Bashar al-Assad, the Butcher, is now officially in the esteemed company of the likes of Muammar Gaddafi, Idi Amin, Pol Pot, Charles Talyor and many more and a true successor to the brutality of another butcher on the face of Earth, his father, late Hafez Assad, the mercenary of the countless killings of his own countrymen in Hama in 1982.
We don’t know the extent of bloodbath by Hafez Assad in 1982 but we know what Bashar al-Assad is doing with quite certainty.
Hail Social Media!
The international initiatives are faltering one after the other owing to ‘this or that lame’ geopolitical concern but the entire global community is aware of the state inflicted atrocity in Syria now thanks to the thousands of the videos posted on YouTube and other social media platforms. Every passing week increases the count of such videos by a significant number.
In a scenario, when the traditional media is totally controlled singing paeans of the butcher Assad; when there is almost no traditional communication means available to the common Syrians, Syria has cracked down on journalists and there are very few foreign correspondents in Syria who can report on atrocities. Conditions have worsened for journalists with five journalists including the Sunday Times veteran war journalist Marie Colvin losing their lives in Syria.
Midst this doom and gloom, YouTube videos, Skype calls and text messages have been the source of information for the international community in the last one year - some frantic efforts by the rebel Syrians to draw attention seeking international intervention.
The Syrian government dismisses these videos as hoax like Assad is saying about his leaked personal emails. But such dismissals have prompted the activists to go for better packaging of the content while posting a video like identifying the place or the main protester and putting a timeline on it.
In Tunisia and Egypt, it was ‘Facebook Revolution. In Syria, what is happening is akin to a ‘YouTube Revolution’.
Okay, the international efforts might be faltering on Syria but somehow, somewhere, these brutal pictures of human killings have left indelible marks on the global psyche. And though, no world power is as blunt in advocating action as it was in case of Libya, the opinionating looks to gain ground after one year of shameless butchery as conveyed by the visual imagery of these messages.
There are reports coming in saying some Arab nations are clandestinely arming the Syrian opposition.Turkey’s plan to create a buffer zone for refugees is like spoiling the shopping pleasure of the Assads.
And now the Syrian activists, expats and the Syrian supporters in the international community are taking the protest to the next stage of the social media usage. The Guardian was provided with the leaked emails by some Syrian activists who hacked into the email accounts of the Assads. That tells us they are getting sophisticated.
And so the world now knows the phoney and caricaturized life of Syria’s strongman who bombs his own countrymen while discussing the shopping lists with his wife.
Assads might dismiss these emails lightly as the majority in Syria might not be able to access the related international coverage but slowly and gradually something is happening that is going to be lethal for the Syrian regime.
From YouTube videos, Skyping and messages, the Syrian protest is now expanding on the platforms like Facebook and Twitter. And we know the trait of these two platforms in spreading the communication – the mobilization can multiply virally even by a single small incident like it happened in Tunisia, like it happened in Egypt.
There is fertile ground for it and there have been supportive developments as the Syrian revolution completes its one year.