About a year ago, a school teacher was jailed for declaring the desire for Syria to experience a revolution. In retribution for this, her students wrote on the school’s wall, “The people want the downfall of the regime”, quoting the popular slogan of Arab uprisings. When these children were arrested and tortured, the city of Deraa came together in protest and their government retaliated with violence. The four people killed on March 18, 2011 ignited anti-government movements and harsh military action across the country.
The Syrian government has recently increased its assaults against opposition-held towns. Turkey, who borders Syria, has been receiving up to 200 refugees a day and horrifying reports of landmines being lain along these escape routes have surfaced. The opposition groups have ignored President Bashar al-Assad’s attempt to placate their movement and they staunchly insist that he be removed from power. The world has watched for almost year as 8,000 people have lost their lives and we are still unsure of how to react. The seemingly indifferent cruelty of the Syrian government looks to have us at a stand still, unsure of how to proceed.
Obama does not want to jump quickly to a militaristic solution, Russia and China are vetoing anything and everything, the Arab League - halted by those vetoes - is calling for an investigation into possible war crimes and the UN Security Council has influenced nothing thus far. There is no doubt that the solution is far from simple, but time isn’t healing it either.
On Monday the US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, spoke with conviction to the international community: ”We believe that now is the time for all nations - even those who have previously blocked our efforts - to stand behind the humanitarian and political approach spelled out by the Arab League.”
If the Arab League accomplishes this neutral investigation and provides proof of crimes against humanity, it is possible that they might garner the needed support to push through their proposal.
(Photo from Reuters)