The tiger does not pronounce its tigritude, it pounces – Wole Soyinka.
Syria is the homeland of the great writer and artist Kahlil Gibran, he who gave us the ever new and relevant book, THE PROPHET, the land of the forefathers of Steve Jobs, he of the APPLE fame, but it is also the country of Bashar Al Assad, he who believes he was born to rule, at all costs. The United Nations has to and should take a decisive action in relation to Syria. Each and every person criminally responsible for a breach of international law should be made to face justice. The UN should now move beyond words into action. The League of Nations failed to act when Italy was killing Ethiopians, the UN should now herald a different era in the field of responsibility. There should be a seismic shift in its momentum.
I am very disturbed, disturbed indeed by the spate of killings taking place in Syria the latest being the massacre in Houla. The gruesome images of slit throats are revolting. I cannot precisely and confidently ascribe responsibility for the atrocities, but I wish whoever is should stop and think, re-examine him/herself, cease completely the carnage in all forms and submit to criminal justice system. The blame game has started and is not about to stop. The Syrian opposition and the international community are almost certainly unanimous that the government is responsible for the massacre a view which has been vehemently denied and rejected by Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Abdulfattah Amura.
It does not matter whether it is the Syrian Army, The Free Syrian Army, Al Qaeda, Shabiha or any of their affiliates. Let them lay down their arms and respect the sanctity of life; they have arrogated themselves the power over life and death. They are killing men, women, children and the unborn without any forethought. There is a long trail of words, but little or no action at all from the world leadership. Perhaps the lives of the Syrian people do not matter, perhaps they are lives of lesser mortals or even by a stretch of imagination, the innocent people of Syria are children of a lesser god who do not deserve help.
In Rwanda, the world watched and people died, in Darfur Black Africans were systematically being eliminated from the face of the Sudan but till now, Omar El Bashir can rule comfortably knowing that the United Nations is a neutered lion, it can growl but can’t pounce, and it cannot bite. Children from both sides of the Israel-Palestinian divide continue to die but are treated as statistics; no workable solution is being advanced. No amount of resolutions, even those crafted in gold letters can fill the void left by a killed child, no amount of assuaging can soothe the sorrows of the parents of these children. Is it that “rulers” are above the power of the whole world? Is it that the United Nations cannot guarantee universal security for all?. It is high time that the UN lived up to its mission and defended its reputation.
The United Nations UN head of Syrian Monitoring mission Maj-Gen Robert Mood termed the killings in Houla “indiscriminate and unforgivable,” and called on both government forces and the opposition to immediately stop the violence “in all its forms.”. They are doing all this secure in the knowledge that they cannot be touched; they are untouchable in the commission of their impunity. They are shedding innocent blood as a sport. Russia, a key ally of Bashar Al Assad through its Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov concedes that although the opposition forces have terrorists among them he squarely puts the blame and the main responsibility for the happenings in Syria on the Syrian government. This he believes is because any government in any country bears total and full responsibility for the security of its citizens.
World leaders have been unequivocally unrelenting in their condemnation of the atrocities,
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius termed the massacre, “with these new crimes, this murderous regime pushes Syria further into horror and threatens regional stability.” while urged the Friends of Syria working group to immediately arrange a meeting on the issue in Paris.
UK Foreign Secretary William Hague called for an urgent session of the UN Security Council saying that “There are credible and horrific reports that a large number of civilians have been massacred at the hands of Syrian forces in the town of Houla, including children,”
From the White House condemnation of the Houla massacre was strongly worded. National Security Council spokesperson Erin Pelton said the attacks serve as a “vile testament to an illegitimate regime.” The White House stated that the Syrian government responds to peaceful political protest “with unspeakable and inhuman brutality.” US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton condemned the attack “in the strongest possible terms” and demanded that the perpetrators be identified and held to account. “The United States will work with the international community to intensify our pressure on Assad and his cronies, whose rule by murder and fear must come to an end,” she said.
German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said he was “shocked and horrified” by the massacre.
The Arab League through its Secretary General Nabil Al-Arabi urged the UN to take immediate steps to stop the killings being perpetrated by both armed gangs and army soldiers in Syria. The United Arab Emirates has gone a notch higher and called for an emergency Arab League meeting.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and special peace envoy Kofi Annan have condemned the massacre as a “brutal violation” of international law.
But it looks based on the above condemnation, it seems that talk and condemn is all that the world can offer the people of Syria, the leaders doing the talking do not see the urgency of putting a stop to the killings inside Syria, both those perpetrated by The Assad regime and the opposition forces. There is nothing to be gained by competing on who can kill more than the other. The fighting in Syria is about power, freedom, representation, democracy and human rights. The Assad regime juggernaut does not want to appear weak by blinking first, it is moving on killing and destroying, neither does the opposition want to be seen as an emasculated force it is retaliating with deadly force. The violence narrative is woven, the threads being the non combatants, mere pawns on the political power board to be displaced with relative ease without any thought or input from them.
As matters stand now, The US, European powers and powerful Gulf States should advise the Syrian opposition to give peace and dialogue a chance while Russia, they cannot negotiate with closed fists, (however, this should not preclude them from the right to self defence) should China and Iran should advise Assad to lay down arms, cease further commission of crimes against humanity and respect the lives of the Syrian people if he also wants to continue living. Both parties should heed to what UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan has said: stop sending arms to both sides and they would have leverage put on them to actually come to an agreement.
SYRIA CRIES AND BLEEDS, THE WORLD SMILES ON.
The tiger does not pronounce its tigritude, it pounces – Wole Soyinka.