By Adham Bishr
“There’s no news like bad news,” the megalomaniacal Bond villain, media mogul Eliot Carver, states in the film Tomorrow Never Dies. In a world saturated with information, every news organization competes viciously for the most sensationalist stories possible. Currently, it is the Boston bombings and the debate over whether the perpetrators were radical Islamists. Previously, it was North Korea’s belligerence and the possibility of war. And in what seems like another lifetime ago, it was the Syrian Civil War.
Sadly, the war’s 15 minutes of fame are up. No one really discusses Syria anymore. This lack of discussion stems from the fact people do not like hearing about bad news that they can do nothing about and quite frankly, seems to have no solution in sight. At the height of its media coverage, pundits would tout the impending doom of the Assad regime, with predictions as wild as that he would fall from power in a few days. Of course, experts understood that the end was far from near. While looking foolish has never bothered the media much (one needs only to look at the Boston Bombing coverage), the adamant refusal to focus more attention on the deaths of thousands, at the hands of their own government only strengthens the perpetrators.
But Syria has now emerged after supposedly crossing the proverbial “red line” of chemical weapons. Information regarding the acts is scarce. Who used them? Why were they used? And most importantly, can we do anything meaningful, short of putting boots on the ground? Only the coming days will provide the answer.
Assad, deliberately or not, benefits from being old news. Without awareness over the problems in Syria, he can perpetrate more vicious acts of despotism without much rebuke. World leaders ask if they should get involved in the Syrian quagmire, after seeing the American experiences in Iraq, Libya, and Egypt. Few have called on them to send troops to help innocent Syrians, but to remind the Syrian people that they are not forgotten. In the end, who will weep for Syria?
Photo by Freedom House