Friday, August 1, 2014

Syrian atrocities revealed

I have wanted the U.S. to stay out of the Religious and Civil wars in the Middle East because I have thought that all we would do was add American blood to the conflicts and we would have no way of resolving them. 

But, more and more I am appalled by the atrocities happening in the Middle East.  A defector from the Syrian military police has brought with him 55,000 photos of 11,000 corpses from Syria.  They are apparently horrendous atrocities.  The pictures were taken at the direction of the Syrian government which wanted to make sure that its orders to carry out the torture, starvation, and killing of its population were being carried out, including elderly, women, and children.  Just appalling.

Michael Gerson points out what is perhaps the worst part of it all, that the Assad and the Syrian government are keeping such meticulous records, including photos of the corpses and bureaucratic numbers identifying reports of these barbaric killings, because they are confident that they will win.  The Nazis kept meticulous records as well, assuming they were to be victorious.  They are not afraid of losing this war and being brought to trial for war crimes. 

Obama is facing some pretty tough criticism for his lack of action in Syria.  Nobody wanted or wants American blood to be added to this nightmare in the Middle East. But backing, what we can identify to the best of our ability, the responsible opposition was needed long ago, and is just now being done, as I understand it.  Too late?

The problem is not just a moral one, although the morality of standing by while mass atrocities are being carried out could be an act of immorality in itself, but rather it eventually turns into a national security issue as well.  If the slaughters in the Middle East are allowed to expand by the U.S. and the West, it is not hard to imagine that slaughters in the U.S. and the West are coming. 

So, I am torn as to what the U.S. should do.  I hate the idea of sticking our toe back into the insanity in the Middle East, but it is hard to avoid thinking that we need to get rid of Assad, and stop ISIS as well.  The nightmares are just growing.  To what degree are they accelerated by U.S. passivity?