Chemical Weapons and Need to Rebuild and Re-qualify International Community
Enab Baladi Issue # 79 – Sunday August 25, 2013
One year ago today, Asaad regime began committing an awful massacre in Daraya whose victims were 700 civilians, 514 of whom were identified and documented, while the rest could not be identified as their bodies had been completely burnt. There were also dozens of dead bodies discovered in various apartments and orchards in the city.
Before and after this particular massacre, the regime had committed massacres of an equally or even more barbaric nature in other Syrian cities: Houla; Banyas; Karm alzaitoun, Muaddamiya and Jdeidat Alfadel. However, these massacres did not breach any red lines, according to the International Community, despite the sadistic methods used which makes them of the ugliest crimes committed in our history.
During the past few days, and as part of a military escalation, the regime has used chemical weapons against the civilians of the cities of Eastern and Western Ghouta. This happened after the arrival of special UN investigators in Damascus in search of evidence that proves the regime used this type of weapon.
Reports indicate that the number of fatalities exceeds 2000, more than two thirds of whom were women and children, who suffocated during their sleep – an incredibly tragic sight which is shameful to mankind in the 21st century.
A similar tragedy occurred in Iraqi Halabja in 1988, when Iraqi forces shelled the area using Cyanide gas, as was indicated by many reports. 5000 victims were killed in this attack, most of whom were women and children, and the name of the director of this attack, Ali Hasan Almajeed became associated with the poisonous gas as he became known as ‘Chemical Ali’.
There has been more than 25 years between these two incidents, and societies have progressed culturally, socially and in their civilization, but international politics remain unchanged, whereby it practises the same regressive and indecent policies, basing its decisions on interest rather than moral and humane duties. How long will the civilised world continue in its Red Line policies which allow the armies of ruthless and suppressive leaders to kill tens of thousands of their citizens using weapons that are worse than weapons that have been banned internationally?! Does it make sense that the use of Scud missiles, cluster bombs and explosive barrels continues to be below the red line ceiling? And that the world that defends human rights’ principles does not budge as long as chemical weapons or weapons of mass destruction are not used extensively?!
There is international, political, and military activity going on these days in response to this horrendous massacre and to Bashar Al-Assad crossing the lines. It was incumbent, however, upon this community to act more than two years ago – to stop the Syrian bloodshed. The entire world will continue to remember the shameful international silence regarding the tragedy that is taking place.
What is definite and clear to us is that the International Community needs ethical and political re-qualifying and re-building to get rid of its problematic situation regarding ethical principles – a situation that has manifested itself across many conflicts.