What number does a death toll have to reach before the world says, “Enough is enough”?
If we look at just Rwanda and Cambodia, it was in the million range.
Must we wait for that before averting an unspeakable tragedy that is folding before our eyes on the eve of Ramadan in Syria?
Sixty-two. That was the number of people dead in Hama on Sunday at the time of writing this column. Its ability to rise exponentially cannot be denied but denial is an everyday occurrence in the powers of corridor in Syria.
It is now criminally negligent of the international community to continue its wishy washy ostrich-like approach toward the violence in Syria, peppered along the way with meek calls asking President Bashar Al Assad to step down. There is a bloodbath in Syria whose imprints will leave an unconscionable stain for a long time to come.
Mr. Assad has no credibility and there are no words to describe a leader who sends tanks into massive gatherings with orders to kill. No one will believe his pathetic nonsensical defense, saying that the people he crushes are saboteurs bent on destroying Syria. As if he hasn’t done a pretty good job of doing that himself.
The opposition must now demand that the international media be allowed entry into Syria. In fact, it suits Assad & Co. to have an independent media confirm that they are fighting evil forces hell bent on destabilizing Syria.
There are many truths that need verifying in Syria – the true gruesome nature of blood and gore in cities all across Syria needs to be documented, as does the brutal tactics employed by the shameful army that follows orders to quell a people it has vowed to protect. This will all be necessary for the time that will have to come when Mr. Assad is prosecuted for crimes of inhumanity in an international court of justice.
For the people of Hama, however, who have lost loved ones in the senseless violence, the only justice they believe in is the one they expect to be granted by God. “In Islam there is no revenge but, God willing, I hope he sees his own children being killed in front of him,” a 62-year-old woman told Reuters when recounting the death of her teenage son during Hafez Al Assad’s rule. Three decades later, the woman still waits for some form of justice.
For the international community to twiddle their thumbs as this goes on, and the Arab leadership in particular which understands the reverence of Ramadan staying silent, makes them no different to the perpetrators of violence.
(Muna Khan, Senior Correspondent and Columnist at Al Arabiya English, can be reached at email@example.com