Skip to comments.Syria’s Crumbling Pluralism
Posted on 08/06/2012 1:42:52 PM PDT by marshmallow
DAMASCUS The day begins here with the call to prayer and ends with the roar of gunfire. Syrias pluralistic society, which once rose above sectarian identity in a region often characterized by a homicidal assertion of religious belief, is now faced with civil disintegration and ethnic cleansing.
In Bab Touma, the Christian quarter of the old city, the magnificently restored Ottoman mansions housing many of the hotels that only two years ago overflowed with Western tourists have become temporary sanctuaries for Syrian minorities fleeing their homes and cities.
A Christian doctor of Palestinian origin huddling with his family of four in a small room in one of the hotels was looking for a way out of the country: My father came to Syria as a refugee, he told me. I made it my home. Now I am having to uproot my two young sons.
His home, in Midan in southern Damascus, came under attack during an intense battle last week between the opposition Free Syrian Army and government forces. Midan is now officially a safe area, but hardly anyone believes that peace will endure.
Syrias 2.3 million Christians, constituting about 10 percent of the countrys population, have generally known a more privileged existence under the Assad dynasty than even the Shiite Alawi sect to which President Bashar al-Assad belongs. Yet their allegiance to Assad was never absolute. Some Christians openly clamored for political change in the early months of the anti-government uprising. But as the rebellion became suffused with Sunni militants sympathetic to or affiliated with Al Qaeda, Christians recoiled.
A churchgoing Syrian told me that he used to see himself primarily as Syrian and that religious identity, in political terms, was an idea that never occurred to him until an opposition gang attacked his family earlier this.......
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
Our good friends the Saudis, and their money, seem to be at the root of much of the Islamist trouble in the world.
Syria had pluralism?
Syria has always had strong-man rule, pluralism has not a darned thing to do with it. The strong-man is being challenged, and the better-equipped faction (or factions) are routinely suppressing all other factions. The assaults on the small Christian minority, or the few Jewish residents, are not necessarily coming from Bashar al-Assad; much more likely from the faction in league with the Muslim Brotherhood, or Hezbollah, or Hamas. The less militant Muslim sects are also under assault, a little “cleansing”, if you will.
In the end, there can be only one.
what happens when US policy makers lay down with dogs, for some presumed expedient advantage, and then just walk away when the whole mess is over and the objectives of the new powers are not in sync with ours
we have no business “helping” what we do not have total control over
we can and do often “make the difference” but what is obtained with our support can be nothing we wanted, unless, like we did with Japan, we are in total control
otherwise, support the refugees, that’s it