Aleppo, Syria in 2009.
Aleppo, Syria in 2016.
The Syrian Army, directed by Bashar Al-Assad and supported by Vladimir Putin and the armed forces of Russia along with Iran and Hezbollah, has been shelling the rebellion in Aleppo, one of the country’s most prominent cities. The horrific number of civilian casualties includes humanitarian aid workers, doctors, and children. Kids. They’re killing kids. This is after the Syrian government has already been starving out the citizens of Aleppo. From the Al-Assad point of view, the targets would be labeled “terrorists” or “terrorist sympathizers.” Even if that were the case, and it definitely isn’t, to murder children is to surrender all moral authority forever. But now is not the time for philosophy. People are dying. Today.
I woke up this morning, scrolled through my social media feed, read about this situation, and found myself nearly unable — physically — to get out of bed. This is genocide, happening in real time. How the hell could I go to my meaningless day job with the knowledge this was happening? Why would I? And then those questions spiraled.
This short post isn’t an attempt to make these events about me: I’m using myself as an illustration, in case anyone who reads this is anything like me, feeling powerless at the awful scope of history as it develops quickly and viciously.
I did the only thing within my power. I got out of bed. Later I found out about the protest vigil this evening outside the Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation here in New York, and I went there after work. I just wanted to add the weight of my body to the crowd, to show up and support the people who are motivated in this essential cause. Really, I just stood there.
Alone, I know I’m nothing. I’m writing this with the hopes that even one of my friends or readers will be spurred on to become more aware, and to do something. An estimated 100,000 people are still in harm’s way, unable to escape due to all the bombing. They’re being shot if they try to escape. At the very least we Americans can acknowledge that it’s fucking happening.
Support The White Helmets.
Support The Syria Campaign.
Do something. Do something. Do something. I write those two words to remind myself. If it motivates anyone else, good. Aside from getting up out of bed; I can’t do much of anything on my own.