Saturday, May 14, 2016

OUTRAGEOUS!

So, I have been reading up on the World War and the Middle East recently and it's simply outrageous how we function! My blood is boiling when I think of it. I wasn't supposed to write this post until I finished with my exam but this is just not acceptable!

I was this naive girl who thought foreign aid is usually given in wars for humanitarian reasons. When we were taught war poetry - Anthem of the Doomed Youth, in particular - our English teacher had kept emphasizing on how it is the big powers that manipulate the people. [The Linkin Park song too - When the rich wage war, it's the poor who die.] I always agreed with the fact that its the poor who suffered but I also wondered why the poet was so critical of wars in general - like some of them had to be fought to make wrongs right. Right? No. And here's why.

World War II could have been stopped easily had Britain and France intervened earlier but they didn't. They had this policy of appeasement which actually stemmed from the fact that they wary of Communism, namely the USSR and since Germany and USSR already didn't see eye to eye, they let Germany continue their expansionist policies until it was way too late. Specially the example of the Munich Pact. Under this pact, Czechoslovakia was divided because Germany wanted it (under the pretext of looking after the German minorities there). Guess who decided the fate of Czechoslovakia? Britain, France, Germany and Italy. Oh, and the Czechoslovakian delegation? They were never consulted. Originally, Britain and France were  supposed to stop this from happening but anyway.

During the World War period, there was the Manchurian crisis wherein Japan attacked China. Why? They were reeling from an economic crisis and the only way they thought they could prove their supremacy was through expansion. Like....
In fact Manchuria was a major supplier of inputs to Japan and according to agreements, Japan had the right to attack China in case any of their provisions were disturbed. Allegedly, they bombed their own railroads.

Nazism. Well.

Then the whole Middle East crisis. Admittedly, I had not been religiously following the news but I was sure someone was looking out for the people but umm, nope.
Specifically in Syria, Russia is supporting the President because it had good ties with them and also because it has set up its army base there giving it strategic access to the whole region. Also, it currently supplies natural gas to Europe and Saudi Arabia (on the side of the rebels) is a competitor. The longer the war continues, greater will be the advantage to Russia. Iran supports the President because again ally which is okay but also because Syria is very important logistically for providing support to Hezbollah in Lebanon. Where in all of this are the civilians being considered? Those civilians who had revolted against him?
Saudi Arabia supports the rebel cause as they don't want Iran's influence.
The Syrian crisis was never along the lines of the Shia and Sunni divide but in order to justify their intervention Saudi Arabia as well as Iran are responsible for making it a sectarian affair. Saudi Arabia and Iran are responsible for a lot of the Middle Eastern conflicts and it is just about to get worse with more money in the hands of Iran after the Iran Nuclear Pact (all economic sanctions will be lifted against them in return for the destruction of their nuclear materials like uranium and some centrefuge something system). Same has been happening in Yemen and Bahrain where both Shia and Sunni communities have co-existed for years before. Saudi Arabia wants greater influence and uses the Sunni argument and Iran the Shia argument for the same end. Meanwhile, US has an alliance with Saudi Arabia so duh, support. Iran and US are at loggerheads. As a result, the anti-governmental forces have again been divided into Kurds, Sunni militants, al Nusra idk what. Everybody hates the ISIS but it is only building upon the Sunni-Shia divisions already created by other countries for their benefits. Even though ISIS recognizes itself as Sunni, it still caused disruption in Saudi. These things have always backfired. USSR invaded Afghanistan wanting its own influence there and US provided the militants with armaments which led to eventual radicalization and attacks on the US itself. US even provided Pakistan militants with weapons for the Afghanistan thing and these insurgents attacked India as well. All of these countries are really like playgrounds to everyone involved. You'd think they would stop intervening by now for such selfish reasons but that's just me. Well, they did leave something alone. What is that? The civilians. By alone, I mean stranded.

An estimated fifth of the population of Syria are now refugees. Many, many are internally displaced. Around 42,000 become refugees daily. (Refugees are also coming from Somalia, Afghanistan, Myanmar etc.)
Now we will cast a glance at the rich nations.
Europe. What did they do? Formed an arrangement with Libya to stop influx of immigrants from there. The refugees caught were brought back to Libya where punishment in the form of torture and rape was the norm. Thank God the Gaddafi government fell. Oh, so what did they do next? Formed barbed wires. Denied joint responsibility. Just one nation (Germany) is open to them. UK, I guess, has agreed to accept 20,000 refugees per year in the dire situation of the existence of already 4.5 million people. Some places have made immigration punishable with upto 3 years imprisonment. UK stopped investing in the search and rescue operations with the result of 2,500 refugees dying just trying to cross the Mediterranean. The search and rescue has estimatedly save 1,50,00 lives earlier.

In 2013, there were 2.5 million refugees. How many did the US accept? 36.

And these powers have never hesitated to intervene. Yes, I do not have the complete history with me. But in the long and tumultuous history of Middle East they have regularly played the puppeteer. Why the hesitance with aid?
If there is one thing I have learnt it is that nations never will consider things as 'right' or 'wrong'. There is just 'beneficial' or not.

 Appalling. All of it is appalling.

What saddens me the most that some of these decisions are a result of populism. This means there was someone like me who thought waging war was okay. Someone like me who thought not accepting refugees because I was insecure about their culture or religion was okay. [I also Googled - Refugees more often that not have a net positive impact. I could find only one case of a Syrian refugee committing a crime. So, suspicion of criminal intent doesn't justify this.] Someone who was at the helm thought the ruination of a country was okay. Someone like me who thought sacrificing a fellow countryman for no reason at all was okay.

Extremism is on the rise and one wonders what other atrocities are left to be seen.

The poets were right and that is deeply upsetting.

Disclaimer - I could read up very limited material on it. I wish I could have really dissected this matter but I face time constraints. Also, maybe that is why some of the above mentioned facts may have been biased.

Also I did find an alliance in all of this which was partly altruistic - the US Israel one.

Some source materials that will explain what I have tried to say in a much, much better way -
http://www.vox.com/2016/1/4/10708682/sunni-shia-iran-saudi-arabia-war
http://www.vox.com/2015/9/5/9265501/refugee-crisis-europe-syria

Other bad news about refugees being stranded at sea because no one would take them. These were from Myanmar. Rohingya Muslims.
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-32686328

Picture of the Middle East I kept referring to because I was so confused about who was where and what did they support
http://www.hartford-hwp.com/archives/51/187.html

Now I shall go read what this means for the rest of the world. I mean, this has already become one of the reasons Britain wants to exit the EU. And is the reason for Trump's popularity.

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