The U.S. War Guide To Syria
All the news has been discussing Syria over the past couple of weeks and whether the United States will be attacking them over their use of chemical weapons on their own people. Most people in the United States don’t know much about this Middle Eastern country, so here are a list of facts about this country we may be at war with. While the government is deciding what to do, what are your thoughts? Do you think we should become involved in the Syrian civil war or do you think we should just let them handle their own troubles?
WHERE IS SYRIA?
Syria is a located in the Middle East and is approximately 71,000 square miles, which makes it slightly larger than North Dakota. It borders Israel, Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan, and Turkey. It also borders the Mediterranean Sea. There are about 22 million people living in Syria, 90% of whom are Arabic, but are also comprised of Kurds and Armenians. It is comprised of farm-rich plains, mountains, and deserts. [Source: CIA World Factbook]
WHO IS SYRIA?
Syria is a land that has been around since about 10,000BC. It is the location where man first started farming and breeding cattle. They have had a violent background throughout the years, being taken over by many groups of peoples, including: the Akkadians, Amorites, Hittites, Canaanites, Phoenicians, Arameans, Persians, Macedonians, Romans, and Byzantines. In 640AD, they were taken over by Islam and traded back and forth between different dynasties and caliphates. By 1516, they had become a part of the Ottoman Empire and would remain so until after World War One, where they would be given to France. Because of all of this turmoil, Syria is a mixture of many different races and religious backgrounds, including Christianity, which makes up 10% of its population. [Source: Syria – A Country Study: 1987]
SYRIAN CIVIL WAR
The Syrian Civil War is what the United States is most concerned about. This started in March, 2011 and is considered part of the Arab Spring, which is a large group of protests throughout the Arab world. The civil war is between Bashar al-Assad and the Ba’ath Party (the same one Saddam Hussein was a part of) and the rebel forces, known as the Syrian National Coalition. To date, it is estimated that 100,000 Syrians have been killed. Immediately, you might think that Bashar al-Assad is evil. Supposedly he is using chemical gas to kill his own people, he follows the same principals of Saddam Hussein, and Russia, our enemy for seventy years, is siding with him. What is there to like? Maybe nothing. However, the Coalition isn’t all sunshine and rainbows, either. Currently, there is a video (which I will not show here, though you can easily find it online) of a Coalition military leader, named Abu Sakkar, taking a dead Syrian soldier and cutting out his heart and liver – THEN EATING IT!!! These are the people the United States are siding with by offering weapons and aid. It is just another reason to ask ourselves, ‘Why are we involved?’ [Source: Reuters]
WHAT IS THERE TO GAIN?
So let’s get down to the nickels and dimes of it all. What does Syria have that we want? It’s probably no surprise, but Syria is sitting on a rich oil field. As of January, 2013, Syria was sitting on about 2.5 billion barrels of crude oil, which makes it the largest proved reserve of crude oil in the Eastern Mediterranean. [Oil & Gas Journal] Because of the civil war, this oil has gone unchecked for nearly two and a half years and exploration has nearly stopped. Less oil into the marketplace and the price of oil goes up. The people hurting the most from this are the people behind this exploration – Russia. So, you see, it behooves the United States to start bombing the area because it hurts Russia. Unfortunately, U.S. involvement also hurts us. We have to pay the price with soldiers and with our pocketbooks at the gas pumps. Attacking Syria would hurt Russia’s economy, but it would also hurt the U.S. in the long run. Is it worth it? [Source: International Business Times]
WHO’S WITH US?
Israel is definitely with us. The Jewish nation is not a friend of the Syrians since the 1967 Six-Day War where they occupied the Golan Heights and annexed that part of Syria into Israel. Turkey and France are with us. Turkey is a neighbor of the Syrians and the French used to own Syria after World War One, so there may be some conflict of interest there of possibly a greedy quest to see the nation squashed. Britain is hesitant on what to do. The Iraq war cost one Prime Minister his job and the Brits aren’t overly eager to make the same mistake they did in the last decade. Canada and Germany are telling us, “We’re not going to concern ourselves with Syria’s problems.” As for the rest of the U.N., they want to let Syria sort this one out. Maybe they are right. Maybe we should keep our men and women on American soil worrying about American problems and let the gassing and the cannibalism work it’s way out in this land which has only known war. [Source: CNN]
What do you think?