the Carnage in Syria
By Moshe Arens
around the world are watching the carnage in Syria, day after day. Actually,
Syria as a state has not existed. We are watching men, women and children who
still live in what was once Syria being killed. Over half a million have died in
the past four years, over a million have fled. We are watching the killing on
our television screens. And nothing is being done to stop it.
Holocaust comes to mind. The world stood by while six million were being killed.
But at the time, in the age before television and the internet, it took years
before the full horror of what happened became known. Millions were already dead
before the first news of the systematic killing arrived. And then it seemed too
terrible to be believed, and months were wasted trying to confirm the
unbelievable reports, as the killing continued. And there was the argument that
in any case nothing could be done until victory over Germany had been achieved.
And so, almost nothing was done to save those marked for extermination.
daily killing in Syria is there for all to see. It can be stopped. Syrian
President Bashar Assad’s army is not the German army of World War II, and
Hezbollah’s fighters — Assad’s helpers — number no more than a few
thousand. But the world is focusing on other things, presumably more important
at the moment.
should be leading the move to put an end to the killing? The president of the
United States, Barack Obama, of course. He is the recognized leader of the free
world and he has both the duty and the power to do it. Projecting a small
fraction of American power in the air, at sea and on land to the area could put
an end to the carnage in Syria. He should have done it long ago. The endless
procrastination, the idiotic idea that Russian President Vladimir Putin could be
America’s partner in stopping the killing, has made the task more difficult.
But it can still be done.
Obama’s mind is somewhere else. He is concerned about a new Israeli settlement
in Samaria or a new building in Jerusalem. He worries about Israeli
“occupation of Palestinian lands,” and not Assad’s butchery in Syria.
He’s got his priorities mixed up.
Putin’s Russia? Power politics is the name of the game he is playing and
scorched earth is his preferred tactic, first in Chechnya and now in Syria. He
has no compunctions about helping Assad kill men, women and children as long as
it serves his vision of Russia’s strategic interests.
and Putin are not the only ones turning a blind eye to the ongoing tragedy in
Syria. Those claiming to represent Israel’s Arab citizens, the Joint List,
have still not decided whether they support Assad or his opponents and so will
not condemn Assad’s butchery, but they had no problem finding common ground
when it came to not attending the funeral of Shimon Peres.
to be outdone is the radical left in Israel. These “bleeding hearts” of
B’Tselem and their associates bleed for the suffering of the Palestinian
people but seem to have no compassion left in their hearts for the victims of
Assad’s barrel bombs and chlorine gas.
the United Nations Security Council, presumably the organization charged with
putting an end to war crimes, what are they doing at this moment? They are
listening to Israeli representatives of B’Tselem and Peace Now urging them to
take action to end the Israeli “occupation” of the West Bank. And Unesco,
the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, finds the
time to determine that there is no connection between the Jewish people and the
Temple Mount in Jerusalem. And the killing in Syria goes on. Who cares?