Syria: The Silence of the Wolves

There is nothing surprising about the chilling worldwide silence that accompanies the massacre in Syria. In nature, each wolf outlines his territory. Unluckily for Syria, it is located in the Russian wolf’s territory.

Odeh Bisharat
Odeh Bisharat
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Syrian refugees make their way in flooded water at a temporary refugee camp, in the eastern Lebanese town of Al-Faour near the border with Syria, January 8, 2013.Credit: AP
Odeh Bisharat
Odeh Bisharat

Instead of being “impressed” by the survival capacity of the bloody regime in Syria, it is more fitting to wonder how it could be that such a revolution has managed to endure for more than two years. By comparison, Muammar Gadhafi’s regime almost quelled the revolution in Libya in its first months when his loyal army was on the outskirts of Benghazi. It was only thanks to NATO intervention that the revolution was successful, and thanks to international intervention the Libyan people were saved from a massacre that could have been worse than the one currently underway in Syria.

Last October National Forces Alliance candidate Ali Zeidane defeated the candidate from the Muslim Brotherhood’s party in Libya, and was selected to head the government. All the prophecies that predicted the rise of Islamic fundamentalism were proven wrong, and the country is advancing in the direction of a democratic regime that is inclusive of streams of moderate Islam. Incidentally, Zeidane was among those who called for external intervention. Is the man a traitor because he took pity on his people? Two decades ago, the world intervened in Bosnia and saved Muslims there from genocide. And by the way, those who are shocked by the demands that the world act to stop the massacre in Syria should know that Hafez Assad was part of the American attack on “sister state” Iraq in 1991.

Today, the Syrian leadership is trying to explain the implicit dangers of the rise of fundamentalist groups to the American government. Assad’s propagandists, with the help of our “progressives,” are trying to tar the opposition with Al-Qaida’s brush, and in doing so are insulting the millions of Syrians who are fighting for their human dignity. The walls of the prisons in Damascus are groaning under the weight of the memories of the torture of Syrian democrats.

The interesting thing about our progressives’ position is their argument that they will oppose whatever stance Qatar takes. Their weak nature arouses sorrow; instead of determining their position and having others circle around it, they’re circling around others’ positions. They’re dizzy! Today they’re supporting the Ba’ath regime, which even prior to the uprising had killed tens of thousands of Syrians.

Our progressives are not offering Syrians any prospects aside from sticking with Assad and dying under the nationalistic boots of the Shabiha. Out of national pride, the Syrians are reluctant about outside intervention. But as the Arabic saying goes, the answer to the question “what drives you to the worst?” is “the worst of the worst.” It is now apparent that Assad was right when he said he was different from the others. For he is Russia’s protege − the same country that violently suppressed the rebellion in Chechnya. Stalin used to be called the liberator of nations. Putin will have to be satisfied with the more modest moniker: the liberator of tyrants.

On the other hand, American involvement shouldn’t be feared. In his book “The Syrian Rebellion,” the historian Fouad Ajami writes that the Americans actually placed their trust in Bashar’s regime. A year before the uprising, current U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry visited Syria four times. What is interesting is that in all these conversations, not one word was said about freeing the Golan Heights, or about Palestinian rights. They mostly talked about what was happening in Lebanon, the situation in Iraq − that Syria is deeply involved in − and suicide bombers. Just like seasoned traders, they got straight to the point. The divisions of the spoils.

In the meantime, there is nothing surprising about the chilling worldwide silence that accompanies the massacre in Syria. In nature, each wolf outlines his territory. Unluckily for Syria, it is located in the Russian wolf’s territory, just as Tibet is in the Chinese wolf’s territory, and Palestine is in the Israeli-American wolf’s territory.