You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Syria’ tag.

For those who know no more about the Barbary pirates than the movies and stories of Barbarrosa, there were between one and 1.25 million Europeans captured and sold into slavery by the Muslim Barbary pirates from the 16th to 18th centuries. My point is that Muslim “terrorists” have been after non-Muslims for a long time.

The current attacks by ISIS and similar Muslim radicals in the Mideast have not been focused on non-Muslims, notwithstanding the beheading incidents of late, but have been intramural attacks on fellow Muslims. Yet the U.S. has felt compelled to take the strong lead in international reaction to the modern terrorists. Meanwhile the Muslim countries surrounding Syria and Iraq, as well as the nearby European powers, are providing light support, to say the most, to the latest American-led initiatives.

I fail to understand why the U.S. feels so compelled to take the strong lead, when it is the regional Muslim countries that are, or seemingly should be, so threatened by the Syrian Muslim extremists. Even more so, considering that it is the U.S. that has sold modern arms and trained the military of so many neighboring Muslim countries. This is not the age of the Barbary pirates, when a million or more Europeans, and some American warships, were directly impacted by Muslim extremists, yet by the actions being led by America, you would think it still is.

While U.S. airstrikes may or may not have the desired negative impact on ISIS, one thing is sure: the collateral damage among neutral civilians we are now inflicting, will assure another generation or two of America-hating among the families of those innocents effected. If you lived, for example, in some American small town, and an overseas nation bombed your community because they said some bad guys were hiding there, how might you feel toward that foreign nation? While collateral damage is inevitable in air strikes, the point is that the U.S. is courting repercussions that will last for generations ahead by not deferring to the Muslim nations in countering the extremists there. The unwillingness of fellow Muslims in not reacting more forcefully against ISIS suggests we are either misinterpreting the situation in the Middle East, or we are being sucker-punched not just by ISIS, but by all the Muslim countries surrounding Syria.

In my view it is the U.S. that should be in the supporting role in countering ISIS, with the surrounding Muslim countries in the lead, NOT the other way around! While Washington stretches to tell us that there is some support for our initiatives from other Mideast Muslim countries, while we lead the attack with missiles from our warships and American bombers, and have sent nearly two thousand soldiers back into Iraq (so far), we are not hearing the truth about how and why ISIS is not being seen as an imminent threat by Middle Eastern countries. It is time for the truth to be heard.

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Will we still be in the "Long War" 60 to 80 years from now?.

After you look at how the Pentagon is moving forward with its “Long War” strategy, consider how the impending bombing in the Middle East will fuel further anti-west hate as we rain our own version of terror from the air, with collateral damage that could kill innocents 10 to one or more. While our government may be implementing a revenge strategy the public supports, we will be investing billions in assuring this and future American generations of the worst possible form of public relations damage to U.S. reputation throughout the Middle East. We should instead look at the reasons that the so-called moderate Muslim countries consistently refuse to commit ground troops to curtail violence in Iraq and Syria.Through the recent beheadings were seen through the media as engendering fear among American people, we are also being cleverly “sucker-punched” by ISIS into our own violent chain of reactions, which will cost the U.S.stature, treasure and lives by rallying further support to them among many Muslims. We should not underestimate how ISIS is moving forward by trapping the U.S. into making decisions that are dangerous to ourselves.

Just as the assassination of the archduke of Austria triggered the outbreak of what became World War I, the U.S. and other nations must not let the civil war in Syria become a sparking point for a new global conflagration, with unthinkable consequences.

Moderation, reconciliation and restraint are what is needed now, not punishment, strategic attacks and provocation. Pressure to compel Syria to destroy or surrender their chemical weapons might be appropriate. Massive, multi-national humanitarian aid to Syrian refugees in Turkey and other civilians in Syria impacted by the conflict is called for. Better to use our collective air and sea logistic power for such aid, than for missile, bomber or drone attacks. Bury the country in love, as the hippies might have said.

I hope the Congress has the courage and common sense and decency to “just say no” to useless military attacks. In the scheme of things, who cares about the domestic political consequences for Obama? He should be hoping Congress will get him off the hook on Syria.

Sarajevo

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Sarajevo (Cyrillic: Сарајево) (pronounced [sǎrajɛʋɔ]) is the capital and largest city of Bosnia and Herzegovina, with an estimated population of 327,124 people within its four municipalities. The urban area of Sarajevo extends beyond the administrative city limits, with an estimated population of 452,124[7] people. In the wider Sarajevo region there are more than 650,000 inhabitants. It is also the capital of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina entity, as well as the center of the Sarajevo Canton. Nestled within the greater Sarajevo valley of Bosnia, it is surrounded by the Dinaric Alps and situated along the Miljacka River in the heart of Southeastern Europe and the Balkans.

Sarajevo is the leading political, social and cultural center of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and its region-wide influence in politics, education, entertainment, media, fashion, science, and the arts contribute to its status as Bosnia and Herzegovina’s biggest and most important economic center.[8][9]

The city is famous for its traditional cultural and religious diversity, with adherents of Islam, Orthodoxy, Catholicism and Judaism coexisting there for centuries.[10] Due to this long and rich history of religious and cultural variety, Sarajevo is often called the “Jerusalem of Europe”[1] or “Jerusalem of the Balkans”.[2] It was, until recently in the 20th century, the only major European city to have a mosque, Catholic church, Orthodox church and synagogue within the same neighborhood.[11]

Although settlement in the area stretches back to prehistoric times, the modern city arose as an Ottoman stronghold in the 15th century.[12] Sarajevo has attracted international attention several times throughout its history. In 1885, Sarajevo was the first city in Europe and the second city in the world to have a full-time electric tram network running through the city, the first being San Francisco.[13] In 1914, it was the site of the assassination of the Archduke of Austria that sparked World War I. Seventy years later, it hosted the 1984 Winter Olympics. For nearly four years, from 1992 to 1996, the city suffered the longest siege of a city in the history of modern warfare during the Bosnian War for independence.[14]

As the US seems on the cusp of beginning military action in Syria, for the humanitarian reasons being touted by the State Department and in the news media, I’m reminded that cruel treatment of human beings is going on across the globe, with no military intervention by our country. What about the political gulags in North Korea, the suppression in China, the injustices in Russia, the mayhem in our mid-eastern countries, and issues in Africa and south and Central America?

Yes, poison gas is still a vicious memory lingering from WWI. But hanging, starving, shooting and dismembering are equally vicious, as are beatings and endless imprisonment. And what, fellow Americans, about water boarding and Guantanamo?

And yes, even if the Syrian government deserves to be punished for their inhumanity, what happens after an initial attack? What new fuse do we risk lighting? And why not take out Assad? Well, leaders don’t usually do that to fellow leaders — remember when Ford forgave Richard Nixon for Watergate, and the resulting 22,000 American deaths after Nixon killed the Paris Peace talks, so he could steal the 1968 election?

So, the least we can do is think once, twice and three times before launching our un-manned missiles to kill even more Syrians, and trip another wire in the Middle East. Those who are saying our President is weak and indecisive need to weigh a lot in the balance before they render judgement. America’s vested interest may lie just as much, or more, in NOT pulling the trigger in Syria as in doing so. As anyone who has been alive and awake over the last 50 years can attest, we’ve made the wrong call more often than not.

If the Syrian government is really so guilty of exterminating its own citizens, than why don’t “we” (the U.S. and allies) do two things: 1) Totally economically isolate the country, not allowing any trade with any other nation. and 2) send in a “seal team” to eliminate Assad and his cronies?

Cut the snake off at the head, instead of sending in the likes of Kofi Annan.

This may not solve all of Syria’s problems, but it could trigger a re-set that could make recovery a possibility. Why is it that simple solutions seem to be off the table?

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