Hama. Srebrenica. Rwanda. Darfur. Homs?
Will the world again watch and wring its hands while a dictator massacres innocent civilians? Bashar al-Assad seems determined to repeat his father’s actions and put down opposition with terrorizing levels of violence.
Will he succeed? Possibly — but opposition remains widespread and international condemnation is strong.
Can anything be done? Yes — creating a safe refuge within eastern Turkey; providing arms to rebels; encouraging unity and providing recognition for the Syrian opposition. While it is dangerous to give anti-tank weapons and mines to members of the Free Syrian Army, it is the only way to stop Assad’s tanks and artillery from inflicting a rain of death on Homs and other cities.
The world has a responsibility to protect Syrians who peacefully demanded basic liberties; to shrink from doing so for fear of other problems later is to give the upper hand to tyrants everywhere.
What the international community is doing now is the worst possible thing: encouraging the Syrian people with no intention of helping them. This will result in more deaths, without changing the result.
If international community cannot help, it should engage China and Russia and get more concessions from Assad. But then the question is can the leopard change its spots.