It’s been close to four-and-a-half years since a protest turned to what we call today the Syrian Civil War. It all started by what is popularly called the “Arab Spring” – a series of uprisings that started in Tunisia and spread like wildfire (quite literally) and caught hold of Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Bahrain, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Syria.
It spread like wildfire. What was meant to be a collective protest to stand against the corrupt ways of the people in power, turned into something else when a street vendor named Tarek al-Tayeb Mohamed Bouaziz burned himself to show the distress caused by the people in power. That fire spread and non-violent protests became violent. Governments failed, presidents fled, and what was left was chaos among the masses.
There are two words that haunts a lot of people today “If Only”.
If only the Government didn’t use heavy-handed forces to curb the non-violent demonstrations. If only the mob didn’t seek refuge in violent demonstrations to stand against the government. If only they didn’t overthrow their secular ministers to pave way for the non-secular Islamic state (IS) and other groups hungry for power and land to intervene.
Now, let’s separate ourselves from the collective “Arab spring” and divert our gaze to Syria and what went wrong there.
Syrian president Basshar al-Assad, a British-trained doctor, inherited Syria’s dictatorship from his father, Hafez al-Assad. He came as a light of change, at first wavering between hints of reform and force. But then, he stumbled. Instead of using strategy and tactic to stay in power and bring in reforms to address the needs of the people, he set off the first of what became a series of devastating crackdowns. He sent tanks into restive cities and commanded security forces to open fire on demonstrators. Some believe that the attacks appeared calculated, turning peaceful protests to violent ones, justifying an escalation of force. Syria was lost that day.
The political protests worsened due to the different ethnic groups in Syria. Basshar and most of the national elite belonged to the 12% of Alwait sect in the country, while majority of the rest belonged to the Sunni community. This aggravated the situation and paved way for terrorist and self-formed groups to share control of Syria, making it the worst humanitarian crisis since the Second World War.
What began as an attempt to shoot Syria’s uprising into submission, divided the country into three (3) general areas, one part controlled by the current regime, one shared by the Sunni moderate and jihadist groups, such as ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra, and another by Kurdish-based people’s protection units.
Source – ISW
Who’s fault was it? The Government that failed to pay heed or the mob who turned to violence? or the hungry terrorist groups that saw an opportunity to cause rebel? We can keep playing the blame game, keep burning lives, both innocent and not. Does a world without war exist? The important question to ponder over here is, “Will the situation ever get better?”
We can only hope that the world leaders are doing their best to address that important question. In the meantime, the best we should do is to stop the war from consuming us, our homes our cities, our countries, our world. We should resort to words and sensible discussions and not momentary violence and hate speeches. Let’s not create more children of war, let’s not leave the world filled with guns and bombs. We should resort to questioning the governance and the state of affairs, but not take the law in our hand.
A war has a winner and a loser. Even the ongoing Syrian war must point towards who won and who lost, isn’t it?
Who are the winners and the losers of this war?
Winners – Neither the people who protested nor the Government who used force to stop the protests. The only one to gain from the war are the people and sects that use fear and religion to gain control of the world. The only people who won are opportunists and self-made groups that operate in the name of God and tear the word into a million pieces.
Losers – Humanity. All of us.
For the lives that are discounted in the name of freedom, law, religion, politics, and war.