Let’s presume that some of the Arab satellite TV stations exaggerated and inflated the number of martyrs who fell from the bullets of the Syrian security forces in Hama, Homs and Dir al Zur; and before them Dara’a and the outskirts of Damascus. And let’s suppose also that some of the “eyewitnesses” were not always, or at least some of them, at the scenes that they were describing and speaking about. This is the claim of Syrian spokesmen and officials. But, the photos do not lie. Even half of the number of victims (140), is shocking in itself. So too are the images of Syrian army tanks pushing their way into Syrian cities to supress the popular uprising which have swept all parts of the country demanding legitimate democratic change. They fire rounds of mortar indiscriminately on the citizens to kill, in a desperate attempt to establish control by force.
Massacres have become the fate of the city of Hama and its inhabitants. That is because it entered the pages of modern Syrian history as a symbol of challenge, an address of sacrifice and rebellion against oppression and tyranny. Yet, there is a resolution to bring this city to its knees in a manner that is more savage than in other cities. And so it was no surprise that those who visited it on Sunday morning were the sons of those who carried out the massacre there about thirty years ago. Massacres are hereditary. Today’s victims are the sons and grandsons of yesterday’s victims.
And the Syrian authorities who stubbornly adhere to its security solutions are not tired of killing and shedding blood; this much has become obvious from the recent massacres in several cities and towns. But it is also clear that a large cross-section of the Syrian people, who are thirsty for change and justice, and the most basic human rights, have not grown weary of making sacrifices either, however large they may be. This is evident from the bloody images that reach us through the news agencies and the television stations, both Arabic and international.
The Syrian authorities are mistaken if they think that with these brutal attacks they could have ended the uprising before the commencement of the blessed month of Ramadan. Five months of using the same bloody methods by the thugs and snipers have been entirely counterproductive. On every occasion when they thought that they had actually controlled the situation and imposed their iron fisted control, the protests escalated and so too did the festival of funerals.
Surely, it would have been more appropriate and beneficial for the authorities if they had extended an olive branch to their people in this blessed month. They could have seized this opportunity to announce a suspension of the killing, during which their troops and snipers would have had some relief, and the people an opportunity to catch their breath and heal their wounds. Regrettably, they did not do this and chose instead to erase the virtue of compassion from their dictionary, even if temporarily, to create space for the reasonable among them if ever there are any remaining, to put some sense into this out of control and excessive security apparatus in order to save blood and save the country from sliding into the abyss of sectarian civil war whose flames will not only engulf Syria but the entire region.
How is it possible to speak of dialogue when it is the cannons of tanks which speak to the sons of the people? How is it possible to speak of multi-party coexistence and the recognition of freedoms while the prisons are filled with prisoners who hold the other opinion; and the hospitals are crowded with hundreds of corpses and thousands of wounded? Syria has been converted into a huge place of mourning with funeral processions whose line of corpses extend from the furthest north to the furthest south and from the shores to the furthest point of the border in the east. Yet, there is nothing on the horizon which suggests that this tragic situation will end soon.
The opposition opposes, they convene conferences in this city and their leaders speak unceasingly on the television screens; repeating the same words and slogans every day and every week. So much so that they have run out of ideas. They have lost the ability to come up with new expressions. Meanwhile, the regime for its part continues with its programme, clinging on to the same old policies. At the end of the day, the result is the total destruction of this ancient Arab land which was always at the forefront in defence of the identity of the Arab nation and always hastened to assist in its patriotic and noble struggles.
We don’t know whether the Syrian officials, especially those at the helm of the security agencies, who issue the orders to kill the indigenous Arab people without mercy and compassion; we don’t know if they see the corpses of victims as they are presented on the TV screens. And what is their reaction toward this flood of blood that flows night and day without end since the uprising started? Do they feel the pain as we do? Are they as appalled as we are? Do their eyes flow with tears when they see the sons of their people and their brothers in faith and religion bleeding to death at the beginning of the blessed month? Some of them may have been returning from the local grocery store, carrying dried fruit, perhaps apricot or meat and vegetables, as they do every year around this time.
I must admit that the repetition of these bloody Syrian chapters makes writing extremely difficult, not to mention the painful. The process of objective analysis of events and positing solutions is almost impossible. Thus, we have no other choice but to write in an emotional manner. The regime does not want to step down as a wide cross-section of the population demands from them. And the people do not want to stop and return to the subservience of the past forty years as the regime demands of them. As for mediators, they are virtually non-existent. There are none from the international community and none from the neighbouring Arab states. They all watch as spectators, as if hoping for this people to be exterminated and that this state would collapse and indeed disappear from the map as a potent force in the region and the world.
What we know and what is almost certain is that the uprising will continue and that the security solutions will never succeed in suppressing the pride of this people or in returning them to the pens of submission and silence as before. Only if a miracle occurs, and we are not in the age of miracles in any more.
Once again, we say that we hope that the blessed month of Ramadan will see us turn a new page of compassion and mercy and bring about an end to the bloodshed. If the Taliban, which the Syrian officials often describe as primitive and backward, is considering a halt in military operations against the American occupation forces during the blessed month, it seems more befitting that the Syrian regime should precede them in this matter. They don’t send tanks to confront the enemy occupier but instead the sons of their people who do not demand more than life in a secure state in which justice, the rule of law, and basic freedoms and human rights prevail.
Source: AlQuds Press
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.