I know no one is talking about this, not really. But in the Syrian conflict to date, approximately 60,000 people have died, and they’re calling for 100,000 more this year. Yes, they’re making a casualty prediction. They’re saying 100,000 more people will lose their lives in one tiny nation alone, in one year. It’s like they’re already assuming nothing will change. That no one will intervene.
We removed Hussein. We assisted in the removal of Mubarak and Gaddafi. But we won’t touch Assad. I know it’s expensive, but why did we draw this faux line about the use of chemical weapons? What about the Geneva Convention and the universal values of human rights? The U.N. is impotent, and everyone knows it. Let’s not pretend that U.N. resolutions and statements of condemnation are real action.
I know we are strung out from our own war. War is hard on any soil – home or abroad. The global economy is in shambles. Politicians are polarized over how to resolve the crisis. No one has a heart for anything but escape. We all want to escape. Maybe that’s why we can’t talk about Syria, a nation and leader killing their own people by the thousands, eliminating anyone who contests the authoritarian rule. We come home and flip on Netflix, drink our coffee and forget about the mess.
I’m as guilty as the world. I hardly let myself think about it. I’ve been like everyone else, not thinking, not looking. It’s horrible to say to ourselves that horrendous atrocities occur daily in Syria, and we aren’t doing anything because we are tired.
I feel bad. I feel helpless because these people are helpless. It is right to feel this way, to absorb even the tiniest breath of solidarity with these people. They are at war daily, constantly in fear for their lives and the lives of their families. And they don’t have an army on its way to rescue.
Libya knew help was coming. So did Egypt. They got an army of rebels together, and we backed them. Not Syria.
I remember watching a political forum in 2001 or 2002. An American Iraqi stood at the mic to tell the politician being interviewed how two of his family members had been killed by Saddam Hussein, and these were only two of over one million deaths during his rule. With fervency and pain, he asked, “How many more will need to die before you do something?”
I was shocked to hear this request for U.S. military intervention coming from an Iraqi, knowing the U.S. brings its culture, values and politics alongside its weapons. But he asked. And eventually we did something.
So the question is being asked again, but this time for Syria. “How many more will need to die before anyone does anything?”
All I know to do is pray. This is no longer a matter we can solve with our human wit and wisdom.
My prayer is that the Syrian people will get real help, not horses, chariots, or tanks. Not just big guns or explosives. I want the world to rise up against injustice, but even more, I pray they look up and see God defending them, even as Elisha’s servant got his eyes opened to the angel armies coming to defend Israel.
Recent news on Syria:
Huff Post: Syria Military Intervention No Closer Despite Rising Death Toll
CNN: U.N. Agencies: Stop the Suffering in Syria
NYT: Russia Supports U.N. Envoy in Syria