Results for Tag: Syrian civil war
On the ground, no one knows how large-scale reconstruction will eventually happen or even when it will start. With no clear economic or political view of the future, refugees might not be tempted to return home. Reconstruction has already become so political, even before the war has ended, that a solution to the issue might take years to be found.
There’s a simple explanation for how the American far-right became curiously infatuated with the Arab totalitarian leader: Their hearts were won over by the Assad family’s years-old propaganda campaign at home in Syria. Assad’s authoritarianism uses the same buzzwords as the far-right to describe the society he’s trying to build in his own country — a pure, monolithic society of devotees to his own power. American neo-Nazis see Assad as a hero.
Local and international human rights organizations have documented the inhumane conditions in Syrian detention facilities, and testimonies from the prisoners who managed to be released focused on the torture they faced inside. Prisons are overcrowded and unsanitary. Detainees are given inadequate food and sometimes starved, and suffer from medical neglect. Torture is routinely and systematically implemented, on a very large scale. Women, and men, have suffered rape and sexual abuse.
Aside from this smear campaign, the White Helmets have also been the victims of more direct action. This has included the bombing of several of their hospitals and, most unambiguously, a midnight raid on one of their safe houses in August 2017 in which seven of the volunteers were executed by assassins still unknown.
Whenever the war comes to an end, this challenge will become particularly difficult to manage. The shabiha will not disappear once their military purpose has ended. Instead, they will likely linger as organized crime groups, further eating away at the state’s legitimacy and slowing the country’s economic and social recovery.
The pressing economic problems, paralyzing air pollution and transnational identity politics have made Khuzestan an important challenge for the Islamic Republic. Although the Arab separatist movements are still weak, the status quo, if left unchanged, will provide a breeding ground for further politicization of ethnic Arab identity in Iran. Internal Arab grievances will lead to more racialization, which could be exploited by Iran’s regional rivals, notably Saudi Arabia.
If the jihadi radicalization problem in Europe does indeed get worse, it may be worth considering radical new approaches, both of the soft and the hard kind. Perhaps Europe needs to spend significantly more to improve education in immigrant-heavy areas such as imposing longer prison sentences for terrorism offences