By Ahmad Azizi
By Ahmad Azizi
Morocco World News
New York, August 4, 2012
The crisis in Syria has now passed the five-hundred-day mark. With every slow passing day of those five hundred days, the Syrian people sacrificed their blood, lost some of their finest youth, endured degrading treatment and the violation of their honor, suffered through scarcity of food – even bread – and severe shortage of electricity and fuel for heating and cooking, witnessed the deterioration of their economy and the devaluation of their currency, and saw their country on the brink of civil war.
What is particularly pitiful is that these calamities have not been brought about by a major natural disaster, nor by a massive foreign army invasion, but have all been the result of a government opting for a policy that refuses reform, seeks to subject the people by force and fails to uphold its responsibility for their protection. This style of governance does not belong among civilized nations, nor does this exclusionary authoritarian attitude belong in the twenty-first century.
Now, if we followed the logic of the Syrian regime, we would put the blame on those demanding freedom, justice and a dignified life for what has befallen their country. However, humanity rejects this logic and history rejects these fallacies, which we have been bombarded with and which claim that the cause of the crisis is armed terrorist gangs and a universal conspiracy against Syria.
The fact is that the adherents of these fallacies have not explained to us the millions of Syrian demonstrators who have taken to the streets day after day in thousands of protest flashpoints, putting their lives on the line. Are the Syrian people terrorists? Have those demonstrators put their lives on the line for a few dollars? Is yearning for freedom and insisting on human dignity considered terrorism now? Those who have echoed these fallacies have not explained to us why pro-freedom demonstrators have been killed and wounded while not a single bullet has been fired on the rallies that the regime has organized in its support. They have not explained to us the visible devastation that has befallen Syrian cities, which can only be caused by merciless bombardment with thousands of tons of explosives; and it is known to all which party has them. They have not explained to us the daily scenes of citizens being insulted and humiliated by members of an army whose basic mission is to protect them. Neither have they explained to us why foreign journalists have been denied free access so they can impartially and transparently document the events. Moreover, they have not explained to us the reason behind cutting off communications, electricity, water and main food supplies in areas witnessing protests.
Are armed terrorist gangs the ones who cut off the Internet and land and cellular telecommunications networks? Assuming all the accounts of the Syrian regime were true, why would the authorities and decision-makers in Damascus insist on using the full arsenal of the Syrian army against Syrian cities, towns and villages for more than five hundred days, and pushing the country towards a sectarian war, unless the blood of the heroic Syrian People is not dear to them?
The world is tired of the continuous repeated lies that insult our intelligence. Those who make up and spread fictional stories about the events in Syria should remember that they can fool some people for sometime, but cannot fool all people all the time. They have to remember that they are not on the right side of history.
In the face of all that is happening in Syria, the Security Council is unable to even uphold its responsibilities under the Charter of the United Nations to address the Syrian crisis, and the international community is unable to offer the Syrian people anything more than statements and condemnations.
Every day we spend discussing formalities and theoretical principles, violence claims the lives of hundreds of innocent people in Syria. Is not saving people, protecting their fundamental rights and dignity and establishing justice and prosperity for them among the first and most important principles for which this International Organization was established?
Dwelling on debate about formalities played a role in the international community’s slow response to tragedies such as the massacres in Rwanda, which we have pledged not to repeat. Faced with this situation, the General Assembly bears a moral responsibility to address this crisis, especially following the despair of the Joint Special Envoy of any positive response by the Syrian regime to diplomacy and his request that the Security Council ensure the Syrian government’s compliance with its obligations.
Therefore, the draft resolution submitted by the Arab Group comes as a necessary step and one that cannot be further delayed, especially in light of the escalation in violence by the Syrian regime, which has threatened to use weapons of mass destruction and threatened to ignite the region, and also in light of the worsening humanitarian situation and the flow of refugees to neighboring countries.
The resolution reflects the positions of the international community, which call for a peaceful solution to the crisis based on a Syrian-led political transition process that meets the aspirations of the Syrian people and ensures accountability for those who killed them and violated their rights, freedoms and dignity, and that leads to the establishment of a pluralistic, democratic, civil state with equal rights and freedoms. All of this has to be in a way that preserves Syria’s national and territorial unity, sovereignty and stability and in line with the principles of the United Nations.
It is ironic that the representative of Syria continues to devote his statements to haphazard accusations against other countries and to unrealistic justifications of what is happening in Syria. This is but a desperate attempt to distract attention from the reality of what is happening and to put the blame on others for the failure of his government to achieve the legitimate demands of its people and provide protection to them. This is not surprising as it comes from a representative of the Syrian regime.
Ahmad Azizi is a political analyst with acquired experience in a wide range of diplomatic and political affairs, most notably in connection with the work of the Security Council. His current research interest focuses on the “responsibility to protect” as an emerging global principle. He is a member of Morocco World News’ editorial board.
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