The Syrian war and related conflict are about the persistence of feudal and medieval “absolute power” in the 21st Century. To maintain that illusion, but one bloody and miserable enough — I can’t imagine how it could be more miserable for Syrians — Colonel President Emperor Putin, Ayatollah Khamenei, and the Tyrant Assad have had to produce on the ground a play and strategy fit to their own grandiose and inhuman delusions: “Assad vs The Terrorists”.
So far, they have brought about what they wanted — and needed — to create.
In the post-Soviet but neo-feudal Russian period, Putin now has an enhanced military position in Syria, and that presumably suits his desire for empire. Handily enough, Ayatollah Khamenei has gotten out of the deal a foil — a kind of chess opponent for him — in the creation of ISIS against which he may now set loose more Revolutionary Guard and Iraqi Shiite militia (the two are together in this): as long as the Great Shiite vs Sunni Battle burns between himself and Baghdadi, he’s in business and may continuing his plundering of Iran. Of The Tyrant Assad, what may one say? How glorious that it turns out himself standing off (in view of the west) the butchery of the al-Qaeda types, who themselves have also a dreadful program.
From an ethical and moral standpoint — from Pharaoh, another tyrant, to this day — everything is wrong about Syria, and the only people who can really fix conditions and themselves are . . . Syrians.
In the 20th Century: Stalin-Hitler (before Hitler betrayed Stalin). In this one: Putin-Khamenei (Assad depends on both). These men need to be seen for what they are, what they represent, and what they have hauled with them into our century, and Syrians would be wise, perhaps, to understand their own complicity in the development of their power. It’s good to leave them with their egomania, their cowardly hate, and their sadism.
Visual coverage of the Syrian Tragedy: lurid.
The cause of it: a medieval “will to power” accompanied in the people by insularity and culturally transmitted contempt for others matched to fear and hatred of the Jews and of the west. When trouble came and the same raised a cry and reached out for help, it appears the world most hated stood aside while the curtain rose on “Assad vs The Terrorists” and darkness came to their seared land.
One hopes that for those who reached across borders and those who have reached back that those mental conditions — habits of mind, learned social grammar, misperception, and fear of the condemnation of one’s own perverse society — will change.
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