Comment by Zarathustra
Watching Al-Jazeera today while the Libya massacre was unfolding, and reports were coming in about the use of fighter jets and artillery and other heavy weaponry against the population of Libya by the psychotic Gadaffi I could not help but remember a forgotten massacre that occurred in Syria in February 1982.
While pundits, experts and eyewitnesses were describing the deadly scenes on the air taking place in Tripoli , and saying “we have never seen a president act so ruthlessly against the population before” I wondered how many people actually know or have heard of what Hafez Al-Assad and his regime did exactly 29 years ago.
One can argue that Syrians were the first to rise up and rebel against a tyrant back in 1982. Back then there was no Al-jazeera, smart phones, youtube or anything else to help the truth come out. So when the Syrian army and “special forces” besieged the city of Hama on February 3rd 1982 and bombed it from the air and land for 3 weeks before entering it and hunting down what the regime refers to as “terrorists” and executed them and their “sympathizers” there was no one to show the world what took place. Not a single report or news agency knew that the Syrian army and regime were conducting what came to be known as “the single deadliest act by any Arab government against its own people in the modern Middle East" (Robin Wright)
When the dust settled so to speak over 18,000 people were killed (per Robert Fisk) that is 858 people per day, or 36 person per hour or 0.6 people per minute. Others estimate the numbers to be much higher, somewhere between 30,000 and 40,000.
No one was spared, not a child, women, elderly, Christian or Muslim (whether he belonged the brotherhood or not). To put it in perspective in 3 weeks Israel with all its might and brutality killed 1400 in its savage campaign against the civilian population in Gaza and the USA -the standard of post world war 2 war crimes- killed 5000 in its 3 week campaign in Falujah.
The Regime responsible for that massacre still rules Syria today, and while Hafez Al-Assad is dead, his son Bashshar inherited Syria from him 11 years ago as a president for life (he succeeded in giving his son the country something that Sadaam, Mubarak, Gadafi and Saleh failed to do). Most of the culprits are still around with enough blood on their hands to serve lifetimes in prison or be executed multiple times. The same regime that has been terrorizing Syrians with fear and its mukhabarat and the world’s latest torture techniques for over 40 years is still in charge, lying every day to the population about how it will “liberate” Occupied Golan when the right moment comes and denying the population every basic human right.
As we see one tyrant fall after the other let us not forget the brave Syrians who tried to rise up and were crushed like no other and let us hope the new generation will follow the foot steps of the Tunisians, Egyptians and Libyans and bring an end to yet another tyrant and finaly punish those murderers of the people of Hama and Syria.