Something worth fighting for

26 Jul 2013

Syria is by far the bloodiest and longest lasting uprising in the Arab Spring. Syrians have been put into extreme poverty for the sake of one man and his friends. One man’s stubbornness to live a millionaire’s lifestyle at the expense of his fellow Syrians is disgusting. To top it all off, he didn’t earn any of it, no democratic election, not even a coup, Mr Assad inherited his presidency.

Before going further I think some background information is required. The majority of the Syrian population are Sunni, whereas the ruling elite are Alawite. Thus there is an inaccurate representation of the people within government. 


The Alawite rise to power wasn’t done democratically, of course it couldn’t- they are a minority after all. It was done through appeasing the French after WW2, pitting more and more minority groups against the Majority Sunni Group, gaining top military position in Syria and then taking power through three coups between 1963 and 1970. Since then Syria has been held in an iron fist of dictatorship. 

The fighting is also very imbalanced in Syria; with the UK, US and France believing the regime has used chemical weapons. The chemical weapon used is called Sarin.

Sarin is a neurotransmitter, which are responsible for telling the next neuron what to do, so contract a muscle, release a hormone etc. 

After the neurotransmitter has done its job an enzyme comes along and destroys it in order to prevent that nerve repeatedly sending that message. Sarin is immune to the enzyme breaking it down. In effect the victim loses control of their body, muscles contract, secretion is uncontrolled. Exposure for long enough creates paralysis, the very deadly thing about Sarin is that it cannot be seen, smelled or tasted. How would you know if you were exposed?

The “civil” war is no longer so civil, with Hezbollah fighters coming to the aid of the Regime. In turn this has sparked outrage amongst the larger Sunni community. Hezbollah fighters are arriving in Syria from Lebanon, Shia fighters from Iraq, to aid an already superior Regime (regarding arms and organisation). On the other hand, Sunni fighters are arriving as well. 

As of yet no military action has been taken by the UK or US in arming the rebels whilst hundreds of thousands are being massacred predominantly on the side that doesn’t have access to an army. It seems that whenever extremist groups such as Al-Qaeda and Al-Nusra are name dropped into a conflict the West sits in the corner, twiddling its thumbs and hoping not to get noticed.

What was never a fair fight has become a humanitarian crisis.

There is no justification for inheriting a presidency. Nor is there any justification for the killing of unarmed civilians. Syria is in a situation where one elite group has it in its best interests to stay at the top of society. Simply put, “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”. The Alawite Regime’s stubbornness to let go of power has given extremists an opportunity to release already existing tensions between Sunnis and Shias. 

One man and his elite minority club deciding their interests were far more important than everyone else’s started the war.

Western governments will say the right thing, but when it comes to actually spending resources on the subject we are helpless spectators.

This is the cruel truth; it may take the destruction of Syria for eyes to open. But once change has happened, the horrors of war will remain so vivid in Syrians’ minds that it will not happen again.

By Yassine Benlamkadem

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