This is a blog dedicated to a personal interpretation of political news of the day. I attempt to be as knowledgeable as possible before commenting and committing my thoughts to a day's communication.

Friday, January 08, 2016

Humanity's Rights Under Siege

"There is nothing. Nothing. She's so thin I see her muscles straining through her skin when she cries, and I cannot help. I am her mother and I cannot help."
Mother of two-year-old child in Madaya, Syria

"We've seen it time and time again. The [Syrian] regime uses its military forces to starve the people into submission and the suffering is immense."
Aid Worker

"...It is urgent  that we get through. Mothers can no longer lactate -- they are malnourished, they don't have health care, they live in the stress and the freezing cold."
Pawel Krzysiek, spokesman, International Committee of the Red Cross

"We've had many wars in the Middle East, yes, too many wars. But we've never had starvation."
"We are like zombies, like dead people. We are just waiting for our funeral."
Abdullah, Madaya, Syria
Starving Boy
At least 10 people have died of starvation in Madaya in the past six weeks, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says. (Syrian Observatory for Human Rights)
"People are dying in slow motion. We had some flowers growing in pots at home. Yesterday, we picked the petals and ate them, but they were bitter, awful."
"We used to say nobody could ever die from hunger, but we have seen people actually die of hunger."
"Here, we no longer call on anyone. We have called for help so many times and nobody has heard us. But we want to ask the officials and decision-makers out there, if you were in this position, and your children were dying from hunger in front of you, what would be your reaction to the world outside that let you down? Don’t forget to ask your readers this question."
Louay, social worker, Madaya, Syria  
Syrian children carry placards as they call for the lifting of the siege off Madaya and Zabadani towns in Syria, in front of the offices of the U.N. headquarters in Beirut, Lebanon December 26, 2015.
  Syrian children in Beirut protest against the siege of Madaya and Zabadani at the UN HQ in Lebanon -- Reuters
It's an ancient method used by barbarians and suitably now, it is being used in Syria. A government is placing cities under siege, not allowing residents ingress or egress, and breaking their spirits as it breaks their tenuous connection with life through privation and starvation. The two mountain towns of Madaya and Zabadni, about 40 kilometres from the presidential palace of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad have buried 31 residents so far who have died of starvation, among them children.

Hezbollah troops and the regime's military have not only sealed off the towns from the world outside, but they have mined the areas surrounding the towns. The 40,000 residents of Madaya are struggling to maintain life. They are reduced to eating garbage, to boiling the foliage from trees. Save the Children has advised of the imminent deaths of more civilians should food and medicine not reach the towns in short order.

Abdullah has given his own example as that shared by tens of thousands who have not eaten a full meal in three months. A doctor working out of a local field hospital describes treating hundreds of people for fainting spells. This is a regional specialty, starving out those who are suspected of giving aid and comfort to the enemy. In Syria, the enemy is the alternate sect; Sunni or Shiite.

The armed groups in opposition to the regime are indulging in their own versions of laying siege to Shiite villages.

Those who attempt to escape the confines of the towns and in so doing save their lives from the eventuality of starvation, have bought themselves a more instant death; being killed in the act of 'escaping'. Mr. Kryzysiek, speaking for the ICRC, said that fifty of its volunteers had met death since the uprising leading to the Syrian civil war began, in 2011.
"To die quickly and suddenly by the shelling of the Syrian army is more merciful than the slow death that we terribly face every day."
"We are dying in this big prison called Madaya. We reached a dead end following the failure of the truce agreement. They did not allow us to leave or bring in food. There is no solution in sight to the hunger crisis we are living. We ask the regime and the opposition to settle their political disputes away from civilians. We can no longer endure this situation."
Manal al-Abdullah, civil rights activist, Madaya

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