I know I haven’t written a new blog post in a while but I have unfortunately succumb to the laziness of the summer holidays. Plus I have been doing a bit of traveling and this has unfortunately messed up my writing schedule…yes I just used the word schedule to describe my erratic posting, I thought I’d bring a bit of sophistication to this post.
But it was actually through one of my travels that I was inspired to write this next blog post. I recently got back from a Viva Palestina conference which was held in Lebanon. It had a wide range of speakers who lectured at this event, from people like Salma Yaqoob, Ghada Karami and Karma Nabulsi to more controversial speakers like George Galloway. It was actually the last speaker who actually spurred me to write this post over his unabashedly biased and unfair views on the Syrian situation. So this post will basically flesh out some of the points I heard and have heard about before, regarding Syria.
Syria is Unique
Now this argument basically states that we cannot compare Syria to the revolutionary upheaval that is going on in other countries in the Middles East as Syria is ‘unique’ and is dealing with a ‘special’ set of circumstances.
Well to this I say, yes Syria is unique…so what? So is every other country on this earth and every human being for that matter. No one is stating that Syria is a de facto carbon copy of Egypt, Tunisia etc., all we are saying is that its PEOPLE share the same grief. What I don’t think is unique to Syria is the desire by its people to simply be free of tyranny, oppression, torture and censorship. The power structures do differ in each of the different countries in the Middle East but that doesn’t mean we can’t judge each regime as harshly or as equally when it comes to the crimes it commits against its people. This excuse of Syria being a ‘unique’ case baffles me. It baffles me because it not only was the same tried and tested excuse used by dictators like Gaddafi, Mubarak, Saleh etc. but it is an excuse which is as vacuous and hallow as its orators morals.
Bashar looking for peace and reform-
Correct me if I am wrong, but last time I checked Bashar wasn’t traipsing round Syria blowing bubbles, handing out daises and making peace signs.
Fear of sectarianism-
This point has been highly debated, so I won’t go into too much depth. But what I say is whose fault is it if it does turn into sectarian warfare? Syria, like Bahrain, suffers from a minority complex, a twist let’s say on the Napoleon complex. By simply keeping the status quo the threat of ‘sectarian’ warfare is only exacerbated as it simmers under the flames of injustice. You are not going to resolve these so called fears of sectarian warfare by sticking to the status quo and wishing the so-called divisions away.
Plus remind me again who is the one currently loudly spouting these fears of ‘sectarian warfare’? Yes you guessed it, none other than the state itself. Suddenly the people murdering their own civilians in cold blood have acquired a sense of worry and attentive care over the possibility that its people might supposedly kill each other without its help.
I have yet to hear protesters in the street abroad or in Syria scream and rant about sectarian warfare. Last time I checked the chants weren’t sectarian in nature but specifically Bashars-&-the-rest-of-his-regime-should-f-off in nature.
And to say this is purely sectarian would be a grand disservice and affront to the many Alawites who have also stood against the Syrian’s regimes actions. This belief in the sectarian card seeks only to benefit the regime in power.
Need Syria to stabilize region-
When has the region ever been stable? Countless wars and conflicts have time and time again torn the region apart. And these wars and conflicts usually have the fingerprints of foreign powers all over them. But this revolution sweeping the Middle East is the first time initiation and actions have been spurred by the domestic populace and not some elitist twats in offices in Washington or London etc. It is only through the direct rule of the people that the region will finally find some sort of stability or peace. No longer will we have to put up with the west’s feigned cries of concern about bringing democracy to the shores of the Middle East…through bullets & bombs. This democratic spirit will instead be carried and resolved by the voices and chants of the people.
Pro-Palestine & Anti –Israel:
Now this excuse was a big favorite with a few *cough George Galloway cough* pro-Palestinian activists. This excuse basically states that Syria is basically one of the few countries in the region which is unabashedly pro-Palestinian and anti-Israeli in its foreign policy. This is in stark contrast to lets say countries like Egypt under Mubarak’s rule which had stood by and done nothing to help ease the Palestinians plight.
So let’s tackle this point head on. Because Syria is ‘Pro-Palestine’ and ‘Anti-Israel’ (which by the way I don’t actually believe is truly the case) it means that it should be cut a little slack. What a Joke. How about if we used this type of logic and implemented it into another scenario. Just because a murder is a registered annual donator to Oxfam, Amnesty, The Red Cross etc. does not mean he should be judged any differently than a murder who is not as tickled pink when it comes to his charitable donations. That would be complete lunacy. I don’t care about Bashar’s foreign policy what I care about is his current disgraceful domestic policy. So even If he were to single handedly head into Gaza ready to do battle with Israel guns blazing like some Rambo stunt double, not a dam thing would change in my opinion. His people are still dying and being shot at in the streets. Fact. I don’t care if he cares & nurtures ill puppies to full health in his spare time and helps old ladies cross busy motorways as a hobby. This all doesn’t change the fact that as I type people are being shot at and bombed for the sake of securing his backside on the throne for a longer period of time.
And another thing, so he is pro-Palestine, tell me what has changed in the years he, or his dad in that case, have been in power? Correct me if I’m wrong but Palestine is still occupied and Gaza is still blockaded. Fat help his pro-Palestine stance has been to resolving the issue.
Also, there is a cloud of contestation surrounding the actual relationship between Israel and Syria. Israel in fact is not exactly popping champagne bottles and toasting to the idea of the Syrian regime maybe falling. Because as people rightfully say, better the devil you know than the devil you don’t.
So Bashar’s regimes political standing on the issue of Palestine doesn’t at all justify or excuse the brutal crackdown on protesters we see occurring. It’s still a tyrannical dictatorship regardless of whether or not it’s in bed or in a ring with Israel.
The blood of Syrians shouldn’t be used to wash away the blood of Palestinians, freedom should be a right afforded to all and not just the select few.
Till Next time,