The War in Syria and what we can do to help against a 21st Century War Criminal

Todays posting isn’t going to be about some wishy-washy subject.  I’m going to write about something important and something which is killing thousands of people every month, the civil uprising and war in Syria.   I’m writing because it is important and we CAN do something.  Up to 5000 people a month visit this blog, that is a lot of people who can do something.  It is also the same number of people who are dying each month in Syria.

Peaceful protests

Peaceful Civilian marches and demonstrations for democracy and free elections in Syria.

For over 2 years now, the brave people of Syria have been rebelling against their dictator.  At first the protests were peaceful and to a degree they were tolerated.  The Syrians were enthused by the democratic changes taking place in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya as well as protests throughout the Middle-East as part of the Arab Spring.   Their target was the overthrow of the Assad regime who have ruled over Syria for decades.   The President, Bashar Assad, was never brought up to be a President (read Dictator), he spent much time in London working to become a specialist optician but his elder brother was killed in a car crash and he was quickly and badly groomed to succeed his father.  He was destined to become an eye doctor but now Bashar Al-Assad is simply Dr Death, the first great war criminal of the 21st Century.

Bashar Assad War Criminal

Any leader who has his image on public display outside of election time is a dictator.

The people of Syria had every right to expect assistance from friends and democracies from across the world.  When it comes down to it though, there are only a handful of countries who are altruistic enough to help downtrodden people and of those only 3 nations have the history of assisting foreign states and peoples, the United Kingdom, United States and France.  Other countries may be richer (Saudi Arabia), stronger (China), bigger (Russia) but they don’t help anyone as they don’t have a history of freedom and human rights and in fact they actively oppose these simple ideas.  Of course the UK, US and France look out for their own interests too but sometimes, just occasionally we make a moral stand even when it costs us a lot and benefits others or even everyone, when we could very easily turn a blind eye as they do in so many other places.

This time though it didn’t happen.  Partly due to exhaustion and a feeling of “let someone else do the hard work” due to wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Yet with just a bit of help, Syria could have been resolved as quickly as Libya was and we would have the gratitude of the nation.  Largely though, nothing has happened because Syria is too close to Israel and Iran and no-one is quite ready yet to risk starting a huge war and also because Russia does not want to lose practically its last ally overseas.

Map of Syria Uprising

The rebels now hold much of the country though with main cities torn in two.

The rebels are making progress but it is a slow and bloody progress.  Teenagers and young men armed with rifles, fighting a Russian backed army armed with jet planes, missiles, tanks and chemical weapons.   If weapons or military assistance is not forthcoming then it might take years for Assad to be overthrown.  It might not ever happen.

Massacre in Syria

One of the smaller massacres in Syria by government forces. As gruesome as this is, there are easy to find photos on google of even the dead bodies of little girls all less than 5 years old.

Thousands of civilians and lightly armed rebels are being killed every month.  State troops massacre civilians almost as a matter of routine.  Children are shot at and bombed in their houses.  Fathers and mothers are killed whilst going about their daily business and grandparents see their entire families of 12 or 14 people killed by a random rocket attack or village massacre.

You might wonder why we should care, let alone help these people.  Syria after all is not famous for helping anyone in the last few centuries but helping someone shouldn’t depend on what they have done for you.  Over 3 million Syrians have become refugees in recent months, living in tents and placing terrible burdens on Turkey and the impoverished but generally kindly nation of Jordan.  10% of Syrians are Christians so for those who think this is a Muslim only problem then just by the laws of average, 7,000 Christians have died in this uprising.  They and their fellow Syrians have no-one to help them except us.

Bombed homes

This village has been levelled by the Syrian Military. Claims that the rebels are doing this are ludicrous. How many millions of rounds of ammunition from a rifle would it take to level a village?

We though, can help.  We have our PC’s and emails.  All of us writers and readers on WordPress are nice people, if we weren’t we would be off doing horrible activities instead or writing, reading and spreading love 🙂

We can all write to our elected representatives.  Whether you voted for them or not, it is their duty to listen and act on your complaints and suggestions.  Our taxes pay for their salaries.  I have done the hard work for you and found much of the information below.  Now, all you have to do is write.

If you are in the United Kingdom, you can find your elected Member of Parliament at 

If you live in the Unites States, you can contact your Senator at

Write to them and tell them you want to help the people of Syria who are only fighting to gain the rights and freedoms that we all enjoy.

Email the Chancellor of Germany, and ask her why she is happy to spend so much money on the Euro that is causing chaos across Europe but vetoing moves to help the Syrian Rebels.

Email, the British Prime Minister telling him your views

Or email both William Hague, Foreign Secretary @   and  possibly the future Prime Minister, Labour Leader David Miliband@

Write to President Obama and tell him you think it is his duty to help the Syrian rebels and refugees by visiting:

Though as a war criminal himself for his actions in Chechnya, President Putin of Russia doesn’t care about his own citizens, let alone us or the people of Syria, still write to him by visiting

Alternatively email the Russian embassy in London at   or phone their embassy in Washington on Phone: (202) 298-5700

Writing to our politicians and leaders is a good thing to do, it is part of the democratic process which we all have but the people of Syria do not.   Syria is home to some of the oldest cities in the world.  Damascus, Aleppo and others are up to 8,000 years old.  Isn’t it about time they had their freedom too?  The longer this war goes on, the worse it will be for them and us.  If you were Syrian and you knew the people you looked up to and thought would help turned a blind eye it isn’t hard to imagine them taking a dislike to us.  Ask any Libyan what they think of Russia and China.

Just as importantly as writing to the people above is the fact that the people in Syria are dying now because they don’t have enough medicine, food and water and shelter.

Ruined cities

Deserted cities, their populations fled or dead after onslaughts by Syrian tanks, jet planes and rockets.

There are a number of international charities you can donate to.

The United Nations Refugee Agency have an appeal like many other UN related bodies.

Donations to the Red Cross will go directly to providing aid to civilians.

Medicine Sans Frontiers is a wonderful charity dedicated to providing emergency medical aid to people who need it most and yet have no means of accessing local care.

The websites may have UK addresses but I have checked them and if you have a bank card or paypal then you can pay wherever you are.  MSF takes currencies all on the same page whatever your nationality.

We have up to 500 people a day visiting this blog.  If every one of us donated just £5, $7.50 or €7 then that would be an awful lot of money every day to buy blankets, food, tents, first aid.

Instead of buying a pizza or over priced coffee, give the money and dour body a small favour and someone else a huge one.  Instead of writing a blog today or this weekend, write out an email and send it to everyone listed above.

In the last month, I have lost my job and my mother and I can say, in the big scheme of things that doesn’t matter one bit.  Don’t feel sorry for me, feel sorry for them.  What does matter is helping the 3 million refugees and doing whatever you can to make sure in 2 years time the death toll in Syria stays at 75,000 people and isn’t 250,000.

Death of a boy

A young boy lies dead in his father or older brothers arms.

Share this posting with your friends and colleagues or re-post it on your site.  Send a link or email to anyone who has a heart, a keyboard and a spare penny to donate.  Do something good and help make a difference today.

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About Stephen Liddell

I am a writer and traveller with a penchant for history and getting off the beaten track. With several books to my name including several #1 sellers. I also write environmental, travel and history articles for magazines as well as freelance work. I run my private tours company with one tour stated by the leading travel website as being with the #1 authentic London Experience. Recently I've appeared on BBC Radio and Bloomberg TV and am waiting on the filming of a ghost story on British TV. I run my own private UK tours company (Ye Olde England Tours) with small, private and totally customisable guided tours run by myself!
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47 Responses to The War in Syria and what we can do to help against a 21st Century War Criminal

  1. Pingback: The War in Syria and what we can do to help against a 21st Century War Criminal | Tara's Blog

  2. kiwiskan says:

    Well said. I have made a note of the donation sites…


  3. Sadly, the governments will continue to do nothing. I guess there just isn’t enough oil, gas, or business there to interest them…


  4. tric says:

    Well done. Great post. It is only a few years ago we had regular bombings here in Ireland. It is very hard to move people. Sorry to hear you lost your mum so recently. It is never easy. My sympathies.


  5. 9jagirl says:

    Thanks for stopping by my blog.


  6. hjfoley says:

    The pictures are terrible and they tell the story. What is distressing is irrespective of who wins and lets assume the current regime is disposed, what then? If you follow the recent history of Egypt, Libya and Iraq and other regional states you will observe peace and prosperity has not replaced the departing rulers. I very much suspect the old colonials aided by the US and somewhat more covertly Russia may have a hand in this.
    The lives of the very ordinary people everywhere appear to be overshadowed by politics and greed.


    • That is very true I think. No matter what happens it might be 10 or more years before things get back to normal and even then the new democratic rulers may not be much better than the old regime.

      I do agree, it seems that the politicians and leaders are often not motivated by the same day-to-day needs of the people. Just this morning on the news there are people getting shot in Venezuela and a leading opposition figure in Iran has been arrested in the run up t a no doubt rigged election (again).


  7. Sian Mann says:

    Sadly, it seems as though Australia will only help if it’s our neighbour or ally in need… Not to mention the fact that our current govt. is in shambles, and approaching an election, I would imagine it is “not the right time” to be “throwing money” around. Plus what is occurring in Syria is not televised on our local news programmes… Very little of the devastation and oppression that occurs across the Middle East and Eastern Asia is ever televised.

    Thank you for this though, it was a great post on a disheartening topic, and a reminder of just how good I have it here in Aus.


    • Syria has also gone off the news agenda in the U.K. to a large extent. It wasn’t helped by Assad deliberately targeting a Times newspaper journalist who was repeatedly producing brilliant reports on the situation on a daily basis. Since her death Syria only gets in the news now if it is a quiet day elsewhere.

      Yes whatever else, it shows how lucky we are to live somewhere safe and stable.


  8. What a thorough post. Syria has indeed disappeared from UK news. Thanks for this post. I will donate to MSF.


  9. Reblogged this on Twilight Before Dawn and commented:
    The truth which media hides!


  10. anyamarsha says:

    Reblogged this on Ranting.


  11. gFlow says:

    My God! I guess we are not all happy having breakfast checking out the weather on our iPads…
    I get sad with these things not for the people who suffer per se, but for the fact that after all this evolution and history, humanity still gets into situations where the only way out is physical violence.
    Awesome post. Awakening!


    • Thanks for your great comment. Yes it is sad that despite everything these things still happen. Especially in Syria where they had “civilisation” thousands of years before a lot of us.


  12. Cristina P. says:

    Hi, thanks for visiting my blog, I noticed you wrote on the same topic. However, personal opinion: things like this (I am Romanian, my country experienced a recent revolution and dictatorship) are not settled through emailing this and that other person. No western country bothered in investigating human rights abuse and killing in my country while they constantly happened before 1989. Because there was no political interest in messing with Russia and regional interests.
    Donations without political decision avail to nothing concrete.


    • Hi there, thanks for visiting my blog and for your comment. My wife is Romanian so I know about the terrible things that happened there. I don’t think the Western countries would ever interfere against countries which could fight back, like Russia or China otherwise Chechnya and Tibet might be free.

      I agree that politicial decisions are key but the politicians will only act if they know they have the support of their voters. In that respect non-democratic countries can be stronger as they don’t need or care about the feelings of their people quite so much.

      Until the politicians sort themselves out, we can best help by helping other civilians like ourselves in places such as Syria.


  13. Gino Castelli says:

    I think you wrote a big summary of bad western propaganda. You’ll never learn something close to reality if you continue reading news from mainstream media. And the conclusion is: if western people like you and me will continue to simply sustain one or another side just because of the rough idea we have of a conflict occurring miles away, things will never be ok for the people. France, USA and UK have shed the blow on the name of freedom in poor regions, just to be able to get oil profit. The same oil before was belonging to a sovereign state and, even if not equally, to its people. Now in Syria those men you call “rebels” belongs to extremist minorities that use to shell common people that just not agree to their “sharia”. USA and Saudi sheiks (in places where women have same rights as tools) are funding those “rebels for the syrian freedom”, and the money are just used to import arms. The bigger part of the rebels are not syrians, but “free” libyans, tunisians, from qatar and many other states… The big problem in Syria, for the syrians, are just the interest of foreign states. Have YOU ever asked syrian people about what they really want and support for their nation? Then maybe you can really chose to continue support sovereign people or western stuff in the name of what you know…


    • Many thanks for your comments. I do have Syrian friends and though none of them want war, they all want democracy. Having said that, some might not have started protesting if they had known what would happen. Others like Syrian Kurds might be hoping for their own country united with Kurds in Iraq and then Turkey.

      I do agree that countries have acted to secure oil, especially in Iraq but there have also been cases where they have acted without oil such as Sierra Leone, Mali or even Afghanistan. Libya was mainly for democracy and humane reasons as they were already selling oil to the west even with a dictator as were Iraq.

      It is a very valid argument to say that we should not support any side in a foreign war but this is only fair if other nations such as Russia don’t support the other side.


      • Ye Pirate says:

        The comment you replied to here also looks very planted, and is almost word for word the same as another long comment I recently saw linked to a tweet. The two comments I had a glance at are by people we are not able to contact. I would strongly suggest their emails are fake or just random. This is a major effort by the Syrian government I personally know of. The passion is fake..


        • Thanks for letting me know. I have no access to a PC for the moment but when I do, I will remove them. I have the FSA following me on Twitter so perhaps the Syrian government found me through that or I suppose on google.


          • Ye Pirate says:

            for sure – I saw people on twitter tweeting this and got in an argument with a couple but was advised same by another tweet. when the penny drops it is easy to see it is planted. Crude stuff.Widespread. Probably effective to a certain degree sometimes. I think from experience they professionally are very actively searching for stuff against their prez to argue passionately with, looking “wronged” and acting aggrieved.


  14. Pingback: The War in Syria and what we can do to help against a 21st Century War Criminal | Shit Happens

  15. Possibly not directly related, but I am amazed at the amount of publicity the Boston bombing has received (three people dead last I read) compared with so many countries with deaths from civil insurrection or military invasion every day.


    • I must say, I do agree with you. As sad and tragic as the deaths of any 3 innocent people is, it takes place in a country where thousands (even 10,000’s) are shot every year in events which in the U.K. are never reported outside of head-line massacres at schools or public areas like a cinema.

      Someone who has a grudge against society and intends to shoot as many people as possible and often do kill many more than 3 people is surely of equal merit.

      As you say, in the last week there have been more massacres in Syria, unrest in many countries, police shootings in Venezuela and just now a collapsed building in Bangladesh killing around 80 people.

      I can understand how the bombings are and continue to make the news in the USA but their actual impact on the U.K. are minimum and if I am right of the 3 people killed in Boston, one of these was Chinese citizen.

      You must remember as I do how there used to be several shootings and bombings a week at times in Northern Ireland and they often only had minimum exposure as the 4th or 5th story on the TV news and for one night only.

      Even in London when I was going to Uni in the mid 1990’s there was a phase where bombs were going off very frequently but apart from being way about unattended bags and staying away from bins, I don’t think many people gave it much thought.

      For some reason, anything labelled Islamic Terrorism is more hyped than other terrorism. Rarely were Irish or Northern Irish groups labelled as Christian terrorists, neither were ETA or any other number of groups.

      As horrible as it is, terrorism will never win unless they release germ or nuclear warfare because the numbers of individuals affected is relatively low when you consider something like 330 million people in the USA survived the Boston bombings.


      • As usual, I missed this post thanks to the vaguaries of WP Reader. I did write about terrorism on mine, in a subtle (?!) attempt to point out that this was not terrorism on a large scale.

        But hey repeal gun laws in the US? Of course not. Another post in itself. Unlike the UK and Australia which have both done that.

        How about the rape of the five year old girl in India? How much coverage has that received in world media?

        Like you I read a lot of international news and blogs, ie Asian, Australasian, Middle Eastern, European and South American.

        The impact on the world of three deaths in Boston is minimal, let alone the UK. How much impact did the UK terrorism deaths in the past have elsewhere?

        The reason Islamic Terrorism is being hyped is because it hit America. And to be fair to Islamic countries, they haven’t really got a lot to thank America for.

        Can’t add the link to my blog because WP is messing me about but if you look at my last post on The Road to Hell – scroll down for the terrorism part – you can see what I wrote about it. Echoes some of your comments.


        • Yes, the vagaries of WP are often a mystery to me. Following or subscribing to a blog is no guarantee you will catch everything.

          You have to wonder about the agenda of the media and wonder whether they know what their viewers or readers actually want. When you read media from other areas of the world, it not only makes it easy for you to see their biases and inaccuracies but also our own.

          Even in the UK sometimes my wife and I watching some news and we look at each other and wonder why some pointless piece if listed as news when something which is much worse and has a bigger impact on people goes in-reported.

          Thanks, I will go and read your post in a few minutes.


  16. Bob says:

    As Samuel Johnson said over 200 years ago: “Among the calamities of war may be justly numbered the diminution of the love of truth, by the falsehoods which interest dictates and credulity encourages.”

    There are undoubtedly ‘conflicting interests’ in this dirty little civil war, not least of which are those of countries with weapons to sell and a need for oil and gas (of which Syria is blessed).

    Assad came to power in 2000 – war did not take place until 2011 when the entire Middle East/N Africa had their Arab Spring. Syria has 400 000 troops in it’s defence forces and that number can easily be at least tripled when their families are considered. For 11 years some 20 million (22.5 at last est) Syrians were living in relative harmony, if not without a grumble or two (probably 50% or more citizens of democratic countries grizzle about their governments – more than 70% of Australians are displeased with theirs and can’t wait for election time to boot them out – only to have something equally worse replace them). So when we use phrases like the Brave people of Syria have been rebelling…. how sure are we of the ‘numbers’, if there is a majority, or that the ones doing the rebelling are even from Syria? Does a government not have the right to suppress rebellion given that they were the accepted government by virtually every other nation on earth before 2011?

    A minority elite government favouring a few? Name me a country that doesn’t have one of those?

    Syria was reputed to have had one of the worst human rights records in 2010 yet this has to be tempered with the geographic and political culture of the region, where war and civil and religious strife have for centuries plagued the populations. Syria was actually improving it’s at times rocky relations with countries such as Israel and Turkey prior to the uprising.

    As iraq should have taught the West – interfering in a nation’s government – even for theoretically ‘good’ reasons – only ends up causing more death, more misery, more strife and uncertainty for the ‘brave’ people for decades after when the vacuum created by the removal of a strong regime is sought to be filled by the many opposing factions in the region. Syria was Russia’s ally. Under Assad – i wonder if France, America or the UK would benefit anything by breaking that mutual support?

    Peaceful revolution, non-violence is the only way to overcome the folly of War.


  17. I respect your altruistic spirit.

    Like several comments above, however, altruism is a quixotic animal, and the West, to date, has taken the simple and honest approach of people, like yourself, and has allowed the merchants of money and political hunger, to derail the simple and commonsense approach to peace and stability.

    Foreign wars are bad for the West, that is to say, wars for resources.

    Your influence counts, use it.


  18. Reblogged this on Cabin Fever and commented:
    A worthy read.


  19. A very interesting post – and taking a position on this ‘civil war’ is already important, and the position you take is a much-needed voice. I would first say that Syria is very much unlike Libya, or Mali, in nearly every way, and should not be used too much as a role model. Experiences in Iraq also include the general opinion by populations, and heard often in Syria, that the last thing accepted by a populace is foreign intervention.In saying that, Merkel’s position is as usual reprehensible, especially if compared to the Germany that recognised Croatia’s independence against the grain. All Germany wants is a Euro that travels from Portugal to Estonia and back, thus traversing through Germany as often as possible.
    The Syrian economy was one that produced excellent goods at very reasonable rates – the populace tolerated the government and was generally left alone. Syria scored some high marks with me for entering Lebanon to stop the horrendous civil war happening there – but then did not leave until finally forced out. Assad is also reliable for Israel, as despite his vocal support for Palestine, he was more than happy to have Israel behaving the way it does on Syria’s border to keep his population’s anger away from his government. A new, and legitimate Syrian government would ask Israel to return territory it stole from Syria, the Golan Heights. Israel would have even less grounds than it does now to hold onto it. An invasion by a new Sunni Syrian government to recapture the Golan would be supported by the Sunni states, and probably others as well.
    Our politicians do not care enough about Syria, and nor do they have the skills to find the right direction or outcome. Our media, after declaring that Assad was about to fall in a strange new brand of journalism that thinks it can dictate and support world events, is now quiet with Assad, and crucially his clan around him. If he goes his brother will take his place. VERY bad news.
    It is a very good idea to contact politicians. I would suggest we need to inform them what we want exactly. The Russians are simply not going to give up their bases. We need the different opposition groups to be talking to them in meetings brokered in Paris – the French have the best understanding of Syrian politics. Israel most certainly does not want legitimate democracy on its doorstep, and Jordan still has 2 million Iraqis to look after as well as Syrians.
    Saudi Arabia does not care if Assad’s government is good or bad, they just hate their sect. India annoys by not getting involved in ANYTHING at all, but has potential influence in the region and no luggage.
    And the divide between what the people of cities in Syria want and what the people in the countryside want is apparently considerable. Yes, the Assad regime are a criminal regime. I don’t know how much of a hold he actually has on things, but the negotiating table is ALWAYS the outcome, whether we like it or not, apart from the artificial cases of Iraq and Libya.


  20. H Mayor says:

    I think you must be INSANE to want Governments to Aid Rebels in Syria such as Al-Qaeda They are committing WORSE and MORE atrocities than Bashar Al-Assad The US and UK should stay out of this ARMING REBELS WILL ONLY CONTRIBUTE TO MORE DEATHS.
    I e-mailed my MP asking for the UK not to get involved


    • When I wanted us to aid the rebels, it was 2 years ago and there were no Al-Qaeda then. Al-Qaeda arrived because no-one else was able to help and they saw the way to gain a foothold in the country with all the chaos going on. It is because of inaction that the war is still ongoing and getting bloodier every year with no sign of finishing. If the West had done something within weeks of the first massacres of protests before protesters turned to rebels then.

      The current urge to attack after the chemical weapons is too little, too late.


      • H Mayor says:

        I do not agree with Aiding Rebels even if it was 2 years ago
        What has Syria got to do with the West?
        There are many other countries that commit atrocities and nothing is done about that
        Why is Syria so special?
        You say about Chemical Weapons we don’t know who used the Weapons the Rebels have access to Chemical’s as well
        I do not agree with Invading countries like Iraq (Weapons of mass destruction they had none) and Afghanistan or Helping anyone to contribute to murdering innocent people


  21. Ye Pirate says:

    Just having a glance here. I know the Syrian government employs staff to write similar comments as H Mayer’s on facebook,twitter and wordpress. I have a very good friend who was jailed for years in Syria and works in another country now as an English teacher. He was asked to do the same and did not cooperate. Thus ‘the years’ were extended.


    • H Mayor says:

      You must have lost your marbles to think I wrote the comments for the Syrian Government
      I am just an ordinary person
      I think You must work for the UK or US Government to try and Promote War
      Why should Tax Payers money go to fund Rebels in Syria?
      Syria has nothing to do with the UK
      And by the way I am not on Facebook, twitter or wordpress


  22. H Mayor says:

    Just to add I find it strange you say your very good friend was asked to write comments and because he didn’t cooperate he was jailed for longer
    Why on earth would the Syrian government get him to do that
    Give him a computer in his cell and tell him to write comments
    What you said does not add up
    They could post as many comments as they wanted themselves


  23. Pingback: Who to vote for when all the political parties suck? | Stephen Liddell

  24. Pingback: The War in Syria and what we can do to help against a 21st Century War Criminal – alecs3000

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