Daylight massacre

This image provided by Shaam News Network taken Saturday, May 26, 2012 show shrouded dead bodies following a Syrian government assault on Houla, Syria. The Syrian government denied Sunday its troops were behind an attack on a string of villages that left more than 90 people dead, blaming the killings on "hundreds of heavily-armed gunmen" who also attacked soldiers in the area. (AP Photo)

Events in Syria have become a tug of war between the country’s regime and the international community. The Syrian regime is winning, but it is not the international community that is losing. Instead it is the thousands of Syrians who have been killed, wounded or arrested.

Fourteen months of unceasing violence have produced little more than standard condemnations from governments, NGOs and the United Nations.

If you put all these statements on top of each other, you would reach the moon, without having changed one iota of the regime’s desire to quell the protests in its country by force. The only thing that has changed is an increase in the levels of violence being used by the regime, as seen in the massacre in Houla Friday night.

What happened over the weekend is another Deir Yassin. Then it was perpetrated by the Zionist enemy against the Palestinians, this time it is the Syrian regime against its own people.

The world’s statements of condemnation, as well as what little action there has been in the form of sanctions, are tools for those who push them to gain local interests, whether political or economic, and in some cases are used as fuel for domestic electioneering.

Unfortunately there is no light at the end of this tunnel of regime violence and world power play. The destruction across Syria has set the country back decades, politically, socially and economically. As this goes on, the West continues in its insistence that it will not arm the opposition out of fear that this will cause civil war.

This is a pointless line of argument, counterproductive to even their narrow interests. Civil war has started and is creating a fire that is going to burn not only Syria but also the region, taking with it the interests of these powers.

If regional and world powers have any sense of ethics or humanity, the least they could do is keep quiet and desist from issuing statements which are fooling nobody anymore.

Instead, they lay bare their ulterior motives and their blatant disregard for the sanctity of life when their own interests are at stake.

At this point what is needed is a call to the humanity of ordinary people to put pressure on their governments to act as the face of responsible citizens of the world, and for these people to show that they are unwilling to accept the behavior of their governments.

If a massacre such as Friday’s does not awaken the international community from its slumber then the final nail will be put in the coffin of the world order as it should be.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on May 28, 2012, on page 7.




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