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The Rules Of Realism: The Syrian Civil War

2754 words - 11 pages

To be a spectator of any sporting event one must understand the rules that the players and officials use to govern the game. Without this knowledge it can become an immense challenge to understand if things are going well or poorly for your team or player. An excellent example would be if watching a golf tournament and you have no idea that the low score wins. The worst player in the tournament might end up looking like the winner, and that could not be any further from the truth. Understanding world politics can be very much like watching a sporting event you have no idea of what the rules are. The United Nations (U.N.) has rules that its member states should follow, but they are in many cases treated more like a guideline, such as the American invasion of Iraq. So how can the global citizenry understand why some global leaders choose one course of action over another, especially if there are no set rules with guaranteed results for each action, like a touchdown results in six points? For the global citizenry, the best way to understand global politics is to look to the theories that the global leadership subscribe to. And the only way to determine which theory they subscribe to short of asking each leader directly is to analyze their actions. The realist philosophy will be the theory that best explains the actions of global leaders and therefore will become the rule book to look to when understanding global politics.
The Syrian Civil War is a good example of world leaders playing by the rules of realism. The civil war began in March of 2011 as part of the Arab Spring, and by July of 2012 17,000 have died and another 170,000 fled the country (Almond). The United Nations Security Council in February of 2012 had tried to pass a resolution for a humanitarian intervention in Syria but both China and Russia used their veto power to block the resolution. Then, in April of 2013 the United States and Great Britain made demands to investigate the rumor of Syria’s use of chemical weapons. By September of 2013 the investigation concludes that chemical weapons were used (Syrian Profile). The United States had declared the use of chemical weapons to be “red-line” and they were willing to use military force to intervene. And so on August 31 of 2013, President Obama declared he was going to ask congress for support to take military action. But September 14th came around and the U.S. and Russia came to an agreement on how to remove chemical weapons from Syria and the U.S. did not and continues to not use air strikes against the Assad Regime (France-Presse). This timeline of events is more than the historical record it is the list plays that operate under the global rule book. And to someone without knowledge of the rule book they would be confused by why the cause and effect worked out the way it did.
It is hard to imagine that any state would want to prevent action that could save the lives of countless innocents but both China and Russia...

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