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Violence has a very strong appeal. From the legendary Gordian Knot to any father that slaps the face of his stubborn kid, it seems to be the easy way to finish an argument. It requires no reasoning and no persuasion, except for the might of one’s sword.
The Arab Spring, the first big revolution of the 21 century in technologically developed arena, it putting into test all the dynamics of modern society. In the first wave of the revolution we have seen the people using modern communication to promote new ways of organization and protest. Now, in Syria, we also see the regime using all sorts of modern weaponry in its fight to restore the rule of fear over the rebelling population.
Modern Air force and long-range artillery seem to be the ideal weapons for any dictatorship. It requires only few people to operate and wields superior fire power. The operators are not in danger from the small weapons of the guerilla. They don’t see their victims face to face and can easily ignore the destruction and suffering that they cause. They can be kept in closed bases under security surveillance and can be isolated from the revolutionary propaganda.
While the first victories of the Arab Spring lighted revolutionary fires all over the world, the gruel display of violence from Syria bears a paralyzing effect. Maybe the only mistake of the fallen dictators was that they didn’t have the guts to use all their firepower at the critical moment? We are all learning from experience. The result of the Syrian revolution will influence the behavior of all kind of governments that are under the pressure of popular protest. A victory to the bloody tactics of the Assad regime may spell a new period of bloody oppression elsewhere.
Meanwhile Assad has already called the bluff of any pretence of international red lines on the violence of a government against its people. In the last three months, as the regime dropped all its reservations and started systematic bombardment of its cities and villages, all its noisy international critics made every possible gesture to show that they are every busy just now tying their shoe lace.
So it is up for the brave Syrian people (with few international volunteers) to fight it out by themselves – for their own freedom and for the sake of humanity.