Dan Rather has written yet another viral Facebook essay. In today’s post, the iconic news anchor discusses the tragedy of the Syrian civil war, and in particular the chemical attack that took place in the early hours of the morning.
After the months long siege of rebel-held Aleppo that saw hospitals, schools, and homes targeted by the Syrian army ended with defeat for the rebels at the close of 2016, America forgot about Syria – even though the country’s people kept dying.
In the meantime, we have gone from a Democratic President who was a strong supporter of human rights to the tyrannical Donald Trump who has made a habit of endorsing brutal dictators.
In the midst of this tragedy, our thoughts and prayers remain with the Syrian people. Read Rather’s haunting words about the nation of Syria and the people of Syria:
It is tragic that it takes a horrific deadly gas attack in Syria to put the heartbreaking plight of the men, women, and children trapped in that hell on Earth back in the headlines. Take a moment to pause in your day. Do not skip past this story as part of the background noise of our modern world. I believe we should force ourselves to at least consider the implications. Look at the pictures of the dead children. We are witnessing a sheer slaughter on our watch. It is a situation that doesn’t lend itself to easy answers, so the world chooses to look the other way.
I have been to Syria. It was a land with schools, and markets, and playgrounds. It was a place where families wished for better lives for their children. It is now something out of the lower rings of Dante’s Inferno. I do not have any special wisdom. I pray for leaders to rise up who can do something to alleviate the suffering. We are rounding up to the hundreds of thousands of dead – millions more are displaced or have had their lives upended.
Many powers play geopolitical chess with the lives of the Syrian people – the murderous Assad regime, the Russians, the Iranians, the Arab states. The West and the United States have talked tough without results. Perhaps, as I said above, there is no right answer or even good answers. But that does not mean we can be okay without trying some imperfect help. That does not mean we can afford to look away. That does not mean that we can forget the admonition – there but for the grace of God go I.
Kudos to the legendary journalist for having the guts to say what Trump and the mainstream media won’t.
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Marisa completed her undergraduate degree in 2013 at the University of Wisconsin with a double major in creative writing and media studies. She is an advocate of progressive policies and focuses her interests on gender equality and preventing sexual and domestic violence.