Ah Syria!

Ah Syria!
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The quagmire in Syria shows no sign of ending. Instead of some sort of closure to the conflict, it is intensifying by the day with the people of Syria suffering amidst the melee. Hundreds and thousands of people have been killed now; more casualties might be in the offing given that the conflict has intensified. The sad and tragic irony is that in the larger plots and sub plots to the unfolding tragedy in Syria, multiple powers have become involved and have raised stakes there. These powers’ involvement is not predicated upon achieving peace in Syria but rather furthering their interests. At the centre of the whole saga is Bashar Assad who has been propped up by various powers and who clings tenaciously to power by virtue of these powers. All this goes onto demonstrate that , in the final analysis, the concept and practice of human rights is mostly and largely paid lip service. What matters, in the world of states, is state interests and power. Human rights are then either used as a political instrument or merely as a concept to harangue others, rather hypocritically. The Syrian tragedy also demonstrates all too vividly and eloquently the elemental hypocrisy of the United States, the country that had no conscientious qualms in marauding and destroying Iraq and thereby throwing the Middle East into a tizzy but the country merely stood by as Syria fell apart. Admittedly, what was going on in Syria was under the shield of sovereignty, but then Syria’s sovereignty had , over time, become notional. Moreover, the so called concept of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) could have been taken recourse to and employed to ease the sufferings of the Syrian people. But, nay, the world watched and continues to watch as a mute spectator as Syrians get slaughtered. All this is in the nature of a very sad commentary on the state of the world , broadly speaking , and international relations and politics, in particular. The discipline of international relations and the practice of international politics is determined by and oriented towards states and state interest. The rest is mere corollary or even hot air. In this sense then, the humanity has not progressed beyond a point. It is on the day when human rights, actually mean more than states, that humanity could be said to have redeemed itself. But, all said and done, these assertions would not only be academic to the suffering people of Syria but would sound as a cruel joke to them.

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