Sunday, December 11, 2016

Aleppo Stands As A Glaring Example Of Death By Proxy

Today Aleppo Has Been Reduced To Rubble
We often forget how lucky we are not to have been born into an area where life has turned ugly. A conflict often arises between "doing the right thing" and going along with the flow. Life is difficult for much of the world without starting down or being drawn down a path by someone who lets you down. Aleppo, Syria stands as a glaring example of how death and destruction can be spread through arrogance and proxy. Warfare has proven to be a pathetic option to bring about positive change, it may change things, but to what degree and for how long. The loss of life of an individual is often insignificant except to their loved ones.  One of the harsh realities of modern war is that it  has become a less personal way to die.  Years ago it was hand to hand combat, looking into the eyes of your adversary, now you die by the hand of technology and often without any warning. Modern warfare is more abstract with many soldiers more emotionally detached from the carnage, we seem to want our soldiers trained on video games and placed on autopilot.

The terms rebels or freedom fighters easily flows from our politician's mouths depending on which side they support or embrace. Aleppo is again proof of how for political gain politicians are willing to turn the masses into cannon fodder, that is what has happened to those unfortunate souls unlucky enough to have found themselves and their loved ones living in Syria during the last five years. Cannon fodder is defined as an informal, derogatory term for combatants who are regarded or treated as expendable in the face of enemy fire, in this case, it must be expanded to include all the residents of Aleppo and upon the hundreds and hundreds of thousands of unfortunate innocent souls who have died in the region. As this is being written Syrian government troops now control most of the neighborhoods and city of Aleppo after days of fierce fighting against rebel forces. This has been a bloodbath played out over years and has flashed across television screens everywhere. Only small pockets of the city remain in opposition hands and their days appear numbered. Basically, government troops are about to begin clean-up operations, a sanitized term meaning to kill off the last of the resisters and restore order.

Aleppo Had Been A Beautiful City
Anyone who knows me will testify that I'm far from a touchy-feely rollover and take it kind of guy opposed to war or to violence but you don't need to be a pacifist to rail at this kind of stupid widespread death and destruction.  War tends to be a Pandora's box rather than the easy answer we often seek. Conflicts will always exist in our world and this again highlights the fact we must work towards developing a consensus of what is in man's best interest. Yes, we must defend ourselves, but the simple truth is most mothers value their children, the peasant in a rice patty field values his ox and neither desire to see them killed in a war.  If we look at every war ever fought we will find that most of the people affected by the violence only wanted to be left alone.  Though we live in an imperfect world mankind should not bring more misery upon himself by self-inflicting injury.  While we remember and mourn for all of the heroes that keep dying for God and Country we should also remember it is always at the request of the latter.

In the beginning of 2012, I wrote an article about Syria noting it was located in the troubled region of the world that includes countries like Egypt currently in political flux and undergoing social upheaval. Forces were busy lining up to supply weapons to both sides of the Syrian conflict fueling  the fire and using the Syrian people as pawns in a very dangerous and deadly game. While noting the pressures building I also declared the Syria uprising has passed the tipping point where things could return to the way they were. Ironically I was right, however, it is not Assad that is gone it is all those who opposed him. Later that year in another article I told how the Red Cross had made it official and declared that Syria was now in civil war. I conceded the situation was indeed sad, very ugly and that no easy answers existed but that any programs that pour weapons into Syria risk escalating an already bad situation. More violence will desensitize the people and most likely destabilize the countries institutions, this will lead to a downward spiral and further violence.

By September of 2013 after President Obama's red line was crossed few people realized the only real solution was to broker a deal breaking the nation into two parts. It was clear if Assad remained in power those who have suffered and been displaced would never forgive him and live under his rule, however, by demanding Assad be replaced they would create a new problem, a change in the ruling faction would most likely unleash a wave of killings, reprisals, and more instability. Borders are a creation of man and not visible to the birds flying above. Much bloodshed and many wars could be avoided if the issues of regime change or borders could be handled in a more rational and constructive way, but do not expect this to happen. Borders and political control is a problem that haunts man since before the written word. Recently President Obama and other officials have talked about the legal sanctity of sovereign borders, but in reality, this is an argument of convenience masking deeper issues. When it comes down to it we are just pawns in this sad power game. If you doubt this just ask some of the many people displaced from their homes in Syria.

Sadly, the sweet idea of regime change has left the hands of President Obama and all those who advocated the overthrow of Bashar Al-Assad covered in blood. This statement may seem harsh because this is the kind of blood that can only be seen under the light of truthful scrutiny and close examination. Promises can be easily made, however, before doing so it would be wise to consider the ramifications of your actions. A greater degree of responsibility should be fostered upon those encouraging and supplying the weapons or war to those pondering a revolution. We can only speculate as to the full extent of America's responsibility. It was on August 20th, 2012 that Obama running as an anti-war president drew a red line in the sand stating how far Assad would be allowed to go before America would end his rule, this galvanized those opposed to Assad to take a stand. A strong case can be made that Obama's failure to stand by his word and our poorly focused foreign policy have led to massive death and destruction. This case becomes stronger when links are made to America supplying weapons and training to the group that eventually morphed into what we now call ISIS.

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