Syrian Civil War: Forgotten?
In recent weeks, with the reliability to be expected of modern media, news sources have devoted themselves loyally to the coverage and speculation on the conflict between Israel and Gaza, the impending U.S. fiscal cliff, and Egyptian turmoil over Morsi’s grab for power. One subject, however, whose loss of life and political implications far exceed those of the above issues, has remained consistently unreported on by the U.S.’s major news media: the ongoing Syrian civil war.
The conflict began in July 2011; after many months of political activism on the part of oppressed Syrian citizens, an opposition group known as the Free Syrian Army formed against the government forces of Bashar Al-Assad. From there, as unrest spread throughout much of the state, conflict between Syrian rebels and Assad’s forces have escalated to tremendous heights, causing nearly 40,000 deaths to date—a figure ever on the rise. The conflict between Israel and Gaza, in stark contrast, came to a close with the death toll on both sides totaling near 500.
Though the start of the conflict as well as the subsequent UN rulings to follow were of great importance to western media, the conflict in Syria has received unreasonably little attention throughout the month of November despite a weekly death toll that remains undiminished.
In addition to the havoc being wreaked upon Syrian citizens themselves, the effects of this conflict are alive and well in those nations along Syria’s borders. According to a statistic given by the U.N. refugee office early this November, over 400,000 Syrians have fled to neighboring countries and are currently registered or waiting to register as refugees.
While the circumstances faced by the Syrian people are worth noting in and of themselves, what must be brought to the attention of the American people are the future implications that this conflict has if it goes on unassisted—a prospect very likely due to Russian and Chinese obstinacy during UN deliberations. Assad has proven that he will take drastic measures in scrambling to regain power, seemingly going to any length at the cost of any loss of life. The UN will remain ineffective in offering assistance to rebel forces, Assad will be allowed to continue unimpeded, and this gruesome number of deaths will to continue to rise, unless political pressure is placed on our leaders to provide aid beyond that which they’ve offered thus far. In order for such pressure to exist, however, U.S. media sources must first remain consistent in their coverage of this horrific series of ongoing events, not continue to distract from their occurrence in favor of alternative incidents.