What does it say when it takes the summary execution of children to awaken the world to the living, breathing atrocity they call the Syrian government?
Of the 108 Syrians massacred Friday by President Bashar al-Assad’s goons, as many as 49 are said to have been children. Most of the 108 were killed with bullets through their heads at close range.
It is the most shocking barbarity we’ve seen on the world stage in years, and perhaps enough of a wake-up call to get even the sleepy United Nations stirring.
Unfortunately, the savagery in Syria is brought to you, in part, by that same United Nations – which, because of its outdated power structure, has allowed the soulless Russian and Chinese governments to stand in the way of meaningful resolutions or actions that might have toppled Assad by now and saved those 108 lives.
In fact, Russia has armed Assad’s assassins, and has been his staunchest ally – making sure that, after 14 months of murdering his own people in order to cling ruthlessly to a few more days of power, he was alive and well and in place to oversee this latest, most horrific evil deed.
The world can no longer stand by and watch this.
For all of U.N. special envoy Kofi Annan’s naïve delicacy, the remaining microscopic credibility of the United Nations now rests on removing Assad. Don’t hold your breath.
It’s likely any substantial solutions will have to come from outside of the U.N.’s vast circle of impotence. And surely more can be done than expelling Syrian diplomats, as Australia, Canada, Spain, the United Kingdom, Italy, France and Germany have joined us in doing.
But while there might be a role for U.S. power – and critics of the Obama administration over the weekend cried out for a morsel of leadership from this White House – that particular part of the world is simply too inhospitable toward the U.S. for us to do much.
Thus, this exploding crisis may be as much a test of the Arab League as it is the United Nations.
Pity the poor Syrians on that account.