U.N. official asks if a million Syrians must die before world acts

Debris lie on a deserted street in the old city of Homs on May 8, 2014 after Syrian government forces regained control of rebel-controlled areas. (AFP)

(Reuters) – A top U.N. aid official, frustrated by obstacles to humanitarian aid in Syria, asked on Friday if a million people needed to be killed and neighboring states collapse before the world would take action to stop the conflict.

John Ging, director of operations at the U.N. Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, said the humanitarian crisis was getting even worse with almost 2.8 million refugees in neighboring states and 6.5 million displaced in Syria.

“The valid question to ask those political leaders is … how many poor people will you accept to be killed before you do something different?” he asked.

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He doesn’t get it. The “world” cannot do anything. The flames of this Islamic sectarian fire are being fed by Iran on one side and the wealthy Gulf oil states on the other.

The contribution of others is murky. How much is Turkey helping the rebels, for example? Or even our own Western governments? It all seems very vague to the general public.

Furthermore, how can the “world” stop sectarian fighting? It can’t!

In fact, I would go so far as to argue that the Syrian civil war is the Islamic world’s equivalent of World Wars I and II. Either the Islamic world will learn from this and stop taking its religion so seriously, or people will continue to die. It is not a problem that the “world” as a whole can stop.

It is an Islamic problem and there must be an Islamic solution.