Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory

In the early days of Arab Spring the struggles in Tunisia, Egypt, and then Yemen, Bahrain and Syria were all essentially nonviolent. They were also characterized as such by mainstream media worldwide and by observing academic specialists. Indeed, Dr. Chibli Mallet, Visiting Professor in Islamic Legal Studies, Harvard Law School, wrote then, in early 2011, in the journal Middle Eastern Law and Governance:
In Bahrain, Yemen and Syria, the refusal to resort to violence is a conscious choice of hundreds of thousands of people. (p. 136)
It is left to us, some 70,000-75,000 war dead later, to wonder what happened, what bloody happened, to poor poor Syria? Whose bright idea was it to take up arms? Why did that model produce enough of a violent insurgency to overshadow, overwhelm, and occlude the nonviolent launch of the Syrian Arab Spring? The results have been a mortal failure, and are about to become rancidly worse as the US contemplates taking the path demanded by John McCain and his death-specializing friends who own arms manufacturing corporations. We may have the liberal Obama in his lame duck impervious years and his new Secretary of State John Kerry with an ancient history of a few antiwar statements, but McCain is carrying the day, and may as well be boss of Kerry, who is now making all the arrangements, according to the Times of London.

Syrians will suffer more as the US pours arms into the conflagration, but for a US with a profits-before-people culture, we will see the US taxpayer fleeced again and dead Syrians as a direct result. Then we will have heavily armed Islamists in control. Great. I'm sure they will love us, John.

I don't have John's cell phone, nor even his new email. Please consider going to the State Dept website and submit a question. Mine:
How can I convince Sec Kerry to NOT send arms to Syria? The Free Syria Army commits human rights violations almost as often as does the regime. Support nonviolent civil society, not an armed insurgency.


Mallat, C. (2011). The philosophy of the Middle East Revolution, take one: nonviolence. Middle Eastern Law & Governance, 3(1/2), 136-147. doi:10.1163/187633711X591495

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