Crisis in Syria and America (NY Times and WSJ)

The NY Times article entitled, “Obama Tests Limits of Power in Syrian Conflict,” is written by Charlie Savage.  The NY Times article contrasts Obama’s motives for solving the crisis in Syria.  The article shares disputes and agreements from government officials regarding Obama’s plan to “strike” Syria.  Additionally, this article examines the grave nature of this issue.  Savage states:

“On another level, the proposed strike is unlike anything that has come before — an attack inside the territory of a sovereign country, without its consent, without a self-defense rationale and without the authorization of the United Nations Security Council or even the participation of a multilateral treaty alliance like NATO, and for the purpose of punishing an alleged war crime that has already occurred rather than preventing an imminent disaster.”

The Wall Street Journal article, “Obama Hones Pitch on Syria As Opposition Rises at Home,” is written by Kristina Peterson and Carol Lee.  The article discusses how Obama will emphasize and explain his plan to the “wary public.”  The article, also, discusses Mr. Obama’s scheduled plans to convince government officials that a “military strike” in Syria is acceptable.  In the beginning, Peterson and Lee state, “Mr. Obama will make his case repeatedly in coming days to Americans wary of opening a new military front in the Middle East.”  I find that sentence to be a bit ironic because the president has excessively made his case regarding issues in Syria.  This sentence makes it sound like Obama is just now starting to promote his plans for Syria.  I did, however; enjoy that the writers established the public instead of congress and government.  I think more citizens should have a voice in this issue because I know, personally, that not all citizens agree with Obama’s plans.  Though, I was upset to find out that as the article went along the writers diminished the public and replaced them with the congress.

During the course of both of the articles two words arose frequently: ‘strike’ and ‘alleged.’

Both of these stories are afraid to categorize this event as what it truly is.  It’s a bombing or, rather, a killing of a mass number of people.  It’s not a ‘strike’ or ‘military action’.  By categorizing this as a ‘strike,’ I feel as though the journalists are not doing their job.  Journalists are not conveying the truth here.  They are not exposing this event for what it really is-a mass killing.  If Obama does implement his plan to “strike” Syria, thousands of people will die.  Yes this plan will eliminate the chemical weapon attacks that have killed over thousands of Syrian citizens, but it will still kill more people.  I don’t think it will necessarily stop the Syrian civil war, if anything it will provoke more violence and despair.

The word ‘alleged’ is thrown aimlessly throughout the media.  Most of the articles say something like, “alleged chemical-weapons attack,” “alleged war crimes,” or “by the alleged forces of President Bashar al-Assad.”  According to Merriam Webster dictionary the definition of alleged is: “said to have happened but not yet proven.”  Thus I have to wonder- are we going to go to war on an assumption?


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