Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor
02 May 2016
no words to express my fury and distress at the horrendous scenes shown on our
screens. What kind of world is this that does nothing apart from holding
conferences when hospitals are being pounded; the bodies of small children are
being pulled from bombed-out buildings while wounded toddlers scream for their
dead mothers! The words of a small boy forced to bury his baby brother because
there is no one left still ring in my ears. “Why was I not taken instead?” he
said through his sobs.
days both a hospital run under the auspices of Doctors without Borders and a
clinic in Aleppo have been destroyed. The sick and the injured have nowhere to
go for treatment when even medical facilities have become targets. These are
serious war crimes and it is my fervent hope that those responsible will be
made to pay a heavy price, even though no price can ever compensate for so much
pain and suffering caused by man’s inhumanity to man.
of “President” sends his fighter jets to bomb his own people lying in their hospital
beds? He does not even have the guts to admit it. He is nothing but a monster
ultimately responsible for robbing the lives of over 400,000, displacing over
half the population and reducing four-and-a-half million to refugee status,
fleeing to countries where they are treated little better than criminals.
years have passed since this nightmare began. All efforts to quell the
bloodshed have turned to dust. Countries and coalitions have no other solutions
than bombs and more bombs, talks and more talks.
President Vladimir Putin for protecting this barbaric regime! Shame on
President Barack Obama, the great champion of human rights, so-called, for not
intervening in any meaningful fashion! Shame on the United Nations for failing
in its peace mission - and, yes, shame on us Arabs.
our brothers and sisters; their children are our children. Have you seen the
terror in their eyes? Have you heard their despairing cries? They have done
nothing to deserve this hell on earth. They are crying out to be saved but it
seems the decision makers who can make a difference, those who can call upon
air power, ground troops and sophisticated weapons to bring to bear against the
regime and the terrorists, are not really listening for if they were they would
send in their armies without delay.
Saudi-led 34 nation Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition should unite
against the greatest terrorist of all, Bashar al-Assad before cleansing this
ancient land of Daesh, al-Qaeda and its affiliate al-Nusra, so that Syrians can
return to their homes, their children can return to school instead of having to
beg in the streets of Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan, and the dignity of Syrian
womanhood can be preserved.
of “President” sends his fighter jets to bomb his own people lying in their
large numbers of our Syrian sisters are sacrificing themselves by becoming old
men’s temporary brides, or worse, just to survive and take care of their
families is heart wrenching. For me this is a case of déjà vu. I was similarly
disturbed by the crippling US sanctions on Iraq during Bill Clinton era, which
is believed to have caused the death of up to half a million Iraqi children.
officials resigned calling the sanctions “genocidal”. The then US ambassador to
the United Nations Madeleine Albright, when asked whether the death of so many
children was worth it, answered, “I think that is a very hard choice, but the
price, we think, the price is worth it.”
Clinton told Amy Goodman, “If they are hungry or if they’re not getting
medicine it’s his [Saddam’s] fault.” I was furious. I railed at them for taking
the bread from the mouths of Iraqis and for putting decent Iraqi women in
positions where some chose to sacrifice their honour to keep their kids alive.
Clinton drove nails into Iraq’s coffin and George W. Bush hammered them in. The
invasion of Iraq was a crime whitewashed by false pretexts.
faced with a righteous cause, a humanitarian cause, Barack Obama turned his back
on the Syrian people and abandoned the Free Syrian Army not to mention ordinary
Syrians who left their jobs and their fields to defend their homes encouraged
by US pledges of support.
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remains one of the greatest man-made tragedies of our time. If we wait for the
United States or Russia or the UN to find a cure, there will be little left of
Syria fit for people to go home to. Assad is the stumbling block. He has to go
one way or the other before any semblance of peace can reign. I appeal to the
leaderships of the GCC and their Arab allies to make every endeavour to ensure
that he does.
In a recent
column, I saluted the new independent spirit of predominately Sunni states to
stand up to their enemies. Now I am pleading with them to hold out a lifeline
to our Syrian brothers and sisters who have been left alone and adrift without
hope. The world may consider Syrian lives cheap but what is our excuse? We like
to trumpet our Arab honour.
is the greatest test of all and it is one that we must not fail. God in his
mercy may forgive us for not even trying, but the Syrian people, their children
and grandchildren certainly will not.