Last week, I could not stop crying every night, all week, and then two days straight. Beaten, terrified of the future, and broken down, I wanted to hug all the revolutionaries to safety and protect them from the noises disrupting their cry for a decent life.
I knew that being this negative would not help my idyllic and positive revolution, so I stepped out for a while and gave myself some time to think, overthink, and observe my surroundings.
I realized that I was not the only one feeling beaten down. My people were down too. We were so morally unwell that we could not even see all the beautiful achievements and all the heartwarming events happening all over Lebanon.
Here is the thing. I am a journalist student, and I’m quite too familiar with media propaganda and fake news. For four years (3 years BA and one-year Master), I studied media theories, political advertising and public opinion, content analysis, semiology, the political history of the Middle East, human rights, and media crisis. But with all my studies and research, I was still taken by surprise.
Looking at the revolution from afar and observing, it dawned on me that I was literally living all the courses I have studied. We all are. Day by day, we are going through the typical guidelines of disrupting a revolution from within, and it is all thought through beforehand and studied by propaganda experts.
After all, World War Two first started on media platforms by the Minister of Propaganda of Nazi Germany Joseph Goebbels.
What usually happens in a revolution is that the government and its supporters first use physical aggression to dismiss the people, and then use psychological mind playing to dismiss the people who are unmoved by violence. The 2015 Turkish Revolution is a good example and a good material to research and analyze.
However, Lebanon is among the countries that have adopted the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Human Rights Law, which makes it internationally illegal for a government to use violence against peaceful protestors.
Thereby, psychological warfare has been the game fair played since the very first days of the 17 October Revolution.
According to the senior social scientist Christopher Paul at RAND organization (American nonprofit global policy think tank): “Psychological warfare involves the planned use of propaganda and other psychological operations to influence the opinions, emotions, attitudes, and behavior of opposition groups.” It is the psychological use of propaganda, threats, and non-combat techniques.
We all can now recognize the many greedy hands and conspiracy theories that are trying to take over our revolution, which happens in every revolution worldwide. Some might break and follow the herd. Yet, the people who know why they went down to the streets in the first place will remain standing.
We know our causes, and we believe in them. Our causes are not an attack against a certain politician, nor is it a strategy to take down a religion, a sectarian, or a gender.
We are very aware of all the efforts that are trying to turn the revolution rotten from within, but people educated enough and aware of what is happening will not give in to temptations and will remain fighting. Just like we revolt in the streets, we revolt in discussions and seminars too.
These are the real heroes of Lebanon and the real revolutionaries. And this is how they will go down in history, and this is how the coming generations living in a better Lebanon will hail them.