Tuesday, December 13, 2016

The Fall

Aleppo, Syria - December 2016



What do you really expect me to say at this stage, and what difference would it really make? The whole point of what I tried to do over the last fifteen years of my life was specifically meant to avoid a moment like the current one when some of us, the zombified fools that they have allowed themselves to become, are dancing, cheering and gloating over the graves of their defeated compatriots, while the entire country lies in ruins and the fate of all now subject to the whims and calculations of parties totally uninterested in our needs and concerns, and totally indifferent to our suffering. What could my dismay and indignation accomplish at this stage but point to me as though I were the center of it all?

But this is not about me. It’s not my fate that really matters here. This is not what this moment is about. Rather, the underlying reality is about the thing that we once had and have now squandered to the point that “it,” be it the homeland or simply our sense of humanity and decency, and “we,” a collective entity with a specific sense of identity and shared destiny, no longer exist.

What are we now but a collection of impoverished tribes living out of time in haphazardly interwoven enclaves ruled by a pitiful assortment of puppet warlords bastardizing themselves to the highest bidder to ensure their continued survival? What are we now but ghastly ghosts lording over each other and, in the name of some ancient injustices, busy creating new ones to fuel the unchangeable sameness of our collective folly? True, not all the criminals involved are equal, but the nature of their multiplying crimes is the same, and it reeks of greed, avarice and an undeserved sense of entitlement and self-worth. Yes, there are innocent and idealist around, and they are plenty, but history happens to the innocent and idealist as well as the guilty and the cynical, and is often more unforgiven of the former for failing to understand the impersonal nature of its processes and to prepare themselves accordingly.

We now also know that concepts such as “community of nations” and “responsibility to protect” and promises such as “never again” are indeed illusory, and that the people behind them have a tendency to forget their relevance and meaning at will, and to simply ignore their complicity and their guilt. Years later, some might regurgitate some words in a mediocre memoir by way of an apology, or take part in some renewed pledge to learn from the mistakes of the past, only to have some new younger figures, the ones then in charge, once again obfuscate and forget.

Aside from these painful realizations, let my continued silence on this matter be my commentary, my protest and my condemnation.