THE BLOG

Why Do the Children Need to Die ?

11/03/2013 12:52 GMT | Updated 11/05/2013 10:12 BST

When Bushra, a 19 year old mother of two crossed from Syria to Tripoli she became the one millionth refugee. That's a worrying figure for Antonio Guterres, UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

That doesn't account for the estimated two million children in Syria living in abject conditions. Jordan's King Abdullah has appealed to the world nations to help - Jordan is accomodating 324,000 refugees with the Zaatari camp alone holding 130,000. Jordan isn't alone. Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq, Egypt and North Africa have refugees streaming across their borders. The host countries are stretched to breaking point with poor sanitation and insufficient resources (the UN's emergency response plan for refugees lacks two thirds of the funding required) to meet the needs of this massive influx of refugees. They simply can't cope.

It's ironical that a protest on the 15th March 2011 against the torture of students who had put up anti-government graffiti in a small southern Syrian city would lead to a sectarian conflict pitting the Shiite minority from which President Bashar-al-Assad, senior politicians and the military are drawn against the majority Sunni population.

Syrian war planes continue to bomb cities and people flee in panic - the refugee crisis continues. The Free Syrian Army led by General Selim Idriss is recognised by the UK, France, Turkey and several Gulf states but Russia and China retain their own agenda. Syrian rebels are being given 'technical assistance' in Jordan by the US, British and French instructors with the view that when the Assad regime collapses, the security vacuum needs to be filled which would help safeguard civilian lives. In the interim the slaughter continues, the refugee numbers mount. Please, not the chaos of the post Iraq invasion. The planners are far away, they never become refugees.

It's a bloody sectarian war conducted in a fragile region and the Assad regime won't relinquish power in the name of humanity. The power base is too precious to relinquish. It's a 'family' thing - power's a true opiate and anything and everything is done to retain that power base. Outside of the gilded cage the children, the old and infirm, the poor and the dispossessed continue to be the victims of the madness and world efforts to end the insanity have been an abject failure.

Past wars can be forgotten, small conflicts that didn't impinge on our privileged lives. I'd suggest viewing the documentary McCullin.

When Harold Evans was editor of the Sunday Times the photojournalist Don McCullin reported from Biafra, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Lebanon. His images of war did much to bring the horrors and insanity of the Vietnam war into the living rooms of middle America. We don't have that now. We don't have such images. We have the statistics.

"No one cares about real human beings. It's all about privileged celebrities who are able to look after themselves. We must think about people who don't have those fortunate opportunities". Don McCullin.

Are we genuflecting at the altar of mediocrity ?