Rixon Stewart — August 18, 2016
The media is now an integral part of any modern conflict, and not just as passive observers. They are active participants who play a key role in manipulating public opinion to support whatever has been decided by the politicians and generals.
For example the 1992 photo of Fikret Alic, a Muslim, staring through a barbed wire fence, was used to “prove” that the Bosnians were running modern day “Concentration Camps”. As the headline of “Belsen 92” indicates, every possible association with the Nazis was made to sell the necessity of sending yet more NATO troops to the former Yugoslavia.
Yet Fikret Alic hadn’t been deliberately starved, his emaciation was the result of a congenital disease. Nor was he imprisoned. The British ITN News team that took the photo had simply filmed him through a stretch of broken barbed fencing that did not surround the entire facility.
In fact an investigation by German journalist Thomas Diechmann found the converse was true. The ITN News team had filmed Fikret Alic from a small, partially broken barbed wire enclosure that was inside the facility and that had originally enclosed a tool shed.
This gave the entirely false impression that Fikret and his companions were being held behind barbed wire in what appeared to be a concentration camp. Yet they were not being held in anything like a Nazi concentration camp but a refugee transit centre.
Nonetheless that didn’t stop the global media from whipping up an international outcry over the alleged ongoing atrocity. The first photos of the alleged “concentration camp” were published in August 1992. The media generated outcry that ensued allowed a “no-fly zone” to be imposed followed by direct NATO intervention in 1993.
Of course this is all history but it has a direct bearing on the world we live in. Because although these events are all past now they set a precedent; one that we should take heed of if we want to avoid being drawn into similar conflicts.
Hence my cynicism over what the Telegraph headlines as “The little boy from Aleppo who jolted the conscience of the world – the story behind the photograph”.
Now I’m not saying that the photo has been staged or faked. It’s yet another picture from the unfolding tragedy in Syria. One of many among which, no doubt, there are other pictures of atrocities carried out by Western-backed “moderate opposition groups”.
Significantly, the photo came from a video provided by the Syrian anti-government activist group, the Aleppo Media Center (AMC). Which sounds suspiciously like the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK based media group run by one man with suspected links to Western intelligence.
— Raf Sanchez (@rafsanchez) August 17, 2016