As Marx had said in one of his rare flashes of genuine insight, history repeats itself, first time as tragedy, second time as farce. We’ve had a number of military expeditions channeling enthusiastic Crusaders from all over Europe to liberate the Holy Land from the Muslim occupation, we’ve even had a People’s Crusade of marauding paupers who slaughtered Jews across Germany before themselves being slaughtered in what is now Turkey, with survivors sold into Saracen slavery. We’ve even possibly had a Children’s Crusade, which achieved similar levels of success, though modern historians doubt whether it had actually happened at all.
Aleppo was never conquered by the Crusaders (though it was taken thrice by the Mongols), but now a new, peaceful crusade is planning on “liberating” it while waving white flags:
We are going to Aleppo. From Germany to Aleppo, along the so-called “refugee route”, just the opposite direction. We’ve been taught submission to war. We’ve been taught to be afraid of the powerful who pull the strings. We’ve been persuaded to take sides with “the good” and blame “the bad”, to accept the division of people into the better and the worse, the ones who can sleep safely in their own beds and the ones who have to flee for their lives. “That’s just the way it is” – we’ve been told. But we refuse to take it anymore. We’ve just withdrawn our consent. We’re ready to deny powerlessness.We want to go and help people like us, who just were not lucky enough to be born in Berlin, London or Paris. We will not tolerate the siege of Aleppo anymore. Civilians for civilians, we will walk, hand in hand, from Berlin, through the Czech Republic, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Macedonia, Greece and Turkey, to Aleppo.It’s a long way. Just as long as the refugees had to come to save their lives. Now we want to do the same to save some other lives. And we’re marching together in a big, big group. We are just random, average people. We don’t represent any specific political parties or organizations. We’re carrying these white flags to let the whole world know our message: Enough is enough. This war has to stop! And this war can be stopped. This war can be ended with a few strokes of a pen. But even if we still have to wait for that, we can’t wait and see the suffering of the people of Aleppo. No one deserves what they are going through. It’s no longer a “normal” war if children’s hospitals become the targets. We don’t want to just observe it from a safe distance. And we won’t! We’re determined to shake this feeling of helplessness and start to act. We’re determined, we’re united and we will march as long as it takes. For peace. Do you also think it’s enough? Do you also want to do more than crying in front of your laptop? We’ve been passive for too long. Our tears and anger have to be transformed into action. This is our action. We are going to Aleppo. What will happen then? Will they send bombs on our 5000-people crowd? Will they dare to do that?! You think we are crazy? We think that it’s crazy to sit and wait until everybody dies. Let’s not wait. Let’s just go there and put an end to this madness. We are starting on 26th December, from Berlin. In a group of 3000 people. Will you join us?
The people involved might be well intentioned but are also very naive. No, this war cannot be ended with a few strokes of a pen. No, your march will not stop it either. No, you probably won’t get anywhere close to Aleppo. But if you manage to get to Syria by some miracle, yes, they will send bombs on your 5000-people crowd – if not ISIS or some other unsavoury Islamist fighting force, then somebody else will “accidentally” drop some ordinance on you. Yes, I do think you are crazy and no, I will not join you. Apart from that, good luck.