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#notabugsplat

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I came across this blog the other day via the news, and I must say this deserves a spotlight like no other. Predator drone strikes are a terror not only new but particularly horrifying. Envision yourself walking down a road, you spy another pedestrian on the other side of the street and within a moment the silhouette is replaced by a strong explosion. You learn after the fact the individual was no state threat, rather just a father on his way home to his kids. The target the drone pilot was after was only a few meters away, but was missed, thus the enemy continues his movement whilst the victim does not. Everyday citizens of Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, and so on must live in fear of being wiped from the face of the earth by a robot buzzing above, on the hunt for the approximate location of supposed enemy activity. In the name of saving our own troops from perishing, the civilians make the sacrifice being caught in the crossfire. I recommend the support of the #NotABugSplat movement, for the violation of sovereignty and human rights committed in drone warfare absolutely deserves conversation. -Shivite12

The Pit; Syria’s Freefall

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While perusing the news yesterday I came across this article in The New York Times, touching on a concern I’ve had in recent months: how has the conflict in Syria lasted as long as it has? The reasons vary from the religious zeal of extremist ideology to the steadfast pursuit of power by the Syrian government lead by Bashar Al-Assad. In high school I recall learning about the tragedy of the Holocaust, and in my own case the plight of my Native American ancestors(though the information was substantially minimal I don’t mind noting.) When we were educated about these falls of man the underlying theme seemed to be that as a people we had a responsibility to never again let such travesty befall our fellow being. Yet here we stand idly by as a nation burns, children are left homeless, dead, or diseased in a conflict that’s no longer able to find a unifying cause outside of the lawlessness that plagues the land. As explained by Anne Bernard:

“It is not as if the world has no evidence of Syria’s ordeal, which has killed an estimated 150,000 people. Syrians have issued a sustained, collective cry for help from what is now probably history’s most-documented manmade disaster. They capture appalling suffering on video and beam the images out to the world: skeletal infants, body parts pulled from the rubble of homes, faces stretched by despair, over and over. Despite that, to the bitterness of Syrians, the world’s diplomatic attention is drifting. Even as Syria’s epic suffering is remaking the human geography of the Middle East and beyond, initiatives to ease the crisis have sputtered and failed to offer effective help. Already tenuous hopes for an internationally brokered peace settlement have further faded as Russian-American relations worsen.” -Anne Bernard, The New York Times

While the world watches Crimea, and the newfound Russo-US relations that are bound to follow, what will come of the chemical weapons disposal deal brokered by Russia and the US? What will come of Putins support for the totalitarian Syrian Government, let alone the United States’ for a rebel movement now principally inhabited by Jihadists? Whatever your poison, raise a glass in the hopes Russia and America can once again settle things amicably without having to dredge up cold war diplomacy. Evolution only moves forward right? -Shivite12

(Title link leads to Anne Bernard’s stunning piece on the Syrian crisis)

Putin’s Poker Face

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Let’s be transparent with ourselves reader, we understand Russia’s global image. One of rigidness, adaptation in harsh circumstances, tough demeanor, the list goes on. Let’s face it during this chaos in Ukraine Vladamir Putin’s PR team has been banking on the “tough Russian,” and “non-negotiable James Bond villain,” look. Yet this show of muscle from the Kremlin since the occupation of Crimea has done little to boost international faith in Russia. The Kremlin would do well to ask themselves this: What kind of economic sanctions is Crimea worth, and in the fallout should they choose to dominate the region what will be their next move? -Shivite12

(Title link leads to Daily Beast article discussing the risks Russia undertakes with their decision to occupy Crimea)

Dispute among the ranks VS. Syrian Govt.

The conflict in Syria has devolved from what was widely viewed as a fight for freedom against the tyranny of a dictatorial family line, into what many Western and Eastern powers consider being between a rock and a hard place. The rebel movement has become dominated by Al-Qaeda sympathizing groups, namely Jabhat al-Nursa and its’ recently renegade and more extreme offshoot: The Islamic state of Iraq and Syria(ISIS). Commenting on the situation CNN national security analyst Peter Bergen stated: “Al-Zawahiri is clearly fed up with ISIS’s open rejection of his overall leadership of the al Qaeda network. Moreover, he is likely quite concerned about how ISIS is alienating ordinary Syrians by a brutal campaign that has involved the public beheading of opponents and the imposition of Taliban-style rule on the population, including the banning of smoking, music and unveiled women in public.” With one side of the conflict being lead by a genocidal tyrant and the other by a dangerous and unstable terror group unprepared for a conflict, or Holy War, of such magnitude. Observing states debating aid are left with the choice of who to support, and also must consider the future of Syria should their supported side victor or collapse. -Shivite12

(title link leads to HuffPost article with elaboration on this struggle among world observers)

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