Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Assad turns to Qana tactics

[Originally posted at NOW Lebanon]

A Syrian child holds a poster associating President Bashar al-Assad with Israel (Reuters)

Nothing, of course, should surprise us about the Assad regime anymore, but it’s still possible to marvel sometimes at how utterly, brutally contemptuous of human life it can be.

It’s also remarkable how frequently, and how uncannily, its behavior resembles the very worst of its supposed arch-rival in Tel Aviv. Take today’s report from the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights that the regime “opened fire on a refugee camp in southern Syria […] killing three people including a child”. Who, you may ask, are the occupants of this camp? “Palestinian refugees and Syrians displaced from the occupied Golan Heights”.

Now consider this, written by Vittorio Arrigoni, reporting from Gaza during Israel’s Operation Cast Lead: “On the previous day two doctors at the Jabalia refugee camp had died when they were hit by a missile shot from an Apache helicopter.” Or, if you prefer something closer to home, peruse Human Rights Watch’s account of how in Qana in 1996, “Israeli artillery guns […] fired a deadly mix of shells into the sprawling U.N. base there, killing over 100 children, women and men who had sheltered there.”

But, of course, nothing the Assad regime stoops to, not even the broad-daylight murder of Palestinian refugees, will stop its cheerleaders from touting their tired slogans of “resistance” and “Arabism”. They should not count on history to be kind to them.

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