If you’re eating right now, you’re going to want to put it down for a few minutes and take a few calming breaths. Having never fought in a war, and being a conscientious objector, my initial response to these acts are that of horror and fear for the lives of innocent civilians. I cannot, having never fought in a war or never having lived in a war torn country-where battles are fought in the front yard of most of its citizens, say that I fully understand the fear Syrians are currently living with or that I have any answers to the civil unrest that the country faces.
The following video, circulated by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, shows jihadists lining up and executing supporters of President Bashar al-Assad. A man in a mask reads a statement behind the line of blindfolded men, reading off the reason for their punishment, before walking down the line and shooting each one in the back of the head. Sometimes he doubles back to shoot a few of them again. The men who execute the prisoners in the video are said to belong to the most radical and violent groups that is currently fighting against the current regime of al-Assad, Al-Nusra Front.
Another radical was recently filmed eating the lung of a man he had just slain, a man who had been a member of the president’s military. While he eats the dead soldier’s lung, he shouts to off camera cheers, “I swear to God we will eat your hearts and your livers, you soldiers of Bashar the dog.”
While the Human Rights Watch has, appropriately, labeled this act as a war crime, the unfazed radical shows no remorse, and even promises to do it again. He explains that he ate the lung of the soldier because he had found evidence of the man humiliating his wife and daughters by forcing them to take their clothes off, and penetrating them with a stick.
With these surfaced videos, it appears that there are no good guys, only bad guys. Both sides are wrecking havoc, leaving no stone unturned and not letting anyone stand in their way. It is something that, as Americans, we may never understand. For that reason, I see only bad things happening should the United States intervene and continue their support of the rebels.
Just from watching these videos alone, I cannot see any kind of good coming from the United States supporting the actions of the rebel movement. Being a fervent pacifist, which may lead to an honest naivety of war and military issues on my part, I hope that President Obama is smart enough to stay out of Syria, and to assure Americans that we are not tolerant of war crimes and the violence that is shown in the above video.