Tuesday, 13 December 2011


There is some appalling bad stuff happening in the Middle East and I don't blog about it nearly enough. The events in Syria are particularly bad with what is effectively a civil war with a current death toll of 5000 including 300 children.

The questions are always if, when and how countries should intervene in this type of situation. I would have hoped that the world had gone beyond if and when but with China and Russia vetoing a UN Security Council resolution, it seems that despite strong words from the UN commissioners there is little action being taken.

Russia's point that the West is "refuse[ing] to raise the pressure on the armed extremist flank of the [Syrian] opposition" and the West is therefore contributing to the hostilities is an interesting one. It seems to come from a point of view which which rejects the widely held view that Assad is the problem and the protestors turned fighters are acting that way as a result of oppression. Personally, I go with the UN's view that the regime is brutal.

Russia also stated that they "stand for a resolute action, but the one that is aimed at searching for ways to achieve peace, not intensifying one-sided pressure." In this they have a point, but solutions must be sustainable. There are too many examples of how it can go wrong, and the usual solutions are not always that effective, especially in a civil war.

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