Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Truth and Consequences in Islam

"We know from conflicts around the world that we can't have any sustainable peace if we don't have accountability."
"The most critical thing to understand in that situation is who is being killed and who is doing that killing, and without that information we can't expect the people involved in resolving this conflict to come to the right decisions."
Anna Nolan, director, The Syria Campaign human rights advocacy group

"We are doing this mainly for our people, for our community, for history. We are recording these reports in order to say, on this day, in 2018, these people have been killed and because of this, and in this area."
"We don't want to lose any one life."
"[There are] tens of incidents daily [that raise the death toll]."
Fadel Abdul Ghany, founder, Syrian Network for Human Rights 

"We often talk about these numbers, whether it's 400,000 or 500,000, but it's also about the trauma that is behind each of these numbers."
"It has become almost mechanical, the number."
"It's really just a cold figure, but behind it are lives."
Panos Moumtzis, United Nations assistant secretary general
Picture
Credit: Sam Tarling, Getty Images

13 victims
SNHR - Death Toll

16 April 2018

SNHR documented the death of 13 civilians, including 2 children and 2 women, at the hands of Syrian Regime forces and Other parties, on Monday, April 16, 2018, as follow:
Syrian Regime forces: 6 civilians
Other parties: 7 civilians, including 2 children and 2 women

The slaughter of Syrian Sunnis continues at the hands of the Alawite Baathist Shiite regime of President Bashar al-Assad. Enormously aided by Russia, by Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps, by Iranian-linked Shiite militias. Without their support Assad would long have been forced to retreat, found haven elsewhere, leaving Syria to the majority Sunni population to administer. Little did they know, seven years ago, when protests broke out in a Sunni-majority Damascus suburb that such an enormous death toll would result from a plea for equal treatment.

The protesters soon understood when children writing defiance of Assad on the exterior wall of their school were arrested, tortured and killed, and anyone protesting was rounded up, imprisoned and 'questioned' under torture, that this was not viewed as mere protesting, but rather the actions of a 'terrorist' group, and they were the 'terrorists' against whom Assad ordered his military to react. And react they did, with helicopter gunships, barrel bombs and chemical attacks. Even so as the rebel groups assembled their militias and fought back, without foreign intervention they would have prevailed.

"Would have", "If only", "Could have", and "Might have" never won wars, unfortunately. The numbers of dead swiftly piled up. The punishing destruction of entire city suburbs, the movement of half the entire population of the country away from bombs and death, left millions displaced internally and millions more as refugees living in squalid refugee camps externally which offered haven from immediate death, and the bare minimum for survival, but little hope of return.
Staffan de Mistura, on the screen at left, delivered remarks via video link to the United Nations Security Council on Monday. Two years ago, Mr. de Mistura estimated that 400,000 people had died in the war. Credit Justin Lane/EPA, via Shutterstock

The entry to the conflict zone of a country destroying itself, of foreign terrorist groups led eventually to the presence of al-Qaeda and then Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant with its nightmarish cult of death. This was Islam eating itself from its interior to its exterior, destroying lives with abandon, taking inspiration from the Koran to slaughter Yazidi men, capture the women and children and take them into slavery and sex bondage. All of this enabled by Bashar al-Assad's fixation on destroying his Sunni citizens.

Could a more hideous, nightmarish fate befall a people than to have their government explicitly target them for extinction? Totally destroying the Sunni Syrians in a bitterly vicious sectarian war that takes no prisoners that will survive their interrogation and torture. Ongoing death as people suffer through starvation sieges to break their spirits and offer privation before a lingering death. The United Nations, which once tabulated these assaults and tabled frequent death toll reports no longer does.

In 2014, two years before the UN stopped attempting to keep abreast of the death toll, the figure they issued was 400,000 deaths. The catastrophic annihilation of rebellious Sunni Syrians has focused the world's attention, but as with any events of unimaginable breadth and depth of human rights violations the very magnitude of the situation begins to exert a numbing effect and attention drifts elsewhere; little wonder Syrians feel they have been abandoned. Little wonder Europe feels it has been inundated with desperate people seeking haven.

Pity there has been no universal will to put a stop to the carnage. Even worse that Syria's neighbours did nothing to intervene, when the Arab League might have pursued avenues open to them. When the establishment of the State of Israel became a reality in 1947, the Arab League managed to persuade itself that a reaction was due, to destroy the nascent state, and so a five-nation attack took place in 1948. Arab armies now equipped with more technologically advanced weaponry evidently never felt the urge to assemble and remove Assad, preferring to wait for the West to solve another Middle East problem.

Now the problem is that Sunni Syrians no longer can aspire to return to their own country. Instead, they and economic migrants from Islamic nations in North Africa, all of which have failed as responsible governments, are content to watch as their citizens undertake dangerous journeys to invade Europe in hopes of finding a home for themselves there. In the process, their numbers ensuring an eventual majority, transforming Europe to a Muslim future which while destroying Europe's identity, will also destroy the kind of opportunity it once held out for those in distress.

A Syrian man evacuated an infant from the rebel-held town of Hamouria after heavy bombardment in February. As the seven-year Syria war drags on, growing more diffuse and complex, many international monitoring groups have stopped counting casualties. Credit Abdulmonam Eassa/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

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