Standing over Syria

Syrian traditional costume.

Details on Syria and an interactive map..

Is there no other way but force?

So many have died already.

Use our imagination and humanity.

Syria is a country of the bible,

Proud peoples with an ancient history.

The world wishes that no more should die.

Gassed in their sleep like rats.

A dirty deed that no one claims.

Women and children are fleeing

Leaving their men behind to fight and die.

Let us think. There are other ways.

Who is standing for what over Syria?

Stand up! Stand up and be counted!

Geoff Clements

21 thoughts on “Standing over Syria”

  1. strong sentiment and challenging poem…who will stand for them and with them to ensure this does not happen again…so sad…is there another way…we can only hope but i fear we have not found it yet…

    1. Thanks Brian. There is the story about the police coming for the Gypsies…I did nothing
      Then they came for the Jews … I did nothing
      Then for the old men…I did nothing
      Then they came for me….and I was alone………..

  2. Powerful, Geoff. We wish for peace but then violence seems to escalate. I wish there were a way to deal with the chemical weapons without hurting people. These are times that make us feel so helpless. I’m really struck by the comment you left before mine.

  3. when i heard about this in the news, i was close to crying… it’s so sad what happens in this country which has, like you say such a rich history…i’m glad that international teams are going there to help

  4. I am horrified at the violence and suffering in Syria, but I don’t think cruise missiles will bring anyone to their senses , nor help them regain their sense of humanity. Two days ago I sent this letter to my Senators, my Representative, and (in modified form) to the President. While I abandoned the belief that my representatives actually represent me, I feel it is my duty to speak up. (Anyone wishing to do the same can get all the necessary contact info here —

    * * * *

    I urge you to oppose any military intervention in Syria.

    I remind you that Article I Section 8 of our constitution gives Congress (not the Executive branch) sole authority to declare war. To order military strikes is to start a war, even if it is a one-sided war.

    I remind you of how WWI started – the entangled alliances cascaded into that nightmare of global war which included the first wartime use of chemical weapons.

    I remind you that you are in Congress to represent ME and other citizens of your district. You are not there to rubberstamp the Democrat-in-Chief. Mr. Obama’s speech yesterday on this crisis referred to his desire to “send a message” that chemical weapons must never be used. Other options have been swept aside.

    Lastly, I remind you that Iran has pledged to take action if any nation attacks Syria. Using our military against the Assad regime in Syria might well be the beginning of a regional or even global war.


      1. If you add the Democrats who invariably support the President, plus the Republicans who support an attack, there will be sufficient votes to go forward. I sincerely believe that our two-party system is but the heads & tails of the same coin (and I choose the word coin advisedly).

        I hope I am wrong. I hope that people speak up as they’ve done in Britain and France.

  5. … seems to me both “sides” of the Syrian nightmare are abhorrent with innocent people trapped in the middle. They are and will continue to be killed, maimed, victimized whether we step in or not. HOW does America make a difference with fighting that has gone on for ages and will, most likely, continue to do so. I am all for making a difference, helping the innocent – but how is that done?

    I have a hard time believing that is traditional dress for a Syrian woman – looks a bit too tailored, too close fitting.

    The poem does have a desperate voice, and no answers. Which is exactly what is going on… nice write.

    1. Thank you Margaret, your thoughtful comments are appreciated! Yes, I know what you mean about the traditional dress. The pictures I was trying to get away from were of the appalling sights in the hospitals that night caught on video; goodness knows what the cellars were like where families died in their sleep. Trying to give a sense of history and tradition being destroyed.
      After writing the poem I kept reflecting on ‘The Severn Pillars of Wisdom’ written when what is now Syria was still part of the Ottoman Empire and wondering about the relationship between Syria now and in biblical times.
      Clearly looking at these, history has washed across this part of the world since the time of the Old Testament and the name ‘Syria’ has been applied to many different areas drawn on the ground. Clearly now there is the destruction of all the towns and buildings, and with it a cultural heritage and a set of traditions.
      So if the boundaries are lines drawn on the ground during previous treaty discussions…., all the more reason to negociate now rather than going on fighting.

      1. …so where is the UN – isn’t this just the sort of thing they are supposed to handle? – (that’s why it is a joke and we should walk away from it – IMO) The question is … is either side willing to negotiate? Doesn’t seem like it to me! Again, whether the USA strikes or stays out, I am afraid huge amounts of innocents will die.

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