Syria V.2 is all yours, Mr. Unwanted Firefighter
I am going to try to portray the plight of an Islamic country whose population is predominantly Sunni but whose rulers are supremely Sunni-skeptic. There is chaos in this country.
Over 1,000 of its citizens have been killed while trying to cross the border to a neighboring country, and its ruthless regime has just it shrugged off. Opposition leaders have been jailed on flimsy charges of war crimes. Most of them now await capital punishment.
The regime, according to the opposition, crushes even the slightest element of opposition in the cruelest way possible. Political intimidation is systematic.
The media takes its share too. There is enormous government pressure on media outlets. In just the last couple of years, 24 journalists have been killed. An opposition newspaper’s nationwide sales have been banned by the government.
Private companies suspected of having links with opposition groups are threatened or intimidated. Even the family homes of jailed opposition members are regularly raided and, in some cases, family members have also been arrested.
In just the last 39 months, nearly 20,000 people, believed to belong to the opposition, have been killed, and 3,000 have been kidnapped. And in just the last two weeks eight university students have been killed by security forces or by local pro-regime thugs collaborating with the police.
A youth organization of opposition forces claims that it has the capability to mobilize 10 million men, although it says its 4,000 members have been arrested by the government. This, the opposition forces warn, exposes the country to the risk of all-out civil war and subsequently threatens a regional war.
In their political rhetoric, the Islamists in the opposition claim that theirs is not only a political movement but also a social and moral campaign.
The opposition urges Turkey to play a more active policy to end the brutal dictatorship in its homeland. It also hopes to garner support from Egypt and Saudi Arabia to topple the regime and help it build Islamic rule in the country.
The country depicted above is not Syria. Nor is it fiction. It is Bangladesh, set in 2013, where 76 percent of the population lives on less than $2 per day.
The 1,000 killed were trying to illegally cross the border not into Jordan or Turkey, but to India. The opposition that threatens to mobilize 10 million youths for civil war is not the Free Syrian Army but rather the Jemaat-e Islami, the same party that pledges an Islamic social and moral campaign. And the tyrant being targeted is not President Bashar al-Assad, but Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
The civil war in Syria has not produced the pride that the unwanted firefighter of the neighborhood - who also goes by the title of the Turkish Foreign Minister – hoped it would. So, here is a new house on fire for you, Professor Ahmet Davutoglu, a Syria V.2, with Sunni Islamists craving power and fighting a ruthless leader.
Trusting yours and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s repeated words that Turkey would stand by all the oppressed (Muslims) in the world “wherever and whenever” they are, it is time to launch an airlift to bring in a few million oppressed Bangladeshis into refugee camps in Turkey. I trust that imperial Turkey’s resources and determination will be on the right side of history and will make this service easily attainable.
And you better start screaming and yelling to the whole world that “Indians know well how to kill,” since a death toll of 1,000 is not negligible. You could also call on global and regional superpowers to take immediate action against a regime that murders its own people.
Try, also, passing a resolution at the United Nations Security Council first. Then we’ll think about creating buffer zones inside and no-fly zones over Bangladesh. All failing, you could always think about sending the Turkish army to Dhaka. But watch out for artillery and missile fire if you decide to send spy planes into Bangladeshi airspace.