Readers' Blog: We must all act to end the atrocities in Syria

Nightly now we see the appalling cruelty being inflicted on helpless Syrian citizens by their own government and by their Rusian and Iranian allies. The scenes are indescribable and no one with a heart could fail to be moved to anger against the perpetrators. Behaviour first instigated by Bashar al Assad in brutally suppressing peaceful protest by Syrian citizens has ultimately led to this atrocious tragedy.

No one could deny what has happened, and is now happening is a crime against humanity. Indiscriminate bombing of civilian areas, deliberate destruction of hospitals, medical facilities, medical staff and patients, use of toxic gases, prevention of aid to injured and starving civilians are redolent of some of the worst atrocities of the 20th century.

Russian military and psychological support has in particular allowed this tyranny to prevail by its reprehensible diplomatic behavior at the UN and in failing to ensure humanitarian aid be given to civilians caught up in the carnage. For a country that suffered mightily and behaved extraordinarily bravely in resisting savage repression by the Nazis during the second world war, it is a sad reflection on present-day Russia.

As the prospect of either Mr Assad or Mr Putin being made accountable at the International Criminal Court for their heinous crimes is extremely remote, it surely falls to citizens in democracies around the world — and in Russia itself — to take to the streets and express their abhorrence for what is taking place. I appeal to Russians in Ireland, and Russians at home, to rise out of their apathy and demand of their president that he end this shameful action forthwith.

I also appeal to my fellow citizens to show your condemnation of the brutal slaughter of innocent civilians. And where are our third level students? Has even one of them felt it appropriate to organise a protest, petition or march on this issue?

The people of Ireland need to act now; not to do so, is to assent to what we witness in Syria every night on TV.

Brendan Kelleher


Co Cork

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