Wednesday, September 4, 2013
TBGO: Damascus in the Crosshairs.
Woody's talked before about "real politik," the pragmatic, unvarnished way things really are in the ways of power, bereft of niceties, despite what we'd prefer or have been led to believe.
A story from Syria this afternoon on the webs told how a band of "Syrian rebels" had stopped a bus and then murdered and beheaded all the passengers, including a baby.
Note to self: It's civil war in Syria. Civil wars are notoriously un-civil.
Civil wars, at least in the present era, are fought with terror; much more terror than conventional battles. Civilians are the targets, but also the prize.
As the fates of Saddam Hussein and Libya's Ghadaffi have assuredly reminded him, the Dictator Assad is fighting for his life. But not only for his own literal life: Also the lives of his whole "confession," the Alawites. They are only about 10% of the population, in a country of around 22 Million, and have been the "masters" of Syria since the French set things up in the 20s of the last Century. They have incurred fierce enmities. If/when he falls, there probably will be an Alawite genocide in Syria.
Assad is a murderous brute. He should have held elections after the old man died. Perhaps, if he'd done so, Syria could have started to negotiate passage into a "Lebanon-style," flexible, domestic truce--though probably it was already too late for that. His father was also a brutal, murderous, sadistic bastard, too, whose secret police were hated and feared, and or good reason.
The "rebels" --it's kinda irrelevant who they are, really, since nationality and religion are to an extent interchangeable; there are non-Syrian "jihadis" among them, apparently--are also murderous brutes. From what pieces I've read, they seem mainly to be creatures of the Saudis, who see the conflict as a proxy fight with their foremost Islamic rival, Iran. Possibly, the foot-soldiers, the thugs, the murderers of the bus passengers are inspired by religious zeal. They are holy, murderous brutes, I guess.
Real-Politik break: In fact, it has been exceedingly, rarely actually possible to unseat existing power which is reluctant to let go without unleashing the murderous brutes. Recorded incidents have been extremely rare. Gandhi "won" non-violently against the British, but only because the Brits had already decided the Raj was up, and were really pretty happy to dispense with the whole mess--which they'd created, of course.
In Syria, these blood-soaked djinni are long since out of the bottle, and they are not easily--nor, indeed, even likely--to be recaptured, recontained.
Not to mention the "bigger" implications involving Iran, Turkey, the Kurds (there are a lot of Kurds in Syria, and who, I take it, fear for their lives if the "rebels" win), the fucking Saudis and the fucking Israelis. And the Sunni/Shi'a thing. And don't forget the Oil. The terminals, pipelines, refineries, and the ports. None of it bodes well for peace. Syria's headed for the ash-heap of Levantine history, no matter what, it seems from here. There seem to be just too many contesting forces and interests.
A fact not without its own peculiar poignancy in our own situation, for our own consideration, where we hear more and more strident cries for "revolution" in our own lives. I'll be pondering it surely, when I see you at the beach, chers...PAZ!