[Photos] Before & After in Aleppo and Why We Need an Antiwar Movement
Dylan Charles, Editor
Where is the antiwar movement today?
I’ve heard it said recently that people care more about Star Wars than they do about real wars, and sadly, this rings true as a condemnation of modern society. People just don’t seem to care about peace.
Somehow, the powers that be have been able to push the horrors of war from the front page and out of the evening news so that we don’t think too much about it. They’ve made it so that we don’t see the caskets of our soldiers arriving home by cargo plane. They’ve made it so that war correspondents are embedded as part of the military and thereby so dependent and so awestruck by the task of soldiering that they dare not report objectively. They’ve managed to create a world where war is the health of the state.
2016 marked the most terribly divisive election in U.S. history and while people found many issues to argue about, practically no one on either side of the left/right paradigm stood against the Orwellian permanent war and asked the candidates what they could or would do to bring an end to conflict.
President Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for doing nothing more than smiling at the cameras and smoothly reading a teleprompter, yet he stands as the only U.S. president in the entire 240 year history of America to serve an entire two terms in office while being at war every single day. And somehow, people are still willing to boast of his benevolence and good will, all the while bombs keep falling on foreign nations with absolutely zero effort, interest or leadership in forging a path to peace.
And now, as the people of the world are being dragged into a potential global conflict with Russia, of which Syria may well serve as the epicenter, the president-elect has just announced plans to increase and update America’s stockpile of nuclear weapons.
Events in Syria are desperately clouded by propaganda. Parties on both sides, or all sides, whatever they may be, are distorting truth and twisting it to support arguments for escalation. The war on terror has grown into a war on everyone and everything, engineered to commoditize fear on behalf of the military industrial complex.
What will it take for us to reignite our passion for peace and humanity? What will it take to shock and awe us into shutting down the dogs of war? How much more death and destruction do we need to see? How many more dead and mangled children need to be rolled out onto the front pages of international papers? How many more refugees must we create before we unite and demand an end to the madness?
Olympia Restaurant in the embattled Syrian city of Aleppo has compiled an extensive collection of before and after photos documenting the tragic destruction of this ancient metropolis of architectural and cultural treasures. A look through this file is a voyage through pain, suffering, cruelty, and the mindless horror of war.
“Images shows how it was our beloved city Aleppo and how it is now after sabotage and destruction and looting and burning the monuments and historical places, old houses, mosques, churches and the historical old markets (Souks) which are classified as Sites of World Heritage by UNESCO since 1986.” [Source]
The city was populated by over 2 million people and has been under siege by several opposing factions in a brutal civil war since 2012.
“The UN no longer keeps track of the death toll due to the inaccessibility of many areas and the complications of navigating conflicting statistics put forward by the Syrian government and armed opposition groups. ” [Source]
The U.N. estimates that some 400,000 people have died in the last six years of conflict in Syria, with nearly 5 million refugees fleeing to Europe.
A quote from the Olympia Restaurant:
“From the far distant future a city is born, a city that will finally make a change.
We live in a world that is full of man’s mistakes, full of unhealthy and bad habits, so if we were not worried enough about ourselves, we should be worried about our children!!” [Source]
Total insanity. More than ever, we need an active and morally just antiwar movement.
It seems like the only solution is total destruction, yet in our hearts we know that war is the most unnecessary evil of mankind. Will 2017 be the year of the revival for a legitimate antiwar movement, or will it be the beginning of world war III?
For hundreds more images like these, please visit Aleppo’s Olympia Restaurant on Facebook.