Ignoring the United Nations… Again

Source: The Guardian

Source: The Guardian

The United States and Britain are all set to attack Syria, after reports of chemical attacks allegedly carried out by President Assad’s regime against the Syrian people came in, “killing hundreds” as per the BBC.

Now given the available information, I don’t know who carried the chemical weapons attack. Syria denies it, blaming it on the rebels, but the Western governments are convinced. The United States has concluded that the Syrian government is behind the attacks.

However, without getting into a debate for evidence, if the intervening attack to prevent chemical weapons is necessary, then it must be carried out by the United Nations. It is the responsibility of the United Nations to keep peace.

Unfortunately, the United States is apparently by-passing the United Nations again, as it did for Iraq, as it is considering military strikes and have deployed units without even waiting for the reports of the UN chemical weapons inspectors. United States and Britain have even made it clear that they are not seeking permission from the UN or the NATO.

Debate has started in the United States whether President Obama should seek the approval of the Congress or not. But I am not concerned about that. I think a strike is the responsibility of the UN, not the US.

I believe that all the people who are concerned with war crimes in Syria and support correct moral choices and intervention would be much happier if such action is taken after comprehensive fact finding, and preferably under the auspices of the United Nations Security Council, which is unlikely.

On the other hand, Russia has threatened to veto the resolution for military strike against the Syrian government, as it has done in the past. Russia has even warned of “catastrophic consequences“. This makes the countries often exercising this power to wonder about the veto rule again.

And then people complain that the United Nations is useless, redundant and powerless. How can it possibly work, if its member states, especially the most powerful ones will not allow it to work?

I do hope that the Syrian regime had used chemical weapons, otherwise this could possibly go down in history as another unnecessary war like Iraq, ending in atrocities as usual. And the funniest bit is that they insist that the attack is not about regime change.

I hope I am wrong.

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Getting Offended By Inhumane Things

A new episode in the theater of America’s global war on shadows has been the appearance of a video showing a group of US marines urinating on the corpses of Taliban militants. As often is the case with such videos, the world has expressed its shock and disgust. Afghan President Hamid Karzai called it “inhumane” and “dehumanizing” and Leon Panetta, the US Secretary of Defense, has called it utterly deplorable. Similar comments were made by the US Secretary of State and the spokesperson of the Taliban.

I agree with them. It is a bit inhumane and I have actually just learned that doing so can be considered a war crime as per the Geneva Convention. I have also noticed that the Afghan President, the US Government and Military and the Taliban have finally agreed upon calling something inhumane. This is a great event in the recent history of the world I can tell you. We have finally established that urinating on corpses is more inhumane than killing people, and that it is more inhumane than wars.

I am not really defending the troopers who urinated on the dead Taliban militants but I am surprised to see people who support wars to be disturbed by the unpleasant things that happen in them. Urinating on corpses in my view is a pretty harmless action, or a harmless “war crime”, if you will, if it is a war crime at all. That has more to do with the respect those soldiers have for the dead, but not anything more, I have to say. Quite frankly, I am not sure what politicians and generals expect soldiers to do when they send them out for a war.

I wonder why urinating on dead people is more offensive in our world than killing alive people. Why be so selective about what you find offensive.

Radio host Dana Loesch said that she would join the soldiers urinating  on the Taliban herself and that it’s a war after all.

While her decision to join the urinating company is purely her own to make, there is little doubt about the fact that it is a war, after all.

She has been criticized for voicing her honest opinion. What she said on the radio was a bit insensitive, even if that is the truth, as truth sometimes is. But I have more respect for her than the heads of state and statesmen condemning this gruesome act, which I do not approve of or endorse and, which will have no significant impact on the history of the world whatsoever.

Imagine Revenge For This

Hiroshima After the Bombing - Source: Boston.com

As discussed in the previous post, revenge is almost a common “instinctive behavior” among humans and whenever they are attacked by their enemies, unless their minds are polluted and adulterated by the ideas of non-violence, they consider it important to avenge the disgrace and the damage, which perhaps is a sign of an intelligent species. 66 years ago, this day, in the final days of World War II, the United States military dropped a “Little Boy” over the Japanese port city of Hiroshima, and three days later, a “Fat Man” on Nagasaki. The war had almost ended, but soon after this miraculous incident, the declaration of surrender was issued by the Japanese. A great victory.

Perhaps this particular attack was revenge for Pearl Harbor, another atrocious act of war, but the question that many ask is whether this really was justifiable as a revenge. It’s actually even absurd to consider that for a second, let alone making a comparison. The loss of lives in any case is equal, without considering the death toll from both the events. However, the magnitude of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was overwhelmingly horrific to say the least.

Whatever may be the reasons for bombing the two Japanese cities, since it has been one of the greatest mysteries baffling people around the world for more than half a century, the extent of pain and damage caused by it is terrifyingly evident. Though it can be said with confidence that the people responsible for the act would have a clear idea, as to some “it saved countless lives”. Possibly. What a sacrifice, but it looked more like a shameless display of power than anything else. The rest of the world and probably the future Japanese generations have been saved the trouble of really knowing much about it in detail due to the limited information resources and telecommunications at the time.

Should such an incident occur in our times, you would instantly witness a live commentary on the social media from an observable distance from which telecommunication systems could operate even if the mainstream news channels choose to overlook the detailed coverage of the event. However, the generation surviving the nuclear attack and those who witnessed the most terrible sight of their lives in the bombing, did actually decide to document the aftermath as much as they could, which can now be found in the respective memorials and museums in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which any visitor to these cities can conveniently skip when it comes to sightseeing, if anyone chooses those destinations at all for recreation.

From such overwhelming evidence, it is not hard to see what even a very relatively weak nuclear warhead could do to the planet, let alone the thought of its damage on human flesh and bone, and on most of all, nerves.  Imagine a storm-like shockwave hitting you faster than the speed of sound where you are sitting right now, with debris collapsing around you under the pressure of something like 5.0 psi, or lesser, or higher, and if you survive the impact, imagine the scorching heat from the explosion that could burn out your flesh and set your nerves on fire.

Photo: Alfred Eisenstaedt

Even if someone is good or lucky enough to survive the impact and the sound and heat from the explosion, they could hardly escape the poisoning of radiation, which can prove to be even more sickening and torturous as you discover its terrible effects with the passage of time, once you realize what in the world really has happened.  It is indeed even a horrific thing to imagine, and even more terrifying is the thought of retaliation for such an action anywhere in the world. If you are living in one of the trouble(-making/expecting)  countries of the world, then the probability of finding yourself in such a situation significantly increases.

It was the same fear that engulfed the world, particularly two nations, during the Cold War era. If you recall all those underground shelters that everyone would want to have. Still ironically, this period saw the greatest number of nuclear explosions on the surface and the atmosphere of the planet than any other period and let us hope that those years maintain that record to their name. With several nations possessing and actively using the nuclear technology, a lot of people believe that rejecting such fears may be a touch too optimistic.

However, apart from strategic conflicts of the modern world, the real question was to consider how outrageously audacious the decision of bombing not one, but two cities, mostly filled with innocent women and children who had little part to play in the war except for their relation to the men of the country and for playing their unavoidable part in its society and economy.

It is indeed a shame for humanity and global powers that the persons responsible for this act have never even been considered to be prosecuted by a tribunal of war crimes. Not that it would do any good, but just saying this because somehow the people around the world are a bit too keen on finding justice, whatever that means.

But then again, war crimes are only committed by the enemy.

To some, the Japanese at the time “made the US to drop the bomb” on these two cities to subdue them, but the point is that the ones who suffered were innocent people who had nothing to do with any policy making whatsoever, as in all wars actually, and no discrimination or error of judgement should be made in questioning those who were responsible, if anyone ever feels the need to do that.

But if you ever have to picture the horrors and pain of what Hiroshima and Nagasaki attacks would have been like, just imagine revenge for this.

Consider what would become of the world if we start taking an eye for an eye for this.

Right now, the Japanese are apparently among the most peaceful, thoughtful, disciplined and civilized people in the world.

But after all, they are humans.