100,000 Are Dead in Syria, and “Helping” Will Probably Kill More

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HAMID KHATIB / REUTERS

A man mourns at the body of a member of the Free Syrian Army who died during clashes, at Bustan al Qasr cemetery in Aleppo, March 1, 2013.

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon made a grim announcement on Thursday: the death toll from Syria’s civil war, by the U.N.’s count, has now surpassed 100,000. It’s a ghastly, horrible number. But don’t be surprised if it doubles. Syria’s war is getting worse, drawing more combatants and weapons, and whatever good options might once have existed for halting it are probably no longer practical.

The Obama administration is still wading carefully into the conflict. Secretary of State John Kerry met in New York yesterday with Syrian opposition leaders, whose leader called the situation “desperate.” On Wednesday came word that Barack Obama’s plan to arm Syria’s rebels–announced weeks ago, then delayed by Congress–will finally be moving forward. But there’s almost no chance of stopping the bloodshed before many, many more people die.

It’s a terrible contradiction surrounding the debate over Syria that most of the options for “doing something” about the carnage there will lead to more deaths. Whatever the strategic merits of arming the rebels, for instance, it’s pretty clear that sending more guns into the country will claim more lives. There’s even a school of thought that the best option, from an American perspective, would be a long stalemate–one that steadily bleeds both the Sunni Islamists within the rebel forces and the Iranian-backed Hezbollah fighters on whom the Assad regime is increasingly relying, along with expensive support from Tehran.

Some options do have a more humanitarian focus than pumping armaments into the hands of the purported good guys fighting the regime. Anne-Marie Slaughter, a former top Obama State Department official, has proposed the establishment of “no-kill zones… to protect all Syrians regardless of creed, ethnicity or political allegiance” in areas near Syria’s borders. But even Slaughter’s plan would involve sending more weapons into the conflict, allowing Syrian rebel fighters to enforce those zones. And talk of a broader “no-fly zone” established by the U.S. military seems dead for now, especially after Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Martin Dempsey’s recent estimate that creating one could involve “hundreds” of aircraft and might cost $1 billion per month.

These are some of the reasons Kerry reiterated his view Thursday that “there is no military solution to Syria.” The Obama administration’s endgame involves forcing Bashar al-Assad to the negotiating table, ideally in a position of military weakness that will force him to make major concessions–probably including his own exit from the country. But reaching that point will require the rebels to make more gains, which requires more fighting, which means more people dead. Onward we go towards 200,000.

12 comments
nature.power35
nature.power35

The US administration supports Uahhabi , islamist fanatical gangs of canibbals ,slaughterers ,sexual jihaddists and other terrorists imported from over 30 countries to fight in Syria under the slogans of freeing Syria of dictaorship . This is sheer lies and hypocracy . Imagine US stooges , moth-eaten plutocracies like Saudi Arabia, Katar and other gulf countries have become the staunchest freedom-fighters , this is ironic . Syrian people are being killed and cities destroyed by weapons , jihaddist and funds provided and imported by the US and its proxies. Let us not forget the lesson of Iraq and Afganistan.America is the creator of alQaaida and the protector of terrorists.

MiaCarla
MiaCarla

Why do you keep saying rebels .. its al qaeda and they use the money to kill innocent christians, buddhists and shiites ???? the same way the money sent africa goes to bokoharam and the same way the money goes to the taliban. OBAMA funs terrorists.. didnt you learn from egypt and their giant BANNERS in the streets??? why do you keep saying terrorists are rebels????

Sibir_Russia
Sibir_Russia

Ki-moon called on both the Syrian government and the foreign-backed death squads to halt the violence and has issued calls for a peace conference in Geneva “as soon as possible.”

http://www.activistpost.com/2013/07/death-toll-rises-in-syria-united-nations.html

External assistance to the opposition, which leads the armed struggle against the legitimate government, is a gross violation of fundamental rules of international law. In the Declaration on principles of international law, adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1970, it is noted, in particular, that no state shall organize, assist, and financing of armed actions aimed at the violent overthrow of the regime of another state.


Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov: "Arming Syrian Opposition Contradicts the International law"

Sibir_Russia
Sibir_Russia

For those who do not know, or had forgotten…

G8 Leaders' Lough Erne Communique, 2013

The G8 leaders met in the U.K. during June 17–18, 2013, for their thirty-nineth summit. They released a joint communique, which focuses on foreign policy challenges, particularly in Syria. 

 From the Foreign Policy section of the communique: 

86. We are deeply concerned by the growing threat from terrorism and extremism in Syria, and also by the increasingly sectarian nature of the conflict. Syria must belong to all Syrians, including its minorities and all religious groups. We call on the Syrian authorities and oppositi on at the Geneva Conference jointly to commit to destroying and expelling from Syria all organisations and individuals affiliated to Al Qaeda, and any other non-state actors linked to terrorism. We will support UN planning for Syria's transition, recovery , and reconstruction needs, in particular by maintaining continuity of state institutions during transition and helping to ensure that the security forces are effective, accountable and able to deal with the threat of terrorism and extremism.

davidknowles2
davidknowles2

Obama should end the discussion by presenting  Martin Dempsey’s proposals to congress with the tax rises needed to pay for them in full. Lets see MCcain put his money where his mouth his. Along with the other senators in congress who been calling for US military action in Syria/ 

yogi
yogi

What's the population size of Buddhist in Syria? This is the first time I've heard them referenced in this region.

Sibir_Russia
Sibir_Russia

@ViableOp 

Institute for Policy Studies - explore the work of individuals and organizations who promote militarist foreign and defense policies of the U.S. the CIA chief David Petraeus (and he was the Commander of the multinational force in Iraq, and the Commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan) were tough charges. He was accused, no less – that he "obeyed Sharia law", and comma separated (odd coincidence), argues  «... accused Gen. David Petraeus of ‘ submission ' to Sharia law, claimed that the Muslim Brotherhood has infiltrated the ‘ ' federal government'
 
http://www.rightweb.irc-online.org/profile/Center_for_Security_Policy

Sibir_Russia
Sibir_Russia

Decision of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation of February 14, 2003 the "Muslim Brotherhood" is recognized as a terrorist and it is prohibited in the territory of the Russian Federation
http://www.religare.ru/print5347.htm

A terrorist organization is recognized in several countries of the world, particularly in Syria and Algeria, where its members have participated in the armed struggle against the Government. But in London, for example, "brothers"-dear people. In 1999, opened in the British capital call centre.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Muslim_Brotherhood

Sibir_Russia
Sibir_Russia

Good guys arrived in the United States ...    Muslim Brotherhood, which the Americans see as allies in the Middle East.

Sibir_Russia
Sibir_Russia

@ViableOp 

 The USA helped the terrorist organization "Muslim brothers" to overthrow the legitimate President Hafez al-Assad, and screwed up. The Muslim brothers have been broken.

This is evidenced the declassified document of Defense Intelligence Agency.
"Defense Intelligence Agency. Syria: Muslim Brotherhood Pressure Intensifies. 1982, May"
http://www.foreignpolicy.com/files/fp_uploaded_documents/DIA-Syria-MuslimBrotherhoodPressureIntensifies.pdf

Interestingly, in those distant events as a mirror reflects a war  that is waged against Syria today.
here the opposition in Brussels, and the information war, and help the rebels from Arab neighbors