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Not our kind of rockets

Published: Thursday, February 16, 2012

Updated: Thursday, February 16, 2012 05:02

If one Googles "Horrific Crimes Against Children in Assad Rocket Strike," they will be taken to a 56 second video featuring two Syrian boys injured in a rocket attack with gruesome content.    

The bottom half of one boy's face has been blown off. He is still alive, still conscious and trying to communicate with those around him. He can make no sounds, only motions. He looks at the camera with agony in his eyes with what is left of his face. Blood-drenched pieces of flesh dangle like small strips of fabric while the viewer has no choice but to look straight into the boys exposed esophagus. Strings of flesh cling to his shirt as he moves and puddles of blood accumulate beneath him.

The other boy's leg is blown off just below the knee. No older than 12, he lies on a stretcher screaming in pain. The camera pans to his leg. Crimson puddles form beneath the remnants of the quivering slices of meat that were his appendage.

The children's assailant? Their own government.

All of this is going on because the people in their city and throughout Syria protested – peacefully, then violently – against an unjust ruler. They want democracy and are willing to fight for it.

What has the U.S. and the international community done? Essentially nothing. If Western governments do intervene, it will be for other motives, such as locations for military bases in the Middle East which would allow for Western powers to more easily protect their petroleum investments in the area.

There have recently been talks of opening humanitarian corridors but this proposal is easily distortable, giving way to military intervention which will inevitably lead to the countless deaths of innocents. Regardless of intervention, innocent people will suffer and die from shells and bombardments courtesy their own government.

Mainstream media fails to explain the truths of the situation; it is extremely complicated. The Syrian government is backed by Iran, enemy to the U.S. and most Western countries, meaning the U.S. supports the civilian efforts. However, al-Qaida publicly supports the opposition, and reports have surfaced that arms were given to the Syrian rebels by the terrorist organization.

It gets more confusing. The U.S. officially links al-Qaida to Iran, yet Iran has promised to send special forces to Syria to assist the current regime. Peculiarly, the U.S. and al-Qaida both support and are against the same parties. That connection would most likely never be seen on major American news corporations. One would have to search Al-Jazeera, RT, or Democracy Now for such information.

Injustices against humanity continue with little sincere effort to stop them, not for lack of will of the people of the world, but due to politics. Sadly, the two boys in the video are nothing more than collateral damage, pawns in a bloody game of chess.

Just as wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have affected Americans, both military action and lack of military action in Syria will negatively affect Americans.

What may be more disturbing is that if one were to ask random students here at UT about the violations of human rights in Syria, odds are a number would respond with, "What is Syria?"


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