So many parallels can be drawn between Nazi Germany and the modern-day genocidal regime of Bashar al-Assad. The former annihilated Jews, Romani people, homosexuals and those with any kind of disabilities. Assad and his Iranian backers have killed over 250,000 Syrians during the course of last five years. ISIS is another terrorizing outfit but its atrocities, despite their horrors, pale in comparison to the daily barrage of barrel bombs and mass starvation campaigns. Russia is the late entrant -- the Mussolini to Assad's Hitler -- but has helped intensify the human suffering through its scorched-earth campaign.
Like Nazi Germany, one can see mass starvation campaigns carried out by the regime and its Shiite proxies. Madaya may turn out to be an insignificant event if Aleppo is besieged by the Syrian forces, their allies and Russia. All indications are of that becoming a reality and this one will be for the history books; with possible casualties running into thousands. Gassing the citizens to deaths has been a reality for the last four years as barrel bombs asphyxiate many every day. The rumors of Russia using chemical weapons only simplifies the analogy between Holocaust and the post-modern pogrom.
What the world is doing to stop this? United States has chosen to look the other way. Europe doesn't have that luxury given the mass influx of refugees pouring in from all corners of Syria. Still, Germany seems to be the only European state doing the lion's share of relief and rehabilitation work. And it may cease doing so in the coming months, owing to the mounting opposition at the domestic front. Brits are contemplating opting out of the European Union and border control is the new mantra. So is the enactment of repressive laws by states like Denmark, which once claimed to be the bastion of humanity and freedoms. Turkey and Jordan are hosting millions of refugees. Turkey is taking in more as thousands flee Aleppo, dodging the grim shadows of starvation and death.
U.S. is taking none. Perhaps the darkest legacy of President Barack Obama will be his indifference to the plight of Syrians. So much so that staunch supporters like Roger Cohen have started calling out the president for his apathy to the growing crisis. Cohen's recent piece in The New York Times, however, was only a half-truth. He chose to blast Putin's atrocities in Syria while conveniently ignoring Iran, which has been perpetuating terror for the last five years in Syria. It was the Shiite mercenaries, hired from places as far as Afghanistan and Pakistan, who unleashed waves upon waves of terror in Syria. ISIS emerged as a gory countervailing force, matching the former in barbarity. Its share in the human misery is still comparatively smaller, having no access to tanks, planes and barrel bombs.
Russia's ruse of tackling the ISIS has long fallen apart. Its guns are aimed at the civilians. The intervention appears to have the sole purpose of shoring up Assad, at whatever human cost it may come. There were some dim hopes of peace finally returning to the battered land. The Geneva talks proved to be a non-starter and are not expected to bring any good. U.S. has allegedly ceded its stance to whatever is endorsed by Moscow -- a not-so-tacit collusion of sorts. Europe is punching below its weight and the Syrian opposition and the Gulf states are largely staying out. The talks have thus become a sham where the perpetrators masquerade as the saviors.
The concentration camp of Aleppo is a blot on the global conscience. There's still time for a course correction. This means countering the Russian and Iranian plans of starving Aleppo citizens to death. A humanitarian corridor connecting the city with Turkey and creating of safe havens inside Syria should be the first priority. Even this may not see the light of the day. Bickering and gross indifference has made things easier for the regime and Russia. The latter, ironically, seems to have forgotten the horrors of the siege of Leningrad. At least the perpetrators of the Holocaust were eventually held accountable. This time, few seem to care. And that's the real tragedy.