Friday, April 28, 2017

Death Falls from Heaven


The city of Aleppo with the Old Citadel in the background
Aleppo, listed by UNESCO in 2006 as a World Heritage Site

Aleppo is rubble now.


Each day updates on world events---both good, bad, amazing and horrible---are available for all to see and sigh.  Whether this is a tornado, a dog rescuing a little boy, or political intrigue, all is open and available.

Perhaps. No. Yes. Absolutely. 

Syria’s people are fleeing or dying; images burn into eyes in every nation. 

Bassar Assad, president of Syria, nods and steps into shadows of deniability, as his military drops death on Syrians.  His government is not open to inspections or any action that would reveal his actions.

Source

History has never been kind to Syria for most of its recent existence. Its glorious building days and its successful decades as a prime market for Mideast countries was a shining star post-Crusades.  But, what happened? How far back can this violence be traced?  Too far.

Move on to modern history. 

Different interviews through the years chronicle the process that began with President Hafez al-Assad’s control starting in early 1970s to his death in June 2000. However, Syria’s strict control began decades, even more before.

Syria was pinned down by then-Soviet Union and Iran, with their iron hands for so many decades.  Slowly breaking loose from these countries, if indeed they were ever free, required a heavy hand, that of Hafez al-Assad.
Now before outcry bursts through the screen, no sainted bits exist in this man.  Although Hafez did improve lives to a degree, especially in education, people feared secret police and how a prison could and often did resemble dungeons. *

Hafez died of heart failure in June 2000. Oldest son, Basil, was groomed to take over after father died but he himself died, in a car crash.  This left Bassar al-Assad as the heir. 

Syria's President Bashar al-Assad speaks during an interview with al-Watan newspaper in Damascus, Syria, in this handout picture provided by SANA on December 8, 2016. SANA/Handout via REUTERS/Files
source

He was portrayed as a gentle ophthalmic surgeon who did not hold reins of power well.

Bashar al-Assad celebrating the second birthday of one of their children with his wife Asma Assad
source

He and his wife Asma al-Akhras with their three children are…”fond of taking on picnics and bicycle rides in the hills around the capital.”  He said, “We refuse to live in a bubble. I think that is why people trust us.”***


HA!  Assad is very astute, knows what to do, how to get it done, and to hell with his people. (per interview with Bassar by Rainer Hermann 2013)

Assad initially believed that the partnership with Russia and Iran was one of co-operation guaranteed by International Law. Now he believes they are interfering with his goals, breaking this agreement. Aggressors always remain aggressors.

Perhaps the most amazing words are:




“Where is the chain of evidence that would lead one to the conclusion that Syria used chemical weapons?...the terrorists were the ones who used chemical weapons…”**


Watchdog to eliminate Syria's chemical weapons
source

Many apologies for the length of this post. It borders on being a rant. So much more could have been written from sources listed below.


*National Geographic, July 1996, "Syria behind the Mask" by Peter Theroux, photographs by Ed Kashi

*** National Geographic, November 2009, "Shadowland" by Don Belt

**Frankfurter Allgemeine Politic, June 2013, "Europe's backyard would become a terrorist Haven" by Rainer Hermann

Other sites listed internet-wise have been taken down.




17 comments:

  1. Every morning I tune in to the CBC first thing...just to see what fresh hell has been unleashed on an unsuspecting planet overnight. If they are talking about sports and transit and movies I turn it off and go on my way assured that nothing worse has happened so far. Until then, my stomach is in knots.

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  2. Seems to be one endless cycle they refuse to break indeed.

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  3. Tyrants and power. And now we get to see it even more close up.

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    1. Nothing even remotely close resembles the horror of Syria.

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  4. Sigh.
    My idealistic self longs for the day we realise that this world is (or should be) a community, and we learn to work towards making it better for us all.

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    1. That starts with the neighbors next door to us.

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  5. These poor people have become statistics instead of human. It is sad beyond words and there seems to be no answer.

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    1. Statistics--excellent. It removes humanity, makes it easier to think about.

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  6. I'm not one for worrying, or at least I didn't used to be. but now, everyday I hear and read things that bring worry to my mind. And I don't like feeling this way.

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    1. I wonder if my parents even knew what Germany did pre-1940? What that news even covered.

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  7. When I was young I thought that surely after all the wars and horrors we lived through, read about, or watched on TV in the 20th century, surely lessons would be learned and wars would be a thing of the past. That's how naive I was. You know I have about 10 rants in my blog drafts. I probably will post some of them. I have a good one about the border wall and the jaguar.

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    1. Post one every now and then. Jaguar?

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  8. Thanks for sharing this. It's the sort of rant more people need to hear.

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    1. No one is carrying signs about "Save Syria" or "Send medical help for these children".

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Go ahead...it won' t hurt...I'd love to hear what you think!