“Every revolution contains the seeds of its own destruction,” wrote Frank Herbert. In just a short time, the world has watched Syria lurch from an uprising to civil war. As their world trembles apart, can both sides identify what can be saved and what has been lost?
Resistance is cultivated and grown. Resistance can also be weeded and curbed. This is not a colorful analogy: what started as a spirited uprising is now an overgrowth of violence and cultural waste. What is left for the Free Syrian Army or Assad to collect? How can either side account for the loss of so many?
That is the tricky thing about an insurrection and its suppression. Both sides are fully accountable. Both powers are stubborn, armed and mobile. Damascus still faces criticism for bombing civilian zones and its involvement with mass-graves. The FSA is hounded by poisonous agendas as warring factions threaten or harm people who refuse to assist them. Bloody reputations are hard to smooth over.
A bigger issue is whether these powers can see the outcome of the war. The future state of your country is based on the way you fight today. We may look at our own Civil War as Syria churns into chaos. By 1865, the American landscape was tossed asunder and the South was economically ruined. Battle losses were only surpassed by World War One. Reforms spurned by the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments were shadowed by a new age of discontent, segregation and hate. Regardless of the winner, Syria faces an uncertain future with similar lines of oppression, the people broken and disheartened by devastation.
Will they see it before the end? I hope for unity in Syria, but I may never see it. The chance for external mediation has passed. What happens next is up to the people.