Syrian Civil War 2011 - PResent

Researching the Syrian war interesting because of the abundance of information. It got overwhelming at times but the central conflict behind this war is clear: dissatisfaction with the current ruling. This project made me realize how violence can not resolve issues, but only bring the country right back where it started. The current war in Syria was interesting to me because there are certain elements of it that are parallel to events happening in our country. Overall I really enjoyed learning about the occurring conflicts in Syria.

Incubation Phase

The root of all the problems is the ultimately the lack of human rights in Syria. Their constitution allows them basic freedoms but they are not respected by Syrian government. The media and economy are mainly controlled by the ruling peoples - not the citizens. Any disagreement with the government results in a punishment of some sort. Even in the 80's there was an uprising that resulted in a massacre conducted by Hafez Assad, the current president's father. The limitation on freedoms was essentially why the Syrian civil war started.

Symptomatic Phase

Although it was the lack of rights that caused conflict it was the government's reaction to protests that caused the spark to ignite. A group of young teenage boys demonstrated revolutionary street graffiti and as a result they were tortured; one boy was even killed. This outraged the people so they started to protest against the injustice. The peaceful protests went horribly wrong when security forces began to physically harm demonstrators. President Assad used his father's tactics of destroying anyone who disagrees with his ruling. This violence against innocent people caused the Syrian war to start.

Crisis Phase

About 4.5 million people have ran from their home country of Syria. Some of these citizens are displaced while others are refugees, but most of them are women and children. Although there are various opinions on which side is good and which side is bad, both parties of war are actually guilty of making citizens suffer. The Syrian people are being tortured, starved, and murdered. It has only gotten worse since the beginning.

Convalescence Phase

There are no intelligible predictions as to when the Syrian civil war will end but I can't imagine it being anytime soon. There are predictions and estimates about what will happen once the conflict is over though. Due to war taking place in public areas like neighborhoods, about one third of the housing stock is destroyed. It will take decades for Syria to recover. Additionally, since the war is not expected to end anytime soon refugee numbers are likely to increase.

American Revolution vs Syrian Civil War

There are many similarities between the American revolution and the Syrian civil war. One of these similarities is dissatisfaction with the current ruling power. The people's opinion meant very little in the beginning of the American revolution; the same goes for the people of Syria. Another similarity between the two is the small fits of violence that took place before the main conflict began. The battles of Lexington and Concord sparked the American revolutions while the crackdowns by security forces triggered the civil war in Syria.

Although the events may seem similar between the two conflicts there were also some big differences. One of the main differences is the reason why tension began between the people and the higher power. In the American revolution the people were outraged by high taxation; the Syrian people were dissatisfied with the limit of social liberties. Another huge difference is that the American revolution was considered an international war while the Syrian war is an internal conflict within just the country. In relation to that, America was fighting for freedom from Britain, but Syria is fighting for freedom from a leader.

Is violence a sound way to bring about social or political change?

I don't think violence solves any issues relating to political or social change. For example, the unpopular leaders of France were decapitated in the French revolution. That did not solve any problems though because another man took power and was even worse than the past rulers. Killing the ruling power didn't make things better, it actually made things worse for France. Violence doesn't allow any room for discussion which is what actually resolves issues.

What are the media's affects on the Syrian civil war?

After researching how the media affects the Syrian civil war I have found that it impacts it in a negative way. Some news outlets explain how inexperienced journalists covering the war can lead to confusion about what is actually happening. Some people claim that the news is actually reporting the opposite of what is happening. This could potentially be harmful because the United States isn't hesitant to act upon issues, so if we are receiving incorrect information we could possibly react very wrongly. I think that the Syrian war has more coverage because it is possibly the worst war happening at the time and news outlets only cover the most horrible news to sell stories. The abundance of media coverage on the Syrian civil war could be beneficial but with the way it's going it's only doing harm.

https://www.theguardian.com/media/greenslade/2015/dec/17/where-media-fails-on-the-reporting-of-migrants-and-refugees

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-26116868

https://freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-world/2015/syria

https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2015/10/syrian-civil-war-guide-isis/410746/

http://historynewsnetwork.org/article/159417

http://articles.latimes.com/2011/dec/04/world/la-fg-syrian-detentions-20111204

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