Chemical weapons in Syria; Has President Bashar al-Assad gone one step too far?
The Syrian civil war began in March 2011, following popular demonstrations that spread nationwide by April 2011. The demonstrations were occurring over a political conflict, between forces advocating the Ba'ath government, and those seeking to bring it down. The roots of this conflict can be traced back to 1963, when the Ba'ath Party rule was established, under the rule of President Hafez al-Assad.
The Ba'ath Party is a secular political ideology that advocates becoming a social pan-Arab state. This meant that the Syrian government wanted to unify its country with other pan-Arab states to create one single nation, with a common economy. This also meant that Syria was strongly opposed to Western political involvement in the Middle East.
However, the single country formation did not work, because all the nations involved were very different, and had their own perception of how they wanted the country to look like. In the end, Syria stayed a single nation, after briefly constituting with Egypt to form a country (this did not work out).
After President Hafez al-Assad died, his son, Bashar al-Assad took over the government. The Syrian population was hoping that Bashar al-Assad would be a better ruler than his father and expected new policies and modernization. However, after the Damascus Spring (a set of political reforms al-Assad formed, that would bring about the economic changes he had planned for Syria), ten leading activists who had called for democratic elections had been arrested and imprisoned by the Assad government.
To learn more about Syria's political history, watch this vlogbrothers video.
Then with the March of 2011, the Arab Spring began. Public demonstrations condemning and calling for the fall of the Assad government spread throughout Syria, as part of the bigger Middle Eastern protest movement. These protests have been ongoing for the past two years, and are still occurring today in 2013. According to the UN, during this Syrian civil war, around 4 million Syrians have been displaced within the country, and 1.8 million have fled to other countries as refugees. Also, tens of thousands of protesters have been imprisoned and reportedly tortured.
And now, of the issue at hand.
Most recently, many international organizations have accused the Syrian Assad government of taking severe, abusive action against the demonstrators. More specifically, President Bashar al-Assad has been accused of using chemical weapons against civilians.
This has fueled an international outcry, particularly in the USA, where President Obama has condemned the use of chemical weapons against civilians in all situations, UK, and the Arab League, which has dismembered Syria. Meanwhile, in Syria, al-Assad has denied the use of chemical weapons and has also granted the UN permission to investigate into the country's weaponry. The Syrian government is supported by its biggest ally, Russia, who also denies chemical attacks.
The investigation into Syria's weaponry is happening right now.
In my opinion, even if the UN doesn't find any traces of chemical weapons, they'll still be there, because the government could have cleared all evidence that points to possible chemical attacks. It is very easy to just remove traces of something and then invite authorities in.
Many civilians have said that there has been a chemical attack- and I think they are telling the truth. Why would they lie about their homes being destroyed and their loved ones being killed? And even if chemical weapons have not been used against demonstrators, something has been killing off many people in short amounts of time. There is something clearly suspicious happening here.
I feel that there should be more investigation done on this issue because it all looks so sketchy and unclear. Syria has been in the news for more than 26 months and has taken so many lives in this time period. I think that a mere "investigation" into Syria's weaponry status will not unravel the truth about what is going on in the terror-struck nation.