World Response to Syrian Crisis—A Circle of Blame
Who Should We Point Fingers At?
Published: Wednesday, September 4, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, September 4, 2013 16:09
The conflict in Syria has become one of the worst humanitarian crises in the modern world. Since the moment it emerged in 2011, according to the United Nations, more than 200,000 people have died and in addition, according to the humanitarian organization care.org, 1.9 million men, women and children have become refugees in their own country.
At the moment that I’m writing this article, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has declared the U.S. has evidence to prove the Syrian government used banned sarin gas on people. On the other hand, the Syrian regime is saying the U.S. government is using propaganda to do a military intervention in Syria. The Syrian rebels are saying the Azad regime is responsible for these chemical attacks. Contrarily, Russian and Chinese governments are sticking by the Azad regime even though they urge for the results of the United Nations investigation on usage of chemical weapons. Governments of Iran, Israel and France are looking at the conflict as if they are trying to pick a side and from a political position in order to be an active part of international politics.
Rising civilian casualties, and claims of evidence of using chemical weapons have changed the dynamics of the conflict. However as a member of the public, I’m confused by the extreme polarization of different governments and different groups pointing fingers at each other while trying to find the “guilty one” for these attacks. I feel like all these governments are trying to protect their interests or significance in the world, or in the region, rather than assisting the Syrian people who are victimized from this conflict.
I don’t know whom I should believe or whom should I stand with. One may argue my naive confusion comes from not being actively involved in politics or not holding a position of power, so I don’t know how things work in the “real world.” This may be true; however, I feel my experience is quite common among many people who do not know how to act or what to do when an explosion of diversified information from various media is put in front them. As a consumer of media in the information age and as a person who is actively involved in social media, I feel an excess of information about Syria is making people emotionally and intellectually unstable.
However, I will not argue all the information we find in social media and in the news about the Syrian conflict are ambiguous. I know there are journalists and other groups who work hard, while risking their lives, to bring credible information to the people. At least for now the right questions are, how can the public help the Syrian people heal from the terrible experience they are going through? How can we provide them medical assistance? How can we help the refugees and children who are fleeing Syria? Blaming a person, a country or an organization in a severe catastrophe such as the Syrian conflict will not help the Syrian people at this moment. Only people or organizations I will stand with are the ones who will provide non-lethal aid, extensive medical supplies and refugee assistance to the Syrian people who are immensely affected by this two-year-long conflict.
Samantha is a senior majoring in Journalism.