Syria: The Cost of Power.



An estimated 130,000 deaths and millions displaced. (Times 20/1/14) It all began in March 2011 with the opposition to Bashar al – Assad and his dictatorial government. Assad himself was the son of a dictator. Even in death the despot cannot relinquish power. It seemed straightforward enough; get rid of a dictator and institute a democracy and everyone will be happy. Three years on and few are happy. Who is to blame for this tragedy?

Assad the dictator is an obvious candidate for the dog house. But what can be said of the opposition? Were they true democrats who wanted to instil a powerful and lasting democratic structure or men hungry for the fruits of power? Once the civil war began the West jumped in like a mob in the playground. Fight! Fight! Fight! What did the West have to gain? With Assad gone they surely hoped to have an influence on the new government, give a sore lip to Russia and a bloody nose to Iran and further isolate the country. But do they need a squint towards Saudi Arabia?

Ancient Magnificence

Ancient Magnificence


Do the opposition have the leadership to replace Assad: Free Syrian Army, Islamic Front, Nusra Front or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)?  Can there be agreement? This is when power teases. Is this a dagger I see before me? These rebels of the regime are now too busy killing each other to find a leader. It’s like a sequel to the Godfather, all the Mafia Dons fighting it out to see who runs the town.

Modern country

Modern country

What is interesting is that we have two branches of al Qaeda with different objectives and potentially fighting each other. We have ISIL of al Qaeda in Iraq and Nursa Front of Syria. Power, the mind boggles!

It is reported that somewhere in the region of 700/900 of the opposition to Assad have been killed in factional bloodletting. Assad must be having a chuckle to himself at this internecine slaughter. As for the politicians of: the West, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Russia they will be busy luxuriating in the trappings of power, happy to let the plebs get on with it.

The cause of this murderous debacle is obviously the leaders of the ‘Powers’.

Torn Apart

Torn Apart

The West is busy throwing $millions at the humanitarian crisis they helped create. The UK boasts of £500m. Secretly they are feeding the slaughter.

  • They don’t want Assad – too late to broker a deal with him.
  • Don’t want ISIL and their version of an Islamic state.
  • Need a form of democracy to prove a point. E.g. our way or no way. (see Egypt)

Saudi Arabia:

  • Want their brand of an Islamic state. A Sunni dominated one.
  • One that can take orders.


  • They want to maintain an interest in the area.
  • A secure outlet for import/export that otherwise may be subject to intense scrutiny.
  • Prove they can stand up to USA. A beacon for the disaffected.


  • To sell more weapons
  • Get oil cheaply
  • Be photographed at the top-table.

These then are the Mafia Dons. Who will emerge as the Capo di tutti capi? The boss of bosses!

Every day the death toll rises. The most recent headline was that the regime had systematically murdered 11,000 people, having first tortured them. Yet no side is innocent of committing atrocities. Note the statement of Valerie Amos, UN humanitarian chief, who says that all sides have shown a, “total disregard for their responsibilities under international humanitarian and human rights law”. In essence we have a frenzy of killing. The veil of humanity falters to uncover a barbaric reality. Human life it seems is as worthless as that fly you are about to swat! A true horror of this civil war is that no one is sure how many have died.

We keep being pressed with figures, 130,000 dead. (Times 20/1/14) A week before Reuters was quoting 100,000. (13/1/14) Meanwhile, on the 8th January the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Rupert Colville was quoted as saying that they have stopped counting the death toll because they can’t verify whether the information is correct. (Independent) What a eulogy to human society!

All sides in the conflict will tell you they are fighting for Syria, for the people, for freedom. But the Guardian (13/1/14) brings a true edge to the façade with their headline, “Syrian refugees no longer know who is fighting let alone who is winning”. Later in the same piece they quote a local man, Abu Hussein, “All there is, is hatred”. The killing illustrates the point markedly. For all the beauty of a Renoir or the depiction of Thomas Eakins Thinker, we are just tribal after all.

It’s a callous world. Yet some like to delude themselves that eternal peace is just around the corner. Well, I’ve looked. I can’t see a thing for the plumes of war that are blocking the light. The barbarism displayed by all sides in this civil war needs no further evidence of man’s inhumanity than the death toll of men, women and children. The beliefs of men become paramount and hate overrides love as a motivator. And, we are, as we have always been, naked with our club!

Humanity cannot take a step forward until we understand and are able to control the proclivities of men for sex and money. We must also look at the disparities of capitalism. A thousand years should do it! This is not a message of despair; rather an appreciation that ‘Meism’ has still not been challenged as a false God.