Aleppo Falls, With It Humanity

On April 30th, 1975, North Vietnamese troops officially took control of Saigon, the capital of then-South Vietnam. The event signaled the end of one of the bloodiest proxy-wars of the Cold War era. It was also the culmination of the first war ever televised, and the archived images are a stark reminder of how close the devastation, murder and chaos must have felt to an audience that never had, and never would, see this mayhem up close, but could now see shadows of it dancing in their living rooms.
The average Briton was born around that year, so few of us can say they remember the transition between reading black and white articles about Eastern Europe or the Middle East in the early 60’s, to getting full color and sound presentations of Vietnam. Fewer still will be able to look back to the Fall of Aleppo without recognizing that it was another paradigm shift in the way humanity consumes war.

It’s happening right now. Residents of eastern Aleppo are been gunned down by the dozens after five years of an unrestrained humanitarian catastrophe in Syria. Although the ceasefire between rebel and government forces announced today may save some lives, the number of children killed by collapsing buildings or starvation, of women taking their own lives, and of men facing execution without trial will likely grow.

It is hard- or at least it should be- to avoid feeling attachment to the victims because they are speaking to us directly. Through the technological wizardry of modern invention, each of us can log on to Facebook, or Twitter, and look directly into the eyes of the people who are telling us that they are about to die.

<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” data-lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>To everyone who can hear me!<a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/SaveAleppo?src=hash”>#SaveAleppo</a><a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/SaveHumanity?src=hash”>#SaveHumanity</a&gt; <a href=”https://t.co/cbExEMKqEY”>pic.twitter.com/cbExEMKqEY</a></p>&mdash; Lina shamy (@Linashamy) <a href=”https://twitter.com/Linashamy/status/808422105809387520″>December 12, 2016</a></blockquote>
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