RIP Marie Colvin!

If I had not watched Anderson Cooper's 360 last night, I would not have noticed the reporter with the eye patch. The sensitive lead in to a horrific story of a 2 year old child dying from injuries in Homs, Syria, allowed me to overcome my aversion of violence, especially the kind shown on TV that captures innocent victims in the midst of traumatic events. I hate being inundated with images of brutality. I hate being made in to a casual spectator of real suffering. Yet, I do believe in the prime importance of facts, untarnished, unsanitized truth, the kind those in power do not want us to know. We can no longer close our eyes, not for long, we do have to bear witness, it is a moral imperative I am afraid. Meanwhile a few go the extra length to travel to those hot spots, expose themselves to great danger, so as to report back to us, to bear witness for us, to be our ears and to be our eyes, so the world may know. Rest In Peace Marie Colvin! 

Anderson's well wishes rang in my ears for a while longer. He said something like 'while it is impossible, stay safe.' The impossible caught my attention, because the report made the dangers so obvious yet TV has made me (us) such cynics, I tend to disbelieve and distance myself from much that I watch. So, even while I watch the heart breaking report of an innocent child dying by the forces of a government that denies the brutalization of their own citizens, while I listened to the reporter call  on the Syrian government's lies, I did not want to believe that this reporter was truly in life threatening danger. My mind did flash though already last night on the risk of such a revealing report from within Syria. Was Marie Colvin targeted as a foreign journalist and killed on purpose by snipers? 

"Our mission is to speak the truth to power," she said. "We send home that first rough draft of history. We can and do make a difference in exposing the horrors of war and especially the atrocities that befall civilians."

This is as close as it gets for my experience of the atrocities of war. A report on TV one night and a dead reporter the next morning, shocking, yes, but so removed from the horrors of war nevertheless. I happen to be of the same age as Marie Colvin. I am proud of the fact that there are women of an advanced age that manage to make a difference in the world.

"So, was I stupid? Stupid I would feel writing a column about the dinner party I went to last night," she wrote in the Sunday Times after the attack. "Equally, I'd rather be in that middle ground between a desk job and getting shot, no offense to desk jobs."

Marie Colvin among Misrata Fighters
photos off twitter - photo bucket

How many will still have to die before the world will step in and say enough? Is it not time for the UN, for a united world body, to take action and take the Syrian government to task? Is there not an intervention possible that is other then arming the opposition forces of which supposedly lacks leadership? Check Amy Goodman's report on Democracy Now.

UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon and Arab League chief Nabil Elaraby appointed Ban's predecessor Kofi Annan as joint special envoy on the Syrian crisis. Annan "will provide good offices aimed at bringing an end to all violence and human rights violations, and promoting a peaceful solution to the Syrian crisis," a UN statement said."

International Red Cross is now in Homs, so good to know.


  1. This is not a problem that can be solved easily, if at all.
    Reporters in war zones have to live with the thought that they might be killed, it's part of the job description.
    While I am horrified at the endless pictures of mortar fire and shelling of Homs, I am sitting in my cosy chair watching the scenes on tv, safe in the distance.

    We cannot imagine what it is like for the people of countries which have been fighting for their freedom during the last year, but when I see pictures of renewed fighting in Egypt, for instance, I wonder if democracy is something that can only be learned over a long time.

    1. Countries deserve their time in finding their way of government, but the process should have to stay within acceptable human rights boundaries on both sides, the establishment and the revolutionaries.

      I would like to see the UN or maybe a new, more effective, international body hold those that commit crimes against humanity accountable - before too much suffering of innocent people would occur.

      Syria is accused of the employ of snipers against babies! The last I heard is that Chavez of Venezuela has now joined the Soviets and Chinese in support of the Syrian government. I have no idea why, but what if the whole world would object? What if millions would e-mail those governments in protest? What if many millions across the world decided to boycott, say Chinese food and instead would 'occupy' those establishments with signs of protest to give voice to those that have to stand by helplessly - no more?

  2. The Joys of Internet Activism supports my idea above, check it out in The Guardian: