Statement by the Schiller Institute on the Earthquakes
Feb. 6, 2023, 2022 (EIRNS)—The recent double earthquake in southern Turkiye and northwestern Syria is a terrible disaster which is generating a wave of emotion and empathy from around the world. The situation will likely worsen due to forecast weather of extremely low temperatures throughout the region, resulting in the collapse of weakened buildings due to the cold and frost, not to mention the immediate consequences to children, women and men who have lost everything.
Time is of the essence. We welcome an international response; in fact there are several countries that have already offered their assistance to the populations affected by the earthquakes. This being said, it is difficult to accept that the same disaster has a very different human impact on either side of the borders of Turkiye and Syria. On the Syrian side, this tragedy is affecting a population that has been hard hit by years of war and sanctions imposed by the United States with other nations.
This situation confronts us, as Western nations, with our responsibility to uphold the values we claim to embody. Are we going to continue to apply the measures that we very well know have led to the unimaginable suffering, misfortune and death of innocent people? Or are we going to finally make the decision to lift these criminal sanctions? Don’t we know, after so many years of use, that the weapon of sanctions only hurts the people?
It is time for Western leaders to regain a minimum of moral fiber, by taking this tragedy as the opportunity to definitively lift all sanctions against Syria and, from then on, to organize the reconstruction of the country with those who are determined to contribute to it.