Thursday, February 18, 2016

Weekly Report 1

It seems as though the lines between “good guys” and “bad guys” are becoming further blurred as the civil war in Syria rages on. The BBC reports that this civil war began in March of 2011 between the government of Basar al Assad and the rebels who would like to see Assad's leadership come to an end. Also, amid all of this fighting between these groups is the rise of the so called “Islamic State” (IS), who the rebels and the Syrian government now both find themselves fighting, as well as each other. The same article from the BBC (December 2015) also reports that due to "close ties" with the Syrian government, Russia has begun bombing areas of Syria in resistance to both the rebels and now IS. This article from the BBC was published as a means to get one caught up on the latest happenings of the Syrian Civil war and the events surrounding it, and furthermore, it was published specifically for children. It offers video reports on each of the themes discussed and offers advice for those young people upset by such news.
Deutsche Welle however, recently reported that Russia has no intention of stopping its attacks on Syria. Like all great ministries of propaganda, Russia has begun releasing videos to their news stations depicting brave Russian soldiers in the fight against terrorism. Deutsche Welle says that, “It feels like 90 percent of the best airtime is filled with Syria coverage. Most reports show Russian airstrikes, but no critical questions are asked; people just cheer frenetically. To Russians sitting on a couch in front of the television, this war is a media war: entertainment.” While it is true that all governments throughout the history of war and media seemed to have engaged in similar “white-washing” of war, there are certain events which Russia still does not account for. One such event that is mentioned in this report is the shelling of hospitals and schools. While Russia does not claim responsibility for these events, Deutsche Welle reported previously of the eyewitness accounts of those working for Doctors without borders. Perhaps someone should explain to the Russian government that engaging innocents in conflict is not ever heroic.
While refugees fleeing this madness find their way into surrounding nations and Europe, the United States seems to remain relatively inactive to offer aid. They have stated that they have removed the aid once offered to rebels so that the equipment given does not fall into the wrong hands but other than this; there is great hesitancy to offer help. Hopefully we will follow our responsibility to help those pushed out of their homelands due to this crisis. Surely if Germany can take in over 1,000,000 refugees, we can manage something.

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