By Dan Lieberman
Gradual formation of nation states exploded into empires – Ottoman, Russian, Austrian-Hungarian, British, French, and the short lived Nazi Germany. Two world wars imploded these empires and allowed the strongest of the surviving international powers to control potential adversaries by a simplified mechanism of divide and subdue, which has many paths – partition, tribal separation, exacerbating civil conflicts, and imposing borders.
Since post World War II, a repetitive United States agenda has provoked conflicts that rearranged borders of nations that opposed U.S. hegemony. This agenda follows a prescribed script with repeatable and definable features
Disguise and distort the facts
Prevent resolution of the problem
Reject reforms and conciliation
Display double standard in operation
Cease hostilities after division
Assure the problem will continue
Permit the policy to be counterproductive
For powerful nations, the urge to lop off is an inviting attraction — making others less makes them more. Brief, but revealing and compelling examinations of post World War II conflicts, leading to the misrepresented Syrian conflict, verify the divide and subdue agenda. Five of the nations, Somalia (#1), Sudan ($4), Syria (#6), Afghanistan (#9), and Iraq (#12) are in the top 12 of a Fund for Peace report at http://fsi.fundforpeace.org/,which characterizes the world’s most fragile states.
U.S. President Truman’s rapid recognition of Israel, despite his State Department and own uncertainties, divided Palestine. Recognition permitted a Zionist thrust to eventually expel 1,100,000 Palestinians and seize all territory from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River. Any worthwhile political analyst could reason that the recommended Partition of Palestine and its intended creation of two states had no chance of success; in total, the Palestinians were (1) unwilling to be separated, (2) discontented with being denied their ancient agricultural lands close to the Mediterranean Sea, and (3) unable to accommodate a western incursion into their ancient lands.
Lack of resolution of the fundamental issues has created more difficult issues:
- Destruction of Palestinian society.
- Terrorism against Israel by revengeful Palestinian extremists.
- Construction of a separation wall that strangles Palestinian political, economic, and social life.
- Counter-productive U.S. policies, such as demanding the Palestinian Authority halt all terrorism before Israel halts settlements.
By achieving the opposite of what it claims to promote, the U.S. shows it does not want a just solution to the problem but is willing to enable Israel to annex and control the entire Palestine area, regardless of the injustices to the Palestinians. The continuing conflict and U.S. impartiality to Israel is cited as a principal reason for Arab and Muslim hostility to the United States. It is also one of the reasons for international terrorism.
Troubled by conflict during centuries of mayhem and unimpeded aggression, Koreans always hoped for and expected to be one united people in a peaceful post World War II world. The war and its aftermath only emphasized a division.
As described from primary source documents and revealed in a previous article at http://www.alternativeinsight.com/Korean_War.html, until the end of 1949, Joseph Stalin did not plan any aggression against South Korea. Instead, a possible attack on North Korea from the South troubled the Soviet leader and he avoided provoking Washington and Seoul. In 1947-1948 the Soviets still believed in the possibility of a unification of Korea, and they refused to sign a separate friendship and cooperation treaty with North Korean leader Kim II Sung.
Undoubtedly North Korea initiated the war, but the origin and incitement of the Korean War did not occur with Kim Il Sung alone. South Korea’s President Syngman Rhee provided sufficient provocations. Mark E. Caprio, professor of Korean history at Rikkyo University in Tokyo, in an article titled, Neglected Questions on the “Forgotten War”: South Korea and the United States on the Eve of the Korean War, The Asia Pacific Journal, January 24, 2011, wrote:
On February 8, 1949, the South Korean president met with Ambassador John Muccio and Secretary of the Army Kenneth C. Royall in Seoul. Here the Korean president listed the following as justifications for initiating a war with the North: the South Korean military could easily be increased by 100,000 if it drew from the 150,000 to 200,000 Koreans who had recently fought with the Japanese or the Nationalist Chinese. Moreover, the morale of the South Korean military was greater than that of the North Koreans. If war broke out he expected mass defections from the enemy. Finally, the United Nations’ recognition of South Korea legitimized its rule over the entire peninsula (as stipulated in its constitution). Thus, he concluded, there was “nothing [to be] gained by waiting.”
The Korean War officially started on June 25, 1950, and the warring parties signed an armistice to end hostilities on July 27, 1953. A foreign policy designed to terminate the armistice and officially end the war, reduce tensions, and prevent North Korea from acquiring nuclear weapons and long range missile ballistic system has succeeded in prolonging the armistice, maintaining tension, and permitting the DPRK to enter the nuclear club. Cold war mentality forces the North’s citizens to endure a repressive regime and suffer from sanctions and economic denial. Families divided by a Military Demarcation Line (MDL) have been prevented from seeing one another – a human drama with heartbreaking consequences.
If the United States withdrew its token 27,000 plus troops from South Korea, halted joint military exercises close to North Korea, supplied needed fuel and other amenities to the North and demonstrated it had no intention to overthrow the regime, would the DPRK modify its stance – halt nuclear pursuits, reduce its belligerent attitude and become more cooperative? If a present policy achieves exactly the opposite of what the policy intends, would the opposite of the failed policy achieve the original intentions? Is it possible that the U.S. welcomes a division of the Korean peninsula — preventing the establishment of a more dynamic and powerful Korea, which may ally with China, challenge U.S. economic interest and threaten Japan?
Rather than permitting a democratic vote that would maintain a unified Vietnam, the United States promoted a separated South Vietnam.
Many arguments can be presented for the escalation of the Vietnam War. One reason is the failure of the United States to adhere to provisions in the Final Declaration of the Geneva Conference on the Problem of Restoring Peace in Indo-China, July 21, 1954.
Article 5. The Conference takes note of the clauses in the agreement on the cessation of hostilities in Viet-Nam to the effect that no military base under the control of a foreign State may be established in the regrouping zones of the two parties, the latter having the obligation to see that the zones allotted to them shall not constitute part of any military alliance and shall not be utilized for the resumption of hostilities or in the service of an aggressive policy.
The United States established military bases in the Vietnam state (South Vietnam) and refused to allow free elections that were scheduled for July 1956. Using exaggerations, such as the Tonkin Bay incident, the U.S. government created excuses to intervene militarily in Vietnam. U.S. naval vessels floated several thousand miles from home shores when attacked on August 2, 1964 by small North Vietnamese speed boats that were within their own claimed waters. Five days later the U.S. Senate and House passed The Tonkin Gulf Resolution, which gave President Lyndon B. Johnson authorization to use military force in Southeast Asia as part of the Collective Defense Treaty (SEATO), an organization of several Southeast Asian nations that was formed in order to prevent communist expansion in Southeast Asia. Without U.S. military roaming South Vietnam, hawkish pundits forecasted a “domino effect,” where Thailand and Malaya would fall into the communist orbit after Ho Chi Minh conquered all of Vietnam.
Failure of the United States to impose its military solution on Vietnam provides a lesson to U.S. “divide and subdue strategy.” North Vietnam succeeded in repelling U.S. forces, overcame South Vietnam resistance and united Vietnam into a relatively peaceful and prosperous nation. No dominos fell and no SEATO was again pursued.
In December 1992, the UN responded to Somalia’s anarchy and famines by dispatching a “peace-keeping” force that included 2000 U.S. marines. U.S. and UN policies in Somalia became intertwined, and U.S. actions in Somalia led to greater violence.
U.S. humanitarian troops actually arrived after the famine had subsided. News reports stated that the U.S. found no famine in the capital, Mogadishu. They expected to find it inland in Baidoa. No famine in Baidoa. The famine had retreated to the villages. Although reports from the villages did not disclose famines, the UN and U.S. marines did not go home.
Instead, marines began house to house searches for weapons and caused several casualties in the actions. On June 5, 1993, UN troops attempted to close Mohammed Farah Aideed’s radio station, a communication medium of one of the contenders for Somali leadership. Aideed, who had been a Somali ambassador and been elected chairman of the United Somali Congress by a 2/3 vote, declared his faction to be the legitimate Somalia government. In repelling the attack, Somali militiamen killed 24 Pakistani troops. This action propelled the U.S. forces into a five-month manhunt for Aideed. In the process, the marines engaged in several “shoot outs” with Somali, which resulted in the killing of two children who had climbed into marine vehicles and reached for their sunglasses. After 18 U.S. soldiers were killed and their corpses dragged through the Mogadishu streets, the U.S. military left Somalia. Results of U.S. policy in Somalia were the fracturing of Somalia, and many Somali and Americans dead.
The U.S. incursion left conflicts between rival factions, which as they continued throughout the 1990s, prevented emergence of a stable government. Eventually, two northern regions, Somaliland and Puntland, broke away from the country and set up regional, semi-autonomous governments. The former has remained independent, while the latter supports a federal Somalia, but asserts the right to negotiate the terms of union with any eventual national government. Somaliland is a member of the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization.
Until 2013, Somalia was considered the most failed state on the planet. Efforts by clans to unite Somalis in a nation of semi-autonomous republics elevated Somalia to become the #1 most fragile state. U.S. military still patrols the area, striking the al-Shabaab, the “Movement of Striving Youth,” an offshoot of the Islamic Courts Union (ICU), and an al-Qaeda look-alike. The ICU, a system of sharia-based Islamic courts strengthened during the period of anarchy, which the U.S. presence advanced during the 1990’s. U.S. contribution to disturbing the Somalis continues despite Somali complaints.
From Al-Jazeera, 30 September 2016
Somalia‘s government has requested an explanation from the United States for an air raid that it says killed 22 soldiers and civilians in the north of the country. Officials in the semi-autonomous region of Galmudug said a US bombing killed members of its forces and accused a rival region, Puntland, which is also semi-autonomous, of misleading the US into believing those targeted were members of the al-Shabaab armed group.
Five autonomous republics of the Yugoslavia federation have been split into seven nations.
After the disintegration of the Austria-Hungary Empire at the end of World War I, the allies created the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, which was formally renamed the “Kingdom of Yugoslavia” in 1928. The 1941 Nazi conquest separated the kingdom into several ethnic states. Post World War II arrangements re-established the Balkan nation as the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Because its leader, Marshall Tito, challenged Moscow, the western nations did not challenge Tito. The fall of the Soviet Union abruptly changed western attitude toward its “friend.” NATO’s warring interferences in Yugoslavia Republic disputes reversed the model framed by the integrators and subduers of rash nationalism after World Wars I and II. Strangely, the new map of the former Yugoslavia became more identified with the virulent nationalism and ethnic preferences of the Nazi era.
In both Bosnia and Kosovo, where NATO interference was prominent, U.S. policies succeeded in trading the appearance of repression and incipient “ethnic cleansing” with violence leading to institutionalized “ethnic cleansing” and anarchy, and in complicating problems with war rather than resolving them with negotiation and diplomacy.
Bosnia and Herzegovina received a polarized political system, a 2016 unemployment rate of 42%, and an erratic economy that has stagnated during the years from 2008 to 2016.
Independent Kosovo has cleansed itself of about 100,000 Serbs, grown its economy steadily and has a 2016 unemployment rate of 32%.
Reduced Serbia, formerly a fairly prosperous Republic, has also had an erratic and stagnant economy for eight years, and a 2016 unemployment rate of 15%.
One viewpoint of the results of NATO’s incursion in Kosovo is summarized by Deutches Welle at http://www.dw.com/en/serbs-still-find-it-hard-living-in-kosovo/a-17239567.
Back in the days of socialist Yugoslavia, Mitrovica was a rather prosperous city. On the outskirts of town, the vast Trepeca mines were one of the largest industrial complexes in the country, while Mitrovica itself was home to Albanians, Serbs, Bosnians, Turks and other minorities. Today, the name Mitrovica is synonymous with division. The Ibar River has become a de facto border since the war in Kosovo ended in 1999, separating a mainly Albanian population in the south from majority Serb North Mitrovica.
“The Americans want us to continue fighting but not to win, just to bleed the Russians.” –
Ismael Khan, Prominent Afghan Commander, who fought against the Russians in Herat.
An 1893 memorandum of understanding (MOU) between Mortimer Durand of British India and Afghan Amir Abdur Rahman Khan established a border between Afghanistan and present day Pakistan and divided Pasthunistan, tribal land of the ethnic Pashtuns, between two countries. Without an Afghan language and no exacting Afghan identity at that time, Abdur Rahman Khan and Habibullah Khan succeeded in establishing a unified Afghanistan. Presently Afghanistan has two official languages, Pashto and Dari (Persian), and most Afghanis have a sense of common identity. Nevertheless, the 2001 U.S. invasion of Afghanistan portends the partition of Afghanistan.
Conservative MP and Foreign Office aide Tobias Ellwood floated partition in 2011, when he claimed that “a regionalized state under a powerful new prime minister would tackle the weak government. Tribal disputes and corruption could plunge Afghanistan into chaos when the International Security Assistance Force (Isaf) withdraws at the end of 2014. (ED: Has not happened.) Afghanistan could be carved into eight regional zones – with some of them potentially ruled by the Taliban.”
Tribes – Tajiks, Uzbeks, Turkmen and Hazaras – add up to 50-60 per cent of the Afghani population and the Pashtuns make up the rest. Because the already partly autonomous tribes are concentrated in a distinct geographical zone, and the Pashtuns and non-Pashtuns, historically, linguistically, and culturally share little in common, are the Pashtuns and non-Pashtuns prepared to cooperate with each other or will they prefer to have their own autonomous Republics? The Pashtuns want to push beyond the Durand line and unite with the Pashtuns in Pakistan. Can the other tribes be expected to support that endeavor? Musa Kahn Jalazai in the Pakistan journal, Daily Times prophesies Afghanistan’s future.
The Undeclared Partition of Afghanistan, Daily Times-Dec 14, 2015, Musa Khan Jalalzai
Interestingly, the country is being run by two presidents, two cabinets, two administrations, two bureaucracies, two budgets and two separate decision making entities. The appointments and transfers of governors and executive officers are being done on an ethnic basis. One president transfers or appoints an executive officer or governor, another rejects it and appoints his own men instead. The plan for the second Durand Line is in its final stage, while terrorists have started gathering in second Waziristan (Badakhshan) to push their operations inside Russia and China. President Ghani is also part of the plan of the second Durand Line to permanently divide the country on ethnic lines. Dr Abdullah is beating the drum behind him. Ambassador Robert Blackwill, in one of his speeches at the International Institute for Strategic Studies London disclosed that the US and its allies are thinking about a second Durand Line to divide Afghanistan into south and north.
Saddam Hussein’s despotism, tyranny, freakish control and horrific actions might have enriched him and his family, but personal benefit was only incidental to the principal reason for his crass authoritarianism – to hold together an Iraqi nation of Sunnis, Shiites, Kurds, Turkmen and other ethnic groups.
Iraqis knew that displacement of Saddam Hussein meant the disintegration of their nation. Efforts are being made to prevent the obvious, but they seem to be in vain. The Kurds already have their own “quasi” state and the Basra Shiites have their oil wells and administration. The rest of Iraq is engaged in strife that seems indeterminable.
Partitioning Iraq into three regions – Shi’a, Sunni and Kurdish – has gained momentum and garnered support from politicians and academics. The U.S. government must have suspected that partition could happen and thus, indirectly, encouraged it to happen – and for an obvious reason – Iraq had the potential to be a powerful nation and the focus of Arab nationalism. To satisfy U.S., Israeli and Saudi Arabian interests Saddam Hussein had to be discarded and Iraq had to be destroyed.
Thirteen years after the U.S. invasion, Iraq is essentially a divided nation. It is unlikely the Shi’a, Sunnis and Kurds will recover from the trauma of dispossession and find a common ground that unites then in common pursuits. Equitably sharing the oil, recomposing neighborhoods of Baghdad, allowing a central authority to control Mosul and Kirkuk, and subduing the instituted hate that drove them all apart, are obstacles too difficult for the ethnicities to overcome.
From the New York Times, In Once-Tolerant Mosul, a Social Unraveling That Feels Permanent by Tim Aranganov, Nov. 10, 2016.
Until 2003, the Mosul community was living in peaceful coexistence, but after that, things changed,” said Jafar Khaleel, 46, who left Mosul in 2014 after the Islamic State onslaught. “The Sunnis don’t trust the Shiites. The Shabak cannot live with the Christian. This is what the American occupation left behind.
Sudan was a nation with great potential — an oil producer and abundant reserves of gold, silver, uranium copper, zinc, gypsum, manganese, iron, natural gas, chrome, mica, cobalt, tin, nickel, asbestos, lead, kaolin, granite and many more minerals, with seaports for worldwide distribution of resources. However, several civil wars, aided by western interests, raged in Sudan for decades and disturbed the nation’s progress. Finally, in July 2011, a rebellious South formally voted for independence and split Sudan into two countries. The Sudanese government complied with the democratic process, giving up much of the oil and allowing pipeline transport from the newly created South Sudan to Mediterranean ports.
Duplicity of the South Sudan rebellion emerged rapidly, as parties contested for control. In 2015, the Republic of South Sudan engaged in its own ruthless civil war and Sudan suffered the consequences. Other conflagrations within Sudan continued with western nations constantly admonishing Sudan for human rights violations. Interference in Sudan has only intensified the suspicions, despotism and erratic behavior of its regime.
Impartial western observers have characterized the sanctions against Sudan and constant meddling in its internal affairs as counterproductive to a healthy and stable Sudan.
Former US Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick stated immediately before he left the U.S. State department: “It’s a tribal war. And frankly I don’t think foreign forces want to get in the middle of a tribal war of Sudanese.” (ABC News [on-line], November 9, 2005)
Jan Egeland, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, in a report to the United Nations Security Council, 22 Nov 2006, said that “Militia attacks and banditry had rendered more than 95 per cent of all roads in West Darfur “no-go” areas and an increasing number of camps were cut off from adequate and reliable assistance.”
Former president Jimmy Carter expressed his opinion in 1999. “The people in Sudan want to resolve the conflict. The biggest obstacle is U.S. government policy. The U.S. is committed to overthrowing the government in Khartoum. Any sort of peace effort is aborted, basically by policies of the United States. Instead of working for peace in Sudan, the U.S. government has basically promoted a continuation of the war.”
In an article, Sudan, Africa And The Mosaic Of Horrors by Andre Vltchek, Counterpunch October 21, 2016, a Sudanese speaks: “We have some of the best meat in the world… The embargo means, no chemicals, everything is organic. Sudanese are herders… Beef, sheep… Such a rich land! We have plenty of water below the ground. Our people are nice, they are peaceful, welcoming… We want to be friends with everybody in this world.”
Libya in 2016 is not a geographically divided nation, not yet. It is more an amorphous government with shifting power arrangements.
Before NATO interference in what was called Libya’s Civil War and what has become to be perceived as Libya’s defense against an Al-Qaeda look alike, Moammar Gadaffi’s nation was, apart from South Africa, Africa’s most prosperous and stable nation. The news reports, or lack of news reports, revealed immediate contradictions in the characterization of the uprising. If the Libyan rebels were popular, why were there no demonstrations of affection for them? Where were the welcoming crowds, and the usual pictorial destruction of statues and monuments of the despised regime? Where were the augmentation of rebel ranks and volunteers flocking to join their liberator? News scenes indicated the fighting was between armies that were the size of much more heavily armed Los Angeles street gangs, each trying to get out of the way of bullets.
In October 2016, a World Bank report exposed the thrust of NATO’s war against Moammar Gadaffi.
Bankrupt Libya. London, 11 October 2016
The Libyan economy is near collapse as political stalemate and civil conflict prevent it from fully exploiting its sole natural resource: oil. With oil production just a fifth of potential, revenues have plummeted, pushing fiscal and current account deficits to record highs. With the dinar rapidly losing value, inflation has accelerated, further eroding real incomes In addition to near-term challenges of macroeconomic and social/political stability, medium-term challenges include rebuilding infrastructure and economic diversification for job creation and inclusive growth. Political stalemate continues to prevent the country from realizing its growth potential. Oil production is estimated to have declined for the fourth consecutive year in 2016. Indeed, Libya just managed to produce an average 0.335 million barrels per day (bpd) over the first half of 2016 (a fifth of potential), almost 20 percent less than that produced in 2015.
With proper assistance and understanding, a divided Syria could be a stable and more tolerant state.
Not understood is that the Baathist regimes of the Assads proceeded from a series of coups, which stagnated politics and submerged Syrians. The Baathist philosophy of government has become: “Do not challenge rule and we will assure that the Syrian people live better.” The Assads have experienced difficulties in keeping that promise.
Also misunderstood and not properly reported are that the past and present conflicts did not originally emerge from only unsatisfied demands for representative democracy; the source of the crises also lay in subversive threats and natural disasters that devastated Iraq.
The November 1979 – January 1982 riots, mostly engineered by the Muslim Brotherhood, had roots in change in a clause in the constitution (from French colonial times), which specified that a Muslim should hold the presidency, by Hafez al-Assad, who wanted a secular Syria. That change plus Assad’s arranging for a respected Shi’a jurisconsult from Syria Lebanon to issue a fatwa that Alawi were really Shi’a Muslims, rather than heretics, infuriated the Muslim Brotherhood.
Repression of the Islamic groups started after the June 16, 1979 slaughter of cadets at the Aleppo Artillery School by a Sunni Islamist guerrilla group. Reprisal and counter reprisals led to disaffected groups organizing terrorist attacks on the government, assassinating Assad’s close supporters and exploding car bombs at air force headquarters. With Islamic forces challenging the regime in all-out war, including the ambush of an army unit sent into the Muslim Brotherhood stronghold city of Hama, the Assad regime concluded the struggle had become one of “life or death.”
After reducing a portion of, the rebellious Syrian city of Hama to rubble in 1982, Hafez al-Assad cleared the destruction, “built new highways, constructed new schools and hospitals, opened new parks, and, in a conciliatory gesture, erected two huge new mosques.” Later, he allowed the Muslim Brotherhood to resume political activities. Syria remained united and quieted, until 2011. William R. Polk explains why the events made Assad more suspicious and authoritarian.
Understanding Syria: From Pre-Civil War to Post-Assad, William R. Polk Dec 10, 2013, The Atlantic http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2013/12/understanding-syria-from-pre-civil-war-to-post-assad/281989
Hafez al-Assad did not need to wait for leaks of documents: his intelligence services and international journalists turned up dozens of attempts by conservative, oil-rich Arab countries, the United States, and Israel to subvert his government. Most engaged in “dirty tricks,” propaganda, or infusions of money, but it was noteworthy that in the 1982 Hama uprising, more than 15,000 foreign-supplied machine guns were captured, along with prisoners including Jordanian- and CIA-trained paramilitary forces.
Biased reporting of Syria’s previous battles continued with the reporting on the origins of the latest civil war. Although elements of Syrian society strongly protested the lack of freedoms and insular quality of the Baathist regime, indignation leading to rebellion emerged from an economic crisis, the result of years of devastating drought that turned Syria into a dust bowl, caused “75 percent of Syria’s farms to fail and 85 percent of livestock to die.” In a few years, UN data showed that a GDP of about $5,000 per capita had fallen to about $2,900. The severe agricultural and husbandry decline led to migration of as many as 1.5 million people from rural to urban areas, added to social protests and contributed to the uprising against the Syrian government. With the civil war in full intensity, the social benefits of the stable Syria, where nearly 90 percent of Syrian children attended primary or secondary schools and between eight and nine in 10 Syrians had achieved literacy, rapidly disappeared.
Events in the city of Dara’a, near the Jordanian border, provoked the war. Portrayed as a severe government repression of a peaceful demonstration, Jonathan Marshall, ConsortiumNews.com, July 20, 2015 at https://www.sott.net/article/304506-The-hidden-history-of-Syrias-civil-war-why-the-mainstream-view-is-a-lie, provides an alternative interpretation. This interpretation does not clear the Assad regime of human rights violations, including unwanted killings of peaceful demonstrators, as certified by a November 2, 2011 Report of the independent international commission of inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic. Jonathan Marshal’s report demonstrates that, as in The United States’ Civil War, desperate governments will act desperately and it is preferable that foreign nations do not fuel the conflict.
As one Israeli journalist observed, “In an uncharacteristic gesture intended to ease tensions the government offered to release the detained students, but seven police officers were killed, and the Baath Party Headquarters and courthouse were torched, in renewed violence.” Around the beginning of April, according to another account, gunmen set a sophisticated ambush, killing perhaps two dozen government troops headed for Dara’a.
President Assad tried to calm the situation by sending senior government officials with family roots in the city to emphasize his personal commitment to prosecute those responsible for shooting protesters. He fired the provincial governor and a general in the political security force for their role. The government also released the children whose arrest had triggered the protests in the first place.
Assad also announced several national reforms. As summarized by the UN’s independent commission of inquiry on Syria, “These steps included the formation of a new Government, the lifting of the state of emergency, the abolition of the Supreme State Security Court, the granting of general amnesties and new regulations on the right of citizens to participate in peaceful demonstrations.”
His response failed to satisfy protesters who took to the streets and declared the city a “liberated zone.” As political scientist Charles Tripp has observed, “This was too great a challenge to the authorities, and at the end of April, a military operation was put in motion with the aim of reasserting government control, whatever the cost in human life.
Instead of providing financial and economic assistance, which would have satisfied the urgings of the Syrian masses, the United States and its allies, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and the Emirates supported rebel groups to revolt and foreign fighters, including Daesh, to enter Syria. In the contested city of Raqqa, foreign military weapons and personnel, supplied by former Iraqi soldiers from Saddam Hussein’s regime, enabled Daesh to prevail over Syrian nationalists from the Free Syrian Army and al-Nusra front and declare Raqqa as the capital of the ISIS caliphate. Years of war, mayhem, destruction and splitting of the Syrian nation has followed.
The war in Yemen, with foreign nation Saudi Arabia, invading and fighting the native Yemeni Houthis, in the latter’s rebellion against a corrupt regime, is summarized by two commentaries.
US generals: Saudi intervention in Yemen ‘a bad idea’, Al Jazeera America, April 17, 2015, by Mark Perry
Michael Horton, a Yemen expert close to a number of officers at SOCOM and a consultant to the U.S. and U.K. governments, picked up on this debate. Within days of the Saudi intervention’s start, he said in an email that he was “confounded” by the intervention, noting that many in SOCOM “favor the Houthis, as they have been successful in rolling back AQ [Al-Qaeda] and now IS [the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL] from a number of Yemeni governorates” – something that hundreds of U.S. drone strikes and large numbers of advisers to Yemen’s military had failed to accomplish.
How to End Saudi Arabia‘s War of Paranoia, Simon Henderson, Foreign Policy, October 20, 2016
Repartitioning Yemen into separate northern and southern entities may be the only way to resolve its brutal war and beat back its al-Qaeda franchise.
Tracing U.S. foreign policy since the end of World War II shows a castration complex, a pattern of neglecting means to contain strife and a habit of resolving crises so that nations remain in perpetual conflict and become sliced. Social divisions have led to political divisions, to national divisions, to geographical divisions, and once again a worldwide division, a revived Cold War atmosphere with blocs aligned against one another.
Is it not a contradiction that all the great European nations — Germany, Italy, France, Great Britain, Spain — and the United States fought many wars — revolutionary, civil and foreign — to maintain unified nations and now motivate other nations to split apart?
Dan Lieberman is editor of Alternative Insight, www.alternativeinsight.com, a commentary on foreign policy and politics. He is author of the book A Third Party Can Succeed in America and a Kindle: The Artistry of a Dog.Dan can be reached at email@example.com
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