The Modern Battleground

War is never a good thing, no matter what the reasons are. While nations fight over sovereignty, safety and security against terrorists and issues of global importance, what many people in the world forget, especially world leaders of powerful nations is that the innocent civilians are the victims here and their whole lives are shattered in just one or several air strikes. Many of us actually don’t understand what is going on in Syria. How this war started and why it lasted for so long? Do people really have to die? And for what cause?

In any war, there is great bloodshed and death. And while the great world wars 1 and 2 are far behind us now, the threat of a looming world war 3 is on the horizon as many nations in the Far East have become modern-day battlegrounds. The Syrian Civil War is one of the most deadly wars we have witnessed in recent years. From bombings here and there and refusal to accept refugees by other nations to the use of chemical warfare on innocent people, the casualty has been high and is expected to continue to rise as the U.S. joined in on the attacks.

President Trump ordered the military on Thursday to carry out a missile attack on Syrian forces for using chemical weapons against civilians. The unilateral attack lacked authorization from Congress or from the United Nations Security Council, raising the question of whether he had legal authority to commit the act of war.

Mr. Trump and top members of his administration initially justified the operation as a punishment for Syria’s violating the ban on chemical weapons and an attempt at deterrence. But they did not make clear whether that was a legal argument or just a policy rationale.

The strike raises two sets of legal issues. One involves international law and when it is lawful for any nation to attack another. The other involves domestic law and who gets to decide — the president or Congress — whether the United States should attack another country.


It remains to be a hot topic on social media and people all over the world are debating whether the recent intrusion of American forces was justified or even legal.

President Trump, inspired by TV images of faraway suffering to launch missile strikes against Syria, may be about to discover a lesson that has confounded presidents for 25 years: American power can only do so much.

That truth is also embedded in another set of disturbing images that Mr. Trump has not cited publicly: those from Nigeria’s conflict-torn northeast, where a very different crisis is drawing different American action toward different ends.

Those two conflicts, in both their contrasts and commonalities, reveal something of the role that Mr. Trump has taken on and its limitation.

Both are humanitarian disasters whose ground-level stories horrify and enrage. And they are both crises of a sort that the United States, since emerging from the Cold War as the world’s policeman, has repeatedly tried but often failed to resolve.

The range of American intervention efforts, as well as their often modest success, can be seen in those two crises that Mr. Trump inherited: Syria, whose civil war has become a global issue, and Nigeria, where fighting with Boko Haram rebels has killed tens of thousands and displaced an estimated three million people.


Six years ago, this peaceful uprising against the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad started and has now blown out of proportion and killed as many as 300,000 civilians and the body count continually rising aside from displacing hundred thousands more refugees. What started as a civil war between the people and the government has drawn support from various nations all over the world – either pro-people or pro-government supporters. Powerful countries like the U.S., Iran, Russia, and Saudi Arabia backed the war and made this now war-torn state their modern battleground.

As the world continues to watch the massacre that is going on in Syria, our hearts bleed for all the innocent lives that were lost, for all the bloodshed and all the atrocities ordinary Syrian people have to endure because of this war. President Trump expressed his disinterest in pursuing wars of any kind aside from the immigrants he so badly wants to purge from the country but has changed his heart and decided to go on with the attack on many civilians – especially young children – died on one of the most recent Syrian chemical attacks.

We can only hope and pray for the peaceful end of this war. But until no one concedes and gives way for the greater good, we will likely see more wars happening in different parts of the world where tension is ripe for another battleground.

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