#ArcOfTheMoralUniverse Unfortunately, “on Saturday the story took an even more tragic turn when Omran’s older brother, 10-year-old Ali Daqneesh, died from the injuries he sustained in the blast that destroyed their family’s home on Wednesday.”
We in the international community (Canada, US, UK, and others) failed the many Alis, Omrans, and Syrians in this war. They died and suffered under our watch. We, the member states of United Nations, love to *talk* Responsibility to Protect (RTP) doctrine but usually end with massive “Failure to Protect” unless our national interests (oil, other resources, our own securities) are at stake. Have we not learned enough from the tragedies in Rwanda and the Balkans in the 1990s? I hope/wish and agree that “Omran’s picture must be a turning point in Syria’s war“. And I will add my voice to urge our Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Minister of Defence Harjit Sajjan to try to do what is right, on our behalf.
At the end of the day, there is no escape that Ali and many other Syrians had died in this war, and Omrans and many other Syrians suffered under our watch and we failed them. Whether we keep on failing our Syrian brothers and sisters, letting them die, allowing the refugee crisis to get even worse, or we say enough is enough and actually commit to stop this massive human atrocity, it is up to us “word citizens” to tell our governments what need to be done.
“The arc of the moral universe may be long, but it decidedly and increasingly does not always bend toward justice. Why does that matter? Because it means that too many children will never get to grow up, period. Let alone grow up in a morale universe that bends towards justice.” – The Honourable Justice Rosalie Silberman Abella (1946 – ), Closing Remarks at Nuremberg Symposium – May 4, 2016
“A week later another colleague from M10 hospital rang me and told me he had treated Omran, the young boy whose picture had gone viral on social media. To be honest, I had not seen the picture. He simply wanted to tell me that the boy had survived and he had treated his deep scalp wound and he was going to be discharged home.
I asked him whether he wanted to go on television and contacted the BBC and Channel 4. He was willing to do this but not to show his face, as he would surely have been targeted by the regime. To see him talking on my television brought a lump to my throat. He is the kindest and nicest human being I’ve ever worked with. He has been there from the start of the war and his only words on the television were: “Please help us.” […]
The picture of this little boy must be a turning point in this war. It must not be looked at and forgotten within 24 hours. I have pictures on my phone and in my computer of all the cases that I dealt with when I was in Aleppo. These images are far worse than the image of Omran. They are of dead and dying children. I have given lectures showing these pictures and have had people in the audience crying. Why has the world become heartless?
When President Obama talked about crossing the red line after 400 children were killed by chemical weapons outside Damascus in 2013, he was awaiting the outcome of a vote on action in the British parliament. In the end it was close, with 285-272 voting against military action against the Syrian regime. If the west had shown strong leadership, I have no doubt that the Syrian military hierarchy would have collapsed. George Osborne said prophetically: “I hope this doesn’t become a moment when we turn our back on all the world’s problems.” It’s not often that a politician gets it right, but he did then.
I packed my gas mask and spent six weeks in Aleppo just after that statement in 2013.”