As the world watches, calculates, weighs options, ponders and pontificates, the Assads tend ever so caringly their growing killing fields.
Syria’s tragedy is that it lies at the center of so many clashing interests and agendas, very few of them, if any, seem compatible with the interests of the protesters who are yearning fighting and dying for freedom.
Take the official death toll figures of 1,500-2,000 offered by human rights groups and quadruple it: now you have an idea what’s really happening in Syria. According to eyewitnesses more than 1,000 were killed in Rastan only in Week 11, Deraa City alone, not to mention other Hauran communities, may have suffered as much as 2,000 fatalities. And heaven only knows what is happening now in Jisr Ashoughour.
We try hard to get the truth out but to no avail. Everything we say pales in comparison to what is actually taking place, and so many in the international community keep falling victim’s to Assad propaganda, as they speak of clashes, mutinies and armed resistance, making a mockery out of the bravery of the thousands upon thousands of unarmed protesters who face tanks every day with bear chests and cry “peaceful, peaceful,” refusing to take up arms.
People continue to speak about the growing potential for civil strife and sectarian warfare, and the concerns of minority communities in Syria, especially the Alawites. But in reality only Assad loyalists have access to sophisticated weaponry. In fact, even army defectors couldn’t get access to anything heavier than automatic assault rifles, and an armored car or two. Meanwhile, and for all talk about Alawite fears and concerns, the majority of the killers, so far, have been Alawites, and the majority of the killed – Sunnis. Yes, there is growing anger, and sectarian discourse can be heard in all quarters, but the balance of power and actual terror still favors the Assads. Still, so many speak of the situation as though it were a battle between equal sides.
For all our efforts and all the bravery of our on-the ground activists, we are obviously losing the media war, and a regime that refers to its people as infiltrators and to refugees as tourists is actually winning. But that’s to be expected really, after all, we are not fighting against the Assads alone, we’re fighting against their main backers as well: no, not Iran, Hezbollah, Russia or China, but the gods of indifference, cynicism and senility. Heaven help us.