- Pathfinder

Reply To: How, if at all, did this course shape or change your perception of the ongoing Syrian Civil War?

Joshua Johnson

I agree, Norman. I think everybody should take this course or something like it to educate themselves on this conflict. There is so much more at play than simple bad guy, good guy. As I mentioned in my comment above, there are at least 9 different players in this regional conflict, and only those of the “rebels” have the interests of the Syrian people at heart. The rest (Iran, Russia, Turkey, US, Israel, and ISIS) only wish to use Syria for their own imperialist, militaristic, and strategic ends. So it’s really not an easy alignment. If one makes a values-based judgment, then one should align with a particular cause (e.g., Kurdish Freedom Fighters, Israeli security, or anti-Islamic State); but if one is pragmatic, the alignment might shift according to different circumstances (“which is the best alignment for my interests now?”) Hopefully, most of us are led by values; but even so, it is hard to see beyond the smoke and mirrors to what is really happening on the ground and what is at stake—especially when filtered through Western news media. That’s why these education courses are so important: so that we, like the sons of Issachar, can understand the times, and know what to do about them (1 Chronicles 12:32 states, The sons of Issachar “had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do”).