discussion paper9 - AlecPosner IntrotoIR DiscussionPaper9...

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Alec Posner Intro to IR 11/13/14 Discussion Paper 9 This week’s research focused on the civil war in Syria.  PBS did an extensive  frontline report on aspects of the situation like the regime and the rebels.  A dictator  named Bashar Assad controls Syria.  In the recent years, Syria has become increasingly  heated.  Critics say it is because of Assad’s totalitarian reign, while others believe the  motives have secular religious origins.  Syria is contested between the ruling minority,  the Alawites, and the more fundamental Sunni Muslims.  This discussion paper tied in a  majority of topics discussed previously including, religion in international relations, the  role of the United Nations, and America’s involvement in world politics.  The citizen  death toll continues to rise and many people wonder how and when this conflict will stop. The first documentary, “Syria Behind the Lines”, took an in depth look at the  front lines of both the rebels and the Syrian army.  What was interesting to see was how  close the frontlines are to one another.  They are merely separated by a river.  The Sunni  rebels and the Alawite regime supporters use to intermingle with one another until the  war.  This documentary takes the approach that Syrian rebels are fighting the oppression  of the government and that the conflict is not religion driven.  The documentary followed  a front line rebel fighter and documented the various bombings that took place.  Syrian  civilians are not a priority in the war, and that is clearly evident.  Civilians are being  killed by these bombings.  The documentary also looked at a Syrian LT. who is on his 2 nd year on the frontline.  Both men fight because they believe it is the only thing they can 
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