Picture of children massacred
by Syrian Government forces in
Houla, Syria on Friday.
There are times when a significant U.N. authorized international peacekeeping intervention into the internal affairs of another country is called for and at present Syria is that country.
In March, Kofi Annan, the former Secretary General of the U.N., authored and brokered a cease fire peace deal with Syrian strongman Hafiz Assad that called for the regime to end its tank presence and artillery shelling of Syrian towns, institute a cease fire while a team of some 300 U.N. observers were assigned to monitor the country.
To say the least, there's been anything but a cease fire and on Friday, more than a hundred women and young children were massacred by forces loyal to Assad in the city of Houla.
Carnage of this magnitude can only be described as genocide, with amateur footage of the bodies of dead children seared in my head.
Even Russia, the Assad regimes principal ally (other than Iran) condemned the killings with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov saying, "There is no doubt that the government used artillery and tanks" and "many bodies have been found with injuries from firearms at point blank range."
In this writers calling for a significant international peacekeeping intervention in Syria, it must be U.N. authorized, approved unanimously by the Security Council (including of course Russia and China, two countries that have traditionally opposed such intervention) and significantly, not be a NATO operation.
As for NATO, it has no jurisdiction in Syria and as we've seen in its Libyan intervention, it went far beyond the need to protect the people of Benghazi and preventing the impending massacre that surely would have occurred at the hands of Muammar Qaddafi.
Syria under Assad has seen thousands of innocent Syrians killed by his forces since the uprising against the regime began 15 months ago.
Western governments have remained mostly on the sidelines knowing any unilateral intervention outside of U.N. authority, particularly NATO, would not be accepted internationally.
Meanwhile the latest has Annan back in Damascus meeting with Assad today trying to resuscitate his cease fire peace plan that seems a shambles, obviously all but ignored by Assad.
It has seemed Assad has no intention of stepping down on his own and he has up to now concluded no real outside intervention is forthcoming; even when his forces commit atrocities.
One unsaid complication to any sizeable U.N. intervention in Syria is U.S. involvement. That brings with it a "suspicion of motive" considering the U.S. unilateral invasions and occupations in Afghanistan and Iraq, neither of which were U.N. authorized. It's hard for others to see the U.S. as a peacekeeper when it's off precipitating unnecessary pre-emptive wars and occupations.