On August 21st, 2013, the Syrian government shocked the world with a heinous attack on its own civilians. I reacted, as many did, in horror, for although any abuse of power is disgraceful, a government betraying the trust of its people falls under a category of contempt all its own. This particular attack resonates fiercely with me because of the horrifying manner in which the military decided to kill its own citizens: chemical weapons. The use of chemical weapons was outlawed by the international community in the 1925 Geneva Protocol, when the memory of their exploitation in World War I was all too fresh and painful.
Syria’s blatant disregard for not only international law but also the lives of innocents prompted President Obama to address the nation on August 31, stating his intention to intervene militarily in Syria after seeking approval from Congress (approval which he obtained from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on September 4).
While I am not trained in military tactics, I think most of the empathizing world would agree that such a grievous act must not go unnoticed. Not only does it send a frightening message to civilians around the world, but it sets a terrible precedent for other governments to think that international law can be violated without repercussions. While the world decides how to deal with this tragedy, I, along with the Deerfield community, extend my condolences to the grieving families of the 1400+ innocents killed outside Damascus, 5000 miles away but in all of our thoughts and hearts. I hope to cover more of the story and more of your opinions as it progresses.