I am not a political scientist, an political pundit, or even an activist.
I am just a parent who loves his kids, and realizes that other parents around the world love their kids as much as I love mine.
Like many people, I watch the news with a mixture of an aching heart and a searching mind, praying for a solution to so many of the ills that we see around us in the world.
I have been watching for months now the atrocities in Syria, the massacres, and the bloody atrocities of the dictator Bashar al-Assad. Tens of thousands have been killed, children everyday are being slaughtered. Civilians are being shelled by their own government. And we sit here helpless.
We need a different system. The current system of our world community is not working. We have a dictator who is massacring his own citizens, and the world community sits by idly.
The problem is that there are two entities that possess the power to intervene: the United States and the United Nations. Neither is able to do what needs to be done at an effective humanitarian level.
The United Nations is a well-intentioned though flawed institutions. The world community votes again and again on behalf of many human rights issues, but the United Nations lacks the capacity to intervene in a humanitarian way. Adding injury to insult, the very structure of the permanent members of the Security Council reflects the power structure of a post-WWII world, and is in need of urgent remedying.
As for the United States, where to start. Perhaps the most generous way is to state that we are in a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” situation. If we do not intervene (or intervene too late), we are critiqued for our lack of concern for human rights. When we do intervene, we are seen as a meddling imperial superpower.
The truth of the matter, however, is far more murky than the above generous view would suggest. Time and time again, we have intervened because their was oil involved, or geopolitical interests, or the interest of our ally.
It is time. It is time to revamp the United Nations and empower it (which is to say, us, the human community) to intervene whenever, and wherever human lives are in danger. The UN should be inspired not by geopolitical interests, or oil, but simply because of the sacredness of all human lives involved.
For the massacres in Syria that are ongoing, these interventions needed to happen 6 months ago.