The photo was taken southwest of Homs, the center of Syrian anti-government protests, by Alessio Romenzi for AFP/Getty.
We are told at least 200 — and perhaps more than 300 — have been killed in Syria this weekend. According to the United Nations, more than 5000 have been killed since protests began last March.
Saturday Russia and China vetoed a UN Security Council resolution that “Condemns all violence, irrespective of where it comes from, and in this regard demands that all parties in Syria, including armed groups, immediately stop all violence or reprisals, including attacks against State institutions.”
Passage of the resolution would not have stopped the violence, but it would have, at least, acknowledged it as exceeding acceptable limits, threatening wider violence, and as being incoherent with international values.
Instead the violence has been defended and encouraged.
The Teutonic roots of the word “evil” suggest overreaching, exceeding acceptable limits, seeking what is beyond a legitimate boundary.
I have contributed to evil when I have over-reached in judging the innocence of my motivation and the evil of others’ motivation.
There are several Hebrew words translated as evil. One of the more common is ra’a meaning to break into pieces, shatter, divide.
I have contributed to evil when I have decided to exclude and condemn another, rejecting my relationship with the other.
Classical Greek uses kako or caco. While admittedly ambivalent, there is the implication that evil emerges from inconsistency or incoherence with essential purpose.
I have contributed to evil — become evil — when I have failed to love, to honor, and respect another.
In view of my own capacity for evil, I am reluctant to call out another.
But perhaps it takes one to know one.
At the very least I should not look away. Whether the source is myself or another, I ought not avoid acknowledging reality and naming it as clearly as possible. In confronting the evil of another, my own capacity for the same may well be a source of strength, even wisdom.
According to The Telegraph:
Up to 50 people have died this morning during the attacks, a senior member of the Syrian National Council said…
“What is happening is horrible, it’s beyond belief,” said Omar Shaker, an activist in Homs. The sound of gunfire and loud explosions could be heard in the background as he spoke.
“There is a large number of martyrs,” he said. “It is the first time we are undergoing attacks of such intensity.”
Shaker said activists were transporting the wounded to the city’s mosques. Some reports said medical centres were being shelled.
“There is nowhere to take shelter, nowhere to hide,” he said. “We are running short of medical supplies and we are only able to provide basic treatment to the injured.”
Arab satellite television stations broadcast live footage from Homs this morning as the bombs went off during the call to prayer.
It was a quiet night until just after dawn, when we started hearing mortars falling – about one every 30 seconds. Some heavy artillery has also been used.
Some people have now got out onto their balconies to shout, “God is great!” We also had quite a lot of small-arms fire from rebels fighters. That is a pretty futile gesture. It is Kalashnikovs against big guns.
Most people have been getting inside, hiding in the stairwells to put as much concrete between them and the street as possible.
There are several Syria-related stories at Deutsche Welle. Most DW attention is focusing on policy options rather than the situation on the ground.
The most extensive English-language coverage of the situation in Syria is by Al-Jazeera. It is, however, worth remembering that the royal family of Qatar is the principal sponsor of the network and is a vocal opponent of the Assad regime in Syria.
If you want, the Syrian Arab News Agency will give you the regime’s angle on reality (or the opposite).