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An image that begs for intervention in Syria

In a story from BBC News today, the UN mediator Lakhdar Brahimi apologizes to the Syrian people and to the world for failing to halt the civil war in Syria. Tom Friedman from the New York Times said in a broadcast interview yesterday that John Kerry is the last hope for Syria. If he can’t pull off an armistice there, probably no one will.

Syrian man carrying wounded boy

The lead picture with this story from AFP is of a man carrying a wounded boy that could be a father and son. Both have the look of terror as they flee pursuing danger. The picture serves to remind the free world that inside these Middle East lands of hate and atrocity are innocent people who are not aligned with the tyrannical government nor with radicalized Islamic extremists. They are just people trying to live sustainable and peaceful lives.

When governments fail to serve people by guaranteeing the rights expressed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights than what is the responsibility of the free world? The choices include:

  1. Sit on the sidelines and let a victor win
  2. Choose a side and help them win
  3. Align with innocent people and help them pursue self governance

Doing the latter requires mounting war against the extreme factions who put freedom-loving people at risk. Doing that requires intervention.

Who should intervene?

The UN is engaged in negotiations that are now failing. Nonaligned governments like Russia and China prefer choosing a side, presumably the government, and helping them win.

Since the Syrian government has already committed crimes against humanity, that is not an acceptable option. Neither is sitting on the sidelines.

Instead of the usual intervention with America hosting the burden, how about Secretary of State Kerry working with our more closely aligned Arab “allies” to work out an intervention with more of them on point and with the US in support?

What would that solution look like?

“Syria talks: Mediator apology for lack of progress

A man carries a wounded child after an air strike in Aleppo
Violence has continued unabated in Syria while the talks have taken place

The UN mediator Lakhdar Brahimi has apologised to the Syrian people after peace talks in Geneva ended without making progress.

He had held final discussions with both sides in Geneva in a last-ditch bid to break the stalemate between the Syrian government and opposition.

He said the main sticking point was the government, which refused again to talk about a transitional governing body.”

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