Cowards, What Next? | Teen Ink

Cowards, What Next?

August 28, 2013
By Sunshine15 PLATINUM, Modi&#39in, Other
Sunshine15 PLATINUM, Modi&#39in, Other
20 articles 0 photos 18 comments

Favorite Quote:
Never doubt that a small group of committed people can change the world. Indeed, nothing else ever has. ~Margaret Mead

Syria doesn’t have oil in the quantities that countries like Saudi Arabia and Iran do. Syria is not a bridge between Islam and democracy like Turkey and the United Arab Emirates. Syria is not yet a hotbed of Al-Qaida like Yemen and Afghanistan.

So, what does Syria have? A dictator that unleashed chemical weapons on children, a rebel force with strong ties to several terrorist organizations, and over 100,000 dead bodies.
But without an economical, political, or security threat, the superpowers cannot and will not get involved. They have no interest, no incentive. While morally repugnant, this is understandable. If only we had an organization whose purpose it was to end conflicts for the good of humanity, to step in between a murderer and his victim for no country’s particular interest. If only we had an international body willing to make sure war does not strife the world again.
Well, we do. Or we’re supposed to, anyhow. The United Nations’ main job, its reason for existence, is to stop the world from deteriorating into war.

Committees have been sent to observe and document.
Conferences galore have been organized to discuss the situation.
The United Nations even went so far as to condemn the Syrian governments’ actions.
The US President, the UN secretary-General, various Foreign Ministers, Ambassadors, and Secretaries (or Ministers) of Defense have gotten together with counterparts and, over some cake and coffee, discussed the horrible killings going on in Syria.
And what is the grand conclusion that comes from all these meetings and conferences, that is written in these carefully-worded committee recommendations? The Western world has decided to wag its finger at Assad. They have “strongly condemned” (is anyone else sick of hearing this phrase from virtually all politicians?) Bashar Assad’s crackdown on children. Obama, the US President, announced that the Americans were aiding the rebels after the first chemical attack, but no additional information (such as how many weapons, and which weapons, and to whom exactly the weapons were given) were provided by the White House. The UN has set up several ‘Observation Posts’ in northern Israel, southern Turkey, and Jordan, some of which were evacuated or near-evacuated when Syrian conflict spilled over to those countries (because, naturally, the organization that is supposed to end war is scared of a few missiles).

What could the UN be doing, in my opinion? The Syrians are between a rock and a hard place; a dictator and a group of Islamist terrorists. No one side is good, and we’re down to picking the lesser of two evils. In 1920, shortly after the first world war ended, the newly-formed pre-UN ‘League of Nations’ invented the Mandate theory. They decided to send Britain, France, and other then-superpowers to invade and colonize most of the Middle East, including Jordan, Israel, Syria, and many more countries. The Western countries were supposed to help develop (while safeguarding) these countries. They were supposed to set up stable leaderships and a thriving economy and get these countries on the path to democracy. By and large, this failed, due to corruption and a general policy of favoring a minority and letting that minority rule the country with disastrous ends (for example, Rwanda).
However, done correctly, the Mandate theory could be implemented in Syria. With a 10 or 20 year program, while putting world resources (and I say world, because I don’t want the cost to fall on America) into Syrian education systems, and healthcare, and other social programs, the world can sent Syria on the path to freedom. We can stabilize the situation enough to squeeze the terrorists out of Syria and maybe, just maybe, lead the country on the way to repair itself from this ongoing tragedy.

Practical people don’t want to hear “it’s the right thing to do” so I’ll give some better reasons that the world should and must intervene in Syria; one, Syria is slowly destabilizing the entire region, which is important to the free countries because the free countries need oil and we have it by the tons; two, stopping Syrian president (though I shudder to give him the honor of that title) Assad could stop Iranian expansionism; three, who wants another terrorist-led extremist country in the world?; and four, well, it’s the right thing to do.

I live in Israel and I’ve tried to see on various UN websites what I can do for Syria. I live a five-hour car-drive away from a place where children are being gassed, and the most I can do at 17 is visit Israeli hospitals where Syrian victims are being treated. And, like so many times before, the world is silent.

The committees have spoken, the conferences have been held, and the recommendations have been written and printed out. Yet everyone seems to hope it’ll all just blow over. No more can the free countries hide behind their mansions and suits, and no more can the leaders hide behind fancy speeches and strong-sounding words.
It’s time to make a decision: Fight or flee. There are no more observations to be made. Well, coward leaders, what next?

The author's comments:
In so many conflicts, the world doesn't speak up. I don't know what to do, how I can help in Syria, but I know that at the very least I can send letters to politicians and leaders, to remind them that we still know and care about Syria. During the Holocaust, the world was silent. During the Rwandan genocide, the world was silent. Now it's not our ancestors, it's us; this is our world! Let's prove that we can do better than this.

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