Another contributing factor in prolonging the fighting is the United State's recent commitment to provide aid to the rebel fighting groups in Syria. Though the aid will be nonlethal, instead of weapons, food and other supplies will be provided, this aid could keep rebel groups fighting and healthy when they otherwise wouldn't have been able to continue. Both foreign ministers from Iran and Syria criticized the U.S. stating that Assad is legally the Syrian president and has a right to remain as such until the next presidential election. Further contributing to the pressure that the United States is putting on Assad's regime to leave power are the economic sanctions against the country that are still in place, in what the Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem called a "double-standard". The Foreign Minister stated that instead of helping the people of Syria, the U.S. is harming them with the sanctions and the money they have committed to the opposition forces would be better spent on assisting the Syrian people.
These two issues, the opposition and Assad's seeming unwillingness to compromise and the United States aid are both incredibly important to the state of the conflict in Syria as both issues can only help to drag out a brutal and bloody conflict. People in the United States should care because we should hold our government responsible to make foreign policy decisions that eradicate conflict in Syria, rather than helping it continue. It is also important because the conflict has been at a stalemate of sorts in that neither side is currently winning, which could show why Assad is saying he is ready to talk to the leaders of the opposition in order to resolve a battle that is not necessarily going anywhere. It will remain to be seen whether the aid from the U.S. is able to push rebel forces' goals farther or only contribute the stalemate of fighting that has been happening recently.
When looking at this issue, we can see just how important it is for nonviolence to be the backbone of a revolution. In Syria, the conflict remains incredibly bloody, but has also not moved in the direction it looked like it was going to two years ago. In my opinion, it is important for the United States to try to help the people in Syria find a resolution in a diplomatic way, whether that is possible or not. Having the United States interfere in a fight that is not moving forward in all the ways that it should could end up hurting the innocent citizens of Syria, especially because nonlethal aid isn't truly what the rebel forces are in need of. In regards to Assad's willingness to talk to opposition leaders, I think that it is important for them to agree to do this. Without those talks, Syria could remain in this battle for quite some time, which does nothing for the country as a whole.
Oweis, Khaled Yacoub. "Opposition Leader Visits Syria amid Assad Offensive." Reuters. Thomson Reuters, 03 Mar. 2013. Web. 03 Mar. 2013. <http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/03/03/us-syria-crisis-idUSBRE9220B820130303>.
Press, The Associated. "Iran and Syria Ministers Assail U.S. on Rebel Aid." The New York Times. The New York Times, 02 Mar. 2013. Web. 03 Mar. 2013. <http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/03/world/middleeast/iran-and-syria-ministers-assail-us-on-rebel-aid.html?_r=0>.
"Syria Foreign Minister Accuses US of Double-standard Policy." PressTV - Syria Foreign Minister Accuses US of Double-standard Policy. Press TV, 02 Mar. 2013. Web. 03 Mar. 2013. <http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2013/03/02/291609/syria-accuses-us-of-double-standards/>.