Friday, March 8, 2013

Syrian Civil War

No present day conflict has more catastrophic potential. The civil unrest in Syria been a headline in international news for quite some time, and the world waits with bated breath to see how the United States, Iran, and Russia will respond to what is quickly escalating into a morbid human rights issue. As I look at the news coming from this dynamic and complicated situation, I am struck by how the United Nations and the United States in particular have responded to this situation. White House officials continue to highlight the possible repercussions of taking action to put an end to the ethnic violence and the civil unrest as a whole.

This issue brings up a pivotal question which human rights legislation seems unclear about: what does one do when stopping a human rights violation is likely to lead to even greater and more severe implications and possibly even intensify the hatred and the overlooking of human rights. It appears that, in the case of Syria, the violence which is being considered in this article is not only a result of differing opinions or deep-rooted hatred, but it is also being escalated by a growing sense of fear in the other parties involved. In a predominantly Arab culture, the article highlights that parties such as the Christian Converts living in the land are becoming volatile as they begin to wonder what will become of them if the current regime is overthrown.

This issue is pervasive not only because it has serious implications for these and other parties involved, but also because of the international community that holds steaks in what is to come of this situation. Iran and Russia, often considered two of the greatest threats to the United States and open enemies of our nation both appear to be aligned with Assad. The United States actions are therefore likely to have consequences that greatly exceed the direct impact of what they may do. For this reason, the United States has continued to stand by and delay any action as long as they can in hopes that the conflict will somehow resolve itself. Their actions, to me, imply the question we all are still asking: what does one do when the implications of standing up to evil and inhumanity carries severe and possibly even greater risk and potentially catastrophic consequences.

- Daniel Watts

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