Friday, October 25, 2013

Catching up with News on the War in Syria

My last blog entry about the Syrian war was the appeal from an Orthodox nun, Mother Paraskeva asking for prayers for the monasteries in Syria and Egypt.

Syrian matters seemed to have made a turn and world politics took center stage after the terrible Ghouta Chemical attack. What remains the same are that the civilian population continues to suffer and that Assad's military perpetrates its destruction of Syria and its people.  The results of the war are mind boggling. The death toll was 120,000 last September 2013; there are over a million Syrian refugees and the count continues to increase. The overall quality of life among civilians has disintegrated terribly. Right now for instance, there is a polio outbreak among the children in Syria.

But the matter of the various rebel factions made me stop to think. This October 1 New York Times article "Queda branch in Syria pursues its own agenda," helped me grasp the situation better: in Syria there are various parties angling to gain control, and some of them are not Syrians.

I was appalled when Assad emerged as a "good guy" because he was pressured into allowing the dismantling of his chemical stockpile.  Did the media and the rest of the world not know that while that was going on, Assad stepped up his attack on the rebel-controlled areas of Syria?

Now, eleven Western and Arab countries are trying to broker peace talks between the Assad government and the rebels, but there are enormous problems. Assad says he will run for re-election next year, despite the assertion by the international community that his reign should end. In addition, the Western-back Syrian opposition in exile is resisting participation in these peace talks. The opposition in Syria is fractured and has disavowed the opposition in exile. Other countries have their own position about the matter as well  -- Saudi, Iran -- read this article "Syrian Opposition Resists Calls to Commit to Peace Talks."

In other words, things in Syria are a real mess.

I can still see the image of those dead children in their white shrouds, and I still hear the voice of the  singer, Ibrahim Qashoush, singing his rousing revolutionary song - now silenced of course. And there are the writers, and the film makers, and priests and nuns and many others who have died in the Syrian war. 

Syria - what can I offer you, if not my prayers and the words of Mahatma Gandhi? -- "There have been tyrants, and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall. Think of it -- always."

Here are recent links to Syrian War News:
Syria: What chance to stop the slaughter?
Syria regime frees 61 women in 3-way prisoner exchange
Syria conflict: Christians fleeing homes
The Syrian Revolution - this site has up-to-date news, use google translator
Redditt World News - you have to register, but a good source for any news
photos courtesy of The Syrian Revolution

And read also earlier Syrian blog entries of mine
tags: Syria, Syrian, Middle East, Assad, war, conflict, revolution, Aleppo, Homs, Damascus, Chemical attack

All for now,

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