Before dawn, gunmen walked into a Damascus apartment complex in the suburb of Jaramana and found their way to the fifth floor. Once they located the right unit, they banged on door. The door opened slowly. A dozy occupant stuck his head around the corner. Gunfire echoed across the complex. The police commander living in the apartment had been fighting the resistance. Before he could speak, the resistance gunmen shot him to death and fled.

Local observers now report opponents of Syrian President Bashar Assad appear to be assassinating loyalist military officers in an attempt to bring down the government. Ten senior officers, including several generals, have been gunned down in the past three months. No one can determine if the slayings are carried out by rogue elements or are a rebel strategy.

At the same time, the U.N.’s political chief noted the Syrian government has failed to implement any aspect of the peace plan Assad said they had accepted. Political chief B. Lynn Pascoe reported to the Security Council that the Syrian government remains at war. To punish the people of Hama for welcoming U.N. monitors,  government troop drove through neighborhoods firing automatic weapons and killing at least 32 people.

During the week of April 22, France raised the prospect of their military intervention in the Syrian crises. The French asserted that harsher measures should be considered as it appears the U.N. peace plan is on the verge of collapse. The problem remains that any military action proposed through the U.N. will be blocked by Russia and China. (This issue was discussed in a previous blog). At the same time, Western forces appear to not want to enter another Middle Eastern turmoil. The result? Stalement.

Some years ago, I visited the United Nations offices in New York City and had a guided tour through the facility. During the visit, I heard lectures on what the U.N. had been trying to accomplish. No one can doubt the value of an international center where nations can negotiate before wars begins. In addition, U.N. cultural and social departments have addressed and fought suffering around the world.

As the same time, the U.N. looks inept when it comes to stopping the collision of national interests that support on-going wars. The ultimate question about the viability of creating an organization with the power to impose its will on any state remains unanswered. Arguments abound for why world governments are not ready to accept such an international force. On the other hand, countries like Syria can continue wanton killing without fear of intervention. Good will and the desire for peace are abstractions that don’t stop killing. The quagmire remains. How can an international organization stop war when it lacks the cooperation of its members to support these efforts?

While the question goes unanswered, Bashar Assad’s government continues killing all who stand in their way. Is this anyway to run the world?


Question: What should America do to stop the crisis in Syria? Should troops be sent.

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