Aleppo doesn't need your prayers
If I come off offensive in this post, it is because that is my purpose. I am fully sick and tired of the way people are on this issue. I ask for forgiveness in advance.
The city Aleppo is no longer under siege. The forces of Bashar el-Assad have claimed victory in the battle and have conquered the city. The desperation and claims of massacre on the ground have led Western media and commentators such as myself to scream "gevalt", or "oy vey zmir" (Yiddish for amazement in a very negative context). Please allow me to be the first to call bullshit on this whole thing and point out that the Aleppo outcry is extremely hypocritical. Here are three points as to why:
We only care after the fact
I remember just shortly before arriving in Germany the Syrian Army was suspected of using poisonous gas against civilians, what brought the outcry for an American intervention in Syria. For us, Israelis, Syria is just across the border. For this reason, if there had been an intervention, I would have been certainly drafted in the military. Since this would have prevented me from moving to Germany, I informed my future employer that I might just miss my deadline, which didn't happen. My surprise was, as I arrived in Germany, instead of seeing the masses protesting against the use of deadly gases against civilians, I only saw a Berlin full of anti US intervention demonstrations. This was something just incomprehensible to me. Why would you protest against someone trying to stop the killing? Because it will bring more killing? I'll discuss that too. But for now, just think about this: the Syrian Civil war has been raging for almost 6 years and has cost some 300,000 people their lives, don't you think that at this point, it would have been better to actually intervene instead of just thinking that there is no solution? I find it ridiculous that no one is standing on the side of intervention.
The only way I could forgive this is that in 2013 we had the 10 year anniversaey since the miserable invasion of Iraq. I can understand how bad it sounds. At the same time I see the same old story that people only give a shit after the fact. Yeah, you heard me: Nobody cared about Rwanda until after the genocide. The same goes for Srebrenica. And of course, nobody cared about the holocaust until they saw Auschwitz, after millions had already perished. Unfortunately, for Syria it is no different.
Violence solves nothing
This one really bothers me. Today we hear this so often. "Violence solves nothing" which is a paradox. Our whole civilization is based upon violence, yet today "we" see violence as if it is devoid of meaning. Violence is an instrument that is used by the state to enforce its sovereignty. Without it we would have chaos.
In the case of Aleppo I find it immensely naive of people saying that we need to impose new sanctions on Russia-Iran so they will in turn stop military operations in Syria. Are you kidding me?! Are you really proposing to threaten two already heavily sanctioned regimes with more sanctions? The US and Saudi Arabia have been waging an economical war on Russia and Iran using the pie of oil for some time now. The Russian Ruble has lost a lot of its value, which one could argue, has lead to the increasing support of the Syrian government, as they are looking to resolve this conflict faster. In fact, Iran and Russia are directly intervening in Syria, why is that ok? Where are the demonstrations? Where is the outcry? Where are those well educated naive pacifists who were so loud when the US was about to intervene in Syria, oh right, they are the underdog, that doesn't sell... and that brings me to my last point.
When it comes to film or literature I love post-modernism, it's cynical, i'm cynical, it's a match made in heaven. The picture is completely different when it comes to politics. I hate Post-Modernism when it comes to politics. Post-Modernism in politics, is represented through pluralism. It's a great thing, but like everything, too much of it is just terrible.
Post-Modernism, in contrast to the black and white Modernism, assumes the world is made of many shades of gray, and there is no one thing that is right for everyone. That's why capitalism has grown so unpopular, capitalism is the culmination of self-interest and the only economical theory that has worked so far, whereas today, we are educated for diversity instead of our own self-interest. This is not necessary a bad thing, but what kind of international policy can grow from diversity when it comes to stopping a massacre in a place none of us can call our own?
This is exactly why I am against this whole "pray for X" nonsense we all get online every time something bad happens. People are so afraid today to sound one sided that they would prefer to give their pathetic "prayers" instead of supporting affirmative action. I'm not religious, so prayers mean very little to me, but don't you think this is lazy to think the people of Syria are counting on your prayers? How are they helping them? Everything I think of prayers, I take from my grandfather, a wise man who always said that god helps those who help themselves.
I want to point out something a Syrian refugee told me just the other month. We were talking about the election of Donald Trump and I was asking him what he thought. He said, that it's great, and he is happy that the West has now a strong man that will combat the other strong men, such as Putin and Assad. Being amazed at his conclusion, although simplistic, I could totally relate with it.
He has understood something we have all forgot, summed up by an old timed Jewish proverb: He who is merciful to the ruthless will end up being ruthless to the merciful.