The title of a CBS News article released on April 9, 2012 is “Syrian border violence kills Al Jadeed journalist Ali Shaaban in Lebanon (and) wounds refugees in Turkey” (Web-site/URL: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-202_162-57411152/syrian-border-violence-kills-al-jadeed-journalist-ali-shaaban-in-lebanon-wounds-refugees-in-turkey/?tag=stack).
“The bloody conflict in Syria spilled across two tense borders Monday (April 9, 2012) when gunfire from government forces killed a cameraman in Lebanon and wounded at least six people in a refugee camp in Turkey, authorities said”. “refugee camps” are supposed to be SAFE HAVENS.
“The violence came as a U.N.-brokered truce plan set to take effect on Tuesday (April 10, 2012) ALL BUT COLLAPSED, BOLSTERING FEARS that the uprising could spark a broader conflagration (destruction) by SUCKING IN neighboring countries“. Getting “sucked in” to dangerous situations CREATES/EXACERBATES “fear”. Also, does “all but collapsed” mean that THERE IS NO HOPE for a resolution to the Syrian conflict/crisis?
“International envoy Kofi Annan brokered a cease-fire, but THE PLAN IS IN TATTERS“. Again, could we have EXPECTED a different outcome, given that Assad is a dictator?
“Syria’s main rebel group, the Free Syrian Army, rejected the government’s demand for a written guarantee, but says it will abide by its promise under Annan’s plan to stop fighting — AS LONG AS the regime does too“. Again, this IS NOT happening as the Assad regime continues to blame everything on ARMED GANGS and TERRORISTS.
“in a YouTube video”, a member of the FSA’s military council said: “We as PROTECTORS of the Syrian people announce a cease-fire against the regime’s army starting on the morning of April 10 (2012) and we will stick to this promise IF the regime abides by the clauses of the initiative“. Of course, the chances of this happening are SLIM to NONE/HIGHLY UNLIKELY. Also, Bashar al-Assad will surely claim that HE is “the protector of the Syrian people” as another example of PROPAGANDA.
“In Washington, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said (that) the United States “STRONGLY” condemned the attacks”… Again, we’ve said/read/heard this so many times, but let’s pose the old question again: WHAT CAN WE DO ABOUT THIS? “These incidents are just another indication that the Assad regime DOES NOT SEEM AT ALL WILLING to meet the commitments that it made to Kofi Annan”. Again, NO SURPRISE THERE. “NOT ONLY has the violence NOT abated, it has (actually) been WORSE in recent days“, WHICH IS EXACTLY what Bashar al-Assad wants, although he will never admit this. Assad, like all dictators, wants to BRAINWASH us into thinking that he has PLENTY OF support throughout Syria. Of course, we know that NOTHING COULD BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH.
“The U.S. WASN’T optimistic that Assad would meet Tuesday’s (April 10, 2012) deadline (of course), Nuland said, “but we’re going to wait for tomorrow’s (April 10, 2012) deadline and take it from there“. Why would a dictator meet deadlines? HE HAS NO REASON TO DO SO.
“In the latest violence, Ali Shaaban, a cameraman for the Al Jadeed television station, was filming in Lebanon’s northern Wadi Khaled area when A BULLET PIERCED HIS CHEST, Lebanese security officials said. The gunfire came from the nearby Syrian village of Armouta, the officials said”. “a bullet pierced his chest” is GRUESOME and this “gunfire” surely came from ASSAD LOYALISTS again.
“Shaaban, who was born in 1980, died on the way to the hospital, the officials said on condition of anonymity in line with regulations” and because THE SITUATION IN SYRIA IS STILL SO TENSE AND UNCERTAIN.
“His colleague, reporter Hussein Khreis, said (that) the team heard heavy gunfire around them from all sides “falling like rain“. “Shaaban was inside a car when he was struck, Khreis said”. “If you see the car, you would think it was in A WAR ZONE“. Well, Syria IS INDEED “a war zone” now (according to what we know and according to activists on the ground). “He said they waited for more than two hours for the Lebanese army and some residents to come and pull them out to safety”. FOR THE GRACE OF GOD, the Lebanese army has been infiltrated by the SYRIAN Army (BASHAR AL-ASSAD‘s army) as opposed to the FREE Syrian Army, a group of defectors from the Syrian Army who are currently in exile and fearing for their lives. “BURSTING INTO TEARS“, Khreis said: “I ASK FORGIVENESS from Ali’s family BECAUSE I COULDN’T DO ANYTHING FOR HIM“. Only those of us who have been through such a horrific experience can understand what this means. This is something that producer MAX MCCLELLAND would have said to LARA LOGAN (Web-site/URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bO12X1nhzzk).
the Turkish Foreign Ministry said: “Syrian citizens who have fled the violence by the current Syrian regime are under THE FULL PROTECTION OF (?) Turkey”. Violence has now been reported in BOTH Lebanon AND Turkey so how much “protection” can there possibly be for civilians in either country?
Finally, late Monday afternoon (April 9, 2012), Yusuf Odabas, governor of Oncupinar province, said: “RIGHT NOW, the border area is quiet and clashes are over“. Of course, we have to keep monitoring this situation because this situation is VERY VOLATILE and could QUICKLY CHANGE. Ali Shaaban and six others have already been killed.
Ali Shaaban is the latest journalist to be killed in Syria after ANTHONY SHADID, MARIE COLVIN and REMI OCHLIK and let’s not forget that TIM HETHERINGTON and CHRIS HONDROS were killed in LIBYA and activist VITTORIO ARRIGONI was HANGED in GAZA. Shaaban’s death is even more troubling because now, dictators are no longer only going after Western journalists. They are now also going after ARABS/THEIR OWN PEOPLE. With Shaaban’s death, our hearts are broken, but our hearts are also full of full of appreciation and gratitude, especially for people like CLARISSA WARD, who, of course, SNUCK INTO SYRIA ON A TOURIST VISA to bring us stories of how activists are trying to cope with the relentless barrage from Assad’s loyalists and her Peabody Award is well deserved. During that incredibly dangerous and difficult assignment/report, Ward demonstrated/displayed exceptional GRIT, COURAGE and DETERMINATION, as well as her journalistic talent, of course, making her one of the best of our current generation of young journalists. Again, our heartfelt congratulations to CLARISSA. WE ARE SO IN AWE OF YOU.