The other great American ally in the region, Israel, has for the most part recused itself from the Syrian conflict. Its only direct action has been to strike Hezbollah supply networks that might have carried threatening missiles into Lebanon, and to shell Syrian fighters who brought their war too close to the Israeli frontier. In fact, although Saudi Arabia and Israel are technically enemies, their interests coincide very closely in Syria. Both want to see Iran weakened, neither wants to see Assad last, and neither want to see the Brotherhood or al Qaeda take control. In such a situation, a protracted war draining the resources of its enemies is not the worst thing that could happen from Israel’s point of view.
We don’t put humans in zoos (except for criminals best kept in cages): some “uncontacted people” we, well, the world of scholars, try to leave alone; some primitive tribes enjoy nominal to effective state-based protective security with freedom to choose their communal way exclusively or assimilate incrementally under their own volition.
Noting that and sometimes likening Sunni vs. Shiite strife to “two mad wasps in a bell jar,” one may well view Syria’s agony and its surround of political drivers, from the post-Soviet interest of neo-oligarch Russia to the alien-to-the-west ambitions of Iran and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, as taking place in a political crucible so isolated as to be compared an island or pit expressly designed for viewing Homo sapiens sapiens at its worst.
It’s not called a “theater” for nothin’.
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Last Wednesday, in the hours after a horrific chemical attack east of Damascus, an official at the Syrian Ministry of Defense exchanged panicked phone calls with a leader of a chemical weapons unit, demanding answers for a nerve agent strike that killed more than 1,000 people. Those conversations were overheard by U.S. intelligence services, The Cable has learned.
I may disagree here with Christopher Dickey as regards the effects of a punitive strike against the Syrian military to discourage additional chemical weapons attacks: the mentality involved has long proven itself beyond criticism, conscience, and prudence.
Maher is accused of multiple human rights abuses and is considered the most feared man in Syria. Aside from the recent chemical attacks, there are several examples of horrible atrocities carried out by troops he commands. In March 2011, his fourth division lead a siege against a “group of schoolboys” who were calling for Bashar to leave. Maher ordered them all killed.
About that group of schoolboys: Chulov, Martin. “Did Assad’s ruthless brother mastermind alleged Syria gas attack?” The Guardian, August 24, 2013.
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Theologist Thomas Berry placed man as the enabled living agent in an unfolding earth process: we’re able to live with the earth, respond to our own presence in it (as we do with anti-pollution controls, laws, and strategies). Beside that thought I would place the idea that the World Wide Web and its social networks form a nerve-type skein around the globe’s human affairs — even “human process” — too, and we know where life is burning and where it is sweet, where correction is wanted and peace is needed.
I’ve never really liked the brand name “Google” (goes with a child’s rattling toy) nor the slogan “Islamic Awakening” but ironically, oddly, both terms may refer to an organismic acquisition of a new consciousness and conscience. Not since God sewed skins for Adam and Even on their way out into their human journey has mankind enjoyed such an expansion of awareness.
I’ll spare you the “Pale Blue Dot” on this post.
What’s happening in Syria today: evil.
Whatever the cloaks and covers, the excuses and the temptations, it’s not what anyone wants or should want.
What is happening around Syria, whether with concerns for refugees, with “tracking” the conflict, with ideas in an Awesome Conversation taking place around the world in real time 24/7/365, that is what is wanted.
Wake up! Wake up! Wake up!
Reilly, Jill. “U.S. spies certain Assad used nerve gas ‘after intercepting phone call from panicking Syrian defence chief demanding an explanation from its chemical weapon military unit’.” Mail Online, August 28, 2013.
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