What’s Happening In Syria?

18 Sep

What's Happening In Syria?

Hello! Welcome to my blog.

We’re living in tough times, what with impending war and the economy being what it is. I’m sure most of you are aware that the United States and its allies are preparing for a possible strike against Syria. I understand that what’s happening there is important and affects all of us. I also know that this subject is complex and may be confusing for some people.

I’m not a journalist or even a very political person for that matter, but I’ve been following this story. In today’s blog post, I am going to share my thoughts and opinions on this subject. The entire issue is confusing, and my hope is that in the process of sharing my thoughts, I will help at least one person to better understand what’s going on. However, I encourage you to do your own reading and research and develop your own views on the matter.

Syria is a country in the Middle East. It’s about the size of Washington State. The country is currently in the middle of an intense and bloody civil war. So far, the fighting between government and rebel forces has resulted in the death of over one hundred thousand people, as well as two million refugees, half of them children.

Syria Refugees

The question of why the people of Syria are killing each other is quite complicated and confusing, especially for citizens of the United States, since we are used to being able to speak our minds freely.

The killing started in April of 2011, when peaceful protestors emerged to confront Syria’s monstrous dictator, Bashar al-Assad, who first responded by secretly ordering the deaths of certain activists. When the protests continued, government forces began kidnapping, raping, torturing and killing anyone suspected of being an activist, along with their family members, including many children. Mutilated bodies were dumped on roadsides as a warning to those who would oppose the government, presumably with the intention of instilling fear in any future protestors. Soon troops began to open fire on protestors, killing people at random. Eventually, civilians began to retaliate, and the fighting escalated into a civil war.

Syria's Dictator Assad

Syria’s Dictator Assad

So you’re probably asking yourself why are we butting our nose into the affairs of another country? Syria’s dictator Assad used chemical warfare against civilians in his own country. This is a no-no when it comes to the laws that govern the world, and this is where our involvement began. If President Obama and the USA were to allow Assad to get away with using chemical warfare in his own country, what’s to say he or some other dictator would not use chemical warfare on one of our allies—or against us, for that matter?

Chemical Weapon Mask

Chemical Weapon Mask

Then there’s the issue of Russia.

Russia is Syria’s greatest ally. Moscow impedes the United Nations Security Council from imposing any sanctions that might go against the Assad regime. The United States might have to bypass the United Nations in order to take any action against Syria and the Assad regime. Meanwhile, Russia sends many weapons to Syria, which facilitates more killing of civilians.

Middle East Syria

Why would Russia want to protect a fiend like Assad? According to the Washington Post, there are a couple of substantial reasons. Russia has a naval installation in Syria, and any “international intervention” against countries like Syria is seen as a threat to Russia. In addition, Syria buys many Russian military exports, and Russia needs the money.

Although the United States wants to help the rebels, our country is in a complicated position. For instance, if we offer assistance by shipping arms, the weapons could fall into the hands of jihadists and lead to major chaos.

What if we were to send in Navy Seals to take out Assad? Again, that would only empower jihadists and possibly cause a second civil war. How about air strikes? Yeah, that worked real well in Iraq (hint of sarcasm). A ground invasion would only cost more lives—both American soldiers and Syrian civilians—and our list of enemies would increase significantly around the world.

Navy Seals - Badass

Navy Seals – Badass

The solution advocated by the Obama administration is for the Assad regime and the rebels to develop a peace treaty. However, there has been too much rancor between the dictator and the rebels, and there hasn’t been any indication that either party wants to resolve this peacefully. I believe this will not happen, and I think the US government also knows it will not happen, but they have to at least try for a peaceful political solution before they use a military one.

Syria's dictator Assad

However, and this is where it gets perplexing for me, the Obama administration has not sugar-coated the fact they want to launch cruise missiles at Syria to teach Assad a lesson for using chemical warfare against the rebels and civilians in his country. Maybe someone can clarify this for me, but wouldn’t firing missiles at Syria cause more harm to civilians? I mean, Assad would probably be well-protected in some bunker along with his minions. Civilians would be the ones getting killed and maimed out in the open. Now, if you were to tell me that those missiles would be directed at Assad’s house when he was least expecting them, then I would agree that it’s a great idea, but otherwise what’s the point?

I understand that something needs to be done about this ruthless dictator, but I truly hope the Obama administration thinks of something that doesn’t involve sidestepping the United Nations, making enemies with Russia, increasing anti-Americanism around the world, and killing civilians in Syria.

I wouldn’t want to be in President Obama’s shoes at this time.

President Barack Obama

President Barack Obama

25 Responses to “What’s Happening In Syria?”

  1. rcprice September 18, 2013 at 8:15 pm #

    Neither would I.


    • Vashti Quiroz-Vega September 18, 2013 at 9:12 pm #

      Yep. It’s a tough situation.


      • rcprice September 18, 2013 at 9:19 pm #

        It’s your typical catch-22. You have to do someting to teach him a lesson but you don’t want to inflict damage on the civilians. Russia could really care less what Assad does to his people. They just don’t want America to rally the world.


      • Vashti Quiroz-Vega September 18, 2013 at 9:32 pm #

        I totally agree. 😦


  2. Teagan Kearney September 18, 2013 at 9:44 pm #

    I admire you for discussing and sharing what you’ve found out about the current situation the US finds itself in with regard to Syria as I think it’s a damned if you do and damned if you don’t situation.
    I think there’s also the issue of a minority, the Alawites, ruling a majority which belongs to a different group, especially when it uses secret police, torture, disappearances and massacres for generations.
    Interesting to note that both Assad and Saddam Hussein are/were from the same political party, the Ba’ath Party (Syrian & Iraqi branches).
    But it’s what happens to the ordinary people who simply want to live peaceful, prosperous lives that makes your heart bleed. They are ones who have to flee, losing their homes and livelihoods, as well as having husbands, brothers and children are killed.


    • Vashti Quiroz-Vega September 19, 2013 at 12:18 am #

      Hello Teagan. Thank you very much. Thank you for the interesting piece of information about Saddam Hussein. I was not aware of that. You’re right, it is heart-wrenching what is happening with the innocent civilians in Syria there lives (the ones who survive) are turned upside down. 😦


  3. Jasveena September 19, 2013 at 8:47 am #

    Of course I will be coming to your post to read Vashti, I saw the notification about this post in my mail box 😉 I didn’t really know what was going on actually and thank you for the enlightenment. And yeah, may be Obama would want to change his mind? 😦


    • Vashti Quiroz-Vega September 20, 2013 at 9:15 pm #

      You’re welcome Jasveena! I’m glad I was able to shed some light on the subject for you. 🙂


  4. Katie Cross September 19, 2013 at 11:56 am #

    I think there’s too many factors going on to make sense of what’s happening. If we did airstrikes, who is to say we’d direct them at people? Airstrikes actually worked in Iraq. It was the follow through after doing what we originally wanted to do that we fell short on, and ended up staying for ten too many years.

    There’s also the question of whether it was Syria that launched the chemical attacks or not. Do we have concrete proof that it wasn’t Al Qaeda? I’m sure they’d love to see the US blow up Syria so they can take over in the aftermath.

    I think Obama painted himself into a corner when he drew the line at chemical weapons. Now we have to act, or we’re not good on our word. Britain had the right idea. Taking a step back to ensure we have all the information, and are targeting the right threats, is a great place to start. Unfortunately, we may not be able to do that because of that blasted line in the sand. Decisive action is typically the best bet in politics, right? 🙂


    • Vashti Quiroz-Vega September 20, 2013 at 9:23 pm #

      Airstrikes killed a lot of civilians in Iraq. I don’t think it’s the answer. The media originally communicated that it was Assad’s regime that used chemical weapons against the rebels. President Obama even mentioned it in his address. Now, the media is backtracking claiming that they have received new evidence that may show that Assad’s regime may not have been the ones that used chemical warfare. It’s hard to know what to believe. On the other hand, the jihadist would love for Assad’s regime to fall so that they can govern.


  5. Ashwin Kumar September 20, 2013 at 1:30 am #

    I totally second you on the fact that it is the civilians who are gonna get affected in this Political war. After all, we humans are dynamic creatures. ‘Peace’ has become extinct as ‘Money’ and ‘Power’ began to shine stronger.


    • Vashti Quiroz-Vega September 20, 2013 at 9:25 pm #

      Hello Ashwin! Thank you. Yes, we have become a society ruled by money. For the powers that be money comes first and people second.


  6. Alana Munro - The Author Who Supports September 20, 2013 at 5:12 am #

    Thanks for writing this informative post Vashti. It’s such an important issue that is darkening our doorstep right now, it’s important for us to all chat about this and try to make sense of what is going on. We owe it to ourselves to inform ourselves of the situation. I do agree with Ashwin, sadly money and power is a stronger motivator than world peace. What is going on over there – well I personally find it hard to comprehend the violence and horrors that are going on right now. Breaks my heart. It is horrific. Let’s hope a resolution can happen. Let’s hope mankind has learned tough lessons and will do everything possible to avoid yet another war. Obama we need you to do the right thing.


    • Vashti Quiroz-Vega September 20, 2013 at 9:36 pm #

      Well said (written) Alana. I’ve been following, but the media doesn’t make it easy. I’ve learned a great deal from comments on here and the Google+ thread. So it’s definitely a good idea to talk about it to help make sense of it. It’s a tough situation for President Obama and the USA to be in. He has a lot of tough decisions to make, and like you, I hope he makes the right ones. 🙂


  7. Doreen Sargente September 20, 2013 at 5:25 am #

    The phrase ‘with great power, comes great responsibility’ comes to mind. I’m afraid we will never be a country at peace because there will always be dictators that are evil and a threat to the world and their own citizens. I have very mixed feelings about a war with Syria. I do not envy Obama right now.


    • Vashti Quiroz-Vega September 20, 2013 at 9:39 pm #

      That is so true Doreen, as sad a it may sound. A war with Syria would also be a war with Russia and possibly Iran, and the US doesn’t have the backing of the United Nations. It’s a very scary situation.


  8. G. B. Miller September 21, 2013 at 1:03 pm #

    Let’s see, you want us to coddle up to the United Nations (a truly useless organization that simply sucks up money, puts cruel countries in charge of things like women’s rights) not make enemies of Russia (who explicitly outlaw and persecute homosexuals, among other things), and not increase Anti-Americanism (which there will always be, properly promoted by those in charge who either want to keep their people squashed or force them to live under strict Islamic law).

    What would you have us do, get down on our knees and grovel to the world for permission to do something? The main reason why a good chunk of our alies doesn’t want anything to do with us is directly tied to the man who has been in the White House since 2008.


    • Vashti Quiroz-Vega September 21, 2013 at 9:42 pm #

      What I desire is world peace, but who knows if that’s even possible, but, what I want has very little to do with what will ultimately happen. I don’t want us to coddle up to the UN, but I think it would be wise on our part to handle this in a diplomatic way, and not piss off powerful nations like China, among others (who are members of the UN). I have no fondness for Russia, but I just don’t think World War III is good for anyone (homosexuals and women included), go figure. I’m a nobody and have no influence on world events or politics. I’m simply expressing myself and trying to make sense of what’s going on, which is a right we all share in this great country of ours.


  9. Rosey September 22, 2013 at 6:24 pm #

    My husband and I are closely following this story in the news too. There are no words. It is complex, and frightening, and I would not want to be the one required to make the best decision either. It’s too bad people don’t play by the rules (so long as the rules are fair). It’d sure make things a lot easier.


    • Vashti Quiroz-Vega September 23, 2013 at 5:18 pm #

      Hi Rosey! It’s a good idea to maintain ourselves well informed. You and your husband are doing the right thing. What’s happening in Syria affects all of us. You’re right though, it is frightening and complex, and the media doesn’t make it any easier for us to understand. As far as the rules; I think they flew out the window in this case.


  10. rksouliske September 22, 2013 at 7:56 pm #

    Great article! – It’s huge mess, this entire Syria fiasco. We let to many other countries do the same thing and look the other way, but this has more political ” ramifications ” for the administration, so we go and get involved. I hate double standards , and this mess has “double standard” stamped is blood red all over it.


    • Vashti Quiroz-Vega September 23, 2013 at 4:17 pm #

      Thank you! You’re right it is a political mess. That’s where they lose me; in all the political mumbo-jumbo. 😉


  11. yobial3 September 22, 2013 at 8:04 pm #

    Strong piece Vashti, a volatile situation and we can only hope that the right decisions are made.


    • Vashti Quiroz-Vega September 23, 2013 at 4:13 pm #

      Hello Yolanda! Thank you. Yes, you’re absolutely right. Our hands are tide and all we could do is trust in our government. Scary.


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