Tuesday, February 17, 2015

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Warfare and the Arms Trade are Good for Big Business

Steven Katsineris with some recent thoughts on the Syrian conflict. Steven Katsineris is an Australian freelance writer of articles on Palestine, Cyprus and the rest of the Middle East region, political prisoners and human rights, environmental and social issues. He has been actively involved in the Palestine solidarity movement for over forty years. Steven Katsineris lives with his family in Melbourne, Australia.
 
The human and material cost of the horrific conflict in Syria has been enormous. Since 2011, it is estimated that over 200,000 people have been killed. The UN figure is higher at over 220,000. Of these more than 63,000 were civilians, including about 6,500 women and at least 10,515 children. The remainder have been fighters of the various factions.

The fighting has also forced two and a half million refugees to flee Syria into Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq and North Africa. Another 7.6 million refugees have been internally displaced because of the war.
Despite this harrowing death toll and the huge exodus of refugees, the world has largely ignored this brutal war and remained silent, refusing to take any meaningful actions to help end the massacres, the immense devastation and the appalling suffering of the people.
I find it heart-wrenchingly sad and beyond belief that after so many atrocities of the recent past, such as the Armenian genocide and the massive slaughter of Greeks and Assyrians by Ottoman Turkey, the large-scale mass murders by Nazi Germany and Japan in WW11, mass killings in the USSR, China, Cambodia, Iraq, Rwanda, Argentina, Bosnia and elsewhere and with the international community stating it would never allow such crimes against humanity to happen again, the world has done nothing to end this terrible carnage.
How much longer will the UN, The Arab League and the rest of the international community stand by and do nothing while this vicious war continues unabated. This blatant inaction is immoral and inexcusable. As much pressure as possible needs to be exerted on the world community to act and compel all parties involved to bring about a break in the fighting and create the conditions for a just resolution to the conflict that brings genuine peace, security and freedom to the people of Syria. This will not only help Syrians create a viable peace, but will help the cause of world peace and stability. What is happening in Syria and Iraq is a danger to the entire region and the entire rest of the world. No part of the globe is immune.
Unfortunately, warfare and the arms trade are good for big business, many of the major military powers and the various fascist extremist groups, but it is ordinary people and the planet that suffer from these wars. Because of this it is only the power of common people that can stop this intolerable state of affairs by demanding an end to constant futile conflicts. It is therefore the responsibility of all of us to do something constructive to change this situation. Each one of us can do a little and that will amount to a lot.

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