War with Syria?

March 11, 2012 2:11 am

This article looks to explore the last words written by Marie Colvin, a renowned journalist for the Sunday Times. She wrote an article which contained a desperate plea for help from the western world to stop Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian president, and his army from the mass genocide that they are currently committing. One day later she was killed in the relentless shelling that the Syrian army was pouring onto the city of Homs. She is one of several journalists who have lost their lives in this Syrian civil war and one of the most striking things about her last article, or perhaps ‘will’ would be a better word, is that she asks her readers to ignore the Sunday Times’ copyright laws and republish and share her words everywhere because the situation is so desperate.

This happened almost three weeks ago and now Homs could more accurately be described as a graveyard rather than a city. There is worldwide condemnation from almost every government, with the exception of a few such as Russia who consider their relationship with Assad too precious to criticise. However, as Marie Colvin expresses in her article, words are no longer enough. We need to act now in order to stop more lives being lost. War may seem like a drastic course of action and perhaps it is, but if the Syrian government refuses to cooperate (they even refuse to let in the majority of aid that has been offered to them), then perhaps we should lend the FSA, who represent the opposition to Assad and are almost unanimously supported by all the citizens of Baba Amr, military assistance. The effectiveness of a kind of ‘hands off’ military aid has already been proved in Libya with the removal of Muammar Gaddafi and the reports that have been received from Syria over the past few months leave me in little doubt that something similar needs to be done.
In her article, Marie Colvin describes how men, women and children in their thousands have been forced to live underground in basements, never seeing sunlight, with only sugar and water to eat and drink. This has been the way for over a month now and the reason for it is that the Syrian army is relentlessly bombing the city so that to go outside means risking death. As if this was not enough, army snipers have been placed on roofs everywhere and they will shoot anyone they see walking on the street. A trench was also dug round Homs ensuring that no aid, food or water could be brought in. Bear in mind that this is not a case of two armies fighting each other but rather Assad’s army murdering innocent citizens. Hiding in the city of Homs were a few remaining fighters from the FSA, most having already been killed or captured, but apart from them it purely consisted of Syrian citizens, unarmed, fighting only for the right to live.

The only real hope of success for Assad’s opponents is if the international community comes to their aid, as Nato did against Muammar Gadaffi in Libya. So far this seems unlikely to happen in Syria.” Marie Colvin

Few perhaps remember the crimes of Hafez al-Assad, the current president’s father, who killed 10,000 citizens in Hama by shelling it into the ground. It would seem that Bashar is attempting to do the same thing and, without our help, will most likely be successful. This is despite the fact that his opposition is vast and consists of many thousands of the Syrian population. Unfortunately, the decisive factor is the equipment that the Syrian army has and as a result, the opposition has been crushed in every encounter. Citizens are forced to choose between the safety of their families’ lives and their country. An example of a man who chose the latter is a Major-General from the Syrian army, Abu Sayeed, who defected seven months ago and joined the rebels giving an insight into Assad’s regime. All soldiers in the army are members of the Mukhabarat, the renowned and deadly security and intelligence force of the President. They have orders to shoot on site anyone refusing to kill or anyone found to be defecting. Despite this, there are claims that large numbers from the Syrian army have defected already.
It is difficult for us to know what is really happening in this one sided war-zone as journalists are not being allowed in, and the ones that were there already have either been killed, arrested or escaped. It is a crime for Syrians to put up photos on the internet of what is happening and anyone who does is immediately arrested. If Assad truly thinks that he is in the right, then why would he try and hide the facts from the world? So what should be done about this? Our governments need to send immediate support and help to these people. They need to put far more pressure on Assad, insist that he gives up power and have him put on trial, and if he refuses, which he will, we must supply military aid and help rid Syria of an evil regime. The world is a different place now, evil men such as Gaddafi and now thanks to KONY 12, Joseph Kony, are no longer accepted and Assad is proving himself to be no different.
To put this in perspective, if the city of New York decided they no longer supported Obama’s policies, started to create marches, protests and other rebellious acts against him, what would the world do if he bombed them all, killing women, children and innocent citizens who weren’t even involved in the first place? That is what is happening in Syria, and Marie Colvin, a woman who put her life on the line so that she could communicate with the world the atrocities that were being committed, begged that we take action. I hope that she did not die in vain!

Below is a link to Marie Colvin’s last article before she was murdered in Homs by the Syrian Army.

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