Musings from Damascus today, Friday, April 27.
by Janice Kortkamp
Reality on the ground vs western media reporting: Day vs night is an understatement.
“The Eighth Amendment (Amendment VIII) of the United States Constitution prohibits the federal government from imposing excessive bail, excessive fines, or cruel and unusual punishments.”
But obviously this doesn’t apply to our foreign policy of wars, sanctions, subversion etc., because what the US has been about in Syria is truly cruel and unusual punishment.
It’s breathtaking, how immediately upon entering Syria the entirety of the narrative of the country and conflict breaks down. From the first soldiers at the first border checkpoints saying, “You are most welcome in Syria”, to the numerous casual acquaintances offering tea or coffee, to the deeply personal, intellectual and philosophical discussions, being here is to be, not in an alternate reality, but reality itself.
The contortions and distortions of this reality required to create such an utterly false narrative to support this latest disastrous regime change war are staggering, and would be crushing if not for the inspiration of the resilient and pragmatic Syrian people themselves.
As I’ve explained before, Syrians do not exist in a vacuum. They have full access to the internet and western media. Many traveled extensively before the war and have lived and studied abroad. Many have dual passports, US, Canada, European etc.
Their passionate dedication to education and study had resulted in a near 100% literacy rate before the war. The children rescued from US and allies’ sponsored terrorist groups in eastern Ghouta are already back in school – a privilege denied them by the “freedom fighters”. Even there, in eastern Ghouta and at great personal risk for disobedience to the medieval harsh sharia imposed by the “moderate” terrorists, some ladies were holding school underground and in homes.
Chemical weapons attacks by the government? Don’t make me laugh…well most here do just laugh actually…and it would (and should) be the world’s biggest joke if the stakes weren’t so deadly high.
What you have in Syria is one of the world’s oldest, deepest, and most diverse civilizations. You have a country that before the US and allies decided to rip it apart using terrorists and mercenaries was stable, secular, empowering of women, growing in democratic structures and economic success. Thankfully now most people still live under government control where those values are protected.
Are there problems here? Of course. The Middle East has regional and global pressures that are staggering. It has been the “game board” of empires’ armies since empires first appeared. The rich natural resources – gas and oil now, the life blood of the world’s economy – are a blessing and a curse.
The creation of the zionist entity called “Israel” whose leaders decades before 1948 and ever since have made no secret of their ambitions to expand and take over first all of Palestine then most of the region has added immeasurably to the suffering and complexity of this beautiful region and its wonderful people.
The western powers’ support and pandering to the depraved and insane Saud family in Arabia (whose main exports are not just oil but their violent, completely intolerant, Wahhabi ideology), has led directly to the creation and expansion of terrorist groups including ISIS, al Qaeda, the Taliban, Boko Haram etc that have undermined safety and secularism throughout the region and world. In fact, Britain was using terrorist proxies in the early 1900s here and the US has armed, trained, and funded terrorists since at least the 1980s.
What a nightmare. What a mess. Not a civil war – never has been. Not an organic popular uprising against a “regime” – never has been.
But the cruel and unusual punishment of a sovereign, independent nation state that wanted mutually respectful and beneficial relations with the west but refused to be a puppet for western greed and ambitions – greed and ambitions and wars that have destroyed several countries now. Period.
Greetings from Damascus, Syria. Home of love amid bombs … and reality.❤