The Syrian Situation

The ongoing situation in Syria, has attracted attention from around the globe.  Like many Americans, I have been following the news stories for a few months now.  I am grateful that another foreign war no longer seems imminent, because I do not wish to see my friends and family members sent overseas.  However, I do find the situation to be very upsetting and I wish there was more that both America and myself could do to bring about a peaceful resolution to the conflict.

While reading through the New York Times today, I found yet another article describing the current situation in Syria.  The article, which can be seen here, describes the ongoing struggles between the rebels and the Syrian government.  The Syrian rebels claim, according to the article, that the government is using cease-fires as a tactic to achieve victory.  Essentially, the government is calling a surrender, a “cease-fire,” and using their power over food supplies to achieve a victory that might not be possible with continued fighting.  One of the goverment’s conditions for the “cease-fire” is that the state-run news media will film rebel towns with the government flags being openly displayed.

The tactics the Syrian government are employing demonstrate effective strategies that not only illustrate some of the things discussed in my Rhetoric of Professional Writing course, but also invite rhetorical discussions about the whole situation in the middle-east.  For instance, is it acceptable for the Assad government to remain in power, despite their past use of chemical weapons on civilians?  Do the rebel fighters fight for the best interests of all Syria, or for merely themselves?  Perhaps most importantly, how involved should the United Nations be in the Syrian conflict?

In response to the first question, I do not believe that any person should remain in a position of power after they have attacked civilians.  Although I would like to see the situation in Syria resolved without violence and American soldiers, I think history has demonstrated that men like President Bashar al-Assad will continue to abuse their authority.  On the other hand, history has also shown that groups that rise to power through violence, often become corrupt once they are in a position of power.  For this reason, I am reluctant to see the outcome of either Assad or the Syrian rebels as the conflicts victor.  As for the final question, I think it is the responsibility for all well-established, successful nations to participate in the global community and encourage peaceful solutions to all problems.  Additionally, I feel that America has thoroughly established a tradition of being a global peace-keeper and no matter how involved the U.N. remains, America has some responsibility to stay involved for the duration of the crisis.

The upcoming peace talks in Switzerland will hopefully provide a final solution to the Syrian crisis.  In the meantime, both the rebels and the Syrian government continue to be the focus of many public discussions.  Rhetorical devices play an important part, becasuse they are used not only by the members of the conflicting groups, but also by citizens around the globe as they discuss the situation.  Today marks the last day of my online course, however as I continue my time at Bloomsburg University, and eventually pursue a career, I am continually reminded of the central role that rhetorical discussions play in the modern world.

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