The photograph, posted by a famous journalist isn't just horrible. It is beyond words.
CNN reporter Christiane Amanpour tweeted it to her 325,000 Twitter followers. The photograph shows three dead children arrayed for burial. Two of the children appear to be young enough to still be in diapers. They're babies. There's blood on their tiny faces. All three were murdered by militia loyal to Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad last weekend. Forty-nine children were killed in Houla, in central Syria; in all, more than
100 civilians were butchered. The world's response? Just more talk, but no action.
In Canada, the federal government's response was equally a joke - many months after the Syrian genocide began, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird finally decided to merely expel some Syrian diplomats. That's all. When I suggested online that the federal government's reaction to the worsening Syrian tragedy was pathetic, no less than Maher Arar concurred.
"Too little too late," agreed Arar, who was wrongly imprisoned and tortured in Syria in 2002-03, with the complicity of the RCMP. "This is no more than a face-saving tactic on the part of Canada."
The Syrian situation now merits military intervention by the civilized world - that is so obvious, it barely merits saying. Diplomacy has been an utter failure. The stability of the region, along with simple human decency, now requires that the West forcefully intercede.
The Syrian regime's massacres of its own people must be stopped, that is the inarguable truth. But that isn't the only truth, here. There's this: Our shared (and growing) indifference to horror. Amanpour's tweeted message read: "TAKE A MOMENT TO LOOK AT JUST ONE PICTURE: These children are lying in a morgue in Houla, Syria - waiting to be buried."
Those of us who follow the veteran journalist's award-winning work were surprised by the use of caps, and the almost pleading tone. By beseeching us to look at the photograph of those murdered children - by begging us to take just "a moment" - Amanpour was indirectly acknowledging a reality of modern life: We need to be shocked to act.
It happened again, on the same day, with the revelation that a Canadian website, Edmonton's Best Gore, had posted an actual film documenting the murder of a man.
The footage, which police say was shot in an apartment in Montreal's Snowdon neighbourhood, allegedly depicts Canadian fugitive Luka Rocco Magnotta committing acts that are too evil to be believed.
But what was equally shocking - and appalling - was Best Gore had the snuff film freely available for many days, and potentially tens of thousands of people around the globe had seen it, and done nothing.
Babies slaughtered, no one does anything; a man is literally slaughtered on-camera, and people want more.
God alone knows what any of this means.