Posted on Tuesday, 20 March 2012 18:47

The Syrian Crisis: Another case for military action

William Manful

How does one situate the U.S. marines' firefight with Saddam's troops in Iraq to save people, who would have otherwise been massacred with impunity, with the Syrian crisis, especially when the diplomatic effort truncated by the presence of UN special envoy Kofi Annan has not stopped the violence?

At the end of David O. Russell's mammoth Three Kings, three marines turned would be war profiteers retire to listless lives after sacrificing their loot to save a bunch of hapless Iraqi villagers from Saddam's Republican guard during Gulf War I. Unwilling to leave the fate of defenseless underlings to marauding soldiers wrongly motivated by a sadistic dictator, the intrepid marines used force to salvage a potential humanitarian crisis losing their fortune in the process but finding redemption and nobility when they seemed to have none.

The irony about Three King's depiction of the amoral nature of war is that, the film also showcases the relevance of conflict when force becomes the only recourse for lasting peace. The marines' firefight with Saddam's troops saved innocent people who would have otherwise been massacred with impunity. Armed confrontation sometimes becomes the bedrock for righteousness to prevail.

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Situate this scenario into the Syrian crisis and you get the basis for resolving a conflict that has lasted too long and has taken too many civilian lives. As despicable as wars may be they become necessary when they restore parity between the aggressor and the victim. So far the diplomatic effort truncated by the presence of UN special envoy Kofi Annan has not stopped the violence and whilst the guys in suits continue to try to articulate peace, the reality on the ground gets bloodier.

Notwithstanding, the disjointed front of the opposition, a calculated military intervention from the west can compel a cease-fire that will bring all parties to the diplomatic table in the form of proximity talks that could yield the lasting solution that will end the on-going bloodshed. After all the international community's decision not to use force does not mean that arms are not covertly reaching the rebels from regional states. Some form of informal military intervention in Syria does exist albeit not a scale that will create full equity between the warring factions.

As things stand another resolution has been drafted seeking daily cease-fires for aid to get through whether the much needed aid will reach the affected civilians remains to be seen and whether the cease-fire is going to be adhered to is also another matter. Failure on the part of Assad at some point to abide by the will of the international community may bring on military action but it may prove to be too little too late for condemned protesters and rebels whose daily existence for now is defined by tragedy and loss.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 20 March 2012 19:58

William Manful

William Manful

William Manful is a human rights advocate committed to the democratization of Africa. He has worked as a contributing columnist for afrik- news.com and talkafrique. He holds degrees in french and spanish as well as international relations from the University of Cambridge. Mr manful also writes on philosophy, sports and cinema. He is currently working for the Government of Ghana.


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