You know I lived in Syria. I have family there. No, I’m not actually related to them. They’re family nonetheless. Syria will remain my second home. I hope I will be able to live there again one day. I love that country.
Everyone knows what has happened in the Middle East and North Africa. Governments toppled. The Syrian people need our help more than most. That country lives in fear and has done for decades. They are terrified of the so-called security service. I remember being interviewed by them. They probed into every part of my life. They knew my dad had been in the military even though I had never given that information. The walls have ears. Never was that statement more true than of Syria.
These people have been cowed. Indoctrinated so much that I can barely comprehend it. Fireworks do not go off in that country and if one unexpectedly does they think they’re being attacked by the Israelis. They duck for cover, turn all the lights off and pray. In 1982 the Asad regime slaughtered 10,000 people (and that’s a low estimate) in order to quell a revolt. 10,000 people massacred. The people of this country remember that. They would not revolt lightly.
Believe me. They remember. They never spoke a word out of turn throughout the time I lived there. I never heard a word of complaint against the government. Never. Can you imagine that? We complain about our government all the time! We march, petition, shout, tweet, blog, protest in as many different ways as we can about what they are currently doing to our people. The Syrians would never even contemplate that. Not when I was there anyway.
Look what is happening. When we march we risk being ignored. When they march they risk being killed. And they are being killed. What is happening now is happening as a result of the first protest, the first in 30 years. Read this. That is the last report from Marie Colvin, murdered 22nd February 2012 by the Syrian forces. That tells of the state of Syria today. People being killed indiscriminately by their own government, the force charged to protect them. Killing terrorists? No. Killing babies. Babies.
Does that make you feel sick? Horrified? Angry? It should. That’s how our government should feel too. That’s how the United Nations should feel. Horrified enough to do something about it. But instead, our dear leader David Cameron expressed sadness. He said that Marie Colvin’s death was a sad reminder of the risks journalists face in Syria… True. But why did she do that job, risk her life over and over again? To show exactly what is going on so our governments actually do something about it. Read her reports, listen to what she said in interviews. Expressions of sympathy? Very nice. Useless.
Why? Why do they do nothing? They send money for aid workers to help the injured. That is like sticking a plaster on an amputated limb. You know why they don’t intervene? Because there is nothing in it for them. Syria is no threat to us. They have Iran on their side, but Iran is the supposed threat, not them. The Syrian army only has the power to murder its own people, not ours. They’re nothing to us. That is why we sit back and watch.
I am a pacifist in many ways. But not when it comes to this. The Syrian regime will not negotiate. I am no diplomat, no politician. But I know this: Indiscriminate killing needs to be stopped. Do it. There is no excuse. We have far more power than they do, we could have this stopped. No, it wouldn’t solve their political problems, it wouldn’t solve the crucial issue of how to run the country. But how does leaving thousands of innocent people to die helplessly solve anything? Ever? Tell me that. Stop this brutality and build the country from there. You have to start somewhere and that somewhere needs to be free of bloodshed.
Families living in basements to protect themselves from death. A woman so traumatised she cannot breastfeed and instead feeds her newborn baby on sugar and water. Neighbours throwing bread across the street to help each other face starvation and hopefully escape death at the same time. This is not acceptable. I don’t care if they are not the same race as us, if they don’t share the same religion as us, if they are not the same colour as us, if they don’t speak the same language as us, if they don’t eat the same food as us, if they don’t celebrate the same holidays as us, or do anything else the same as us.
It doesn’t matter. National boundaries don’t matter. Differences of any sort don’t matter. They are human. We are human. We are all the same. That is all that matters. Those who have the power to end this should help. That is all. Help them.