Saturday, June 16, 2012

UN Observers: Do They See No Evil?

Have you ever wondered what the purpose of UN observers is?  Headlines today announce they are suspending their activities in Syria. They can't fulfill their mission with conditions such as they are.  Just what exactly is their mission?  All I've seen is their entering war zones during lulls in the fighting and giving casualty reports.

I don't understand it.  Here are representatives of an organization of which two members have consistently vetoed any plan for aid to the civilians caught in the middle of the civil war.  We know from the news government forces have been slaughtering civilians for over a year now.  Do we need little blue helmets running around telling us what they cannot do?  They cannot raise arms against either side.  They merely - observe.

There seems something ludicrous about  this observing and reporting of a war.  They are not the media whose job it is to report the action.  It costs a great deal to have them there and puts those who try to protect them at great risk - as well as themselves.

 If these observations were to find a way to end the fighting I could understand.  If these observations were to find a way to protect the women and children I could understand.  We're told it is a supervision mission .  Just what exactly is that?  Are they supposed to referee and take points away when one oversteps the rules?   Tsk tsk.  It's insane!

Would the Syrians be better served if the UN observers would spend their time trying to end the war or at least level the playing field rather than adding to the chaos by just being there?  Of course, but they are powerless to do so. Would we all be better served if the UN would spend it's time restructuring itself so Russia and China don't have the veto power they now enjoy?  Or disband altogether since they are beyond usefulness unless posturing is considered useful.

 A war can't be supervised by a third party. Especially one with no voice, no authority.  To do something, observe, for the sake of looking like you're doing something when you really aren't is an insult to those who could really use some help.


Margie's Musings said...

I'm sure there is more going on then just observations. Not everything can be reported. That would eliminate the negotiations.

The answer is not more war. History has shown us that war just causes more problems and usually ends with more wars. There has to be a better way. Negotiations are the better way. Then just take time and are not a quick fix.

Anonymous said...

Another thought provoking post, Mari! Have to agree with Margie's sensible assessment of war, and am hoping coller heads will prevail to find a more peaceful resolution. Guess that is pretty much up to the powers to be in Syria though.