I think one issue we can all agree on is how tragic the situation in Syria has become. Hundreds of people are dying, being shot down daily by the armed forces of Syria. Because journalists are not allowed inside Syria we only get a sketchy view of what is going on. I watch grainy videos shot by protesters which are out there risking their lives to bring down a brutal regime. The sickening thing about it is that we in the West are partly to blame for this situation. The Syrians saw how NATO came to the aid of the Libyans in their fight to topple the Gaddafi regime and thought they might receive the same kind of help. They say otherwise, but I suspect that hope was there. It is true that we cannot be the world’s policeman, and step in whenever such things are happening. If for no other reason, we simply don’t have the resources. It is sickening to watch Assad butcher his citizens, and have to stand by, helpless to prevent it. I am touched by the incredible courage and sacrifice of the Syrian people. God forbid it should ever come to that here in the USA. But I have already ranted and raved about encroaching fascism here, and I don’t want to revisit that again just yet.
It is shameful that Russia and China vetoed any UN action to prevent the carnage from continuing. Russia is now making an effort on it’s own to broker some kind of peace, but I suspect it would be a peace on Assad’s terms. It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that the vetoes took place however. Almost daily I read about the outrages taking place in Russia and China when it comes to human rights. They are autocratic regimes who don’t give a damn about individual human beings. Vladimir Putin doesn’t even bother to pretend that he is not an authoritarian figure. It is obvious and he struts about proudly displaying his authority. However the Russian people are taking to the streets, even in a record-breaking cold, to protest this ridiculous charade. Unfortunately, is is unlikely that anything like what happened in Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya would ever happen in Russia and China. At least not any time soon. But I feel the United States and Europe should be actively working to aid the forces of democracy in Russia and China. Too often we are guided by economics instead of by what is right. We should be the beacon of democracy, setting an example for the people struggling to free themselves from autocratic regimes. We can give them something better than iPads and iPhones. Lets give them something to aspire to.
It dismays me that the Egyptian revolution may be stillborn. The Egyptian military is forging an alliance with the Muslim fundamentalists. This could spell the end for true democracy in Egypt. I am even more enraged by Muslim religious fanatics than I am by Christian religious fanatics. The Muslim zealots would return the world to a medieval mind set, in which people’s arms are chopped off, women are disfigured or killed for the slightest infraction, and any freedom of thought involves risking one’s life. This cannot be God’s work, but perhaps Allah is some other entity. But no, I don’t wish to disparage all Muslims, just as there are good Christians who are doing good work, there are good Muslims doing the same. It is true that the press focuses on the extremism, and the not so dramatic and sound bite worthy people who are just quietly doing good, don’t get the news coverage.