With tens of thousands of civilians killed and detained and protesters mowed down by the army, the opposition staged an attack in an upscale neighborhood of the capital. A bomb killed several high-level officers and General Assef Shawkat, a feared intelligence chief.
BITTERSWEET IRONY. Looking at the Wikipedia article of the Iraq invasion the other night, I mulled over how useless and meaningless and unnecessary the whole event. How I wasted two years of my life deployed, risked life and limb for a cause that was unjust.
Yet now in neighboring Syria, President Bashar Assad is murdering his people ad infinitum and they are asking for foreign intervention. Six months ago this picture was in a Foreign Press article. The Syrian people were even asking for military support from the United States.
A.N.D. today CNN reported that Obama is finally giving covert support for the Syrian rebellion. Though once you’re reading about it in CNN it’s absurd to call it covert any longer. When I worked in intelligence in Guantanamo Bay and in Iraq, we often simply turned on CNN to get our info as the station is often at the cutting edge of breaking developments in global conflicts and combat situations. Complain all you want about mainstream media, this is simply what I learned working with a high security clearance for a number of years.
When we spearheaded support for the Libyan rebels I wrote an article for the Huffington Post saying we should not interfere. That came from a place of fear. I feared we would be sucked into another Iraq. But things turned out positively and in the end we helped the rebels get rid of Qaddafi.
The main issue is that in Syria we are witnessing the birthing pains of yet another child of the Arab Spring. Much blood will flow before the Syrian people can breathe the fresh air of freedom.
And it might not be a drawn out, years long struggle. Months ago I said to myself the revolution would not have a legitimate chance of moving forward in an expeditious and effective manner until there was true tumult in the capital. Fighting has reached the capital Damascus and the main trade city of Aleppo in the last few weeks, and the aforementioned sabotage attack on those generals was an incredible step forward for the Syrian Revolution.
When the Syrian secret police questioned me upon my arrival to Syria in 2010, they asked me a few specific questions.
They were mainly simply pissed off at me because I fought for the Americans in Iraq. They didn’t have any serious dirt to throw at me, but one of them asked me very specifically, he said:
“If Americans invaded, whose side would you be on?”
I paused for a moment, wanting only to give an honest answer and to calm their anger through my honesty.
“I would fight for Syria, I said, “because my grandmother lives just down the street.”
This was in the halcyon days of 2010, before the mass-murder of President Assad against the uprising.
As of today, I would gladly don the uniform of a United States Marine once again and march into the streets of Damascus to liberate the Syrian people from this evil dictator. But that part of my life is over. Anyways, I’m too old to re-enlist (I checked). Oh, and the pen is mightier and all that …
Also, if any of you are interested, here’s a quick lowdown on the Mideast map, so you know what I’m talking about in the future.