Friday, April 18, 2014

Syrian government rules by fear

Since protests against tyranny began 11 months ago, more than 5,000 Syrians have been killed by government

Syria has yet to resolve the conflict with its civilians. According to the United Nations (UN) an estimated 5,400 people have been killed by the Bashar al-Assad regime in the government’s attempt to quelch a protest that began 11 months ago.

Iron fist — al-Assad has shown himself willing to do anything to maintain control in Syria. Getty Images

At this rate, it is questioned whether or not the United States will intervene. The U.S. — along with other countries — shows a lack of gusto for yet another war-like confrontation. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called Russia and China “despicable” for opposing UN action for stopping the bloodshed in Syria, according to an article in The Telegraph.

“We don’t want to take actions that would contribute to the further militarization of Syria because that could take the country down a dangerous path,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said. “But we don’t rule out additional measures if the international community should wait too long and not take the kind of action that needs to be taken.”

As if terror among one’s own government isn’t enough, Americans are getting a taste of the horrific activity in Syria. According to BBC, over 30,000 civilians are trapped in Homs, a city in western Syria with a recorded population of a little over 800,000 people. If strategically assessed, America’s involvement may actually do very little. Anger continues to rise and it’s only a matter of time until Syria gets its act together.

According to a CNN article, “Journalists and activists have been sneaking into Syria in an effort to report on the protests and clashes that have persistently challenged the authority of President Bashar al-Assad.”

American born Journalist Marie Colvin, a Yale graduate renown for her reporting on issues of war, and photographer Remi Ochlik were killed during the shelling in Syria while reporting and documenting destruction and violence in Homs.

According to CNN, reports came back from Syria saying, “I watched a little baby die today,” Colvin said. Colvin also reported that there was “constant shelling in the city” and that the child’s death was “just one of many stories” in violence-wracked Homs. “It’s chaos here.”

“Absolutely horrific, a 2-year old child had been hit,” added Colvin, who worked for Britain’s Sunday Times. “They stripped it and found the shrapnel had gone into the left chest and the doctor said, ‘I can’t do anything.’ His little tummy just kept heaving until he died,” Colvin said.

The two reporters were later killed over a cease-fire misunderstanding, according to CNN.

In a statement last week, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged Syrian military officers to turn against al-Assad.

“The longer you support the regime’s campaign of violence against your brothers and sisters, the more it will stain your honor… If you refuse, however, to prop up the regime or take part in attacks on your fellow citizens, your countrymen and women will hail you as heroes,” Clinton said, according to the LA Times.

In the end, only time will tell when Syria’s government can stand on its two feet again, if ever. As of now, the U.S. is reluctant about sending any military supply for the nearly 30,000 civilians being attacked by their own government. Whether it is a matter of trust or lack of interest of America, people — including Americans — are dying each week in Syria, and we have yet to do anything to put an end to it.

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