Remember The Arab Spring?

Nov 9 2011 @ 11:00am

Watch Syria Undercover on PBS. See more from FRONTLINE.

It continues, as our attention wanders elsewhere. And in Syria, we have the most hideous example of untrammeled brute force against unarmed civilians since Iran in 2009. The regime has been shelling Homs, bombing it to smithereens, killing countless civilians – around 3,500 so far are dead nationwide – while preposterously blaming everything on unnamed “Salafists” and terrorist groups. The cynicism and evil here rise to new levels. When a regime is reduced to having snipers target soldiers who are ordered to shoot civilians, it has lost legitimacy, authority, or any political status as such. It is simply an army dedicated to the destruction of the bodies and souls of its own people.

We in the West rightly championed the true election victors in Iran and the courage of Egyptians and Tunisians and Libyans. But the Syrians are facing a viler dictatorship than Mubarak or Ben Ali and a more rational one than Qaddafi. And their daily and nightly unarmed marches continue against overwhelming odds. And we’ve been distracted, as the regime intended, after its lie of a ceasefire to the Arab League.

Ramita Navai smuggled the extraordinary footage of the Syrian rebellion, embedded above. She talks about her experience with Anderson Cooper here and describes the process here. But the Frontline special only gets to a fraction of what happens in Syria every day – in Homs, a city whose protests have been met with this response, the street chants continue:

At another protest yesterday in Homs, Syrians chant “how beautiful freedom is:”

In Hama, another city brutalized by Assad, people continue to protest in solidarity with Hama – risking themselves to support fellow protestors:

The protests continue even in Aleppo, a city generally considered more pro-Assad:

This is the Syrian uprising – constant protests, groups gathering every day until Assad’s fall. Lest you think said protests are limited a few cities, PBS has a helpful interactive map charting several major hubs (as noted in the documentary, the uprising has a significant rural base that’s harder to track). The protest movement has also been adept at using social media – Facebook hosts pages like Syria Monitor, Syrian Letters, and Twitter Users for Syria help spread information and firsthand testimony. The twitter hashtags #Syria and #Assad also serve as clearinghouses, linking to Facebook pages and blogs like the Revolting Syrian. Here is a video of a Syrian conscript being beaten for refusing to open fire on innocent people:

Any help translating some of the dialogue above would be most welcome.