It is shocking to see that the internal conflict started two years ago in Syria has so far claimed more than 60,000 human lives. The International community teetering around the conflict and so far failed to provide a war ending solution. The United Nation and the Arab League appointed their second envoy, Lakhdar Brahimi to come up with a solution and stop the violence but so far has failed to reach an agreement between President Bashar al-Assad and the rebels who are struggling to overthrow the government.
According to published reports many innocent children and women are among the dead. Russia and China are publicly supporting the Assad government and Western and Arab countries are secretly arming the rebels. Efforts by the U.N. Security Council to stop violence in Syria have been blocked three times by the veto powers of Russia and China. In the meantime, between 355,000 and 500,000 Syrian war refugees as estimated by the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees have fled the country to neighboring Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq and Turkey creating another humanitarian crisis for aid agencies. Meanwhile atrocities against its own people in Syria by both sides continue without a solution in sight.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s killing, especially innocent children and women, in Syria continues. In August 2012, 108 such killings by the Assad regime including 49 children younger than 10 years old have been reported by the press shocking many nations throughout the world. The shocking news raises the question why the regime target children and women? For some it makes perfect sense. They analyzed what take place in the region and find it to be a psychological tactic used by most regimes in the region from Iran to Tunisia.
Killing children instill fear in many. It intimidates the opposing public of the regime. Using blunt force to curtail the opposition worked in Iran during the 2009 Green Revolution and Syria is copying a page from Iran. Iran is the only Arab ally of the Syrian dictator. Syria is trying to avoid the mistakes made by Tunisia, Egypt and Yemen where recent uprisings toppled regimes. Terror also helped Assad’s father, Hafez Assad, to govern the country for more than three decades and hand over the power to his son. During the 1982 uprising Hafez Assad leveled the town of Hama and killed estimated 10,000 to 30,000 people.
The shocking news of the murder at the U.S. Embassy in Libya came in on September 11, 2012. The U.S. Ambassador Libya, Christopher Stevens and three other embassy staff members, all of them are U.S. citizens have been killed by mobs. Politicians were quick to claim the riots and the deaths of senior embassy staff members were direct result of weak U.S. foreign policy and failed leadership in Washington.
The incident sparked with an internet movie that criticized prophet Mohamed that was posted on the Internet. Protest erupted in Muslim nations all throughout the world. Middle East is a hot bed of turmoil and requires careful navigation rather than quick military reaction. This incident won’t be the last in the Middle East. Islamic extremists used the occasion to call for Jihad against the U.S. However, the U.S. Government should not use force against young Muslim nations that are forming after the Arab Spring.
Many Muslims don’t believe values of free speech, freedom, and others in America. On the other hand, the U.S. will not ban such provocative matter from YouTube or any other Internet site. The loss of the ambassador Stevens was a loss for the U.S. as well as the entire Muslim world.
Mohammed Merah, 23 or 24 years old, a French man of Algerian decent was killed by French police on Thursday, March 22, 2012 after a 32 hour standoff in Toulouse, France. He is suspected of involved in killing spree that killed three French soldiers and four people including two children in a Jewish school since March 19, 2012 shocking the entire world. French police has taken his mother and brother into custody for questioning.
This is believed to be the countries first homegrown terrorist act and first terror related activity since 1990s. Merah claimed to have connection to “Al-Qaeda” and received weapons and terror training in Pakistan and Afghanistan. However, the French police believe that he is not associated with an organized terror group in France and acted alone.
French police surrounded his apartment, evacuated people in nearby properties, and cut gas and electricity to the area. A camera that has been lowered into the unit didn’t see anyone inside. When police raided the apartment, Merah surprised them by hiding in the bathroom and a hail of gunfire erupted shocking the police. Merah apparently jumped through a window while firing at the police and was killed by a bullet into head.
Those real characters of Navy SEALS famous for their shock and awe actions are appearing in a theater near you. The “Act of Valor” started showing on theaters on February 17, 2012. It made $24.7 million on its debut weekend and was on the top of the box office charts. This is a phenomenal movie premiere for a non-Hollywood film. The movie uses real life, active duty U.S. Navy SEALS and live ammunition. The “Act of Valor” is now playing over 3,000 theaters in the U.S. and Canada.
The movie follows real life U.S. Navy SEALS as they embark on a fictional covert mission to rescue a kidnapped CIA operative. Navy veteran Captain Duncan Smith developed the story and the production company Relativity Media made the movie.
It is not without controversy. Some say it glorifies the actions of Navy SEALS. After the shock and awe of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, SEALS may deserve the honor. But the real criticism may come from other countries especially from Middle East when it goes on worldwide release later.
The shock and awe here is the U.S. Navy agreeing to make the movie with active duty personal.
President Barak Obama this week congratulated Navy Seals for their daring nighttime rescue of two hostages, American Jessica Buchanan and Danish Pole Thistedwere, held by Somali pirates since October 2011. At the time of kidnapping, they worked for the Danish Refugee Council. Jessica who is in her 30s started to show weakening health condition which prompted the rescue that was in planning for quite some time according to Vice President Joe Biden. According to sources, some overheard President, who uttered “Good job tonight, good job tonight” to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta before his State of the Union address. According to sources, all hostage takers were killed during the raid.
Navy Seals parachuted into the grounds where hostages were held and picked up by helicopters after the raid. Seals surprised hostage takers and there was an exchange of gunfire. Neither Seals nor hostages were injured.
President contacted Buchanan’s father immediately after the address to inform him of his daughter’s rescue, reports various news sources.
This is the second time in less than a year that the members of the same Navy Seals team were involved in a daring mission. Last year they killed Osama bin Laden in a more complicated mission deep inside Pakistan.
Article by Karol Kevorkian of Environmental Issues
Within five hours of an attack on the Inter-Continental hotel in Kabul by six gunmen and suicide bombers, the combined efforts of the Afghan Army and NATO helicopters put an end to the chaos when the guests were dining late at the hotel.
One suicide bomber had blown himself up in front of the hotel while the other did the same on the first floor. This led to widespread panic as the guests (who were mainly Westerners) fled the scene for cover while two policemen and eight civilians were killed in the assault.
According to the ISAF’s Major Tim James, the Afghan forces responded rapidly by cutting the power and thus sealing off the building while fighting their way into the building using night vision equipment and flares from time to time. But when three attackers reached the roof, it was then that Afghan officials called for the assistance of the NATO-led ISAF that has been in a region for almost a decade now.
The NATO helicopters responded quickly as well, and were able to put out the threat posed by these three militants (who were wearing suicide vests) as soon as possible.
Experts link the reasons for this attack due to a meeting of the provincial governors at the hotel that was taking place that night being the target for these Taliban militants who were armed to the teeth with AK-47s, hand and rocket-propelled grenades.
Another possible reason for this attack was of its occurrence a night before the conference which will now hand over power to the Afghan security forces from the ISAF forces that have been maintaining law and order in the region.
With the US State Department condemning the attacks, this is but a reprise of the attacks made by militants on the Serena, another popular Kabul hotel, which killed eight people including an American, Norwegian and a woman from the Phillipines.
Article by Jack Nerses of Environmental-Issues
Muammar Gadhafi is a “wanted man” based on the arrest warrant put out by the International Criminal Court (ICC) yet the country’s justice minister says this is just a ruse in order to order the NATO bombing that is underway.
In addition to calling the current NATO campaign in Libya as a way to assassinate Gadhafi, thanks to the arrest warrant, the minister also said that it does not accept the jurisdiction of the court since Libya wasn’t a signatory at the Treaty of Rome which was responsible for the formation of the ICC in the first place.
But what cannot be denied is the ruthlessness of Gadhafi and his son in quelling the uprising of the rebels in mid February and it is for these very crimes against humanity that Gadhafi, his son and his intelligence chief will be tried in front of the judges at the ICC.
Most of the world’s leaders have approved this move in effort to overthrow a 41-year old regime that Gadhafi has been at the helm since its beginning, and the United States in particular, says that the warrants issues by the ICC clearly shows that Gadhafi has lost his legitimacy.
Alternatively, Britain, represented by its Foreign Minister, has also approved of the decision by saying that the Libyan people and his regime members should abandon Gadhafi in compliance with the ICC’s ruling against him.
European powers such as Italy and France both agreed with the ICC’s warrants, and said that with the ruthless murders of civilians in Misrata, Tripoli and Benghazi, it is not a question as to whether or not Gadhafi will step down from power but a matter of when he will.
Finally, this comes as good news to the rebels located in Benghazi who believed that “justice has been done” by participating in celebrations of gunfire and in the blasts of car horns.
Amid the aftershock of a total economic collapse, Greece struggles to maintain a balance over their people and their resources. Calling upon their allies in the European Union, the Greek government hopes to salvage what they can of the current situation in their nation to prepare for a better future.
On Tuesday morning in the Greek capital of Athens, bombs targeting the Russian, Bulgarian, and Chilean embassies detonated prematurely in nearby mailboxes. The Greek government has been quick to condemn speculation that the attacks were religiously motivated. Wild speculation placed blame upon Al Qaeda, but the Greek government has stated that the bombs were delivered for a different reason.
“We have investigated the incident, and have two suspects thanks to excellent police work,” says Paul Demetriou, chief investigator for the Athens police department, “We believe the incident was politically motivated, and have no reason to believe that the attacks were motivated by anything else.”
Top political analysts say that the bombs were likely planted to draw attention to the economically devastated republic. With international news focused on different areas of the world, the best way to draw attention to the country is to cause panic, especially with foreign embassies.
“This will help nothing,” warns Mikolasy Drakos, foreign ambassador of Greece “People will just get scared, and other countries will too, and that’s never a good thing when you country is unstable as it is.”
One can only hope that Greece will stay strong through their economic struggles, and overcome challenges as a people.
They are calling in “Operation Shock and Awe.” The US attacks on Iraq. Is it working?
The personal wear and tear on Donald Rumsfeld was evident at his press conferences. His confrontational style with the press was subdued, his body language was tired and psychologically the prospect of a failed strategy was evident. The 20 year old Rumsfeld objective to remove Saddam from leadership in Iraq did not look swift.
As of April 10, 2003 the military campaign had indeed Shocked and Awed the people, soldiers and leaders of Iraq. A military campaign turned to an occupation in less than 72 hours.
Rumsfeld’s strategy is complete. Saddam is gone. A 20 year goal, achieved. Now Donald Rumsfeld can bring the multi-Billion dollar Trans-Iraqi/Jordanian oil pipeline into operation as envisioned in 1982.
But America, and the world still wonders why Iraq was so important ?
Is the political Shock and Awe Saudi Arabia ? With a stable oil producing economy in Iraq, reinforced with stability in the remaining oil producing communities in the Middle East, the United States can finally reconcile the link between terrorism, the attack on United States on September 11, 2001, and the Saudi leadership.
Is Democratization of Saudi Arabia, and the eviction of the 70 year reign of the terrorist supporting monarchy, the final Shock and Awe ?