American in Arabia opts out of his homeland's ballot

Published November 5th, 2012 - 01:40 GMT
Obama has many followers, but would you find any in Syria?
Obama has many followers, but would you find any in Syria?

“Who ya votin’ for Brett?”

 “No one. Next question.”


Shame on me, right? No, I’m not going to vote and I’ll tell you why in one word: Syria.

So let’s back up a bit. Figuratively speaking, if I were going to cast my support for a candidate, I would see who is best for us here in the Middle East.

When it comes to foreign policy, Obama defintely has an edge over Romney. I like the experience that Obama has under his belt from his first four years. When he ran in 2008, he seemed like the Middle Eastern Savior.  For example, in theory, he seemed to have the interests of the Palestinians at heart when it came to dealing with Israel.

But, let’s face it, he has not done much.  He's claimed to be the first to promote a two-state sloution but that was already done by a Republican President.  That’s right, it was Dubya.

Reagrdless, I like the idea of Obama being in his second term, able to stop kissing up to everyone and do what he really wants in terms of a foreign policy.  

But then there’s Syria.

After daily editing reports from Allepo, or Damascus, or Homs, and seeing the over 36k who have died, I am stunned that no nation has really done anything to stop this country from cannibalizing itself. The whole world seems to be standing and watching Syria burn as we collectively wonder, ‘”Where are the firemen?”

One could say that as a country, America has pumped a bunch of money to the opposition in order to put out the flames.  How is that working for Syrians?  Any group, nefarious or not, is getting guns as long as they are aligned against Assad. To me, this fire-fighting is like dumping a Dixie cup full of Sprite from a plane.

And anyone who can do anything is doing nothing;  America does not want to tick off Russia and Russia has not done anything because they don’t want to lose their alliance with Iran. 

Meanwhile, children and women are being tortured and killed, along with thousands of rebel fighters-- Syrian citzens, rebels and troops are dying.  Lebanon, the neighbor, has started to burn. All of these precious Syrian souls are gone and so many who are still in a body have lost their minds after seeing loved ones killed, maimed and tortured.

As we watch the flames, it seems nothing is being done by any super power and I believe the apathy is all based on politics.  This poltical paradigm of catering to interest groups, staying in power and keeping a position in the administration has trumped human life.

“But the elections are coming up so we better not intervene until they’re over” is what may have been whispered in the halls of the White House. I think the delays and lack of real intervention by the Obama administration are based on getting re-elected. 

Other countries too could have stepped in. Russia, China, Iran, and all the Arab countires are all staying out for political reasons. 

This complacency towards  Syria is for me a symbol of placing geopolitics before lives. When I saw a picture of a little Syrian girl in her flower dress whose head was completely blown off, my decision to not vote became solidified.

I have removed myself from this electoral theater and am trying to live in another reality, without global politics and without ignoring the  fires around me.

In two days we’ll have a new president and probably many more dead Syrians.. and other Arabs… and Africans.. and even Americans. Let me know how the election turns out. I’ll be home, stroking my daughter’s hair and somehow not completely losing my mind.

 By Brett Weer

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