“Lord forgive me for not caring enough for your people.”
I can remember back in the 10th or 11th grade when the Syrian crisis really started to manifest. In my immature mind I was like, why did the United States have to get involved with the Syrians?
“They need to save their own country. The United States has its own problems, let the Russians handle it.”
I was young and dumb thinking that the world revolved around the United States. Now its six years later and I am praying for these people and the refugees all around the world.
As I thought about writing this piece, I wanted to come at Donald Trump so hard for his restriction of refugees and prioritization of Christian refugees. But I realize that I, and other people like me, are the problem. I am not really surprised by those who are against the refugees coming into the country. Those people are honestly beyond reasoning with. Their mindset is already set. I am much more mad at myself for many things.
Many people, including myself, were mad at the Republican governors and Donald Trump for saying that they wouldn’t accept any refugees. Where were we, the liberals, demanding our leader Barack Obama doing something about Syria? The U.S. had several opportunities to compel Russia and China to actually form a viable and peaceful solution to the Syrian crisis. But Obama proved weak in this area and appeased Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping to a lesser extent. He owed it to the Syrians and to that region to exert peaceful solutions, but what did they get? A quagmire.
I am mad at myself for falling in love with the Buzzfeed Obama. The Obama that showed us this fun-loving individual who had good catch phrases and was the coolest president we ever had. When it comes to foreign policy, he was severely lacking. The Syria problem has now reached our shores, and I am extremely angry. Not because it has reached our shores, but because it didn’t have to. Obama could have stopped this by showing greater leadership. This is not to criticize Obama entirely because other world leaders are at fault as well, and I still think he was a great president. But this is a black mark on his presidency.
Not only that, but where was Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren when we were dealing with how to address the civil war in Syria? Where was Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell? Where was Al Franken and Tom Cotton and Chuck Schumer? There were absent on this issue. Why? We didn't demand that they make a difference in Syria. I didn't demand it. We got petty wars of partisanship, and ignored the atrocities of the Syrian Civil War. But know that even though they all want to act like they have the moral high ground, they don't, because they contributed to imbroglio in Syria.
This is our generations’ Rwanda. We didn’t really start caring about the Syrian people until they became refugees and reached our shores. Now I understand there are other issues going on around the world and in the United States. But where was the outrage when Assad was creating the conditions to brutally oppress his citizens? The West was almost silent. We cared a little bit when there was the potential for the use of chemical weapons, but for nearly three or four years we went silent.
I didn’t care about the Syrians. I am just as much a part of the problem, as Obama, Trump, and other world leaders. I should’ve cared more for them. I should’ve demanded more from our leadership. Until we as Americans start taking more ownership of this issue then we will continue to have more scenarios like this. We need to care more about the world, and demand more from our politicians. Too many times we all can get so wrapped up in the issues of the United States: police brutality, immigration, universal healthcare, college education, etc. As a world citizen I should care about what’s going on in the world, and not be concerned with my home country’s issues. I should’ve cared more. Lord forgive me for not caring enough for your people.