Friday, July 13, 2012

Massacre, Syria and Chemical Weapons

Early Thursday morning, around 4:30 am, the military of Syria opened fire on the small town of Tremseh after plunging the town in 24 hours of "darkness" by cutting their electricity. Reports are still coming in but the casualties look like they are in the hundreds. Videos of the occurrence and other accounts have been coming in for the past few days and the world has reacted in admonishment  including their own envoy to the UN and Arab League, Kofi Annan. While the Syrian government claims that no civilians, only terrorists, were killed in this attack, it seems unlikely.

This event marks the most recent insanity the current regime in Syria has levied against its population.   The conflict has so far resulted in more than 17,000 dead, about half of those estimated as civilians have died since President Al-Assad, who assumed office over 10 years ago and whose party has had almost 50 years of rule, decided to hardline against the protesters that rose up as a part of the Arab Spring. And while Russia doesn't want to give up its interests there and the rest of the world seems to watch in horror and increasing anger, nothing seems to being done. No action is taking place.

It seems laughable but necessary to address a few of arguments against action that have been floating around out there.  Reasoning that we can't judge the Syrian government too harshly because there is a split element that contains extremists or arguing that some of these extremists have been committing atrocities of their own are fallacious arguments on the grouns that this is a revolution. Revolutions bring together strange partners, we have seen that throughout history and whatever crimes they commit they have to eventually answer for. In one example, in the Israeli war of independence there were Jewish resistance groups to the British occupation of Palestinian territories that resorted to bombing civilian targets and taking hostages.  It should be obvious that these groups that have come together to make up the "Rebel forces" are varied with varied goals, interests and scruples- they can't even agree on anything besides that Assad needs to be removed from office. On the argument that this will just be another country that falls to the Muslim Brotherhood in democratic elections, so what? I am serious here, if the people elect the group that is most organized and has the most money to advertise, who are we to step in and challenge their election? We tried that before in Syria and that lead to the current situation.

People are dying. People are fighting for their freedom from an oppressive government who restricts their ability to speak their minds. It seems the majority of people watching are upset about this but unless real action is done, the entire watching world will be implicit in the deaths that follow.

The most recent reports out of the area say that Syria has started to move parts of its chemical weapons stockpiled arsenal out of storage. Just let that sink in. The situation in the area could be on the verge of a country-wide massacre.

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