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December 15, 2016

The Fall

Aleppo, Syria – December 2016

What do you really expect me to say at this stage, and what difference would it really make? The whole point of what I tried to do over the last fifteen years of my life was specifically meant to avoid a moment like the current one when some of us, the zombified fools that they have allowed themselves to become, are dancing, cheering and gloating over the graves of their defeated compatriots, while the entire country lies in ruins and the fate of all now subject to the whims and calculations of parties totally uninterested in our needs and concerns, and totally indifferent to our suffering. What could my dismay and indignation accomplish at this stage but point to me as though I were the center of it all?

But this is not about me. It’s not my fate that really matters here. This is not what this moment is about. Rather, the underlying reality is about the thing that we once had and have now squandered to the point that “it,” be it the homeland or simply our sense of humanity and decency, and “we,” a collective entity with a specific sense of identity and shared destiny, no longer exist.

What are we now but a collection of impoverished tribes living out of time in haphazardly interwoven enclaves ruled by a pitiful assortment of puppet warlords bastardizing themselves to the highest bidder to ensure their continued survival? What are we now but ghastly ghosts lording over each other and, in the name of some ancient injustices, busy creating new ones to fuel the unchangeable sameness of our collective folly? True, not all the criminals involved are equal, but the nature of their multiplying crimes is the same, and it reeks of greed, avarice and an undeserved sense of entitlement and self-worth. Yes, there are innocent and idealist around, and they are plenty, but history happens to the innocent and idealist as well as the guilty and the cynical, and is often more unforgiven of the former for failing to understand the impersonal nature of its processes and to prepare themselves accordingly.

We now also know that concepts such as “community of nations” and “responsibility to protect” and promises such as “never again” are indeed illusory, and that the people behind them have a tendency to forget their relevance and meaning at will, and to simply ignore their complicity and their guilt. Years later, some might regurgitate some words in a mediocre memoir by way of an apology, or take part in some renewed pledge to learn from the mistakes of the past, only to have some new younger figures, the ones then in charge, once again obfuscate and forget.

Aside from these painful realizations, let my continued silence on this matter be my commentary, my protest and my condemnation.


Ammar Abdulhamid is a Syrian-American author and pro-democracy activist based in Silver Spring, Maryland. He is the founder of the Tharwa Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to democracy promotion. His personal website and entries from his older blogs can be accessed here.


My politics fall neither on the Right nor the Left, nor somewhere in-between. They are issue-specific and stem out of a simple yet ardent belief, perhaps the only one I have, in the necessity of good.

The Delirica

The Delirica is a companion blog to the Daily Digest of Global Delirium meant to highlight certain DDGD items by publishing them as separate posts. Also, the Delirica republishes articles by Ammar that appeared on other sites.

Rime Allaf on Syria

No, actually, Syria is not an “again” but an absolute first. It is nothing like Bosnia or Rwanda or Chechnya or any other “never again” genocidal event in history. It is a macabre Truman Show, an uninterrupted 6-year long live reality TV program watched globally 24/7 on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, on Skype, WhatsApp and Viber.

“Never again” doesn’t apply to us, for what has been done to Syria has never been done before. Our tragic fate is to be the modern age’s “never before.”

Never before has the world been able to observe – in real time – the destruction of a nation and the extermination of a people who dared to demand freedom. Never before has a civilian population been filmed under attack with Scud missiles, barrel bombs and chemical weapons by its “own” illegitimate authorities. Never before have starvation sieges and old-fashioned barbaric massacres been so documented as they happened. Never before has mass torture been so evidenced. And never before has the world’s indifferent silence been so loud, save for perfunctory condemnations and erasable red lines.

Indeed, never before has the mightiest superpower the world has ever known shamelessly pretended to be impotent, and never before has it had the temerity of falsely pleading with the Syrian people’s executioners for grace and mercy, the same grace and mercy it denied Syrians by rejecting their desperate appeals for protection.

Never again? You mean never before. Hell of a legacy.

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