But now I am beyond outraged at the latest developments in the Syrian region of Houla. Even after indiscriminate shelling resulted in the killing of over 100 people, with at least 30 thought to be children, Syrian security forces have continued their onslaught.
In response western countries, most notably the U.S., Canada, Britain, France, and Turkey, have expelled all Syrian diplomats. However what is most alarming is the declaration made by U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon: "The massacres of the sort seen last weekend could plunge Syria into a catastrophic civil war, a civil war from which the country would never recover."
If that is indeed the case, the need for conflict cessation is paramount for the region.
Ban Ki-Moon's statements also mark the first time such a high-level figure has predicted such a cataclysmic outcome. The failure of conflict cessation through purely diplomatic channels is no longer acceptable.
In my previous PolicyMic piece advocating intervention in Syria I made a plea to keep Syria off of a list that included the likes of Sarajevo and Srebrenica. The U.N. death toll in Syria currently stands at a staggering 9,000 people. Well that time has now passed, what took Ratko Mladic and Radovan Karadzic over two years to accomplish in Sarajevo, Bashar al-Assad has accomplished in one year in Syria.
As I wrote in a term paper covering the topic of the Syrian Uprising and the failure of conflict cessation, "For the sake of the Syrian people, the Assad regime’s cockiness could become their greatest ally." This macabre irony has now presented itself and the world has started to take note. The world is a sad place when a dictator's brutality is what stirs up attention and support for the matter, rather than the pleas of countless innocent civilians.
Although the international community has spoken, it still needs to speak louder. While Russia and China have made it clear that "emotions should be ignored," the world must speak up now more than ever! My suggestion is to rally behind Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's call, "We cannot remain silent. Staying quiet, giving consent to cruelty is also cruelty."
Even as I write this [and surely still when your reading this] Syrian Security Forces are currently shelling the city of Houla and conducting house to house raids in a follow-up operation. We have seen this play out in the city of Homs before -- now it's just déjà vu.