As violence in Syria rages, human rights suffer

War always has unintended consequences. In Syria, children and civilians are dying every day. Photo: Innocent victims in Syria Photo: sheitoonak

CHARLOTTEJune 17, 2013 – As conflict continues to rage out of control in Syria. At the Group of 8 Summit in the United Kingdom, world leaders hope to find a solution to the 16 month old conflict.   

Given that both sides have been accused of atrocities, including verification that President Bashar al-Assad has used chemical weapons and that rebels have been accused of eating human flesh in public, it seems an insurmountable task to reach any reasonable resolution.

SEE RELATED: Putin: Don’t back Syrian rebels who eat the flesh of enemies

For months President Barack Obama has claimed a “red line” would be crossed if Assad chose to use chemical weapons. Last week the White House announced it had conclusive evidence that such weapons have been employed in the fighting.

Obama has stated the U.S. now plans to arm the rebels, but has yet to act, preferring to wait until after the outcome of the summit in Britain.

Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin stated that the West must not arm fighters who eat human flesh. Putin was referring to a rebel commander who was taped last month cutting into the body of a dead soldier and biting into one of his internal organs.

Said Putin, “One does not really need to support the people who not only kill their enemies, but open up their bodies, (and) eat their intestines in front of the public and cameras.”

SEE RELATED: Taliban beheads two boys, ages 10 and 16, in Afghanistan

According to a recent UN report, estimates are that nearly 1,200 children have been killed during the uprising. So horrible have the atrocities against children become that the U.N. has listed Assad’s regime as one of the worst offenders in its “list of shame” condemning countries where children are killed or abused.

As stated in the report, “children were used by soldiers and militia members as human shields, placing them in front of the windows of buses carrying military personnel into the raid on the village.”

Before the report was released, U.N. special representative for children in armed conflict, Radhika Coomaraswamy said, “Rarely hive I seen such brutality against children as in Syria, where girls and boys are detained, tortured, executed and used as human shields.”

The report states that “Most children who are victims of torture described being beaten, blindfolded, subjected to stress positions, whipped with heavy electrical cables, scarred by cigarette burns and, in one recorded case, subjected to electrical shock to the genitals.”

Since an estimated  93,000 people have already died in the revolt, the U.K. summit is described as an effort by Obama to persuade Putin to drop his support of the Assad regime.

Russia, on the other hand, refutes the claim that Syrian forces have used nerve gas, which raises serious concerns over whether anything positive can result from the summit.

Following a meeting with Putin, British Prime Minister David Cameron said the gap between Russia and the West could be bridged, but both sides disagree about who is at fault.

Cameron believes Russia and the West have common goals to end the conflict, keep Syria intact and to allow the Syrian people to decide who governs them.

How that will be accomplished appears daunting given the differences among the parties. Britain has yet to determine whether it will supply arms to the rebels, and that argument is contentious within Cameron’s own government.

Western allies believed Assad’s regime was near collapse just a few months ago, but Hezbollah stepped in to provide support to Syrian forces.

Hezbollah’s aid to Assad increases fears that violence could spread into Lebanon to the west and/or Jordan to the south.

In the meantime, while children continue to be slaughtered in rivers of blood and tortured because of the insanity of war, the argument over who to blame continues.

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Peabod is Bob Taylor, owner of Taylored Media Services in CharlotteNCTaylor is founder of The Magellan Travel Club ( which offers tours and travel information for people who share his wanderlust spirit.  

Inquiries for groups can be made at Taylored Media has produced marketing videos for British Rail, Rail Europe, Switzerland Tourism, the Swedish Travel & Tourism Council, the Finnish Tourist Board, the Swiss Travel System and Japan Railways Group among others.

As author of The Century Club book, Peabod is now attempting to travel to 100 countries or more during his lifetime. To date he has visited 71 countries. Suggest someplace new for Bob to visit; if you want to know where he has been, check his list on Facebook. Bob plans to write a sequel to his book when he reaches his goal of 100 countries. He also played professional baseball for four years and was a sportscaster for 14 years at WBTV, the CBS affiliate in Charlotte.

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Bob Taylor

Bob Taylor has been travel writer for more than three decades. Following a career as an award winning sports producer/anchor, Taylor’s media production business produced marketing presentations for Switzerland Tourism, Rail Europe, the Finnish Tourist Board, Japan Railways Group, the Swedish Travel & Tourism Council and the Swiss Travel System among others. He is founder of The Magellan Travel Club ( and his goal is to visit 100 countries or more during his lifetime.


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