How long before we start telling our own story?

The US bombed Syria on Friday, April 13, 2018. File.

There is an ongoing hot debate in the media, of the recent bombing of Syria by the US, France and UK over what they said was retaliation for alleged gas attacks on civilians by the Syrian government.

Many are now disputing the facts with one famous western journalist, the first one to visit Douma, the city in question, quoting a Syrian doctor that the images that caused the US-led retaliatory missile attacks were not caused by gassing but by hypoxia, oxygen loss.

With most of the population having taken refuge in basements and tunnels to escape the daily heavy bombardment on the surface, a heavy sandstorm seeped under the tunnels, and that, with the additional low oxygen, was cause for loss of air, not Sarin or Mustard gas attacks.

There were even photos trending on the internet that clearly showed that some of the incidents were staged. No one cared. Mainstream media houses ignored that possibility and kept to their script or on US president Trump’s twitter storm.

Back to our own backyard, a certain publication sadistically interpreted the recent crackdown on errant places of worship as “… a move by the RPF to eliminate potential threats to its dominance”! And it was published by a so-called human rights organisation that fights for freedom of expression and information.

Their version of the story was shared widely among other international NGOs and organisations. These are the kinds of organisations that are referred to as “experts” – especially of developing countries – and are sources of reference.

It is difficult to argue with such ignorance but it shows that most western media establishments influence how their leaders react, they have them eating out of their palms.

So, the talk of “telling our own story” should stop being “mere talk” otherwise we will forever be kept holding the short end of the stick as foreign media decide our sort.

 

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