Recent days have seen a widespread outpouring of concern for refugees fleeing the broken country that was once Syria. I suppose this is positive, in some way, that now there is a focus on the plight of nearly 12 million displaced individuals. There is now broader awareness of the fact that over 220,000 people have died in the conflict, and that almost one and a half million people have been injured [See: http://syriasurvey.aa.com.tr/].
And, of course, we are now preparing to aim more bombers in the general direction of the Daesh ‘death cult’ that has infiltrated Syria from Iraq. There’s money to be made from blowing shit up, so this is critical. For the military-industrial economy…
But, hang on. The conflict in Syria, including the disproportionate and heavy-handed crackdowns to civil protests, the barrel bombs, the chemical weapons, the barbaric slaughter of men/women/children peripheral to the fighting, has been ONGOING FOR OVER FOUR YEARS. This has been an Olympic-cycle war. [See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syrian_Civil_War]
And we’re just starting to get a bit upset about it now. Because of a photo.
Well, excuse me. As disturbing as the image of a drowned boy washed up on a beach may be, there has been much more gruesome imagery from inside Syria readily available since prior to the last Summer Olympics. I’ll resist the urge to create an image gallery here in this post that will cause you to lose your breakfast. I’m sure you don’t need to see the dismembered and crushed corpses of infants right now – you can look that shit up at your leisure when next visiting your local internet café or public library web kiosk.
Anyway, apparently we’ve moved past that.
But moved past what, exactly? I’m still waiting for an explanation of what the situation in Syria actually means. Who are the ‘goodies’? Who are the ‘baddies’? (to use the mentally retarded vernacular of the purportedly elected leader of the Australian government) How many kids can we comfortably kill to achieve our unstated aims? How many lives can we invert, happily, before we decide it’s OK to pack up our shitty old Super Hornets and come home?
What we’re looking at is just a big old fucking mess. It’s Alawite versus Sunni versus Kurdish versus Hezbollah versus Turkish versus Daeshist versus democracy versus Jesus versus Abraham versus Mohammed. Or some shit like that. And good luck with all of that when you throw in a ‘willing coalition’ of Western nations (bowing and scraping and begging the US to be involved in a ‘good war’) against Iranian and Russian interests in the whole sorry affair.
This can’t be stressed enough: The Syria ‘problem’ is so confusing and complex that justification for military action is IMPOSSIBLE TO EXPLAIN.
In that case, I think I’ll stop trying.
The only thing I do know is that fresh focus on the plights of millions of innocent victims of conflict is welcome, and that these same plights are nothing more than pawns in the hands of sabre-rattlers and war-hawks.
And I’m left wondering: where has our genuine concern for the innocent of Syria been for the last four years? It’s not like it was a secret…
Yours in a coalition of the confused,
INFORMATION ADDENDUM – Since pressing ‘Publish’ I’ve been supplied a link from a Twitterati, which is a great little explainer for the uninitiated on why Syria is an ‘issue’ at all, and who might be interested in changing things around for their own benefit:
Yep, shit’s gonna get messy…