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A sad international response

By Patrick Clark
On February 28, 2012

"Where is the world?" These were the words that I heard on

the radio from a Syrian local, afraid for his life, with gunfire

and shelling a distant soundtrack. These words struck a

chord with me and posed the question, "really... where is the

world in this time of crisis?" If you have not been keeping

up with the current news in Syria, a small but dedicated

group of citizens in opposition to government policies and corrupt politics have revolted against the regime in Syria and

it's leader, Bashar al-Assad. In response to this, Assad has

ordered the Syrian military to ruthlessly bombard sections of

various cities throughout Syria, in particular the city of Homs,

with artillery fire. It is estimated that, though the number cannot be confirmed, over 2,600 people have been killed, many thought to be innocent bystanders. One report from the city of Homs came from a resident saying, "We were sitting inside our house when we started hearing the shelling. We felt shelling on our heads. The morning has

come and we have discovered more bodies, bodies are on the street. Some are still under the rubble." It is unfortunate

and disgraceful that the United States, or any other civilization, has allowed this massacre of people to continue. It is with utter disgust that I heard the news that both Russia and China, permanent members of the U.N. Security Council,

vetoed a resolution calling on President Assad to step down

from power. This horrifying decision on the part of the Chinese and Russian governments shows their lack of

understanding of human rights, human dignity and morality. Their interest lies more in the price of oil and their ability to obtain it rather than the price of human lives. I understand the world's dependence on oil from Middle Eastern countries, however, when the governing bodies of two "developed" nations sacrifice human life for that resource, I question their moral capacity. I am in support of international

cooperation and some sort of structured world peace

organization like the United Nations. That being said, when the system fails, as it has in this case, it does not lessen the responsibility of those who know what is right to take action. I can say with more than enough certainty that the United States has, in the past, taken military action without the blessing of the United Nations. Iraq is one example, and for less convincing reasons, if you will. The United States had no proof of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, yet

it knows there are people being killed in Syria. Has the cost of human life changed? Since World War II, the United States has appointed itself as the police of the world. Numerous

examples prove this point including the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Gulf War and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Since when did we change our policy on helping those people being suppressed by corrupt and violent governments? The past few years have brought great change to some Middle Eastern countries such as Egypt and Libya, hopefully for the better. I believe that it is our responsibility as the most powerful nation in the world to

assist those who are fighting for equality. How can we boast a nation of liberty and equal rights and not encourage those ideals throughout the world? It would be a sad day if we Americans decided that we no longer had the will to do our self-prescribed duty. The lack of international response is pitiful. More conversation has been sparked by the death of an American and a French reporter attempting to cover this massacre. I do not wish to diminish the deaths

of these two reporters but why are their lives any more

important than that of a local Syrian child? They are not. A life is a life. I also understand the risks of military action. The

death of American soldiers in any capacity is a sobering

and deeply troubling thought. However, the price of peace and equality is not an easy one to pay. Despite the fact that it is cliché, really do wish for a peaceful world where everyone is considered equal. I ask the world to respond, ‘We are here,' at a time when they are needed most.

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