Are We Headed Towards a Full Scale Military Operation in Syria?

Last week news came out of Syria that the Assad regime had once again used chemical weapons on his own people in the city of Damascus. Videos of those affected by the attacks hit almost every media outlet and now we see no other option but to act now. For the past two years the civil war in Syria has raged on and U.N reports have showed that over hundred thousand Syrian civilians have been killed for the past two years. The United States and the rest of the world stood by as the battle in Syria only seemed to intensify.

Videos that have been flooding our news programs show civilians being treated from what appears to be the use of chemical weapons. However, claims have been made previous times on the use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime. President Obama stated that once the use chemical have been used that it would be a “game changer” or the “red line” and yet the United States and other western leaders of the world have yet to make any sufficient step towards ending the war in Syria.

Instead the president and other world leaders have kicked the can down the road for to long. With little action done by the United States and Europe the war raged on and in time those who are affiliated with terrorist networks have gained a foothold in the Syrian Opposition. We have yet to arm the Syrian Opposition for that very same reason.

Now that the news of chemical weapons have been used again, this event has now placed even more pressure to intervene in the conflict of Syria. As U.N chemical weapons inspectors attempted to make their way to the place of the attack they were fired upon by a unknown sniper. After the government of Syria agreed to have U.N inspectors to make their way to site they decide to fire upon those very same inspectors. They must know that this type of reaction by the government can only make the case for intervention much stronger for world leaders.

Russia has stated that they will not support such military intervention by outside forces if they any are taken. Secretary of State John Kerry, has had strong condemnation for the attacks carried out by the Syrian regime. However, the plan for military action has been taking place for months now and with the new recent events that have emerged from Syria this gives the necessary reason to intervene militarily.

The reason why this is the best option for the United states and its allies is because they would be in full control of the operations that they will be conducting. Instead of flooding the country with weapons the best course would be to cripple the Assad’s forces and give the Syrian Opposition a chance to gain territory. However, the one question that we should be asking ourselves would be this What type of government will Syria fall in if the opposition succeeds? Will this create a hot bed for terrorist groups to take shelter in?

By standing by we have allowed a growing number of extreme Islamist militants gain a foothold in the opposition and this can be a issue when the Assad regime will have to be replaced.There is no way that the world will let Assad stay in power. He has stayed defiant in staying in power so it will have to be the opposition to force him out. However, if they can’t do it then will we have to go further in terms of military operations? Will this lead the United States and the coalition of the willing to place boots on the ground?

I believe that the United States will have a new theater of war to tend to. Once the Assad regime falls, any and all security of the country will be gone just as in Iraq. Once American forces invaded Iraq border security collapsed allowing al-Qaeda members take a foothold in the country. Now we see suicide attacks increasing in the country of Iraq. Who will be securing the chemical weapons facilities once the opposition takes over? There are a lot of pieces that have to be thought of and planned correctly because some form of outside military presence will be needed to maintain a stable transition.

I also wonder what the Russians will do if military action is taken by the western countries? Also will this settle a chain of events that can lead to a much bigger problem in the Middle East if military involvement occurs? Time can only tell us what happens in the future of Syria however, it does not seem to get any better.

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Pressure Mounting on the Egyptian Military?

Today reports came out that Egyptian security officials will instruct their forces to go against protesters who are support of the former Egyptian President Mohammed Mursi. Supporters of Morsi and the governments forces have clashed a couple times already since the second revolution in the country. Since Mursi was ousts, 250 people have been killed due to these clashes between protesters and government forces. However, anti-Mursi protesters have been kidnapped, tortured, and even killed by pro-Mursi supporters.

A mass number of the Egyptian people went to the streets demanding the ouster of Mursi and ever since pro-Mursi supporters have been in the streets demanding that he be reinstated to the presidency. They also want to have the constitution installed back into the country and strip the legislative branch of government. Am I to believe that the demands of those who support Mursi sound to be a bit anti-democratic? The interim government has even stated that they will allow the brotherhood to be in the discussion of the new constitution. The door is open for them to be part of rebuilding the country and instead stand behind a government that seems to be no different then the one Mubarak ran.

Now the issue that is facing the interim government is what to do with the protests that have gone on for the oust president. In fairness there are people who support Mursi but mean no harm. They are those who in a democratic society are having their voices heard. However, when you begin to bring in children to your protest and say that you are willing to risk their safety to prove your cause they I cannot take your protest serious. Why will you go to the point of violence to prove your cause?

Yes if you believe in something you must stand for what you believe in however, the interim government has allowed members from the brotherhood to participate. Why not disperse and work with not just one group of Egyptians but work with all Egyptians on rebuilding the country. The country has been ailing in the economic sector with an unemployment rate of 13.2%. However, if clashes continue to happen their will be little chance that this interim government will be able to fix the nation.

Also a democratic nation must have a legislative branch that can take up challenges of implementing laws that would benefit and protect the civilians of the country. With out a legislative branch who will create legislation for the country of Egypt? The only person I see who is next in line to create laws would be the president. Handing all the power to one man can only lead to a dictatorship that may favor only one group of people and ignore the concern of others. IS that a true democratic nation?

The pressure is on the Egyptian military because what they can do next may jeopardize any chance for the country to see progress. The media has already labeled the actions by the military as a coup. Also the media has portrayed the army as one ruling with an iron fist by shooting at protesters. So if the government goes in to break up the pro-Mursi protest and casualties result from this all legitimacy is lost on the interim government.

Protesters have brought their children to these protest and have stated that they are willing to risk their child’s life it means that they die for Mursi. I hear this rhetoric and it scares me to think that people are willing to place their child in harms way. That is what the government is faced with. If they move in and it creates a fight between government forces and pro-Mursi supporters those clashes can result in a exchange of gunfire.

However, the government has already created a perimeter around the area where the sit-ins have taken place. I truly fear that when the government moves in there will be violence because they are very defiant in staying and protesting. One thing I truly dislike is when government forces turn their weapons on their own people. I am a supporter of citizens who go to the streets and protest when their government is violating their civil rights or has done nothing in stabilizing its economy. However, anti-Mursi protesters are demanding a government that will only resemble dictatorship. I hope that their are casualties when the government sends in a police special force team to break up the sit-ins. If there are lives lost the light for a new Egypt will become dim.

In the Quran the Al-Baqara section 11 it states “When it is said to them, ‘Do not spread disorder on the earth’, they say,’We are but reformers.'”

Is Diplomacy Possible With Iran’s New President?

  Recently Iran inaugurated it’s new president Mr. Hassan Rouhani into the head of it’s government.  With former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad out and a new face in the political world can true negotiations take place between Iran and the Western world?  With a new president taking over in Iran it opens up the chance for potential dialogue between the United States and Iran.  Recent news has touched on the new president taking over the country in Iran and from what I am hearing it sounds as though Mr.  Rouhani is serious about making way for a new opportunity between the two countries who have been at odds with each other for quite some time.  

  First off, Mr. Rouhani has stated that he is willing to be more transparent with other international countries and has even mentioned that he will work on the rights for the women of Iran.  I understand that it may be premature to actually believe the word of the new Iranian president because of the previous history that we’ve had with prior leaders of the country.  The countless threats that have echoed by former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad towards Israel and the United States however, that was one man who even within his own country was not popularly supported. 

  Secondly, the blame cannot be placed only on Iran, part of the stalemate between the United States and Iran has to be with the economic sanctions placed by the United States and it’s allies that have severely crippled the country’s value and contributed to their high unemployment rate.  This current situation can be related to the relation between the Russia and the United States during the cold war.  Both President Kennedy and Premiere Nikita Khrushchev faced tense pressure from their advisers and fellow political leaders.  

  The purpose of the economic sanctions is to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon which can spark off an arms race in the Middle East.  Similar to the spread of communism through out Europe and the arms race that both the United States and Russia engaged in.  At first I was a huge supporter of the sanctions being placed on Iran because I do fear a nation holding a nuclear weapon which has threatened the use of it on other countries.  Another factor that has made me second guess the chances of true talks is the fact that Iran has supported President Bashar al-Assad and his crackdowns on the Syrian people which has been going on for almost three years.

  However, I do not believe that we should just go off those reasons as well as other things that have complicated the relationship.  The civil war in Syria can be again in relation to Cold War events.  At the time of Kennedy’s presidency, the president had to deal with the war that was going on in Laos and in Vietnam.  Both countries were being supplied by the Russians as well as the United States.  In our history we learned of North Vietnam that was communist and South Vietnam which was pro-democracy.  You can guess which sides the Americans and Russians were on.

  With this change I believe that President Barrack Obama should take the chance to work on some steps to give Iran some faith that the United States is open and ready to talk.  The sanctions that we placed on Iran has crippled their economy and created a high unemployment rate in the country.  In a way we have declared a war on Iran and it has been supported by the world community.  With high unemployment and the devaluing of their currency affects the millions of Iranians that live in the country and only fuels the anger towards the United States. The new president Mr. Rouhani has stated that he will respect talks but sanctions or no way a sign of respect.

  If we are able to engage in talks with Iran we do not need to immediately jump into the nuclear conversation rather they can work on a crisis that affects both nations.  Maybe talks can start in how there can be a end to the Syrian civil war, I do not believe that both men believe that slaughter that is going on must end.  Appealing to the other side is not a show of weakness rather strength.  

 Both presidents are leaders of countries that can make a difference if both are able compromise and respect on another and be authentic with one another.  I believe that peace can be attained if both sides are willing to pursue it.  What they must remember is that war does not bring victory rather tragedy.  Those who come from the horror of war are scarred mentally as well as physically.  We must spare our children from that horror.  That should be the focus to find ways that both nations can agree to work together.

  A key note I want to make is the cabinet picks that the new president of Iran has picked.  One pick that stood out to me was the new Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif who has ties in Washington. The pieces are there for the United States to take this opportunity and exploit it for peace talks. If that does not work then I will stand corrected but seeing the talks Kennedy and Khrushchev had through letters showed me that true leaders can put aside their country’s politics and talk as men who knew what war can truly bring. To believe that attaining compromise with Iran is not possible then that is a defeats belief. The problems that we say in front of us are man made problems and that means that they can be fixed. Lets just sit back and wait and see what results with a new Iranian president.

The Struggle in Egypt

After the Egyptian military removed former Egyptian President, Mohamed Morsi, clashes with security forces and supporters of Morsi have occurred since his removal. When I read the reports of these clashes I get the impression that the Military who is now in charge of the country till democratic elections take place within a year, are becoming aggressive towards the protesters who support Morsi. In the beginning of the protest that took place on the 30th of June, I was in favor for the people to voice their concern against the government that Morsi was in control of. The country has seen high unemployment and little progress was being done under Morsi’s administration. The basic utilities that are need to move around and provide living were very limited to the Egyptian people. Making the millions of protesters who demand his ouster justified in their cause.

First off, I truly believe that every human being no matter what country they reside in have the right to stand up against a government which has done little to help and support his/her people. Once Morsi entered into Egypts head of government, he immediately began to consolidate majority of the power to himself. Instead of creating a constitution with minority leaders involved in those talks, the country quickly passed one without any input from minority leaders. How can a new democratic nation be called democratic if not everyone is involved in the talks of the country’s constitution?

With one year of President Morsi’s government the majority of the Egyptian people went back to Tahir Square and voiced their concern for their country and what they demanded. The military then stepped in a gave Morsi a 48 hour timeline to heed the demands of the people or be removed by the military. A key note that I would like to make is that General Sisi who ordered the military to take Morsi out of power was actually appointed by the former president. Majority of Egyptians praised the military for intervening and removing Morsi from power.

However, now we are seeing the same military who answered the call for the people, now violating the rights of the supporters of Morsi as we are told by the media. After Morsi was removed those loyal to him stated that they will draw blood to have Morsi placed back into power. Also Morsi who is linked to the Muslim Brotherhood was once consider as a terrorist organization by the United States. However, after the elections that took place after Honsni Mubarak was oust as well, the United States government continued its pledge to Morsi in aid. The military removing Morsi has been classified as a coup by the Western media as well as Western countries. The United States has yet to classify it as a coup but has juggled with the idea of cutting of aid to the nation.

I personally do not support any military that would turn its weapons on its own people. The sole purpose of the military is to protect it’s nation from foreign and domestic terrorist. Is it possible that before we place blame on one side that we look at everything as a whole? What if supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood are trying to create an outlook on the military as the attackers? Reports of attacks occurring in the city of Sinai in Egypt have been executed by Islamic militants. So why would these Islamic militants not be in the crowds with the supporters of Morsi? Creating clashes between the military and civilians is a perfect way to dismiss the temporary government that the military has set up till elections take place.

Now the military has selected a group of prosecutors and minority leaders and handed them the task of creating the new constitution for Egypt followed by democratic elections in a year. The military as well as those involved in the creation of the new constitution have stated that they would welcome members of the Brotherhood to take place in the talks. If the military was truly trying to persecute members of the Islamic faith why would they open the door for them to participate in the talks for the new constitution?

However, in Tunisia the people have went to the streets as well after the assassination of an opposition figured named Mohamed Brahmi and another political figure six months ago by the name of Chokri Belaid. The government in Tunisia is also led by an Islamist government and have done little to investigate the murders of these two political figures. So can it be possible that we are jumping the gun in placing blame on one side before we look at it from another angel. Why is it that the Brotherhood does not want to join in the talks for reestablishing the government of Egypt?

I truly believe that Egypt can reach a place where each and every group in Egypt is represented in the body of the government. However, supporters of Morsi have already made up their mind that negotiations will not happen because they want Morsi back in power. The concerns of other Egyptians who are not part of the Brotherhood are not their concern. Once the military took over the shortage of gas and electricity was no longer an issue. Supporters of Morsi say that this is a conspiracy by the military.

However, Morsi consolidated majority of the power to himself so would he not have some one in charge of public works and the import of oil? If he had no idea that there was a shortage of electricity and gas then that just demonstrates his lack of leading his new government. No economic plan was passed by Morsi and his administration to help those who were unemployed in Egypt. During his presidency the persecution of religious minorities were being executed without any investigations by the government.

I do not condone attacks on peaceful protesters and believe that an investigation to the death of any protester should be conducted. However, we must be careful on who we assign the blame and investigate further. The majority of Egypt wanted this change and with support dwindling down for the supporters of Morsi it will be up to those very same supporters to join in the conversation on how to truly build Egypt back onto it’s feet. Religion should not play a factor into the politics of leading a nation. The process of leading a country is accepting all walks of life and their religion. Creating laws where a majority of the consensus agree on and where the country it’s self is looking at ways that they nation can thrive economically, domestically, and globally. If those ideas can come across those three categories then maybe some sort of progress will happen. However, with violence and force we shall not see that progress from happening.