RESEARCH COUNTRY IN A WAR OR HAS BEEN IN WAR (NOT USA)
Assignment – Research on a country at war
The American Civil War in the mid-1800s and the ongoing Syrian conflict have had tremendous effects not only on the political front of both countries, but also on the people involved. There may be more than a century between the two, but the psychological and social effects of both have been the same, maybe even worse on the population of both America and Syria.
Since 2011, Syria has been a war zone hosting its people pitted against each other. The effects have been devastating. Much like his father, President Assad has leveled numerous neighborhoods and killed thousands of rebels since the conflict started. According to a report by the United Nations, more than 220,000 people have died since June 2013. Causes of death range from firing at peaceful protests to torture, and even chemical attacks on the rebels.
More so troubling is the condition of the war refugees. Almost 4 million people have fled Syria for the neighboring countries of Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan in the past two years CITATION Asa15 p “, par. 15” l 1033 (Asare, Gritten and Offer , par. 15). More than 11 million have been forced out of their homes. The condition is such that receiving nations are now having trouble at containing and providing for the refugees. In fact, of the 12.2 million people needing help inside Syria, 5.6 million are children, and most families are living in absolute poverty, with no basic amenities such as food, shelter, and medicine CITATION Asa15 p “, par. 16” l 1033 (Asare, Gritten and Offer , par. 16).
There also seems to be no end to the conflict: despite international insistence, the government and the rebels have reached no peace stand. In addition to poverty, the Syrian population has also lost support from the US and Britain, who stopped the supply of provisions like medicine, food and clothing into Syria in December 2013 for fear of the same being stolen by rebels. Furthermore, the encroachment of extremist terrorist group Islamic State into the weakened Syrian borders has rained down heavily onto both the population and the government.
The background of the Syrian conflict may be different from that of the American Civil War, but the plight of the people caught in both is not. Right after the Civil War ended in 1865, the American South descended into social and administrative chaos. Millions of African-American refugees were rendered homeless. Many had been serving as slaves for years and were thus separated from family. They had no homes, no money, and no means to earn. The problem of farming and the food was solved partially by sharecropping, a practice that allowed a farmer to work on the rented land, with the proceeds being shared between the owner and himself. However, racism was still a dominating force in almost all of America. In fact, the situation improved only slightly in the next century until, in the 1960s, African-Americans rallied behind Martin King Luther to fight for civil rights CITATION His091 p “, par. 9” l 1033 (History Staff, par. 9).
Even though it ends with a side claiming victory, there are no victors in a war. Whether one belongs to the losing side or the winning one, the pain is not easily forgotten. They not only create necessity and compromise, but refugees and depression for all. Wars are an unnecessary drain on a nation’s economy, trust, and psyche. In his book ‘Night’, Ellie Wiesel writes that he was not able to remember who he was before being taken prisoner by the German Forces in the Second World War. His intentions, ambitions, and dreams were all but gone, and he could not recognize the man that was looking back at him from the mirror, stating that he resembled a corpse CITATION Wie58 p 115 n y t l 1033 (115). This statement is a correct description of the ills of war in and of itself.
BIBLIOGRAPHY Asare, Patrick, et al. Syria: The Story of the Conflict. 12 March 2015. 13 June 2015. Web.
History Staff. Reconstruction. 2009. 13 June 2015. Web.
Wiesel, Ellie. Night. Trans. Marion Wiesel. 2006. New York: Hill and Wang, 1958. Print.