A Crime Against Humanity
As a follow-up to my story on the 600,000 Somalia’s at risk of starvation, I’d like to share with you Anderson Cooper’s CNN coverage of the ‘Famine in Somalia’…what I and others are calling a crime against humanity.
Cooper interviews Canadian Amanda Lindhout a former captive of rebels in Somalia. Lindhout details the opportunities for getting food and aid to those in need.
Perspective: Cornell Law Professor
I wrote about this crime last week and it appears that Jens David Ohlin an associate professor of law at Cornell Law School has published an opinion of a similar perspective on CNN’s site a few days ago. He writes “But none of that should blind Americans to the horrific humanitarian crisis developing in Somalia, a growing famine that threatens to kill hundreds of thousands of people if they do not receive help from the international community.”
U.S President Obama Needs to Take Action
Ohlin goes on to write “A humanitarian intervention in Somalia might be politically difficult for President Barack Obama to justify. With U.S. commitments in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as military operations in Libya continuing without congressional approval, Obama has likely used up his political capital.”
Albeit I agree that an intervention by the U.S may be difficult politically…I strongly disagree that just because an intervention from the President and the U.S may be difficult certainly doesn’t mean it is not worth pursuing. It is ‘just’ and ‘right’ to lead the world in this effort. We have international law on our side to introduce a full intervention of law, order, aid and security to save what I feel are significant lives.
International Law: Crimes Against Humanity
Ohlin goes on to state that international law defines crimes against humanity as a widespread or systematic attack against a civilian population. The attack can take one of many forms, including murder, enslavement and deportation according to the statute of the International Criminal Court.
There is certainly enough evidence here for the U.N Security Council to raise these crimes against the armed members of Al-Shabaab, the Islamic insurgent group battling for control of the country.
It never ceases to amaze me how the world tap dances around right or wrong. Mankind turns more blind eyes then we’d like to admit. Our memories are short. Insanely short.
Don’t get me wrong…I don’t feel we are the world’s sergeant at arms (and I know the U.S feels like it is)…but we are suppose to be a nation that fights injustice and inhumanity. If you and your children were forced into this living hell I have a feeling you’d feel different. And I doubt you’d care whether or not you had the support of international law.
What good are the current U.N forces in Somalia if they can not protect a population of millions fleeing for food? We’re not just talking about hundreds or thousands…we are talking about the risk of starvation for over a half a million children and families fleeing terror to simply eat. Cooper mentioned possibly two million people affected. Staggering numbers that are screaming to the world for help.
The sad truth is I literally had to Google search the CNN site for this follow-up. Some exceptional coverage last week seems to already be falling on deaf ears. I fear what next week will bring and how many more will die from this injustice.