The gang of four: Syria, Iran, Russia, China
After several years of wishful flirting, we Turks have learned the ugly truth about Syria: there is nothing new under the son. The father, Hafez al-Assad, butchered more than 20,000 civilians 30 years ago in the city of Hama.
Last weekend, his son, Bashar al-Assad, proved that he is yet another mass murderer. The thugs under his command killed more than 300 civilians at least in the city of Homs, just a little south of Hama.
Words are not enough to condemn this ruthless campaign of the Syrian regime against its own people. It has been going on for almost a year now, and the number of victims are nearing 10,000. Thousands have also been tortured, as many women, and even children, have been raped.
In Homs, many of the dead are reported to be mutilated and disfigured, proving that the “security forces” torture their victims for fun. The footage of a young boy whose entire jaw was torn out of his head is on YouTube, and for those who can stand to see it, it shows the disgusting sickness of the regime’s killers.
Honestly, I hope all those who are responsible for this evil will simply go to hell, and only after rotting in an earthly prison. I am also very much willing to see some jets – by any country in the world, really – bombing the headquarters and military installments of Bashar al-Assad and co. I just don’t know how such a military intervention can be precise, helpful and successful. But if anyone has a good military plan to dethrone Syria’s tyranny, I will be with them.
However, the blood of the innocent is on the hands of not just the Syrian regime. There is also Iran, its best friend. For the sake of its “strategic” interests, and for the love of Shiite solidarity, Tehran has been supporting the killers of Damascus by all means: arms, supplies, “military consultants” and even snipers to shoot dissidents.
Woe to Iran for this. And woe to all its brouhaha about solidarity with “the oppressed.” Frankly, I used to respect Iran for that in the 1990s, based on its support for Bosnian Muslims against the Serbian onslaught. But this current hypocrisy renders all that meaningless. Tehran has already taken its place in history as the co-butcher of “the oppressed.”
Then there is Russia, one of the two backers of the Syrian regime in the United Nations Security Council. With China, Russia shamelessly vetoed a Security Council resolution that backed an Arab League plan to “facilitate” a political transition in Syria. As the Syrian National Council put it, this was simply giving al-Assad a “license to kill.”
Of course, Russia tries to justify itself by repeating its anti-Western demagoguery, as it was doing when it was, again shamelessly, supporting another butcher – that of the Balkans, Slobodan Milosevic. But we all know that Moscow is only interested in its mundane interests, which includes its military base in Syria, the only one remaining outside the former Soviet Union. (Once a communist comrade, they say, always a communist comrade.)
The still-communist China is the fourth member of the gang. Here, I don’t even to need to explain that “human rights” – including the most basic one, the right to life – means nothing for Beijing. This is simply a mercantilist dictatorship without any principles. “It doesn’t matter whether a cat is black or white,” the late Deng Xiaoping once said, “as long as it catches the mouse.” Apparently, it doesn’t also matter how many innocents die while the cat gets fed.
Finally, let me tell you something else. My government, that of Turkey, screws up badly these days on various issues. But I am proud that it has shown the integrity to condemn the al-Assad regime despite all the good relations it had developed with Damascus before the carnage had begun. Turkey, too, could have looked the other way while thousands were killed. But it didn’t. Unlike the gang of four, it has shown some basic decency.