Saturday, September 7, 2013

Breaking My Silence on Syria

After watching "Orange is the New Black.," my new guilty pleasure, I decided to check the news. I quickly regretted that decision. As a journalism student, I check the news everyday to see what is going on in the world or rather, what is being reported about. Of course we all know the hot button topic of the month/year is Syria.

CNN, God love them, posted videos of chemical attack victims. They did their part by stating "view discretion advised" and "Graphic content warning." Viewers/Newsreaders had the CHOICE to click "play" and view the graphic content.

I always hit play. I have a very morbid curiosity and I can handle graphic content quite well. So I did. Yes, it was horrific. You see people foaming at the mouth, lifeless bodies of Syrian children, people having horrible reactions to the chemical attack which lets face it at this point, definitely happened. They haven't officially confirmed what party was responsible but it went down, a lot of people died, and it is one of the saddest things in the world to witness.

The CNN anchor stated that the purpose of airing these videos on national news was because these are the videos that Congress is looking at right now as they make their decision about whether or not the United States is going to intervene.

So, why did I feel more disgusted that the purpose of airing these videos is actually TO JUSTIFY and VALIDATE the U.S. response to bomb/missile/invade/attack Syria. I feel like they're saying "this is what government is watching, you can watch too if you want as we wait to make a decision." Why did I perceive such an evident bias towards supporting an attack? Is it just me? Why do I feel that the news is trying to sway me to think, "OMG this is so horrible we must do something"? And worse, why am I angry about that?

Several years ago, I had the unique privilege to meet Paul Rusesabagina, the man and hero who sheltered refugees during the horrible Rwandan genocide. First I watched "Hotel Rwanda" and then I got to meet the man himself. I think I said, "Thank you. What you did for those people was incredible." And it was. That genocide over BLOOD LINES was insane, horrific, a major tragedy. While watching the film I kept wondering why the United States didn't do more to stop it. We had the capability, why didn't we intervene. We should have done more. Those people wouldn't have had to die just because their nose was long or their ID card had the "wrong" stamp.

Looking back I think I was young and na├»ve. My thoughts on Syria? There has to be a better way than us throwing some bombs and sending some drones over to hit up whoever killed their own people. I muse as to whether or not our founding fathers thought that we'd become this epic superpower that had the money (or debt, really), the power, the technology to be the world's hero. I think humans have the obligation to have compassion and look out for other humans but I can't seem to get on board the "attack Syria" bus.

In the world playground, Syria is getting bullied by...well...Syria. What gives the US the right to knock down the bully part of Syria to rescue the bullied part? Doesn't that make us the bigger bully? Why do we always play playground police and attack other countries because we or yes, the world, does not agree with what is going on within the borders?

I'm not an idiot. I know there is worldwide pressure for action. And I'm not a heartless soul, my heart goes out to those poor innocent people who are pretty much dying because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time and deemed by those "in power" to have the "wrong" political affiliation. It's senseless and those responsible will get theirs.....but do WE have to give it to them?

This is why so many nations hate us. Because we stomp around with our fancy drones and wag our fingers at other nations. The victims of the chemical attack? They're already hurt or worse dead. The goal is to send a message and retaliate but really we're avenging the death of people from another nation. If we pop a few bombs over there, what is to say WE won't kill innocent people? Also, what is to STOP the parties responsible from using chemical weapons again? What is the point?

I'm sure many disagree with me and we're all entitled to our own opinion. However, I don't need the media trying to SWAY my thoughts on Syria. May the victims rest in peace and may the United States not start/engage in yet ANOTHER war that really has nothing to do with us whatsoever.

Until next time...

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