Talking doesn’t work when Assad is killing for fun (12 March 2012)

Still the killing goes on.  

Kofi Annan visited Syria this weekend to engage Assad in dialogue aimed at bringing to an end the year long conflict in the country.  He left with nothing.  Assad said that terrorist groups threatened the country and that while they did, a political solution was impossible.

For Assad there is almost no solution that won’t see him arrested and tried for crimes against his own people.  Mass genocide being one.  The UN estimates that 7,500 Syrians have been killed in the year long crackdown by Assad and his forces.  That number will likely be higher still once he’s gone and the true cost of human life is revealed.   All for trying to rise up against a dictator.

There have been real horror stories from Syria, Homs in particular.  Stories of snipers shooting at people as they cross the street to buy simple supplies.  Reports of Assad forces walking through neighbourhoods, knocking on doors and shooting men and boys above a certain age.  

Horror stories yes, but it’s not new and when it’s happened before whether it be in Srebrenica and Rwanda in the ’90’s or as far back as the Holocaust, we should have been paying attention and learning.  We haven’t though and again we see innocent civilians murdered, this time for daring to have a voice.

Now the focus seems to have shifted to Idlib, where house to house searches for activists are violent and the Assad soldiers have no rules.  Residents in Idlib fear a worse crackdown than in Homs. 
Where does it end for Syria? Talking isn’t doing anything, and never was going to.  Sanctions were never going to work.  Sanction Syria and Assad punishes his people.  Kill Assad? Well, I wouldn’t be against that but if you take him out his regime still exists.  It will still carry on.  Arm the rebels? 

Can’t do any harm.  Members of the Syrian army are now defecting and this is something we’d want to encourage.  Build up the power of the rebels and more of the Syria army will defect.  Make the Free Syrian Army a force to be reckoned with.  There will be further bloodshed, that goes without saying.  However, there is bloodshed now, innocents killed daily, men, women and children and there is no one protecting them.  

Although there are conflicting reports of exactly how many died, last night there was undoubtedly a massacre in Homs, children among the dead.  An unprovoked attack on civilians.  This happens daily.

There is no one, at the moment, who can stop Assad and his forces.  They are killing for fun.