Scrolling Headlines:

Report: UMass football’s Todd Stafford arrested Saturday morning in Stamford, Connecticut -

Monday, July 20, 2015

UMass names Molly O’Mara newly-created associate director of athletics for communications and PR -

Monday, July 20, 2015

Baker approves state budget, UMass to receive $5.25 million less than legislature’s proposed figure -

Friday, July 17, 2015

UMass bathroom policy to provide comfort, safety for transgender and non-gender conforming students -

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Long-time UMass professor Normand Berlin, 83, dies -

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

UMass professor and poet James Tate dies at 71 -

Thursday, July 9, 2015

State legislators propose budget, UMass could receive almost $532 million -

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Cause of death determined for UMass student Chloe Malast -

Monday, July 6, 2015

Nick Mariano, Zach Oliveri transferring from UMass men’s lacrosse program -

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Four months after banning Iranian students from certain graduate programs, UMass announces new measures to ensure compliance with U.S. law -

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Justin King sentenced to eight to 12 years in prison -

Monday, June 29, 2015

Two future UMass hockey players selected in 2015 NHL Draft -

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Supreme Court ruling clears way for same-sex marriage nationwide -

Friday, June 26, 2015

Former UMass center Cady Lalanne taken 55th overall by Spurs in 2015 NBA Draft -

Friday, June 26, 2015

Second of four men found guilty on three counts of aggravated rape in 2012 UMass gang rape case -

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Boston bomber speaks out for first time: ‘I am sorry for the lives I have taken’ -

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

King claims sex with woman was consensual during alleged 2012 gang rape -

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Wrongful death suit filed in death of UMass student -

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Ryan Bamford uses online Q&A session to discuss UMass football conference search, renovation plans, cost of attendance -

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Opening statements delivered, first witnesses called in second trial for alleged 2012 gang rape at UMass -

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Numbers of the Syria Revolution

Also see: Egypt |Iran |Tunisia | Yemen | Jordan|Syria

Zero. Zero. Zero.

That was the first three days of the Syrian Revolution.

Four. One. Two. One. Seven. Fifty-two. Zero.

That was the first full week.

Twenty. Fifteen. Six. Seven. Zero. Six. Zero.

It looked to subside the third week as a result of global condemnation.

Twenty-nine. Zero. Zero. Zero. Four. Zero. Zero.

The world was wrong – again.

Seventy-four. Five. Twenty-one. Seven. Eight. Two. One.

This was just the first month of government-sponsored killings of Syrian civilians demanding an end to decades of tyranny. Last week marked the 50th week of the uprising.

Ninety-six. One hundred and twenty-three. Sixty-nine. One hundred and forty-five. Ninety-eight. Thirty-five. Fifty-one.

As providers and consumers of the tech world marvel at Apple’s groundbreaking 25th billion mobile application download, the Syrian death toll clicker continues to add digits at a rate more telling of a civilization’s priorities. As the Americans, Russians and Chinese rehash old Cold War rivalries, innocent civilians and opposition fighters are killed daily. The perpetrators? The al-Assad dictatorial family, led today by Bashar al-Assad, whose father Hafez ruled the country for almost three decades, killing tens of thousands.

Yet again, the Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki-Moon called for an end to the yearlong unrest. Yet again, he chastised the international community for failing to act against what he called the Syrian government’s “atrocious assault against its own people.” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama have also called for al-Assad to step down or face possible charges for war crimes.

It amazes me to read articles and watch news reports that discuss the exact numbers of civilian deaths. The United Nations states that approximately 7,500 people have been killed since the uprisings began; other Syrian opposition sources say the number is higher than 9,000.

Whether or not seven thousand people are dead or nine thousand is the discourse of the West, but this type of discourse is insensitive and the exact numbers do not matter when every lost life is one too many.

When Europe fell into darkest moment since the Dark Ages in World War II, the United States intervened to save the free world from tyranny and oppression.

When Iraq – an oil rich nation – invaded Kuwait in 1990, the United States rushed to the aid of the tiny nation. When it was believed that Iraq was building weapons of mass destruction, the U.S. went to the aid of … someone, I’m assuming … and a trillion dollars later, we found nothing.

When Libya – an oil rich nation – imploded during the Arab Spring, Europe and America rushed to opposition forces’ aid to “prevent genocide” as Obama routinely stated. He was right, and intervention was absolutely necessary to remove the longest dictatorship in the Middle East.

But when Syria – a small, century-old country – plunged into sectarian violence, the world stood by. Like when millions of civilians were sent to the gas chambers, like when millions of civilians were raped and hacked with rusting machetes in Rwanda and Sudan, as thousands of civilians are constantly in the sights of Syrian Army snipers, the world preaches and fails to practice.

What will it take? Not even the murders of Western journalists are enough to compel the democracy-preaching West to intervene in Syria. Syrian activists are even begging us to help them, but America won’t even airdrop medical or food supplies to civilians stuck in Homs or Daraa.

Seventy-two. Thirty-nine. That’s the amount of people who were killed over the two days this article was written. It is obvious that the numbers will increase as the days go by. What is more obvious is the disastrous relationship the West will have with the Middle East in the next 50 years when those opposition fighters become leaders of nations.

In that future, when our leaders meet theirs, they will ask us: “where were you when we needed help?” We talk a lot of the economic burdens our children will suffer. We need to talk more about the social damage they will endure as defenders of democracy fail to practice what it preaches.

Roy Ribitzky can be reached at rribitz@student.umass.edu.

 

Comments
One Response to “Numbers of the Syria Revolution”
  1. Arafat says:

    Gosh, Obama’s hope and change sure is a crock of sh*t.

    He’s about as ineffectual leader as they come.

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