Editor: I have to strongly disagree with John Keaveny’s piece about the current humanitarian crisis in Syria —(Columnist missed out on obvious point about Syria, Sept. 23.) His argument essentially amounts to doing nothing while the Syrian body count mounts. I can assure him there is nothing peace-loving about standing idly by while another 100,000 innocent people die a gruesome death.
Moreover, waiting for both sides to kill each other off, banking on a magical peace settlement (not going to happen), and hoping for a regional solution (not likely) will do precious little to stop the bloodletting.
Let’s remember something here: more than 100,000 are already dead, four million inside the country have been displaced, and more than two million are living in refugee camps in nearby Jordan and Lebanon — many of those young children.
Try to imagine what they must be thinking about the West’s unwillingness to intervene forcefully? How many more people have to die before the John Keavenys of the world lift a finger to help? Should we wait for another 100,000?
If you were living inside Syria right now, would you want the West to offer just humanitarian assistance? There’s something call the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) doctrine and humane military intervention for precisely these types of unimaginable circumstances.
Yes, we may have to bomb in order to secure a peace because leaders like Bashar al-Assad don’t understand any other language. To think otherwise is just wishful thinking and moral irresponsibility.
Look, it’s not like we haven’t seen this picture before in Cambodia, Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia.
Our unwillingness to act in those countries only made us complicit in those mass slaughters. Let’s not make the same mistake again in Syria.
Department of Political Science,
University of Prince Edward Island