Humanitarian Intervention in Syria Essay

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With the growing carnage inflicted on the civilian population by Assad’s government, Syria’s twenty-one-month old political and humanitarian crisis does not seem to show any sign of progress. Hundreds of people, including women and children, are slaughtered every week in what the international community describes as a «massacre» of the syrian population. The establishment of human rights as a key component of international politics has allowed external actors to scrutinize and judge Assad regime’s poor treatment of its own people. Assad’s response has been one of inflexible negation, refusing any sort of cooperation with the international community whatsoever. Thus, the dilemma of the Syrian conflict is how much longer the
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Bachar el-Assad’s forces “continue to commit widespread, systematic, and gross human rights violations” by frantically making use of a heavy artillery against civilians. As the death rate continues to increase, it appears that the extensive reproaches from the Western World, the United Nations and the Arab league have had little or no effect on altering the Syrian government’s behavior (i.e last resort). Under the Rome Statue of the International Criminal Court, these acts likely constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity. Walzer argues that “active opposition to massacre and massive deportation is morally necessary; its risks must be accepted (Walzer, The Politics of Rescue (2005), 38).” Individuals who subscribe to the Responsibility to Protect[2] doctrine insist that we have already reached the point where we are now morally obliged to intervene against the Assad regime.

2. Might versus Right:

However, there are various problems with a just war analysis; while just cause and last resort are critically important, other just war criteria must be met. One of the main arguments against a humanitarian intervention is related to the concept of right intention. It is righteously feared that "humanitarian war" procures an opportune disguise for modern forms of imperialism and self-interested negligence of state sovereignty. Syria is at the center of multiple Middle East
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