More From Alder's Ledge

November 4, 2012

Sinking To A New Low

Syria's Hope Lost To War
(Part of the Lost Childhood series and The Darkness Visible post)

(Syrian Boy Recruited To Fight For The Rebels)

Every time I think about Syria a part of my soul screams out. I pray for the people there. I pray for their safety. I pray for peace. The images of their youth being killed by Assad's forces haunt me. The images of their cities burning never leave the back of my mind. Every day I do not write about their struggle is a day where my soul remains restless. It pleads with me to scream. 

That is why it has hurt in ways I never thought imaginable to see this struggle for freedom to be degraded into a fight for survival. I have watched as Russia (the motherland of oppression) has continued to supply Assad with the tools he needs to continue his reign of terror. I have watched China stand in the way of diplomacy as it trickles money into Assad's pockets through Russian hands. And I have been sickened to see Iranian snipers remaining diligent in their attacks on innocent Syrian citizens. 

This could have all been avoided... this could have been stopped. 

(Wounded Innocence) 

When Barack Obama took action in Libya he claimed he was stopping "genocide". It was the key word he knew would justify pushing regime change on the Libyan people. He didn't mention the black Africans that were being killed by the Libyan Arabs. He didn't mention that the people he was helping were already a group of armed combatants... combatants that had sparked the conflict. Obama just knew that by using the word "genocide" he could justify using American might to get his way. 

This is why Obama does not act to stop the genocide in Syria. I have posted in several articles in "The Darkness Visible" series why this war of Assad's can be classified as genocide. I have made it clear that Assad is pushing his version of Islam while attempting to subdue or destroy an opposing religious sect in the process. The rebellion in Syria is a response to Assad's own actions. Unlike Libya, this conflict was started by the regime... for the regime... and will only be ended with a change of regime. 

Something Obama and the West seem reluctant to approach. 

But that is not what has drawn me back to Syria tonight. It is the fact that the Free Syrian Army (the rebels) are now openly using child soldiers that has troubled me. The use of a child as a combatant for any cause can not be ignored. These children are the very source of Syria's hope. And this act of abuse is now poisoning any hope Syria has left. 

For over a year now I have watched as images of Syria's youth flashed before my eyes. Their young lifeless bodies captured in horrific images that have robbed me of sleep. Those who remained shown the sheer horror of what had happened upon their faces. For over a year those most innocent of souls have been my driving force in writing and screaming for them.... for their future. 

If Syria is to live, if it is to thrive, it must have a source of strength to draw upon. When a child is robbed of their most valuable years this source of strength is damaged. The inspiration for their future is crumbled. And the evil we wish to protect them from is given a place in their soul from which it can not be removed. These acts leave scars that time can only fade... not heal. 

For the Free Syrian Army it has taken over almost two years to reach this point of desperation. They have been massacred. They have been imprisoned in hellish conditions. And they have watched as their cities, homes, and families were stripped away from them. But this act, even out of desperation, can not go unpunished. 

It takes grooming and force to make a child fight. It takes abuse, both physical and emotional, to keep a child on the battlefield. And it takes a heartless monster to allow these children to die fighting a battle grown men could not win. 

(Wounded Rebel Leaving the Battlefield)

Sadly it appears that the West is set to act now that the fighting has claimed so many. They do not seem to have the stomach to send in troops though. They don't have the spine to send in planes though. Instead, the West is ready to prosecute the Syrian rebels for the use of children soldiers. This crime against humanity seems to be the straw to have broken the camel's back. 

We will not go after Assad for bombing out cities and hiding his troops amongst mosque and schools. We will not go after Assad for organizing massacres of children and then calling the dead terrorist. We will not go after Assad for systematically targeting a specific religious sect of Islam. 

We simply will target the rebels for crossing the last line in the sand we had left. 

I believe that if it is to be the place of any court to prosecute war crimes and genocide then it is the court's responsibility to prosecute these sins every time by every side. Assad should be the first of the murderers to be marched out and executed for his sins against humanity. Then we can start finding those responsible for the massacres on both sides. And we must track down those who brought children to the battlefield... both as weapons and shields. 

We can not pick and choose our battles when it comes to these issues. Not even when it become inconvenient.

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