Is the Syrian “crisis” a distraction from real domestic issues?

Within Syria, there have been reports as early as April 2013 that rebel forces – and not the military loyal to Assad – had used sarin gas.(3)  Since then, it has been reported by various news agencies that both sides have used the gas with the most recent incident having the focus of the Obama administration.(4) Again, this begs the question of why now?  Since the inauguration of President Barack Hussein Obama, there have been nearly 30,000 killed in Ethiopia as the Burgi, a minority group within that nation are being hunted down by the dominant tribes. Another troubled spot that actually began under the Bush Administration and has blossomed since January 2009 is occurring in Sudan where United Nations/World Health Organization has estimated that 250,000 men, women, and children of the three major minority groups, the Fur, Massalit, and Zhagawa are systematically being exterminated. Within Nigeria, a war rages between the radical Muslim group, Boko Haramand and are targeting the largely secular government and Christian churches, communities, and other religious sites; again the United Nations estimates that 2,500 have died in those attacks since 2012.(5)  Again, if the United States, through the Obama administration, is claiming American action against Syria is to prevent genocide or the mass murder of noncombatants, then why not become involved in Sudan, Ethiopia, or Nigeria? Again, the question must be asked, “why Syria?”

Perhaps we will never fully understand the real reasons for the desire by so many of our national leaders to wage military actions in Syria.  The mainstream media has yet to ask the administration the important questions and is even more hesitant to demand answers.  One thing is certain, there is a conscious effort to bring Syria to the national forefront for the purpose of redirecting the attentions of the American people from the real issues facing this nation.

  1. Katz, Ian and Alex Tanzi. (2013). “Women Waiting Tables Provide Most of Female Gains in Employment.” Bloomberg. Accessed September 19, 2013.  Available at:
  2. Toppo, Greg and Paul Overberg. (2013). “Food Stamp Rise Belies Economic Recovery.” USA Today Online.  Accessed September 19, 2013. Available at
  3. Watkins, Tom and Saskya Vandoorne. (2013). “France: Sarin Gas Used in Syria.”CNN News International Edition. Accessed September 19, 2013.  Available at:
  4. McElroy, Damien (2013). “France Says it is Certain that Assad Regime Used Sarin Gas in Syria.” The Telegraph. Accessed September 19, 2013. Available at:
  5. Genocide Watch: The International Alliance to End Genocide (2013). “Genocide Alerts.” Accessed September 19, 2013. Available at:


Alan Simmons

Alan Simmons is an adjunct instructor of history at Henderson Community College. He has been teaching at the college/university level since 2004. Within the scope of his degrees, his areas of emphasis are U.S. foreign policy, public policy history, political history, and U.S. history.

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