“What do they want from Jaramana? The town brings together people from all over Syria and welcomes everybody.” These were the anguished words of one distraught resident in the Syrian town of Jaramana that was devastated by multiple deadly explosions this week.
The death toll has yet to be confirmed. Early reports on the blasts said 34 were killed. Later, the toll was put at more than 50, with over 120 injured, many critical. All of the victims were civilian.
Over the past 20 months, Syria has witnessed dozens of massacres and horrific car bombings in its capital Damascus and in other cities and countless villages across the country. But the latest atrocity in Jaramana, located close to the capital, is distinguishable perhaps because it most clearly shows the vile Machiavellian mentality of the perpetrators in their broader strategy towards the Middle Eastern country.
As the words of the shell-shocked resident above indicate, Jaramana can be seen as an exemplar of the pluralist nature of the Syrian society, “welcoming everybody”. The town is particularly known for its Christian and Druze Muslim communities, who by all accounts have coexisted peacefully for centuries. The populace is also largely supportive of the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad.
This Wednesday morning, as workers, mothers and school children were going about their usual daily routine, two massive no-warning explosions ripped through the heart of Jaramana. The second blast was detonated minutes after the first one when bystanders were rushing to the scene to aid the wounded. The heinous calculation of the perpetrators was to maximise the killing and suffering.
“What do they want from Jaramana?” The answer is revealed in the resident’s subsequent words: “The town brings together people from all over Syria and welcomes everybody.”
The terrorist war on Syria, which the Western media trumpet as a “pro-democracy uprising”, is aimed at precisely the opposite of pluralist coexistence. What the terrorists want is to tear the tolerant soul out of the country and plunge its people into an internecine, hate-filled sectarian bloodbath.
The targeting of Jaramana is a deliberate, brutal calculation to precipitate such a bloodbath. The town has been inflicted with several similar, although less deadly, bombings in recent months. On 29 October, a car bomb killed 11 people.
There are no military or state security installations in Jaramana. As noted, it is a urban district known for its tolerance towards mixed religions and cultural heritage. But, for the terrorists and their fiendish mentality, that civic virtue made Jaramana a prime target.
The armed militants in Syria are driven by Sunni extremists of Wahhabist or Salafist tendencies, who see pluralist coexistence of Sunni, Shia, Alawite, Druze, Christian, Jews and non-believers as anathema to their demented puritanical ideology.
Other elements within the Syrian armed militant groups would appear to be simply “soldiers of fortune” – mercenaries and criminal opportunists who have no particular religious affiliation.
However, taken together, these various militant factions are united by one criminal goal: to smash Syria, ruthlessly and recklessly.
The Syrian society, as it currently exists with its emphasis on secular pluralism, must be destroyed at all costs by these extremists and criminal opportunists. The most effective way to sabotage Syria is to unleash a sectarian bloodbath and to pit communities at each other’s throats. That will ensure the collapse of the central government and the splintering of society into sects. In this intended milieu of violence, chaos and fear, Syria will then be at the mercy of those who want to dominate this proud, historic country.
The enemies are well known. Western governments have had their knives out for Syria over many years, seeing it as a strategic obstacle of popular resistance to Western imperialism and Zionism in the Middle East. The Sunni regimes of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey and latterly Egypt under Mohammed Morsi want to see Syria roped into their camp, with the added appeal of undermining Iran’s regional influence.
Saudi Arabia’s autocrats are particularly obsessed with defeating what they perceive jealously as the Shia Crescent represented by Iran, Syria and Lebanon’s Hezbollah. Both of these agenda converge on the objective of isolating Iran and setting up the Islamic Republic for an all-out military assault.
Syria is therefore a crucial geopolitical prize for the West and its regional allies. The supposed advocacy of democratic reforms by Western governments and their corporate media mouthpieces is of course a cynical cover for their criminal imperialist agenda. That particular ridiculous lie is exposed by the West’s collusion with the most repressive dictatorial regimes on the planet – the Persian Gulf monarchies – in “liberating” Syria.
Also, if Saudi Arabia and Qatar are so concerned about the welfare of their Arab Muslim brothers in Syria, why aren’t these supposedly chivalrous monarchs sending weapons and fighters to help the besieged Palestinian people of Gaza?
A measure of the Syrian prize is the criminal lengths to which the enemies of Syria are willing to go in order to vanquish the country and install their self-styled regime.
The massacres of families and children in villages like Houla and Qubair; the cold-blooded execution of civilians forced to kneel before their killers; and the callous bombing of civilians as seen this week in Jaramana are techniques of terror that the Western governments and their allies have perfected elsewhere over several decades. The Americans used such demonic scientific terrorism in Central America; the French in North Africa; and the British in East Africa and more recently in Northern Ireland.
Syria is witnessing the worst of all possible criminal assaults – the evolution and amalgamation of Western state terrorism fueled with the petrodollars of mindless Arab despots.
Adding to the abomination, many of the crimes in Syria have been filmed by the perpetrators and subsequently released claiming that they were the action of government forces. One incident was the explosive demolition of a mosque by the mercenaries in Aleppo, who were filmed laughing at their war crime. Western media claimed it was the Syrian national army, only for it to emerge that it was actually the members of the so-called Free Syrian Army.
Recent claims that the Syrian armed forces are using cluster bombs to kill children have been given the usual Western media prominence. But given the track record of the Western-backed mercenaries and the Western propaganda machine, the weight of suspicion surely lies on them.
Within hours of the mass murder of the innocents in Jaramana, the United Nations General Assembly in New York adopted a draft resolution condemning the Syrian government for what it called “widespread human rights abuses”.
The condemnation was co-sponsored by the United States, Britain, France, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey – the very sponsors of Western state terrorism plunging the Syrian people into a bloodbath. The UN stands as an institution that is not just a debased propaganda tool, it is a propaganda tool splattered with the blood of innocents.
Originally from Belfast, Ireland, Finian Cunningham (born 1963) is a prominent expert in international affairs. The author and media commentator was expelled from Bahrain in June 2011 for his critical journalism in which he highlighted human rights violations by the Western-backed regime. For many years, he worked as an editor and writer in the mainstream news media, including The Mirror, Irish Times and Independent. He is now based in East Africa where he is writing a book on Bahrain and the Arab Spring. He co-hosts a weekly current affairs programme, Sunday at 3pm GMT on Bandung Radio.