Starving people to death is a war plan. Militias use it to get their opponents to agree to their terms.
That is what is going on in Syria. The Islamic terrorists are trying to bring down President Assad. Syrian rebel groups also are trying to bring down President Assad. At the same time, the terrorists and rebels are fighting each other.
Here is the local scorecard. Russia says it is trying to destroy the terrorists. Russia is also bombing the rebels. Russia supports Assad. Iran supports Assad. The United States wants to support the rebels, bring down Assad and destroy the terrorists.
The result is bedlam.
Thousands of Syrians have fled the country. Thousands are still inside its cities. They cannot get out. The armies of Assad are starving their own people. Why? They are starving people to get bargaining power. Assad believes it will help him stay in power.
Diplomats use words and not guns. However, while they are talking, militias are barricading Syrian cities. They are keeping relief agencies out. They are keeping food out.
The world is now looking at the city of Madaya in Syria. People there are dying of starvation. The images have become too much to bear. Relief convoys are entering the city.
Why do not the world’s powers simply use their might to make things right? They say that the problem is bigger than one atrocity. Peace only will come with an agreement to end war.
Talks are going on everywhere. The parties agree to cease-fires. Then the cease-fires are broken. The war may end when one side wins. It is more likely that the war will go on for a long time.
Can the United States or Russia make a difference? The answer is yes. However, their officials face questions at home. Why lose lives and spend money on a war thousands of miles away?
Source: The New York Times January 10, 2016