There is no longer much virtue in a calling for democracy or nationalism in Syria–not today. To support either ideology at this stage is disingenuous, if not criminal.
Today witnessed yet another unprecedented escalation of violence in Syria, resulting in the virtual destruction of Aleppo’s main town square (sa’d allah al-jabiri) and mutual aerial bombardment between the Assad regime and Turkey. The rapid and horrific escalation of bloodshed between July and October of this year has transformed the Syrian uprising in 2011 into a catastrophic civil war in 2012–with multiple times the fatalities and damage to infrastructure. September’s death toll is the highest–more than 5000 fatalities. It has become increasingly untenable–indeed impossible–to support any ideological argument–either Pro-Regime or Opposition–that justifies military action in Syria.
Raining bombs from above and “arming the opposition” from below have only served to entrench foreign interest in this bloody proxy war. The absurd idea that has brainwashed adherents of both pro-regime and opposition camps that somehow more killing can bring about peace leaves whatever ideological semblance–popular revolution or national unity–in the rubble. To be persuaded by such flawed logic–perhaps even with good intentions–is to be manipulated like a puppet to support the destruction of Syrian society. It is little surprise that the kidnappings, rape and vigilante retribution which have spread throughout Damascus are committed along sectarian lines. This is to say nothing, of course, of widespread emigration, hunger and Syria’s crippled economy.
The greater public needs to realize that over the course of almost 2 years the Syrian uprising has taken a rapid turn for the worse. In this regard, the greatest burden is on the intellectual whose duty it is to speak about history objectively–and not merely to bang the drums of a ‘just war,’ nor to defend the strong arm of a dictator. There is only one alternative to violence, calling for a ceasefire. A stalemate does not imply a victory on the part of the regime, but rather a last ditch opportunity for both camps to wash their hands of blood, and prevent a wider more apocalyptic scenario in the Middle East.
It seems far fetched that the region–including Syria–would simply revert back to the authoritarian dictatorship on a account of which it has lost so many lives. The path is long and hard. If only we would expend our energy in talking with, rather than killing one another.
“And the Lord said, ‘What have you done? Listen; your brother’s blood is crying out to me from the ground!” (Genesis 8:10)