COMMENTARY | The protesters in Syria are facing horrific violence from the security forces of President Bashar al-Assad. Nine-hundred people have been killed in the protests in Syria. Another 11,000 people are missing or detained by the government. The protests have been ongoing for over two months.
On one recent day 23 people were murdered during the protests, notes the Washington Post. President al-Assad is showing his weakness by using murder as a way to try to intimidate the protesters. This method does not work; the protesters are standing their ground.
A young protester in Homs, Syria, said “We have started this and felt what dignity is. I will live in dignity or die fighting for it,” notes the Wall Street Journal. The people in their 20s in Syria are taking action and joining protests to try to build a better future. Many other adults are participating in the protests too. The people of Syria are expressing the wish for a life that is free from a dictator.
The Syrian Observatory for Human rights stated “The killings have to stop. Independent investigators must be allowed in the country,” notes Reuters. Security forces have shot at protesters in Damascus, Homs, Hama and Baniyas. Other areas have seen military tanks move in to disperse the protesters.
When will the violence stop? Too many people have been killed. However, world leaders have not yet announced that President al-Assad must step down. Syria is flouting international law by shooting protesters.
Why the delay? Why isn’t President Barack Obama directly stating that President al-Assad must step down now? Syria is speaking out against the sanctions mandated by President Obama. Thus Obama needs to take a stronger stand against al-Assad.
While President Obama is talking about a “transition” in Syria, protesters are getting shot to death. A mass grave has been found and many more of them may exist. So many protesters are missing that the final death toll from the protests will probably horrify the world.
And yet the president of the United States cannot yet utter the words “step down” to President al-Assad. It is difficult to understand his lack of a direct command for the dictator to resign from his leadership in Syria.
The people of Syria are on the streets demanding a change in leadership. They are risking their lives to try to bring an end to al-Assad’s use of emergency law and violence to maintain power in Syria. To see a video of the protests in Syria go to the Guardian.
The Middle East is alive with change. It seems inevitable that the protesters in Syria will continue to march until they obtain the goals of removing President al-Assad from power and gain the right to begin the process to set up democratic elections.