Addressing the UN Security Council yesterday, Angelina Jolie Pitt said: In 2011, the Syrian refugees I met were full of hope. They said “please, tell people what is happening to us”, trusting that the truth alone would guarantee international action.
When I returned, hope was turning into anger: the anger of the man who held his baby up to me, asking “is this a terrorist? Is my son a terrorist?”
On my last visit in February, anger had subsided into resignation, misery and the bitter question “why are we, the Syrian people, not worth saving?”
To be a Syrian caught up in this conflict is to be cut off from every law and principle designed to protect innocent life:
International humanitarian law prohibits torture, starvation, the targeting of schools and hospitals – but these crimes are happening every day in Syria.
The Security Council has powers to address these threats to international peace and security – but those powers lie unused.
The UN has adopted the Responsibility to Protect concept, saying that when a State cannot protect its people the international community will not stand by – but we are standing by, in Syria.
The problem is not lack of information – we know in excruciating detail what is happening in Yarmouk, in Aleppo and in Homs.
The problem is lack of political will.
We cannot look at Syria, and the evil that has arisen from the ashes of indecision, and think this is not the lowest point in the world’s inability to protect and defend the innocent. [Continue reading…]