Syria: Civil War or Genocide?

Genocide, as described by Adam Jones in his book Genocide: A Comprehensive Introduction, “is one of history’s defining features, overlapping a range of central historical processes: war, imperialism, state-building, and class struggle.”

With that definition in mind, take a moment to think about what is currently unfolding before us in Syria.

Since Syria’s Civil War began in 2011, all four of Jones’ defining features are apparent as rebel protestors, violent opposition groups and the Assad regime fight and struggle for peace and power.

The same destruction and violence has also occurred in Armenia, Cambodia, Germany, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur. Each showing the same eight stages of genocide as defined by Gregory H. Stanton, the President of Genocide Watch: classification, symbolization, dehumanization, organization, polarization, preparation, extermination and denial.

Stanton created the eight stages of genocide in hopes of making genocide preventable and predictable. And yet, the rapid obliteration of Syria and its’ citizens are following the same stages right before our eyes.

In just 5 short years, almost half of Syria’s population has either been killed or forced to flee the country. What is left of the population? Mostly children.

Syria is now #1 on the list of Genocide Emergencies, as the civil unrest continues to escalate and show signs of the seventh stage; extermination

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What exactly are we waiting for? How much more of Syria’s population, culture and country will be eradicated before it is too late?

It is time to stop being bystanders and find ways to aid the spiraling crisis in Syria before the eighth stage of genocide is met. We simply cannot ignore millions of deaths and migrants because, if we do, the situation will surely crumble into the surest and final indicator of certain genocidal annihilations: denial.

Whitney Roberts

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