On Syria

by kenyantraveller

Thought experiment: Imagine if you had a weapon that you knew for a fact could thoroughly demoralise your opponent, instil an unshakable fear in half of their numbers and completely crush the morale of any troops opposing you. Imagine that this weapon was illegal but still widely in use, and rarely prosecuted wherever it was used. Imagine if the individuals deploying this weapon were virtually untraceable in peace time, never mind in the fog of war, even though the effects would continue to play out for generations. Imagine if societal pressure actually worked against victims of this weapon such that they were forced through some misguided sense of shame to deny that the weapon had been used against them, even though its effects were clearly palpable. As a potential third party entering a conflict, wouldn’t you ideally want to do everything in your power to prevent your opponent from deploying this stealthy and destructive instrument? As an institution claiming some kind of moral authority to respond with force, wouldn’t you consider the use of such a weapon an incredible impetus to act and protect civilians?

This “weapon” is rape. But the fact that the governments beating the war drums have said and done almost nothing as it has been used to devastating effect in Syria confirms my hypothesis: War is for men, their enormous egos and their tiny [fill in the blank]. Women and children are only consequences and afterthoughts.