Rahila Gupta

The world’s most progressive democracy is being born. Don’t let it get strangled.

We are only three weeks into the invasion of Afrin in Northern Syria by Turkey and their quislings in the Free Syrian Army, a dangerous turn for the Syrian civil war, and yet it no longer features on our front pages and television news.

The mounting daily death toll of civilians, pictures of wounded women and children, hollowed out buildings with their twisted iron spines, plumes of black smoke — fail to move people sufficiently. But compassion fatigue is not some inexplicable human condition; it is the result of being bombarded with images of devastation without proper context.
Syria, in particular, with its seven-year long civil war, a battleground for almost all the major world and regional powers with a seemingly invincible dictator, Bashar al-Assad, at the helm induces in us a very particular sense of powerlessness. Since the self-described caliphate of ISIS has been reduced to a thumbnail, Syria has further lost its fascination for us.
But the very people, the Kurds, who led the successful battle against ISIS are now under attack in Afrin. The United States, which provided air cover in that battle, has proved to be an unfaithful ally.
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