Thoughts on the Syria Crisis, Terrorism by ISIS, and Paris Attacks

By Cathy H - 11:27 PM

In light of the Paris attacks on November 13th this month,  my discussion for online class that focused on transnational crimes got me thinking about the Syria crisis, the rise of ISIS, and what global leaders are achieving in terms of fight against terrorism. Terrorism, an global issue especially after 9/11 attacks involve Sunni extremists as main perpetrators responsible for over 56% of attacks. Terrorist victims are mostly Muslims and Afghanistan has the highest number of casualties from terrorism and war.

A main issue of the current refugee crisis is the issue of migrant smuggling-when smugglers seek material or financial benefits in return for helping with the illegal entry of a person into the state.I remember the controversy in the media a while ago when a 5 year old boy washed up on the shores of the Turkish coast, and it sparked global outcry and urged international actions in assisting with these refugees- whom are often crammed in hundreds on a boat in treacherous waters and end up capsizing. I think migrant smuggling obviously occurs as a result of desperation on the part of refugees escaping their war torn countries, and with the terrorism attack on France and many media sources reporting that one of the Paris terrorists may have "snuck into" Europe from Syria along with the rest of the refugees, this has harsh consequences for social attitudes towards the Muslim population and refugees that have left their home and life behind to come to Europe. I obviously understand the situation from both sides, Europeans being very sensitive and outraged after Paris attacks and trying to protect themselves from the Muslims. But at the same time, most of these refugees NEED help. I feel like there's not enough understanding of what it means to be a refugee, especially in the media. These are people who only had a home, maybe just a few days days. But they wake up one day losing everything from a bombing, or they sell all their possessions for a one-way ticket often facing 50% chance of death via smuggling in order to get to safety in Europe. Yes, I agree there should be stricter border policies- but at the same time an understanding that Muslim have suffered 82-92% of fatalities of terrorist attacks. They are not to be seen as the enemy, for something Islamic extremists like ISIS are plotting.

To get more into the Paris attacks, despite global governments all showing solidarity with France, I wonder how efficient France's retaliation method is-sending airstrikes over to Raqqah, Syria to bomb ISIS's main training facilitates and offices. I think political leaders should understand innocent civilians under the control of ISIS in this city will have to suffer as well. There are woman, children, families living in Raqqah today. Do they, like Paris citizens not deserve a right to live in safety? With the sophistication of ISIS in its wealth, social media propoganda recruiting fighters worldwide,and highly calculated attacks- I think that global efforts towards stopping this terrorist group should be more strategic than this "eye for an eye" approach France seems to be using with their recent launch of mass airstrikes. Every time there's a mass terrorist event, there's a urgency that occurs without rational thinking. It was like how Bush declared war in Afghanistan and Iraq after 9/11, that destabilized the whole region with not only 7000+ American soldiers dead but millions of civilians displaced and killed. Yes, there should be some element of "vengeance" and severity in combating ISIS but are retaliatory ones the answer?

The West forgets easily that there is war everywhere, but only when their civilians are killed do they "stand in solidarity" with global allies. I'm not trying to jump on the bandwagon of bitter individuals that criticize the support for Paris, but there are so many atrocities around the world on a daily basis. We just turn a blind eye, because they are "one of those" countries.  The ones with high mortality, little resources, or use for Western nations to aid in preventing terrorism and crimes against humanity in so many 3rd world countries.  Like the ethnic cleansing of South Sudan where people resort to hiding in caves and underground holes on a daily basis due to bombings, one hospital for 500,000 people. Like the civilians in Afghanistan that still deal with the repercussions of land-mines from the remnants of war, losing limbs and lives on a daily basis. There are so many  bombings worldwide, but we don't sympathize with them because let's face it, they have nothing to do with us! Their suffering in millions become nothing more than a statistics in UN's yearly handbook. Of course, no one can put a value on the loss of anyone's lives- but the selective attitude of what global leaders chose to define a "global terrorism threat" only after certain events in specific countries really disgusts me. Let's not forget, that the U.S. has indirectly helped to create ISIS by destabilizing the Middle East so much in the first place. There are so many indirect consequences coming along with declaring war and "fighting terrorism", and this problem is so multi-dimensional. It shows how systematic racism still prevails within transnational crime policies and who deserves protection under these policies. I am not only sad for Paris, but for the refugees that will face even more backlash than before, and above all for the suffering of all individuals worldwide on a daily basis as a result of war and terrorism.

  • Share:

You Might Also Like