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What’s happening in Syria is no longer a brutal crackdown on protests. It has gone beyond that stage months ago and turned into a ferocious war waged by the regime’s military apparatus against its own unarmed population. I’m struggling to find a historical precedent for this heart-wrenching tragedy. For nearly 5 months now, Syrians have been living the kind of surreal totalitarian control & repression that one only reads about in dystopian novels: Systematic killings, horrific torture, full-scale military operations on civilian towns, door-to-door raids on homes in the wee hours of the night, random arrests, kidnappings… And you don’t have to be an outspoken dissident to attract the wrath of Big Brother. Oh no! Sometimes just being a male over the age of 15 is an indictment in the cities considered by the regime as hotspots of dissent.

 

However, more shocking than the Baathist regime crimes are the reactions of the international community to them:

• The United States spent months flip-flopping and issuing the usual lame statements (You know the ones I’m talking about: calling for reform or restraint and sometimes condemning the excessive use of force, blah-this, blah-that!) Then, on July 7, the American Ambassador to Syria visited the restive town of Hama, sparking the ire of Syrian authorities who accused him of meeting “saboteurs”, meddling in internal affairs, inciting protests and Lord knows what else. The fake outrage was comical because as far as I can tell, Mr. Ford is not invisible & neither is his convoy; they must have crossed at least one of the gazillion military checkpoints peppered along the Damascus-Hama road. A couple of days later, a “spontaneous” mob of supporters – equipped with their “I heart Bashar” paraphernalia – attacked the US embassy and the ambassador’s residence in Damascus, amongst a conspicuous absence of police. Things were definitely heading for an escalation, especially after Sec. Clinton stated that Assad had “lost legitimacy”. Surely the “ he must leave now” is next, right? Wrooong! During her visit to Turkey last weekend, La Clinton said she hoped that the Syrian opposition “can provide a pathway, hopefully in peaceful cooperation with the government, to a better future.” What the f…?

• Turkey is a regional power broker that has significant leverage on the Assad regime although its “Kurdish predicament” is preventing it from clearly articulating its support for regime change.

• Iran’s ayatollah fascist regime proved without a shadow of a doubt that it is Assad’s BFF, sending weapons, mercenaries and IT specialists to help in the massacre of Syrian protesters. Tehran also pledged a very generous aid package to its long-time ally: 5.8 billion USD! Thugs gotta stick together!

• Russia is determined not to bail out on its former protégé. It threatened to block any UN resolution against the Baathist regime and China made it clear that it would do the same. This tandem has made a living out of working with regimes shunned by the international community. Their business niche rakes in solid cash and they are not going to let a few thousand human rights violations cramp their style!

• France, the former colonial power, slapped a few measly sanctions on Syrian high-ranking officials in conjunction with its EU buddies and has tried to push through a UN resolution without much success. “France is continuing its efforts with its partners in the international community to see that the United Nations Security Council takes responsibility and speaks out without delay on the Syrian crisis and regional consequences,” according to a statement issued by the French foreign ministry in Mid-June. So they’re hard at work and they’ll get a watered-down UN condemnation of the Assad regime some time this decade. Don’t you worry! They’re on it!

• The Arab League (saving the best for last!) demonstrated once again the reason why it is considered a source of constant frustration & embarrassment for the Arab citizen. During his July 13 visit to Damascus, the mousy new Arab League Chief Nabil Elaraby said that Assad assured him “Syria has entered a new era and is now moving on the road of a genuine reform.” Then during a recent interview with Al Jazeera’s Ayman Mohyeldin, Elaraby refused to comment on Syria, saying he “will not discuss internal matters”! It is a well-known fact that the Arab League constitutes the biggest concentration of buffoons and douchebags in the Northern hemisphere (maybe even the world!) Still, this is a despicable and shameful response even by their standards! Here’s an excerpt of the aforementioned interview (WARNING: this footage might cause a vein to explode in your forehead and will give you an irresistible urge to bitch-slap your screen or hurl your computer at the nearest wall!)

 

 

Evidently, realpolitik and the blatant lack of cojones of our so-called “world leaders” in regards to the Syrian uprising is something we will look back on with great shame.

My dear Syrian brothers and sisters, you are on your own. You’re reclaiming Syria as your country – not Assad’s family ranch! – with amazing courage and determination. You’re reclaiming your dignity and freedom without any assistance from anybody, without so much as an explicit statement supporting your main demand: regime change!

You’re on your own and the triumph of your people’s will is going to be your own achievement. After the regime’s fall, no outside power will get to dictate their conditions/preferences to you and no foreign country will carry favors with you because they have done naught for you in your hour of need. You will owe nothing to nobody! Nothing, nada, zilch, zero, diddly-squat! YOUR struggle, YOUR revolution, YOUR victory, YOUR freedom, YOUR terms!

الله ينصركم. و يلعن روحك يا حافظ

(Translation: May God grant you victory. And [may He] curse your soul, oh Hafez!)

 

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