Syrian War Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Syrian War. Here they are! All 100 of them:

This world’s anguish is no different from the love we insist on holding back.
Aberjhani (Elemental: The Power of Illuminated Love)
Eastward and westward storms are breaking,--great, ugly whirlwinds of hatred and blood and cruelty. I will not believe them inevitable.
W.E.B. Du Bois (The Wisdom of W.E.B. Du Bois)
Israel's demonstration of its military prowess in 1967 confirmed its status as a 'strategic asset,' as did its moves to prevent Syrian intervention in Jordan in 1970 in support of the PLO. Under the Nixon doctrine, Israel and Iran were to be 'the guardians of the Gulf,' and after the fall of the Shah, Israel's perceived role was enhanced. Meanwhile, Israel has provided subsidiary services elsewhere, including Latin America, where direct US support for the most murderous regimes has been impeded by Congress. While there has been internal debate and some fluctuation in US policy, much exaggerated in discussion here, it has been generally true that US support for Israel's militarization and expansion reflected the estimate of its power in the region. The effect has been to turn Israel into a militarized state completely dependent on US aid, willing to undertake tasks that few can endure, such as participation in Guatemalan genocide. For Israel, this is a moral disaster and will eventually become a physical disaster as well. For the Palestinians and many others, it has been a catastrophe, as it may sooner or later be for the entire world, with the growing danger of superpower confrontation.
Noam Chomsky
It [freedom] rings bells to remind humanity that the most precious gifts in life––like children and love and time––must never be taken for granted.
Aberjhani (Illuminated Corners: Collected Essays and Articles Volume I.)
Peace is not so much a political mandate as it is a shared state of consciousness that remains elevated and intact only to the degree that those who value it volunteer their existence as living examples of the same... Peace ends with the unraveling of individual hope and the emergence of the will to worship violence as a healer of private and social dis-ease.
Aberjhani (The American Poet Who Went Home Again)
It's when the 'international community' expresses 'concern' about your 'situation' that your situation is well and truly fucked.
Michael D. Weiss
When the masses are against you, when fear is on every side, and when it seems like you are standing alone, that is when you should stand the tallest. That is when you plant yourself like a mountain, and you do what your heart knows is right. Even if death will be your only reward.
Ammar Habib (The Heart of Aleppo: A Story of the Syrian Civil War)
Death wins nothing here, gnawing wings that amputate–– then spread, lift up, fly.
Aberjhani (Journey through the Power of the Rainbow: Quotations from a Life Made Out of Poetry)
Some live for medals. Others find their gratification in living for an ideal.
Ammar Habib (The Heart of Aleppo: A Story of the Syrian Civil War)
In an over-politicized world, my wish is for this work to humanize those we call “refugees”. This book is not about the politics of the Syrian Civil War or any other conflict. Its aim is not to convince readers to support any faction or political party. Instead, this story is about the unbreakable spirit of humanity.  It is about how humanity often shows its true strength during the darkest times.
Ammar Habib (The Heart of Aleppo: A Story of the Syrian Civil War)
In an age of bombs guzzling blood, skylarks merge peace with thought and action.
Aberjhani (The River of Winged Dreams)
For a start, people who traveled for so many miles through such horrific conditions in order to find work cannot accurately be portrayed as lazy benefit-scroungers
Patrick Kingsley
The danger of prolonged despair is its tendency to cloud the gift of a new beginning that every tomorrow offers. --Anissa's Redemption
Zack Love
Before the thunderous clamor of political debate or war set loose in the world, love insisted on its promise for the possibility of human unity: between men and women, between blacks and whites, northerners and southerners, haves and have-have-nots, self and self.
Aberjhani (The Wisdom of W.E.B. Du Bois)
Sometimes violence is necessary to prevent even more violence,” I concluded, almost as if it were an epiphany.
Zack Love (The Syrian Virgin (The Syrian Virgin, #1))
Freedom rings bells to wake us from the comfort of beautiful dreams and empower the efforts that turn them into reality.
Aberjhani (Illuminated Corners: Collected Essays and Articles Volume I.)
A few minutes later, my eyes began to feel a bit droopy, but I vaguely noticed that Anissa was whispering something.
Zack Love (Anissa's Redemption (The Syrian Virgin, #2))
There comes a time for us not to just be survivors, but to be warriors. Yara, you have your life, and the chance to make the most of it. Don't run or hide from that challenge or let your guilt keep you from living your life. This gift is such a beautiful opportunity. Embrace it. Seize every opportunity from here on out. Live.
Becca Vry (Musings: An Argyle Empire Anthology)
His hand gently caressed my leg as his lips nibbled on mine, and the tip of his tongue began asking permission, teasing me with short licks of my tongue that suggested so much more. I could feel myself breathing more heavily, until he slowly pulled away. “We still have a film to watch,” he whispered with a wink, before settling back into his seat.
Zack Love (The Syrian Virgin (The Syrian Virgin, #1))
Globally, about 145 million people live three feet or less above the current sea level. As the waters rise, millions of these people will be displaced, many of them in poor countries, creating generations of climate refugees that will make today’s Syrian war refugee crisis look like a high school drama production.
Jeff Goodell (The Water Will Come: Rising Seas, Sinking Cities, and the Remaking of the Civilized World)
In its essence, Martin Luther King Jr.’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech is one citizen’s soul-searing plea with his countrymen––Whites and Blacks––to recognize that racial disparities fueled by unwarranted bigotry were crippling America’s ability to shine as a true beacon of democracy in a world filled with people groping their way through suffocating shadows of political turmoil, economic oppression, military mayhem, starvation, and disease.
Aberjhani (Illuminated Corners: Collected Essays and Articles Volume I.)
Adding to my emotional dizziness on Sunday, I spoke with my sister, who kept noting how amazing Michael is, and what a brave and selfless man he is for having helped as he did.
Zack Love (Anissa's Redemption (The Syrian Virgin, #2))
In addition to my new outlook on life, in some absurdly simple way, Anissa gave me several new reasons to live. Above all, I had to see her again and find out what, if anything, would happen between her and me.
Zack Love (Anissa's Redemption (The Syrian Virgin, #2))
Journalists are currently in the most insecure profession you can find: the majority live hand to mouth, and ostracism by their friends would be terminal. Thus they become easily prone to manipulation by lobbyists, as we saw with GMOs, the Syrian wars, etc. You say something unpopular in that profession about Brexit, GMOs, or Putin, and you become history. This is the opposite of business where me-tooism is penalized.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb (Skin in the Game: Hidden Asymmetries in Daily Life (Incerto))
Paradoxically, the more Michael kept me at a distance, the more I trusted him - perhaps because he was always willing to help me with tips and introductions even though he wanted absolutely nothing from me (and never reciprocated my nosiness with personal questions of his own with me).
Zack Love (The Syrian Virgin (The Syrian Virgin, #1))
And this is the worse part of it — when you realize that what separates you, someone who can leave, from someone who is trapped in Aleppo, or Homs or Douma or Darayya, is that you can walk away and go back to your home with electricity and sliced bread; then you begin to feel ashamed to be human.
Janine Di Giovanni (The Morning They Came for Us: Dispatches from Syria)
As politicians weigh courses of action against their political agendas the death toll weighs heavy on the conscience of the world. The once vibrant Syrian streets are now haunted by the souls of the innocent and the historic monuments that told of an unrivalled Arab civilisation no longer stand tall.
Aysha Taryam
Refugees are not like you and me. They are you and me. That terrible river of the wretched and damned flowing through Europe is my family. And there is no time in the future in which they might be helped. The only time we have is now.
Richard Flanagan (Notes on an Exodus)
It's bewildering to me how you can just start chatting with a complete stranger on Facebook, and - next thing you know - it seems as if there's some intense connection with the person - or at least you feel that closeness and hope it's mutual
Zack Love (The Syrian Virgin (The Syrian Virgin, #1))
It's full of these grand structures that are possible only thanks to our greatest virtues – intelligence, planning, cooperation, vision. Things that you almost forget exist when evil, terror, and war ravage your country and become the normal state of affairs,
Zack Love (The Syrian Virgin (The Syrian Virgin, #1))
Further, skin in the game creates diversity, not monoculture. Economic insecurity worsens the condition. Journalists are currently in the most insecure profession you can find: the majority live hand to mouth, and ostracism by their friends would be terminal. Thus they become easily prone to manipulation by lobbyists, as we saw with GMOs, the Syrian wars, etc. You say something unpopular in that profession about Brexit, GMOs, or Putin, and you become history. This is the opposite of business where me-tooism is penalized.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb (Skin in the Game: Hidden Asymmetries in Daily Life (Incerto))
I propose that we change its abbreviation from ISIL or ISIS into a new name that contains the initial letters of each country or lobby that contributed to its existence.
Louis Yako
The lead-up to the moment was magical in every respect, but a part of me was, and still is, uneasy about the whole thing for many reasons.
Zack Love (Anissa's Redemption (The Syrian Virgin, #2))
My past still haunts me when I sleep, although I saw that - much to my surprise- his does as well.
Zack Love (Anissa's Redemption (The Syrian Virgin, #2))
Every woman who has ever approached me about being in my circle of lovers knows that I'm a bachelor with no plans to get married. Thanks to New York's tabloids, it's practically common knowledge. And, to avoid any possibility of doubt or misunderstanding, I very clearly told her from the start what I tell every potential lover: I don't date anyone exclusively. Ever.
Zack Love (The Syrian Virgin (The Syrian Virgin, #1))
just as in 1914 the murder of an Austrian archduke sparked the First World War, so in 2018 some incident in the Syrian desert or an unwise move in the Korean peninsula might ignite a global conflict.
Yuval Noah Harari (21 Lessons for the 21st Century)
But then, as I looked in the mirror, I became fixated on some hairs near my carotid artery that were still there. I pushed the blade deep against my neck to shave them off, and then blood squirted out.
Zack Love (Anissa's Redemption (The Syrian Virgin, #2))
Those men are now fighting against the government's army, and the people who live in the town don't know whose side to choose. They only want the violence to stop. Nobody knows which side is right anymore.
Jasmine Warga (Other Words for Home)
That could also be because at one point during the film, our hands found each other. And when I felt Michael's middle finger caress the inside of my palm, it sent a tickle up my spine, and the fingers of my right hand were soon exploring his left hand, and we each took turns tracing the contours of the other's hands.
Zack Love (The Syrian Virgin (The Syrian Virgin, #1))
But I stayed up thinking about how I've been lying to him, no less than I lie to myself in my pre-sleep ritual. And I lied to him again just as we were growing more intimate than ever and he asked me about my scar.
Zack Love (Anissa's Redemption (The Syrian Virgin, #2))
It’s not a bad thing, if you’re responsible about it. Just don’t start having boyfriends. Wait until you’ve found your husband.” “And how am I supposed to find a husband if I can’t have a boyfriend until then?” I asked ironically.
Zack Love (The Syrian Virgin (The Syrian Virgin, #1))
In the half century since, with American help, Israel has driven a coach and horses through this linguistic gap, which has permitted it to colonize the occupied Palestinian and Syrian territories, some of which—East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights—it has formally annexed, and to maintain its unending military control over them. Repeated United Nations condemnations of these moves, unsupported by even a hint of sanctions or any genuine pressure on Israel, have over time amounted to tacit international acceptance of them.
Rashid Khalidi (The Hundred Years' War on Palestine: A History of Settler Colonialism and Resistance, 1917–2017)
By Friday June 9, the fifth day of the war, Israeli forces had decisively defeated the Egyptian and Jordanian armies and occupied the Gaza Strip, the Sinai Peninsula, the West Bank, and Arab East Jerusalem. Early that morning Israel had begun storming the Golan Heights, routing the Syrian army, and was advancing rapidly along the main road toward Damascus. The council had ordered comprehensive cease-fires on June 6 and 7, but Israeli forces entering Syria ignored these resolutions, even as their government loudly proclaimed its adherence to them.
Rashid Khalidi (The Hundred Years' War on Palestine: A History of Settler Colonialism and Resistance, 1917–2017)
Don't know when my life came to visualising intense pain and tragedy to putting it down on paper, to putting across a message of love in times of abject hate. Thank you everybody and the conspiracy of the stars for showing me this day. To many, many more books, inshallah, and to many more launches.
Simran Keshwani (Becoming Assiya: The Story of the Children of War)
often think about borders. It’s hard not to. There were the Guatemalans and Mexicans I read about in the paper who died of dehydration while trying to cross into America. Or later, the Syrians fleeing war and flooding into Turkey. Arizona had the nerve to ban books by Latino writers when only a few hundred years ago Arizona was actually Mexico. Or the sheer existence of passports, twentieth-century creations that decide who gets to stay and leave.
Krys Lee (How I Became a North Korean)
You and your siblings are the most precious part of my life. And of all my children, you have the most potential to go anywhere you wish in this world – your test scores and grades have always been among the highest of your peers. But it’s clear now that you cannot reach your full potential in Syria.
Zack Love (The Syrian Virgin (The Syrian Virgin, #1))
If Syria is to rise from the ashes it needs a united Arab world which has one thing on its agenda, not the falling of a dictator for we have seen many of those fall, but the reemergence of a prosperous Arab nation, one that is not reliant on foreign aid but is self-sustained and set on its way to become powerful once again.
Aysha Taryam
But I did feel the vertigo of death’s invitation, beckoning me towards the dark waters below. Only a newfound perspective and desire steadied my wavering soul. I came to realize, just in time, that suicide was far too easy – and obscenely cowardly – after someone I knew, not even half my age, had been through so much worse and still marched gloriously on.
Zack Love (Anissa's Redemption (The Syrian Virgin, #2))
I don’t know why everyone is still trying to find out whether heaven and hell exist. Why do we need more evidence? They exist here on this very Earth. Heaven is standing atop Mount Qasioun overlooking the Damascene sights with the wind carrying Qabbani’s dulcet words all around you. And hell is only four hours away in Aleppo where children’s cries drown out the explosions of mortar bombs until they lose their voice, their families, and their limbs. Yes, hell certainly does exist right now, at this moment, as I pen this poem. And all we’re doing to extinguish this hellfire is sighing, shrugging, liking, and sharing. Tell me: what exactly does that make us? Are we any better than the gatekeepers of hell?
Kamand Kojouri
With the music of our singing in the background, I looked at the church candles and thought about the surreal connection between images and memory. The peaceful and joyous candles flickering there during the Christmas ceremony projected warmth, comfort, and familiarity – even though thy emitted the same kind of fiery energy as the flames caused by the war.
Zack Love (The Syrian Virgin (The Syrian Virgin, #1))
He clearly suffers from some past traumas too, so hopefully he'll understand why I was untruthful to him about mine.
Zack Love (Anissa's Redemption (The Syrian Virgin, #2))
The most important thing is our dignity. If we have that we can survive on bread and water.
Richard Flanagan (Notes on an Exodus)
A refugee saved is a world saved.
Abhijit Naskar (The Gentalist: There's No Social Work, Only Family Work)
In conflict situations, social networking may serve as a platform to reinforce traditional social fissures as much as it dispels them. The widespread sharing of videotaped atrocities in the Syrian civil war appears to have done more to harden the resolve of the warring parties than to stop the killing, while the notorious ISIL has used social media to declare a caliphate and exhort holy war.
Henry Kissinger (World Order)
Dayan and Eshkol were against taking the Golan Heights from the Syrians. Syrian troops, they both insisted, had thus far made no effort to cross the northern border, and both feared that extending the war to the north would provide the Soviets with an excuse to intervene. But others disagreed. On June 8, David Elazar (commander of Israel’s northern front) went to Eshkol to try to convince him to take the Golan.
Daniel Gordis (Israel: A Concise History of a Nation Reborn)
Let me tell you something, man. I sat here at this desk during the war as one report after another of Arab sellouts came in. The Egyptian Chief of Staff selling secrets to the Germans; Cairo all decked out to welcome Rommel as their liberator; the Iraqis going to the Germans; the Syrians going to the Germans; the Mufti of Jerusalem a Nazi agent. I could go on for hours. You must look at Whitehall’s side of this, Bruce. We can’t risk losing our prestige and our hold on the entire Middle East over a few thousand Jews.” Sutherland sighed. “And this is our most tragic mistake of all, Sir Clarence. We are going to lose the Middle East despite it.” “You are all wound up, Bruce.” “There is a right and a wrong, you know.” General Sir Clarence Tevor-Browne smiled slightly and shook his head sadly. “I have learned very little in my years, Bruce, but one thing I have learned. Foreign policies of this, or any other, country are not based on right and wrong. Right and wrong? It is not for you and me to argue the right or the wrong of this question. The only kingdom that runs on righteousness is the kingdom of heaven. The kingdoms of the earth run on oil. The Arabs have oil.” Bruce Sutherland was silent. Then he nodded. “Only the kingdom of heaven runs on righteousness,
Leon Uris (Exodus)
She was somehow this damaged creature I had fortuitously encountered along my path and now cared about as a result. Granted, I didn't cause her harm, as I did with Icarus, but I somehow began to feel responsible for her welfare.
Zack Love (Anissa's Redemption (The Syrian Virgin, #2))
Like the Armenians, the Assyrian Christians of the Ottoman Empire were accused of making common cause with Russia at the outset of the Great War. The Assyrians are a Christian ethnic group who speak dialects derived from ancient Aramaic. For centuries they lived among the Kurdish communities in the border regions of the modern states of Turkey, Syria, Iran, and Iraq. The Nestorians, Chaldeans, and Syrian Orthodox Christians are the main Assyrian denominations.
Eugene Rogan (The Fall of the Ottomans: The Great War in the Middle East, 1914-1920)
In the process, you obscure the actual reasons why people might risk their life to cross the sea – the wars and dictators that forced them from their homes. By denying the existence of these real root causes you simultaneously absolve yourself from the duty of providing sanctuary to those fleeing from them. Acknowledging this duty would prove very problematic: it would be an admission that your own failure to do so previously was the reason why so many thousands then turned in their desperation to smugglers – and why so many of them then drowned in the ocean. It would be an admission that a Syrian boards a boat only when he realises that there’s no realistic means of winning asylum from the Middle East. And an admission that Libya’s current predicament is in part the result of NATO’s (justifiable) airstrikes against Gaddafi in 2011 – and subsequent (and unjustifiable) failure to help Libya’s post-Gaddafi transition.
Patrick Kingsley (The New Odyssey: The Story of the Twenty-First Century Refugee Crisis)
In trying to comprehend and judge moral dilemmas of this scale, people often resort to one of four methods. The first is to downsize the issue. To understand the Syrian civil war as though it were occurring between two foragers, for example, one imagines the Assad regime as a lone person and the rebels as another person; one of them is bad and one of them is good. The historical complexity of the conflict is replaced by a simple, clear plot.4 The second method is to focus on a touching human story that ostensibly stands for the whole conflict. When you try to explain to people the true complexity of the conflict by means of statistics and precise data, you lose them, but a personal story about the fate of one child activates the tear ducts, makes the blood boil, and generates false moral certainty.5 This is something that many charities have understood for a long time. In one noteworthy experiment, people were asked to donate money to help a poor seven-year-old girl from Mali named Rokia. Many were moved by her story and opened their hearts and purses. However, when in addition to Rokia’s personal story the researchers also presented people with statistics about the broader problem of poverty in Africa, respondents suddenly became less willing to help. In another study, scholars solicited donations to help either one sick child or eight sick children. People gave more money to the single child than to the group of eight.6
Yuval Noah Harari (21 Lessons for the 21st Century)
For many Syrians, the start of a new life in Europe was the third in a succession of traumas. The trauma of war was followed by the trauma of a death-defying journey, only to be eclipsed by the trauma of disappointed expectations upon arriving in the West.
Wendy Pearlman (We Crossed a Bridge and It Trembled: Voices from Syria)
Many pundits, politicians and ordinary citizens believe that the Syrian civil war, the rise of the Islamic State, the Brexit mayhem and the instability of the European Union all result from a clash between ‘Western Civilisation’ and ‘Islamic Civilisation’. Western attempts to impose democracy and human rights on Muslim nations resulted in a violent Islamic backlash, and a wave of Muslim immigration coupled with Islamic terrorist attacks caused European voters to abandon multicultural dreams in favour of xenophobic local identities.
Yuval Noah Harari (21 Lessons for the 21st Century)
...if the United States never intended to help, it shouldn’t have built up the expectation. The false promise of help was cruel and inexcusable and it would only get worse over time. If a man is drowning and a boat drives past in the distance, the man accepts his death and goes down quietly. If a man is drowning and a boat pulls up beside him, dangles a life jacket, tells the world he wants to help, but then doesn’t throw the life jacket, the drowning man dies crying and his family might take a blood oath to take revenge on the boat’s crew. This type of anger was already starting to build in Syria and al-Qaeda would capitalize on it.
Richard Engel (And Then All Hell Broke Loose: Two Decades in the Middle East)
The problem is that her four years as secretary of State coincided with a collapse of U.S. foreign policy unseen since 1979-80. In a fair world, Hillary would be judged as the worst secretary of State since Cyrus Vance. Most of the disasters — Benghazi, the chaos in Libya, the failed reset with Russia, the bogus Syrian red lines, the phony Iranian deadlines to stop enrichment, the yanking of all peacekeepers out of Iraq that led to the ISIS ascendance, the surge and simultaneous withdrawal dates in Afghanistan, the disastrous Middle East pressures that have led to the eve of war, the flip-flop-flip in Egypt, the clumsy spying on allies, the lying about and jailing of a video maker [14], and on and on — came on her watch.
Anonymous
They gave us watches and took away time They gave us shoes and took the paths They gave us parliaments and took freedom They gave us playground swings and took celebrations They gave us dried milk and took childhood They gave us fertilizers and took spring They gave us guards and locks and took safety They gave us rebels and took the revolution. —MUHAMMAD AL-MAGHOUT,
Marwan Hisham (Brothers of the Gun: A Memoir of the Syrian War)
Meaning of the "White House" to the war victim children of Syria or Palestine is nothing but just a white-painted house. Perhaps, they imagine Casper lives there...or maybe some dead people. They really don't have time to think about it. Because they are busy discovering their own bloody limbs along with their parents' dead bodies from the ashes of their burnt homes.
Munia Khan
Bit by bit, the uprising that had brought out the best in Syrians and projected their aspirations and yearnings was vanishing as pain, vengefulness, and war took over. It was yet another page from the playbook of Hafez as well as all the despots who clung desperately to power at the start of the Arab Spring: civil war is acceptable and even desirable to defend the leader.
Sam Dagher (Assad or We Burn the Country: How One Family's Lust for Power Destroyed Syria)
At times it seems as if the whole world has become a refugee and the few of us, who are privileged enough to wake up to the sound of an alarm clock instead of a siren, those of us who are enveloped by a veil of safety many of us fail to appreciate, have become desensitised to the migrating numbers, to the images of the dead, shrugging them away as a collective misery that this ailing part of the world must endure.
Aysha Taryam
ref·u·gee noun: a person who flees for refuge or safety We are, each of us, refugees when we flee from burning buildings into the arms of loving families. When we flee from floods and earthquakes to sleep on blue mats in community centres. We are, each of us, refugees when we flee from abusive relationships, and shooters in cinemas and shopping centres. Sometimes it takes only a day for our countries to persecute us because of our creed, race, or sexual orientation. Sometimes it takes only a minute for the missiles to rain down and leave our towns in ruin and destitution. We are, each of us, refugees longing for that amniotic tranquillity dreaming of freedom and safety when fences and barbed wires spring into walled gardens. Lebanese, Sudanese, Libyan and Syrian, Yemeni, Somali, Palestinian, and Ethiopian, like our brothers and sisters, we are, each of us, refugees. The bombs fell in their cafés and squares where once poetry, dancing, and laughter prevailed. Only their olive trees remember music and merriment now as their cities wail for departed children without a funeral. We are, each of us, refugees. Don’t let stamped paper tell you differently. We’ve been fleeing for centuries because to stay means getting bullets in our heads because to stay means being hanged by our necks because to stay means being jailed, raped and left for dead. But we can, each of us, serve as one another’s refuge so we don't board dinghies when we can’t swim so we don’t climb walls with snipers aimed at our chest so we don’t choose to remain and die instead. When home turns into hell, you, too, will run with tears in your eyes screaming rescue me! and then you’ll know for certain: you've always been a refugee.
Kamand Kojouri
The nurse smiled and gestured to two cameras pointing at each patient—one to monitor the patient himself, the other to observe the charts. The nurse told us that these were fed by Skype directly into the intensive care unit in one of the hospitals in Washington, DC, where there was a Syrian-American ICU specialist looking at the monitors twenty-four hours a day, and adjusting the patient’s medication and ventilation based on the clinical parameters.
David Nott (War Doctor: Surgery on the Front Line)
Gesh Doctor, that’s not how you honor the…time death(?)...of your best friends. First you dedicate the following Friday demonstrations to their memory; let’s call it the Friday of the Ponds. Then you and your remaining friends put together a brigade and name it after your companion, Katebat Ansar Amy Pond. Then you wage a guerilla war against the Weeping Angels and…on second thoughts, considering that my way of thinking had helped land me in Tartous, living in a hotel room, maybe sulking on a cloud was the best course of action.
Aboud Dandachi (The Doctor, The Eye Doctor and Me: Analogies and Parallels Between The World of Doctor Who and the Syrian Conflict)
Israel’s constant drone surveillance over Gaza also impressed President Vladimir Putin. Moscow needed reliable surveillance drones after it lost many planes during its war in 2008 against Georgia in South Ossetia. Tbilisi had used Israeli drones, and years later Moscow decided to follow suit. Having seen Israeli operations over Gaza, Russia licensed the Israeli Aerospace Industries Searcher II, renamed “Forpost” by its new owners, and it became a key asset in Russian support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.33 Israel trained Russian pilots to operate the drones. Russia and Israel maintained a close relationship during the Syrian civil war despite the former supporting Assad and the latter worrying about the growing presence of Russian allies Iran and Hizbollah in the country. This led Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (and Naftali Bennett) to routinely attack Iranian and Syrian military positions in Syria to stop the transfer of weapons to Hizbollah. However, Moscow usually turned a blind eye to these attacks, assisted by a de-escalation hotline between the two governments.
Antony Loewenstein (The Palestine Laboratory: How Israel Exports the Technology of Occupation Around the World)
Also, even when people feel they know nothing, they typically know a bit and that bit should tip them away from maximum uncertainty, at least a bit. The astrophysicist J. Richard Gott shows us what forecasters should do when all they know is how long something—a civil war or a recession or an epidemic—has thus far lasted. The right thing is to adopt an attitude of “Copernican humility” and assume there is nothing special about the point in time at which you happen to be observing the phenomenon. For instance, if the Syrian civil war has been going on for two years when IARPA poses a question about it, assume it is equally likely you are close to the beginning—say, we are only 5% into the war—or close to the end—say, the war is 95% complete. Now you can construct a crude 95% confidence band of possibilities: the war might last as little as 1/39 of 2 years (or less than another month), or as long as about 39 × 2 years, or 78 years. This may not seem to be a great achievement but it beats saying “zero to infinity.” And if 78 years strikes you as ridiculously long that is because you cheated by violating the ground rule of you must know “nothing.” You just introduced outside-view base-rate knowledge about wars in general (e.g., you know that very few wars have ever lasted that long). You are now on the long road to becoming a better forecaster. See Richard Gott, “Implications of the Copernican Principle for Our Future Prospects,” Nature
Philip E. Tetlock (Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction)
Back in 2015, a volunteer group called Bitnation set up something called the Blockchain Emergency ID. There’s not a lot of data on the project now, BE-ID - used public-key cryptography to generate unique IDs for people without their documents. People could verify their relations, that these people belonged to their family, and so on. It was a very modern way of maintaining an ID; secure, fast, and easy to use. Using the Bitcoin blockchain, the group published all these IDs on to a globally distributed public ledger, spread across the computers of every single Bitcoin user online - hundreds of thousands of users, in those times. Once published, no government could undo it; the identities would float around in the recesses of the Internet. As long as the network remained alive, every person's identity would remain intact, forever floating as bits and bytes between the nations: no single country, government or company could ever deny them this. “That was, and I don't say this often, the fucking bomb,” said Common, In one fell swoop, identities were taken outside government control. BE-ID, progressing in stages, became the refugees' gateway to social assistance and financial services. First it became compliant with UN guidelines. Then it was linked to a VISA card. And thus out of the Syrian war was something that looked like it could solve global identification forever. Experts wrote on its potential. No more passports. No more national IDs. Sounds familiar? Yes, that’s the United Nations Identity in a nutshell. Julius Common’s first hit - the global identity revolution that he sold first to the UN, and then to almost every government in the world - was conceived of when he was a teenager.
Yudhanjaya Wijeratne (Numbercaste)
Jews, notably, were defined as a ‘people’, while others, not even identified, were referred to only as ‘communities’. It was an extraordinary phrase that echoes down the decades and explains why Balfour is remembered a century later by Arabs as the architect of perfidy and disaster.16 Zionists, for opposite reasons, revere his memory; Balfour Street in Jerusalem is still the site of the official residence of the Israeli prime minister. The reservation had been inserted in the text to meet the strong objections raised by Lord Curzon, the former British viceroy of India and, as lord president of the council, an influential member of the war cabinet. Curzon – reflecting contemporary perceptions about the map and identity of the region – had referred to the ‘Syrian Arabs’ who had ‘occupied [Palestine] for the best part of 1,500 years’, and asked what would become of them. ‘They will not be content either to be expropriated for Jewish immigrants or to act merely as hewers of wood and drawers of water to the latter’, he predicted with the help of another then familiar biblical reference.17 The declaration’s second reservation – about the rights of Jews in other countries – was a response to the opposition of Edwin Montagu, the secretary of state for India, even though he was not in the war cabinet. Montagu was a Jewish grandee who feared that an official expression of sympathy for Zionism in fact masked anti-Semitic prejudice and would undermine the hard-won position of British Jews and their co-religionists elsewhere in the world. However, it did not weaken his vehement opposition, any more than the words about ‘non-Jewish communities’ assuaged Arab fears. Over time, Jewish attitudes to Zionism would change significantly; Arab attitudes, by and large, did not.
Ian Black (Enemies and Neighbors: Arabs and Jews in Palestine and Israel, 1917-2017)
Starting in the early 1970s, members of the PLO responded to these pressures, in particular to the urging of the Soviet Union, by floating the idea of a Palestinian state alongside Israel, in effect a two-state solution. This approach was notably promoted by the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (which had split off from the PFLP in 1969), together with Syrian-backed groups, discreetly encouraged by the leadership of Fatah. Although there had been early resistance to the two-state solution by the PFLP and some Fatah cadres, in time it became clear that ‘Arafat, among other leaders, supported it. This marked the beginning of a long, slow process of shifting away from the maximalist objective of the democratic state, with its revolutionary implications, to an ostensibly more pragmatic aim of a Palestinian state alongside Israel, to be achieved via negotiations on the basis of SC 242.
Rashid Khalidi (The Hundred Years' War on Palestine: A History of Settler Colonialism and Resistance, 1917–2017)
On August 3, 2012, the fifteenth day of the government offensive, rebels in the city said they were desperately low on ammunition and expressed dismay that the international community had not reacted when a huge massacre could be coming. Again, Libya was the example. Gadhafi threatened to overrun Benghazi and when he tried to do it, NATO started bombing. Now in Syria, Assad was threatening to crush the opposition in Aleppo and had already started doing it, but Washington’s reaction was only hand-wringing. In my conversations with rebels it was clear they were becoming increasingly disheartened and desperate. (The rebels would usually communicate with each other on Skype, blending in with the billions of people using the Internet instead of going through cell-phone towers.) The United States was apparently still skittish about sending in arms because it feared they would end up in the hands of Islamic extremists, but that, like so many unintended consequences of US foreign policy in the Middle East, was a self-fulfilling prophecy. At this stage the rebels were numerous, strong, motivated, and moderate and I made that clear in my reports on the air.
Richard Engel (And Then All Hell Broke Loose: Two Decades in the Middle East)
That is the work of my life. To teach people to look into the words of God until they see the heart of everything. Imagine it: the Romans and the Greeks and the Syrians and the Babylonians and the Persians, imagine if we all learned, together, to love one another.” Iehuda allowed his mind to follow, across the map of the wide world, across the empires and kingdoms that fought and tried to rule and subdue each other. And he imagined what might happen if these words traveled from mouth to mouth, from mind to mind, from one city to the next to the next, if this simple message—love your enemy—were the accepted creed of all the world. He did not see how it could happen. “If one man went against it,” he said at last, “the whole thing would be broken. In a world like that, a world of peace, a world of soft people with no knives, one man could destroy everything.” “Then we cannot rest until every man has heard it. Think,” said Yehoshuah softly, “what shall we use up our lives for? More war, like our fathers and their fathers, more of that? Or shall we use ourselves for a better purpose? Is this not worth your life?” And Iehuda saw it, just for a moment. In this instant, the whole world was new to him.
Naomi Alderman (The Liars' Gospel)
The war against ISIS in Iraq was a long, hard slog, and for a time the administration was as guilty of hyping progress as the most imaginative briefers at the old “Five O’Clock Follies” in Saigon had been. In May 2015, an ISIS assault on Ramadi and a sandstorm that grounded U.S. planes sent Iraqi forces and U.S. Special Forces embedded with them fleeing the city. Thanks to growing hostility between the Iraqi government and Iranian-supported militias in the battle, the city wouldn’t be taken until the end of the year. Before it was over we had sent well over five thousand military personnel back to Iraq, including Special Forces operators embedded as advisors with Iraqi and Kurdish units. A Navy SEAL, a native Arizonan whom I had known when he was a boy, was killed in northern Iraq. His name was Charles Keating IV, the grandson of my old benefactor, with whom I had been implicated all those years ago in the scandal his name had branded. He was by all accounts a brave and fine man, and I mourned his loss. Special Forces operators were on the front lines when the liberation of Mosul began in October 2016. At immense cost, Mosul was mostly cleared of ISIS fighters by the end of July 2017, though sporadic fighting continued for months. The city was in ruins, and the traumatized civilian population was desolate. By December ISIS had been defeated everywhere in Iraq. I believe that had U.S. forces retained a modest but effective presence in Iraq after 2011 many of these tragic events might have been avoided or mitigated. Would ISIS nihilists unleashed in the fury and slaughter of the Syrian civil war have extended their dystopian caliphate to Iraq had ten thousand or more Americans been in country? Probably, but with American advisors and airpower already on the scene and embedded with Iraqi security forces, I think their advance would have been blunted before they had seized so much territory and subjected millions to the nightmare of ISIS rule. Would Maliki have concentrated so much power and alienated Sunnis so badly that the insurgency would catch fire again? Would Iran’s influence have been as detrimental as it was? Would Iraqis have collaborated to prevent a full-scale civil war from erupting? No one can answer for certain. But I believe that our presence there would have had positive effects. All we can say for certain is that Iraq still has a difficult road to walk, but another opportunity to progress toward that hopeful vision of a democratic, independent nation that’s learned to accommodate its sectarian differences, which generations of Iraqis have suffered without and hundreds of thousands of Americans risked everything for.
John McCain (The Restless Wave: Good Times, Just Causes, Great Fights, and Other Appreciations)
ISIS was forced out of all its occupied territory in Syria and Iraq, though thousands of ISIS fighters are still present in both countries. Last April, Assad again used sarin gas, this time in Idlib Province, and Russia again used its veto to protect its client from condemnation and sanction by the U.N. Security Council. President Trump ordered cruise missile strikes on the Syrian airfield where the planes that delivered the sarin were based. It was a minimal attack, but better than nothing. A week before, I had condemned statements by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, who had explicitly declined to maintain what had been the official U.S. position that a settlement of the Syrian civil war had to include Assad’s removal from power. “Once again, U.S. policy in Syria is being presented piecemeal in press statements,” I complained, “without any definition of success, let alone a realistic plan to achieve it.” As this book goes to the publisher, there are reports of a clash between U.S. forces in eastern Syria and Russian “volunteers,” in which hundreds of Russians were said to have been killed. If true, it’s a dangerous turn of events, but one caused entirely by Putin’s reckless conduct in the world, allowed if not encouraged by the repeated failures of the U.S. and the West to act with resolve to prevent his assaults against our interests and values. In President Obama’s last year in office, at his invitation, he and I spent a half hour or so alone, discussing very frankly what I considered his policy failures, and he believed had been sound and necessary decisions. Much of that conversation concerned Syria. No minds were changed in the encounter, but I appreciated his candor as I hoped he appreciated mine, and I respected the sincerity of his convictions. Yet I still believe his approach to world leadership, however thoughtful and well intentioned, was negligent, and encouraged our allies to find ways to live without us, and our adversaries to try to fill the vacuums our negligence created. And those trends continue in reaction to the thoughtless America First ideology of his successor. There are senior officials in government who are trying to mitigate those effects. But I worry that we are at a turning point, a hinge of history, and the decisions made in the last ten years and the decisions made tomorrow might be closing the door on the era of the American-led world order. I hope not, and it certainly isn’t too late to reverse that direction. But my time in that fight has concluded. I have nothing but hope left to invest in the work of others to make the future better than the past. As of today, as the Syrian war continues, more than 400,000 people have been killed, many of them civilians. More than five million have fled the country and more than six million have been displaced internally. A hundred years from now, Syria will likely be remembered as one of the worst humanitarian catastrophes of the twenty-first century, and an example of human savagery at its most extreme. But it will be remembered, too, for the invincibility of human decency and the longing for freedom and justice evident in the courage and selflessness of the White Helmets and the soldiers fighting for their country’s freedom from tyranny and terrorists. In that noblest of human conditions is the eternal promise of the Arab Spring, which was engulfed in flames and drowned in blood, but will, like all springs, come again.
John McCain (The Restless Wave: Good Times, Just Causes, Great Fights, and Other Appreciations)
I was against the Iraq war I was against the Afghan war I was against bombing Libya and Syria but to be quite honest and with a heavy heart because more innocent people are gonna be killed....We have to step in and help wipeout ISIS!
Cal Sarwar
If the Assad regime in Syria were to fall, the likeliest outcome would be a prolonged and bloody civil war. The last thing the Syrian army would be considering, either, as it battles to keep in power the regime it rules in partnership with, is a foreign war. If the Assad regime survives, on the other hand, it will be business as usual: lots of talk and absolutely no action. If anything, domestic unrest has made Israel policy an even lower priority for Damascus.
John R. Bradley (After the Arab Spring: How Islamists Hijacked The Middle East Revolts)
In 2 Macc. 2:14-15 it is stated that, after the devastating war waged against the Jews by Antiochus IV (called Epiphanes) of Syria, Judas Maccabaeus, who led a Jewish revolt against the Syrians, collected together all the books scattered in the war. This activity, about 164 B.C., probably had a decisive role in the canonization of the Hebrew Bible, including an official listing of its canonical books.
William Sanford Lasor (Old Testament Survey: The Message, Form, and Background of the Old Testament)
With war, most people are heartless and less weighed as a ton of nothing.
Oscar Auliq-Ice
The Syrian Muslim Brotherhood denounced the UN decision, called for volunteers for Palestine and contributions, and announced that "it is a ... battle either for life or death to a nation of 70 million souls ... whom the vilest, the most corrupt, tricky and destructive people wish to conquer and displace. " 198
Benny Morris (1948: A History of the First Arab-Israeli War)
US Vice President Joe Biden gave the US government’s real view of its regional and Syrian allies with undiplomatic frankness when speaking at the John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum at Harvard University’s Institute of Politics on October 2. He told his audience that Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and UAE were so determined to take down Assad and essentially have a proxy Sunni-Shia war. What did they do? They poured hundreds of millions of dollars and tens of thousands of tons of weapons into anyone who would fight against Assad, except that the people who were being supplied were al-Nusra and al-Qaeda and the extremist elements of jihadis coming from other parts of the world.
Patrick Cockburn (The Rise of Islamic State: ISIS and the New Sunni Revolution)
The Syrian crisis comprises five different conflicts that cross-infect and exacerbate each other. The war commenced with a genuine popular revolt against a brutal and corrupt dictatorship, but it soon became intertwined with the struggle of the Sunni against the Alawites, and that fed into the Shia-Sunni conflict in the region as a whole, with a standoff between the US, Saudi Arabia, and the Sunni states on the one side and Iran, Iraq, and the Lebanese Shia on the other. In addition to this, there is a revived cold war between Moscow and the West, exacerbated by the conflict in Libya and more recently made even worse by the crisis in the Ukraine.
Patrick Cockburn (The Rise of Islamic State: ISIS and the New Sunni Revolution)
The conflict has become like a Middle East version of the Thirty Years’ War in Germany four hundred years ago. Too many players are fighting each other for different reasons for all of them to be satisfied by peace terms and to be willing to lay down their arms at the same time. Some still think they can win and others simply want to avoid a defeat. In Syria, as in Germany between 1618 and 1648, all sides exaggerate their own strength and imagine that temporary success on the battlefield will open the way to total victory. Many Syrians now see the outcome of their civil war resting largely with the US, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Iran. In this, they are probably right.
Patrick Cockburn (The Rise of Islamic State: ISIS and the New Sunni Revolution)
President Obama reflected the mood of many Americans when he publicly stated, “We must be humble in our expectations that we can quickly resolve deep-rooted problems like poverty and sectarian hatred.”24 In keeping with this principle, his administration acted to remove the United States from the war in Iraq and made plans to withdraw US military forces from Afghanistan. These policies were often characterized as “ending wars,” but in practical effect they simply removed Americans from conflicts that were—and still remain—far from over. His administration dramatically rescaled America’s objectives in the Islamic world. Al-Qaeda affiliates could launch fifty car bombs a month in Iraq, the Taliban could take control over sizable Afghan villages, and 150,000 Syrians could be killed without provoking American military action so long as such violence remained contained.
Benjamin Schwartz (Right of Boom: The Aftermath of Nuclear Terrorism)
I kept seeing turning points. First the uprising. Then the creation of the Free Syrian Army, the FSA. Now a big assassination bombing in the heart of Assad’s government. But the turn never came. It just got worse and worse.
Richard Engel (And Then All Hell Broke Loose: Two Decades in the Middle East)
the United States decided it was not going to intervene in Syria—at least for the time being. The Syrian opposition felt betrayed and abandoned. Worse, Syrians were now completely without hope, which is the most dangerous human condition. A man or woman with no hope is capable of anything.
Richard Engel (And Then All Hell Broke Loose: Two Decades in the Middle East)
He promptly commanded Sidqi Mahmud to provide air cover for the conquest of Israel’s coast (Operation Leopard) and to deploy Egypt’s newest Sukhoi jets, if necessary with their Russian instructors. ‘Amer then called Damascus and Baghdad and requested that they execute Operation Rashid—the bombing of Israeli airfields—at once. The Iraqis consented, but then complained of “technical delays.” The Syrians claimed that their planes were presently engaged in a training exercise. Such disappointments did little to dampen the mood in Egypt’s Supreme Headquarters which seemed to the Soviet attaché S. Tarasenko, “tranquil, almost indifferent, the officers merely listening to the radio and drinking coffee.” Throughout the capital, however, the citizenry was celebrating. “The streets were overflowing with demonstrators,” remembered Eric Rouleau, Middle East correspondent for Le Monde. “Anti-aircraft guns were firing. Hundreds of thousands of people were chanting, ‘Down with Israel! We will win the war!’” But Rouleau, together with other foreign journalists, was not allowed near the front. All international phone lines were cut. The sole source of information was the government’s communiqué: “With an aerial strike against Cairo and across the UAR, Israel began its attack today at 9:00. Our planes scrambled and held off the attack.
Michael B. Oren (Six Days of War: June 1967 and the Making of the Modern Middle East)
BY DAVID D. LAITIN AND MARC JAHR | 970 words Detroit, a once great city, has become an urban vacuum. Its population has fallen to around 700,000 from nearly 1.9 million in 1950. The city is estimated to have more than 70,000 abandoned buildings and 90,000 vacant lots. Meanwhile, desperate Syrians, victims of an unfathomable civil war, are fleeing to neighboring countries, with some 1.8 million in Turkey and 600,000 in Jordan. Suppose these two social and humanitarian disasters were conjoined to produce something positive.
Anonymous
If Israel embarks on an aggression against Syria or Egypt, the battle against Israel will be a general one and not confined to one spot on the Syrian or Egyptian borders. The battle will be a general one and our basic objective will be to destroy Israel.”6 This last statement had a greater effect in Israel than any other of Nasser’s pronouncements. Israel’s leading newspaper printed a headline with Nasser stating, “Our objective will be to destroy Israel,” alongside a statement by Hitler in 1939 declaring, “If world Jewry drags us into another war, they will be destroyed.” The parallel between the two leaders seemed all too obvious to the many Holocaust survivors in the Jewish state.
Eric Gartman (Return to Zion: The History of Modern Israel)
Iran, the Syrian regime’s only regional ally, began dispatching military advisers to bolster Assad. (Syria had been the only country to support Iran during its eight-year-long war with Iraq, a conflict that ended in 1988, in which Saddam Hussein liberally used chemical weapons and Iran lost a million young men.) These intrusions transformed the Syrian revolution into a proxy war, where regional powers fought for influence.
Azadeh Moaveni (Guest House for Young Widows: Among the Women of ISIS)
While many Europeans made world headlines when they rolled out the red carpet for refugees and migrants fleeing war and economic deprivation, the influx of arrivals also provided the hardline right with a renewed voice. “People coming from this war will act a certain way, so it’s not just the fault of Germans. But we aren’t animals.” Ramadan, like hundreds of thousands of others, waited eagerly to find out if his family would be able to join him. In the meantime, he spent each day waiting for his wife to call, waiting for another temporary assurance that none of his relatives had died.
Patrick Strickland (Alerta! Alerta!: Snapshots of Europe's Anti-fascist Struggle)
Freedom is meant for all, but earned by those who are willing to rise above the darkness of fear and indignity...
Husam Wafaei (Honourable Defection)
It should not be a secret to any independent and conscientious thinker, writer, or journalist that what has been happening in Syria since 2011 is nothing but complex and dirty attempts by multiple regional and global powers to 'Iraqize' Syria by other means.
Louis Yako
Refugees are the best weapon of the 21st century and Erdogan a master of it!
Vincent van Volkmer
Beginning in 2011, about one million Syrian refugees were unleashed on Europe by a civil war inflamed by climate change and drought—and in a very real sense, much of the “populist moment” the entire West is passing through now is the result of panic produced by the shock of those migrants.
David Wallace-Wells (The Uninhabitable Earth: A Story of the Future)