Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Democratic Terrorists

I think its safe to say that terrorism is bad. And I’m pretty sure that the America population would unanimously agree with that statement. For the past two decades, the emergence of terrorism as a principle military and political strategy has been a constant bane to the United States: both in foreign and domestic affairs. Our military interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan have been consistently antagonized by the Taliban, al Queda and other rogue insurgent groups determined to undermine our authority and hegemony through their attacks. And then a little closer to all of our hearts, the attack on the World Trade Center on 9-11. It seems that terrorism has consistently opposed core Western values like democracy and has worked to install government systems that rely on fear tactics and ignore human rights.

The United Nations has sent representatives to oversee
the conflict in Syria but even their influence has not
prevented terrorism from emerging as part of the
            But what if it worked for us? Persistent despite United Nations sanctions, the war in Syria continues to rage, with President Bahsar al-Assad deploying more forces and tanks to fight the opposition. This clash, however has produced some unexpected results. As conflict is extended and the battle becomes even more dangerous, rebelling civilians have felt the need to increase the severity of their attacks, specifically, with the use of terrorism. In the past few days, multiple incidents of both road-side and suicide bombings have occurred, targeting Syrian military forces. Granted, road-side bombings are not something unheard of in the Middle Eastern region, but these occurrence have a distinct twist to them. This terrorism is being used to support democracy and reform, a sharp contrast to the usual totalitarian regimes that it is usually the proponent of.
            This being considered, the United States will have to think strongly about their position on these actions. For one, they could allow it to continue and support these actions against the Assad regime. However, this is risky, as the military support of radical movements like these have given dictators like Saddam Hussein the ability to rise to power. On the other hand, working against these rebels would create an irresolvable disparity in foreign alliances. Working against both of these would be a waste of funds and with limits enforced by the U.S. and U.N., Syrian rebels could not maintain a viable military effort and Assad would presumably retain power—leaving one less stable foothold in the Middle East.
Security forces examine the after effects of a suicide
bombing in Damascus
            Once again the United States will be forced to choose between diplomacy and human rights. In this ongoing dilemma, our personal interests and those of the states in which we intervene will be pitted against each other. In this scenario, action or the lack thereof can both have serious consequences, and the decision the United States makes will set precedent for our policy in the future. The discrepancy between our ideals and our actions has never become more apparent and the stance we take regarding these acts of terrorism in our favor will influence our image at home, abroad, and throughout our entire future.

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