On the irrelevance of truth

Scene from Caesar's congressional testimony on July 31, 2014.
Scene from Caesar’s congressional testimony on July 31, 2014.  Caesar is the man in the blue parka, the costume he wore to protect his identity.

When there is no will to act, truth makes little difference.

This is what we have been talking about for the last four years. This is the proof of the genocidal venture that the Assad regime is still implementing in cooperation with his regional and international backers, especially Iran and Russia. This is what the self-declared champion of resistance against imperialism and Zionism, Bashar Al-Assad, has been doing to his own people for the last four years. And he did it all in the name of fighting an imperialist Zionist conspiracy! The gall and impunity of it all is mind-boggling, and soul-crushing.

These photos document only 10,000 cases of prisoners who were liquidated in Assad’s concentration camps. But over 150,000 are currently at risk according to Caesar, the defector who brought this critical evidence to his congressional testimony on Thursday, July 31, 2014. This is in addition to over 160,000 already reported killed in the indiscriminate bombardment and shelling of civilian areas by the Assad regime. The final tally of this tragedy will likely much higher, and the worst part is that it all unfolded as we watched. We knew about each massacre as it happened. Caesar is not telling us anything we did not know, he is simply adding a visual dimension to it, and that needed credibility that only eyewitnesses can bring.

So there you go: the truth in pictures. It’s genocide. And we allowed it to happen, and continue to allow it to unfold. But, will knowing this really make any difference in how the conflict is currently being “managed” by the Obama Administration and European leaders? I doubt it. The rise of ISIS raises too many complications in this regard, so does the downing of MH 17 over the Russian-Ukrainian border. An administration which has been reluctant before, even when the Revolution was still largely led by nonviolent secular prodemocracy activists, have more reasons to be reluctant now.

The Caesar Congressional Testimony is a media coup for the Syrian opposition, that’s for sure. But the effects of this coup will be watered down by the tragic goings-on in Gaza, matters of scale notwithstanding. In fact, there is hardly any coverage of the issue on CNN and other mainstream media outlet. If a report is aired on this matter soon, it will be fleeting and buried within the folds of ongoing nonstop coverage of the conflict in Gaza – the safe conflict to cover, the one that only risks greater diplomatic involvement by the U.S. No action beyond that will ever be necessary there.

So, it doesn’t really matter if the American people are more divided than ever over who the good and bad guys are in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. So long as military intervention is always off the table, barring sending ammunition and weapons to Israel, the issue can be covered and followed as a rating-getting development for news services that often have to present wrap themselves in the garb of entertainment in order to compete with soap operas, sitcoms and reality TV.

Back to Syria, and while the intention of documentation efforts carried out by prodemocracy and human rights activists since the beginning of the Revolution was meant to bring about international pressures to bear on the Assad regime in the hope that such development would help curtail the levels of the violence involved and allow for political transition to a post-Assad post-Baath post-sectarianism era to take place; now, it’s clear that all that our efforts have ended up accomplishing is to simply document for posterity how we have been betrayed by the world. Meanwhile, our suffering continues, with no light yet flickering at the end of our dark tunnel.