. My guess is that the insurgents are committing a lot of atrocities also.

    Again, the situation is far more complicated than we are lead to believe.


  6. Did you see this article at American Thinker?

    The New Brisbane Line
    March 1, 2012
    Abandoning half a continent to the greens?


  7. Now is not a good time for me…. No Australia is not being abandoned to the watemelons and as soon as we have an election we will once again be able to put them in their place.

    From now until probably the end of May I will be quite busy. Things are hectic here in Australia. We are unable to get rid of the witch who is our Prime Minister. Her coup today was absolutely disgusting and it is on a par with some of the things done by Østupid.

    However, that is not my main concern. We have just purchased a house, and contracts were supposed to be exchanged today. This means will will be moving by the end of April to a new location… hooray… I will be leaving Canberra for good!!

    Politics over here are a mess. I have not written about what took place but I can assure you that the past two weeks have been hectic.

    As a result of today’s effort we look forward to another challenge but it might not be as planned, and if the person that thinks he is about to enter the Senate and become Foreign Minister proceeds, then Australia will be in for a very rude shock because the man was extremely incompetent when he was Premier of NSW.

    When I have a real moment I will write this up.