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Syrian strikes not the solution

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Opinion columnist Albie Nicol argues that President Trump's missile strikes have contributed to the body count in Syria.

Opinion columnist Albie Nicol argues that President Trump's missile strikes have contributed to the body count in Syria.

TNS

TNS

Opinion columnist Albie Nicol argues that President Trump's missile strikes have contributed to the body count in Syria.

ALBIE NICOL, Opinion Columnist

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I believe the world is a dark, complicated place.

I think we can all agree on a few things regarding the conflict in Syria: it is an atrocity for a leader to chemically poison their own people; it is an atrocity for ISIS to attack a country already undergoing internal conflict and it is an atrocity for innocent civilians to lose their lives because we try to think of a simple solution to a dark and complicated conflict.

It’s even more atrocious when we think of ourselves, the United States, as the loser — just because we have a rash and impulsive president.

They have a sticky situation going on in Syria — ISIS is running rampant in their country, creating domestic tragedies left and right. But Syria’s president, or dictator, is leading the genocide of his own people.

Assad has been trying to extinguish an internal rebellion against his government by chemically gassing his citizens.

We Americans are not the victim here. In our role as citizens of the world, what is our responsibility? What action is our obligation?

The victim here is Syria and its citizens, the civilians who are dying every day because their home became a battlefield between the rebellion, the government and ISIS. Assad is the one using chemical weapons he has stockpiled for years.

So, while Trump’s missile strikes don’t paint the U.S. as a very thoughtful actor on the world stage, we can’t pretend we’re the biggest losers here.

Now with all of that clarified, Trump’s missile strikes on Syria are terrifying. Why? Because all Trump is really doing is scaring the few aid organizations on the ground in Syria who are trying to help provide food, shelter and water to the people in need.

What happens when aid organizations fear for their lives so much that they leave Syrians to fend for themselves, without reliable food, water and shelter?

As a result, in direct, but unintended ways, the actions of the United States have contributed to the body count in Syria.

Since we aren’t on the ground in Syria, it’s not our job to decide how to handle this conflict, and it’s unimaginable to understand what Syrians are going through right now — fleeing their homes out of fear for their lives and hiding in tunnels underneath the city to avoid airstrikes from who knows what nation.

So, if missile air-strikes aren’t beneficial, what is? I’m not claiming to have a perfect alternative answer. But I know that we need to listen to Syrians.

While Assad and his government control the media and communication of the country, the aid groups in Syria have found alternative ways of passing on knowledge, through Facebook and YouTube.

Spokespeople from the organizations have been able to share updates on the aid efforts in Syria through Facebook and share the complex situation all Syrians are facing, such as how the air-strikes aren’t helping anyone.

The Preemptive Love organization has feet on the ground in Syria and is working to deliver food and medical supplies to Syrians. Another one of these organizations, the one that helped me write and inspired this article, is called the Syrian American Medical Society.

If the tragedy taking place in Syria moves you, I recommend giving to the Syrian American Medical Society. You can do so by looking them up on Facebook and clicking the donate button.

The world is a dark and complicated place.

The situation in Syria is complicated.

But taking action without considering the lives and situations of Syrian civilians is reckless. We should be listening to them, not attacking them.

Let’s make the world a slightly less dark and complicated place by listening to Syrians and the organizations that help amplify their voice.

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Syrian strikes not the solution