The fact that there are forces using sectarian sentiments in our societies to fuel a proxy war meant to serve certain interests of theirs does not mean that sectarianism is an external invention. In fact, insisting that sectarianism is a foreign invention will prevent us from dealing with it effectively, and will only serve to perpetrate it, thus, giving external dabblers powers a permanent tool which they can use to their advantage in times of crisis.
Finally, Ambassador Ford can say what he has probably been itching to say for many long months. The Obama Administration’s Syria policy is indefensible. It has served to empower Assad, Al-Qaeda, Iran and Russia, and, in the process, it rolled the clock back to Cold War times. Who gives a damn about killing Bin Ladin long after he had become an irrelevant figure, and at a time when the Administration’s foreign policies, and non-policies, and its reliance on drone attacks as its sole instrument for fighting terrorism, have served to give Al-Qaeda new havens in Syria and Yemen, among other places, as well as a new set of leaders, and has actually managed, despite the ideological divide between them, to foster an emerging and strong cooperation between Al-Qaeda affiliated groups and the regimes in Iran and Syria. Yet, according to President Barack Obama, we should somehow see wisdom, and even victory, in all these developments. Meanwhile, human rights activists like me are now castigated as warmongers because we demand that genocidal maniacs be stopped, and for Al-Qaeda, Hezbollah and other terrorist entities and groups be seriously fought, not just pricked.
Try as you may and must, you still cannot sugarcoat betrayal and hypocrisy. Samantha Powers agreed to join the ranks of an administration that was clearly dead-set on betraying the very ideals which she preached, and she did so with her eyes wide open. Now she and her her supporters are trying to find ways to distance her from the mess. But not even a trip to the Moon will put enough distance at the stage. She might still remain politically viable, (after all if Assad can why can’t she?), but in the realm of ideals she advocated, chalk her as a hypocrite, with little possibility for self-redemption, if any.
Farideh Farhi says: “If Iran is influential in sustaining the Assad regime, then turning it into a stakeholder in the political process makes eminent sense — but not behind closed doors or on a seat in the back of the room.” … In other words, supporting genocide earns a seat in the front rows and full light of day. Why not? It worked for Russia. The message to all in the world is this: the willingness to perpetrate heinous crimes and mass murders against your own people is the key to making yourself politically relevant and will get you international legitimacy, recognition and often even respect. This is the foundation of the New World Order, which makes it no different than the Old Order. Humanity has taken a major leap backwards, and has thus earned the shame and pains of the chaos and turmoil that lies ahead.
Bullocks! What cultural shock? Neither British nor Syrian culture is homogenous. There are almost 2.5 million British citizens who believe in the same value system that most Syrian refugees have. They are known as practicing Muslims, and although most of them come from a non-Arab background, there be enough citizens of Arab background, enough Syrian with dual nationality and enough cultural similarities between all practicing Muslims to make most Syrian refugees able to find communities where the cultural shock is manageable for all involved. There is also bound to be a certain social segment among the refugees that will find much comfort in the basic freedoms available to them in British society, and who will seek to maintain cordial human interaction with all around them irrespective of their confessional background. In all cases, and considering that the UK will be admitting a few thousands refugees at most, and that most of them will be busy for years to come trying to make a normal life for themselves in their new country, the possibility for any trouble-making is pretty minimal.
The people at the Economist are right of course. Irrespective of what we think about the armed struggle, violence and political solutions, the reality no negotiations can be successful unless a certain balance on the ground is created. We all know by now that all talks will involve drawing boundaries and carving out enclaves as part of a de facto if not de jure partitioning process, under the guise of a new administrative structure and a new system of governance. This has always been the reality we needed to contend with. But boundaries have to reasonable, and someone still needs to be held accountable for the crimes that were committed and continue to be perpetrated. Assad and his cronies need to end up in The Hague.
And with this, we officially enter the era of Cold War II. This is what tolerating genocide in Syria has led us into. This is our brave new world, revisited, reinvented, rededicated. Now, we bravely plod on into another black hole of an era, armed with the usual assortment of frivolous justifications and platitudes, united only in our willingness to be foolish to the very end.
Immersive journalism will help you transcend geographical limitations, but it will make knowing the right thing to do any easier, and will not give conscience to sociopaths or willpower to the apathetic.