It's Valentine's Day. This wonderfully commercialized holiday is RED. Red covers everything: boxes of chocolate and jewelry, Hallmark cards, and bouquets of roses.
The streets of Syria are red, too, but there are no flowers. Over 7,000 have died so far and there is no end in site. Indiscriminate bombing of Homs and other civilian centers intensifies; fighting dances around the edges of Damascus; arms and fighters flow in and the rich and/or lucky flow out.
The blame of it: It depends upon which media you read. It depends upon which pundit you revere. It depends upon which house you were born into.
We already hear the echoes of Iraqi voices in such statements as, "Yes, it was bad before, but I could go to the store and not fear for my life," and "Sure, we hated him, but it is NATO we really hate now."
I don't have any answers. Syria is internally split and the opposition is also internally split. They have no leader and the various anti-government forces are creating their own militias. Rumors of Al Qaeda, Iranian influence are increasing. The old "Syria-to-Iraq" path of arms and fighters has evidently been reversed.
The shame of it all is bigger than Syria. It is the shame of a human race that thinks it cannot resist the tyrannies of power that are so willing to use violence to keep themselves on top. Truth be told, the peace activist (just the activists, mind you, not the vast majority of peace-loving people) outnumber the leaders and operators of The Machine by at least a million to one.
The Machine depends upon our cooperation. Our taxes pay for the bombs. Our bodies are the soldiers. Our munitions manufacturers (and those that work for the military industrial complex; not just the owners) are critical to the oppression of freedom loving peoples.
The peace activists, if working together, could, in the manner of Gandhi and King, refuse to participate in large enough numbers so that we could halt The Machine.
The shame of it: We are as splintered as the militias of Iraq were; as the militias of Syria are; as [insert clever metaphor here]...
Happy Valentine's Day.