I haven’t commented much on Syria, despite the fact that its revolt is just as bloody and horrific as the one in Libya. President Assad, the ruler of Syria has been waging a constant campaign of terror and violence against his citizens for opposing his regime. One of the more heinous acts I’ve seen come out of this conflict is the savage beating of a political cartoonist:
One of the best-known cartoonists in the Arab world has been beaten up by Syrian security forces, activists say. Ali Ferzat, whose work is critical of the government, was forced from his car in Damascus and badly beaten. The attack comes after 11 civilians and eight soldiers were reportedly killed in different incidents across Syria. The UN says more than 2,200 people have been killed as security forces crack down on anti-government protests that began in mid-March.
The offending cartoon is as follows:
It depicts Moammar Gathafi (which is apparently how it’s spelled in English, according to his son’s passport) fleeing in a getaway car, with president Assad and some tiny guy with an ass for a face trying to hitch a ride. It was cartoons like this that apparently justified his being dragged out of his car and beaten nearly to death. Wikipedia tells me that Assad was educated in opthamology in Damascus and London. I guess he didn’t bother to study classical literature or political science or history or pretty much anything in the humanities. If he had, it would be clear to him that ideas cannot be beaten to death. They can only be countered by other ideas. Beating a person for having and/or expressing an idea does nothing to tamp those ideas down – in the best case scenario it simply prevents that one individual from expressing it.
Maybe Ali Ferzat’s cartoon, drawn as a response to his attackers, will express this idea in a way that even Assad can understand it:
Ali Ferzat – bad mother fucker.
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Brilliant cartoon. I hope he has recovered without permanent damage or is recovering ok.
In Canada I think we are too casual about our essential freedoms; we have lost some already and are too busy Facecracking (thanks Tanya!) and Tweeting to actually notice they have disappeared. I take note of the political slant of editorial policy in various newspapers/media over the years. e.g. The Vancouver Sun is so pro provincial Liberal, Gordo could do no wrong according to them, they did not hold his feet to the fire at all. Global TV brutally hounded Glen Clark for his relatively minor sin – a frigging deck, for goodness sake! Couldn’t they find anything actually worth all the footage shot about that? We’ve never gotten an answer as to why the RCMP invited Global TV to the search of his house.
Canwest, once owned by the Asper family was virulently pro-Liberal, federally and it appears provincially, though Liberal is the last label I would ascribe to the now Crusty Clark gang 🙂 I wonder which way politically the various bits of the sold off Canwest empire will swing?