100,000 dead. 2 million refugees. 4 million displaced. And now the use of chemical weapons.
The graphics below have numbers that have changed since their creation but each of them helps us understand just a bit more about the horrible crisis in Syria.
CNN reported: “In Jordan, it’s illegal for refugees to work, so some families have gone into deep debt to keep their children alive, Save the Children said. A 46-year-old refugee in Lebanon described the plight of his family, who has spent the past year living in an old sheep shed. ‘I cry in my heart. I feel depressed. It’s unjust. Is there a worse way to live than this?’ the refugee, identified as Ahmed, told the aid group. ‘Our situation is terrible to the maximum. We didn’t expect there were humans who could live the way we are living.'”
I have personally sat with Syrian refugees in Jordan and heard their stories. It is heartbreaking.
The question of the hour is:
What should the U.S. do in Syria?
This blog post is more about questions than answers.
I want to hear what you think.
I want to hear from Muslims and Christians, from people in the U.S. and people in the Middle East.
Here are my questions:
*** Should the U.S. launch a limited military strike against Bashar al-Assad?
*** If the U.S. strikes Syria, what will be the reaction of Iran?
*** If the U.S. does not strike, what will tyrants and dictators around the world feel about our lack of action in the face of their lawless, despicable acts?
*** If Assad is removed by force, who will rule over Syria? There are over 20 different groups – including Hezbollah and al Qaeda-linked Jabhat al-Nusra – fighting against the Assad government? Which of them will control the country if the U.S. helps to topple Assad?
*** How do you feel about President Obama’s handling of this crisis in Syria? What are your reactions to his speech last night? How can he keep his promise that he will not put “boots on the ground” in Syria?
*** Should the U.S. work with Russia and President Putin on ridding Syria of chemical weapons to avert a U.S. military strike? If that plan to dismantle his chemical arsenal should happen, what will change in how Assad leads his country? If he ceases to use gas, won’t he continue to use bullets and bombs against his own people?
*** When you see pictures or videos of victims in Syria (alleged use of chemical weapons on August 21st that killed more than 1,400 people, including hundreds of children), how does it affect your opinion of what action the U.S. should take?
*** Is the U.S. the “policeman” of the world? Should they be?
*** When is military force by the U.S. justified around the world?
*** According to polls, why are so many Americans so against U.S. military action in Syria?
*** Why is the international community so against a U.S. military strike in Syria?
*** Why aren’t we helping the victims of dictators in Africa by using military force against them?
*** What can be done diplomatically that has not already been tried before in this Syrian crisis?
*** Finally, what do our books say? The Qur’an. The Bible. Do they have anything to say about situations such as this?
In the Tawrat, God says to Cain after he has murdered Abel, “What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground!” (Genesis 4:10)
What should the U.S. do in Syria?
So many questions!
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