I said I wasn’t going to write anything about this, that there was already a saturation of analytical pieces in favour of and against intervention but really it is because I have become emotionally compromised by my reaction to how the British public have responded to this crisis. Instead of presenting an argument I just want to state for the record how I feel about our inaction.
This is our Srebrenica. While the supposed left pat each other on the back in this massive victory for democracy, we have forsaken an entire people suffering genocide and decided that our best course of action to deal with a fascist dictator in the process of slaughtering his own people is to turn our backs on it and hope the situation sorts itself out. Unlike you, clearly I do not see the distinction between British and Syrian blood. There is a grave slaughter happening in this world and I have never felt so disconnected from the opinion of the British public in all my life. As a child I protested two grotesque and unjust wars and now I am witnessing my friends, colleagues and compatriots say we should stand aside and let Assad butcher as many children as he wants with any means at his disposal with no intervention.
In 2 years time, when the death toll is as high as Rwanda, you can all pat yourselves on the back and say “We stood up for peace”. I have spent the last 2 years publishing articles detailing the unspeakable crimes of this regime, starting with the butchering of unarmed protestors such as Ghaith Matar, a man who used to go around handing flowers to Syrian Army soldiers, his dead body was handed to his parents broken, bloodied and covered in burns. Or Ibrahim Qashoush, a peaceful demonstrator that sang songs about Assad whose body was later found in the streets with his vocal chords ripped out. Or to any of the children I have seen in body bags, executed at point blank range or burned to death with blow torches.
Every time a new atrocity occurs, like last nights jet-strike napalm attack on a school playground played on the BBC you can all sleep comfortably at night knowing that you campaigned to do nothing because the situation was “too complicated” and it was safer to let the slaughter go on than to risk pissing off the regional supporters of this butcher. We should have intervened the moment he started aerially bombarding his own civilian population, instead we have decided to remain silent and that will weigh heavily on each one of our consciences.
This is our Srebrenica. We have forsaken these people.