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Not So Serious About Syria

The Other Side of the Tracks: A Socially Speaking commentary

August 2, 2011

By Perry Redd

Are the resolutions in place?  Has NATO been handed the green light?  Are the assassination teams on the ground yet to get President Bashar Assad?  If not, then why not?  It is said that at least 52 people — including four children — were killed Sunday in Hama, Syria. This conduct looks vaguely familiar.  Is this the same government-sponsored conduct that earned Moammar Ghaddafi a bombing from the United States and NATO?  Then are we going to stand by our principles?  If not, then why not?

I’m not going to play the race card, because these are all light-skinned Africans.  So what’s the deal?  Why the hesitation?  Remember Egypt?  hat really isn’t that long ago. The human toll and diplomatic fallout of the Syrian government’s pre-Ramadan crackdown against opposition protesters continued to rise Monday as security forces launched new attacks in the cities of Hama, Dair Alzour and Bukamal and foreign governments announced added sanctions.

All the while, we stand by as the Syrian government makes mince meat out of it’s civilians.  Video has surfaced that shows government forces killing protestors and indiscriminately discarding their bodies in the river.  Is this not the type of conduct that warranted military action from the White House on Libya—even when many cried out to allow Libya take care of Libya?  At least three people were killed in Hama and one each in Bukamal and Dair Alzour, increasing the nationwide death toll to at least 75 in two days.

The violence has spurred harsh international condemnation of Bashar Assad during this time of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting and contemplation. The timing of the attack by a government dominated by Assad’s fellow Alawite Muslims, who tend to be secular, seemed sure to provoke sectarian passions among Syria’s pious Sunnis. It appears we’re headed for another Iraq-type religious divide.  Oh, no we’re not…there’s no “we”, because we’re not going to get involved, right?  The U.N. must take decisive action to stem this violent campaign of repression,” said Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s deputy director for the Middle East and North Africa.  Should they?

How many of us actually believe that Assad is going to stop killing dissenters because we choose to sanction them?  What planet does that happen on?  Luther called for, “at the very least,” an arms embargo to be imposed, assets of top government officials to be frozen and referral of the matter to the International Criminal Court.  Sounds like what we  did to Ghadaffi after the bombing began.  So what’s the policy in cases like this?  It depends…depends on what type of assets you working with.

I don’t believe Syria is oil rich.  It’s just a U.S.un-friendly nation—in more ways than one.  Syria’s economy faces serious problems and challenges and impediments to growth, including: a large and poorly performing public sector; declining rates of oil production; widening non-oil deficit; wide scale corruption; weak financial and capital markets; and high rates of unemployment tied to a high population growth rate.
On top of that, they’re adverse to Israel (two-thirds of the Golan Heights are occupied by Israel) and they’re friends with Iran.  There’s nothing we can do with that.

So, that aside, why aren’t we on our humanitarian bandwagon?  Amnesty International said it has received the names of more than 1,500 people believed to have been killed since protests began in mid-March.

Who are these rabble rousers anyway?  “Many of them are reported to be protesters and local residents shot by live ammunition from the
security forces and the army,” a report from Amnesty International said. “Based on its research, Amnesty has concluded that crimes committed amount to crimes against humanity as they appear to be part of a widespread, as well as systematic, attack against the civilian population.”

Not to belabor the point, but isn’t that what Ghaddafi was accused of?  Wasn’t that the content of the camera phone video coming back to merica?  Then where’s the action?

Of course, we’re spending millions of American dollars to back the rebels who are having a hell of time displacing Ghaddafi.  Hell, now they’re even talking about allowing Ghaddafi to stay!  They better watch out to see if Ghaddafi let’s them stay! Meanwhile, with Syria, France’s minister of foreign and European affairs, Alain Juppe, warned Syria’s leaders “that they will be held accountable for their actions.”  Yeah, right…

As the diplomats were meeting, the violence in Syria was continuing unabated. In addition to the scores of deaths reported Sunday, at least six people were killed in Syria on Monday, a human rights organization said.  Guess what I say?  Quit bombing Libya and chalk it up for democracy.  They’re not ready.  When they are, they’ll call us.


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