The United States should unleash its most powerful weapon ‒ not bombs, the truth ‒ to help resolve the Syrian tragedy, says contributing editor-at-large Tess Lawrence.
THIS IS A CRI DE COEUR or primal scream; I am no longer capable of discerning between the two.
As the body count continues to swell in Syria and ineffectual squabbling governments strut the world stage rightly decrying the moral bankruptcy and cowardice inherent in the heinous poisoning of innocents, fools like me cower and weep in the dark of long nights seemingly bereft of hope and humanity.
It is a game of political quislings for long lost thrones.
Tomorrow, Australia will assume its one month tenure for the rotating presidency of the United Nations Security Council.
Given how incompetent we are at governing and securing our own country and our brutish behaviour in contracting out our 'refugee problem', may the heavens help us.
Within the UN forum, Australia has grown adebt at squibbing our responsibilities, often abstaining from voting on contentious issues.
We are little more than addicts enslavened to the will and dictates of the United States Government, pimping America's wares and wars.
We are already party to sending in the drones via Pine Gap; we are their clowns.
And we have priors in such unseemly and politically juvenile conduct.
Why have we not led the world in opening our hearts and homes to refugees?
Why have we failed to show even a flicker of leadership and example in relation to the killing field that Syria has now become?
Where is our humanitarian response to this hyper-barbaric catastrophe?
There are only five permanent members of the Security Council and we are not among them.
The deep end of the pool is reserved for the the big boys — China, France, Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
We get to hold their towels and rub their egos dry.
In terms of Syria, both Russia and China have to be brought in from the cold. What has happened to old-fashioned diplomacy?
Whilst the endless UN procrastination about Syria continues, have we fully explored humanitarian strategies?
Has the UK and US consulted with and prevailed upon Russia and China to at least broker an immediate cessation of hostilities for a limited amount of time to create a specific 'Humanitarian Zone?'
Russia and China could deploy and equip Russian Antonovs with international medical crews and equipment to create temporary hospitals, to attend to the ill and dying — and also airlift patients out of the country for specialist medical treatment.
It is surely critical that Russia and China be allowed to exercise their considerable influence and that Iran and other countries should be invited to contribute. Surely it is worth a try — to draw up a Covenant and to lay down all arms and allow those in the Humanitarian Zone to pick up their stethoscopes.
Overnight, US Secretary of State John Kerry and The White House issued an assessment of the Syrian Government's use of chemical weapons.
Kerry is one of America's more highly regarded and respected politicians. For decades, he has forged a track record of tackling issues of injustice and violation of human rights.
In Kerry's remarks about the assessment, he emphasised:
We have intelligence that leads us to assess that Syrian chemical weapons personnel…were preparing chemical munitions prior to the attack.
In the three days prior to the attack, we collected streams of human, signals and geospatial intelligence that reveal regime activities that we assess were associated with preparations for a chemical weapons attack.
....We know where the rockets were launched from, and at what time.
We know where they landed, and when.
We know rockets came only from regime-controlled areas and went only to opposition-controlled or contested neighborhoods.
Describing the chemical attack on civilians near Damascus last week as an “inconceivable horror”, Kerry said Syrian government forces had killed 1,429 people and that this death toll included 426 children.
Our collective history is stagnant with inconceivable horrors, poisons and industrial strength slaughter and murder.
Think Mustard Gas, Agent Orange, Nagasaki and Hiroshima, think Rwanda and Maralinga and think the poisons put into the wells and meagre rations of Indigenous peoples.
I am calling upon the White House to release its most powerful weapon to we, the people of the world.
I am calling for the White House to become a whistleblower for the greater good; to become a true advocate of global citizens and citizenship and community.
I call on the White House to post the geophysical and other data on its website. It can redact those details that might lead to informants.
Geophysical data lends itself to public scrutiny and mapping. This, you can share.
Instead of being part of the problem, the U.S. administration could contribute to being part of the solution, if Uncle Sam put his gun back in the holster and took out the most powerful weapon in his arsenal.
The most powerful weapon in the world is the truth.
Tess Lawrence is a guest speaker today after 4pm at the 24 hour Speak-Out, Live Wire for Refugees event at Melbourne's Federation Square. Live Wire runs from noon Saturday to noon Sunday and there will be a livestream of this community event.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Australia License