Paradox Marriage > Children of Anger
I woke up this morning, and left fast for my coffee. It took me some time to realize there were no more children in my street, then my neighborhood, the city, and then the whole country. At the border and before crossing to the next country to check if that was the NEW world reality, i.e., a world with no children, I realized i was wrong. There were many children all the way back to my home; i now recall, but they all were dead, and the other were either in camp or detention, that what i remember hearing the children in the street were talking about.
The children in the street were holding arms! Arms? off course!
Now, are you living in Paris? NewYork? Tokyo? Just imagine your day starts like this!
Absolutely, but its not totally amusing, this is not fictional, it is been documented, and here is the story.
The video above can be best described as an organic growth of hate. A spread of fire. Or maybe the arc of failure.
The video is no more than another piece of hatred being seeded in Syria under brutal Assad regime control over the past four decads. That is not to say that Syria has always been known for children and human rights respect. In fact this video with all the religious connotation content reveals also part of the long history of ignorance and religious politics. However, discussing the past 41 years and the last 45 months also shows how contributive to the ignorance and fear Assad regime was. In fact, Assad regime did not only manifest the “terror state” but also religious radical one. In my next article i will be sharing something some thoughts on that religious state of Assad.
A multidiscipline conversation about the 41 years of Assad regime’s management of fear and hatred angree-culture in Syria needs a collective effort. But for the purpose of this article here, I am focusing only on some violations against Syrian children rights since 2011 with some hypnotized correlating to the previous 41 years. I am suggesting here, that abusing Syrian children for the past 45 months can be categorized under some five categories provided chronologically based on the development of events in Syria:
1. Assad regime abuses:
This is how it all started. The revolution main protests as has been documented by many journalists, citizen journalists, and researchers as a pacific react to the torturing of Syrian children who wrote statements against Assad regime on the school walls in Dara’ in Syria. The regime security forces at that time arrested the children, beaten and tortured them, and pulled out some nails. I remember very well my writing about how “Salafist/radicalist” such brutal act was, and how that was one of the charges against me that i was forced to admit after my detention back in May 2011. Ever since the children of Dara, Assad regime forces arrested many children. Some of them were killed due of sever torturing. Hamza al-Khatib who enjoyed 13 years only of life until 2011 became a symbol for many like children who were tortured to death. Hamza page on Facebook platform enjoys (770,277 ) followers today (December 4, 2014). Plenty of children and infants dead bodies’ images spread all over the internet show the brutality of Assad regime forces. They are too brutal to be shown in this blog, but one can search them easily on google (giving the dates setting option). Not only this, in fact the most dangerous implication of that torturing was the injection of anger, revenge, and hatred in those innocent children. Assad regime forces aggressed and violated Syrian children coming from pro revolution families, raped many, and forced a lot to say things they did not believe in, such as that there “god” is Bashar Al Assad. Another video shows Assad security forces beating someone and forcing him to declare his god as Bashar, and to pray for for him. When they bring the photo of Bashar and ask him to go on his knees as a sign of humiliation, he spit on the photo and they got more angry and batten him more. Ironically enough the voice over of the two men beating him were repeatedly asking him with anger “So you want freedom! So you want freedom!” as if surrendering to “God” Bashar was the punishment for those asking for freedom. In fact the image of Hafez AL Assad, Bashar’s father has always been associated with immortality and eternity.
2. Adopting political rhetoric abuses:
With all the good intention associated with them, they are still preparatory abuses of children. These good-will techniques practiced mainly by close family members prepare the child unintentionally for futuristic militarizing. Most of the time it can be described as brain washing techniques practiced out of ignorance and unconsciousness to the implications and relevancy. The ignorance of “freedom of expression” and “chid rights” were -in principle- results of oppressive Assad regime practices for the past 41 years before revolution. In this type of abuse we saw Syrian children holding signs, and repeating statements where they did not necessarily understood what they meant. These practices came from three parities: Pro Assad, pro “armed” revolution, and pro pacific revolution. The involvement of children and pushing them in the manifestation of political discourses conflict, and ideologies led for abuse number three:
3. Militarizing – Shabiha and FSA:
UNICEF defines a child soldier as: “any child-boy or girl- under 18 years of age, who is part of any kind of regular or irregular armed force or armed group in any capacity, including, but not limited to: cooks, porters, messengers, and anyone accompanying such groups other than family members. It includes girls and boys recruited for forced sexual purposes and/or forced marriage. The definition, therefore, does not only refer to a child who is carrying, or has carried, weapons.”
Per UNICEF March 2014 report described syria as the most dangerous place in the world for a child and mentioned how 5.5 million children have been affected by the conflict, 10,000 children have been killed, and 2.8 million children were out of school. Today, 2.8 million children out of school. And because a third of Syrian water treatment plants have been destroyed, UNICEF principle efforts were to provide water to 10 million Syrians in 2013! That deliberate destruction of infrastructure by Assad regime forces who promised “Assad stays or we burn the country” .
Although more than 8,000 children have arrived at Syria’s borders without their parentsBut those children have parents, they didnt come from vacuum. It is crucial to remain conscious to the parent/child relation in this critical context of Syria. This is because parents were projecting certain behaviors’ models that contributes to the formation of the children who become more fragile at conflict times more than the peace ones. Killing a parent in front of his child is not a visual impression only, it is memory imprint. rapping a woman in front of her kids is not a scene only, it is scarf in the soul. hearing the voices of planes bombing the neighborhood houses is not an audio experience only, it is an echo that will remain live for years to come. This is not to mention the deliberate actions of detaining, killing, torturing children, or teaching them to hate, to revenge, and YES to kill!
After this depriving of human basic needs and all associated implications of this dehumanizing the human. This masllow-based Assad regime strategy had reframed killing as a way to survive in this wild nature called “Assad’s Syria”. children soft bones become then easy subjects to to be kicked as in this video before being injected in war machines. Will we hate the children one day when they are grown up mature killers? I wonder!
4. ISIS and radical military religious groups:
That is extreme just as the group’s ideologies are. Children need to be trained severely to fight and become jihadists. Byeond this article one might run a heated discussion about “jihadists” concept and how possibly like many other concepts and values in the Syrian culture has linguistically been abused by both: aggressive muslims and ignorant orientalists. A main concern here is directed to the idea of defending an ideology. Like ISIS is doing today of brainwashing Syrian children by hijacking Islam; Assad regime has been doing for past decades. Since the dictator father Hafez Al Assad as children we were forced to wear uniforms communicating Bath party visual. And like extremists hijacked “jihad” concept, Bath party values of “unity, liberty, and socialism” were kidnapped by Assad the father – Hafez. We were forced to wear a military-like uniform from the age 12 to 18.
Assad regime has always been an endorser of martyr and suicide bombers, used islamic terms to convey the legitimacy of Assad the father second, third, fourth renewal of presidency. Assad was always happy with the fact of being promoted as the eternal leader, and the father. The father of of every Syrian. As children we have always been enforced to repeat collectively, twice weekly, and in other cases every weekday that “our leader forever is president Haffez Al Assad”. That has been an intentional militarizing of society.
Repeatedly and remarkably president obama announced that Assad regime should not remain in place. Remarkably he bewared the Syrian regime several times not to cross the red line! This indefinite line remaind so until one night USA led a Coalition against the “terrorists”, those who smuggled into syria through “heaven” autoroute! While Assad regime remained intact. All the massacres, hundreds of thousands of detainees who were tortured and locked in inhuman conditions, millions of refugees, and hundreds of Syrian children who were killed by Assad regime whether through snippers, dynamite barrels thrown from airplanes, or chemical weapons were not considered yet as crossing a redline. The Coalition currently consists of USA, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, UAE, in addition to Qatar which conducts air patrol. Syrian protestors frequently blamed Russia and China for using VETO to block any legal act towards art of brutality towards Syrian children. Today many voices rise against USA and the coalition attacks on Syrian civilians and children. Furthermore, and more dangerously for the future of Syrians and the region, several protests raised the voice in favor of radical Nusra Front (Jabhet el Nosra). This is another example of manufacturing, packaging, and commercializing a murder as a hero by modeling the worse case scenario. It leader becomes a matter of selecting the less bitter choice. It is showing the worse so that people catch the bad straw and celebrate it as a rescuer.
Studies show USA air strikes had previously precisely hit only 20% of intention targets when such targets are amongst civilian children. It is just another way to say that out of every 10 airstrikes the probability of hitting an ISIS target is 2. The other 8 are a wastage of world citizens money and civilian Syrians souls!
During revolution, Assad forces killed, destroyed, kidnapped, tortured, insulted and humiliated, raped people infornt of their own kids. Children saw these actions and experienced the moments. It is no wonder then to see photos of children playing with toy guns. imitation is a children normal behavior. Children learn by imitation, acquire langue by imitation, and apparently hold weapons by imitation.
It is not something new in history. We have seen this before, in bootcamps from USA to Creme. And from Sub-Sahara in Africa to China. In fact this latter country health minister was concerned in 2010 whether the health of Chinese children will be competitive enough to conquer the Japanes children in case there was a war between China and Japan!
It is not a surprise then with this video I started this article with. Maybe it is a new media, but we seem too old to learn from history.
The video coming from ISIS is shocking and spread huge concerns and for some extreme fear also. It is inhuman, aggressive, and baked in terror ovens. But It should not be surprising. In fact, it is more sad than surprising as it reflects how inhuman this world still is after all these wars. How uneducated, and how unlearned we still are. We have never learned from our previous experiences, and we are not committed to or capable of protecting one basic default human fact: a child life. That is frustrating, no? OUR children, sorry, CHILDREN, will sue us one day harshly. And we deserve it. We fully earned it. But until then, will we dare to admit it? Will we confess our betrayal to Syrian children and basic human rights? Will we admit that not suing the criminal Assad and his regime in the first place had made Syria a forest full of wild animals? and here is my last open end serious question: Who is really more terrifying and awful: someone who is killing an innocent child with a cold blood, or someone who watches the crime on the screen and repeat how awful such crimes really are? should Law had been respected in the first place the chaos would not be that far. It would not be that awful, and for a law to be respected, people need to go to streets if their elected representatives are not doing anything about it. Well, Syrians went to streets and this article showed some of the very inhuman price they were forced to pay. So is this a lesson to the world citizens!? Asking for a legitimate presentation would make you pay high price!? Pay your tax and remain silent or we will kill your children!? I do not want to go that far, and maybe that why i would conclude by saying that being not a big fan of the victim role, I am sharing here with you one video. A supper inspiring and fateful one. I urge you to find sometime to watch it till the end. It is about Syrian chidden’s future and not their yesterdays only.Words count: 2330 Keywords: ISIS, Children, UNICEF, Assad, Hafez, Bashar, Terrorism, USA, Coalition, Hamza al-Khatib