Alisar Iram

August 31, 2013

This article has two voices: my voice as a Syrian and my voice as a British citizen. My duality is a duality of vision and culture. Since the chemical attack, life has been very tough because the British Media became unhinged and the British TV channels choked to death with conflicting points of view and more often than not, with distorted, confused or absurd speculations, forecasts, expectations and a mumbo jumbo of truths, half truths, lies, allegations and misleading conclusions which politicians, members of Parliament, political and strategic analysts of every known and unknown orientation, party and affiliation have been presenting to a gaping, puzzled public . Anarchy was let loose under the onslaught of information and misinformation, raging, clashing attempting to mobilize the British public opinion by dissuading them or winning them to the possibility of launching a disciplinary limited strike against our Bashar. Believe me when I say that while I was listening to the arguments presented, against in particular, I witnessed the death of reason, common sense and compassion.

Here, I must say a few words in defence of the reluctant bewildered British public. First, the media had been trying to convince them that the Syrian Revolution is not a revolution on the side of democracy, that it had lost its way and turned into a rogue insurrection, then they shifted to convincing them under the onslaught of Assad propaganda that the survival of Assad presents the lesser evil since the Opposition fighters are no more now than head cutters, human flesh eaters and Al-Qaeda resurrected. Once the British public surrendered themselves to this version of events, accepting it readily under the influence of Islamophobia, they were rudely awakened by the uncomfortable news that those Syrians have done it and got themselves and their babies gassed by Assad. Or was it Assad? The British people, like all peoples everywhere, are hardworking tired of running after their daily bread, pragmatic, materialistic, fond of their comforts, apathetic and indifferent especially to the fate of the Syrians psychos. But those tender innocent heartbreaking children? Could they be the offspring of those monsters?

How have we, the Syrians, earned the reputation that our rebels on the ground are no more than Qaeda or Qaeda affiliates. Where did our Revolution vanish? How did the occupiers, Assad and the foreign Islamists, convince the world that we are no more than heart eaters, heavily bearded monsters and blood thirsty criminals, the bogies of nightmares and serial crimes? We have become a horror film like Psycho and many other cult horror movies. When they saw the dead children and infants, denial was the first reaction: these children cannot possibly belong to them. It has all been staged!!

I am not going now to delve into the mysteries of Orientalism and the clash of civilizations and religions, but the West does see us, the other, as less than human, people living at the margins of the civilized world, ready to butcher, rape and pillage. They see the armed men, the rogue presidents and the dreadful bearded shabiha of bothsides, but they do not see the millions of women, children, peaceful young men and pitiful old men, they do not see the refugees, the starving and the disabled by war. It is those they would be defending if they strike, not Al-Qaeda or the Islamists who have converged like vulture on Syria because of the failure of its regime to defend it instead of annihilating its citizens and cities, thus adding to the Syrian tragedy another horrific dimension. The narrative of human suffering and a human catastrophe have been offtstaged by the gruesome narrative of the Islamists lying in waiting to devour the West. Therefore should the West strike now against Assad, it would be no more than a cosmetic surgery because his survival is essential in their opinion in order to stop Al-Qaeda and the Islamists.

I wrote to a friend in defence of the Revolution: The Syrian Revolution is not evil. It is the greatest and most noble expression of the Syrian people or what is left of them. Yes, all the powers of evil are converging on Syria, and all the countries allied to Assad are trying their best to prop him up. Is this the fault of the Revolution? If Terrorists from all over the world are occupying Syria, like Assad is occupying it, is this the fault of the revolution, the honest revolutionaries and the people and children of Syria? The world with its inhumanity, indifference and cruelty has let it happen. If they had helped the Syrian Revolution when the Revolution was peaceful and purely a civic movement, the Syrians wouldn’t be reaping death and wouldn’t be gassed in their thousands? You come at this juncture and speak to me about terrorists? Who is not a terrorist in the context of Syria, including the Arab countries, Obama and the indifferent world?

The Question of Morality?

All this morality and talk about morality which is clogging the air is giving morality an obscene name!!! The world, more correctly part of the world, has not only discovered morality, but the International law as well, both of which were slumbering peacefully, like Snow White, in their glass coffins before. What has happened? Where was morality hiding when almost 200,000 Syrians have been butchered by the regime directly or indirectly, when one million children were displaced, when millions do not have the bare necessaries and are living like refugees, when thousands are made disabled, when countless towns, cities and villages were destroyed? Shall I go on? Where was morality hiding, or was it blindfolded or has it suffered a chemical attack; where was this inimitable lofty noble morality? Some are advocating that they are morally bound not to interfere in a civil war. Is this a civil war? Assad unleashed warplanes, helicopter gunships, ballistic missiles, cluster bombs, white phosphorous bombs, TNT-filled barrel bombs and surface-to-surface missiles, including Scud missiles, not to mention hunger, imprisonment, rape and torture against his people, ending with chemical warfare, yet the world watched indifferently with its morality intact. Please drop the word civil from civil war. This is a war against children, women and the vulnerable. This is a naked, savage, ruthless war against those who are weaker, a war that is spawning and attracting all the evils and all the evil men and the criminals of the world. Please do not go moral on us. Please do not preach and delve into the mazes and murkiness of moral futility.

The Price of International inaction is the quagmire we find ourselves immersed in now.

We have let it brew and spawn and fester till all hell was let loose. Let them face the concurrences now. Sometimes, not to act or playing the wise impotent man are no solutions, no wise strategy, or an attempt to prevent a greater evil. Inaction and indifference are but the making of a catastrophe of horrific dimensions. Inaction creates a vacuum, a gap which sooner or later is filled with the stuff of nightmares. It is a nightmare of unforeseeable and inestimable consequences that the world is facing now in its attempt to stop the Syrian version of Hitler, but face it, the world ought to do because delaying the decision yet again will only lead to more potent and toxic perils.

In conclusion, I would like to say that our wishes, fears, deliberations and soul searching do not count anymore. The jinni is out of the bottle. This is but the last bequest of the man who would be King in the graveyard which was his country.

Pessimistic? It might be.