The banality of evil, digital version

From ThinkProgress:

The British Guardian newspaper acquired, apparently from members of the Syrian opposition, a trove of personal e-mail exchanges from Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad and his wife Asma. The e-mails are stunning in their breadth — covering media advice for dealing with the year-long uprising to trivial matters like how to see the latest Harry Potter movie.

What’s so remarkable about the e-mails — which the Guardian believes to be authentic but couldn’t confirm — is that, for the most part, they’re not remarkable at all. They mostly show the Syria’s first couple buying furniture, clothes, and engaging with Western pop culture, even as Assad’s regime fired artillery shells into neighborhoods known to have a strong rebel presence.

For instance, Assad, using the pseudonym Sam, sent his wife an Apple iTunes file of a country song — “God Gave Me You,” by American Blake Shelton — on February 6, just as the government stepped up its assault on the rebel stronghold of Homs.

4 thoughts on “The banality of evil, digital version

  1. Yaawwn….one supposes that TP and the Guardian assumes that this ?news? will turn people against Assad…..yaawwn. In actual news Afghanistans Karzai told NATO (US) to get its troops out of all rural areas. Which would end the ridiculous strategy of winning the “hearts and minds” of the Afghan people. It didn’t work in Vietnam and it won’t work in Afghanistan. Especially if you piss on their dead, burn their Korans, and kill their women and children while they’re sleeping in their beds. While that was happening the Taliban told the US to shove it. There will be no more talks because the US had already broken several of its promises and kept added new conditions for the talks to continue. It appears that the US has decided to act like Israel when it comes to making Peace with anybody. Just obfuscate and delay until utter frustration causes violence to break out. Then blame the bloodshed on the other guy. That’s the way liars and cheats always act.

  2. “…which The Guardian believes to be authentic but couldn’t confirm…”

    In light of the video games we can confirm were being played by the activists/rebels in Baba Amr (“Danny” waiting for a call from CNN, no sound of gunfire, asking for someone to “cue the gunfire” to have ready when CNN does call. A man clothed as a doctor coaching a little girl on what to say about her wounds and she says she isn’t wounded, then asking the cameraman to not show her face as seeing her fake head wound bandages would give her parents heart attacks. Meanwhile a very healthy woman is giving the little girl comfort, but during the actual filming is lying down acting the part of a wounded civilian.), and knowing that the NGO Avaaz provided the satellite phones, cameras, other technical advice, as well as means of entering Baba Amr, I would suggest healthy skepticism.

    See Moon of Alabama posts and comments: “What Is Edith Bouvier’s Role In Sarkozy’s “Humanitarian Corridors” Plans and How Avaaz Is Sponsoring Fake War Propaganda From Syria.

    View, but verify. Beware the 30 seconds, sometimes more, of Hate presented to us. Or at least withhold judgement until there are verifiable facts.

    But video seems so compellingly real, right? It’s so hard to not believe we’re seeing absolute reality, captured in the moment, right? It’s designed to make us feel that way — we are being manipulated, whipped into a frenzy of anger and hatred, to then support any war our Powers That Be undertake.

    But some viewers of these videos notice and point out that one activist/rebel has had various “roles,” various different wounds of varying seriousness in different videos. The skeptics are pooh-poohed or worse, until the outtakes from these fake war scenes are found when the activists/rebels have to flee Baba Amr.

    BTW, being skeptical of the opposition to Assad does not mean one supports Assad. However, many Syrians do support him and his government — because under the harsh rule of the Baathists, many minorities in Syria have had the security to live their lives. They deeply fear what will happen to them, Allawites, Shiites, Christians, and non-Sunni minorities, if the opposition gains control.

    It’s very hard to get beyond the deep feelings stirred up by these videos; that’s why they’re coming out. What’s perhaps a reason to remain skeptical is that our MCN (Mainstream Corporate Press) is so suddenly willing to accept the body counts of those not in power in Syria. Yet, even with the Saturday night massacre in Afghanistan, our MCM would not initially accept the eye witness accounts given personally to Western reporters by Afghans — since it did not comport with our government’s story. Nor has the MCM ever accepted the more realistic and higher body counts about Iraq — because that would embarrass our government and military. Remember when even an organization which reported Iraqi deaths based only on hospital, US military, or news media reports was usually described as giving uncorroborated numbers?

    Beware the Western MCM. At least beware these unauthenticated Syrian reports and leaks.

    We don’t always know when we are being played, but we find out we were being played often enough to make our MCM and government highly suspect.

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