Spare a Thought for Syria

By   /   July 30, 2016  /   10 Comments

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As horrific and barbaric as the highly publicised and recent acts of violence are, let’s put things in perspective.

syrian_refugees_boat

Citizens in Europe are reportedly on edge after madmen ran amok in Germany and France, in six incidents in two weeks. Fears are heightened and people on the street say they are more suspicious of refugees now. Just as European people become more fearful and nervous – so should refugees or people who look like them.

As horrific and barbaric as the highly publicised and recent acts of violence are, let’s put things in perspective. In 2013 there were 716 acts of intentional homicidal violence in Germany – and we can assume most murders every year are not related to asylum seekers, refugees or terrorists. In Germany, smoking kills about 128,000 people a year and 3540 people die in road crashes. There are 1.25million road deaths globally a year, and 34,064 in the US alone.

But the everyday sites of the recent European attacks also heighten fears. At a festival, cafes, with families celebrating Bastille Day, on a train, in church. Even without systematic links between these events, and similar random attacks in America, people are left wondering, ‘is anywhere safe’. The sympathies for those killed and living in fear and insecurity are due, wherever they live.

But once again, western media, and even western citizens, place higher priority on the suffering of their own. Especially when it suits a popular narrative – that terror reigns on Western streets; bearded, middle eastern men are dangerous; ISIS is a threat to our security and our way of life. Whereas in fact those we know are more likely to kill us than strangers are, smoking kills way more people than terrorism does, and us westerners live in pretty safe parts of the world.

And while the news lately has been headlined by the latest recent, even random act of senseless violence (as all acts of violence are) perpetrated by unhinged vigilantes in Europe, world attention has been distracted from the latest random acts of violence perpetrated by the US, France and Russia, and the state and ISIS forces, on innocents, in Syria.

Since the start of the Syrian civil war, there have been at least 400,000 people killed. At least 14,000 of them were children. American air strikes have killed almost 6000 Syrians, at least 600 civilians. France air attacks conducted directly after the Nice truck rampage, with US airstrikes, killed about 140 citizens – men, women and children, in roughly the last week alone. Russia has killed about 2,600 civilians in its attacks on Syria. At least 700 medical workers have been killed – and although Russia reportedly also targets humanitarian facilities such as hospitals, 95% of medical workers killed since the start of the war, are victims of Syrian government forces.

So it’s not just foreign planes and munitions – add to that the damage from local factions and the state, and you have houses burned, villages destroyed. In some cities, every downtown building has been bombed. Suburbs are urban battlefields. Citizens are under siege. In Aleppo about three hundred thousand civilians have been caught between state and rebel forces, in a ruined city, lacking food, water and medical supplies. Half the residents of Homs are either dead or displaced. Three million buildings have been damaged, 1.2million homes, 9000 industrial facilities. 3878 schools have been affected. 1451 mosques have been targeted or destroyed, plus another 98 churches. 104 cultural and heritage sites and 5/6 UNESCO World Heritage Sites have been severely damaged and / or destroyed. In some places, there’s not much left at all. More than two million Syrians live in areas infested with landmines and unexploded cluster and other bombs that will contribute to physical insecurity and harm for decades to come.

And while Europeans feel insecure visiting the local café, less some madman let loose, and deserve our concern, also spare a thought for those whose previously also civilised lives, have descended into hell. Spare a thought for the equally innocent men, women and children living and dying amidst insecurity so complete as to be unimaginable to us all. Spare a thought for the displaced, the dead and injured among a Syrian battlefield they used to call home.

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10 Comments

  1. Blake says:

    Very well written, thanks again Christine for another brilliant contribution.
    It is way beyond disgusting and we need to act now, more and more, to stop this madness.

    U.S. backed terrorist weapons and NATO backed hell in the Middle East.
    Propaganda machine spewing lies about Syria. Turkey supplying weapons.
    Hillary trying to erase her criminal mistakes and readiness to go to war.
    U.N. condemns and then does very little towards creating peace.

    C.I.A. with their compounds and murders and war mongering.
    People being tortured and murdered — ” f o r p a y “.
    NUCLEAR WEAPONS BEING USED ! ! ! !

    AND WHY ? ? GAS FIELDS AND POWER AND BLOOD STAINED GREEDY MONEY.
    The U.S. now wants to cut off China’s access to the Middle Easts energy sources.
    All pursuing the same goal and caring not about its impacts on the innocent/environment.

    Thanks Christine for reminding us to focus on those suffering from this greedy power game. So much lack of compassion and fear —- most are numb and blinded.
    Hillary ( war mongering criminal ) needs to be charged and brought to justice and not be made the president of the country that has played a major role in all this Middle East insanity.
    Obama; the Bush’s; Tony Blair etc. . . and the Fascist elite Rothschilds upper 1 % too.
    Hold them and their weapons manufacturers and oil corporate buddies and criminal banks accountable as they all need to be brought to justice for their war crimes and greed costing millions their lives.

  2. david says:

    Let’s make every death a statistic, that will give us perspective.

    To those worrying about traffic accidents, cot deaths, workplace accidents and even terrorism keep in mind more than 30 million died in ww2.

    Take a chill pill.

    Remember it only matters if it happens to people you know.

  3. Mike in Auckland says:

    Yes indeed, the comparatively wealthy west, and in this case Europe, does react very strongly to these admittedly barbaric acts.

    But on the other hand, the governments and their people there do turn the other way, when it comes to the horror that happens on a much larger scale in Syria itself.

    Assad’s barrel bombs, atrocities committed by regime soldiers and their supporters from Iran and Hezbollah, but also the same committed by ISIS and at least at times also by other fighter groups, all this is scandalous and deserves the world’s attention and more action.

    Once Europe was faced with masses of refugees from the Mid East, on top of the other already existing sources of refugees, they acted swiftly with erecting fences, with making a deal with Turkey to keep the refugees there, so they get them off their door step.

    But here in New Zealand we are not any better, we are blessed with isolation from such problems, and where the government could do more, it does as little as it can, only insignificantly increasing the refugee intake for future years.

    The population here is also in large numbers too focused on their property speculation, their careers, work and earning a living, and a divided population does not agree on much, so we have our own sleep in cars, in garages and even in the open, that is the poor.

    A new craze is playing Pokemon Go, so people rather escape into their individual augmented reality and other spaces, ignoring what really goes on around them.

    It is quite shocking what goes on in the world, it seems things are getting worse by the day, and those that now arise as leaders offering solutions are sadly such as Donald Trump, Marine Le Pen and Wilders and the likes.

    We are not solving problems, it seems, we are moving backward at high speed, where divisions, hatred, mistrust and anger rule, rather than common sense and empathy.

  4. Mike in Auckland says:

    “So it’s not just foreign planes and munitions – add to that the damage from local factions and the state, and you have houses burned, villages destroyed. In some cities, every downtown building has been bombed. Suburbs are urban battlefields. Citizens are under siege. In Aleppo about three hundred thousand civilians have been caught between state and rebel forces, in a ruined city, lacking food, water and medical supplies. Half the residents of Homs are either dead or displaced. Three million buildings have been damaged, 1.2million homes, 9000 industrial facilities. 3878 schools have been affected. 1451 mosques have been targeted or destroyed, plus another 98 churches. 104 cultural and heritage sites and 5/6 UNESCO World Heritage Sites have been severely damaged and / or destroyed.”

    I am glad Christine acknowledges this, and the victims of foreign bombardments will actually be fewer in numbers than those of internally caused by fighting.

    That does not excuse foreign intervention, of course. But how will this crisis be resolved, when we have too many men use power play, that is the western nations and Russia being at loggerheads, that includes nations like Turkey, and some governments in the Gulf states, it includes the leaders of factions, funded by various external powers, who all have their agendas, and as we see, who go over endless dead bodies.

    So the civilians in Europe and elsewhere will say to themselves, is this our problem, are we to blame for all this, do we have to taken in all the refugees from this crazy war?

    They also see that ISIS is actively encouraging these barbaric acts that have recently happened, in order to cause tensions, hatred, mistrust and divisions between people in Europe.

    Hence the problems are complex and there is no easy solution. In Germany they do for instance now also worry about Turks and Kurds that have lived there for many years, even generations, but who are divided, between those supporting President Erdogan and those opposing him and his regime.

    There has already been violence between supporters of each group. All this gives the impression that migrants and refugees bring with them more problems than benefits, hence we have more anti refugee movements and those supporting them in various nations in Europe.

    We can always list the many problems, lay blame on various groups of people, but what are the solutions?

  5. Andrea says:

    “world attention has been distracted”

    Well, of course it has.

    What exactly are we supposed to do?

    If ‘we’, the large world community, butt in we’re gauche, ignorant, greedy and Evil Colonists/Empire Builders/Exploiters.

    If we keep a wary eye on our homicidal communities we’re Unfeeling.

    If we leave it to Policeman Plod and M le Gendarme and Bad Cop and Politsiya – we should have done more. Don’t know what, but we should have.

    If we open our doors to the hordes seeking to escape from hell and destruction we’ll be swamping our creaking infrastructure and already declining employment, education, and welfare systems with problems we simply aren’t geared up to tackle.

    So where ARE our active routes to aid, to influence, to do more than read about and think of? We’re pretty much useless at influencing our own political pawns – and this is supposed be ‘a democracy’. (Ha!)

  6. These deaths lay clearly in the hands of the Hillary Clinton murder machine…yet some would suggest…she is a kind and caring person. Hillary and her ilk start the wars and expect Europe and other to clean up the mess…when will we ever learn.

  7. Slippery says:

    Its Tradgic that even our so called ‘independent’ Media
    Can’t even reflect the true situation going on in Syria, Europe & the rest of the world, Blake’s comment above is about the only honest reflection of the true situation going on ,it gives me hope that I’m not the only one who can’t see exactly what is going on here, these attacks in Europe are a warning to the People & maybe even their ‘governments’ about what happens when the people even think about leaving the EU, funny how our media has not mentioned recently the IMF’s ‘Regret’ about what happened to Greece, when they Dare try exercise democracy & sovereignty by even dare thinking about leaving the EU aka
    the Fourth Reich , the alternative media even here in NZ will not dare call out Operation Gladio B every time these Mossad & CIA attacks blamed on Muslims as they make great scapegoats ,our media never told NZ or the wider world about Obomba Signing the bill into law early 2012 allowing Propaganda Legal (again after WWII) on its own US citizens & the wider world, or that media Mogul’s like Rupert Murdock have invested interests in Oil Companies salivating at the chance of Raping the wealth from the Golan Heights or for Building pipelines throughout the middle East, how lucky that with every staged & reported attack (Real or not,Deaths or not,Crisis Cast actors or not) its not even questioned how these Media outlets have the complete scripts handy, often hours after the event when some News Papers are printed they have all the ‘details’ ready’ for the next morning no matter where in the world & what ever timelines, maybe the repeaters / Reporters are Fortune Tellers or time travellers too, no one questions why every self respecting ‘Terrorist’ has remembered to Bring their (Invincible) Passport & Written a .manifesto, in the old days Hinckley the Regan shooter & Martin Luther Kings killers both wrote their scripts / manifesto in diarys, how fortunate the media had all the details handy the public needed to know & eliminate the need for questioning the Narrative or Motive (cue bono), anyone else find it a coincidental Reagan’s would be failed Rupublican Assassin is being considered for release at A time the NWO Media Establishment is Bashing Honest Presidential hopefull Donald Trump yet giving crooked Hillary Clinton praise for having female DNA (& nothing else to offer other than WWIII + more corruption for the Clinton Catel), Donald Trump gets unfairly treated, unlike Hillary who has proven ties to many Dictator’s. Anyway I’m glad some people can research the real situation if they cared rather than wait for controlled MSM or censored Social Media to spoonfeed the narrative to the lazy & uninformed (Fluoridated) Masses – thank you {/Rant} 🙂

  8. Winifred Kiddle says:

    Hopefully this is correct;

    http://m.sputniknews.com/columnists/20160730/1043780522/us-freak-show-russia-defeats-terrorism.html

    Not all the refugees are from Syria, half of them are Christians etc etc. our mainstream media does not serve us well.

    But thank you Russia for your efforts against Daesh and so called ‘moderate rebels.’

  9. Pedro says:

    Very good article Christine. Syrians just more brown people collateral damage in the Middle East, they dont matter and never have to the governments who have formented this war and continue to support it covertly.
    It raises questions, as to why as a nation we allow our elected representatives to continue supporting these war monging nations, instead of vehemently opposing them on every aspect?
    Is this the price of being ” in the club”? The tacit condoning of continuing invasions occupation, murder, to further one indispensable nations hegemony? In which we will have bestowed upon us a portion of the spoils, as reward for being the subservient little sycophants our succesive governments have become?
    Lets cast our minds back to Secretary of State Madeline Albrights cold callous statement, that deaths of over half a million children under 5 in Iraq is ” a price worth paying”
    If that doesnt awaken you to the mindset of the fucking phychos who apparently run the world then, the lift just doesnt go all the way to the top, its out of order permanently.

  10. PB says:

    And Palestine – so preventable.