“Those who don’t know history are destined to repeat it.” ~ Edmund Burke (1729-1797)
History is repeating in Syria. The west is fully cognisant of the terrible cost to the Iraqi people for the spiteful, cruel sanctions on their country. Madelaine Allbright freely admitted this on prime time television, ‘We think the price was worth it.’ However, the west didn’t pay the price, they never do. It was paid by over 500,000 children (and others) who died due to the impact of sanctions, half a million children alone, many from conditions as simple a diarrhoea due to the lack of paediatric syringes to hydrate them, as they were deemed ‘dual use’. The powers that be sit in their ivory towers and decree who will live and who will die, all while their vassal states nod in sanctimonious agreement, the UN holds back documents that contradict them and they remain outrageously, the countries that claim the responsibility to protect.
So who protected little Joud? Whose responsibility was it?
It certainly wasn’t the responsibility of the caring Stella Matt, who tried to raise the funds needed to give him the medical care necessary to his survival. Not any easy task when the usual crowd funding avenues will not touch anything to do with Syria. It certainly wasn’t the responsibility of the ordinary citizens of the world who donated their money in an effort to save his young life regardless of sanctions. However, we knew our governments would not help and do feel a responsibility to protect children of the world suffering an unbearable life surrounded by incomprehensible violence with a chaser of sanctions. If they live through the violence, health problems from the simple to extremely complicated adds to the death toll of Syrians and children are the most vulnerable. When the village is unable to do their work raising the children, we need to be a global village, in a real sense, not just economically, and say we cannot abide this insanity any longer, we will lobby our government to put their money where their mouth is and uphold their credo of ‘responsibility to protect’ and remove the sanctions on Syria. We need to break sanctions as a matter of conscience when we can by making connections with people who can help to this end. We also need to pressure the UN to do their job and not cover up reports and allow the truth of Syria to be known!
“Over the past couple of weeks I have been working with a group of amazing individuals to help a 3.5 year old little Syrian boy named Joud Haider.
He has been diagnosed with Hydrocephalus, liquid in the brain, which has left him unresponsive and increasingly suffering damage to the brain.
Due to harsh sanctions on Syria he is unable to get the operation and treatment he requires there. Joud is one of thousands suffering unnecessary because of the sanctions we imposed.
We have arranged for him to be transported to a hospital in Malaysia to undergo neurosurgery and physical therapy to regain some active control of his life.
At the moment while travel arrangements are being made he has also contracted chicken pox and is being quarantined.
For a short time we believed Joud may survive.
This is the story of one small boy who we could not save, but there are so many others who could be helped, if not for the sanctions. I, as I’m sure may others do, vacillate between great sadness and white hot fury as we watch western countries do their best to destroy another sovereign state in the name of empire and sheer bastardy. We know the consequences, no parent should have to watch their baby die while the west congratulate themselves on their moral superiority.
More on the Sanctions on Syria:
“There is one difference between Sadaam Hussein’s Iraq and Syria today. International sanctions on Iraq had United Nations backing and were approved by all the major powers. The ones on Syria are unilateral. They derive from decisions taken by Britain and the rest of the European Union as well as the United States.
Not only were they not given international legal authorisation by any UN Security Council resolution, they were explicitly condemned by a UN General Assembly resolution of 20 December 2013, which states that “unilateral coercive economic measures adversely affect the economies and development efforts of developing countries in particular”.
“Such measures”, the resolution continues, “constitute a flagrant violation of the principles of international law as well as the basic principles of the multilateral trading system”.”
Excerpts from the UN report: Humanitarian Impact of Syria-Related Unilateral Restrictive Measures:
“European Doctor operating in Syria, “even though in theory it should be possible to procure medical equipment, the indirect effects of sanctions, especially the challenges it creates for Syrians to access banks accounts, makes the import of medical instruments and other medical supplies immensely difficult, nearly impossible. It also makes it far more expensive”.
European Doctor operating in Syria, “We often source medical equipment from neighbouring countries without always disclosing a Syria link. When we do say Syria is the destination country, the good ends up costing a lot more, and will often be subject to lengthy delays”.49
U.S./Syrian Doctor operating in Syria, “It becomes difficult to access medical up-grades, i.e., software updates, as these are not included on the U.S. list of allowed goods”.
The electricity sector has seen blackouts and a dramatic reduction in electricity generation due to damages arising from the conflict that have impacted power plants, transmission and distribution, plus a lack of maintenance.
European Company X has traditionally provided servicing and parts to a number of Syrian power plants; these plants are now over overdue for urgent maintenance and at imminent risk of break down. Currently power can be provided for a limited period within any given day, even in some areas of Damascus power supply is around 1-2 hours per day. According to available informa- tion only one of the power plants, the Deir Ali combined cycle power plant facility is generating power for:
More than 2 million civilians in different geographical areas ( i.e. Damascus, Swieda, Daraa and Konaytra );
For 300 pumping stations to supply portable water portable and irrigation water for 30,000 km2 of farmlands; and
Approximately 150 hospitals.
The licensing requirements under the export control regulations are more restrictive for Syria than Sudan.
There is a long list of items used for “basic human needs” that can be used to export goods without a licence from the U.S. government to otherwise embargoed countries, such as Cuba. These same items require a licence for export to Syria.
For Somalia, which is in a similar situation to Syria (in that a designated terrorist organisation controls certain territories), the U.S. government has issued a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) fact sheet, signaling an effective safe harbor against certain technical violations stemming from humanitarian aid delivery.
In the case of the Sudan sanctions, the U.S. government has set up a system for “vetting” Ngos to ensure their reliability; no such system exists with respect to the Syria sanctions programme. However, one could certainly be useful to assuage U.S. government concerns.”
RIP little Joud. My deep and sincere condolences to his family.
Links to information on Australia’s harsh and autonomous sanctions on Syria. Both sides of government hold hands on Syria Sanctions: