SYRIA

Leading French intellectuals call for Syria intervention

2 min

France and other western countries need to bypass a “paralysed” UN Security Council and intervene directly in Syria, a pair of respected French intellectuals and a former French foreign minister have stated, in a public call for decisive action.

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Two respected French intellectuals, a former French foreign minister and a battlefield surgeon have published an impassioned call on Western countries to intervene in Syria to rid the country of the “Assad dictatorship”.

“No more prevarication! No more timidity! Syria’s democratic future needs urgent and decisive help,” ran the headline of an opinion piece published Monday in French newspaper of record Le Monde.

The piece was signed by influential philosophers Bernard-Henri Lévy (pictured), a vocal supporter of French intervention in Libya against Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 and André Gluckman, who has spoken out against human rights abuses by Russian forces in Chechnya.

Bernard Kouchner, foreign minister under former President Nicolas Sarkozy, and Jacques Bérès, a military surgeon who has visited Syria several times since the beginning of the popular uprising in March 2011, also put their names to the article.

France and the United State should intervene, they wrote, “to stop the regime air forces bombing rebel-held towns and villages, provide arms to those rebels with genuinely democratic ideals, and to give some hope to those in power who want to get rid of the criminals leading the Damascus regime.”

Intervention, they said, would stem a growing current of Islamist jihadists among the rebels whose extreme tactics “such as suicide bombings, which we must condemn” risked undermining the moral high ground of the rebellion.

They also argue that western nations should bypass the United Nations, which they said was “paralysed by Russian and Chinese vetoes”, and that doing so would be justified if action “stopped the rivers of blood that are flowing through Syrian towns and cities”.

“Failure to intervene at a time when the massacres of innocent civilians are increasing sends out the worst possible message and reinforces anti-western feeling,” they concluded.

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