I am sitting at my desk close to tears looking at these pictures and reading stories from Aleppo. I feel angry, broken, helpless and lost. Humanity is dying before our eyes and all we can do is look on and watch. This has been going on for 5 years but many are only waking up now.
I am angry because this is allowed to happen in our world and it seem that nothing can be done about it – at least nothing that would mean no further bloodshed or violence. I feel broken because as a parent I feel like weeping as I imagine what it would feel like if this was my children. Imagine it was my boys trapped beneath the rubble, imagine it was my kids kept awake at night by the sound of gunfire and explosions, imagine it was my sons whose only hope in life was to try and stay alive. I feel helpless because as a doer, as someone who sees a problem and tries to find a solution, as someone who wants to shout out and defeat any injustice anywhere I feel powerless to do anything. I feel lost because I don’t know where to turn, any way I turn I see risk and danger, I don’t know what the solution is. Also, I honestly don’t know if the decision I took in 2013 to vote against UK military intervention in Syria was the right or wrong one.
Iraq was a monumental disaster, a decision that I vocally and angrily opposed from the start. But there is no doubt that that invasion and its aftermath have made any decision on cnflict harder. I disagree with those that say a military intervention is never the answer. Our intervention in Bosnia, no matter how late in the day it was, showed that as we stopped the ethic cleansing and genocide. Also, because we can’t or don’t intervene everywhere shouldn’t mean that we don’t anywhere. The international community – if such a thing even exists anymore – must knock its head together and do "something". I don’t know what that something is but surely it can’t be to do nothing.
Of course there must be a humanitarian response – I would urge everyone not to just get angry, but to actually do your part and support a charity doing important work on the ground. But a humanitarian response is not enough. Maybe nothing will be. There will be lots of us reflecting in our thoughts and prayers, but the truth is that for many men, women and children that will be too late. May we all be guided on the right path.