Osama bin Laden's death took center stage on global media and rightly so because it was an event of the decade. Five days have passed since that episode and it is about time to look at other, and more important issues. More than 600 people have been killed in just under five weeks in Syria and there has been little, if any, attention being paid to them. This has emboldened the repressive dictatorship in Syria to cement its oppressive hold. "No one is paying attention so why shouldn't I use the most brutal force?" Bashar al-Assad thought before ordering a new wave of arrests and military crackdowns.
Assad is right in his thinking. American and European governments have paid lip service to the cause of Syrians. United States is even defending its policies regarding Syria, despite the growing concern over massive human rights violations. There have been a few lackluster sanctions from Europe but interestingly none of them has a mention of Bashar. Nothing can be more ridiculous than that. Here is a person who is supervising the massacre but is evading the mildest of censure by the international community.
Assad can't be any happier. He also has full support of the Iranian regime. Iran's foreign ministry, which was quick to support uprisings in other Arab states, also swiftly dismissed the Syrian struggle for democracy. The statement raised the good old American-Zionist boogeyman and "warned" Syrians to accept the dictatorial dynasty of the Assads. So much for the propaganda of supporting Arabs on the streets.
Syrian democracy activists are not bogged down by the lies being spread by the Assad regime and its friends. They also care little about the fact that the international community has turned a blind eye. They are continuing with their struggle despite facing the most heinous of oppression. More than 1,000 people have been arrested in the last week, according to Al Jazeera. Syrian officials have blocked media coverage and have arrested journalists including Dorothy Parvaz of AJE. Parvaz's detention has been highlighted because of her affiliation with a major international network but what about the ordinary people of Syria?
Assad has agreed to allow UN humanitarian teams to visit Syria, if one believes the words of Ban Ki-moon. Details of the proposed visit have yet to be worked out and no one knows the freedom the teams will be allowed to probe the killings. With Assad at the helm, and with little international pressure, one cannot expect much from the probe. To add insult to injury, Syria is still a strong candidate for a seat on the UN Human Rights Council.
In my last post, I discussed the deafening silence over Syria. There have been hundreds of deaths and thousands of arrests since that time. The silence is growing criminal with each passing day. There is still time for the international community to change its policies before it is too late.
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