I assume I am not the only person who feels distress each day when I see a news report from Aleppo, Syria. The images of wounded children, overcrowded hospitals, and destroyed buildings is difficult to bear. To make matters worse, both Russian and Syrian airplanes seem to be purposely targeting hospitals, civilians, and aid agencies. The aid convoy that was underway to Aleppo carrying food and medical supplies, ostensibly with the consent of Russia, was destroyed by Russian aircraft under the command of Donald Trump’s buddy, Vladimir Putin.
What can be done to stop the carnage short of kidnapping Syrian president Bashar al-Assad and Russian president Vladimir Putin and putting them on trial for genocide? Europe is too militarily weak and disorganized to take meaningful action in Syria. As is almost always the case when a conflict breaks out anywhere in the world, the only country strong enough to respond is the United States.
President Obama had his chance when Bashar al-Assad crossed his “red line” by using chemical weapons against Syria’s civilian population. At that time, Russia was not yet in the war, and the US could have imposed a no-fly zone to prevent further attacks against civilians from the air. However, President Obama backed down. In October 2013 the Assad regime agreed to give up its chemical weapons by submitting them to an international coalition that would remove and destroy them.
I do not know whether Syria surrendered all of its chemical weapons or not, but chlorine gas is easy to obtain or manufacture, and recent incidents indicate that Syria is again using it against its citizens. This time, President Obama is maintaining an ominous silence about the matter.
Now that Russia is engaged in the brutality, there is little that can be done to stop the massacre in Aleppo. Declaring a no-fly zone over Aleppo and its environs could result in the US shooting down one or more Russian aircraft, and Russia has enough nuclear bombs to destroy most human life on our planet, which would include most of the Russian population, of course. Would Vladimir Putin respond to a US downing of one of its aircraft by launching a nuclear missile and thereby possibly triggering a nuclear war? No one knows. What I believe we do know is that Barack Obama is not going to take that risk. He had his chance to slow the Syrian government’s massacre, and he blew it. He is not going to get a second opportunity.
So, night after night we are going to continue to see news stories on TV about dead children being dug out from the rubble of bombed buildings and read in the morning newspaper about the latest hospital to be destroyed by Russian airstrikes.
It is too bad that the concept of Hell is a fiction. Many of you may believe that Hell actually exists, but if it did, Bashar al-Assad and Vladimir Putin would already have places of honor in Hell’s hottest depths. If God existed, could he look down on the suffering in Aleppo with indifference? Aleppo is the greatest proof of our time that both Hell and God are no more than imaginary creations by the mind human beings, more’s the shame. If God existed, he would certainly rescue the children of Aleppo.