Aleppo and Syria a tragedy for us all

Weapons manufacturers must be called to account _aleppoThis is one of those ones where you stick your neck out and risk being denounced as a dunce, or a simpleton. I’m talking about Aleppo.

Most of us are looking on from our comparatively cosy TV lounges and wondering what the hell is going on. What kind of hell are we witnessing? Or are we even witnessing it? Every emotive hand-held camera testament to Facebook, or Instagram, or Twitter is open to question. Every stock shot of every devastated city streetscape, every line of ragged bodies beamed out to the world is either history in the making or wicked propaganda, or some immeasurable mix of both.  Who is right? Who is wrong?  What do we do? What can we do? Confusion reigns and the destruction continues.

It’s all so confusing. All faction and counter-faction. Elements splitting and transmutating all the time, colliding and dividing to spark ever more deadly fissions and fall outs in ungovernable space.

Each faction accusing the others of pedalling fiction. Faction. Fiction. Propaganda. Politics. Russia is supposedly backing Assad, various Western interest groups are helping the rebels. Depending on your politics, or your hang ups, or who owns the TV station or newspaper delivering your news, you are denouncing one side or another, and bigging up the other. Wittering and twittering away. And the people die, How many? Who is doing the asking? Whose is doing the telling? Or the counting?

So here comes the dunce/simpleton bit: the arms and weapons being used on all sides have to come from somewhere, right? Legitimate weapons manufacturers licensed to sell aircraft, bombs, bullets, landmines, rockets and all kinds of laser rangefinders, night vision devices, logistical and operational support. and so on and so on?

These munitions merchants are both legally and illegally supplying these weapons and the expertise to the people using them. The hungry raggy-trousered soldiers and dead-eyed mercenaries with the million-dollar rocket launchers. This is resulting in the killing and maiming of countless men, women and children, orphaning others, and the demolition of hospitals, schools, homes, villages, towns, cities and even countries.  So these gun runners are assisting in deaths and destruction? So simpleton here asks why are they not denounced as accomplices in all this carnage and devastation? And accountable in any court of law? Or anathema to those in power?

The very opposite: just look at some of the big shots lining up to feed at the trough of president elect Trump. Or diving into the new swamp.

One can’t help feeling like the boy who called the emperor for having no clothes. Except here, no-one in any position of significance is calling these emperors of mass destruction on it, and if they did, there are enough PR hacks and goons to make the boy look silly and deluded. Backed by political parties too gorged on donations to demur, and a bought media to back them on it.

The media have been reduced to being vested interest people on the same side of the trough as the arms sellers, very probably in receipt of significant advertising revenue from them or their more respectable offshoots.

Okay, that’s getting too complicated, too chippy. Back to the fact the media is being controlled by vested interests and nobody wants to pay for good journalism anymore. Certainly not the kids who expect everything they click on to be free. But they are paying a high price for all that free stuff. It’s in the control of the few.

Here in Ireland we have one very, very rich man owning radio stations all over the country and legally maintaining a controlling interest in the country’s main newspaper operation, Independent News and Media.

Denis O’Brien is so powerful and so litigious he was even allowed to publicly ridicule and slate a government tribunal set up to investigate his groundbreaking deal with a government minister that allowed him to win the mobile phone licence that is the root of his wealth.

The Moriarty Tribunal appeared to prove he and the minister, Michael Lowry, at least had a case to answer. A case that was never heard. The same Michael Lowry was jettisoned by his political party, Fine Gael, but continues to be returned as a member of parliament by the people of his constituency in Tipperary.

It’s all connected, I feel, this controlling and muzzling of the media by all sorts of vested interests, and the failure of the Millennial generation to properly engage with the world they live in. And the resultant effects on the reporting of what is going on in Aleppo and all the trouble spots dotted around the world.  And why nothing significant is being done. Or looks likely to be done.

— Enda Sheppard

4 thoughts on “Aleppo and Syria a tragedy for us all

      • I think it’s always been there but, like you say, it is getting more prevalent. O’Brien hadn’t registered with me before, but the British press tend not to report on Ireland unless there is a British angle to the story. He sounds like Trump.

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