Friday, December 30, 2011

Syrian Protests Spread

As Syrian protests spread to now eighteen provinces, hundreds of thousands of Syrian's flocked to the streets after noon prayers on Friday. At least thiry-two were killed across the country, with hundreds more injured. The Damascus suburb of Doumas saw the worst of it. In the nine months of protests the United Nations estimates that over five thousand protestors have been killed by the Syrian government.
Currently Arab League observers are in Syria, but even members of their group have stated they do not think they will be successful in determining if Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is actually trying to find a peaceful solution. Syrian freedom activists say that the government has not tried at all.
Around the world, governments have verbally condemned the actions of al-Assad's government, but where is the outcry that met less death in Libya? By the time hundreds had died in Libya, the world was calling for Muammar Qaddafi to resign and leave the country, and when he didn't they used military force to aid the rebels in defeating him. Yet with Syria, the world seems content to ask President al-Assad to find a peaceful end to the protests.
What is the difference you might ask? Why does the world not step in as they did before and end this violence? How are Libya's people worth more than Syria's? Sadly it comes down to one simple answer, oil. Libya supplied and transported oil for the western world, especially Europe. Where as Syria, does not. Now if this was Kuwait action would've already been taken to ensure that there was no violence anywhere near the oil.
Syria is a true humanitarian crisis. Yet other than mentions does not seem to gather any sympathy from the world. Something more than saying "bad al-Assad" must be done. But what? Troops on the ground is not an answer. Nor are airstrikes really. But the world truly can not just sit back and watch as the Syrian people are brutalized and massacred by their government. The time has come for action that hurts the government, but not the people of Syria.
Will the world leaders of the United Nations, Arab League, European Union, Russia, China, and the United States have the guts to do it?