Syrian Refugees Skeptical of Obama

Bekaa Valley, Lebanon.

Bewildered, exhausted, fearful and grieving for family and friends dead in the 27-month-long civil war, Syrian refugees remain bitter about the lack of Western intervention and are skeptical that President Obama’s decision to arm the rebels will come to much and be able to swing the war decisively.

Many now say all they want is the conflict to end, even if that means a negotiated settlement with President Bashar al-Assad. Some worry what Syria will be like if he does fall and fear the influence of political Islam and the Al Qaeda-affilate Al Nusra.

See my VOA report here.

Lebanon Peeps Into The Abyss

And this filed on December 7 and examining the dangers to Lebanon of a spillover from the Syrian civil war.

“No one is suggesting that the clashes have yet reached a tipping point. The government in Beirut has struggled for months to try to limit the repercussions on the country from the vicious warfare raging in Syria and to avoid the that country’s conflict reviving the Lebanese civil war of 1975 to 1990—a crisis that left 120,000 Lebanese dead and a quarter of the population wounded. But one government minister, Faisal Karami, acknowledged that the situation in north Lebanon is becoming ‘very critical and dangerous.’

Full report here.

Syria’s Kids: Children of the Rubble

December 13

I have been very neglectful of the blog the past few weeks and so am updating with four recent articles from Newsweek/Daily Beast. The first is below and was filed from the Lebanon city of Tripoli. It focuses on the trauma affecting the children of the rubble — refugees kids from Syria.

“The children are refugees from war-torn Syria, where fighting is in its second year, and more vicious than ever. The oldest child is 14, the youngest 3, and everyone has been uprooted from their daily lives; from school and teachers; from friends and familiar places. Some have seen relatives killed, friends blown up, or neighbors buried in rubble. But all have witnessed the horror of a country at war with itself.

Media coverage of the Syrian conflict focuses on the tangible: on the shooting and killing, on the tactics and military hardware, on the death toll and the wounded. But the harm is much greater than the estimated number of people killed—36,000 so far. The greatest casualty is the generation of Syrian children who are living with untold grief and trauma.”

You can read the full report here.