On August 21, 2013, forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad launched an early morning sarin gas chemical weapon attack on the sleeping population of Ghouta, the equivalent of a suburb of Damascus. Over 1,400 civilians died with some claims as high as 1,729 fatalities, including children, were documented. Since that time we have watched as the Syrian people have continued to face death and atrocities on a daily basis.
ForeignPolicy.com and other sources report, “On Aug. 7, (2014) the OPCW said that roughly 74 percent of Syria’s declared stockpile was destroyed. And last week, the watchdog group announced that 581 metric tons of a precursor chemical for sarin gas was also destroyed. That left 19.8 metric tons of sulfur mustard to destroy.
Obama had previously said that using chemical weapons would cross a “red line,” but in the days following the August 2013 attack, the White House didn’t appear to have public or congressional support to act, putting Obama in an awkward position.”
As a consequence, the inaction of the United States and the international community has resulted in a horrific humanitarian crises and the rise to power of the Islamic State, who now threatens the fragile stability of the entire region.
Since 9-11, the United States has repeatedly stated they do not negotiate with terrorists. Why do they continue to negotiate with the Syrian government after this clear, unquestionable act of terrorism unleashed on the civilian population? Why have we been “nice” (and complicit) about the need for atrocities and war crimes to be stopped when dealing with the Syrian government, and why are we continuing to fund or aid this war on their behalf? Why has no world court brought Assad to justice?
With the Kurdistan Regional Government currently viewed as the main stabilizing force in that country as the challenge of fighting the Islamic State continues in Iraq, we must ask why the equivalent in Syria is not handed the same ability. In Rojava, the Kurdish north sections of Syria, areas governed by Kurdish factions are stable, united and peaceful until IS or other insurgents, including the Assad regime, interfere. With the track record clearly showing Kurds able to govern and do so with respect and equality for all peoples in their governance, would it not make sense to put them in charge of Syria?
This week, we are seeing events around the world being held as the world’s people call for an end to the use of chemical weapons. Major cities in almost every country will include rallies and demonstrations by the people, for the people. Occupy World Writes supports these assemblies in the name of peace to call attention to our solidarity with the Syrian people and all those before and after in all parts of the world who have suffered the atrocities of chemical weapons.
Which rally will YOU be attending?