They have not lost their war. Nor have prostituted their cause. The West has not abandoned them; their victory or failure doesn’t depend on our aid.
The Revolution, that started with enthusiasm in Syria more than two years ago, has clashed with the pitfalls of fundamentalism. The hidden roadmap, there is always a hidden roadmap, returns to be imposed with fury in the shadow of a dreamed Islamic State. Western “powers” have not destroyed that dream, with their military aid could have contributed to strengthen it either. Once more, the dream of freedom has collided with the iceberg of utopia.
Syria is on its way to become one of those scenarios of horror where the proposed solution is not better and does not improve the established status quo. It is no longer favorable or unfavorable statements to the management of Mr. Al Assad. It is not a question of fiery speech in favor of the "rebels". It is the case about several millions of displaced people; the cause of thousands of dead and hundreds of thousands of wounded people. We are in front of a devastated country; in front of a destroyed people. There is a Muslim society without a clear heading; a country with all its escape routes closed.
The Western press, always with some informative “loves”, has been the eyes of (another) country in war. Photographers and journalists, who have been in this country, have managed to offer images of a devastating war. This is not a better or worse war; this war is not fairer than others in any way. Since the beginning of the war, more than two years ago, we have simply covered it from all its fronts. Nevertheless, there is a lack of information from the "governmental" side, where covering the news have not been easy nor friendly.
(Left) A Syrian refugee passing throuhg a train wagon in Karkamis/Jarabulus borderline. (Right) Two FSA milicians in a supply truck wait to pass to Syria in Akçakale checkpoint (C) Czuko Williams 2012. All Rights Reserved
We have some useful insights on what is happening on the borders, but truth be told, the international media have not been concerned about the periphery of the conflict. There, there are the first images that show about the black market a year ago, where Turkish aid becomes, as usual, the perfect business for those who live on the periphery of the conflicts. No one has been interested on these works. The media are busy filling their front pages with the images or the stories of the rebels behind barricades and drilled walls; they are busy on explosions, shootings and heartbreaking (but necessary) images of wounded or killed soldiers, militia, rebels and civilians. This is the war. This is the picture of the war and we all are forced to cover it.
The World is now in suspense for more than forty kidnapped journalists, some of them a year long. In essence, no one knows who kidnapped them and no one knows where they are. The calls for the release of our colleagues are taking place as a yell and our Western society, always anesthetized by the distance, now is surprised by a war were people are killed and kidnapped. People who work to bring to their televisions, to their newspapers and their homes the reality of a World inside a global crisis; a World immersed in the most atypical and asymmetric World War. They, as free citizens, thought that the World War III would have an Atomic mushroom; but as nobody saw the mushroom, all thought we had escaped from a global massacre. Nothing could be further from the truth, no doubt!
We have returned, with certain sophistication to the Wars of Religion. The conflicts have crept in our cyberworld and any conflict seems to be, more than ever, near and far at the same time. The difficulties to cover a conflict had been reduced because we can travel easily and we can send our pictures and words easily too. But these difficulties have been multiplied too. This dichotomy, almost schizophrenic, refers to a World where we demand more free and fast products neither quality ones. Technologies have contributed to this. For some people this matter has meant the break-up of the News market; for others a new possibility to narrate in first person “their” story is open now; for the least, there is a fantastic possibility to manipulate the History.
Syria, Mali, The Republic of Congo, Sahel, Tunisia, Libya, Iraq or Afghanistan…are still here, occupying the same geographic area and fighting in the same “archaic” conflicts again. Their conflicts have become more sophisticated, their struggles have been globalized, but several of them show a dangerous drift toward a common bond. That nexus is not only a freedom need but in essence a crazy path that leads them toward the construction of a new geopolitical arena. This space is related, in essence, to the Western excesses and from the medieval maelstrom of themselves too. Religion is a clumsy excuse to reach the business of power. We are no concerned about the flag that hides the new leaders. They also yearn for power and the race to achieve it. This is, essentially, the only common background of conflicts such as the Syrian one.
A syrian refugee wait, in Killis checkpoint, for a transport to pass to Aleppo (C) Czuko Williams 2012. All Rights Reserved
Journalists are the only and the best way to have news from remote areas of the World. We can begin to understand these things when we receive the chronicles and pictures from Marc, James, Ricard, Javier and so many other professionals, mates, and friends who spend their lives jumping from one side to the other side of the trench to tell us the story.
The captors of our colleagues should know that their truth can be the core of the lie of their neighbors. Their intelligence should reach to understand that the messenger simply carries the message, not the truth. Silencing the messenger won't mute the truth and will not give them a louder call for their lie. Silencing the messenger only brings silence…and the silence, basically, is neglect and abandonment. But we will continue seeking to find a way to share the story and a way to find our colleagues.