Syrian Conflict Creates Possible Local Repercussions

Protestors making their voices heard.

Protestors making their voices heard.
[Photo from]

Disagreements between the United States and Syria elevated in recent months, when the U.S. began to believe that Syria was using chemical weapons, posing concern for both the U.S. and its Russian allies.

“The U.S – Russian agreement states the United States will allow Russia to handle the inspections of chemical weapons in Syria,” St. Paul’s Civics Teacher Paul Scoriels explained.

The fighting in Syria escalated within a few days and became a major topic for Americans as to what exactly was going on and how it would affect the U.S.

“The rebels decided they did not like the dictator or government itself, so they started fighting against it,” Scoriels explained. “Then it was detected Syrian gas was used on its people, so the United States threatened military action.  This is when the Russians decided to come in and mediate the situation.”

Syrian gas, which has been used against the protesters, has killed many civilians.

“Syrian gas has no odor, and you do not know you have been exposed to it until you start to develop some of the symptoms,” CNN correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta said in a recent report. “The gas turns on everything in the body, all the neurotoxins, and the pupils start to constrict.”

Historically, Syria has not been a country to comply with the will of the United States often.

“If Syria does not comply with the United Nations, they will intervene and try to get them to comply,” Scoriels said. “The U.N. may have to end up using military forces, which is in correlation of the United States military.”

The Syrian government has not been cooperative over the past few weeks about inspecting their land for chemical weapons.

“At first they were drawing a line in the sand.  They kept saying we do not have any chemical weapons. But, through the efforts of the Russians, Syria has decided to allow inspectors to investigate, and gas material was found,” Scoriels said.

Many people are concerned about the disagreements, but nothing has occurred that would be harmful to the United States or any of its allies.

“Our biggest concern, I believe, is if we go in there militarily, will they attack one of our main allies which is Israel?” Scoriels said.

If war does break out between the United States and Syria, the local St. Paul’s School community will be affected in a number of ways.

“Students would be most likely affected in a more indirect way while the students’ parents, or adults, would be affected directly,” Economics Teacher Brian Logarbo said. “The reason is because of oil, and its effect on the global economy would certainly filter into the domestic economy.”

The way a war would affect students on a personal level is more unpredictable and potentially dangerous.

“How it will affect our students is a bit more dicey because the draft is not off of the table. Secondly, we would have to look at the overall economic effects of another protracted conflict, ” Logarbo stated. “Looking at the current macroeconomic climate of the debt, add unfunded mandates into that mix, and then add another trillion dollar adventure to that, and you can see that the future doesn’t look too bright for our students.”

Logarbo also had some positive thoughts about the future of this generation.

“The good news is, all of this stuff is very fixable. The even better news is your generation is going to be the ones that have to fix it. And, the even better news than that is your generation is a heck of a lot smarter than my generation that got us into this mess in the first place,” Logarbo said.

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