Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Wasted Wednesday: My Thoughts on Syria

When I go to bed every night my usual routine is this - I read, do a sudoku puzzle, and then browse through twitter for a little bit.  I like browsing twitter because believe it or not it is my main source for news.  I feel very ashamed to say that I am not up with the worlds latest news.  My sources for news besides twitter are Tumblr, Relevant Magazine, the podcasts I listen to, etc.  The hype of last week was the VMA's and the crazy sexual and over the top performance put on by Miley Cyrus.  I'm not an MTV fan nor do I care for the VMA's so I did not see the performance and still have not seen it...I've only seen articles and lots of pictures.  While I would love to talk about my thoughts on the whole issue, there is another issue that is at stake that I feel I need to voice my opinion on and that is Syria.
As I scrolled through twitter gazing lazy eyed at all of the Miley Cyrus hate tweets (and some compassion tweets), I came across one tweet from Eugene Cho that said, "That so many would be outraged by Miley Cyrus and yet, so apathetic by what's going on in Syria, Congo, & North truly outrageous."  The tweet was the first that actually made me stop and think.  Why, you ask?  Well...mostly because I had not seen or heard anything about Syria and didn't even know there was an issue going on.  I immediately felt ashamed of myself.  Since that day, I've been doing my best to try and make sense of the situation and have been listening curiously to see what President Obama's plans are.  The more I learned, the more I knew I had to make Syria my next Wasted Wednesday topic over everything else.  In fact, Syria should be the top topic to everyone else too because the decisions that are soon to be made will affect us all in America.
This post will not explain to you what is going on in Syria.  This post will not explain why the U.S. is involved in it all.  This post is just my opinions on three topics that all relate to Syria: war, power, and weapons.
Let me outright state before I write anything else that I do not feel it is right to enter war with Syria.  This opinion of mine is not based on the facts and the history of America and Syria's history together.  This opinion comes from my years of taking history classes and learning about history everyday through the books I read, the podcasts I listen to, the movies I watch, the conversations I have with diverse groups of people, and the videos I watch on youtube.  I have learned that America has a way of pushing her ideals on other countries and that this has caused many of the conflicts that still exist today.  This idea is apparent when looking at the war on communism (The Cold War) and when looking at the war on terrorism.  The same idea can be compared to Hitler who imposed his views on a country that eventually spread around Europe.  America has become a global empire that wants control and in some ways she has gained it, however she has become too big headed and because of this it has also spun her out of control.  America wants to control everything and have wreaked havoc because of this.  I believe America should stick to America and not get involved (or crash the party) with another country's problems and here are my reasons why.
War: I hate war.  If history has taught us anything, war solves nothing.  It merely gives people an excuse to kill and harm each other over an issue that the government could talk out but have too much pride to do so.  I had a conversation with a friend about Syria the other day and I voiced my opinion that I stated above.  I told her I was sick of America getting involved in which she responded that this issue has to do with the U.N. and that other countries are not volunteering to do anything, making America the country to pick up the pieces.  Whether what she said was true or false, I'm not sure.  But her comment got me thinking; why must we, America, pick up the pieces at all?  Why is it always America who has to get involved?  The entire concept reminds me of the Christians who waged wars on other religions because they did not believe the same things.  Why is the answer to differing views always war?  Don't get me wrong, there are some things that people in other countries do that I think is just plain awful and wrong.  But there is a cultural barrier between us.  Just as I believe that they are doing many evil things, they could look at me and say the same exact thing.  Starting a war will only get both parties angry and will kill innocent people who aren't really fighting this battle and have virtually nothing to do with it. 
Power: After learning about plenty of wars in history classes, I have come to the conclusion that governments (and people in power) are what case wars.  Governments are always too headstrong to talk things out and always are fighting for having the upper hand - even if that means killing thousands to millions of innocent victims in the process - all to get what they want.  To bring in a pop culture reference, just look at the second book in the series A Song of Ice and Fire, A Clash of Kings (TV Show known as Game of Thrones).  In the book, we see Stannis and Renly Baratheon both claiming that they are the rightful king of the seven kingdoms.  Stannis feels inferior to Renly because Renly is beloved by all even though Stannis is the true king since he is the oldest brother.  At one point, the brothers come face to face and have an argument of wits as to who should sit on the iron throne, sending threats at each other every other sentence.  Finally, Catelyn Stark intervenes and lectures the two of them, saying that if they were her sons she would put them both in a room together and make them work things out.  The conversation is no longer about who is the rightful king.  The conversation is about family history and hurts that each of there brother's experienced growing up.  They each still have deep loathing for the other and are willing to risk many lives instead of forming an alliance together as brothers.  They are both too proud.  This plot is a perfect example at how each government has hurt one another in some way and instead of uniting and looking past petty differences, they wage war. 
Weapons: I bring weapons up last because they pose another threat entirely.  With war comes deadly weapons, mainly nuclear weapons.  The Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor so America bombed them right back.  That is all war is - back and forth battles.  To this day, America still feels the hurt from the attack of Pearl Harbor and I imagine Japan feels the same because of what America did to them.  Haven't we learned out lesson?  Yes the atom bombed technically ended the second world war but it only ended the fighting.  There is still hostility in this relationship.  The war is not over and no war ever will be until there is legit peace and that means no more weapons.  Just look at the cold war.  Russia and America both were making bombs to prepare for an attack from the other.  They also wanted to see who could make the best.  Another example is the space race.  America put thousands of dollars into the space race, as did Russia...all because of differing political views about how a government should be run.  Instead of putting money toward things such as education, the homeless, etc., America spent millions on getting one man into space.  While it is an achievement, I can't help but think that our priorities are in jeopardy.  Creating weapons will not protect us but will put us at more risk. 
My basic conclusion is that we can all learn from a few sayings: Treat others as you would want to be treated; If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all; Two wrongs don't make a right.  I know my ideas in this post are a bit scattered and I apologize.  I had a hard time writing this and I know there is a lot more I could have said but didn't.  All I know is that America's priorities are mixed up and there needs to be another option before war.  We need to take the advice we give to our children - violence is not the answer.  And my most basic and innocent question is - why can't we all just get along?  I know the issue is very complex but when you think about it, it isn't that complex at all.  The answer is simple - it is human beings that make everything more complicated. 
I find it ironic that all of this cropped up into my life on the anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s I Have A Dream speech.  A call for war arises on the anniversary for a speech that longed for peace...

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