Posted on 17 October 2013.
The protests began in March 2011; the Syrians demanded President Bashar al-Assad to step down from power. Assad’s autocratic leadership was compared to the dictators in history such as Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin. The request for freedom from the protesters was met by violence. The peaceful people were kicked, punched and shot. Brutal actions sparked rebellion which created armies of angry dissidents.
On August 21st 2013, there were reports of chemical gas attacks in the capital city of Damascus, it was alleged that the Syrian regime carried out the attacks. UN officials tested out the samples taken from the location and discovered that sarin gas was used. The youngest person treated because of the gas attack was 7 years old. The attacks were the reason for a worldwide debate.
Unexpectedly, the Assad regime has lasted longer than the predicted 18 months although it has had a few setbacks e.g. Rebels seizer of hundreds of tanks. The rebels are receiving help from Qatar and Saudi Arabia but it is not enough. The United Nations claim that Russia and Iran are ‘fuelling’ the civil war by blocking their attempts at resolving the situation and arming Assad supporters. Russian President, Vladimir Putin in particular does not want the US involved as he is not comfortable with the US influence on the world. America, Russia, Iran and the UK continue to debate about actions to stop the war but they cannot reach an agreement due to the differing opinions of all sides. There are fears that this war will turn into the seemingly never ending wars such is the case in Iraq and Afghanistan, if the US are involved.
While the great world powers debate, the war’s impact on the population and environment is truly distressing. Homes are being destroyed, Schools obliterated and Hospitals overpopulated. Men, women and children are forced to flee their homes because of the dire conditions. Orphaned children have to look for food, water and shelter as they have lost all their families and constant battles take place on the streets between the rebels and Assad’s army with no concern about the safety of others. Some Syrians have fled to bordering countries such as Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey.
Efforts have been made by thousands of people to aid the victims of a senseless war; there have been many events to raise funds. The attempts to help the innocent are much appreciated however, this war seems like a fire that cannot be extinguished. The death toll has reached a deeply unsettling 110,000 and continues to rise as the conflict goes on however there may be the possibility of an agreement in the near future.
Posted in College news, Highlights, News
Posted on 13 November 2012.
So, who’s been watching the Election this month? I know we all now know who’s won, but there’s nothing wrong with a general run down of what happened in the tension full vote grabbing competition.
Generally I found that most of the people I spoke to supported Obama – and I’m not sure if this is just because us Brits are terrified of change, terrified of the idea of Mitt Romney in charge of one of the biggest countries in the world, or simply because we worry about the economy. Romney simply didn’t seem to come up front in what he was advertising to us Brits – not that it matters to him, we can’t vote. But why was it then that a good proportion of Americans voted for him? I think that (and please note, my opinion is about as educated in American politics as yours) a good number of the people who for the republicans this time round did so because they have last time, and the time before that, and so on. The majority of people who voted for Obama were 18-24, and the majority that voted for Romney was 65+ (Sourced from Thursday the 8th of November’s Metro). I reckon this shows that the older generation are simply trying to hold on to that last century. But like I say, take anything I say with a pinch of salt.
52% of women voted for the Republicans, while only 45% voted for the Democrats; Men on the other hand voted 55% for Obama and 44% for our dear friend Mitt. This is pretty much split down the middle, as expected. Generally, house owners who earned less money voted for the Democrats, and voters who earned more polled in for the Republicans. The most staggering statistic is the votes of races by percentage – only 6% of Blacks, 27% of Hispanic and 28% of Asian voted for Romney. The republicans however pulled in their vote with the American whites, persuading 59% of them to go their way, and this being the majority population, it evened out and turned into one of the best Electoral campaigns we’ve seen in a long time, from both of the parties.
The question we are all wondering now is, will president Obama live up to his promise of moving America forward? He certainly took the nation one step against racism in 2008 when he was elected as the first black president of the United States – definitely a step in the right direction. Being part of the democratic party and being elected twice in a row is also a massive achievement – only four US Democratic presidents have ever been selected to lead their country twice in a row, meaning his name is up there with Roosevelt, Wilson, and Clinton; but then to say that he did it in economic hardship, with more than 8% unemployment (something that has not been done since 1940) makes him seem even more like ‘the man’ for the job. It’s impossible to say whether or not he will sort out the trouble that America is in right now, but I would bet you my small amount of savings that no president could clean up the mess left by the global financial crisis in just one term. Hopefully President Obama will sort it out on his second.
By Harry Loker
Posted in Highlights, News