Over 40 allied countries have cooperated to form the alliance against ISIS. It is a legitimate and required step because it saves the world from a medieval mentality that ignores human dignity and freedom, and violates the sanctity of human life. But these same allies overlook and forgive the Assad regime’s crimes – no less murderous and contemptuous towards the human soul – when they disregard the destruction of whole cities and the killing of hundreds of thousands with guns, missiles, explosive barrels and chemical weapons in residential neighborhoods and markets full of civilians.
This selectivity greatly weakens the moral, legal and humanitarian argument for the war against terrorism and the allied nations participating in it.
The families of millions of victims of Assad's mafia, especially those whose sons have been killed in torture cells, have the right to wonder and question the humanitarian, ethical and human rights arguments and justifications for this war and this alliance. The total death toll at the hands of al-Baghdadi and al-Zawahiri do not even constitute 10 percent of the Assad regime’s victims. However, these same allied countries, this same alliance, the same Security Council and the same United Nations which supported the war against ISIS and Al-Qaeda, did nothing but condemn and express concern when it came to the actions of the Assad regime.
I do not believe I am saying anything new when I say that the sense of bitterness and frustration experienced by millions of young people in our region – and in Syria in particular – is the first contributor of fighters to extremist organizations; either ISIS or aNusra or any other radical organization. I think that the decision-makers in the countries of the coalition fighting these organizations know that very well. Young Syrian men – deprived of security, education and quality of human life – see these countries spending billions of dollars fighting ISIS, Nusra and Al-Qaeda, while they ignore the destruction of the city of Douma. When these young Syrian men – already exposed to all kinds of ISIS and Al-Qaeda advertising campaigns – see the bodies of their relatives mutilated and dismembered, the children of their homeland scattered under the rubble of buildings leveled by regime's explosive barrels, they will not support the coalition's war on terrorism. Their reaction will be against the world, against the advocates of civilization and human rights who recruited fleets and armies when two Westerners were slaughtered by ISIS, while ignoring the killing of 200,000 Syrians – 11,000 of whom were killed under torture, and more than 3,000 of them suffocated by the regime's internationally forbidden chemical weapons.
I agree with everyone who says that terrorism, and those who support it, are the enemies of humanity, and we as oppressed people belong to this targeted humanity. We might be the first targeted and affected by this terrorism, but who killed more of us, and tortured more of us, and pushed our youth to fight under those black flags of hatred was also the tyranny of Assad's mafia.
If the world doesn't cooperate to put an end to criminality and dictatorship, if the world doesn't force the regime to accept the resolutions of Geneva – to facilitate a controlled and internationally supported transition of power from a state of oppression, death and torture to a state of citizenship that recovers the wasted dignity of Syrians and safeguards their rights in the principles of citizenship and justice – if this doesn't happen, it will not be easy to convince our young men to join this alliance. If we don't persuade the people of the region to participate in this war, the possibility of winning it is not high, especially after the world suffered a similar fiasco in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Translated and edited by The Syrian Observer