The Forgotten Middle East Pt.2 Syria

The use of chemical weapons may be the push needed to have the United States play a much bigger role than it has during the Syrian conflict that has ranged on for two years.  Recently intelligence reports from the U.S, Great Britain, and Israel say that they believe that some chemical weapon has been used in the fierce fighting between the Assad’s government and the Syrian opposition.  Now it must be stated that the United States has waited to long to play a more active role in the Syrian conflict. 

As months went by and the United States did not play a role everyone may have expected it to play.  I mean it did catch a couple of people off that the U.S has yet to provided the Syrian Opposition with any weapons to “equal” the playing field against the Assad government.  However, the country of Qatar and one more Persian Gulf state have been providing arms to the Opposition.

  A major issue that the United States and its allies are worried about in regards to arming the rebels is who receives them.  Over the two years jihadist groups have been able to infiltrate the opposition and assist in fighting Assad’s government.  Recent attacks on high level officials show the signature of jihadist militants.  On Monday the Prime Minster of Syria Wael al-Halki was targeted in car bombing attack by insurgents. The Prime Minister came out of the attack unscathed however, nine people were killed and seventeen injured.  Attacks like this make more nations hesitant on contributing arms to the Syrian Opposition.

  Now lets look at how we handled the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.  As the United States and the rest of the world saw the potential spread of communism towards the west action had to be done to prevent that from happening.  The United States help supply the taliban with not only weapons and money but training as well.  After the Soviets were pushed out of Afghanistan the Taliban took control of the country.  Then in 2001 the United States invaded the country of Afghanistan after the attacks on America on September 11, 2001.

If we give arms to the opposition what guarantee do we have that those weapons go in the right hands? If history can teach us anything it has taught us of our mistakes in how we handle situations very similar to what we see now.  However, with more and more talk of possible chemical use by the Assad government more action may come from Washington.  President Obama has stated that if the Assad regime was to use chemical weapons then that would be a “game changer” on how the U.S policy will be towards Syria.  

As chief U.N. weapons chemical expert Ake Sellstorm attempts to gain access to Syria to inspect the sites where accounts of chemical weapons have been used, the Assad government has stated they will allow only one site to be inspected.  In a New York Times article by  ANNE BARNARD and ALAN COWELL the current status of Syria “The United Nations has estimated that the conflict has killed more than 70,000 people, left 6.8 million in need, displaced 4.25 million inside the country and forced about 1.4 million to flee to neighboring countries.” We have waited too long to take the necessary steps to prevent complete loss of control. The same procedures that were taken in Libya may have been an option to take in imposing a no fly zone in Syria. Deterring the Syrian government from using its Air Force and scud missiles against innocent civilians.  However, a strong supporter of Syria, Russia and China have played a role in the U.N that may block any such move.

  The correct and humane thing to do would be to find a way to take out this tyrant and prosecute those who took part in the killings of innocent civilians from government officials down to the generals who carried out those orders.  When I say prosecute them I say in the same way Nazi officers were prosecuted in the Nuremberg Trials.  However, that seems a far  fetched possibility.  As more days pass by and months change more and more jihadist militants will enter into the fight against the Assad regime.  

  We potentially will be handing the government of Syria to possible affiliates of jihadist militant groups who can create unstable region even after the fall of Assad.  We are facing a lot of outcomes for the possible future of Syria. The more we wait the worst it will get however, if we do get involved how can we do it where we do not have a repeat in Afghanistan where terrorist networks were being harbored by the Taliban government.

 

This will be a tough and difficult road we are facing.  If chemical weapons were used the possibility of a stronger intervention will happen however, to what extent.  Will we arm or will we just place more sanctions.  Will we begin to think of placing boots on the ground to secure the chemical stockpiles in the country because we know once that Assad governments falls those chemical stockpiles may be up for grabs to some of these jihadist extremist or sold within the black market.  Policy makers have to come to a realization that eventually boots on the ground may be the option on the table.  Those stockpiles can be a major threat to national security not only for the U.S but also it’s allies.  Because who else will secure the chemical facilities? The Syrian Opposition who have extremist within different rebel groups.  

World leaders need to unite on a common goal for Syria.  Plans that will involve the monitoring of Syria after the fall of Assad because he will fall, and the securing of warhouse which hold these chemical weapons.  A plan to weed with the new government in weeding out those who pose a potential threat of the new body of government. To even show our good will we should find ways that we can assit in rebuilding Syria’s infrastructure which is now in rubbles with the fighting going on.  Something similar to the Marshal Plan.  Again a thought that seems so far from happening.  

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/30/world/middleeast/syria-war-developments.html?_r=0

 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/us-working-hard-to-find-political-resolution-to-syrian-conflict/2013/04/29/5153738c-b102-11e2-9a98-4be1688d7d84_story_1.html

 

http://frontpagemag.com/2013/dgreenfield/iraq-pm-pens-editorial-warning-against-arming-syrian-sunni-rebels/

 

http://www.theinternational.org/articles/389-military-aid-to-syrian-rebels-and-us-inv

The Forgotten Middle East Pt 1

The past couple of days the news has been flooding reports to its viewers on the current situation with North Korea.  However, we have forgotten a part of the world that can only be described as being fragile.  One example of such instability involves Egypt where President Morsi will be reaching his one year mark as holding the seat that Murbark once held.  

So far the current situation remains unchanged as it was during the revolution that took place two years ago.  The countries current economic status is describe by the World Bank as follows

  “Egypt’s economy is still suffering from a severe downturn and the government faces numerous challenges as to how to restore growth, market and investor confidence. Political and institutional uncertainty, a perception of rising insecurity and sporadic unrest continue to negatively affect economic growth. Real GDP growth slowed to just 2.2 percent year on year in October-December 2012/13 and investments declined to 13 percent of GDP in July-December 2012. The economic slowdown contributed to a rise in unemployment, which stood at 13 percent at end-December 2012, with 3.5 million people out of work. Foreign exchange reserves have continued to decline and are now less than 3 months of imports.”

With aid coming from the United States, the European Central Bank, and the International Monetary Fund, Egypt must meet the conditions that have been set by these world organizations.  Currently in the region Egypt has seen secular violence between the Coptic Christians and those who practice the faith of Islam.   The confrontation resulted in the death of Coptic Christians and the death of Muslim male.  

To add to the violence going on in the country, the Port of Said has experienced its share of protest as well.  This resulted from a clash that happened at a soccer match between a club from Cario known as the Al- Ahly and a local club from Port Said called al-Masry.  After the match had ended the away team was attacked by the local clubs fan. As a BBC news article reports “Over 70 were stabbed, beaten, kicked and crushed to death.”  This resulted in those from Cario calling for strict punishment on those from Port Said.  

Residents of the port stated that the police just rounded up anyone who was at the game and even handed down death sentences to some of those who where at the game.  Resulting in a massive upheaval in the port. President Morsi has yet stabilized a government that has yet seen any source of structure.  The country was known to be a tourist attraction to everyone  now it is still facing tough economic hardships and a government controlled by the Muslim Brotherhood.  

People in Egypt have already called for the current president to step down.  Worries of a radical islamic state is in the minds of Egyptian citizens especially those in the minority group.  And with that violence between the Coptic Christians and Muslims with little action from the government can only enforce those fears.  Pope Tawadros stated  “Mohammed Morsi had ‘promised to do everything to protect the cathedral but in reality we don’t see this.’ He also said violence against Copts was unprecedented. He said the failure to do so “comes under the category of negligence and poor assessment of events’.’We need action not only words… There is no action on the ground,’ he said, adding that ‘the Egyptian Church has  never been subject to such [attacks] even in the worst ages.”

People must not forget those who sacrificed everything they had to attain the freedoms they long desired.  It all begins with the government and the President.  Many provinces in Egypt preferred military occupation in their cities.  Fearing of the corruption with in the police departments. I understand that the Muslim Brotherhood believes strongly in the Islamic religion.  However, there was a time where all people where treated equally.  Yes they had to pay a tax to practice their own individual religion but they were also included with in the government.  Everyone experienced the same tax system and the government provided social safety nets for the less fortunate.  

The country should not look at ways of alienating one group by preferably treating one better then the other.  If the Egyptian government can find a way to answer the demands of all its people and I mean all of its people then we may see a nation become the tourist destination it once was.  It may be foolish to look into a peaceful country as Egypt because of the powers that have taken over since Mubrak but sooner or later Morsi will realize that favoring one group will result in another revolution.  We see how the people of Syria are still in the fight for their freedom from an oppressed government.  

As with all things time will surely tell what will happen with Egypt but time is not on the side of Morsi.  With his one year in office and many calling for him to step down and no economic progress one can only imagine what will happen if the unemployment rate will stays or increases within 2013.  Everyone’s common interest is to have a job and be able to support a family.  And Egypt is not providing that for its people with project growth of 1.8% for 2013.  Instead of taking over judicial power and swiftly passing a constitution the president needs to seek a solution to a domestic problem affecting his people.  Morsi must work with the minority groups in the region to promote a nation of economic succession.  For that the nation can no longer be fighting one another instead it must work towards bettering a country which is an important ally to the United States and an important figure in the Middle-East in terms of maintaing the peace between Palestine and Israel.

http://www.heritage.org/index/country/egypt

http://www.worldbank.org/en/country/egypt/overview

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-22083168

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-22098799

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-21822371
 

 

 

 

 

 

Same Tune Different Musical Beat (North Korea)

Apparently the North Korean government is continuing its rhetoric against the United States and South Korea.  Now to be honest it is getting old pretty quick that the North continues with it’s rhetoric and yet they have not made any military move to support their words.  Now I am in no way advocating for military actions between both nations however, it does make one think what is the purpose for their continuance in threatening the United States and South Korea.

I truly believe that the reason why the North Koreans are becoming so loud about what they plan for the United States is because its new leader Kim Jong Ung has to establish his place as president for the communist nation.  The new leader of Korea is young in age with a military council composed of officers who followed Ung’s father Kim Jong Il.  If the young leader shows signs of weakness then maybe there would be a coupe within the Norths government that can prove to more threatening than what we are dealing with now.

The United States has demonstrated its military power with its flying of the stealth bomber (B-2) from Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri.  The United States has also sent warships to the Korean peninsula and have worked in operating their radar stations in the area. Obviously the United states wants the North to know that if they commit into a preemptive military strike on the South or any military bases occupied by U.S forces would certainly result in a military response from both the South and the United States. Showing that they can even attack the North from a town such as Missouri.  

Now the North has stated that they will reactivate a nuclear reactor originally shut down five years ago.  So are they preparing to build a nuclear arsenal? As Washington has stated we are not going to tolerate a nuclear state.  However, has our government forgot that the North has already tested nuclear weaponry and to add not to long ago.  We are being placed in the modern day Cold War.  We are now pinned between Iran and North Korea.  Both nations who we in no way want to possess nuclear arms have placed us in a corner.  

Iran and North Korea have now become a thorn in the side of the president and his allies.  Because as the North becomes more and more louder with its threats Iran can see how the United States has yet to use military action to deter the North.  So what stops Iran from strongly pursuing their nuclear ambition?  Israel and the United States can say time in and time out that they are not for containment of a nuclear Iran, they are for denying Iran from being able to produce a nuclear weapon.  If that is true then how will both nations make that dream come into a reality.  Lets say that the United States attacks Iran in an attempt to prevent it from being a nuclear state, what does that mean for North Korea?  Will we conduct a preemptive strike if both nations become armed with nuclear weapons?

As all sides continue to throw around their rhetoric with words, videos, or military maneuvering we are avoiding one thing.  An attempt to bring the parties to the table to attempt to see how everything can be somewhat diffused.  However, that is to perfect of a world to live in.  Maybe if we lift sanctions from both nations it can begin the talks to resolving this  issue that has developed.  As we pass sanctions that hurt the economic development  of a nation and with these same sanctions help devalue the countries currency we hand over the propaganda needed to government to portray the United States as the evil country.  However, can we establish talks of peace by lifting these sanctions or will it bite us in the rear end.  Dealing with governments and their leaders so bent on voicing their agression towards the west has made talks difficult.  The chess game has begun and we are carefully moving around our pieces as the other side tries to break our concentration with its rhetoric.  As we monitor the situation in the North we can only wait and see.  Military action from North Korea I believe is highly unlikely because the U.S will repsond and once we repsond we will not stop until the communist regime is gone from the North.  Possibly the North has something up it’s sleeve that we may not know about, maybe another player in the game is aiding the Kim Jong Un. First Korean war China stepped in and helped in a big way will they do it again? Lets hopefully be optimistic and maybe governments will come to the table.