Rio Hondo College Newspaper

El Paisano

Rio Hondo College Newspaper

El Paisano

Rio Hondo College Newspaper

El Paisano

America, World Police: Syrian Saga Sequel

On August. 31, President Obama spoke to the nation about the “worst chemical weapons attack of the 21st century.” Syria has been locked in a civil war for over two years and President Obama alleges that the Syrian Government used nerve gas sarin against its own people, murdering over a thousand souls including hundreds of children.

Syrian rebel forces are fighting against the nepotistic ruling family which has been in power since 1971. In 2011 the Middle Eastern uprising movement which began with Egypt euphemistically named Arab Spring, emboldened the citizens of Syria to face their government, which needless to say has not been looking out for citizens’ best interest. In an effort to install democratic reforms, the people of Syria took to the streets to voice their opinions and create change, or maybe just a discussion of change, in the country they call home.

In 2011, Bashar al-Assad, the current president of Syria and General Secretary of the Ba’ath Party, was accused of systematically killing protestors and innocent bystanders by Human Rights organizations. Recently, the use of chemical weapons has pushed President Obama to speak out against Bashar al-Assad.

In 1770 when British colonialists and future freedom loving Americans decided to take to the streets to protest unfair legislation, British soldiers took it upon themselves to shoot into a crowd of people killing five of them. This incident was foreshadowing the coming American Revolution. In the United States of America, this event in time is referred to as the Boston Massacre. This “Incident on King Street”, as modern day English people refer to it, was a catalyst for the colonialists. They had enough. Revolutionary propaganda spread like wildfire.

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Just like every other American, President Obama has the right to freedom of speech. Just like many of us have voiced our opinion about Syria to someone who cares, President Obama, as the Commander-in-Chief of the only superpower in the world, decided to voice his opinion on the matter.  He proposed that the United States of America support the rebel forces fighting against the Syrian government, and specifically Bashar al-Assad.

In an effort to make his actions more transparent, President Obama passed the buck on to Congress to see if whether we will use some of the 707 billion dollar Department of Defense budget on actions that will benefit a group of defenseless people.

President Obama has a difficult road ahead of him. His authorization to aid Syrian rebels militarily will not be approved by Congress anytime soon, but he may have already achieved what he wanted. Internationally giving his support through a weapon of mass communication is a damaging blow for Bashar al-Assad and his oppressive regime.

The British have already pulled out of any potential operation in Syria, but France and Saudi Arabia have been outspoken in their agreement to aid Syrian opposition.

Would France or Saudi Arabia have come out against Bashar al-Assad publically if Barrack Obama hadn’t said anything of the matter? Could the fact that these countries support a small group of people in a foreign civil war effect the outcome of the Syrian cou4ntry and its citizens?

No one can tell for sure. But like President Obama said on August 31, “In an effort to achieve a government that shows respect to its people … we are the United States of America. We cannot turn a blind eye.”


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