Syria Civil War
The foreign affairs minister says Canada wants Bashar Assad's associates to know their war crimes will not be tolerated.
"There's an opportunity to bring renewed energy to the political process."
"Assad choked out the lives of innocent men, women and children," Trumped declared.
"Any ground intervention in Syria, without the consent of the Syrian government, will be considered an aggression that should be resisted by every Syrian citizen."
I'm scared that we will somehow fail the people we sponsor, or that they will be ungrateful and not very nice. I suppose I'm slightly concerned that they will actually be bad people. And I'll admit I'm a little scared (possibly irrationally) of the remotely possible Fundamental Islamification of Canada. I feel, incidentally, that I should be allowed to express these fears without being called a racist or xenophobe. But most of those are small, imaginary fears, and what refugees from Syria are fleeing are big, real fears.
As a little girl growing up in the 1980s during the final years of Lebanon's 15-year civil war, my family often had to take shelter underground from these attacks. I can remember the sting of my fear, how I could almost smell it in my mother and father and siblings.
"The first thing that crossed our mind was remembering our own son Ben at that age running around."
Years ago, when I was young and reckless, I backpacked solo through Syria. One morning, at the bus station in Homs, I had to make a spur of the moment decision; I could go west, towards the sea and Lebanon, or I could go east, to the ancient city of Palmyra. I turned west. I never saw Palmyra. The 2000 year old city is now in the hands of ISIS.
The international community must strengthen its efforts to work towards a political solution to the Syrian civil war. It cannot afford to lose focus, as the children of Syria cannot afford another year of suffering, another year without education, healthcare, and protection. There are no enemy children, and we must do whatever it takes to save lives.
With the improbability of an U.S. intervention in Syria and the last of the American troops out of Iraq, for better or worse, the U.S. and the West may be limited to stay on the sidelines while working through allies in the region while the fate of the region is in the balance.