Ghouta, Syria

It will take a very long time for us to forget the horribly indescribable images from the Ghouta massacre. The fact that it was a chemical weapons’ attack is beyond question, but there are still questions on whether it was the regime or opposition forces who are responsible for it.

But what difference does it make, the end result is equally miserable. If it was the regime, it goes to show yet again the extent to which it will fight against its very own people, stopping at absolutely nothing, to remain. The regime will fight until its very last man and the end will be very bloody. While if the opposition – or whatever part of such a fragmented opposition it has become – has managed to get its hands on chemical weapons and ready to use them on innocent civilians, is a frightening development. The foreign fighters and mercenaries among them do not care, they are simply doing their job. While for the Syrian opposition fighters among them, it all doesn’t bode well for what they would have in store, should they reach the reins of power in the future. If nothing else, it further deepens the scars of war between both factions, which will probably take decades, if not an entire generation, to heal.

And we thought that no such massacre, no indiscriminate use of such frightening weapons could happen in our age in time.A boy who survived the chemical weapons attack in Ghouta, Syria - August 21, 2013. Source: Reuters But when has morality ever been a perquisite in wars and conflicts anyway, even if the whole world is watching. Red lines? Which red lines? The US, EU and other Western nations had once noted that the use of chemical weapons would constitute a red line, which if crossed, could prompt more “forceful intervention” in Syria (for whatever that truly meant in the first place). But which red lines, I didn’t see any red lines in the aftermath of the attack. Such devilish weapons don’t leave any mess behind, killing in one’s sleep, causing a sometimes fast, sometimes slow and awful death, but no blood. While those who survive will try to live with the psychological effects of such an attack for a lifetime. But no blood… no red lines.

No people or country has ever had a monopoly on violence, ruthlessness and brutality, but today, the world as a whole sleeps with a considerable degree of its humanity lost, never ever to return again.

9 Replies to “Ghouta, Syria”

  1. I keep thinking this isn’t really a big thing to happen in a war that’s already come unhinged months and years ago. But it is a big deal in the record-keeping of human progress. Another line we thought we’d crossed for the last time, and it turns out that 25 years later, the monsters come back to haunt us.

  2. Disgusting. And whilst the founding members of the United Nations still hold a veto, it is effectively useless. IMHO, all vetos should be made null with a decent majority vote on the Security Council (maybe 80%) being required to decide upon any future actions being taken in the world.

  3. Agreed, Security Council reform would make the UN a lot more flexible than the current system. 80 % does sound a bit steep for my taste (it would be the kind of situation we saw in — I’m blanking on the country; maybe the first constitution of Weimar Germany? — where a too-high threshold for ratification of a law meant that nothing ever got done and fascism slipped through the door).

    But taking Security Council Resolutions to the representatives of the General Assembly would be a great idea, even if the discussions in the Security Council should perhaps still be limited to a few people.

    The problem, however, is an incredible stupid rule built into the UN Charter, called article 109. It says that if a Security Council Veto Nation disagrees with any reform of the UN Charter, that reform just does not happen. It’s incredibly undemocratic. It needs to be fixed, and quick.

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