The Syrian Killing Zone

 - by The Green Olive Team - 
Those of us who have never been in an active war zone can hardly imagine the scale of the suffering in Syria. The recent tragic and criminal poison gas attack, killing about 1,400 civilians in the Jobar Neighbourhood of Damascus, is however dwarfed by the slaughter of over 100,000, the creation of 2 million refugees and several millions of internally displaced Syrians. The Assad regime also needs to be held accountable for the torture and death of thousands of political prisoners since the onset of the uprising.

Why only now does the White House deem it necessary to intervene?

 The state of Israel has been urging a US military strike on Syria and Iran allegedly for their use and development of weapons of mass destruction. However Israel's own use of chemical weapons was never challenged by the USA, despite being well documented, including James Longley's award winning documentary, 'Gaza Strip'. (see below for full video)

Saddam Hussein's use of chemical weapons against Iranian troops and civilians in the 1980s was not only tolerated, but also actively encouraged by the US, according to recently published CIA files.

Russian, Chinese, Iranian and Hezbollah support for the Assad regime can only be understood in terms of their own selfish and narrow national/sectarian interests. However by helping prop up a dictator in Syria, they are merely emulating the USA, which has never been shy about supporting repressive regimes when it suits its interests. The most glaring examples in the Middle East today are Saudi Arabia and Israel.  

 Much has changed since the Syrian people took to the streets three years ago. The emergence of the Free Syrian Army, and the involvement of reactionary Islamist groups also seeking to topple the regime, is used to convince the global public that the Syrian Revolution has been replaced with a civil war between the Assad regime and al-Qaeda linked groups. Syrian grassroots activists on the other hand, keep on trying to make their voices heard, voices that tell stories that move beyond the binary of two evils fighting each other. According to their reports the popular mass movement is still very much alive, and involves Syrians of all denominations, as well as Kurds, Palestinians and Druze united in a struggle for the establishment of a just democratic Syria, void of sectarianism.

photo: Albert Aji
Obama's threat of a military intervention does not stem from his solidarity with those people; it does not seek to topple the Assad regime. It is merely a way for the US administration to save face, and to secure its vital interests and its homeland security, as well as Israel's interests and security.

There is no doubt that the Syrian people need international help. Indeed Turkey, Iraq, Lebanon, and especially Jordan have been absorbing refugees at enormous cost to their economies and social fabric. Where are the humanitarian gestures from Israel? A few dozen people have been treated in Israeli hospitals then immediately returned to the war zone. That’s a good start. But wouldn't it be a magnificent humanitarian gesture for Israel to create a safe zone in the north and a haven for some of the refugees. Israel has been silent on this matter.

The geo-strategic interests of the United States of America are not in concert with the needs of the people of the Middle East, regardless of their country. We need less military adventures, less support for despotic regimes, and a little more humanity from the American people.

Gaza Strip from James Longley on Vimeo.


Tell your friends. Help spread the word . . . .

Twit it Sphinn it Add To Digg it Add To Google Bookmarks Add To Reddit Add To Technorati Add To StumbleUpon Add To Facebook Furl it Subscribe to RSS


  1. The numbers of the chemical attack in Syria are so similar to the Israeli attack in Gaza. About 1400 Palestinians were killed by the Israeli including almost 400 children. Only 13 Israeli were killed and four of those were their own friendly fire. When Goldstone, a Jewish judge from South Africa was commissioned to submit a report and declared a disproportionate attack and aggression by Israel, the Goldstone report was rejected by our Congress. Are Syrian children of more value than Palestinian children?

    1. Anon - The chemical attack you are referring to is but one action in a war that has killed over 120,000 people in the past 3 years. Plus almost 2 MILION Syrian refugees have been created. This is not a numbers game but the wholesale killing of Syrian civilians and the massive refugee tragedy, dwarfs anything Israel has done, despite that country's atrocious human rights record and lengthy military Occupation.


Please confine your comments to appropriate feedback to the post you are commenting on.