Saturday, 1 July 2017
Bashar Al Assad: A Global Failure with Inveterate Consequences
'We cannot let the world be governed, or rather be undermined, by an absence of legal and moral principles bound by resolute action. Yet through the last six years of the Syrian Civil War, which has evolved into a multi-regional proxy war on several levels, we have done exactly that. The international community, through its inaction in Syria, has sent several resounding messages which will permeate for decades to come: there are no adamantine ethical principles or legal boundaries, and legitimacy is dictated by the results of farce elections or the line of succession.
Bashar Al Assad is not simply a murderous despot who lives in the present, but rather a mold which will be replicated in the years to come. He was able to complacently starve and siege entire populations, bomb entire cities to rubble, operate several detention centers of torture and murder, gas women and children with nerve agents, and commit atrocity after atrocity with little more than empty words of admonition by world leaders. These hallow words rendered the ideas of “war crimes” and “crimes against humanity” into notions of commonality and insignificance.
Of course Syria is not the incipience of said inaction, of the deterioration of the international framework and its accompanying repercussions, but rather a trend of the last several decades. Nonetheless, in Syria the international community had a pristine opportunity to demonstrate its values and to assert its relentless devotion to preserving human rights as a non-negotiable facet of life. In Syria, the international community could have sent a poignant message to all despots and future despots, that mass-killings in the name of preserving power will not be tolerated — that ethical boundaries are not some sort of abstract and remote utopian ideal, but rather a palpable, global system. Yet the message sent, and no doubt received, was different: we will tolerate you as long as you serve our geopolitical interests, while uttering a few words of “concern”.
The Syrian people have been left to themselves to assemble the shambles of a devastating war aimed at wiping out any dissent or ideas of freedom and equality. The Syrian people will have to continue bearing the pain of oppression and death while the world watches their sufferings afar from their computer screens and televisions.'