What Needs to be Done in Syria

I understand why the international community is hesitant about doing a military intervention in Syria, but what other choice do we have?

Russia and China are still backing Syria. And we should not underestimate their role in continuing this conflict. They are already sending fire arms and giving advice to Syria’s regime. Who knows what else they could be helping them with?

Aid organizations have been blocked from sending health supplies and food to the civilians trapped in Bab Amr, despite the Syrian regime saying it was OK on Thursday.

Several journalists, including Marie Colvin and Remi Ochlik, have been killed while covering the destruction and death in Syria.

The non-binding resolution issued last month by the U.N. failed.

A referendum was held in Syria that called for a new constitution and al-Assad to remain in power. It was passed by the majority of the Syrian people. But can we really sit back and let al-Assad remain in power? Look what he has done. Nothing will change if he remains in power. Death, terror and destruction will be the fate of the country.

And the public condemnation of al-Assad and his actions by the United Nations Human Rights Council, which was overwhelmingly backed by the international community, went ignored and was met with even more death.

So what other choice do we have? I am sorry but I think we have run out of options. Too long have we beat around the bush and underestimated al-Assad and his regime. Too long have we tried to find a peaceful solution- which I am not against. But both ships have sailed. We now know (and have known) that al-Assad has power. He cannot be underestimated any longer. He will not answer to peace. He will only answer to death and destruction.

Now I understand that we were hesitant because we did not exactly know what the  repercussions of military intervention would be, but I do not see how it matters at this point. Either way it is a bad decision- whether we decide to militarily intervene or whether we decide to keep trying to find a peaceful solution. Either way more lives are at stake.

However, if we decide not to intervene with military, we are sending a message to al-Assad: he can continue what he is doing. Peaceful talks have done little (if anything) to stop the conflict. In fact, I think it has fueled the fire. Today a reportedly 14 people were murdered execution style. That does not even count the dozens of others who have been murdered at the hands of al-Assad’s army today.

Now, we might not know what lies ahead if we choose to bring the military into it. And yes, lives will be lost. But we cannot sit back and watch as the fate of the Syrian people become aligned with only death and destruction. We have to do ALL we can do to help them, and that means removing al-Assad from power by force.

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About Haley Behre

I graduated from Syracuse University in December 2011 with majors in newspaper journalism and women and gender studies. Using these majors, I aspire to become a journalist who writes about human rights issues. I have held internships at the Syracuse New Times, Dash Media PR Firm, Syracuse Post-Standard and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. I also had an internship at the Not For Sale Campaign Syracuse chapter, which is a non-profit organization dedicated to eradicating human trafficking. I was born in Seoul, Korea on September 30, 1990 and moved to the United States before I was one year old. When I was 8, my family and I moved to Norwich, England for three years. While I was here I was immersed into a new culture and got to experience many things other children my age do not get to. Over the three years, I visited Ireland, France and the Netherlands several times, and Belgium, Wales and Sweden once. In the winter of 2010, I got an amazing opportunity to visit Kenya for a month. This was by far the single most eye-opening experience of my life thus far. The natural beauty of the landscape and its people do not compare to anything I have seen. I currently intern for the Reporters Committee for the Freedom of the Press in the hopes of getting a full-time job at a newspaper or non-profit after.
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