Miley Cyrus and Robin Thicke successfully created a buzz and a backlash by invading our conscience with their bizarre and racialized twerkin’ sketch at the VMA’s. Hoping to once and for all bury her Disney fashioned Hannah Montana persona, Cyrus thought this was a good idea.
There’s been discussion regarding the decay of American culture, the slut-shaming of Cyrus and her blatant degradation of the Black female body (Robin Thicke has largely escaped scrutiny) but what I found intriguing was the fact that “journalistic” outlets such as CNN made Cyrus’ performance their top story instead of everything else happening in the world; like the civil war in Syria and the use of chemical weapons.
We’ve been criticized for not saying enough on Syria but we haven’t been quiet either; I have written about Islamophobic Neo-Cons who want the Syrian war to drag on perpetually. In practical terms this is, and will continue to be the American position even with talk of so-called “limited surgical strikes.” What else can we conclude after over 100,000 deaths, millions of refugees and a nation decimated? What else can we conclude when Egypt, under the deposed former President Mohamed Morsi proposed a sensible regional solution to end the stalemate, only to have it shot down with the swiftness of a drone strike by both the USA and Saudi Arabia?
The daily horror of events in Syria have weighed heavily on our minds, it has been difficult to write about because of the fog of war and the competing alliances and their proxies. Sectarianism has reached unheard of new and toxic levels and the instrumentalization of Islamophobia by both sides of the conflict when convenient has also been challenging.
Syria’s conflict has cost Syrians dearly in life and treasure. The obstinate stupidity of tyranny, Bashar’s and his clan of hoodlums is first and foremost responsible for the quagmire. He could have acted differently by responding to the legitimate demands of that mass of freedom and dignity seeking protesters in the early, heady days when the “Arab Spring” arrived at his palace door. Free and fair elections would have been the wise way forward, instead Bashar chose the path of his father Hafez; brute force.
Now we are at the brink of a new chapter in the conflict after the use of chemical weapons that have killed hundreds. At this moment we do not have a confirmation of who was behind the attack, arguments can be made that it was either Bashar or the Rebels; we will hopefully know more once the UN inspectors publish their findings which could be as early as tomorrow.
At this time the poignant words of the revolutionary Syrian author Khalid al-Khalifa are particularly instructive especially for those itching for the US to join in an all out assault. He notes that US invasion/intervention will not achieve the desired goals of the Syrian Revolution, invaders never bring freedom to the region.
What is needed now more than ever is a political solution,
Both the supporters of the government and the rebels continue to frame the possible outcomes of the conflict as either a victory for the government or the rebels—a way to avoid coming to terms with the third possibility: that both sides have already lost. The only option left for Syrians still interested in stopping the fall further down the abyss is to demand a political settlement and massive aid to help heal the mass humanitarian catastrophe inside Syria and the neighboring countries. It would be the beginning of politics and possibilities—very bleak ones as things stand, but nevetheless ones that do not now exist.
All the US will bring with “intervention” is nothing more than a performance of aerial twerkin’ for a global audience; on the ground and in the lives of Syrians nothing will be left.