Syria: The Situation and Why To Care

Those turning on the news today are likely to see some news story mentioning the civil war in Syria. Syrian Arab Republic is a country to the north of Iraq and south of Turkey.

Since the “Arab Spring” uprisings began, the country of Syria has been embroiled in turmoil. According to the New York Times, an estimated 40,000 people have died in this conflict.

Bashir Al Assad, the Syria president/dictator, is trying to prevent a coalition of opposition groups from ousting him from power.

The world media has portrayed the conflict in multiple ways. The US media says that the Free Syrian Army (opposition group) is fighting for a democratic society in Syria. But the United States must think carefully before supporting the FSA.

Other world news outlets, including Russia Today and Al Jazeera have been both supporting Assad and investigating international criticisms of the FSA, such as their large Islamic extremist faction, human rights violations, and US funding.

Recently, the Russians have admitted to funding Assad’s government and the US has admitted to funding the FSA. The situation has only escalate over the past year, reaching a peak last week. On December 3rd, the US moved 20,000 troops into the Iraqi/Syrian borderlands. The following day, Assad’s regime was accused of loading Sarin Nerve Gas onto bombers to be used against the Syrian Opposition groups. The following day, Barack Obama announced that the US would take “direct action” if Assad used the Sarin gas. 

As the situation continues to escalate, it is time for people around the world to properly research and examine the situation, it’s causes, and it’s effects. Both sides of the conflict have valid points to make. Assad’s regime is fighting to retain control of Syria and continue to be Russia’s Middle Eastern geopolitical ally.

Assad’s regime is also a close friend of the Islamic Republic of Iran, a big player in Middle Eastern stability and global politics. Assad’s regime is being propped up by the Syrian Shia muslim minority, who was given power to rule by the French imperial state who once owned both Syria and Lebanon.

On the other side, the Free Syrian Army is the voice of the Sunni Muslim Majority, who are now in open revolt. The Free Syrian Army consist of a variety of political groups, including a variety of known terror groups, democratic insurrectionists, and ex-Syrian military officers.  The USA and other Western powers fund the FSA in both an ousting of Russian and Iranian geopolitical power, and a gamble for a pro-US regime.

The US should not directly intervene in Syrian affairs, and instead continue funding the FSA but specifically condemn and isolate known terror elements in the FSA itself.

While skeptical of this “Democratic Revolt” and how this will help both the people of Syria and US safety and geopolitical power, support for Assad’s regime is also not an option. History tends to repeat itself, for the U.S. funded a coup of Iran’s democratically elected leader during the 1950’s under the guise of “Freedom and democracy”.

That coup ended in the explosion of Islamist power and overall takeover of Iran. Thus, the Islamic Republic of Iran was born. The exact same scenario played out when the US funded the Mujahadeen in Afghanistan during the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan. We gave the Taliban and Al-quaeda weapons to use against us in recent history.

The U.S. must be cautious as a country if they are to consider supporting the FSA or other struggles in both the Middle East and the world, for they have made the same mistake before.

 

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