Texas Liberal

All People Matter

Links To Learn More About Syrian Crisis—People Continue To Fight The Government No Matter The Risks

Protests and fighting in Syria continues despite brutal repression by the Syrian Government.

Russia and China have vetoed a United Nations efforts to address the violence despite a new round of killings by the Syrian state.

Here is reaction from President Obama as reported in the New York Times—

“President Obama condemned what he called “the Syrian government’s unspeakable assault against the people of Homs,” saying in a statement that President Bashar al-Assad “has no right to lead Syria, and has lost all legitimacy with his people and the international community.”

Mother Jones magazine is a great liberal publication which has been keeping up on events in Syria. 

Here is Amnesty International on Syria. 

Here is a New York Times summary of events in Syria. In the middle right side of this resource are a large number of links to learn more.

Here is a BBC guide to the situation in Syria. 

From the BBC—

“Syria is a country of 21 million people with a large Sunni majority (74%) and significant minorities (10% each) of Christians and Alawites – the Shia sect to which Mr Assad belongs. For years, Mr Assad has promoted a secular identity for the Syrian state, hoping to unify diverse communities in a region where sectarian conflict is rife – as seen in neighbouring Lebanon and Iraq. The regime can still mobilise support, especially from minority groups and the upper classes However, he also concentrated power in the hands of his family and members of the Alawite community, who wield a disproportionate power in the Syrian government, military and business elite. Claims of corruption and nepotism have been rife among the excluded Sunni majority. And protests have generally been biggest in Sunni-dominated rural areas, towns and cities, as opposed to mixed areas. Opposition figures have stressed that they seek a “multi-national, multi-ethnic and religiously tolerant society”. But there are fears of chaos and instability – even talk of civil war – if Mr Assad should fall. Activists say these fears are overblown.” 

Here is a history of the Syrian nation. 

Here is the U.S. State Department overview of Syria. 

It may not be clear what difference a blog post or the concern of everyday people far away from Syria will do to change events in Syria. The government of President Bashar al-Assad will apparently only give up power when it is forced to do so.

Yet many brave people are fighting in Syria no matter the risk of violence or death. At the least they merit our acknowledgment and our concern. At best, an ongoing worldwide focus on repression and efforts to fight repression will help create a climate of hope and freedom in our connected world.

The message from Syria is that every person has a voice. We should each use the voice we are given in the best way we are able.

(Below—A 2011 anti-government protest in the Syrian city of Baniyas. Photo by Syria Frames Of Freedom.)  

February 4, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Arab Spring Protests Are Ongoing—Protests Started With One Act

There have been large protests in Yemen in recent days and renewed protests in Morocco as the so-called Arab Spring continues.

(Above–Protests in Syria earlier in 2011. Photo by Syriana2011.)

These events take place as the very brave protesters in Syria keep up the presssure despite Tiananmen Square style brutality from the Assad government and as a new government takes over in Libya. 

Longstanding repressive governments have previously been toppled in 2011 in Tunisia and Egypt. 

One of the best sources to learn about these uprisings and revolutions is Global Voices.

Global Voices offers reports from bloggers and non-governmental social media users from all around the world.

Here is a Global Voices report about bloggers running for the Tunisian parliament.  Two of the 7 candidates profiled are women.

There is no way to be certain if the changes in the Arab world will lead to expanded freedoms or to new forms of repression. It may take years for any accurate appraisal to be given.

Yet the alternative to Arab citizens finding out for themselves what they will do with newfound liberties would have been more long years of dictatorship.

How could that be acceptable to any freedom-loving person?

It should also be recalled that while there are many underlying causes to the Arab uprisings, it is also so that all this started with one act by someone who had not before been widely known.

On December 10, 2010, a college educated 26 year old Tunisian named Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire.

Like many Tunisians, Mr. Bouazizi had not been able to find steady work despite an education. Mr. Bouazizi had a number of rough encounters with local authorities in his town of Sidi Bouzid as he tried to peddle goods on the street.

Mr. Bouazizi reached a breaking point and set himself on fire with gasoline. This attracted attention all over Tunisia and led to the toppling of the Tunsian government.

From Tunisia these protests have spread to much of the Arab world.

Please don’t set yourself on fire—But who can know when or where the next act of defiance or despair will set in motion great change.

Hope and change that is more than a campaign slogan is always possible.

Yet just as we are seeing in the Middle East, it is up to everyday people to force change with brave and strong words and brave and strong deeds.

Below–Mohamed Bouaziz

September 19, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment