In 1992, the United States became involved in UNOSOM, a Chapter VII humanitarian mission in Somalia. The original goal of our participation in this mission was to ensure the safe delivery of humanitarian aid to a suffering Somali population. As a part of Operation Restore Hope, we began to focus in on the capture of General Mohamed Farrah Hassan Aidid, a wanted Somali warlord.
“Die Krise ist Permanent geworden” –Jacob Taubes
"America's reputation suffers, and our ability to bring about change is constrained when we are perceived as idle in the face of mass atrocities and genocide." - Presidential Study Directive 10, April 4, 2011
On May 24, 2011, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the United States Congress. In his speech he declared that, “you [the US] don't need to send American troops to Israel. We defend ourselves.” Yet, in his more recent United Nations speech, he seemed to push the US to, yes, ironically protect Israel from a potentially nuclear Iran. Of course, American soldiers would not fight from Israeli soil, but rather from the Persian Gulf. What is the difference?
Today, let's step through the looking glass for a moment and imagine what the reaction of the United States to the ongoing crisis in Syria might look like if the regime of Bashar al-Assad were an ally of the United States, rather than an opponent closely linked to our enemy du jour, Iran. Perhaps the media coverage might look something like this:
It is way past the time to sit back and take a deep breath and rethink this reflexive rush to military solutions to foreign policy conundrums.
It seems like the stage has been set yet again for another standoff between that international grouping commonly known as “the West” - as led by the United States - and Russia; this time over what to do in Syria. After the Kofi Annan-proposed peace plan between the Syrian government led by President Bashar Assad and the loose confederation of opposition groups was left in tatters and stark video evidence emerged apparently showing massacres of civilians (including many children) in places like Houla and others, international calls to do something in Syria have continued to grow louder.
Beirut’s Zaitunay Bay, an upscale waterfront property just below the towering Four Seasons hotel, is a wonderful place to people watch and enjoy the breeze from the sea. Yachts from all over the world park there enjoying the beauty of Lebanon and the glowing sunshine. On my way out of this heavenly enclave, I see young men from the Gulf joy riding in an imported red Ferrari. All of this lavish wealth shelters those who would like to ignore what is happening just miles away.
For A. Fakhreddine...
"Promises are the uniquely human way of ordering the future, making it predictable and reliable to the extent that this is humanly possible" -Hannah Arendt