In a week when the Syrian government cut the internet and much of the phone system , my Sunday praise has to go to all the people who dare to speak the truth whatever the consequences.
Of course, the Syrian government has blamed the “rebels” for the outage. 84 ISP addresses became unreachable during Thursday morning, except that is, for 5 .These are the same 5 addresses which were used to send malware to the anti government forces earlier this year. So guess who I think pulled the plug? See the story here.
I´m not going to go into the rights and wrongs of any particular situation today, although those of you who read my blog regularly will know I am a pacifist and anti-war, for any reason. What I am discussing to-day it the absolute right for every man and woman on the planet to speak the truth as they see it, and to publish that truth via the internet. No country, no regime, no religious organisation, has the right to silence another human being. If what the person says is wrong, then it must be debated in public, and backed with facts. I probably shouldn´t name names here, or I may to find myself without an internet connection but if a well-known news station named after a small animal is allowed to daily broadcast “facts” as sent to them by their government, then ordinary citizens should be able to speak their truth to at least attempt to keep the news balanced. After all, at least their truth – if later proved right or wrong – is at least what they believed to be the truth. They are not being given their lines by government writers.
This week also saw more news about the plight of Julian Assange. According to the Ecuadorian Embassy ,which is giving him asylum, he has serious lung problems and needs to be let free – presumably to somewhere with no ties to the USA, UK or Sweden. See the story here. Whatever you think of the man, I am standing for is his right to do what he did; to publish everything he could get his hands on. To make information available to all. What´s the worst damage wikileaks could have done? Caused a war? Oh, really – so all the secrecy was keeping the world at peace was it? I must have been taking a shower when I missed that World-Peace-Moment.
Now only yesterday, the pre-trial hearing for US private Bradley Manning began. That´s right, big US army vs Bradley. Guess who´s going to win? What on earth is the US defence so worried about? Surely not the stuff Bradley gave to wikileaks. I don´t believe for one moment that army privates have access to anything that could be damaging to the USA. embarrassing maybe, but that´s not the same. No, it is not “National Security” they are worried about; it´s the little people deciding they can open their mouths and say anything they feel like saying.What secret-ridden society is going to tolerate that? See the story here.
And the list is endless: Men and women, in prison, under house arrest or “disappeared” for daring to break the silence. I have chosen just a few examples from this week alone. Remember this poem by pastor Martin Niemöller
First they came for the socialists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists ,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Jew.
Then they came for me,
and there was no one left to speak for me.
Never has there been a more important time to remember the pastor´s words.
Have a good Sunday everyone,
- Ecuadorian president warns of risks to Assange health (rawstory.com)
- I thought I was going to die in that cage, says Bradley Manning (independent.co.uk)
- Our Silence Is Criminal (sanasaleem.com)
- Bradley Manning: a tale of liberty lost in America | Glenn Greenwald (guardian.co.uk)