West must act in Syrian for sake of humanity or face a history of ignominy
The tables have drastically turned in the Syria conflict in recent months and Western inaction and indecisiveness has played a significant part.
The U.S. and its European allies have failed the Syrian people and to make matters worse, western diplomats are still bickering internally on how they should respond to the Syrian conflict, when they have had 2.5 years to formulate an approach.
Infamous red-lines have long been crossed, dozens of cities lie in rubble, over 100,000 dead and millions displaced with the rate increasing all the time. Yet the West is still plagued by unease and uncertainty on its moral obligations.
As the Syrian civil war has festered and decayed, more divisive western policy at the outset would have achieved a far quicker political transition, saved thousands of lives, infrastructure and untold suffering.
Now the conflict has become so messy that even the West is startled to respond. A great example is the proposal to arm selected members of the Free Syrian Army (FSA). Both Great Britain and France petitioned vehemently for months to end the EU arms embargo in May. Now that they have gotten their wish, they have got frosty feet. Likewise the US announced intent to supply weapons in mid-June after acknowledging that Bash al-Assad had crossed a red-line (the same murky red line that Assad had passed long ago), yet there are no signs of supplies.
The conflict has become so complex and cloudy that Western powers do not believe that their “light” weaponry would make any different. Yet ironically, Russia and Iran have been arming Assad to the teeth with no remorse.
In the time that the West has stood idle, Syrian has become the battleground for who’s who of Jihadists and foreign fighters. The war is no longer about ousting Assad and freeing Syria from dictatorship, it is now heavily sectarian and to a certain extent a proxy battle for a new Cold War with Russia, Iran and China.
With Hezbollah arms deep in supporting Assad, al-Qaeda spear-heading the rebel onslaught, even the Taliban looking to enter the fray, and add Lebanese, Iranian and Iraqi factions into the mix, Syria has become an even more entrenched minefield.
With Assad fighting back, the rebels literally fighting each other, Islamist forces battling Kurdish fighters and Geneva mark 2 becoming an ever distant mirage, the short-term prospects are bleak.
But the world must forget sectarianism, the new Cold war arena or those jockeying for regional power. The Western powers and the United Nations must act for the sake of humanity if nothing else. When will enough deemed enough? Just how will history look back on the West and particularly the UN which has been an all but paralysed bystander?
By the time sane powers intervene, there will be little to intervene for. What will Syrians do with no economy, destroyed communities, homes in rubble and their currency worthless?