In March of 2011, protests began in Deraa, a city in Southern Syria, to promote the ideas of democracy. After governmentally controlled accidentally killed members of the crowd, demands to see President Assad removed from power began. Eventually, rising tension escalated into armed conflict. The country descended into civil war. In the past 6 years since, Assad killed hundreds of thousands of people, resulting in an international refugee crisis.
Near the end of September 2016, Russia was found to have bombed a UN convoy that was delivering humanitarian aid to the rebel safe hold of Aleppo. This political attack on humanitarian aid highlights the role of international political tensions in the conflict in Syria.
The lives of Syrian civilians are at the hands of international governments and entities like America’s new president.
Responsibility lies with national governments to ensure the wellbeing of their own people, and as such, the addition of foreign peoples into society is not considered a priority.
However, since the advent of strong governing international organizations, such self-interest is no longer an applicable view of towards modern politics.
In the United States, leaders traditionally follow a globally based humanitarian moral compass. It is yet unknown whether such leaders as Trump will subscribe to such precedented policies.
After having been determined to have bombed the UN convoy, no official action occurred.
Additional issues arose as the UN attempted to place sanctions on Syria for the use of chemical weapons. This never happened, having been shot down by Russia in the UN.
Thus, Russia, is a perpetrator and aggressor against the United Nations, allowing numerous international laws to be broken. Russia is even directly crossing an organization in which they have one of the more powerful voices, being 1 of the 5 permanent leaders of the Security Council. Without support of all nations, the bodies of the UN, which were designed to prevent another world war, will fail.
Adding to uncertainty and tumult among international communities is a new power on the political stage, Donald Trump, who personally has large conflicts of interest due to Russian investments.
Trump’s Foreign Policy
President Trump is using fears created by events in the Middle East, the events of 911, and other domestic attacks to direct his foreign policy.
Recent imposition of a travel ban further raises concerns about humanitarian standing, and the role which the United States will have in checking exertion of Russian power.
Being based in the idea of self-protection, the travel ban is intended to reduce the risk of domestic terrorism, by keeping out those with the intent to cause harm to American Citizens. However, reports from the Cato Institute found the following
An American’s chances of being killed by a refugee in a terrorist attack in any given year are 1 in 3.64 billion
There is no real need for fear. To ban refugees is to perpetuate a humanitarian crisis, not to protect the American people.
Small Action to Help
As a function of language, in America, immigrants are called “illegals, aliens, foreigners” rather than more endearing terms such as “human,” but worst of all, those in need in the Middle East are often called terrorists, despite that this is a fallacy.
Through this manner, langue perpetuates distrust and paranoia, but it also bleeds into the political system, where it drives harmful policies.
Russia is acting as an aggressor against humanity. Lack of US or UN action is telling of growing conflicts ahead, and possibly large failings in world peace as the UN loses credibility and international power.
Governments must take responsibility for failing to maintain peace, but as individuals, we must also take responsibility.
President Trump is perpetuating these negative stereotypes, imposing a travel ban which will only make the humanitarian situation worse, leaving an aggressive Russia uncontrolled.
We must all stay vigilant, we must all do our duty, as humans, to protect those in need.