The Ongoing Struggle in Syria

December 15, 2011

Military, Political action

On Monday the United Nations high commander for human rights officially raised the death toll in Syria to 5,000 anti-government activists. For those who aren’t aware of the current situation happening in the middle east , for months activists have been protesting against the current government in place in Syria. It all started back in March of 2011. After two young kids were arrested for writing anti-government graffiti, the townsfolk help a peaceful protest against the regime under Bashar Al-Assad. This was greeted with a violent crackdown that ended up killing 6 protesters. Ever since this instance more and more demonstrations and protests have popped up all around the country, prompting harsher and harsher crackdowns by the government.

This isn’t the first time this country has seen these types of crackdowns. In fact it’s not even the first time the Al-Assad family is behind these government crackdowns. In February of 1982 Hafez Al-Assad, father of Bashar and leader of Syria at the time, issued an attack on the city of Hama in order to stifle an uprising by the Sunni regime Muslim Brotherhood. Initial reports claimed that only 1,000 perished, but as more information gathered the estimates were put between 20,000-40,000.

Both of these atrocities are exactly what Mill was afraid of when he talked about free speech. It is because of free speech that issues like this don’t occur. If the people were allowed to express their discontent with the government then this conflict would

Although the numbers from this current day struggle don’t compare to that of the Hama Massacre in the 80’s, this still cannot be ignored. tensions are rising between the government and it’s citizens and it’s only a matter of time



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One Comment on “The Ongoing Struggle in Syria”

  1. jonkeren Says:

    I agree that if the governments of Syria and Egypt allowed their citizens to speak freely then atrocities like the ones you mentioned would be much less likely to occur. However, I do not see this being possible anytime soon in these countries. They live in a totally different society where freedom of speech is not nearly as important as maintaining control. If the citizens of these countries are allowed to speak freely overtime it could undermine the existing government and get the entire country to turn on them. Therefore to avoid this altogether, the existing governments do not allow virtually any free speech to avoid this as a whole. It is sad and unfortunate to the citizens of these countries and this is why it is so crucial that they rebel so that they overthrow the existing governments and create new laws and regulations that are much more appealing. However, overthrowing the existing government comes with a potential negative side effect. When a existing power is overthrown it gives other groups the ability to take control. Since so many other groups in these countries are radical islamists, it gives them an opportunity to take control of these nations. Therefore it may not be good for these to rebel altogether. Overall this is a very tough situation, one which I do not have the answer to.

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