I am sickened by the images and news coming out of Syria, especially Aleppo. So sickened that I can no longer listen to the radio or watch the television. When the topic comes on, I need to turn it OFF.
Unfortunately they cannot turn it off: the airstrikes, the barrel and cluster bombs, the chemical weapons used against civilians, and the shelling of hospitals … all committed by Assad’s government and Russian planes. What sort of depraved mind systematically engages in such wanton death and destruction? On innocents. On children, babies and women; ordinary men, boys and girls … civilians like you and me. Here are two depraved minds: Bashar al-Assad and Vladimir Putin, just to name a few. The Syrian regime is also accused of using starvation as a weapon of war, considered a war crime under the Geneva Conventions. We do not see, however, any institution claiming breach of these Geneva Convention treaties. The apathy and inaction of the UN General Assembly, not to mention certain world “leaders”, is stupefying.
Syria’s civil war has created the worst humanitarian crisis of our time. Half the country’s pre-war population — more than 11 million people — have been killed or forced to flee their homes.
I am filled with disgust and loathing for a number of reasons, one reason is that, as usual, we will never see the perpetrators prosecuted and judged for war crimes at the ICC (International Criminal Court) in The Hague. In fact, what purpose does the ICC serve? In my mind’s eye, all I see is an empty building with an empty courtroom. As we’ve seen, over and over and in other countries, these mass murderers carry out their crimes with complete impunity.
In today’s Sunday OBSERVER, sister newspaper to The Guardian, there’s an important opinion piece entitled “Barack Obama’s presidency will be defined by his failure to face down Assad. How his abandonment of Syria empowered the Islamists.” (link below)
Last week, up to 250,000 civilians – 100,000 of them children – were trapped in east Aleppo when it came under siege. Many of them fled into government-held west Aleppo as airstrikes intensified, but tens of thousands are still awaiting evacuation.
With the help of the international community, food, shelter and medicine can be sent to them.
Here’s an idea for a Christmas present, the gift of giving. Syrian refugees need our compassion and generosity. If you make a donation with your credit card, however small, it would be a great gift to fellow humans in need. Links are below.
You’ll find some informative reading on the UNICEF link below. Below that is The Guardian newspaper’s 2016 Charity Appeal listing the three charities they sponsor: The Children’s Society, Safe Passage, and Help Refugees, to which you can donate.
Last year’s appeal raised £2.6m ($3.2m).
I was just reading this, Juliet, when my doorbell rang; it was young people soliciting donations for the UN refugee organization. I have arranged to make a monthly donation. You’re right – nothing right now could be needed more.
Yes, I think about this constantly. We donate to UNHCR and several others.
And the most tragic, Theresa, if the above-mentioned isn’t tragic enough, is that we will never see the perpetrators judged for war crimes at the ICC (International Criminal Court) in The Hague. They carry out their crimes with complete impunity.
I know. It makes me ashamed of our own impotence.
Always a pleasure to read your blog posts and point of view, Juliet. Keep up the good work. Look forward to reading that Observer piece.
Thanks so much. So much to read and talk about…
Thanks for this and the edifying Observer article.
Bonnes fêtes all the same Juliet in Paris.
Tous mes meilleurs vœux pour la nouvelle année.