What do I say? Hey, there’s always another war. Get over it. Except for this: the human devastation of this war just keeps getting worse, and the UN and international leading countries aren’t doing anything (relatively speaking) about it. Syria is not a local problem. It is a global one, for a number of reasons. As we avoid responsibility for it, we condemn ourselves.
Below from Amanpour and Company (PBS Program hosted by renowned journalist Christiane Amanpour): Clip of February 19, 2020 interview, “David Miliband Explains the Humanitarian Crisis in Idlib” (Idlib city and province in Syria). He is CEO & President, International Rescue Committee
From the website: “President Assad’s offensive in Syria, backed by the Russians, has hundreds of thousands [millions, actually, 900,000 in the most recent bombardment of Idlib. There are 6 million in refugee camps, millions fleeing the country, and countless others displaced, with their children literally freezing to death] fleeing for their lives. The Human Rights Commissioner for the United Nations has called the Idlib assault ‘cruelty beyond belief.’ David Miliband, CEO of the International Rescue Committee, joins Christiane to discuss the grave situation on the ground.”
Now to queue up a recording of tonight’s Las Vegas Democrat presidential candidate debate and see how much air time they gave to striving to act decisively and comprehensively on negotiating help for our worst humanitarian crises around the world, or maybe just one of them.
AUDIO TRACK BELOW ADDED TO THIS POST ON FEB. 23, 2020, 4 PM, thanks to comment by Emilie below, calling attention to this editorial by Scott Simon on National Public Radio’s Saturday Weekend Edition program on Feb. 22. (click here for the transcript). Thank you, Emilie. I had the radio on but wasn’t paying attention. Of course, Simon hits all the nails right on their heads.
Simon begins, “For all the words uttered about urgent vital issues at this week’s Democratic presidential debate, one was missing – Syria.”
It’s only a 2-minute listen:
“… there is almost no mention of Syria in the current political campaign. There is very little by President Trump since he ordered the withdrawal of U.S. troops fighting in the Islamic State alongside Syrian Kurds. No candidate for president may see political gain in saying the U.S. should use its authority and strength to try to help end the slaughter in Syria.”
Scott Simon cites David Miliband (above), saying, “But David Miliband, the head of the International Rescue Committee, who was once foreign minister of the United Kingdom, believes this is not a time for responsible political leaders to be silent. The shelling in Idlib shames the Syrian and Russian perpetrators, he told us, but the silence in the West shames governments here.” [emphasis mine]
Thanks again, Em.