An Assault on Humanity
The U.S. needs to protect Syrian citizens
Published: Sunday, February 12, 2012
Updated: Monday, November 5, 2012 19:11
Should the United States intervene in Syria?
Living in America and other western nations has infinite privilege that many people of the world would never know. It's hard for us to imagine our lives without a bounty waiting for us down at Wegmans, or a police force ready to protect and serve.
Right now, Syria couldn't be further from our relatively quiet suburban existence. There is a civil war going on between the opposition to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and government forces.
Syria's state-controlled media would have its people believe that it's a bunch of ragtag terrorists going around and murdering people, but reports coming out of the country are painting a horrible picture of what's actually happening.
In short, it's a massacre. Al-Assad's forces are launching missiles, mortars, and bombs into opposition territory and causing mass devastation. Last week alone saw 687 deaths, with 59 of those being children.
Of course, the UN is playing its typical part by being completely ineffective. Security Council Resolution 1973 was designed to help the Syrian rebels defend themselves against al-Assad's onslaught, but China and Russia effectively blocked the resolution.
So, the typical rounds of meaningless "diplomatic and economic sanctions" get tossed around with some harsh rhetoric to make a verbal diarrhea salad of uselessness. Not only is Syria not very dependent on foreign trade to begin with, it's already killing people.
It's like watching a psycho walk up to people on the street and smash them in the face with a baseball bat and asking him to please stop or else you will send him a strongly worded letter.
Syrian citizens have been calling for help. In a short film sent in to the U.K. paper The Daily Telegraph, activist Danny Abdul Dayem demands action from the U.S. or the UN. Dayem has dual British and Syrian citizenship, and in the clip sends out a desperate plea: "where is the humanity in the world?"
President Obama must take real action to protect the people of Syria. We understand that it's a tricky situation politically, but responsibility overrides the problems we might have afterward with other nations.
Without a doubt, Russia and China have the blood of thousands on their hands, but the longer we wait to take action the more at fault we are for each death. Responsibility is about doing the right thing even when it's inconvenient.
This isn't Iraq, where we went in with a full invasion force before even knowing what was actually happening. We're looking at the dead every day; al-Assad is murdering his fellow citizens.
A full-scale invasion is too much, however. Libya works as a great model for how we should handle it. Use airstrikes and drones to prevent forces from continuing their rampage on Homs and other cities.
This is where we prove to the world that we are different. We can prove that we won't be bullied into sitting on our thumbs while people die because people will make fun of Obama winning the Nobel Peace Prize, or because Syria's only two allies might get angry with us.
Every day the international community waits, 100 more will perish.