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Sunday, August 14, 2011

An-Nahar Newspaper: Syria Is Bleeding

[Administrator's Note: Octavia is now writing articles for An-Nahar Newspaper each week and we will provide them here after they are printed.]

Which of its own cities will Syria attack next? Which ‘enemy’ will it confront this week? Which of its arsenals will it introduce in its ongoing battle against itself? Which nightmare will it invoke in the hearts of its people?

How many more Syrians will have to die before Bashar Assad realizes that he is no longer the legitimate president of Syria and that his turn to step down has come?

Latakia is the latest Syrian city to be bombed by the mighty Syrian warships. Residents of the coastal city reported fear and uncertainty as media reports described ‘heavy warships shelling’ on the city Sunday and the BBC reported ‘deadly military attack’ on the Latakia port. Scores are dead as a result and people fear the worst is yet to come; a complete annihilation doesn’t sound an unrealistic outcome anymore. In the face of the continued escalating assault, the opposition to President Assad seems to be only growing internally and externally.

Five months into the Syrian uprising, one thing seems certain: President Assad is in a corner but determined to protect his turf using all the violent options available to him till the end. To quote an old Arabic adage: “Either a winner or loser” (Ya Ghaleb Ya Maghloob) nothing in between. In other words he is not interested in a resolution to the conflict where everybody can be a winner. He’s certainly not interested in Syria being the winner. Just like his Arab counterparts, namely Saddam Hussein, Hosni Mubarak, Ali Abdallah Saleh and other dictators, he thinks he can only win.

Earlier Gulf States have recalled their ambassadors to Damascus in protest over the Syrian regime use of force on its own people. The Saudi monarch issued a harsh condemnation and Turkey called for an immediate halt to the violence. Assad’s Syria is being isolated by the minute, and yet, no signs of reprieve on the ground or logical end to the impasse looming on the horizon.

On social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, Syria is front and center. Activism in support of the country and its people is very strong. The loud opposition to Bashar Assad from various parts of the world cannot be discounted. This is a space where people share news, videos, information and updates with one another. It is here that people vent and organize campaigns of solidarity with the suffering people of Syria and elsewhere. More importantly, on social networks everyone has a voice and many people use it unsparingly.

During the holy month of Ramadan, activists focused their efforts on highlighting the Syrian forces attack on Hama with the title “Ramadan Massacre” and this past week the campaign was under the title, “Syria Bleeding.” It looks like Syria will still be the main buzz this coming week as news of Assad ordering tanks into villages, while bombing civilians by air and by sea continues.

Syria has become a living tomb to many innocent civilians, where those who are supposed to protect are the ones ordering and committing the massacres. At some point those executing orders will realize that they’re killing their own people, their own families. When that realization hits, they will turn around and rebel against the ones giving the orders. Assad should be fearful, as it seems that this day is very close now. He should be ready to be defeated without a shred of compassion left to spare for him or his loved ones.

In the big scheme of things, such an outcome should not surprise President Assad as he will be only harvesting what he sowed.

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