Toys for the Boys

In the fog of war opinion makers worldwide tumble over each other to argument and discuss over a possible intervention in Syria. The editorial board of the New York Times writes: ‘More answers are needed on Syria. Despite the pumped-up threats and quickening military preparations, President Obama has yet to make a convincing legal or strategic case for military action against Syria. While there should be some kind of international response to the chemical weapons attack that killed hundreds of civilians last week, Mr. Obama has yet to spell out how that response would effectively deter further use of chemical weapons.’ Within the American media there is also an under current severely doubting if this invasion is a good plan.

The other interesting development is that the consequence of the British Vote brings the US in an unusual position of isolation on Syria writes David Sanger. ‘With a few exceptions in the past half-century, there has been a simple rule of thumb when it comes to international conflict: America does not use force without Britain at its side.’ Robert Fisk concludes: ‘Iran, not Syria, is the West’s real target. Iran is ever more deeply involved in protecting the Syrian government. Thus a victory for Bashar is a victory for Iran. And Iranian victories cannot be tolerated by the West.’

Facebook, Twitter and Linked-In are useful sources of information working non stop connecting people and information all over the globe. No matter in which context you reside anyone is able to find news written in the different societies and different contexts. This makes it difficult to Turn a Blind Eye and the question remains: Context matters? The Syria Statement of the International Crisis Group reads: ‘The Debate over a possible strike – its wisdom, preferred scope and legitimacy in the absence of UN Security Council approval – has obscured and distracted from what ought to be the overriding international preoccupation: How to revitalise the search for a political settlement in Syria?’

 On the site of a China Speaker bureau I find the following information. ‘A Syrian strike will test Chinese radars. When the US and its allies strike Syria, China has a unique opportunity to battle-test its radars, stationed in Syria, writes defense analyst Wendell Minnick in Defense News. And the Pentagon would have its learning possibility too.’

Is this really about ‘Toys for the Boys?’


My memories drift back to the days in 2010 when two river maidens embarked in a kajak on the River Euphrates through Syria. Two women, one kajak and many encounters. It was only springtime but the heat was overwhelming. We stopped paddling and I put my hands in the water to cool down. Due to an early visitor that same morning we had a very short night. One of the water pump custodians who take care of the irrigation of the land came to turn on the water pump at four in the morning just before sunrise when there is less evaporation. This made us depart early and around noon the air was trembling and stagnant leaving us with practically no energy to paddle on. We agreed to stop as we were passing a little island in the middle of the stream in search of shade. The kajak: Al Lateef, the Gentle-one landed softly on the riverbank. As we were stretching our legs suddenly a Syrian man with a kalashnikov in his hands stepped out of the bush. ‘Salaam Aleikum, May peace be with you.’ The man immediately saw our exhaustion not asking any further questions. With his hand on his heart and a protective knod: ‘I will keep an eye on the boat and now follow me to find some shade where you can rest.’ Without any hesitation we followed the man into the shade. There we would sleep for half an hour safe and sound in total surrender. A nap in paradise. The man turned out to be a hunter who quietly protected us, two Western women in peace. Ma’Sh’Allah. I wonder in sadness if this gentle hunter who represents the true and ever present spirit of the great Syrian people has to pay the price of this what seems like an international Endgame called Syria.

Over Esseline van de Sande

Opmerkelijke Ontmoetingen Wondrous Encounters
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