International Intervention and International Indecision
With the United States leading the way for an offense against Syria, a lot needs to be said. First, the facts:
1. This is will be an international effort, not just an American effort
2. The strikes are intended to be limited
3. The strikes will be happening due to the use of chemical weapons
4. There are over 100,000 dead, 6 million displaced, 1 million child refugees, and over 11 billion dollars in infrastructural damage, and 3 generations of people likely have some form of PTSD.
That said, why now, and what now, are we really intervening for? And if Assad has caused all of this damage, why didn’t anyone get involved earlier? Excellent questions. Unfortunately, I am not writing to provide the answers. I am writing to discuss crime, the crimes of Assad and the crimes of the world.
First, using chemical weapons is a war crime and violates international law. However, killing people is also a crime, and there are over 100,000 dead. So what does that mean? Well, it means that Assad is a war criminal who has committed crimes against humanity due to an uncessary war he started. Not only is Assad a war criminal, he is a war criminal who works with Hezbollah, a terrorist organization, and Iran, a country with a crazy wacky government, and not good wacky. Assad is also being propped up by Russia who blocks any UN Security Council measure that would affect Syria in any way.
On the other side of the same token, the US has not attempted all of its options, England backed down, and Obama is still trying to figure out whether or not the offense should take place anyway.
So, where is the crime?
Well, the crime comes from all sides unfortunately. Assad is killing- that’s a crime. Russia, Iran, and Hezbollah are helping Assad by providing munitions, troops, and funding, blocking anything that would allow for the violence to stop, and threatening any parties that try to act against them, this would be the United States.
But how is the rest of the world guilty? Well, the rest of the world has let all of this happen for the last two and a half years, and it isn’t because they were not aware of the situation. The White House and others have provided condemnations left and right, but has never chosen to act. So the US and other powers are guilty of 1. Watching everything happen and doing nothing. 2. Having the power to do so, and refusing to act anyway.
But this isn’t the biggest crime. The biggest crime these powers can commit is getting involved in the conflict and not removing Assad from power. The White House has written enough condemnations to know that Assad isn’t the best leader there is. But, if the world responds with punitive attacks and nothing more, they will be essentially giving Assad permission to kill with everything except chemical weapons. Well, 1600 people died from chemical weapons, but 100,000+ have died by other means.
This means that if the world gets involved and allows Assad to stay in power after these punitive strikes, he will be more empowered to kill however be pleases, and most likely continue to use chemical weapons- but just be sneaky about it.
It is a crime for us to finally respond to Syria, but not do enough to truly give the Syrian people peace. It will also be a shame.
Syria is going to be here no matter what, even if every Syrian in Syria is killed. The land will still be there, the rubble from the conflict will still be there, and the memory will still be there. So now, we should ask ourselves, do you want to look back and know that we have done everything in our power to guaranteee the freedom and safety of a people, or do we want to look back at a country that has become a graveyard?
The question is yours.