Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Chaos of War

It's been so long since the start of the uprising in Syria and yet the repression continues. War is so chaotic, people lose track of numbers and casualties midway into the conflict. The military repression becomes a fact of life for those living in the conflict zone, and they are forced to acclimatize themselves to the new state of disorder surrounding them. Since the intervention in Libya, seen in the international community as yet another oil war, public opinion has moved away from the call for such interventions. The oil underpinnings of the Libyan war have cast a shadow of doubt over the possibility of an internationally-mandated intervention in the conflict zone in Syria. And yet, if you read reports of atrocities in Syria, you cannot rationally take the position that any intervention there would be worse than/ more illegitimate than the military repression of the Syrian government. The position adopted by China and Russia, of blocking decisions at the UN on the grounds of "sovereignty", is the least tenable of all. The hypocrisy of political discourse at the level of governments lies in the use of such terms as "sovereignty" and "domestic affairs" - the whys and wherefores of the Assad regime's usurpation of sovereignty never enter the debate. The fact that "government" and "sovereignty" are used interchangeably indicates a deep loss of political wisdom.

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