The shame of Syria-Aleppo, Yemen befalls on all of us wherever we live on this planet. And there is no escape from our own hypocrisies as citizens.
Iran has managed to keep in power Bashar Al-Assad with the generous help from the Russians. Aleppo has become a slaughter house but the ayatollahs in Tehran holler: “Victory and Liberation”. Tehran Times headline reads: “Iran buoyed over Aleppo victory”. And quotes from the Iranian Government spokesman : “All those who truly believe in human rights will be happy…”
In this, the ayatollahs are copycats of the butchers of Yemen, Saudi Arabian princes, that thanks to the USA and the UK, have managed to show their “respect for the civilians”, by killing and staving thousands. But then, the Iranian authorities are in tears for the Yemenis. and “warn of humanitarian disaster in Yemen”.
After five years of tragedies for the Syrians, these days, many citizens in Europe, hold hands and light candles while praying for the civilians in Aleppo, at the same time, many encourage their own governments to barre the route to refugees and stand still (not to say applause) when their own elected government signs billions of $/£/€/CHF contracts for selling arms to ALL the parties in the proxy wars in the Middle-East.
We can have differences in our opinions. We shouldn’t weight our humanity by different measures that suits us, but we do. The meaning of the civilisation is lost on us, there is no escape from our own double-standards as citizens.
In the so-called Western democracies, USA, UK, France and the rest of the EU, we-the citizens have elected our mediocre governments. In the so-called Islamic States, be it Iran, Saudi Arabia or Turkey, we-the citizens wait for our despots making the decisions for us.
The shame of Syria and Yemen befalls on all of us wherever we live, sooner than later. There will be no victors in the Middle-East, only impostors from Washington to Moscow via London and Paris, from Ankara to Riyadh via Tehran and Damascus. They will write the history to their taste for the next generation of forgetful citizens.
And please don’t lecture me on realpolitik, geostrategy. It is all about testosterones in primitive and greedy minds, obsessed with power and money.
When Samantha talked about ‘barbarism against civilians’ in Aleppo, I remembered climbing over the dead Palestinian civilians massacred at the Sabra and Chatila refugee camps in Beirut in 1982, slaughtered by Israel’s Lebanese militia friends while the Israeli army – Washington’s most powerful ally in the Middle East – watched.
By Robert Fisk, The independent, 15 December 2016