Moral Low Ground


U.N.: Syria Death Toll Tops 7,500

The United Nations political chief says the death toll in Syria’s 11-month uprising is “well over” 7,500.

U.N. political chief  Lynn Pascoe cited “credible reports” that more than 100 people are dying each day in Syria.

“There are credible reports that the death toll now often exceeds 100 civilians a day, including many women and children,” she said.

On Tuesday, the U.N. Undersecretary General informed the Security Council that both the Syrian regime of dynastic dictator Bashar al-Assad and the international community have failed to stem the bloodshed, which began last March with a brutal government crackdown on what were then mostly peaceful demonstrations. Inspired by the other ‘Arab Spring’ revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt, Syrians took to the streets to demand better economic and political opportunities.

Just this past Saturday, opposition groups reported at least 75 people killed, 31 of them in Homs, which has been at the center of the uprising since it began. Another 59 deaths were reported on Sunday. Government forces, which have targeted foreign aid workers and journalists as well as their own people, are making it extremely difficult to evacuate foreigners and the wounded.

U.N. human rights chief Navi Pillay today called for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Syria, urging the world to take action to stop the Assad regime’s “countless atrocities.”

These include shelling civilians, executing deserters and torturing detainees. Opposition groups have also been accused of committing atrocities.

U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton announced today that Assad could be a war criminal. 

“There would be an argument to be made that he would fit into that category,” Clinton told a Senate committee hearing after Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) asked whether Assad could be considered a war criminal.

But Clinton added that such a label “limits options to persuade leaders to step down from power.”

But as anyone under attack by Assad’s forces will tell you, getting Assad to step down will require more than just “persuasion.” But Russia and China, with their Security Council veto power, are making it very difficult for the world to take action against the murderous Assad regime.

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