Thursday, November 29, 2012

Isolated in Syria...Again

Susan Brannon
29 November 2012

Here we go again.  While Syrians are fighting and loosing their lives for democracy.  While the people fight for important freedoms, while there are daily massacres killing men, women and children…the Syrian government decided to shut down the Internet.

Now, it will be impossible to find the truths and realities of the horrible situation in Syria.  It will be difficult to filter out the difference between propaganda that leaks through from the reality.  I call it the media war.  This is a new type of war that destabilizes societies from taking action, from gathering together in protection from gross injustices and isolates people from the rest of the world.

Shutting down communication platforms reduces the resources needed to remain safe, to find refuge for the children by not being able to monitor the movements of those who hold guns and drive tanks who are more than ready to pull the trigger and attack.

The American news is blasting numbers like 2/3rds of the networks are shut down while others report 100%. It doesn't make sense, the Syrian government used the internet as tool for tracking dissidents and rebels.  With this being the case, it could be signs that the Syrian government may be making plans to enter into attack at the rebels. The regime should enter into emergency mode and move forward in their movements with extreme caution.  Already it seems that the country has As a response, EgyptAir canceled flights to Damascus, it is already rumored that the rebels are battling for the airport, and fights broke out all over the capital.

In the past, when Syria shut down the internet in February 2011, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made remarks condemning the shutdown.  Rumors inundated the Internet in the rest of the world and left us wondering what was really going on inside.  America has remained "uninvolved" in the Syrian dilemma and it is a concern that this lack of involvement, sends the wrong message to the government of Syria giving them a carte blanche to do just about anything that they want to do to their people.

Activists told the AP that cell phone networks and landlines were also unavailable in parts of Damascus and this cuts off even more communication to the outside world.

What resources can we use on the outside to try to follow the events in Syria?  Here are a few:
Syria Live Reuters
@Bambuser_Alert Twitter

Related Links:

Washington Post 


  1. Don't confuse free access to the internet with truthful information slipping out of Syria - the rebels are just as capable and willing to spew propaganda.

    What you term 'media war' is nothing new. In fact, there is established military doctrine around the world for dealing with information warfare and psychological operations. Granted, increasingly rapid inter-connectivity and access to remote regions of the world have changed the way the game is played, governments and their oppositions have been manipulating the strategic narrative since the beginning of time.

    I think it is a brash assumption to claim that the Syrian government will move in to wipe everyone out just because they have turned off the internet. More likely, they have realized that the benefits of tracking the rebels whenever they send information out no longer outweighs the cost of allowing them to coordinate. There are a number of operational reasons why they would shut off communications - yours is an example of a less likely case (for a variety of reasons, including capability) and is sensationalist at best.

    So yes, while I agree that free access to information and the internet are a positive force, I would hesitate to believe that the only source of truth in Syria is a group of rebels pushing a political agenda. Everyone bends the truth in the information war.