It’s come to that time, the time that all horrific conflicts have, when we start to get a bit de-sensitized to it all. Nowadays I’d probably be more surprised if it went a week without a massacre in Syria, without the army blaming the rebels and the rebels blaming the army. Without the towns people secretly whispering that the army were there, the shabiha were there – everyone knows this is coming. Everyone now knows the formula for a news report about Aleppo.
In the last week we’ve had Aleppo university being bombed, a massacre just outside of Homs, a BBC journalist pointing out the dried blood from bodies being dragged outside to be burned and an interview with a leader of the secretive Nusra Front. Each faction is looking as unappealing as the next, the Free Syrian Army are a loose coalition of anti-Assad groups who are disliked and blamed by some in the country, they are also known to go beyond the law in search for funds – stories tell of them not being too nice to the Alawites either.
The Nusra Front are more honest it seems, help out with the day to day running of the rebel controlled areas quite well, they came to prominence for using car bombs and suicide attacks. There are more factions, of course, but these have just been in the news lately. Assad held stability, some might say, he kept the sectarian animosity under control, before the current troubles Syria was a safe, liberal, secular country, oh wait he oppressed his people, he took power after his father died and sends military planes to shell civilian populations. Which way do we turn?
…Keeping up hope is the worst, isn’t it?
The international envoy for Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, said in an interview earlier this month that there is no military solution, he also said that both sides were still pushing forward for a military solution. A divided rebel group, a delusional government, western states still terrified after the whole Iraq war debacle (as well as being called ‘imperialists’), China and Russia with governments just as corrupt and oppressive and large arms deals with Assad and the Arab states who are all secretly arming their particular sects cause in their eyes this is just a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran (someone needs to decide whether its the Persian Gulf or the Arabian Gulf). There is just nowhere to turn.
You keep up hope that someone’s going to step up to the plate somehow. Is it wrong to keep forcing diplomatic solutions when they’ve gotten us nowhere? Would a military intervention from an outside power (or coalition of outside powers) cause more trouble than it would prevent? Keeping up hope is the worst, isn’t it? Keep trying, keep hoping, keep talking and spreading, and yelling and all that and then someone will come along with a solution. That sounds unrealistic doesn’t it? But it’s better than letting ourselves get de-sensitized, better than the conflict losing the meaning of what that conflict really is.