What has turned into a very vicious and bloody civil war in Syria began as popular peaceful protests by large numbers of Syrians petitioning their government for change. At the most basic and fundamental levels, the demands and motivations of these Syrians were not that different from those of the protesters in Tunisia and Egypt, or Libya, Bahrain and Yemen. For that matter, they had much in common with people taking to the streets of Greece, Portugal and Spain. Protesters in Belgium saw the parallels; so did those that started occupying public space all across the United States just as Mummar Qaddafi was being put down for his first use of military power against the protest movement.
Qaddafi wasn't the first to use live fire in an attempt to suppress the protest movement that began with the Arab Spring and continues now in the worldwide movement against austerity, but he was the first to use military power, including regular army, tanks, artillery, jet aircraft and attack helicopter.
At the time the world said no to that. Substantial international aid was provided to the Libyans fighting back, UN resolutions got passed, NATO enforced a no-fly zone plus, and the Qaddafi regime was brought to heel. Even the Russians and Chinese were on board.
But then comes Syria and with Syria its a different story. In Syria, the international "community" is establishing very different rules about what measures a government is allowed to use in suppressing it own population, it would seem anything below chemical weapons is now to be allowed.
While there have been much greater slaughters in the past, especially in Asia and Africa, I believe what is happening in Syria now is very different from those massacres of the past. The Syrians are protesting much the same as people in the more developed countries worldwide. They live more like the people in the more developed countries worldwide and they are not being slaughtered with machetes but by the type of advanced military power possessed by the governments of the most developed countries worldwide.
Thanks to modern technology and communications like YouTube and Twitter, this slaughter is being viewed by the whole world in real time and that makes it precedent setting.
Therefore I fear that a terrible precedent is being set for just how far a government can go in suppressing its own population when they petition that government for change.
And this precedent is being set while the Left sits on its hands doesn't protest the use of cluster bombs against neighborhoods because they are known to be hostile to their government.
I hope we can do better next year.
Christmas Eve in Syria
Click here for a list of my other Daily Kos dairies on Syria
|Breaking News | Dar'aa | Attaiybah | December 24, 2012
Military helicopters are dropping TNT barrels on the town.
|Breaking News | Latakia | Assalibiyeh | December 24, 2012
An evening demonstration has mobilized on Aliskan St. calling for Hilfaya, a town witnessed a massacre yesterday, and the besieged cities and toppling the regime. Assad militias have violently attacked the protestors.
|Breaking News | Hamah |Kafar Zita | December 24, 2012
Artillery and rocket shelling by Assad forces on residential areas.
|Breaking News | Damascus Rural | Mu'adamyyat Asham | December 24, 2012
Dozens civilians have been killed during the shelling attacks on residential areas with rocket launchers.
|Breaking News | Deir Ezzor | Alhusinyah | December 24, 2012
Fierce artillery shelling on residential areas.
|Breaking News | Hamah |Bab Qabli | December 24, 2012
A mass demonstration mobilized in the neighborhood in support of the Free Syrian Army and besieged cities.
|Breaking News | Aleppo | December 24, 2012
The Free Syrian Army and Assad forces are clashing around the police academy in Khan Al'sal.
|Breaking News | Idlib | Ma'aret Annu'man | December 24, 2012
Assad forces are shelling the western neighborhood with rocket launchers and heavy artillery.
|Breaking News | Homs | Talbiseh | December 24, 2012
Fifteen civilians have been killed including ten children and dozens injured when warplanes bombarded a bakery in the town.
|Breaking News | Dar'aa | Jebreen | December 24, 2012
Eight civilians have been killed and dozens others injured when Assad forces shelled the village with artillery and rockets.
|Breaking News | Arraqqah | December 24, 2012
Many towns and villages in the province are fiercely being bombarded with artillery by Al-Assad forces.
|Breaking News | Hamah | December 24, 2012
Assad forces, stationed at Mt. Zain Alabdeen, are shelling the northern rural villages with rocket launchers.
|Breaking News | Arraqqah | December 24, 2012
At least three citizens have been killed in aerial shelling with warplanes on many villages across the province by regime army.
|Breaking News | Dar'aa | Alharra | December 24, 2012
An evening demonstration has mobilized across the western district calling for toppling the regime and chanting for freedom and in support of the besieged cities.
|Breaking News | Dar'aa | Ezzraa | December 24, 2012
Assad militias have carried out indiscriminate raid and arrest campaign in the north neighborhood.
|Breaking News | Homs| December 24, 2012
Civilians at a makeshift hospital after they inhaled poisonous gas released during shelling by regime forces on December 23, 2012
|Breaking News | Damascus Rural | Douma | December 24, 2012
At least one civilians has been killed and many other have been injured as a result of bombardment with warplanes on the national hospital and the the cultural center by Assad forces.