About two months ago it seemed that the situation in Syria can not get worst, but since that time the question “is Syria a third world country?” has been replaced with an almost clear understanding that it is actually a middle age country.
The slaughter in Syria is tribal based religious war, the causes for this Syrian civil war are based on the Arab Sonni-Shia conflict and nothing else. On the side of the Sonni majority you have the claims for years of oppressive regime and brutal dictatorship that kept that part of the population in poverty and under chains, on the Shia side of things you will hear claims of impending massacre if they do not put on a fight now.
The last, horrific, massacre to be known to the West is the Houla massacre, in which dozens were savagely murdered in their homes, while asleep. These poor victims were not killed in an army action, they were not torn to pieces by relentless shelling (as many others were, and still are) but were stabbed and shot – point blank, by their Alawait neighbors, who simply did the math and realized that if they do not clear the near area of the “other” tribe their own days are numbered.
Just like any other regional slaughter, which is almost always religion based, the fear of the other side taking arms is the prime motivation in unthinkable slaughter, the other group is perceived as so evil and terrible that people take arms and do not spare anyone – even 5 week old babies.
The West, it seems, simply has no idea about any of that, Assad takes the blame for many things that he might have inspired – but is probably not connected to at all (like these regional massacres), the lack of information and the persistence on avoiding the religious issues at hand makes most of the Western media and politicians ignorant of the topic, this is not a (relatively) simple king-gone-mad type of thing but a complicated tribal based war.
Saudi Arabia is deeply involved here, as the main protector of the Sonni Arab side it has to be, and the growing tensions between the two Muslim super powers, Iran and Saudi Arabia, mean that none of them is going to put less pressure on its fighting parties. The West has done nothing to try and untangle the religious issues, it has done nothing to solve the problem, it does not send a clear message to Iran who is backing Assad, and it is not stopping the Saudis from increasing the fire under Syria’s feet.
This last Houla massacre is simply the naive boy’s cry “the king is naked”, we are living in a world that has not changed much in the past 3,000 years, the only thing is that we learn about massacres like these a day or two later and can see clear images of the slaughtered, but no one moves a finger to stop this, UN planes fly in and out of the Syrian capitol airport, dinners and lunches are held, press conferences are issued, and all is watched by the slowly withering eyes of the soon to be killed population of Syria.