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SYRIA AS FAILURE February 6, 2012

Posted by wmmbb in Middle East, Peace.

The events in Syria are a failure of the international system of justice. Culpability for this failure lies as much with the Americans and Europeans as to anybody else.

The situation has been building over months. Jane Ferguson reports for Al Jazeera.  Juan Cole writes:

Russia and China jointly cast a veto Saturday in the United Nations Security Council against an Arab League-backed resolution that would have called for President Bashar al-Assad of Syria to step down. The vote came in the wake of an alleged massacre in the Khalidiya neighborhood of Homs on Friday night, in which artillery shells allegedly blasted homes and left at least 50 dead (some reports say 4 times that, but cannot be verified). The assault is said by oppositionists to have been revenge by the regime on the area for the defection of Syrian army personnel.

The US Ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice, reportedly said the Russian vote was “disgusting”. She may have a point, and would have a case to make if the United States followed a consistent morality in international relations other than threat power and violence. Russia has strategic interests in supporting the current Syrian Government in that Syria provides a port for its fleet in the Mediterranean and buys it arms.

As Juan Cole observes:

Further, Russia and China had their fingers burned by not opposing the resolution on Libya last year this time, which called for a no-fly zone but which was used by NATO and elements of the Arab League to justify regime change. Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, dubbed the BRICS bloc, oppose the idea of American and Western intervention in the domestic affairs of other countries (lest that principle give the West an opening to intervene in the BRICS!).

The situation for the people of Syria is appalling for the people. Aside from the rights and wrongs, and one suspects the wrongs lie with the government and the political system that was maintained even when reform was promised.

Yet American public policy is not simply hypocritical, it seems to have lost its moral compass. All the basic principles of the Constitution seem to have been thrown overboard – perhaps symbolically in the Arabian Sea. Others have noted the same line coming through public announcements:

I suppose that one could observe that the case in Syria illustrates that people do not practice their religion as was intended. John Murawski writes in the News Observer about the conclusion of Carl Ernst, religious professor at UNC- Chapel Hill that:

The Quran’s fundamental message is one of universal peace and tolerance.

Ernst is hardly the first to make that claim, but in order to do so, he has to account for the sections that contain dire threats for Christians, Jews and other infidels who don’t convert to Islam. Ernst concludes those frightful warnings are eclipsed by the humanitarian message of the Quran’s Medinan suras.

Ernst takes this line of reasoning further. Relying on the Belgian’s research that so pleased Iranian authorities, Ernst contends the Quran exemplifies a level of benevolence and enlightenment not even to be found in the Jewish and Christian scriptures.

For whatever reason, not doubt with context and process beyond the Quran, we should all wonder why the prescription for peace and tolerance has failed. One suspects such a proposition is furthermost from the minds of those who dream of being and staying masters of world, climate change not withstanding.



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