The Iran Deal and My Thoughts.

  Recently over the weekend the world stood witness to an event in history that I did not see happening any time soon or believing that would actually happen.  A short-term deal was brokered over the weekend with the U.N. Security Council and Germany (known as P5+1) and Iran.  This deal has halted Iran’s enrichment program for six months.  However, Iran will be able to maintain their 11,000 usable centrifuges but will not be allowed to operate more then the number then have now. The uranium that has been enriched to 20% levels must be converted or diluted.  The agreement has also allowed for inspectors to enter into Iran and inspect their facilities.  These inspections will monitor Iran for the next six months as a much more comprehensive deal is created.  They will ensure whether or not Iran is standing behind the short-term deal that they agreed to.  

  This deal seemed to me that there was some hope in diplomacy because world powers were able to compromise with Iran.  So many talks have taken place with Iran and little to no progress has been made as the one we saw take place this weekend.  The new leader of Iran (President Hassan Rouhani) stated after defeating former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in the presidential elections that he would become more transparent with the West when it comes to their nuclear program.  Of course in return to the guidelines put forth on Iran, the Islamic Republic did reap some benefits.  In exchange the world leaders agreed to lift some not all of the sanctions that have been placed one the country.

  The economic sanctions that have been placed on Iran have been very destructive to the Islamic Republic.  The sanctions targeted the most precious resource that drove the Iranian economy and that would be oil.  European countries were no longer allowed to purchase Iranian oil.  The sanctions placed by the West crippled the countries currency by cutting its value by 65%.  From one perspective the sanctions can be categorized as unofficial war an economic war.  While the other side would argue that it is necessary to cripple Iran’s economy in order to prevent them from building a nuclear weapon.

  It understandable why we would not want Iran to hold a nuclear weapon in its arsenal.  It provides the possibility of creating a nuclear arms race on similar to the one that took place between the United States and Russian.  If Iran gets hold of a nuclear weapon it would only encourage Saudi Arabia to pursue for a nuclear weapons program or entice Iraq to start one as well.  It also poses a threat to Israel who has received threats from Iran from its former president.  Also Iran has played a hand in the Syrian conflict by providing Assad with Iranian Revolution Guard members as well as advisors and even calling on Hezbollah in Lebanon to assist in the fighting.

  Critics have blasted the Obama administration for the Iranian deal.  Members of both side of the house have voiced their anger towards the deal saying that it doesn’t do enough and that we cannot trust Iran.  Israel has also labeled this as the worst deal in history so it is seen that you some opposition to the deal.  However, there are also people who have said that this deal is a move in the right direction, that it is a big step between the relationship that the United States and Iran will have if a longer deal is accomplished.  

 This deal I believe is something that can open the door for all sorts of possibilities if Iran can truly show the world that its nuclear program is for peaceful means.  I do believe countries should pursue other degrees of energy production even if that includes nuclear energy.  I think we should look at the deal which allows for inspectors to tour Iranian facilities and view that as a plus. I doubt we believed that we would have Iran concede to inspectors.  Also we should give diplomacy a chance for once.

  When the people of Iran heard of the news they celebrated as if it was declared that the war has ended.  One woman said she was happy that the deal was struck because it means that there will not be a war in her country.  When I heard this as I watched Al  Jazeera it made caught me off guard. There are more people just like that young woman who felt that the burden of war may just have been lifted off the shoulders of their country.  

  I do understand the fear that people have in giving Iran a chance to prove themselves to the West.  But we cannot believe that force and sanctions will give was what we seek.  I understand that the prior president of Iran did not give the U.S. any hope for talks on their nuclear program and would understand why we would be a bit more skeptical of Mr. Rouhani.  But the new president has taken steps to show that he is a somewhat moderate.  He has freed political prisoners and has now brokered a deal with the U.N Security Council and Germany. He is showing transparency that we have not seen from the Islamic Republic.  This deal can only prove true in six months and after reports from the inspectors are reported to the security council and released to the public. If the Iran fails to comply then the dimmer of hope the world held that some stability in the Middle East would take place has now faded once again.

  Members of the House here in the United States should not make the quick decision however, to pass new sanctions onto Iran because that will truly kill any chance of this deal from forming into a much longer and historical deal.  President Obama if faced with this situation will have to implement his veto power and show Iran that he is serious to see progress with the new president and his government.

 Time will truly tell us whether we were right in giving Iran this deal and the opportunity to show the world that its nuclear power is for peaceful purpose.  We cannot dictate to other countries what they can invest when it comes to energy production.  We should not hinder in the process of a country attempting to fine better means in distributing energy to its citizens thats is cheaper and cost efficient.  Iran believe it or not if we strike a bigger deal with the country can provide the help needed to instill some stability in the region especially with Syria.  At the same time that this deal was struck it was discovered that Syrian government and the Opposition will meet in Geneva in two months for talks on possible peaceful solution. Again we must wait and see what happens from those talks but I do believe that the talks between Iran and the world powers created some momentum.  

  Diplomacy should not be disregarded as a move that is weak because you attempt to reach out to your enemy.  Iran has a new administration and it does not seem weak that we attempt to reach out and try to work for the common goal of peace.  War is not what either side is seeking but tough rhetoric and not giving this a chance can truly be counter productive.

Why People Are Hesitant to Intervene In Syria.

Since the chemical attack that took place on August 21 in Damascus and military action has yet taken place in retaliation to this attack. The red line has been crossed and the show for support of military intervention has yet to grow. Last week the British Parliament voted no on Cameron’s resolution for Syria. Germany and Canada have stated that they will not take place in any military operation that may take place. For the United States, the president has briefed some members of the House and the Senate. President Obama has also requested that both houses vote on the authorization of military force to be used on Syria.

However, with one of the United States key ally reframing from any military action for now it just displays the fears that government officials have of repeating the Iraq Invasion in 2003. I admit it myself that I am very hesitant about the United States getting involved in Syria. The civil war has raged on for two and a half years and no moves were made to attempt to end the civil war. There have been multiple reports that chemical weapons have been used by the Assad regime and the world did not act then. However, there is that one question that comes across my mind when I think about the chemical weapon attacks that have taken place in Syria. Why would the Assad government use WMDs knowing that it would grab the worlds attention and possibly lead to military intervention from the western world?

The facts are there that the Syrian regime is in possession of chemical weapons and witness reports have stated that they saw regime forces wearing chemical gear the day of the attack in Damascus. For me the reason why I am hesitant of getting involved militarily is the fact that Al-Qaeda militants have gained a foothold among the rebel groups. When we invaded Iraq we opened the door for terrorist groups to gain a place inside of Iraq. However, the reason for our invasion of Iraq is the same reason that the president is seeking authorization to go ahead with military operations in response to the chemical attack that took place on the 21st of August.

If we never invaded Iraq I strongly believe that the United States and it’s allies would have already taken military action against Assad. But with the events that led up to the war and revelations after the invasion the image of the United States and its intelligence agencies took a major hit. Before the U.N published it’s report we launched the offensive into Iraq. Then when U.N chiefs weapons expert Hans Blix reported that Iraq’s nuclear program was inactivate since the first Gulf War our country was caught in a lie.

The results of that war is seen to this day, the country faces terrorist attacks on a daily basis and the government is divide more then ever. Another result for the war, is that a branch of Al-Qaeda is beginning to gain strength in the country.

More than likely the U.N’s report from is latest visit in Damascus will show that chemical weapons were used in the attack. The United States as well states that it has strong reason to believe that Syria’s government used chemical weapons.

It is only a matter of time that the United States and other countries take part in military operations to assist the rebels. However, I don’t believe that a air campaign will be sufficient. There will have to be some form of security on the ready to secure the chemical weapons facilities in Syria. With the growing insurgency inside of the rebel group the location of those weapons and being secured is a priority. Threats have been made by Assad and his government stating that any attack on Syria will result in retaliation.

Can this conflict lead to a much more complicated problem? Will this set of a chain of events that leads to a wider conflict? Has the worlds delay lead to the problems we face now? Is there a plan for after the Assad government falls?

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.

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.

Austerity Not the Solution to an Economic Slump

It has been a while since the media has covered the worlds economic outlook in part because of the recent events that took place in Egypt as well as the George Zimmerman case here in the United States. Today while driving home I was listening to the radio when I heard a statement dealing with austerity that caught my attention immediately. The radio host began to talk about austerity over in Europe. At first I thought it would be the same song however, with a different beat I was going to hear. Paraphrasing what the host said in regards to austerity measures was how the program with all of its spending cuts has not solved the rising debt that the Eurozone block has hoped to take place.

With the austerity program that the Eurozone has been exercising since the financial collapse in 2008 we have seen countries such as Portugal, Ireland, Spain, and Greece have a steady climb within their unemployment rate. Some of the countries listed above have seen their unemployment rate climb to 20% even as high as 27% but the most frightening statistic is how 50% to 60% of young adults are unemployed and unable to find any work. This has also created a migration of citizens from these struggling countries to flood other nations such as Germany which has been able to stave off the economic slump Europe has been witnessed to for sometime.

First off the economic world leaders of the Eurozone have been very hard on nations with outstanding debt and seeking bailout packages. Requiring them to agree to more cuts and less investment in those nations suffering from the economic turmoil. The reason why the Eurozone has yet to stymie off the rise of debt is because the nation has yet to create an economic plan that can not only produce jobs but also a form of revenue.

With the cuts into social programs such as education, retirement packages, and public jobs the Eurozone has cut off its two legs and is now trying to stand upright again. If a country maintains its cuts how can those countries generate the revenue to pay off its bills. Then to add to the Eurozone’s lack of true leadership they demand that these nations continue their cuts just to receive the bailout money to pay off their debt. Now if the money you are receiving from the IMF, European Central Bank, and the European Union are to go to its creditors and not to the investment of the countries infrastructure then how do you plan to create any form of employment?

The money goes right back to the very banks who gave out the bailout packages in the first place. Leaving countries to find ways to generate jobs without any form of money to do it. Whats even more devastating is how the education part is being severely cut off leaving future generations with the question of whether or not they will receive the proper education that they are entitled to receive as citizens of the world and of their country. The most important thing that a person can have is an education and if you take that away from future generations then what type of nation are you setting up for in the future a nation of the haves and have nots?

The Eurozone needs to understand that in order for the ailing nations to get out the slump that they have been in for almost five years they have to take another route instead of austerity the route of stimulus and responsible cuts. Now some say that both cannot be done and my question to that is Why not? The United States installed a stimulus package and even though our economic growth is a bit anemic to say the least, the country has been able to climb up bit by bit to some form of better economic standing. Now this doesn’t mean that the United States is out the water just yet because China the second largest economy in the world had to shave off its projected growth for the remainder of the year. Which is not a good sign but for the country of China to stay at a growth rate of 6.5% to 7.0% is better then Germany and the United States.

If you are able to invest in your country and fund projects such as infrastructure spending you create jobs for constructions workers. This now will have an effect on companies that produce cement, companies that specialize in tools needed to run these projects, and finally restaurants in the surrounding area where the project is being under taken. By having the demand of work orders for these projects may push employers to higher more employees to help fill those orders or future orders.

Now I am not saying that spending in infrastructure would be the solvent for the countries debt problem but it would be a start to begin bringing in some form of revenue cause now you are generating jobs. Investing in public services will also benefit in the long term as well in my opinion. What I wish the Eurozone would do is negotiate to creditors a plan that can work for all parties. Such as a plan to hold off any future payments to its creditors until the Eurozone members begin to see an improvement in job growth. Once unemployment levels begin to drop to six percent or even five percent then the process of paying back those lenders can now be placed back on the table. Or paying a minimal amount that does not require outrageous spending cuts to those countries already suffering a high unemployment rate.

The problems that have erupted in the past five years are man made and because they are man made they are solvable by man. The only problem is that the methods that are being used today are only benefitting one group of people and those are the banks who help bailout these nations. Instead of borrowing more money to just pay off the money they owe which they will also have to pay back in the future they should be using those bailouts to help create more jobs and create a economic circle where money continues to go round and round not from point A to point B because if this plan for austerity does not begin to be lifted then who will know the future of the Eurozone. People have gone to the streets in protest to the pressures being placed on the ailing nations of the euro bloc and only time can truly tell what will happen when the demands of its people are not met.

Reaction to Egypt and the Ouster of Morsi

Yesterday, the Egyptian military removed President Morsi from his seat of governance. However, this was not a move that was planned by the military for their personal interest, rather it was done because the people of Egypt spoke for what they believed in. Then there were rumors of another mass protest in the country of Egypt that was being planned before the ouster of Morsi. Calls for this massive protest was announced to take place on June 30th. Citizens of the country were filling out petitions demanding the resignation of Morsi. Once June 30th arrived Tahir Square was filled to the masses protesting for President Morsi to leave office.

First off when I witnessed the videos of how Tahir Square was filled with protesters I worried on how Morsi was going to react to the events taking place. With the opponents protesting for his dismissal there were also supporters of Morsi who wanted him to stay in power. My fear was that the country might fall into a crisis such as the one in Syria. However, the military stepped in and gave Morsi 48 hours to heed the demands of his citizens or face military intervention.

During the 48 hours a handful of cabinet members from Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood made their decision to leave the country and forfeit their positions. Once cabinet members made the decision to leave it was only a matter of time when Morsi would no longer be the president of Egypt. Now the Western media and even here in Washington has consider the events over in Egypt as coup conducted by the military.

After hearing the nations that represent the so-called belief of democracy call this change of power as a coup, I can only describe my reaction as being disappointed. As a nation that says we are about promoting human rights and the freedom for citizens around the world I truly felt that the calls of the Egyptian military staging a coup was a strong contradiction to our democratic belief. Millions of Egyptians went to the streets peacefully and chanted for Morsi to step down. Critics of the opponents of Morsi say that he only had one year and it was not enough time to remove him from the presidency.

However, the moves that Morsi made in the one year suggested that improvement was nowhere in sight. Muslim Brotherhood members solely dominated the government Morsi once led and their passing of the constitution did not involve minority groups within the country. He even went as far as consolidating all governmental powers to him self. This in no way sounds like a leader who is going to lead his country through democratic change, in a way sounds like a dictator. Here in America we have our checks and balance system. We have the executive branch, the judicial branch, and the legislative branch all given the task of checking one another use of power within the government. If Morsi was going to take all of the power and consolidate it only to himself then where does the check and balance system come into play.

The United States has stated that they will cut off aid to Egypt because by law the country is not allowed to provide international aid to a government brought on by a military coup. The Obama administration should not be against the events that took place in Egypt rather they should be supportive. We as a country have to understand that the world is not our country where we dictate who stays in power and who goes. The only exception I say this is allowed that the United States has a right to step in is with the situation in Syria where President Bashar al-Assad has used his own military to kill innocent men, women, and children for almost three years.

We as a country have supported leaders of countries who we later classified as dictators. For example the United States at one time supported the Taliban during the Cold War. After the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan we were quick to provide arms and training to the Taliban fighters who eventually pushed out the Russians from their homeland. During the Iraq and Iran war the United States provided weapons to the former Dictator Saddam Hussein. Furthermore, the United Sates once supported Mubarak and when the first revolution erupted in Egypt we were quick to ask him to step down.

I understand that the reason why we involve ourselves in other political affairs is because of our national security here at home. However, do we really have the right to say who should go in power and who should not? The answer to that is no. Because if history has taught us anything is that we pick the wrong people to support and then later on in the years we have to step in and say hey its time for you to go and lead a transitional government. The people of that nation should be the ones to decide whom they want in power. For it is them who will have to live with the laws that their leaders will pass it will be those citizens that will have to feel the brute force of a dictatorship. All the while we sit back and feel bad for those people and agree for a change of government but forget that we had a hand in that one way or the other.

Another example I want to point out is the situation in Iraq today. We have created a nation that is plagued with suicide attacks or IED attacks every day almost. Scores of innocent civilians have been killed and it only seems that the nation is going to break into a full out civil war. The president of Iraq was appointed by the United States, the government as well. Yes they had their “democratic” elections but were they really at all democratic? Our reason for going into Iraq for those who forget was first for WMDs and their link to al-Qaeda. All fueled by every western media outlet in the world. Then when we went in there we found nothing. Then we switched our mission to liberating the Iraqi people from a ruthless Iraqi dictator which in a way is true, Saddam was ruthless in how he treated the Kurds and Shiites.

If that was the case how come we have not created a coalition of the willing to go into Syria and take out President Bashar al-Assad? Do we not see the sense of contradiction here?

Now going back to the aid that the United States has cut from Egypt. I do not understand why we are cutting off their aid when we still provide billions of dollars to Pakistan. Now here is my issue with giving aid to Pakistan. The aid that we give them is designed to combat the Taliban forces that have wreaked havoc in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and other parts of the world. Militant training grounds are located in Pakistan and yet we continue to hand them aid. The logic here seems to be off. We support a country that harbors the very same people we are in combat against and cut off funding to a nation who have spoken for their liberties and freedoms.

The events that have taken place in Egypt have showed me that people will continue to fight for their freedoms and liberties that they truly believe in. They were able to execute this in peaceful ways even though there have been injuries and even deaths reported during the second revolution in Egypt. We cannot discredit the people of Egypt for pursing what any citizen of this world is entitled to, the pursuit of liberty, justice, freedom, and happiness. What happens next we will have to wait and see. The military has done the right thing and with their openness to having every group of Egypt to be in talks of the constitution can offer some hope of an actual democratic process.

To those in the Western world who truly believe this is a coup are only afraid that their citizens have seen that the masses can truly bring change to their country. And with the way things are going on around the world with unemployment and domestic policies, citizens may assemble in the masses and demand change. A change that today’s governmental leaders are not so open to. Just some food for thought.

Grade On Supreme Court Ruling (Opinion)

This week the Supreme Court has made a strong buzz in the media with some landmark decisions. In two different days the Supreme Court ruled on a number of cases however four cases stood out this week. The Supreme Court ruled on Fisher v. University Of Texas At Austin, The Voting Rights Act of 1965, California’s Proposition 8, and on the Defense of Marriage Act or (DOMA). After reading about their rulings on these four cases I have to give the Supreme Court an overall grade of a B. However, their first two cases involving affirmative action and the Voting Rights Act showed poor leadership from the justices. What helped them in receiving a B was the striking down of DOMA and California’s Proposition 8.

First off, when the court ruled that they would not rule on the affirmative action case and pass it back down to the 5th District Court I was taken back. The highest court of the land would have been able to keep the precedent when it comes to a law that has given minorities the ability to attend Universities that would have been unattainable in the first place with out the law. Opponents of affirmative action say that the law it self violates the equal protection law of the constitution. This argument from a technical aspect is legitimate because by selecting students to attend their university based on their race is a violation of ones equal rights. However, people tend to forget the history that America created for itself in the past years.

Race has also been the judge to deny people their ability to attain work and even an education. Now universities such as the one in Texas maintain a strong selection process when considering race and it only accounts for a small percentage of admission. The reason why schools use affirmative action is because it brings a diverse atmosphere to the classroom and to the campus. Giving students the ability to break the stereotypes that they are exposed to. Instead of assuming that Hispanic males are gang bangers or drug lords they can see that the Hispanic student in their class is pursuing the same goal. However, even though the courts punted the case one of justice used strong language that may have opened the door for opponents of affirmative to continue their battle.

Justice Kennedy wrote in his notes the following “The University must prove that the means chosen by the University to attain diversity are narrowly tailored to that goal. On this point, the University receives no deference, strict scrutiny must not be strict in theory but feeble in fact.” Universities already run a tight rope program when using race. However, the language by Kennedy can only open the door for advocates against the usage of race by saying that students who have lower grades compared to their white classmate is a violation of the equal rights because they are not being selected for grades but just race and that the minority student should have either equal grades or better than their white counter part.

The second decision that was a disappointment was the courts decision of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The act designed to protect citizens located mostly from southern states from passage of laws that would hamper voting for minority voters. The court has stated that section 4 was unconstitutional. The section stated that before any state makes changes to their voting laws that they had to go to the Justice Department or a federal court in Washington. The courts believe that we as a nation have grown from the times where voters’ rights were being violated. I guess they missed the countless times that states in the run up to the 2012 election attempted to pass laws that would require ids to be presented and the denial of early voting in some states. Most of those attempted laws were in southern states that were required to follow the act.

However, the Supreme Court stated that the Congress is allowed to pass legislation with a new coverage formula in regards to protecting the rights of voters. The idea of congress being in charge of voters’ rights is like placing the burden of the economy oh wait they are and look how that’s going for us.

The next two decisions by the Supreme Court affected millions of same sex couples in America. The Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision stated that it is unconstitutional for the federal government to regulate the marriages of Americans. This view made DOMA illegal based the equal protection clause of the constitution in the 4th Amendment. By denying same sex couples to marry based on their sexuality the federal government is using discriminatory practices on its own citizens. The following case that the court struck down involved California’s Proposition 8. The court was reversed in this decision, as the majority who voted to strike down DOMA was the minority in the Prop 8 case. The court ruled, “The court effectively struck down Prop. 8, vacating a ruling by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals that the proponents of the bill did not have the right to defend its constitutionality if state officials refused to do so.” After the two major rulings same sex couples were now allowed to marry and receive the same federal benefits that heterosexual couples receive.

With the week ending in the major decisions that the courts made one can only say that race is now heading to the back burner as the court failed to rule on two cases that dealt with race. They scaled back on the voting rights act and placed it in the hands of a Congress. A legislative body that cannot pass a budget that consistently goes and back and forth, one member who have stated ignorant statements that makes one think how they won their seat in congress. I applaud the court for recognizing that the federal government has no right to regulate marriage. For years the government has been using discrimination on a group of people because of their sexuality. No one should be looked down upon based on their sexual orientation just as how African Americans were not allowed to Caucasian partners. This will not change the structure of family and nor will it affect society. Same sex couples have been around for years and have been oppressed by a government that states that it is democratic. However, we must place a close eye on states that have pushed for change in voter laws. After the courts ruling on the Voting Rights Act, Texas has brought up legislation that will require voters to have ids when voting. It will be a matter of time as states begin to find ways to create laws that would hamper the laws of its citizens. We witnessed it in the 2012 election with countless states attempting to infringe on the rights of American citizens and allowing them to vote. I can be wrong but history is our lesson in the mistakes that we make and yet we continue to make them. However, with a major shift in the support of gay rights I can only be truthful in giving the Supreme Court a B for their decision to strike down DOMA and Prop 8.

Spying Replacing True Diplomacy

  Today breaking news came out about Snowden being flown from Hong Kong to Russia and now possibly to Ecuador.  The recent movements that have taken place in the past 48hrs of Snowden have the United States running around trying to get an extradition of the NSA contractor. Some have labeled Snowden as a traitor and should be prosecuted under the Espionage Act of 1917 and if convicted he can face death.  Giving Snowden a reason to try and evade extradition back to the United State and is now in Russia. The location of where Snowden is being harbored has only complicated the relations between the Russian and American governments.

Before I get into this any further I want to bring up something I heard today while watching the news.  During an interview a reporter asked why is it so difficult for the United Sattes to capture the NSA contractor. He went further to say that why cant the United States us Navy Seal team six like they did with bin Laden.  To place Snowden in a category comparable to bin Laden is a bit extreme for me.  This man is not in charge of a terrorist network and he is not planning attacks to harm or kill innocent people. I’ve stated before that I do believe what Snowden did was the right thing.  Yet majority of Washington has labeled Snowden as a traitor.

 

Since the leak by Snowden I have yet to see any affects from what he exposed.  The reason why the American government is upset that he leaked out the PRISM program run by the NSA is because he caught them with their pants down. The government is treating this man as if though he gave out a list of CIA assets and their location through out the world.  He also exposed how the British government spied on Turkey during a G8 summit. Tapping into computers and phones that were used by the Turkish diplomats in a cafe during their stay at the G8 summit. Coincidence that our closest ally conducts the same program that the United States conducts and was exposed. See why their is such a rush to try and extradite Snowden back to the states.

 

Now by having Snowden in Moscow the United States can not get any more livid then they already are.  Russia has been a strong ally to President Bashar al-Assad and has struck down any U.N Sanction that may have looked similar to the ones used in Libya. Relations with Russia and the United States can only be described as murkier then the Cold War times. Countless times the United States has singled out Russia for human right violations and now with the expose by Snowden the United States now looks like a big hypocrite. Having Snowden in Russia only pushes any chance for diplomatic talks further away and strains those who want a peaceful end to the Syrian conflict. Another factor to observe is how Hon Kong allowed Snowden to fly to Russia. What does this say about relations with China?

Snowden not only exposed the United States for their domestic spying program but also exposed the United States and their cyber attacks on the Chinese government. Now reports of a Chinese military unit that has hacked into American servers have been exposed to the American public so it can only be said that we have the right to hack back. However, how can we continue diplomacy if continue the “I Spy Game” and not work towards actual talks of diplomacy. I can believe the one factor that makes this game replace true diplomacy and that has to deal with nuclear weapons. We are afraid of the strained relationships we have created that it is necessary to spy on one another. Which is why the United States justifies, their reason to spy on their own Americans.

 Fear has motivated this spying game we are seeing exposed today. As a country we have veered off the path of the true meaning of leading the world. We have shown blatant disregard for the sovereignty of other nations in the regards to the countless drone attacks that are conducted. These attacks have resulted in the deaths of innocent civilians damaging the image that we barely have in the world. With the ilegal invasion of Iraq and the 12 year war in Afghanistan we have soured our look. This leak exposes how the United States refuses to attempt to change its look as a government who can choose to do as it pleases but when it is exposed they will get angry and make every attempt possible to detain the “traitor.” However, he landed in the hands of country where relations are strained and does not seem to get any better. Spying has replaced the form of diplomacy that real leaders use and created a mistrust in government within the country where so many scandals have surfaced.