June 4, 2014

Finally, Syrian children, or the ones not disabled by fear or their amputations, will be able to dance in the streets, when Aerial bombing and shelling are not in action, jubilant that they can now breathe normal gunpowder- scented air without fear of suffocation and convulsion to death.

Luckily for Syrian children, they did not have to wait for Srebrenica, where more than 8,000 Bosnian Muslims were murdered by the Serbs, or Halabja, where more than 5000 Kurds were gassed by Saddam Hussein. It only took 1,003 adults and 426 children gassed by Nerve Gas in Ghouta, for our “moral leadership” and “Exceptionalism” to crawl into action languorously to halt the massacres, albeit only those related to chemical weapons !

Maram, 4 year old girl, who sustained a spinal cord injury after her house in Idlib was bombed by Russian-made Syrian jets and Basmalah, 7 year old girl, who sustained disfiguring burns after a Napalm-like bomb hit her family apartment in Aleppo are thanking God for the fact that Samantha Power, the champion of ending Genocides by all powers necessary, is now in power to end the Syrian Genocide.

Thanks to the generous, heartwarming Russian humanitarian initiative and to the astute, timely American diplomacy, Syrian children will no longer be gassed to death by Sarin gas or other internationally prohibited chemical weapons. Now, as it has been the case for the past two and a half years, they will be only allowed to burn, hemorrhage or be blustered to death by indiscriminate shelling of neighborhoods via ballistic missiles, Napalm-like bombs, surface to surface artilleries and Russian-made Syrian fighter jets. They will be also permitted to die in front of their mothers’ eyes, but away from the International media eyes, after being hit by sniper bullets in the alleys of Homs, Aleppo and Damascus.

Premature newborns will continue to suffocate to death, not from Sarin Gas, but from shortage of electricity and diesel fuel that operates hospitals’ generators, malfunctioning of incubators and ventilators and shortage of Neonatologists in Aleppo, Idlib, Deir Alzour, Ghouta and Daraa.

Other exempted, although less exotic, forms of death include, but not limited to, torture while in detention, dehydration due to shortage of intravenous fluid, freezing to death, heat stroke and scorpion bites in the wild or in refugee camps, Diphtheria, Measles and other preventable diseases from shortage of vaccinations and oral antibiotics.

Young babies will have to suffer silently from malnutrition due to shortage of baby formula and even die of starvation in Douma, Mouadameyya, Dareyya, and Homs. Children with cancer will have to succumb to their disease, not because they are not treatable, but due to shortage of Oncologists, chemotherapy and radiation therapy and the inability to travel to cancer centers due to unsafe or blockaded roads.

Injured children with amputated arms and legs, spinal cord injuries, bullets and shrapnel in their skulls and tummies will have to agonize patiently in refugee tents, make-shift underground field hospitals or partially destroyed hospitals.

The all-wise world powers, embarrassed by yet another dictator crossing their redlines, have decided to ignore war crimes, crimes against humanity, ethnic cleansing, and their responsibility to protect as long as the Syrian regime promises not to gas its children publicly anymore.

The compassionate United Nations will continue to shame the Assad regime for its human rights violations while forsaking their Responsibility to Protect Syrian children from systematic torture and rape of Syrian girls (and boys) in the famously hospitable Syrian prisons, as well as the exploitation of Syrian girls by sheikhs and cold-hearted men in the refugee camps.

The United States and our European allies will continue to warn the helpless Syrian opposition from the dangers that the Al-Nusra Front and other extremist groups pose on our national security and that of our allies, while keeping the Syrian field wide open for the recruiters of the rejuvenated and child-friendly Al-Qaeda and its modern affiliates.

The United Nations agencies will commit to publish periodic reports about the staggering biblical numbers of displaced Syrian children in refugee camps, now reaching more than 1 million outside Syria and 3.5 million inside Syria, while using all of its powers and words to “urge” the donor nations not to keep them deprived from access to secular education, healthcare, and security.

The increasingly impotent UN Security Council will continue to debate the crisis vigorously, while “praying” that those young souls will be able to overcome the horrible experiences on their own and “hoping” that they will not grow angry at the world that let them down when they desperately needed a protector and helping hand.

The world powers decided to exempt the Syrian regime from the conventions on the rights of children, the Convention on Torture, the Geneva Convention, the Genocide Convention, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the Land-mine Convention, as long as it accepts signing on to the Chemical Weapons Convention.

After 30 months of an ongoing genocide, the displacement of seven million people, the murder of more than 110,000 adults and 11,000 children by conventional weapons, the destruction of their villages and neighborhoods, the erasing of historic landmarks and the traumatizing of the entire population by all means of terror, the children in Syria can now breathe a sigh of relief, free of Sarin gas.

Dr Zaher Sahloul is a practicing Pulmonary & Critical Care specialist in Chicago and the president of the Syrian American Medical Society, www.sams-usa.net. He has been in several medical missions to Syria and refugee camps in the past two years.

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