Last week I wrote about Syria and the use of chemical weapons. “Someone, despot or rebel, has left innocent children guttering, choking and drowning. The world surely needs to take some action before others follow suit.”
A reader was so offended he wrote to the letters column not once but twice, accusing me of wanting to bomb Syria and therefore having ‘the same punitive mentality as terrorists’.
I did not call for bombing, which I believe would do nothing but add to the present chaos.
I made it clear that I was still unsure who had unleashed chemical weapons and called for ‘action’.
To assume ‘action’ means only bombing suggests a paucity of imagination.
President Assad’s wife (pictured) still luxury shops on the internet.
If the entire world took concerted economic action against Syria, froze it’s assets, stopped it’s airlines flying, banned import/export, closed its borders except to refugees, perhaps they could bring both sides to the table.
Yes, the poor would suffer alongside the rich but hopefully a total boycott would bring rapid results.
Such concerted action may be a pipedream. Would Russia and China agree?
But, with neighbouring countries groaning under the weight of 5000 refugees a day, the latest UN estimate, with Arab nations reportedly offering to bankroll US intervention, with Assad reportedly having access to viruses allied to smallpox, doing nothing is not the answer.
My critic cites previous use of chemical weapons by the US as reason for not acting now. If we had been tougher on the use of napalm in Vietnam we might not be in this present mess.