The Chil­dren of Hell

The Kurdish Globe - - NEWS - By Gazi Has­san

Over the past three years, the news agen­cies have given us daily up­dates on the Syr­ian army’s on­slaughts, mas­sacres and blood­shed and on the armed op­po­si­tion’s re­ac­tion against Bashar As­sad’s regime. And the num­ber of vic­tims has con­tin­ued to in­crease day by day. Last year, there was talk of over 100, 000 deaths; this year, the num­ber of peo­ple this bloody war has sent to their graves is no longer spo­ken of. Com­pare this with Egypt, where rel­a­tively few peo­ple were killed be­fore Mubarak stepped down un­der pres­sure from the peo­ple and was sub­se­quently jailed and judged. Mo­ham­mad Morsi did the same; he is now in prison fac­ing trial. And while Libya may have looked like hell af­ter the fall of Gaddafi, in Tu­nisia, a sin­gle self-im­mo­la­tion was enough to ig­nite the ex­plo­sion that sparked oth­ers through­out the Arab and Is­lamic world.

In Syria, though, the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity just keeps talk­ing nor­mally, say­ing let’s stop the war and end the hell in Syria via diplo­matic means and ses­sions in Geneva2 as if it’s some new Hol­ly­wood ac­tion film that’s un­fold­ing around them. But en­gage your hu­man­ity and your con­science as you take in the sit­u­a­tion there, the vi­o­la­tions of hu­mans and their rights, and you’ll see Syria for what it is--a hell on earth un­prece­dented in the 21st cen­tury which the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity is in­tent on keep­ing ex­actly as it is. It should not be for­got­ten that Syria’s Baath regime shares the ide­ol­ogy of the top­pled Baath Regime in Iraq, which cre­ated an even worse hell for Kur­dish civil­ians in South­ern Kur­dis­tan in the mid Eight­ies when it bom­bard­ing Hal­abja and other ar­eas with chem­i­cal weapons and launched the An­fal in which 182, 000 women, hand­i­capped chil­dren and young men were lost in desert hells. Po­lit­i­cally, ide­o­log­i­cally and psy­cho­log­i­cally, the hells of the Syria of to­day and the Iraq of yes­ter­day share the same un­der­pin­nings.

So you, the great pow­ers of the world and of hu­man­ity, please spare a thought for Syria. I mean John Kerry and Lavrov, the for­eign min­is­ters of the US and Rus­sia. Heed the UN Gen­eral Sec­re­tary, Ban Ki Mun, when he talks about the des­tiny of Syria’s in­no­cent chil­dren, more than 10, 000 of whom have been killed in the war, and that with­out those that have gone miss­ing. Heed the re­ports that say chil­dren are be­ing sex­u­ally abused, too, as well as be­ing ex­ploited by the army and the mil­i­tants and tor­tured us­ing sticks and iron bars, with elec­tronic shocks to their sen­si­tive or­gans, with pulled out toe and fin­ger nails, with sex­ual vi­o­lence, abuse and threats, with imag­i­nary sex­ual threats, with sleep de­pri­va­tion, soli­tary con­fine­ment. Heed the re­ports of vic­tims be­ing tor­tured be­fore their rel­a­tives’ eyes.

This hell is real. But still nei­ther world power wants to ad­mit to the hell the Syr­ian au­thor­i­ties have cre­ated against chil­dren, women and civil­ians. But there is still no de­ter­mined drive to limit the crimes com­mit­ted against chil­dren. Bashar As­sad should be treated as a war crim­i­nal on the ba­sis of the re­ports of peo­ple be­ing starved as a po­lit­i­cal pun­ish­ment, of tor­ture and sex­ual abuse and other sto­ries of im­pris­on­ment and re­venge. Some rad­i­cal groups also want to use chil­dren to fight the hell of the Syr­ian Regime, cre­at­ing a smaller hell for chil­dren in the process.

What we need to ask if this: on what cri­te­rion is the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity bas­ing its lack of re­sponse to th­ese crimes against Syr­ian chil­dren in our era of democ­racy and hu­man rights? Will those chil­dren be freed from this hell? And if they are, with how much anger will they view their own and their coun­try’s fu­ture; how much anger will they feel for the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity? For when a gen­er­a­tion is raised hat­ing in­ter­na­tional pol­icy, when a gen­er­a­tion gets out of a liv­ing hell, it can only think of cre­at­ing a still worse hell and of tak­ing its re­venge on the au­thor­i­ties, re­la­tion­ships, mea­sures, prin­ci­ples and coun­tries that aided the regime and fed into the cur­rent state of Syria.

For this is the fu­ture, be­cause vi­o­lence brings noth­ing but vi­o­lence. So how long will the fires be al­lowed to blaze in the hell that is Syria, al­lowed to burn and bod­ies and souls of the Syr­ian chil­dren? For how long will world pow­ers like the US, Rus­sia, Iran and to some ex­tent China al­low th­ese con­stant vi­o­la­tions of hu­man rights for the sake of po­lit­i­cal in­ter­est and main­tain­ing the bal­ance of power? Hu­man­ity is now faced with a moral de­ci­sion: they must end this hell and pun­ish the crim­i­nals in court. If Hol­ly­wood films can cre­ate vi­o­lent chil­dren, the chil­dren of this Syr­ian hell will be a hun­dred times more vi­o­lent. They must act soon if any hopes of pre­vent­ing the vi­o­lence are to be pre­served.

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