A special post from Filor Nigo regarding Kassab
First and foremost, my thoughts are with all those who have fled Kessab in the last few days. I wish everyone safety and hope for peace in Kessab and a safe return for all who have fled. That being said, the discussion around the events that have unfolded in Kessab has been disappointing at the least, and Armenia media and others who have encouraged the spread of false information have blown these unfortunate events into something that they simply are not.
This is not a “continuation of the Genocide”, nor is it an evil Turkish plot to attack an Armenian town. This pervasive idea that whatever happens to Armenians in Syria (as part of Syria’s larger conflict) is in any way tied to the Genocide is pathetic. It is nothing but a weak and dis-empowering narrative pushed by those who have absolutely no critical thinking capacity. No, Turkish foreign policy is not dictated by a few thousand Armenians in Syria. Turkey’s position towards the Syrian conflict is clear, and has nothing to do with Armenians. Yes, the rebels may have used Turkey as their base as they have been doing for years, in the same way militants who entered Iraq used Syria as their base.
The rebel takeover of Kessab was not a targeting of Armenians. Contrary to what the flashy Asbarez headlines will have you believe, the rebels didn’t come in to slaughter Armenians and destroy their churches. Kessab is a strategically important point in this military conflict. If it is some reason unclear to some, Syria is engulfed in war and Armenians in Syria cannot honestly believe that these events would not affect them. Kessab was the last point on the Turkish border under regime control, and it paves the way to the coast.
And no, Armenians were not slaughtered, and there is absolutely no evidence that churches have been destroyed. Armenians were able to safely evacuate. We also have footage of churches after the rebel takeover, nothing is desecrated or destroyed.
For those calling to support Assad and for the Syrian Army to take Kessab, I have news for you. Assad is not the protector of Armenians. I am surprised that even after the Syrian army deserted Armenians multiple times in Aleppo, some still believe the government would sacrifice their interests to protect the Armenians and come to their rescue. And no they will not come to Armenians rescue in Kessab either. It is likely that Kessab will soon be shelled by the government.
Lets also not complain that the world is not talking about a thousand Armenians fleeing Kessab. The events in Kessab have been reported in several media outlets. And relative to everything else happening in Syria, with over 150,000 dead and over 2 million refugees, the evacuation of less than a thousand people from one town to another (while horrible and unfortunate) is not of the same scale of suffering. The Armenian community, relative to Syrians in general, are fortunate to have not faced the barrel bombs, the MIG’s, or the refugee camps.
Again, lets all hope for peace to be restored to Kessab and for the safe return of its inhabitants. Lets work to get aid to those who have evacuated. But lets also put things into perspective and not outrageously frame this as the “continuation of the Genocide”.
Rebels inside Armenian Churches in Kessab
Rebels speaking with elderly Armenian civilians in Kessab
Churches in Kessab under rebel control
Kessab after rebel takeover
Orient TV Report on Kessab
With the United States leading the way for an offense against Syria, a lot needs to be said. First, the facts:
1. This is will be an international effort, not just an American effort
2. The strikes are intended to be limited
3. The strikes will be happening due to the use of chemical weapons
4. There are over 100,000 dead, 6 million displaced, 1 million child refugees, and over 11 billion dollars in infrastructural damage, and 3 generations of people likely have some form of PTSD.
That said, why now, and what now, are we really intervening for? And if Assad has caused all of this damage, why didn’t anyone get involved earlier? Excellent questions. Unfortunately, I am not writing to provide the answers. I am writing to discuss crime, the crimes of Assad and the crimes of the world.
First, using chemical weapons is a war crime and violates international law. However, killing people is also a crime, and there are over 100,000 dead. So what does that mean? Well, it means that Assad is a war criminal who has committed crimes against humanity due to an uncessary war he started. Not only is Assad a war criminal, he is a war criminal who works with Hezbollah, a terrorist organization, and Iran, a country with a crazy wacky government, and not good wacky. Assad is also being propped up by Russia who blocks any UN Security Council measure that would affect Syria in any way.
On the other side of the same token, the US has not attempted all of its options, England backed down, and Obama is still trying to figure out whether or not the offense should take place anyway.
So, where is the crime?
Well, the crime comes from all sides unfortunately. Assad is killing- that’s a crime. Russia, Iran, and Hezbollah are helping Assad by providing munitions, troops, and funding, blocking anything that would allow for the violence to stop, and threatening any parties that try to act against them, this would be the United States.
But how is the rest of the world guilty? Well, the rest of the world has let all of this happen for the last two and a half years, and it isn’t because they were not aware of the situation. The White House and others have provided condemnations left and right, but has never chosen to act. So the US and other powers are guilty of 1. Watching everything happen and doing nothing. 2. Having the power to do so, and refusing to act anyway.
But this isn’t the biggest crime. The biggest crime these powers can commit is getting involved in the conflict and not removing Assad from power. The White House has written enough condemnations to know that Assad isn’t the best leader there is. But, if the world responds with punitive attacks and nothing more, they will be essentially giving Assad permission to kill with everything except chemical weapons. Well, 1600 people died from chemical weapons, but 100,000+ have died by other means.
This means that if the world gets involved and allows Assad to stay in power after these punitive strikes, he will be more empowered to kill however be pleases, and most likely continue to use chemical weapons- but just be sneaky about it.
It is a crime for us to finally respond to Syria, but not do enough to truly give the Syrian people peace. It will also be a shame.
Syria is going to be here no matter what, even if every Syrian in Syria is killed. The land will still be there, the rubble from the conflict will still be there, and the memory will still be there. So now, we should ask ourselves, do you want to look back and know that we have done everything in our power to guaranteee the freedom and safety of a people, or do we want to look back at a country that has become a graveyard?
The question is yours.