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Psychological Terrorism and Redirection - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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In her article “In Ancient Syria Tears were Like Gold” published in Irish Medical Weekly, Bette Browne writes: “In ancient Syria they buried their dead with tears from their loved ones sealed in a jar. It seemed the ultimate romantic gesture, in contrast to the more prosaic Egyptians who preferred their gold”. If we were to follow in the footsteps of our forefathers today and collect the tears of the loved ones to be buried with the deceased we would need all the jars produced on earth to take the tears of women from Palestine, Iraq, Lebanon and Somalia as tens or hundreds are killed everyday in these countries due to illegitimate wars, ugly occupations and colonial greed in the fortunes and the geographical positions of the countries mentioned above. Yet the world celebrated the women’s international day on March 08 without the slightest mention of the ordeals of these women. No one referred to the suffering of Palestinian women living under the occupation forces of the “only oasis of democracy in the Middle East” where women deliver their babies on Israel check points or in Israeli prisons in the most cruel and humiliating treatment women have ever experienced anywhere and at any time.

No one mentioned the Palestinian woman, Samar Sabih, who is only 22 years old and who gave birth to her son Bara in prison who is now the youngest prisoner ever, less than one year old. The accusation addressed to his mother is the resistance of Israeli occupation and she is one of hundreds of Palestinian women prisoners who are never mentioned in international media, not even on women’s international day! No one seems to have the moral courage to condemn loudly the practices of Israeli and American occupations against women in Palestine and Iraq, or even to highlight the disconcerting suffering of women prisoners, women who lost their loved ones and women who were raped and humiliated. Let’s imagine for a moment that these women in Palestine, Iraq and Lebanon had a different, perhaps Western nationality what would have happened on the women’s international day? their stories would have become the only stories of that day.

Along with the unimagined daily suffering of these women the Israeli television airs a documentary called ” Shaked Spirit” to brag about killing 250 Egyptian prisoners of war in the aftermath of 1967 war in Sinai. And in a way of negating the act Binyamin Ben Eliezer said “they were not Egyptians but Palestinians!” the stories of driving tanks over them and piling them up alive in a small place till they die suffocated, and then selling their organs after killing them are mind-boggling to anyone who has the slightest respect for human life and dignity. Once again no one in the Western media decided to pick up the story or to condemn such criminal practices. The instances of cowardice and total lack of correct moral stands are numerous and have witnessed a sharp increase since 9/11/2001 and the official launching of war on terrorism that has been the mission of this American administration. This dubious and dangerous silence could only be the result of pictures of Abu Ghraib, of Guantanamo, of the patriot act and of arresting and torturing people in secret prisons on the basis of being “suspects”. The conclusion of all this is that the laws and practices of the war on terror have terrorized leaders, governments and people to the extent that very few still dare to raise their voices in the face of unprecedented crimes which should not be allowed to pass unpunished. The redirection should be towards the restoration of the right moral authority to the world that holds the dignity of human life in the highest esteem.

Dr. Bouthaina Shaaban

Dr. Bouthaina Shaaban

Prof. Bouthaina Shaaban is political and media advisor to the Syrian presidency, and the former minister of Expatriates. She is also a writer, and has been a professor at Damascus University since 1985. She received her PhD in English Literature from Warwick University, London. She was the spokesperson for Syria. She was nominated for Nobel Peace Prize in 2005.

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