Over the course of two years, civil war in Syria has reached a boiling point under our noses, but it has taken the photographed bloodless bodies of children to open the eyes of our government. A humanitarian crisis all but ignored by the international community is now the nexus of global debate.
The game of smoke and mirrors is well underway, with Russian President Vladimir Putin proposing a way around intervention if Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad agrees to hand over his chemical weapons to Russia. While some may be fooled into thinking that will actually end the conflict, let’s get real. No one really wants Russia to have more chemical weapons. And there are a lot of other ways to kill.
Still reeling from the decade-long stint in Iraq, the majority of Americans are opposed to intervening in Syria. In a poll conducted by The Mirror, 73 percent of the 48 people who replied to the survey stated that they were against military intervention.
Likewise, across the country representatives have received overwhelming responses against retaliation. Maryland Congressman Andy Harris tweeted that his office received 753 calls opposing military action in Syria and only 10 in favor of intervention.
And yet, here appears the golden eagle to swoop in and save the day in the name of liberty and justice for all, right?
Why now? What exactly was the tipping point? Did the pictures make us feel bad? Are we to believe death by chemical weapons is so much worse than death by air strikes, guns or bombs that it warrants our immediate action.
Last night Obama addressed the nation, stating that he will temporarily postpone a congressional vote on a military strike in Syria. While claiming that America is not the “world police” he made clear that the United States is an “anchor of global security.” What exactly the difference is remains unclear.
Obama also said that he “will not put American boots on the ground in Syria” but if deemed necessary, a military strike is in order to “send a message” to Assad that use of indicriminate chemical weapons is unacceptable.
As if we are to believe that drone strikes are more discriminating with its victims.
I have some bad news for Obama. We don’t have the best track record in keeping people alive in the countries we invade.
According to the Associated Press, more than 116,000 civilians were killed during our occupation of Iraq.
The United States reported the chemical weapons attack on Aug. 21 claimed more than 1,400 lives. The United Nations estimates over 100,000 lives have been lost in the conflict since 2011.
How can we not expect that number to double if the U.S. military joins the party?
In this conflict there is no right or wrong. We are not even sure whom we are fighting at this point. Everyone, I guess. Assad blames the rebel forces for the chemical weapons attack on Aug. 21. The U.S. media have led us to believe Assad is big bad wolf.
Putin has sided with Assad’s government, and is prepared to back them should U.S. intervention come to fruition.
How much blood must be shed before enough is enough? Do we really believe that drone strikes and ground forces will save lives?
The truth is simple: War is not about saving lives.
The U.S. media care only about saving certain lives; whose names and pictures get plastered on the nightly news and for whom the nation will reel indefinitely.
That is why, when an armed person enters a school full of innocent children, the priority in the situation is not to kill that person. It is to prevent the children who cannot escape the conflict from being senselessly murdered.
However, when entering a foreign country, we do not hold true to those values. Instead, we blindly strike civilian areas and senselessly slaughter those who are trapped in the country with the goal of killing a few unnamed enemies.
That is akin to blowing up an entire school to kill a potential shooter.
The truth is, a number like 100,000 is simply too big for us to fathom. It is said that our brains are incapable of processing any number over 1,000. After that, it all just gets chalked up to the same infinitude.
For those pressuring military action in Syria, there is no logistical difference between 100,000 and 200,000 casualties when not a single dead child will be given a name or a story or a favorite color.
They don’t care how many more have to die as long as they come out on top.
It’s clear the American public has recognized the fraudulence of the U.S.’ claim as world peace police. American citizens oppose the war in Syria because we have already seen how little good more guns and violence in an area of conflict will do.
We pulled out of Iraq with our tail between our legs.
How quickly our government has forgotten.