What is Syria
Syria is a country located along the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. It’s bordered by Turkey, Iraq, Jordan, Israel, and Lebanon. Historically the area was known as the Levant, a term coined from the Italian language meaning “rising”, as the sun rises in the east. 14th century Italian traders on the Mediterranean used it to define places of interest by Italian commerce. East of Venice was good business. Silk and spices didn’t grow on Italian trees.
Syria has a diverse population, a veritable crock pot of ethnicities and religions. Arabs comprise the largest ethnic group, and Sunni Islam is the main religion practiced. Most Syrians share Semitic language and culture roots with other peoples in the Middle East, such as Iranians, Jordanians, Egyptians, Algerians, and Israelis. “Semitic” is an outdated term, first coined in the 1770s by German scholars thinking Germanically at a German university. These days the word is used mainly for propaganda purposes inside the label “Anti-semitic” or “Against Judaism and Jewish persons”. So if you don’t like the Israeli military blowing the intestines out of children in Palestine, the propaganda machine is there to declare your protest “anti-semitic”. More on Israel in a bit.
The Syrian geography is not so diverse. The western Coastal Mountain Range runs parallel to the Mediterranean. The Syrian desert covers a huge swath of the southeast. Along the southwestern border with Lebanon runs the Jabal al-Druze mountain range. The largest body of water, Lake Assad, is a man-made reservoir created by damming the Euphrates in 1973. Three-quarters of the country is semi-arid. A quarter of the land is arable, with approximately 4% dedicated to agriculture. Just three percent of Syria is forested.
The Republic of Syria was born on October 24, 1945 when it became a finding member of the United Nations. Unfortunately occupying French forces did not want to leave immediately, and said so with some western power shenanigans (typically involving the indiscriminate bombing of civilians). In 1950 the Second Republic of Syria was formed after signing a new constitution.
Today Syria is a unitary state with the Ba’ath Party in power. Bashar al-Assad has been President since 2000. In 2011 his government cracked down on Arab Spring protestors which escalated into civil war and international war by proxy. “Civil War” means young people out of power die for old people in power. “By proxy” means United States, Russian, Iranian and Israeli power bases drop bombs on children playing in parks, after making a damn good effort first at starving them to death with economic sanctions.
Syria’s main exports are pure olive oil, spice seeds, and mixed nuts. It’s main imports are broadcasting equipment and rolled tobacco. Total Syrian GDP is one third of Jeff Bezos’ bank account. “Jeff Bezos” is a man on planet earth whose grotesque wealth could be confiscated by a just species (obsolete) and redistributed to Syria to end their forever war. I believe populations that can safely afford toothpaste and olive oil, gradually lose interest in bloody conflict, even if retribution was once hot on the plate. Comfort cools an angry mind. Perhaps desire for revenge on foreign enemies plays out a bit longer. But that’s a price I’m willing to pay as an American who funds the indiscriminate bombing of happy children in play parks. To end perpetual violence, I’m willing to sacrifice Jeff Bezos’ life and limbs and bring a lasting peace to the war torn nation. Just drop his waving legs and arms and a hundred billion dollars in cash over central Syria and observe the flowering peace. Robust economies cut through hate and anger like room temperature butter.
This is a brief overview of my two hour study on Syria. It is brief because it is ignorant. I just wanted to gather enough factual minutiae to form a non-threatening opinion about subjects of international interest which, according to official U.S. propaganda, should never be of concern to peasants.
But they are for me. Often to the point of maniacal distraction.
Last week, Joe Biden, the kinder, gentler U.S. bombing President, continued Trump and Obama’s fun time murder spree in Syria. He ordered seven 500 lb. bombs dropped on some buildings with people inside, killing 22. (In this case, “killing” is a euphemism for shrapnel shredding to bloody pieces all living things within 2400 square meters of detonation per bomb). In free lands outside of Oceania, these games are called war crimes, and punishable by imprisonment and execution. In the un-United States, crimes are waived by rich people influencing government and media, and poor people allowing it to happen. By “poor” I mean anyone who has not had a non-propaganda lunch with aforementioned Jeff Bezos, previous CEO of Amazon.com and owner of several impoverished nations if his deranged dic-pic mind wished for it to be so.
Also in recent Middle East dictator news, the United States outdated, illegal and serially creepy spy apparatus declared Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman guilty of ordering the dismemberment of a Washington Post® journalist back in 2018. Why bother? Since World War II the United States government officially believes that dictatorships make the best allies when helping to terrorize populations of everyday people. Joe Biden and his government refused to officially condemn the Saudi crown. In fact, kinder, gentler Joe called up the King himself to ask if it was okay to even talk about the Prince’s dead eye look and blood lust psychosis.
The King said no, it’s not okay. So Joe, (like Donald, like Barack, like George, like Bill, like George Sr., like Ronald, like Jimmy, like Gerald, like Richard, like Lyndon, like John, like Dwight, like Harry, like Franklin), closed his eyes and said “Your Majesty”. Then bowed to the great king who adores his people so much that he treats them like innocent toilet bowl water. Sometimes the King persuades some fanatics to fly commercial airplanes into buildings, and then watch while official U.S. power does absolutely nothing about it.
On bombing Syria days like these, the U.S. public is retold the official U.S. story of “Good Dictator, Bad Dictator”, written and produced by our national monsters in power. If Big Oil and Israel says the killer is a good dictator, our home autocrats treat him kindly in the press, support his local murder habit, and sell him bigger and better war machines to help his pee-pee grow. If Big Oil and Israel says the killer is a bad dictator, then our autocrats switch on the propaganda machine at home, continue to enable his homegrown murder habit, and bomb the be-jesus out of his subjects already terrorized to the hilt.
I’ve kept an active peasant’s interest in the Middle East ever since George Bush Senior publicly killed his first Iraqi baby on TV one cold February night back in 1991. I jumped out of my chair and figuratively shot the messenger Dan Rather into the stratosphere. It took all of my young hope and newly acquired parental responsibility not to retaliate by either running amok upon my government or expressing intense feelings of powerlessness with a final act of self-immolation. I’ve felt a low discordant hum in my solar plexus ever since. You can imagine its many undulations over the years with frequent bombings ordered by U.S. Presidents. Each one has mocked the Golden Rule to the point that I have become a highly sensitive enemy of United States power systems.
I know who the real effective, official killers are in America. At the top is Joe Biden al-Assad. Last year it was Donald Trump Al Saud. I believe anyone affiliated to these killer cowards by money, are followers and enablers of despots. Sadly, that means all of us who pay taxes.
My sensitive solar plexus informs me that U.S. policy in the Middle East boils down to two issues: Oil and Israel. And sometimes when I get really low and think on the reality of how ignorant and afraid our nation is, I lean more towards the state of Israel being the sole cause of so much Middle Eastern woe and worry.
Israel is a faux-religious autocratic theocracy claiming to be a democratic state. Like the United States government (a pretend-secular oligarchic autocracy), it terrorizes the people it occupies (Palestinians, Iraqis). Unfortunately for the world, Israel has developed a “secret” arsenal of nuclear weapons (about 90 at last count), and, (as my solar plexus informs me) is privately determined to use them on its enemies (Iran, Syria, and any large group of people with a collective conscience who openly detest and protest the arrogance of its government and military).
Israel has complicated U.S. Middle eastern relationships dramatically. With the advent of nuclear capabilities, young Israel got old power really fast. As a result, United States foreign policy in the Middle East is all about making Israel’s enemies its enemies too. Oil won’t flow if Israel takes its faux-religious psychosis to mass annihilation levels of stupidity. Oil can’t move after humanity on earth becomes radiated bone dust.
The tail is wagging the dog.
If Israel doesn’t like the Syrian government, then the U.S. must help destabilize Syria. As long as King Saud and his rowdy bunch of Sunni mama’s boys claim to dislike Iran, then Israel gives the green light to Washington to trade at leisure with the killer psychopaths in Riyadh. After Israel became an Apartheid state to oppress Palestinians, it instructed the U.S. government to propagandize to its citizens about the evils of being Arab and poor.
My solar plexus has persuaded the rest of me to believe this gut instinct about U.S.-Israeli relations. Post World War I Euro-American arrogance created a monster.
So the Syrian, Iranian, Egyptian, Libyan, Palestinian, and of course Iraqi people suffer dearly for Israeli-U.S. political hegemony. The majority U.S. population could care less until the chickens come home to roost, and then just look at all those porches with flags made in China waving so much made up anger to make the poets puke.
Just ask yourself the following: Was I born to pay for the death of families in the Middle East?
Meditate on this, please. We only have one life to live, and the circle continues. I think it’s righteous to admit that we are cowards to our own government. People should fear authoritarians with highly sophisticated weapons of control. They do real nasty things to children all over the world — starve them, disease them, bomb them. Our autocrats impoverish the needy at home by taking the money and running to other countries with it. Billions to the Israeli military is zero toward the health and wellness of Americans.
Most of us can’t stop paying our taxes because the apparatus won’t allow it. Our money is taken from our paychecks, literally picked from our pockets before we can touch it. I understand the impossibilities of financial protest of a rogue government that legally steals our labor to fund atrocities worldwide. There isn’t a revolution coming in the nuclear age. Power will always reign. But you should at least find the time to meditate on the power no one can take from you.
Meditate on this, please. Ask yourself your own made up koans. Or mine. “How can I save a Palestinian life inside my own head?” is a good one to start. Challenge your neighbor with another. “What is the sound of one Syrian bullet hole flapping?” Ask your best friend, “Where does this dollar go to execute babies in Baghdad?”. The more we protest outside our own heads, the more humane we become. I’m just starting to get this. And I want to share this knowledge with you because I want a better world.
And I know you do too because you’re a human being.
This week the new U.S. President ordered the deaths of 22 Syrians. On that same day 2,176 Americans died of coronavirus. Hospitals still can’t get enough N95 masks. 30 million Americans are at risk of eviction. Kids out of school. Octogenarians traveling 150 miles for their first COVID vaccination. Then he called the King of Saudi Arabia to apologize for all the bad press his putrid son is getting.
Joe Biden. Donald Trump. These poor, tired old men, the killers. We are leaderless in a superpower. We have been so since George Washington whipped and beat his slaves to the ground.
Please find time to meditate on corrupt power. Let’s turn off our stupid surface politics and start pointing the finger at what monsters really look like.