Saturday, August 31, 2013

To strike or not to strike #Syria


 
The dilemma whether to go ahead with strikes in troubled Syria or not to go is the crucial decision that world leaders are scrutinizing today. Another middle-eastern country faces the brunt of cruel and mean dictatorship. This time it is Syria. And this time the man behind the turmoil is Bashar al-Assad.

The happenings in Syria reverberates similar massacres of innocent civilians in despotic regimes in Iraq, Libya and Egypt. Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely. Although it is not yet proved neither reported by media due to difficulty in getting inside Syria, videos circulating around the world evidence how infants, kids and adults are frothing at mouth and suffocating from the use of chemical weapons. Do we believe these videos and conclude the actual usage of chemical weapons by the Assad’s regime or do we wait for UN inspectors to release lab results of soil samples collected on site?

It's almost 2 years, 5 months, 2 weeks and 2 days since the uprising in Syria and this war like situation seems to only be getting worse today. UN has estimated the death of 100,000 civilians during this period. How many more innocent lives can the world afford to lose at the cost of the hands of the inhumane and cruel man who seems to want to control the region no matter what? We can’t wait for Assad to take lives of all Syrians, can we? No we can’t. So what do we do?

To stop the brutal killings of more innocent civilians, the President of the United States proposed “limited and narrow” strikes on Syria. The President says no-boots will go on the ground. The United Kingdom Parliament has voted against military strikes in Syria. Russia and Iran have promised to work together to stop strikes in Syria. While the man responsible for this chaos, Assad, says his army’s finger is on the trigger.

How can military strikes be an answer to the chaos in Syria is what I want to ask Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon. How can military strikes in the region stop brutal killings? Strikes will only increase chaos and lead to killings of more civilians. And how do we define “limited” and “narrow” strikes. Does limited mean “fewer” air strikes for a short period of time. Does narrow mean only “part of the region” will face strikes? These terminologies show lack of clarity in the strategy to tackle the situation.  Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan continue to take lives of innocent men, women, and kids. Besides, so many of our military men continue to get martyred in these regions. How many wars can this world uphold? Can we begin to say “No” to wars or war-like situations and say “Yes” to all possible methods that bring peace across the world? 

No doubt after over 2 years of painful civil war in Syria, it’s a tough decision to make on the conflict. There are no many options to respond to the situation. But a decision needs to be made. A decision that will guarantee justice to Syrians and peace in the region is long overdue. We need to do something of this complex situation. But certainly strikes have never been and will never be an answer to this complicated situation. 

A few hours ago today, the President of the United States made a speech from the White House about his decision for military strikes in Syria, but at the same time he said he will wait for Congressional approval on his decision. This is what true leadership is about. This is exactly what people were waiting for him to say. Kudos to the president’s decision to seek authorization from members of the congress. This only reinforces his trust of having a unanimous decision. Syria is a complex situation and a solution on it needs many minds put together. 


In the midst of this, sections of media is simply over-reacting by spending hours discussing about President Obama’s credibility and reputation if he doesn’t react to Syria with strikes. How can a decision on strikes or no-strikes boost or damage the credibility of a leader. This is not only a complex and deadly situation but a sensitive one too. Syria is not about anyone’s credibility but about innocent civilians who need to be saved from this despotic regime.

God Bless Syria and her people. Peace be with you soon.

Post script:
Just wondering what a mess we have made of our world. There just seems to be no humanity left. No peace. Is it still possible to use Mahatma Gandhi’s and Martin Luther King Jr.’s method of non-violence to bring peace and justice in the world again?

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