Here's The World's Response to The Syrian Air Strike

Here's The World's Response to The Syrian Air Strike

Things heat up when the U.S gets involved in the Syrian conflict.
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Last week, the Syrian government carried out a chemical attack in the city of Khan Sheikhoun killing and injuring hundreds of civilians in its wake. The United Nations describes the attack as one of the worst atrocities committed during the Syrian civil war.

Gruesome photos of the aftermath of the attack flooded the internet this week. Images of the dead and ill show only a fraction of the horror that occurred Tuesday morning. However, the chemical attack in Syria has gained global attention from foreign leaders including the U.S. The Syrian government has not claimed responsibility for the attack, but the United Nations are prepared to declare this a war crime.

Thursday evening, the U.S. became more involved in the Syrian conflict than ever before. President Donald Trump ordered an air strike on the suspected Syrian military base that launched the chemical attack. President Trump launched 59 Tomahawk missiles in order to punish Syrian President Bashar Assad; leaving the military base in shambles and is the most aggressive military involvement since the Syrian civil war.

Since the attack, President Trump has received both harsh criticism and appraisal for his decision. One of his biggest critics includes Russian President Vladimir Putin, one of Trump's closest allies since his election. Russia has had close involvement in supporting the Syrian government since the uprising. President Putin has called the U.S.'s attack in Syria a "significant blow" to the U.S.-Russian relationship. At home, former presidential candidate Hilliary Clinton issued a statement on the attack saying "The U.S. cannot, in one breath, speak of protecting Syrian babies and close America's door to them."

However, President Trump has received appraisal from Turkey, Isreal, and Sudi Arabia. A Saudi official calls the strike a "courageous decision" made by President Trump. President Trump has also received support from the UK Government who "fully supports" his decision.

But most of all, the reaction back in the United States has been had been nerve wracking. While most Americans agree that the atrocities committed in the Syrian gas attacks are completely uncalled for, many feel that the US should not be getting involved in the conflict. While this is an extremely complex moral decision, the world will be watching as US officials gather and plan what their next move shall be.

Cover Image Credit: Chicago Tribune

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To The Stoneman HS Colorguards

We are all with you and thinking of you at this time.
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When I was fourteen years old, I had just begun to explore the world of colorguard. I went to seven am rehearsals every day with my older brother which I thought was the coolest thing, I traveled for contests and experienced winterguard for the first time as well. My parents always made it to my performances and always made sure to tell me how proud they were of me and loved me after everything I have done.

As it has come to light that one of the victims of the Stoneman Douglas HS shooting in Florida was a fourteen-year-old girl by the name of Gina Montalto who had just begun her journey into a sport that I fell in love with so many years ago.

She was set to perform at her first WGI regional this weekend in Tampa as well. She had the world ahead of her as she went to school on Valentine's Day thinking it would be like any other school day. She was probably preparing herself for her performance this weekend alongside many amazing teammates who I have no doubt pushed her to be an amazing performer.

All I have seen is that she was a sweet and kind young woman who I have no doubt was special. I also saw that she was just beginning a journey into falling in love with an amazing sport.

Many of you are probably asking yourselves why I am writing about someone I never knew at this point. WGI is a community that connects people in ways you never expect. You meet performers from all across the United States as well as internationally. Many are lucky enough to keep these friendships for life. Gina is a member of a large community that has been sending its love and thoughts to Florida during this tragic time.

The colorguard community has also been standing up and asking for a change to prevent violence like this from continuing. I have seen it across my social media feeds for the past day that each colorguard page I follow regardless if it is the official WGI page, people like PunkRockIrving, or teams from across the entire country, they all share a similar message. A message of condolence and prayer along with a request for a change to begin.

As the days continue to pass by and competitions seem to fly by for so many performers whether it be on your state's circuit or within WGI, hug your friends and your teammates a little tighter as you go on through your season this year. Be a voice in the community that so many have called a home and do not be afraid to speak up for what you believe in.

Show the members of Stoneman Douglas HS winterguards how appreciated they are this season if you ever get the chance. Their performers are some of the most dedicated that I have ever seen at World Championships and over social media. I have the utmost confidence that Gina's legacy will be carried with each of them as they perform.

Cover Image Credit: Stoneman Douglas HS

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Why I'm Pro-Choice

Abortion: a necessary evil.
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I live in a very conservative area, so the pro-choice/pro-life debate is usually a hot topic. When I see a post on Facebook arguing about abortion, I try to ignore it for the most part. I chime in every now and then, but I know that my opinions mostly fall on deaf ears. But today I have decided to take a stance: I am pro-choice, and I have something to say.

Let me start off by saying that I am not pro-abortion. I think abortion is terrible and it’s sad that it exits. But, I do think that abortion is necessary. In the 50s and 60s, before Roe v. Wade, the number of illegal abortions was astronomically high. The number of illegal abortions ranged anywhere between 200,000 and over 1 million each year. Out of these, almost 20% of all maternal deaths were a result of illegal abortions. (source)

Since the legalization of abortion, many women now have access to the proper medical care necessary for safe abortions. The amount of women that die as a direct result of abortion is almost non-existent. The past has proven that make abortion illegal wont stop abortions from happening. This will only increase the amount of unsafe abortions and the number of women who die from them.

My next opinion is bound to make some people upset but, until it reaches a certain age, there is no way for a fetus to survive on its own. At this stage in development, the fetus is essentially a parasite. A parasite is defined as “an organism that lives in or on another organism (its host) and benefits by deriving nutrients at the host's expense.” Until a fetus reaches the stage at which it is able to survive on its own, I do not consider it to be a person. It sounds harsh, but it’s simply the reality of the situation. The earliest that a fetus can survive outside of the womb is about 22 weeks. (source) Abortions rarely occur after this stage in a pregnancy, and when they do, it is only when a doctor says that it is medically necessary. As of now, almost 99% of abortions occur before the 21st week of pregnancy. (source)

A lot of people will argue that, “if you don’t want a baby, you shouldn’t have sex.” This, I believe, is an irresponsible statement to make. Yes, it seems like the obvious solution, but one that is impossible to enforce. Instead of shaming women for their sex lives, we should be encouraging and education on safe sex practices and making it easier for them to obtain contraceptives. This would greatly decrease the need for abortions because it would decrease the number of unwanted pregnancies overall. Not to mention that over half of the women that receive abortions already have at least one child. (source)

We can argue about whether or not life begins at conception. We can argue about religious or moral reasons for not having abortions. But the fact of the matter is: abortion is necessary, whether you like it or not.

Cover Image Credit: http://clipart-library.com/clipart/8i65erMbT.htm

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