Friday, October 11, 2013

Blog 5:Syrian Civilians Bore Brunt of Rebels’ Fury

On August 4th in a government-held hilltop village close to the Syrian shore, Mr. Shakouhi, a farmer, was woken by gun fire and shouting. He took his family to cover and when they emerged the next day he was faced with terror. I found his uncle shot to death along with others, he found slaughtered animals, and his family’s possessions stolen or destroyed. many of the surrounding villages didn't fare to well either. This was the result of a planned attack of many rebel groups who fought against a small government army and in the process swept through the villages. Reports say that 190 were killed in the attack and more than 200 were being held hostage. Lama Fakih, the group’s deputy director in Beirut, Lebanon, said that this was the first documented incident  where  opposition forces specifically targeted the civilians; however, there have been reports of smaller-scale attacks by forces. Human Rights Watch has documented some of these attacks and said that they were crimes against humanity. Disclosures in the latest report has drawn some doubt on whether or not "Western efforts to isolate foreign fighters and other extremists within the rebellion and foster a command-and-control structure for the fractured opposition forces" is effective. Ms. Fakih said, “unified action by the international community is really long overdue when it comes to trying to deter these abuses and violations" and that these war crimes in Syria should reported to the International Criminal Court.

I find this article to to be interesting considering our last class discussion on crime. This article brings up a key point that we talked about in class and that is whether or not we should has a global system for crimes and their punishments. Ms. Fakih makes a great point and brings up another question; at what time or when should the "international community" step in and stand up for the little guy? Its hard to say exactly when, but I would like thing that if we come together as one unit that we can work together to stop/deter these crimes that are being committed. Every nation is different in how they handle criminal activity, but what if we set a standard system or how to handle these situations and allow each nation to build upon those standards if they'd like to? I all reality we should be more quick to take action against these people who commit these terrible crimes. We need to think of the people that are effected and take a stand to stop the criminals. This doesn't necessarily just apply to violence crimes, this could apply to crimes in human trafficking. However, we live in a world where nations are corrupted by these attack groups or where nations can't control these attack groups and so we just sit back watch.

Kateland Patino

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