Americans are mostly unaware of the goings-on in Syria, especially since all in- and out- going information has been cut off from the tumultuous country. The ignorance that Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad has shown demonstrates the danger he presents to his own people and the rest of the world. It’s time to take action
One event that highlights this need is the Aug. 26 shooting of United Nations weapons inspectors, during the group’s trip to check out rumors of chemical weapon violations, according to a U.N. news release.
Exactly what faction the snipers came from is unknown. Whether the snipers knew whom they were shooting is unknown. Assad’s forces have been hostile to the United States and foreign countries in the past, however, some rebel groups have also shown hostility to UN forces. But after the sniper fire, even Britain and France want to get involved with Syria.
Whether or not Assad has used chemical weapons; the whimsical way he flouts international law not only poses danger to the Syrian people but also has shown Middle Eastern and North African
countries that they can violate international law without consequence. This will ultimately lead to bigger and scarier problems in MENA countries and will be more expensive and dangerous for the world to deal with in the future.
The last two years have seen major shake ups in MENA democracy movements, including a second revolution in Egypt against democratically-elected President Mohammad Morsi. Turning a blind eye to the Syrian atrocities serves only as a signal to other countries with comparable leaders, or those on the cusp, to begin oppressing their citizens, and to continue hostile behavior against the United States and other Western countries. Examples of this behavior include rumored Iranian efforts to produce nuclear weapons and the insurgents spreading in Mali and Libya.
This isn’t to say that a complete reversal in MENA advances will happen but it would show that America wouldn’t get involved because citizens don’t like it. Americans seem to care about international issues yet lack an understanding of the cultures and day-to-day politics of what’s actually occurring. While some argue that it’s not American’s job to clean up the world’s mess, the US spends 40 percent of all defense spending in the world. If anyone has the tools for the job, it’s the United States and its allies.
Especially in the case of chemical weapons the Obama administration needs to act with haste and resolve. Not only would oppressive governments continue and increase use of reprehensible methods, but terror cells could gain access in unrestricted, unhindered and unmonitored sensitive areas. The United States could provide less invasive logistical support if it has a problem with boots-on-the-ground intervention. What exact action would be most helpful is for experts to decide, however the current policy of inaction and political saber-rattling clearly is not effective.
This behavior is currently isolated, but serves as a sign of the danger level in the region. Even when
Syria is on the brink of being blasted by the United Nations for a crime against humanity their forces are attacking diplomats and scientists. It’s a bad move on Syria’s part.
Whether or not chemical weapons are being used in Syria, or even if the snipers knew who they were shooting, sniper fire is still a symbol for the turmoil that the people of Syria are living through daily. Other journalists that have covered the region describe it as “mass chaos”. Without intervention in Syria, the United States, United Nations and MENA countries that will face proliferated turmoil as a result.