Soldier-Scholar Professor Bernard Fall once reported that the sum of deaths of 48 small wars before WWI and WWII equalled the number of deaths in the two big ones. It should not be surprising the hundreds of thousands of people are being killed in Syria’s civil war. It is a human catastrophe that happens for different reasons. What are the possibilities?
- The government has no respect for rebel citizens.
- Rebel citizens have no respect for the government.
- Rebel citizens and their factions often have no mutual respect.
For what are the participants in Syria fighting?
- Shiite leaders are fighting to preserve control of government.
- Sunni rebels are fighting for equitable participation in government authority, and their own control.
- Some Sunni-led Islamic State rebels are fighting for the creation of a caliphate.
Is anyone fighting for humanity, freedom, individual liberty, economic and military security? In this battle like others in the Middle East, it appears that humanity is lost in ideological battles.
The Syrian situation may be described now as follows:
- The Bashar al-Assad government represents the 12% Arab-Alawite population that has had control of the Syrian security force.
- The majority of Syrian citizens, 64%, are Sunni Muslims and are economically impoverished.
- That means that 24% of the remaining citizens are Christians (10%), Kurds (9%) and the balance among other factions.
The skewed power to a non pluralistic and undemocratic government is at the core of the problem accompanied by the absence of a sustainable economy that protects human rights and ensures equitable economic participation.
As with nearly everywhere in the Middle East, Syria is a representative instance of dysfunctional government that is emblazoned by ideological intolerance. There are ample national resources in Syria to produce a sustainable economy with full participation should citizens be able to solve their political disputes and to focus on ensuring a good life for all of its citizens.
“A new UN report says that at least 191,369 people have been killed in the Syrian conflict so far. That number is astounding: it is the equivalent of the entire population of Salt Lake City being wiped out, or Tallahassee. However, the true number of casualties is almost certainly much higher.
Patrick Ball, Executive Director of the Human Rights Data Analysis Group and one of the report's authors, explained to me that this new report is not a statistical estimate of the number of people killed in the conflict so far. Rather, it's an actual list of specific victims who have been identified by name, date, and location of death. (The report only tracked violent killings, not "excess mortality" deaths from disease or hunger that the conflict is causing indirectly.)
To be included in the report, a death had to be identified and documented by one of the five organizations gathering data on the ground in Syria: the Syrian Center for Statistics and Research, the Syrian Network for Human Rights, the Violations Documentation Centre, the Syrian government, or the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.”