That’s how many people have been killed in Syria.
This situation is making the First World war’s trenches look survivable.
It’s a crippling amount for a country of only 20 odd million, and half of those have already fled.
So a country with half of it’s people running away for their lives while the ones too poor, greedy or stupid not to go are slaughtered in the street.
This war is much more tragic than the trenches a century ago.
Then, a generation of young men were butchered, today it’s the children.
From protests to brutal killings to armed insurrection to the regime gaining the upper hand, the entire war reads like a tragedy.
Because it is.
There’s nothing that could be said, half a million people are dead.
Killed at the hands of a brutal dictator who’s hold on power can be measured in rivers of blood.
All so he can stay despot, even if he has to preside over a mountain of corpses.
If Saddam Hussein had killed half a million of his own people, the United States would have intervened by now.
Are the Americans so economically overstretched and militarily fatigued to stop the genocide of a generation of Syrians all for the sake of the rule of a tyrant?
Or is the west too scared of confronting his henchmen, Putin and Rouhani.
This is a war of attrition with no foreseeable end in sight.
Every day longer Assad is in power, more people are going to die.
Whether Syrian, Turkish, Kurdish, Russian or anything else, a life lost is tragic.
Half a million is something else.
And this war just isn’t ending, if anything it’s getting worse – sucking in neighbouring states like Israel and Turkey as the Iranians and the Kurds cross those nation’s respective red lines.
If inaction continues to be the way of the west, then this war is just going to keep spiralling out of control.
If America, France, Britain and other allies don’t put a stop to this mess soon then Iran will be at war with Israel, Turkey at war with Syria and America will be left to watch as the entire global order it has built implode.
Unable to stop a backward Dictator, the cost has been a massacre, an emboldened Russia and freewheeling Iran, followed by a belligerent China which is champing at the bit to start a civil war of it’s own.
The inability of the allies to act in the face of such unbridled, wholesale destruction of an entire population for the vanity of one man is an indictment.
Russia, Iran and Syria need to be politely advised that unless Assad steps down, a ceasefire is upheld and a UN peacekeeping force is deployed then there will be an appropriate western response.
This doing nothing approach is getting us nowhere.
Assad needs to go, there is no other way about it.
Half a million people are dead because of him.
Let’s take him out.