New Constitution Passed, Syrian Crisis Continues

March 19, 2012 | Current Events


Syria has seen so much violence under the Syrian government that the United Nations has resolved to take a stand in what is considered as “crimes against humanity” and “gross human rights violation.”

Death toll escalated to 7,500 during the government’s year-long campaign to crush the opposition, most recently, the unrestrained shelling of the city of Homs on February resulting to massive civilian casualties, including two Western journalists.

Despite the government’s abortive attempts to silence the opposition by coercion or by negotiating through peaceful reforms, the only apparent solution is to put an end to a tyrannical regime. Detractors believe there will be no genuine reform in the government, albeit the passing of the new constitution which they see as mere travesty and a hoax. US and other countries treat such referendum as meaningless and far too late to abate the ongoing crisis.

UN sought to resolve this perennial problem of oppression in Syria by passing a resolution calling Assad to step down and forming a new government. Dissenting countries including China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea have rejected a previous attempt to pass this resolution, after which Assad’s government relentlessly attacked the bastion of the opposition in the populated city of Homs. Nevertheless, the overwhelming number who voted for its approval is undeniable.

One of the striking and paradoxical truths about the uprising is that the Syrian government who constitute the minority in terms of religious faction and ethnicity continues to dominate the vast majority of the population of Sunni Muslims who constitute the backbone of the country.

One plausible explanation is their seemingly endless supply of firepower from neighboring countries which they turn against their own citizens. Insurgents, however, are not deterred by the government’s overwhelming firepower. There is strength in numbers, as they say. With the demographics in their favor, they can win the fight for freedom which has long been denied from them.

Plans for a more aggressive diplomacy has been studied which includes providing support to the insurgents, but some evidence linking some of them to Al-Qaeda and lack of cohesion with the opposition may pose a difficulty in carrying this out.

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