As of a Saturday morning, August 31st, Pacific Time, the Inter Press Service News Agency reported that people are beginning to flee Damascus in preparation for an imminent attack by the U.S. military. Such an attack has not, however, been approved by US congress, and would therefore defy the constitution if it occurs. Based on the decisions made by President Obama as of late, it seems that it may not matter to him one way or another whether he receives the proper approval, rather, that he does what he feels is the best course of action given the situation at hand. The people in Damascus seem to have some sort of telepathy in the matter, as they flee the city for shelter in the countryside in anticipation of US attacks.
The war in Syria has already claimed 100,000 people’s lives since 2011 and driven many more from their homes. Now, emotions are split for the civilians who aren’t really sure what would be best for their war-ravaged country. Some believe that US intervention may be the only solution, others aren’t so sure. What is for sure is the mass of Syrians fleeing their homes, gathering supplies, first-aid and food to find safer shelter for what they feel like may be the ‘worst time yet.’
An activist in the area, 26 year old Abu Yasin reports seeing military officials who are loyal to President Bashar al-Assad, leaving Damascus for Lebanon, including the movement of armored cars exiting the city. Reports from locals confirm that the military base there in Syria is being dispersed, using universities and schools to keep their weapons and equipment. It appears that they are possibly guarding their “more seasoned military”, while lining up rows of what looks to be 18 year old soldiers. There are also reports from Media activist Dani al-Qappani, of prisoners positioned in such a way that they may act as “human shields” to impending attacks.
Another activist going by the psuedonym “Sham Land” agrees that many Syrians would welcome foreign intervention at this time with the assurance that it would be a focused attack: “We want the United States to bomb the vital power centres of the government, including the soldiers and headquarters of the Syrian Presidential Guard, but we do not want any bombs to hit the country’s infrastructure, including anything that affects the power system.”
The American people, however, along with many retired National Intelligence personnel, CIA officers and even the former US Army Chief of Staff, feel that an attack waged on Syria without going through the proper congressional channels is an absolute outrage, setting this country up for a war that is not the wish of the American people.
The activists in Damascus have passed the point of fearing death, they say, they are now hoping that something will change the current conditions toward an era of peace. They assume the US will bomb the military bases and then let the fighting resume as it was. Is that really what will occur? As people flee Damascus to the countryside in anticipation of impending US attacks, the American people must engage somehow with the pending Presidential decision. Do we have time to influence Obama’s choice to attack Syria at this time? And if not, are we prepared for the repercussions that may arise from his unconstitutional actions?
Written by: Stasia Bliss