The first three letters of the word dictator make a sound an awful lot like an adjective I want to call Bashar al-Assad. This son of a tyrant who takes after his father, is so unbelievably male-rooster-like he has systematically blown off peace offerings from European countries, the league of Arab nations, and the United Nations who have repeatedly offered an undignified man a dignified way out of his reign and the bloody conflict in Syria that has gone on for almost two years now. There is more than enough recent history to prove how his role will eventually end; the only question is how many civilians will be sacrificed until then. To date, the death toll since the uprising began estimates 40,000 Syrians have lost their lives, in their own country, all under al-Assad’s own rule.
Which is just so dic-tator-ish of him.
There is another word, that I can use in print, to describe a despot who would order the death of thousands of his countrymen – including the dismemberment of 49 children, 34 women and 35 civilian fathers in just one town, in just one day, during the past year and a half that he has been publicly killing Syrians. Al-Assad is a narcissist. One filled with so much hubris he would then deny ordering these murders when the entire world except for the two nuts dangling beneath him, Russia and China — is completely sure it was him. Whether you prefer the word inspired by the Greek or the Roman tragedy, it seems eminent Bashar’s story will end like both of those, the only question is how many more days will he be allowed to kill hundreds of civilians?
The answer so far has been “endlessly” as it seems timing is everything for dic’s short for dictator, of course. For more than eighteen months the world has been waiting for someone to step in and assist the Syrian people as they fight for both democracy and human rights – as well as just survive the merciless crackdown from al-Assad. Which hasn’t happened by many accounts because America has been benched – in order to fight amongst ourselves over who should be running our country.
Egypt and Libya make it obvious that had we not been at the mid-term point of a US presidency when al-Assad started systematically murdering his own nationals, America probably would have helped free Syria from this brutal reign even before last August’s double massacres and the September destruction of almost an entire city and anyone left standing in it. No less the continuous shelling of residential neighborhoods throughout the country every day since, including our election day when the brother of Syria’s Parliament speaker was assassinated in Damascus.
And that is actually free the Syrian people, from a regime they openly want to be free of with the help of even the United States – unlike other countries we have been entrenched in over the last twelve years who were a threat to us, but were not actually asking even begging – for Americans to help with military force.
But alas, America was ensconced in it’s own war of words. 2012 has been myopically devoted to Americans raising uncapped billions to speak out against each other. Which has sadly morphed from the quintessential democratic right our ancestors fought long and hard for to what today mudslinging from one side of the aisle to the other as a system of getting to know our potential leaders. During which, Holocausts around the world must wait.
Although it is a wonderful, hard-won right to elect a leader in our country, as well as have the resources to defend democracy anywhere it seems terribly sad that these two things can no longer happen at the same time. That perhaps our country is now only the leader and defender of democracy every other two years. And if a real “dic” can time it just right, he can systematically destroy his own people unfettered while we raise what has turned into billions of dollars this time – to fight a war of words amongst ourselves.
Which feels a little dic-tator-ish of America, doesn’t it?
I sincerely hope that with the presidential, house and senate elections behind us, that the next two years will be a less derisive period in US domestic politics. And that we might use some of the passion and money that America is both famous and infamous for, to stop the slaughter of those seeking basic human rights around the world. The first stop of which will hopefully be Syria.