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From the Soil Blossoms Rise

The American Dream has dripped through the cracks. Like liquid neatly filling fissures in the gravel and dissipating, our concept has perished without a sound. It was a concept once defined as having the opportunity to attain vast success and happiness regardless of ones background. The house, the car, the family, the money, what have you. Despite these claims of glory in defining the American Dream, it is a debilitating truth that the dream has devolved into a pursuit of the most basic liberties and securities one could expect to receive in this land. From the government invading privacy, to secure safe retirement, down to simply trying to survive in a pool of income inequality the American has been reduced to a struggle to get by, rather than climb to the top.

Those pursuing the American Dream have refocused from success incomparable to safety and security in a country where perhaps the guarantee is not so profound. The definition of success in pursuit of the American Dream has been less focused on things such as a nice car or a nice house, but instead for financial security. It is nothing short of appalling that a dream once defined as having a home you could be proud of has been torn down by economic turmoil and uncertainty into a hope of simply having a home at all. This modesty suddenly prominent among Americans can be argued to have rooted from the economic inequalities prevalent in our society, for example the big house and shiny car are no longer so commonly being seen as attainable by all, but attainable by all in a particular economic and social caste.

Many Americans abandon the pursuit of  success for a pursuit of security with the former not being such a grand guarantee.  As citizens of this country we must ask ourselves what can be done to avoid a fate of working deep into our old age just to spend our final years as we spent the early ones: just getting by. A call for a refinement of social security and the safety of personal investments must be made in order to challenge a vicious cycle of lost money in a void of mismanaged borrowing and sharing.

The American Dream is no longer and ideal defined by glory as once was ascribed to it in the past. Gone are the days of pursuit of happiness, but instead we usher in new times of managing to beat a system with the intention of infringing on the liberties and refuges once promised by the very same system. No longer a dream of attaining success unparalleled in the face of possible hardship, but a vision of overcoming guaranteed hardship without destroying oneself in the process. As a nation projecting such complacency with its circumstances, we are charged with the blame for not standing up and calling for reform when the problems were not elevated to the dramatic scale they have reached today. Whether we want this to be our new definition of the American Dream is up to our discretion, it is vital as those having to live within the system to decide if the dream need be changed from one of survival to one of triumph. -Shivite12

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Endgame

Hello readers, it’s good to be back at the keys and even better to be resuming the dissection of varying international circumstances. When examining the Syrian conflict I tend to first place a spotlight on Assad: Can he run? Will his funds save him? Is there an option for Assad outside of simply winning or losing the war? The answer to each of these questions: No. Assad has more money, arguably more military might, but an even worse international standing than former Libyan dictator Muammar al-Gaddafi, and as you may recall he received no asylum in his final days. It is certain this thought haunts Assad each night before he sleeps and every morning he awakes.

His desperation has led him to seek help from abroad via a strategy now commonly utilized on the international stage: the portrayal of opposition as a terrorist force. His portrayal of the FSA as terrorists serves to invite anti-sunni extremists from over the borders to engage in a “Holy War” against the Sunni majority, for Assad’s Alawaite sect makes up roughly 12% of the islamic population in Syria. Assad needs the conflict to be portrayed as a holy war against terrorists lest he be overwhelmed by sheer numbers. Declaring the FSA as a terrorist organization isn’t entirely accurate however, while the FSA has fought alongside terrorist groups such as Jabhat al-Nursa the FSA is not linked to al-Qaeda. Further, if and when Assad falls, the groups maintain polarizing views on what direction Syria will head in post-Assad, which will likely lead to further years of civil strife. Had the FSA been armed early on by the United States, Al-Nursa’s involvement would not have been needed by the FSA for military support against the Syrian Government Army, and thus the call to global jihadists and international mercenaries would have likely been weak if present at all. The mess the United States feared of Syria should the rebels be armed: it being a state supporter of terrorism, supporter of Iran, have a grudge against Israel and the U.S, that human rights violations could occur within the borders amidst political distrust and corruption, yet these are all aspects of present Syria with the Assad regime. Had the rebels been armed before their desperation lead them into Jihadist hands it can be argued that the FSA’s influence would have remained prominent and allowed Al-Nursa no time to establish itself as a prominent force in the nation. Had Nursa not grown and the United States stepped in as it did in Libya, the conflict likely would have concluded hastily and with less bloodshed.

If terrorist influence has finally grown to the point where the U.S. believes the situation should be reevaluated, this could be the last opportunity to aid the FSA before the conflict spirals further into civil conflict corrupting international volunteers and spitting them back out as hardened soldiers of fortune, possibly bent on wreaking havoc abroad. The United States has an obligation as a world superpower to help where needed, yet it is common for nations in such a position to do so only when personal interest is being served. In this case personal interest would have been served with aid to the FSA and their eventual victory possibly leading to a strong bond with the new Syria and an additional ally in the region, yet for once when the right thing was to get involved we didn’t. The nations track record of interjecting, ranging from Honduras, to Vietnam, to Iran is despicable yet eerily consistent, but when the time comes to really provide needed and requested help, particularly on a military scale, the United States somehow falls through. My hope is that some kind of foreign power, if not the United States, will aid the FSA before its dwindling influence fades to nothing, allowing for Nursa to become the primary force battling Assad, opening the door for a much more likely Jihadist home base when Assad topples. -Shivite12

A Letter to the DPRK

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To the desk of Mr. Kim Jong Un Great Leader of the DPRK,

The recent provocations from DPRK have struck a chord with the international community, and now the sympathy is so great we’d be happy to honor your temper tantrum with foreign aid. Yesterday, your drills came into our allied waters, and we upheld our promise to deliver fire right back at you. But now the fear of your retaliation is so great it only makes sense that we roll over and give you what you want.  Were it only that easy for you. Humor me a moment: when a child sobs and throws a fit, is it right to reward that behavior with what the child wants? Of course not! This only encourages the poor behavior and leads to further confrontation down the road. Now why then, would you replicate this behavior? Do you see it leading to a place of positive result? When at the negotiating table, and lets be frank you have little to barter with, why put pride and the illusion of grandeur before the wellness of your nation? With outdated weapons, a poor infrastructure both socially and economically, atop famine and poor training amongst your people’s army? What’s your game? How long can you last in a tug-of-war you have, for all intents and purposes, already lost. Holding on to your old weapons and the dead dream of nuclear proliferation, abandoned by the International Community since the conclusion of the Cold War. I prefer not to make things overly personal when concerning the abuse of the rights of man, as it makes it harder to fight those who do wrong when blinded by passion. Yet I admit without regret, the abuses the DPRK have committed against a people they claim to only want the best for make me absolutely furious. I am not a violent man, nor am I one who typically wishes violence on my fellow man, but your regime in its entirety deserves no remorse upon your imminent downfall. You have picked the scab of the Korean War so profusely it has scarred into a chasm so great its image will not soon leave the memory of those affected and unaffected by your crimes. There will be order one day on our international stage, I truly hope you abandon your power and allow your people, at the very least, a chance at survival. The world is not unlike the wild Mr. Kim, and if the tiger may just let the antelope run, the antelope would be wise to seize the opportunity and live to fight another day. 

From the Desk of Shivite12, Editor-in-Chief of UnfoldedOP 

The Cold Shoulder

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Today a friend and I discussed the humanitarian crisis in Syria. As we delved deeper into the labyrinth of government kidnapping and extremist jihad ideologies, frustration at the desperation of the situation began to reveal itself on his face. He asked me finally, “why is the rest of the world getting involved then? Even its neighbors attack(Israel and as of yesterday Turkey) when the conflict spills in the slightest, why don’t we just let them eliminate each other within their borders secluded from the rest of the world?” I was awestruck at the notion. The answer I gave was pitiful.
“Because that isn’t the right thing to do.” What a joke. Well now I wish to address this question after some time letting it bounce around in my head.

1. Why isn’t that the right thing to do? When a nation experiences prolonged and costly turmoil, the road to recovery tends to be a long one fraught with despair reminiscent of the conflict itself, as was seen with the fallout of the Spanish Civil War. A steady simmer, as evidenced by the current protests taking place in Spain, remains present among the populace and wears on their nerves considerably. Allowing this to happen in Syria, then the next country and the next, only furthers the precedent of insubordination among the cooperating international community.

2. So what? The strongest countries will prosper. A domino effect of countries experiencing civil strife fueled by mercenary forces can spread easily, and despite any interest in war games, civilians are forced to handle the fallout. Why allow Syria to continue to fall deeper into conflict until a nation and a race are practically wiped from the Earth? Further, no country is immune to civil strife and eventual downfall, as even the most powerful nations have internal problems only further stoking the fire.

3. What kind of fallout could be so bad from a civil war that it calls for international intervention? Picture an entire generation of people with missing families, limbs, education, money, homes, trapped in eternal poverty in their war ravaged home, in a prolonged humanitarian crisis that could have been avoided. Then to add to the problem, millions of Syrians will flood the world in a bid to escape a horrific experience on the home front. While I personally couldn’t blame them for wanting to escape such atrocities, its recognized that many countries wouldn’t be quite so receptive to a flood of refugees, atop those that have already ran from the conflict. Why allow things to spiral to such a height? The world powers must address this conflict and come up with a prompt and reasonable solution, for this blasphemous slaughter has dragged on long enough. So why isn’t ignoring the problem the right thing to do? Ignorance is only bliss as long as your conflict isn’t the one being ignored. Is enjoying brief ignorance and avoidance worth letting the fire spread to our allies, let alone ourselves. Action now can prevent greater action later.
-Shivite12

 

Shameful Performances

Shameful Performances

Yesterday, Crimean citizens voted in a landslide 95% majority, to secede from Ukraine and align itself with its previous ruling power, Russia. This particular piece of democratic action has been at the center of the global stage since protests climaxed in Ukraine in January. Since then events have continued to escalate, almost setting off a bloody conflict between Russia and Ukraine amidst a myriad of provocations. The Ukrainian government, however, was wildly put off by the secession, and like the United States, Japan, and other western powers refuses to recognize the democratic(that some would argue corrupt) process that took place in this southern coastal region. I find myself haunted by many questions in the aftermath of the vote, with two in particular unable to leave me be. The first is for Vladamir Putin of Moscow’s leadership, I ask: With all the protests outside the Kremlin, and the economic sanctions placed on you by the U.S. and the E.U., was it all worth it? I speculate you miscalculated and now sit with an entire caribou kicking and screaming on your plate rather than the delicious flank you were awaiting. Eat up. And a question for the desk of POTUS, Barack Obama, Is military dominance in the world worth running to the rescue of every European country that experiences strife? And on top of that is it worth our international reputation to turn all red in the face with Russia when our international rhetoric is already filled with lies and double standards(I.e. Russia violates Ukrainian sovereignty, which we proceed condemn, yet we violated Iraq’s among others)? Hypocrisy rarely benefits the international community. -Shivite12

A look at economic consequence

When examining the Syrian conflict we often become enamored by the bullets flying and the mess of politics that surround it. I was particularly drawn to this video due to its portrayal of a lesser known victim: those burdened with the economic fallout. Jordanians find themselves trapped in a paralyzing economy clogged by a massive influx of Syrian refugees, pouring into Jordan to escape a likely demise. The conflict in Syria shows little to no signs of losing momentum, a foreboding sign of only greater casualties and human rights violations to come. Let us once again hope for an end to this strife before 2015. -Shivite12

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