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And So Passes a Woman's Life in Turkey

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Serena Shim (1984-19 October 2014)
(Image by James Ryan)
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I never met her. I wish I had. But I knew she was a reporter, a good reporter telling of bad wars, and telling all the sides. And this one in Kobani (Ayn al-Arab) has many more sides than two, all of them bloody, all of them reeking of criminality. This carnage in Syria is perhaps the most corrupt, criminal, imperial assault in modern history. There are no "good guys" in this slaughter on the rapidly crumbling edge of Turkey. It's all lies, deceit and power politics. Call it murder. Call it the ultimate man's tough-guy game--bombardment, siege, street-fighting, and always the stupidity.

The dogs of war run wild and ignorantly. For what? For a nothing town destroyed by chaos. She was telling as much as she could. The Turks there, the intelligence guys, the cops, the Turkish army, all the government "watchers" watched her and her partner, Judy Irish. She was called a spy. Watch out, they said. Maybe you'll even be arrested, they mumbled. And the word got around. Not an easy assignment. She confessed that she was worried. Who wouldn't be?

Note the eyes. They would tell exactly what they saw, wouldn't they? She had two children, this beautiful Lebanese-American woman. She was 30 years-old, hard-working and dedicated. Perhaps it was Napoleon who spoke about his Marshalls "marching towards the sound of the guns." She didn't need the advice. She followed the danger instinctively. Maybe she could make sense of it all in Iraq, Lebanon, the Ukraine, and lastly, Turkey? Maybe? Maybe not? She told of the ISIS killers being smuggled into Syria in trucks with NGO labels like World Food Organization. Turkey has been at this double-dealing game for years. But this kind of truth hurts and it did not endear her to the Turkish "watchers" and "handlers" and "muscle-guys."

On the way back to the hotel in a town called Suruç a cement-mixer truck, massive and deadly accurate, somehow, some way, intervened to crush her car and her. It all had the stink of bad fish. Based on the historic violence visited upon journalists and other dissenters in Turkey such a first impression of foul play is logical.

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The governor of that area immediately said that "Turkey is a democratic state of law. The allegations are completely untrue." What is completely untrue is exactly what he said. Democracy and the rule of law have both been crushed by the cement-mixer truck known as the Turkish government. And Serena confirmed that in her reportage. And so passes a brave young woman's life in Turkey. And so continues the war.

James Ryan

Istanbul, Turkey

21 October 2013

http://www.brighteningglance.org/

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http://www.westpointgradsagainstthewar.org/
James Ryan, a 1962 graduate of the United States Military Academy, is co-founder of West Point Graduates Against The War (http://www.westpointgradsagainstthewar.org/) and Service Academy Graduates Against The War (http://www.sagaw.org/).
A writer, he is the author of NATURAL AFFINITIES, a historical novel about (more...)
 

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