Thursday, 20 August 2015

A Day in the Life


Come to a march from Trafalgar Square at 2pm to Downing Street on Saturday to remember those massacred in Syria two years ago tomorrow with chemical weapons by the Assad régime. Bring some flowers. Fuck's sake.
Primo Levi, who survived the concentration camp at Auschwitz, says at the start of one his books that when they told the guards that they would pay one day for their crimes, they were jeered at and told nobody would ever believe them. That's what has happened to Assad's victims, lied about the world over, told they might just as well be perpetrating these attacks on themselves to gain the world's sympathy. It's the greatest lie of recent years, that those Assad is bombing and torturing, shelling and sniping, torturing and starving, are no better than he is.
And other lies go to support it. If people call for outside help, as the people of Kafranbel or the refugees of Zaatari, the largest refugee camp in the world, did, you are a stooge of America, and want them to invade Syria the way they did Iraq. Any argument that the Syrian people should be allowed to defend themselves against this illegal war, is lost in the charge that you are pro-imperialism.
It is an illegal war. It's a crime to target civilians, it's a crime to use weapons of mass destruction. If America really were trying to intervene to overthrow Assad, survivors like Qusai Zakarya would have been all over the news non-stop. But instead you have to search yourself, to bother to search yourself, to get any knowledge of what's going on. As someone remarked the other day, one attack on a market in Sarajevo provoked international intervention, Assad does that every day, and nobody lifts a finger.
In fact for the Americans it is a win-win if the conflict goes on. Iran and Hezbollah get weaker, and any time they want an excuse to intervene, they can point to the inaction of the Security Council over Syria, most notably Russian and Chinese vetoes, as the reason they should be allowed to proceed with whatever future actions with a humanitarian cover they propose.
Conversely, if there were any truth to the genocide-deniers story, someone would have been found to point the finger at the rebels.
So come along Saturday, and say, never again. Because it's the right thing you do. Because if you don't, Syrians, and anyone who cares about mass murder, will think it is only American interventionists who care about life at all.
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