What was Aleppo?

Dear Hannah,

To my knowledge nobody I know knows of the meaning of Aleppo.  We know that it's in Syria.  We know that Assad has been bombing it.  We know that it's what the women are referring to as "a humanitarian crisis," and what the men are referring to as "a point of strategic importance."  Nobody has told me why the Syrians are more important than the thousands of women and children being butchered by drug lords in Mexico; or why Assad is more threatening to us than said drug lords in Mexico; or why the people are being bombed in Aleppo in the first place; or why Assad is a bad guy and the rebels are good.

We hear Assad is in league with the Russians, and the Russians are in league with Iranians, and the Iranians are radical Islamists -- like the radical Islamists Assad is in the business of fighting because he's a devoted secularist.  We hear about the plight of Aleppo's civilians; but nothing about what the civilians are defending -- whether they're defending property rights or freedom of speech or freedom of worship, or whether their children are terrorists like the Palestinians or are living in league with The Islamic State or whether what we're witnessing is another mindless endless stone-age Arab blood-feud.  Aleppo was standing, but we don't know what it stood for.

People say that Assad used gases on children.  None of the people I've talked to has asked the identity of the villagers he gassed.  Nobody has asked whether gassing ISIS is actually worse than being ISIS, and whether a semi-civilized man gassing some civilians may be less offensive than belonging to Al-Qaeda.  The UN has declared that using chemical weapons is what we call war crimes, and so we believe and insist he's a war criminal.  Does this make him less a criminal than the people he's fighting?  We don't know, because we don't know who he's fighting.

The state of ignorance regarding the entire issue is mind-boggling: we focus on the suffering, and condemn it without knowing the reason.  We believe people are committing "war crimes" without asking the reason for the war in the first place.  If you ask people who Gary Johnson is, they laugh because he, a presidential candidate, asked what is Aleppo?  But nobody knew what Aleppo was before Assad started bombing it, and if you ask Americans why he's bombing it, you won't get an answer.  The entire United States is laughing at Gary Johnson, a man who didn't fib or fake or change the question, but simply asked a question because he was too honest to be sly.

So what is Aleppo?  I'll tell you.  It's a cosmic joke about people in unimaginable horror being filmed and broadcasted to ignorant women and fraudulent men in safe neighborhoods and comfortable homes pretending to know and care about people who are fighting for reasons we don't know and running from a man we don't know but we all say that we're against and we don't really know why.  What is Aleppo is proof that the man who dares to ask questions looks ignorant -- and the people who would rather remain ignorant look knowledgeable.  It proves that we're so remote from the suffering of the world that we believe any cause of suffering is unjustified -- and that everyone brown who suffers and loses must necessarily be an innocent victim or a martyr.

Your father,