Wednesday, May 11, 2011

A word about Syria and the sad state of the world

Although I did spend some time writing about Libya, this blog has been mostly silent about Syria.  I apologize for being remiss on that and from not condemning earlier the sad Assad regime.  But Syria is a little bit different because to tribal politics we must add religious diatribe as the regime is basically a union of religious minorities that impose their rule on the Sunni majority.  And that spells quite another kind of trouble than what we saw in Tunisia, and Libya.... 

Thus, not being as knowledgeable on Syria, and not having observed the type of close association between Chavez and Assad as we saw with Ahmadnejerk and the butcher of Tripoli, there was less incentive, and time, to ponder on Syria, though in many respects it is uglier than in Lybia.

But there comes a time when we must write down our outrage, the more so when we read stuff like:

- the business creeps that rule over Syria and that are unambiguously declaring that they will keep their ill acquired fortune at the price of any suffering against the people.  They go as far as threatening the stability of Israel, implying that if it were not for them Israel would have been swept of something.  Yes, the same people who spend fortunes in anti Israel propaganda to sustain their rule.

- that actually there is still a debate, although in death throes, about Syria occupying a seat in the UN human rights commission.  I mean, there are people that because of diplomatic protocols still discuss such a preposterous thing?

You know something, after reading these two NYT articles, I am 100% on the side of the Syrian Sunnis.  The Christians and Alawites that bound together for "business" had it coming....  At this point Israel is not going to be worse off whichever side wins, and in fact, having a few kind words for the Sunnis of Syria might be a good thing to do for Israel, because they already know that people like Makhlouf will sell Israel short at the first opportunity. 

And of course, we must also underline that the privileged liaison of Chavez with the Assad clan was as usual yet another liaison with a thuggy business like practice group  at the expenses of "el pueblo" or whatever you call the pauperized Sunni majority of Syria.

It was a sick world that allowed such folks to prosper for so long.


  1. Anonymous4:19 PM

    "It was a sick world that allowed such folks to prosper for so long.

    It wasn't "sickness" that allowed it to happen. It's just the way humanity works (and I don't mean it in a good way).

    To oversimplify it a bit, there are two kinds of people, those who are willing to use violence to accomplish their goals, and those who aren't. The thing is that, thanks to the way the universe works, the ones in the first group are infinitely more likely to succeed than those in the second group.

    People from the second group invariably say things like "violence never solves anything", which is ridiculous. Violence is the only thing that has ever solved anything regarding humans. There's a good reason why policemen scream "stop or I'll shoot!" rather than "stop or you'll feel really sorry about your actions" when they try to stop a criminal from getting away.

    But those who are good at violence, tend to get better at it with practice, so they get really good at solving their problems. That is their problems, not anyone else's. They are selfish, self-centered and have little patience for anyone else and their problems and will not hesitate to hurt anyone that gets in their way.

    And while those who use violence keep using it more and more, and succeeding more and more, those who don't like violence simply stare around themselves thinking "isn't anyone going to do something and stop those a-holes?" But of course, they don't want to use violence. They delude themselves into thinking that they can stop the violent ones by merely shaking their accusatory fingers and saying "shame on you!" in an angry tone of voice, and then are surprised when it doesn't work, incapable of realizing that diplomacy only works when your gun is bigger than theirs.

    But the greatest problem, and this is where everything goes to hell, is that the only possible solution (that those who don't like violence realize it is necessary to get rid of the violent ones) only creates a self-fulfilling vicious cycle where the only way to solve the problem is to use violence, but the problem itself is the fact that some people think it is OK to use violence to solve problems.

    So the problem is inherently unsolvable because the only possible solution to the problem just happens to be the main cause of the problem.

  2. Anon,

    You are correct, but only up to a point. There are non-violent strategies that have proven effectiveness. See:


    In the case of Syria, we are already seeing defections from their armed forces. An army, as a weapon of subjugation, is only effective, so long as the soldiers are willing to continue killing civilians. Continued protests in the face of brutal repression wears down the will of an army to continue being an instrument of that repression.

    Any dictatorship can only continue with the collaboration of a significant percentage of the population. When the population becomes so fed up with the status quo, that they prefer to risk death than continue as before, even the best armed dictator is at risk.

  3. Anonymous7:15 PM

    I lived in Syria. Life in Syria sucks. Syria prides itself on being the cradle of civilization but civilization has come and gone. My Syrian friends were always aware of being listened in on and intentionally avoided political topics. They could not speak freely. And jobs? It was about who you knew. There was no government program to increase the well being of the general population.

    Syria sucks.

  4. Anon,

    "Syria sucks".

    Looks like the Syrian's agree with you.

  5. The odds are 14% that Bashar al-Assad will leave by the end of June and 33% by the end of the year, according to traders. Looks like the Christians and Alawites are going to get away with murder.

  6. I have seen a bit of reporting on Syria on German and French TV lately, even if they admitted the reporting was based now on the refugees streaming into Lebanon and Turkey (and they let them speak a bit) plus videos sent by some courageous people, the evidence for massive war crimes perpetrated by the regime is quite big.

    It is time for the international community to make a big stance to what is happening. Unfortunately, you won't get that from the regimes in Russia or China, which know what could come to them in a decade or so.

  7. The New York Review of Books has a good article on the backround to the Alawite hegemony in Syria:


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