Some people have enough moral sense to criticize Israel, but not to criticize anything that Assad and his supporters have done and are still doing. They see ISIS stoning women and chasing away Christians, but they ignore all evidence and testimony of torture, mass rape and mass murder in Assad’s concentration camps. They ignore evidence of collaboration between ISIS and Assad. They ignore Iran’s role in the current mayhem in Syria, Iraq and Gaza, and advocate engagement with her. They defend Russia and ignore her duplicity in war crimes in Syria and Ukraine. Clearly these people cannot truly be concerned with human rights. Their stand by the Palestinians at this stage seems motivated more by ideology than any sense of moral solidarity – an ideology that put Israel and America, and sometimes the West as a whole, at the center of all evil designs in the world; an ideology that, in essence, covets the power that these countries have and longs to appropriate it, rather than be truly dedicated to holding all equally accountable for their misdeeds.
It was not only an airliner that was shut down in Ukraine, but the last vestige of the post-Cold War global order, and the popular myth regarding the containability of “local” conflicts. In today’s hyper-connected world, conflict anywhere is a conflict everywhere, for spillovers are unavoidable and containability a myth.
It is not that there are more tragedies happening around us today than there were during the height of the Cold War, in fact, there are arguably less tragedies today than there were then. It’s our awareness of what’s happening around us that has changed. Through social media, satellite technology and around-the-clock news coverage, we have been deprived of the ability to ignore the world and feign ignorance.
The reduction of our choices in Syria to a lesser of all evils was something that was orchestrated by the Assad regime and its allies from the early days of the Syrian Revolution back in 2011. Indeed, our road to this particular hell was paved with all the ill-intentions and foresight in the world by people who have done this repeatedly before, and made quite the survival strategy out of it. Still, it does take a strong element of willful blindness on part of so many who are clearly in a position to know better to let something like this happen, again and again. Considering the repetitive patterns involved, one cannot but assume ill-intentions here as well. In other words, and for all the talk about good intentions paving our way to hell, in reality, we more often get there on account of ill-intentions and evil designs.