A letter from a human rights activist to an antiwar activist, on Syria.

Posted: 08/29/2013 by editormary in "Israel", Counter-terrorism, No thanks!, Grassroots Activism, Human Rights, Libya, Middle East, Opinions and Letters, Palestine, Refugees, Resistance, Somoud: Arab Voices of Resistance, Syria, War
No "more" bombs...the ones from Russia and Iran dropped by Assad's army can keep coming though... there are terrorists, you know.

No “more” bombs…the ones from Russia and Iran dropped by Assad’s army can keep coming though… there are terrorists, you know.

RE: Stop the War in Syria

Hello Antiwar Activist,

How are you? It’s been 2 and half years. I’ve missed you. I hope all is well. Thank you for writing back. Yes you’re right, we have to stop this war!

I am glad you are here now. We can use your help. You are against war, right? So you must really care about the Syrian people and want to help save them from the tragedies they have endured for far too long. Let me catch you up to speed so you can join the effort to help end this war.

The media is telling us that the West is about to attack Syria. You seem concerned. Just a heads up, Israel attacked Syria a month ago. The West attacked Mali last year, Libya the year before that, and continues to use drones worldwide every day. I didn’t hear from you then so you probably just didn’t get the memo. The war isn’t just about to start. It’s actually been going on for 2 and half years. 100,000 people are dead. 1 out of every three people is displaced. 1 out of every 3 people needs humanitarian assistance. The medical system has collapsed. And third of the country is in rubble because conventional weapons are being used indiscriminately every day.

So, the West is about to attack. We don’t want foreign military intervention right? Oh but Iranian and Lebanese forces have been there for some time now fighting with The Government’s army, and along with Russia have been arming them with sophisticated weapons. I guess that doesn’t count as foreign because those are not western countries. Israel attacked Syria a few times too but they are not Western so let’s forget about that too.

What’s important now is to stop the West. They’re always looking to start wars. They are the bad guy. So that means Syria must be the good guy. Oh you don’t know much about them. Let me fill you in. There is a dictatorship there. It’s been about 40 years. It comes with all the stuff you expect from good guys, no freedom of expression, no democracy, gross human rights violations, political prisoners, and complete theft of the economy. In fact one guy owns 60% of the entire Syrian economy! Hmm, let me see what else. Oh yeah they were responsible for the killing of an entire city of Hama killing over 20,000 people in 1982 and are a designated a state sponsor of terrorism since 1979. And in case you forgot they attacked, kidnapped, tortured, and killed peaceful protesters for the first 6 months of the conflict while people asked for their basic rights and freedoms. Most recently chemical attacks were used against people while they slept killing over a thousand men, women, and children. In case you were wondering, Syria has the largest stockpile of chemical weapons in the world.

But they are not the bad guys, right? It’s more important to stop the West because they cause collateral damage. Never mind the existing collateral damage caused by The Government that has reduced a third of the country to rubble and killed tens of thousands in the process. No need to protest against the daily indiscriminate missile strikes being used by Syria’s military because the 3 days of missile strikes by the West will be much worse for the people of Syria.

I mean who does the West think its fooling? After their claims about Iraq, who can believe them? There is no proof that a war exists in Syria and that The Government is responsible for anything. Maybe we should check with someone else who we can really trust. Let’s see what AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL, HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH, UN-OCHA, INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE OF THE RED CROSS, AND REPORTERS WITHOUT BORDERS have to say. What? You’re kidding me? There actually IS a war going on and The Government IS responsible for the vast majority of crimes against humanity. You mean they have been using tanks, airplanes, helicopters and snipers indiscriminately against the population? You know, I don’t think I have heard you mention this war. Maybe you believe that war is only bad when other countries get involved, and that it is not a war when the government attacks its own people?

Let us be clear. When you say stop the war, you don’t just mean that West should not attack? You also mean that The Government should stop indiscriminately attacking its own population? I don’t think those countless reliable sources are wrong when they have repeatedly documented that a war has been going on, that The Government is largely responsible, and that this is not acceptable? You are against war, right? Or maybe it’s okay if the war is just inside the country itself? I mean the government’s crimes against humanity are needed because their enemy is foreign jihads who eat human hearts. That’s the real bad guy. Oh didn’t you know? The foreign jihadis have always been there. They have been there for 40 years so that’s why it was okay to have a dictatorship that trampled people’s freedom for decades. They were there during the peaceful protests, that’s why The Government had to attack and kill peaceful protestors for 6 months. And they are everywhere now. No Syrian has ever picked up a gun to defend himself after seeing his wife raped, his children slaughtered, and his home razed. The 100 000 people killed and 6 million people displaced are all foreign jihadis.

Don’t you know that dictatorship, oppression, waging war, and committing crimes against humanity does not cause a local population to resist? This is all just one big conspiracy by the West. Syrians don’t have a problem from 40 years of oppression. The scenes of millions of people across the entire country protesting peacefully for the human rights were all faked. And if they weren’t, well they must have been orchestrated by the West. I mean any human rights activist can tell you how easy it is to mobilize nationwide protests in the millions for 6 months. Even in the face of torture and death, they continued to protest because the West wanted them to. It had nothing to do with any internal desire for their own basic rights. We all know how easy it is to brainwash millions of people to go in the street and protest day after day when you’re facing possible death.

I mean in the end, it’s the people you care about right? That’s why you don’t want the West to attack. Protesting against a limited Western attack will help the people much more protesting against a war that has destroyed the country for 2 and half years, calling for more help in the largest humanitarian operation in the history of the UN, or demanding our governments do something, anything REAL to stop the bloodshed. Protesting against a limited Western attack will help the people by stopping the war all together. That’s what you really care about after all, the people. It has nothing to do with protesting yet another American foreign attack. You are there to protest because you truly care about the people.

Hmmm but where have you been. I haven’t seen you protesting and lobbying your government to increase humanitarian aid to the people of Syria. You do know it’s the largest humanitarian disaster of the century? That there are over 7 million people who need humanitarian assistance? I haven’t seen you asking for more pressure on the Syrian government to stop attacking civilians indiscriminately. You do know not a single UN Security Council on Syria has been passed?

Well you are here now. Nice to have you. I hope I can count on you to help the people of Syria. We need all the help we can get. We need to stop this war. We need to help the people. Let us stand together in solidarity and call for an end to the war in Syria. Let us stand together and demand protection and aid for the people of Syria. That’s why we are here right. It’s not just about stopping a small scale limited Western military intervention. It’s about ENDING THE WAR! It’s about helping the people of Syria. We are activists for a reason, right? Stopping wars is not our end goal, it’s just a means to saving our fellow man from oppression.

I have been here for some time now. I am exhausted. It’s nice to have you next to me. This war will likely not end anytime soon. I hope you will stay for the long haul.

Thank you,
A Human rights Activist

  1. This is one of the most excellent responses I have heard today to the so-called “Stop the War” campaign.

  2. Ethan Alan says:

    The people in Syria are in a terrible situation, to be sure. More so if Russia/China/Iran can continue to arm and replenish Assad’s forces with impunity. The issue regarding direct intervention, I feel, has been overshadowed by all the points this letter makes. Yes, Assad and his family have been controlling Syria for decades, yes the government has committed numerous crimes against humanity, and yes the people need help in overthrowing the dictator Assad.

    What needs to be understood is that the West in general (And the United States in particular) have never been able to do the right thing outside of securing a no-fly zone. A giant, lumbering behemoth with a million talking heads and a 668 billion dollar bludgeon that will not only crush Assad, but the entire region. And with all of its heads wanting to swing the club in a different direction, odds are slim that the king will be dethroned.

    And if a bunker-buster does happen to fall on his castle, then what? Do we pick the successor? Do we stay until the Syrian people create a government to our choosing? Do we spend trillions of dollars we don’t have to rebuild a nation in our own image? Do we pick a random faction, and arm them in the hopes they once the dust settles, Syria will now be our ally instead of Russia’s?

    And speaking of Russia, what if the Russian naval base in Tartus is attacked and accidentally destroyed? What happens when our intervention plunges the entire world into darkness? This belief is not born out of a governmental conspiracy, but out of governmental stupidity.

    Stomping on the entire nation of Syria is not an option I can ethically or logically support. But neither is sitting idly as hundreds of thousands die by their own government. The UN is helpless as always due to the permanent security council members never agreeing, and relief efforts will never come because while our President can spend billions of dollars dropping bombs on other countries at his own leisure, he cannot spend millions of dollars in relief effort without congressional approval. This is a terrible, terrible flaw on our part. Unfortunately there is nothing that can be done.

    Coalesce the rebels into one unified group that the West can rally behind, or ask for help from a third party such as India, or the AU. Send representatives to the UN, force them to act. Provide and promote agencies for us to volunteer/donate to.

    Do anything but ask the West to intervene now. I want to help you, I really do. But after a decade of wars started by lies, continued by greed, and ending in disaster, asking the US for assistance should be the last option. We are a short-term solution that will create larger problems down the road.

  3. Salma says:

    God, this is so naive. Maybe you are speaking to the ignorant Americans who can’t find Syria on a map. But the rest of us are fully aware of what has been happening in Syria for a long time now, we have been pushing for a diplomatic solution to this war from the very beginning, but the USA, Russia, Saudi, Qatar, and all the others who could have FORCED a diplomatic solution on Assad & FSA in the beginning didn’t want to do that because it wasn’t in their interest. They didn’t care about the Syrian people then and they don’t now. That’s why we people who care about Syria don’t want military intervention now….nobody ever gave anything else a chance…..so start by forcing a diplomatic intervention before turning Syria in to another Iraq…..and it is possible because without outside powers giving Assad & FSA money & weapons for their proxy war, they will have no other choice but political solution. This silly letter is just another propaganda piece for rebels. You know, there is a third side to this war….it’s not just Assad vs. rebels. There is a third side that has been fighting for peace via political solution since 2011, but you 2 warmonger sides drown out our voices and incite the endless cycle of hatred and violence.

  4. Eric Evans says:

    Well i am an anti war activist, and i hate to say that it isnt always about the people, but sometimes it isnt. Sometimes it is just to save our country from the outbreak of yet another war, that will leave us even more bankrupt and behind than before.

    and just for the record, i have been against every military conflict that has been reported. I think you underestimate the number of isolationists in the United States.

    If Europe wants to take this one over, then they can go ahead. The United States has done enough already.

  5. Andrew Rose says:

    I’m not responsible for what other countries do. I am responsible for what my country does in my name and I do not want my country to kill anyone in my name. This is always true even when the people they are killing are “bad guys.” Military action is profitable. I don’t want select Americans profiting from the state’s violence.

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