Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A Cold Arab Fall

The death toll continues to mount in Syria as the Assad government brutally crushes any efforts toward free speech and the possibility of democratic reform. If you have seen Bashar al Assad in television interviews it is chilling. He speaks of the "unfortunate accidents" of these deaths in a calm voice as though he is referring to a harmless fender-bender rather than the fatal crash of repression. Thousands have died and the international community which decided to launch bombing missions against Libyan dictator Muamar Gaddafi is doing next to nothing about Syria. I'm not advocating military action, but once again I am puzzled by the decision making processes of political leaders.

Earlier this year we were given hope by the uprisings in various Arab nations in North Africa and the Middle East. Was change really on the horizon, an Arab Spring? Today Egypt is in turmoil and Coptic Christians there are living in fear of a militant Muslim regime. In Iran the crazies in leadership seem hell-bent on developing nuclear weapons and the tiny minority of Christians are being persecuted for their faith. Libyan moderates and secularists are concerned that the imposition of Sharia law will set back women's rights in the country. It is deeply discouraging.

Have any of you got a clearer picture of all this than I have? Democracy and religious freedoms weren't built in a day, but I'm sure not impressed by what I'm seeing. How about you?


IanD said...

I think your take is spot on, on all fronts, David. All of the situations you mention make me grateful to be born and raised a Canadian.

johnny said...

So many factions and fanatics in so many countries...what a mess.

I don't like the option of military action, as thousands of innocent civilians inevitably are killed. Besides, will it be permanent change for the better subsequent to defeating a regime?

Hard to know what the solution is. I feel for the millions of people who live under such conditions.