Israel, Palestine, Russia, Ukraine, Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, North Korea — you name it; conflict is ravaging the human race in the highest concentration in recent memory. Unless the sun sets on the majority of these conflicts, World War III is on the horizon.
In Israel and Palestine, an age-old conflict has ramped up following the death of three Israeli teenagers, and both sides can’t hold a cease-fire long enough to reach a peaceful solution. Hamas, the Palestinian group in power, is considered a terrorist organization by some (including the U.S. and E.U.) and not by others (Russia, China, Iran). Whichever side you support in this unbelievably complicated war, it is a war, and is therefore heating up a region that is already well beyond the boiling point.
In Russia, President Vladimir Putin is transitioning from laid-back macho man to a conniving, ruthless dictator whom we should not appease. In March, Russia annexed the region of Crimea in eastern Ukraine. A few months later, 298 civilians lost their lives when a Malaysian airliner was shot down by Russian weaponry over eastern Ukraine.
Tensions continue to rise between Russia and Ukraine, so much so that according to Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko, the two countries are on the brink of full-scale war. Putin has a seven-point plan for a ceasefire, but Ukrainian Prime minister Arseny Yatsenyuk argues that Putin’s real plan is “to destroy Ukraine and to restore the Soviet Union.” It is beginning to appear that Russia is a dictatorial democracy — hell-bent on annihilating Ukraine and entering a war with the western world.
Another group not so fond of the west is our pal from Iraq and Syria, a terror group called ISIS. These guys are truly the incarnation of evil, twisting the word of Islam into violence and Jihad with the intent of creating a new Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Syria had its troubles in the first place with Bashar Al-Assad at the helm, and Iraq continues to be a hotbed of conflict. ISIS has only magnified the violence and destruction, and like most terrorist groups, poses a major threat to the U.S. and Europe.
President Obama has ordered airstrikes on ISIS targets — the first step in combating this great evil. It didn’t come without a cost, however. ISIS beheaded American journalist James Foley on video for the Internet world to see, as well as American journalist Steven Sotloff.
This puts the U.S. in a conundrum — does it value the lives of individual Americans more than the potential thousands that could be saved if ISIS is eradicated? Stopping the airstrikes only gives ISIS time to fester and regroup, so there needs to be a strategy in place to combat this group promptly.
But according to Obama, we don’t have a strategy yet. He seems to think that in order to initiate airstrikes in Syria and continue airstrikes in Iraq, he will need the help of Congress.
Good luck with that one, Barack. They’re always willing to work with you.
There’s serious evidence to suggest that we are not far away from global anarchy and a war unlike any our generation has ever seen. There’s not much we can do about that, so let’s just hope there won’t be a draft.
As an aspiring journalist, I’d much rather have my name on a byline than on a dog tag.
Reach the columnist at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @RClarkeASU
Editor’s note: The opinions presented in this column are the author’s and do not imply any endorsement from The State Press or its editors.
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