The city is silent now. The streets are quiet. The homes in rubble. The rebels will speak no more. “All streets & destroyed buildings are full with dead bodies. It’s hell. (1)”
“Some people are under the rubble, no-one can help them. They just leave them under the rubble until they die — these houses are their graves (2)” Executions. Death. Fear. Knowing that there is no future. Rocks crushing civilians as their former homes become their death sentence.
The UN and the world are loud and angry now. “The world is watching Aleppo – and we are documenting the violations being committed against its people, with the firm conviction that one day those who are responsible will be held to account,” said High Commissioner Zeid. “We must ensure that this happens. The hellish suffering to which the people of Syria are being subjected must stop. (3)”
However, while people all over the world watch Aleppo and speak about the war crimes, their cries for justice may as well mirror the silence now found in Aleppo. “Belief means nothing without action, (4)” writes author Randa Abdel-Fattah. Action was not taken here. As Syrian forces took over, the world was glued to the TV… watching and sharing opinions on what should be done. Believing Aleppo is a war crime means nothing to the women who were raped and the children who were killed. Believing that we should have helped sooner does not bring back the dead. Believing that something should have been done, does not mean something will be done.
Our voices may be loud, but our actions are silent. “The great dividing line between words and results was courageous action, (5)” says former Navy Seal Eric Greitens. When given the chance to act, the world failed to. The voices that screamed “Never again” after the Holocaust, Dafur, and Rwanda are muted by their lack of response. “Never again” did happen again in Aleppo. Tweets, social media share, and discussions did not help the people of Aleppo. Words don’t save lives. Action and accountability saves lives.
Lina Shamy in a message from Aleppo begged, “Humans all over the world, don’t sleep!”
You can do something, protest now! Stop the genocide. (6)” It may be too late for Aleppo and for its people, but as we scream, “Never again,” let us hold our governments to the standard that these war crimes will indeed never happen again. Donate to relief funds such as the International Red Cross, Save the Children, or Doctors Without Borders. Protest. Write to government officials about supporting refugees. Support the White Helmets.
Do anything, but just don’t do nothing. Resolutions do not create change. As author and philanthropist Anthony Robbins says, “action is what produces results. (7)” It is our actions, not our
words that will ensure Aleppo does not happen again.