Friday, August 24, 2012
Endangering Civilians in Syria
Some people seem to think the right to criticize the FSA and the right to free speech somehow make every complaint about the FSA justified or well-founded. That's not so. Some of the complaints seem to be based on unrealistic expectations. The FSA endangers civilians? Have we missed some strategic proposal where the FSA would be able to fight WITHOUT endangering civilians?
Sure, the FSA could tie its hands and go down to defeat. That's what would happen if it left populated areas. The fighting units would then be easy targets for the régime and would be wiped out. Régime forces, on the other hand, would be sitting pretty - guess where? In civilian areas, where the FSA would not be 'allowed' to attack them.
In addition, of course, the régime army and shabiha would run wild in those very same civilian areas. So there are two possibilities: effective resistance or ineffective resistance. Both will, without doubt, endanger civilians - if only because the régime is apparently eager to murder innocent people - but with at least two differences. Effective resistance endangers civilians for the duration of the revolution; ineffective resistance, pretty much forever. And effective resistance offers hope. Ineffective resistance offers something closer to despair.