In conflicts it is so often the young and the old who suffer most. Yes, all generations suffer but those at either end of life are the most vulnerable, and least able to protect and nourish themselves. In the case of young people there are additional concerns.The children of Syria are a prime example. Living in an unstable country many children are lacking basic education, nourishment and care. Those in their formative years will be learning little apart from hate and an unsatisfied need.Whatever is going on in Syria, be it a revolution by the people, an uprising by a minority of citizens or a created conflict by outside forces, there will be many losers. A protracted period of unrest is not productive to anyone.By the time this conflict is resolved the infrastructure of Syria will be wrecked, buildings destroyed, lives lost, and hearts hardened forever, We will have sympathy for the children living through this terrible time in Syria's history but once they become violent teenagers or adults we will not. Yet in many cases they will have grown into the type of person they are because of this conflict.We are already seeing in Libya and Egypt that once dictators are ousted it is not plain sailing. Without knowing who is going to take over int
erfering in such civil wars in merely destructive.Yes foreign forces such as the US, the UK, Germany or whoever may feel happier knowing that Gaddafi, for example, has gone but are the people really any better off?Today Sky News has carried a report on those who have fled the conflict in Syria. More than 250,000 Syrians have fled the country. At least half of the Syrians in refugee camps are children. That is a sad and sorry state of affairs. They may be away from the direct harm of conflict but their lives will not be good.
In Islahiye, Turkey, 4,500 children are reliant on the Turkish authorities for the basics of life, that is water and food. Their lives for now are played out in a "tent city" behind a barbed wire fence. Whilst it is good that these refugees have shelter it is a prison. The adults are not allowed to work. They can only leave the camp for a few hours each day..Not all children though have parents with them. There are some children who are alone. Orphans whose parents have died in the conflict. The longer the Syrian uprising continues the tougher it will be for these children. They have already had to grow up fast.How will they cope with adulthood, assuming that they survive.
Syria is crumbling more each day. It may not be all out war but it is civil war which is becoming increasingly nasty. Both sides, the Syrian Regime and the Rebels, have committed atrocities. Both have blamed each other. Tit for tat reprisals always fail to achieve anything except bitter hatred of each other.Yesterday shocking footage of the killing of pro regime militia in Syria made for grim viewing. Today the rebels have claimed that the regime is on a killing spree once more. As usuall verification of events is not easy to find. Video footage however often tells a raw tale of what is going on.UN Arab league peace envoy for Syria, Kofi Annan, has tried hard during the last year to help resolve the conflict in Syria. Today August 2, 2012, he has given up and resigned.It will have taken a lot for Mr Annan to hold up his hands and say I surrender. It shows just how embroiled in conflict the people of Syria are
and how ineffective the UN's best efforts have been.A press conference was hastily held today so that Annan's resignation could be announced. He said,
"I did not receive all the support that the cause deserved. I accepted this task, which some called mission impossible, for I believed it was a sacred duty to do whatever was in my power to help the Syrian people find a peaceful solution to this bloody conflict."Mr Annan cited the increasing miltarisation of the unrest in Syria by both sides as one of the reasons he was resigning. He also attacked a blame culture in the UN and the inability of leaders to agree. The once heralded six point plan for peace created by Mr Annan has collapsed as both sides have not adhered to agreements.No doubt some World leaders will be happy to see Mr Annan go, hoping to hit Syria harder. More sanctions are inevitable, as are more deaths on all sides.However, much as most Western leaders play up Assad's short comings and play down the rebels failings,
both sides are now at fault. When the civil war is over it will be exactly what happens after all wars. It will be the winning war criminals trying the losing war criminals.War is a dirty business with atrocities and human rights breaches happening daily.
It remains to be seen where this conflict will go and when it will end. Then of course the big question will be what happens next?
The Middle Eastern country of Syria
has been torn apart during the last year. The Arab Spring of 2012 which heralded change in Tunisia, Egypt
spread from one country to another. Syria has experienced a virtual civil war during the last year but President Bashir Assad has clung on to power. Whilst his restrictive dictatorship will not suit all Syrians it is claimed that he still has support from the majority.So much remains a puzzle in this strange conflict. Who are the rebels? What sort of government could they form? Are outside forces at work behind the scenes? How many people have actually been killed by the Assad regime and how many by the rebels?,Around 11,500 people have died during this uprising. Syria is proving to be a difficult problem to solve. The West claim that Russia is supplying the regime with weapons and more. A shipment of helicopters heading for the Syrian regime was intercepted in Scotland last week.
Who is supplying the rebels with arms though?In the last week a Turkish plane which it is thought strayed into Syrian airspace was downed
and reports of defections by senior military personnel have continued. Whether these defections are real is hard to assess. In such troubling times propaganda is used by all sides.
Today an email received by TEK;s Peter B Meter
makes for interesting reading.:
"Syria: US in hypocrisy of the highest order, and in a crime against humanity.""The New York Times claims that, "the C.I.A. officers have been in southern Turkey for several weeks, in part to help keep weapons out of the hands of fighters allied with Al Qaeda or other terrorist groups, one senior American official said," an unsubstantiated claim that was similarly made in Libya before Al Qaeda flags were run up poles in Benghazi by rebels flush with NATO cash and arms used to collapse the government of Muammar Qaddafi. In fact, it is confirmed that Libyan LIFG rebels, led by Al Qaeda commander Abdul Hakim Belhaj, have now made their way by the hundreds to Syria (and here). Despite months of the US claiming the "international community" sought to end the violence and protect the population of Syria, the New York Times now admits that the US is engaged in supporting a "military campaign" against the Syrian government aimed at increasing "pressure" on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Efforts to impose an arms embargo on Syria is now revealed to be one-sided, aimed at giving rebels an advantage in the prolonged bloodbath with the intent on tipping the balance in favor of Western proxy-forces - not end the violence as soon as possible as claimed by the UN, and in particular, Kofi Annan.The Times also reported that Turkey has been directly delivering weapons to terrorists operating in Syria - Turkey being a NATO member and implicating NATO as now being directly involved in perpetuating bloodshed in the Middle Eastern nation. For months, Turkey has been allowing terrorists to use its border region as a refuge from which to stage attacks against Syria.Despite this, however, the so-called "Free Syrian Army," according to the New York Times, consists of only 100 or so small formations made up of "a handful of fighters to a couple of hundred combatants," betraying the narrative that the Syrian government faces a large popular uprising, and revealing that the "Free Syrian Army" is in fact a small collection of mercenaries, foreign fighters, and sectarian extremists, armed, funded, and directed by foreign interests solely to wreak havoc within Syria. It should be noted that these terrorist proxies were organized as early as 2007 by the US, Israel, and Saudi Arabia, specifically to enact regime change and transform Syria into a Western client regime. As the West's propaganda campaign imploded after a torrent of unsubstantiated claims of "massacres" and "atrocities," all unverified, some in fact being revealed as the work of the West's sectarian proxies themselves, it appears that sidelining Syria in headlines while pursuing a clandestine proxy war is now the tactic of choice for the time being. For the United States to claim Syria has "failed" to protect it population while simultaneously fueling the very armed conflict it claims it is seeking to end is not only hypocrisy of the highest order, but a crime against world peace - punishable under the Nuremberg precedent."Whilst it is true that some of the reports linked here are not current, as in today's news, they are relevant to Syria.
Some may be unverified or more propaganda but they all pose interesting questions. More than one points the finger at the US and appears to be a verified report. Syria is a conflict which could easily take the World into its third global war. Is that what we really want?Related reading:
The UN monitors in Syria have proved to be ineffective in a country that appears to rapidly be descending into chaos. Depending whom you choose to believe it is either the regime or the rebels that are responsible for the many brutal attacks and fatalities in Syria during this period of civil unrest. It is likely to be te same as so many disputes in this world, six off one and half a dozen of the other. What this old adage means is that no doubt both should and could be held responsible.
In Russia and China leaders have chosen to believe the regime. In the West we have chosen to believe the rebels. The problem is that after all period of violence a resolution has not been found. The bloodshed looks set to continue until one side annihilates the other or full scale war breaks out. Remember that could be a global war involving all of us if we are not careful.
So what can be done? Some are now calling for a UN peacekeeping force to enter Syria. Whether that is practical or even possible is debatable. It would have to be accompanied by a No Fly Zone as there is no way on earth Syrian leader Bashir Assad will allow a peaceful entry into his country.
As we all learned with the Libyan revolution a No Fly Zone is difficult to enforce. It costs in manpower and in hard cash. It will help the ammunition industry grow but other than that such a zone is destructive.
There is no doubt that something may have to be done and soon but there are no easy answers. Just blindly stumbling in as we have so often in the past could prove the wrong option for all of us, not least the Syrian people. Syria is not Libya. That said look at Libya today. Since the 2011 Arab Spring it is one of a long line of countries which has been de-stabilised. Its dictator has gone but he has been replaced by an unknown quantity. One that currently appears to be failing the Libyan people once more.
The UN mission if officially suspended but it is more than likely over. The UN and the world will now move on to the next stage. Just what that will be and how helpful it will be to the Syrian people is uncertain. For sure we should exercise caution this time around rather than interfering blindly in a civil war.
February 4, 2012, Syria.
Late today the UN will vote on what to do with Syria, amidst escalating violence in that country. Arab League monitors withdrew early fron Syria but have proposed a way forward. The UN seem likely to agree with that plan when they vote later today. However the vote may not be easy.
Russia has said that the vote is a "scandal". It has the power of veto and looks set to use it. Something will have to be done though. Syria has been in limbo for sometime now. With often unverified reports of mass killings by the Syrian authorities the country is at war, in all but name. Listen to President Assad and he will maintain that it is simply a small group of rebels stirring up the people. He has also claimed that the rebels include Western infiltrators hell bent on bringing down the regime. He cannt dent though that vast numbers of Syrians have been killed by the authorities, this last year.
The violence as this week draws to a close appears to be reaching an all time high.
Early today Homs was under heavy attack. There have been conflicting reports of the number of people killed but it is confirmed that more than 200 people have been killed.Shelling of Homs was underway throughout the night with video footage of the carnage quickly appearing on Youtube. The Syrian regime continue to maintain that all is well and such footage is merely part of a propaganda war, As usual the leaders on both sides will be waging a war of words and of violence but it is the man, woman and child on the street who will suffer.
The fighting has certainly intensified as the UN vote draws near. Rather than do the decent thing and step down Assad cling to power, as long as he has breath in his body, it seems. In the meantime the death toll and number of injured continues to rise. No matter which way the UN vote goes Assad will not go unless he is removed from office.
Today there are also reports that more of the regime military have been defecting.
Note: exercise caution with the attached videos, one of which is for adult viewing only