Kassioun Editorial 1109: Why is “our Earthquake” More Deadly?
The earthquake opens a new deep wound in the Syrian body, which is swollen with its wounds. Under the weight of the common pain, the most prominent things are the following:
First: Syrians are Syrians, their pain and suffering are the same, regardless of their areas where they are and the “areas of control”. The extent of bonding and the sincere desire to help crossed all the “borders” and “barriers” in which the warlords from the various sides have exploited.
Second: Ordinary Syrians, within their efforts to provide assistance, clearly show their distrust of any of Syrian and non-Syrian institutions, official and unofficial, and they are doing their best to ensure that their in-kind and financial assistance is handed in person and through people they trust who are ordinary Syrians not affiliated with any institution of any kind. This issue, along with the previous point, has a deep meaning that reflects, on the one hand, the extent of the bonding among Syrians, and on the other hand, the extent of the detachment of the “elites” and “institutions” from them.
Third: Political hypocrisy prevails among the “elites”, both domestic and foreign, who are condemned to the eternal curse of Syrians. This varies between those who seek domestically to politicize and exploit the disaster to invest in it by turning it into an opportunity to attack others, or an opportunity to profit from aid, and those who seek abroad, in the West and particularly the US, to claim “humaneness” and outright lie that sanctions have no effect on humanitarian relief.
It is known that dealing with major natural disasters of the type of Monday’s earthquake is not an easy thing for any country, including the most stable countries, so one could imagine the situation with a country and people who are extremely exhausted?
Our earthquake is more deadly, and aid is more deficient, due to several reasons, perhaps the most important of which are:
First: The continuation of the political and socioeconomic crisis over more than ten years, which led to the severe destruction of all institutions, whether those in regime-controlled areas or in other areas of Syria.
Second: Among the obvious results of this crisis, and with it the massive dominant corruption, is that Syrians live in homes that are not in accordance with the minimum required standards to withstand earthquakes; even if it was so on paper, it turned out that in reality it is not at all.
Third: The decades-long deep corruption, which escalated and deepened during the crisis, and with it liberal policies, has greatly reduced the capabilities of the state apparatus to positively intervene in any aspect of people’s lives, and rendered it incapable of solving any of society’s problems, let alone a disaster of the magnitude of an earthquake. Not to mention that the various indications show that the real will to deal with any of the problems, small or large, does not exist in the first place.
Fourth: Western sanctions, and particularly US sanctions, despite all US hypocrisy about them, are a major cause of multiplying the magnitude of the disaster, starting with their contribution to the fuel and food crises, to their role in medical, health, and other issues.
Those who accepted the death of hundreds of thousands of Syrians, and the suffering of millions of them on the altar of their extremist and unrealistic political slogans, and on the altar of their narrow interests, will not be fazed by the additional blood shed nor will they be disturbed by the burning groans of pain emanating from the breasts of Syrians all over. Likewise, the countries that see that their “national security” requires turning Syria into a “quagmire” will see in the earthquake a relief for their interests and goals, rather than a major human catastrophe.
The real stakeholders in stopping the overall bleeding, and in healing old and new wounds, are ordinary Syrians, who are the overwhelming majority that is also crushed, figuratively and actually. Those need humanitarian aid that is not hindered by sanctions or stopped by “barriers” (or checkpoints) of any kind, and they need, above all, that their interests be what actually governs political and economic affairs. Therefore, they need a radical and comprehensive change, which is their only tool in order to take control of their lives in their own hands, and so that they can continue living without constant fear of death from cold, hunger, poverty, and disease... or under the rubble of their homes, with no response to their cries!