Sunday, April 28, 2013

Syria - as an average american layman.

I'm not a foreign policy expert. Or a journalist. Or a government official. I'm just some average, run of the mill guy when it comes to Syrian happenings. All my information comes from secondary sources.

Even so, it's hard to ignore the war there. Long before Boston was hit by a (marginally) domestic terrorist, Syria had been embroiled in years of war. Hundreds of bombs like the ones detonated in Boston have exploded all over the Syrian landscape. I remember a particularly shocking (for me) report I read something like two years ago of a bomb that went off in a coffee shop in a university that killed dozens.

The Internet has a long memory, so I decided today to look for that report - but I couldn't find it. It's not as though it was buried, though: there have just been too many other reports that appear to be far worse than the attack that shocked me so much those two years ago. The list seems endless:

April 8, 2013: Damascus Bombing kills 14 and injures hundreds
February 22, 2013: A series of bombs kill "at least 83 people"
January 15, 2013: (report on the 17th): Aleppo university bombing kills 87
December 12, 2013: "As many as 200" killed in an attack on a minority sect
March 27, 2012: Two terrorist bombs kill 27 police and civilians in Damascus
January 7, 2012: 26 killed in a bombing in Damascus

That's just a few of the bombings. Is it any wonder that the rest of the world seems to scoff when we rage against terrorist bombing that occurred a week and a half ago in Boston? I in no way wish to diminish the suffering of Boston's victims, but I can also understand why our outrage falls on deaf ears. I also see why, after two years of conflict, religious control of opposing factions seems to be the norm, rather than the exception.

What right do we have to control the world for our own ends, America? Why must we force ourselves into other's pies. Why must we try to mold the world into a society that matches our own? Expansion of American ideals, American democracy is a pipe dream that won't come to fruition as long as we try to force the issue. Our presence in the middle east has been little more than a trigger fomenting violence for years. Even after our most direct middle-eastern intervention, violence continues unabated.

Some may call me a pessimist; I prefer the term realist. The deaths of thousands of Americans and hundreds of thousands of Persians and Arabs hasn't resulted in a decisively democracy loving, people-controlled, peace loving middle east, now has it?

But maybe I'm wrong. I honestly would like to be. Years of direct evidence has proven at the least that a change in the middle east won't come easily. Even should the change happen, I wonder if the middle-eastern people will see us as liberators or tyrants. My instincts suspect the latter.

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