Daily slaughter by Assad in Syria raises moral question: Whatever happened to the sanctity of life?

Whatever happened to the sanctity of life?

That is the moral question raised by the daily slaughter of peaceful protesters in Syria by a regime whose moral and legal claim to legitimacy has been drowned in blood.

It is not the only question sparked by Syria. In fact, the bloodshed across the Middle East and North Africa raises moral issues and hard political questions that are universal.
With what justification are heads of government and military and security force commanders being judged by different standards than those applied to serial killers?

What is the difference between killing for personal gain and killing for political benefit or naked power?

And finally, do not the leaders of countries with a right of veto in the United Nations Security Council equally have blood on their hands by allowing the killing in Syria to continue unchallenged for their own domestic and geo-political games?

These are questions that arise not only from Syria where demonstrators put the regime and the international community daily to shame, but also by the senseless loss of life elsewhere.

They stem from Libya where ill-prepared rebels bravely confront Libyan leader Col. Muammar Qaddafi’s forces with half-hearted support from NATO.

And from Yemen where unwillingness to endorse protesters’ legitimate demands is allowing the country to descend into chaos and anarchy.

To be sure, foreign military intervention is not necessarily the answer.

But it is time to call a spade a spade rather than endorse the veil of moral sanctity that the international community seeks to envelop itself in.

It may well be that the bloodshed is inevitable, but there is no justification for avoiding a frank and open discussion on that from which likely no one will emerge smelling like roses.


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