In Syria, Christians have no way to play Switzerland
posted at 10:58 am on December 2, 2013 by Ed Morrissey
Michael Yon is working in Turkey to report on the Syrian civil war. A couple of weeks ago, we barely missed each other in Istanbul (my fault, thanks to an ambitious tour itinerary), where he and I planned to meet to discuss the coverage of the war in the US. He has a new post up reporting how al-Qaeda is growing like kudzu in Syria, but also the impossible position in which Christians find themselves in the war:
Despite their long history, some believe the days of Christians in Syria are fading. Many have fled to Turkey, possibly having already spent their final days in their homeland.
In the United States there is a tendency to view this as “Muslims vs. Christians,” yet on the scale of the troubles these are subtopics. Stories that center on the Christian suffering can make it sound like “another Christian village has fallen,” when the stories coming from Syria are “another village has fallen, and this one happens to be mostly Christian.”
The targeting of Christians is often not the result of religious differences.
Politically, some targeting stems from many Christians siding with Assad’s regime, fearing an inevitable pogrom. Assad nurtures Christian fears to gain their support.
But that hardly matters: if they side against Assad, his forces will also attack. The price of being a minority can be dammed if you do and dead if you don’t.
In the ultimate “you are with us or against us, “ there is no option to play Switzerland and pretend lofty neutrality as if that were a choice. Alpine geography and political circumstance afford lucky Switzerland the fantasy of being above it all, yet a desert village on key terrain and crucial routes has less fortunate geography and circumstance. The options are to run, surrender, or fight.
Be sure to read it all, as well as keeping up with Lee Stranahan’s reporting on the conflict.