Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Slaughtered Like Sheep

"The operation started about midday, with the use of about 50 or 60 mortar shells.  Then they started to use tanks and heavy artillery for two hours.
"After that they deployed about thirteen or fourteen cars with mounted guns, and raided houses at random.  They took people out and started shooting indiscriminately."  Mousab Azzawi, Syrian Network of Human Rights

"At about 7:00 p.m. on Friday, a lot of Shabiha came from three nearby Alawite villages.  They killed some kids by knife, some by gun and some by suffocation.  I saw with my eyes dozens of bodies of women and children."  Mohammed, Houla villager
Well over a hundred people were killed in Houla after Friday prayers.  There seems to be something especially alluring about prayers on Friday, committing those who attended the prayer sessions to renewed energy in defying their tyrannical masters, and endowing the regime with additional determination to destroy that opposition commitment by any means feasible.

Major-General Robert Mood, the UN mission chief in Syria, made it clear that his staff had counted at least thirty-two children butchered, "under the age of 10".  To the international community that represents a disgusting act, a horrible and depraved atrocity beyond the understand of civilized people.  Of course, there is nothing whatever civilized about the manner in which opposing sects and tribes view one another.

Their dedication to destroying one the other bespeaks acts of consummate self-righteousness.  For if the enemy is not destroyed, he will destroy you.  There is no room for compromise in the Arab/Muslim tradition.  There is a festering resentment that must be realized at some future date through successfully restoring one's honour, impugned and blackened by an adversary. 

Either that adversary will face his punishment at the moment, or at some time hence.

Bitterness and hatred related to tribal and religious divides must be assuaged.  Honour is too integral to the tribe's view of self to be set aside in a Western-inspired imperative to seek solutions in compromise.  One controls one's enemies by force and maintains a situation where they are neutered and live in a psychical bondage, or if they rise up in protest, they must then be destroyed.

"We are calling urgently on the Friends of Syria (U.S., France, Britain, Germany and Saudi Arabia) to create a military alliance, outside of the UN Security Council, to carry out targeted strikes against Assad's gangs and the symbols of his regime", pleaded General Mustafa Ahmed al-Sheikh, head of Turkey-based Free Syrian Army military council.

"Those who may contemplate supporting any side with weapons, military training or other military assistance, must reconsider such options to enable a sustained cessation of violence", Ban Ki-moon informed the Security Council by letter.  Ever the optimist.  Presumably, that is the prime emotional ingredient for any candidate for the office of chief of the United Nations.

"We're being slaughtered like sheep here. Where are the UN observers?", the villagers bleated helplessly once the Shabiha, regime-supporting civilian militiamen, had completed their work for the day.  They had moved in with alacrity with the departure of the military tanks and heavy artillery after their two-hour pounding.

The Shabiha, armed with knives and guns, slaughtered whole families, from grandparents to infants, working zealously well into the wee hours of the morning to complete their task.

"The people begged the observers to come with them to evacuate the bodies.  They refused to help us and they said that we should negotiate with the regime, and then they left."

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