The stark failure of the U.N. in Aleppo

Who is to be blamed for the total failure to safeguard civilian lives in Aleppo?

Syrian Government, Russia, the U.S., or the U.N.?

Systematic murder of thousands of civilians by indiscriminate bombing has continued non-stop for the past several weeks, and apparently the Syrian Government Armed Forces seem to be gaining solid ground against the rebels and the ISIS. This is after almost six long years of conflict.

Aleppo is a serious example of an exodus in operation – thousands of ordinary citizens are fleeing the city in the face of continuous bombardment of all targets – none spared. Is this the right way of waging a war? Is the annihilation of a country’s own citizens the right way to win a war against government rebels?

Serious questions with no answers.

Again, the futility of the U.N. as an institution of peace has been brought into serious question – the U.N. has not only become completely powerless, it has demonstrated its total uselessness. Most of the world’s countries fund the U.N. operations and their extravagant way of conducting business around the world. But when it comes to stopping wars, they come through as an impotent organization. The U.N. or event the UNSC cannot stand up to the big powers of the world.

What is happening in Aleppo now could potentially amount to the biggest civilian massacre the world has ever seen after the Second World War. War crimes are being committed in Aleppo, and the U.N. looks on impotently with just statements. The U.S. has lost its position in the Syrian conflict to Russia which has taken over the situation completely and is controlling everything which is happening now. One has to take note of the fact that governments and militaries are generally heartless when they are seeing and smelling victory. In this case, the Syrian forces are seeing victory against the rebel forces after a very long time and they are not going to give up their chance of winning the final battle against the rebels.

The world does not believe that these rebels are the same as the ISIS forces. But then, who cares? The U.N. has no power and no strategy to intervene and stop the bloodshed. The Russians are playing games with the Americans while consolidating their gains in Syria. This has long term implications for America’s Middle East strategy. The pity is that most of the other allies of America have not significantly contributed towards the defeat of ISIS forces in Syria, and America has been fighting its own war.

If only America and Russia have collaborated from the beginning, things could have been vastly different. The critical focus area should have been to avoid bloodshed, but that was not to be. Hundreds of thousands of civilians have already died in the Syrian conflict, and now another 250,000 civilians in Aleppo are in mortal danger.

What is the world doing? What can it do?

We all carry on our own business every day in the most normal manner possible. Have we registered our protest with the U.N. through our countries or via the social media?

What are we doing to stop the killing of thousands of innocent civilians in a mass war crime? Are we even spending 5 minutes of our time everyday to think about these folks?

We can do far better as educated, well to do people who matter somehow, somewhere in this small world of ours.


Vijay Srinivasan

11th December 2016



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