Should the international community intervene in Syria? | The Tylt
Residents of Aleppo went on social media to say their goodbyes as government aligned forces began their conquest of the city. This is not unique to Aleppo—activists have documented atrocities committed by Assad's forces wherever they go. Activists are calling for an intervention to prevent a complete humanitarian disaster. Skeptics worry an intervention would only make the situation worse. What should be done? Vote now.
Should the international community intervene in Syria?
After intense fighting and bombardment, government forces and rebels have agreed to a ceasefire to evacuate Aleppo. Rebels will leave Aleppo for the Idlib province, where they still hold territory. This marks the beginning of another cycle of fighting as rebel groups dig in to prepare for the scorched earth tactics previewed by Russian and Syrian forces in Aleppo.
The agreement comes amid growing concern about the number of civilian deaths in the city, as an estimated 10,000 civilians fled eastern Aleppo over the weekend. However, the ceasefire does not necessarily signal the end of the road: "The crushing of Aleppo, the immeasurably terrifying toll on its people, the bloodshed, the wanton slaughter of men, women and children, the destruction — and we are nowhere near the end of this cruel conflict," U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein said in a statement. Becca Stanek
Activists are saying that it's not too late to save civilians in Aleppo and Syria. Many people have been killed on both sides, but it's not too late to put an end to the fighting. The alternative is to let people be slaughtered.
I have faith in humanity. In people all over the world. I know most of them would help the people of Aleppo if they could. But they can’t do it alone. Only our leaders can stop the slaughter of civilians in Aleppo and across Syria. At the very least, they must ensure aid gets to those who need it, including by airdrops to besieged areas if necessary. Their failure to do so is a betrayal not only of the people of Aleppo and Syria, but of the survivors and victims of all the genocides we said we’d learned from.
Instead, the worst of humanity has become the new normal. When we look the other way, we set the most dangerous of precedents, one that makes my experience more likely to be repeated. I’ve looked down the barrel of the gun, and know that humanity can’t afford this. Take it from a genocide survivor – more than Aleppo is at stake.
Staying out of Syria has bad implications for the international community. Russia's intervention in Syria is destabilizing the order that has kept the world together since the end of the Cold War. If the international community does not lead in Syria, it will lose its legitimacy and will be helpless in the face of future crises.
Ignoring its responsibilities in Syria—and opening the door for Russia to pound away at the foundations of the international order—hurts not only Syrians but the entire world. Perhaps, finally, Assad and his backers have gone far enough to provoke an American defense of that indispensable order that America helped construct.
Intervention skeptics worry that getting into Syria would create only create more problems. Syria is a geopolitical mess. Russia and just about every Middle East power has strategic interests there, and then there's ISIS. The US and the international community intervening would only make a bigger mess.
The conflict is horrid, but no one has explained how U.S. entry into Syria’s multisided civil war would end the murder and mayhem. Nor has anyone shown how America making another Middle Eastern conflict its own would serve American interests.
Despite the repeated failure of social engineering at home, leading officials believe that they can transcend culture, history, religion, ethnicity, geography and more in order to forcibly transform other peoples and nations. Those who resist liberal interventionism’s tender mercies via bombs, drones, infantry and special operation forces are assumed to deserve their fate.
But the truth is that it is too late for the United States to wade deeper into the Syrian conflict without risking a major war, or, at best, looking feckless by failing to fully commit to confronting Russia and President Bashar al-Assad of Syria and then backing down. The goal now should be reducing harm, saving lives and keeping prospects for a political deal alive. Cease-fire talks between the United States and Russia, tormented though they may be, remain the best way to achieve this.
Despite the tangle of issues, activists are calling for an intervention to stop the destruction.
People worry about getting entangled in another conflict in the Middle East. There are complicated religious and regional issues at the core of the conflict—the last few interventions by the international community have ended poorly.