The Year Of The Saber

In this the year of the saber as some would prefer to call it where the drums of war are already beating the clamor for supremacy has already begun. As so often in the past when sabers rattle has only inhibited the forward progress of humanity. There are many of the powers that be whose self serving ideologies have already intensified what is now a network of global terror. It is known that power struggles whether it is in the animal kingdom or by man have been going on since the beginning of time. It really seems to be as though we are no better than the predators of nature where dominance is always determined by violent confrontation. And, if history is any indication makes us really think about the trajectory of where mankind is actually headed.

As cries of desperation swell where hopes and dreams continue wither and die the chances of a ending the quagmire that is in the Mid-East gets slimmer every time sabers are drawn. With violence mounting in Israel where the latest clash between Jews and Arabs is so reminiscent when the Catholics and Protestants in Ireland broke out in violent reprisals. As tensions mount all around the region the Mid-East is a powder keg already poised to set the whole region in more flames of terror and death. As warring factions continue to grow perpetuating the onslaught that has multiplied the flow of humanity escaping the stench of war. Already with ISIS, the Taliban, and Al-Qaeda along with many Arabs seeking dominance have already secured their footing. The sanctity of life means to nothing to them. Collateral damage as some would say brings little comfort to the multitudes of faceless individuals trying to escape the mayhem, death and destruction.

As for the thousands if not millions that are caught in this web of the constant struggle between life and death it is not reassuring for the rest of us. The storm clouds continue to blow seeds of destruction that will defiantly grow. The constant misery that it brings spreads more death and woe. The plight that so many face is just a reminder of how far mankind really has to go before the light of peace and harmony will take it's place. Today, it seems that the world is in darkness where factions have found a way to shield out the light of hope and reason. Perplexed are some of our leaders today who continue to fiddle away is apparent in everything that they say. Without a global resolve those seeds of destruction will only bring more sabers into play.

Rouge nations like North Korea and fanatic factions all over the globe have already amassed the resources for more mayhem and destruction. We have to realize that a more unified effort is needed from every country affected by the surge of hostilities in the Mid-East and all those who have opened their boarders for the influx of refugees to dispel the notion that the world as we now know it will soon disappear. To reach that secure future that lies ahead has always been within our grasp. But, we have to first realize that it was the United States through inept foreign policies from the past hat has opened up the flood gates releasing torrential rains of terror that has flooded the entire Middle East. In denial are some of our dubious officials but the fact remains the entire world now is a hot bed of tension ready to explode where the year of the saber has taken hold.

Amidst the horrific carnage in Syria that has gone on for far too long now Russia is in the mix. With the United States sabers at the ready leading the charge. Questions now are beginning to surface in the aftermath of so much grotesque savagery where thousands have perished in a brutal civil war. It is known that Russia who is aligned with Assad and now the United States is fueling more aggression by sending arms and munitions to help another cause puts the world on notice that maybe the United States just can't get it right. We have to remind ourselves that not since the end of World War II has the United States been victorious or totally successful when we have sent troops in harms way. The Korean war ended in appeasement where no clear victor stood over the vanquished foe. Vietnam was yet another futile attempt where thousands of American lives were lost. The first Gulf War was a exercise in global response to securing a region that had fallen into the hands of another tyrannical ruler, only to ignite the flames that exploded on 9/11. What has occurred since, we have become the gun slinger whose quick draw topples regimes. It is no wonder that so many countries perceive America as the fastest gun in the West. We have become what we thought we never be, the War Monger in the eyes of so many.

And, the carnage only continues. When the Arab spring exploded on the world's stage just couple of years ago it actually was a prelude of things to come. The violent overthrow of government in Egypt and US backing overthrow in Libya coinciding with the continuing savagery in Syria has once again drawn ire and condemnation from most of the rest of the world. And, yet we have only continued to put more Americans in harms way, wasted billions if not trillions of dollars in a quagmire that seems to never end and set the stage for more unrest in Europe with all the humanitarian needs from the mass influx of refugees. The year of the saber has already taken it's place.

But, it is not only half a world away where the US continues to display an arrogance so typical of late. It is the main stream media and our tough touting politicians who are either too blind to see, to consumed with party loyalties, too interested in gaining more campaign cash, or just oblivious to the continued harsh realities millions of Americans face each and every day that continue to rave how good our economy is. When in reality it has been trade agreement after trade agreement form the past 30 years that made it more lucrative for companies to eliminate untold millions of middle class jobs. In doing so the US has secured the largest income disparity gap in history, put this nation deeper in debt and in essence gravely jeopardized our national security while destabilizing our national economy. When just recently Nabisco closed what was the largest bakery in the world in Chicago, laying off over 1400 workers just in time for the holiday season, and moving operations to Mexico. This is just one of thousands of outcomes of inept US policies that have been implemented that has made this year of the saber more devastating for Americans.

For senior citizens in this the year of the saber are going to feel a most difficult financial pinch. When our dubious legislators passed legislation concerning Social Security where cost of living increases make it possible for seniors to stay in their homes, buy food, pay utilities, and keep paying those Medicare Part B premiums that have increased this year will get no cost of living adjustment. A cost of living adjustment that still won't keep pace with all the other rising costs of today just because gas prices per gallon we pay at the pump today are not as costly as they once were. It really is a perverted sense of equation when it comes to cost of living adjustments for our seniors. To add salt to the wound as they say over 600,000 seniors already are in reverse mortgage foreclosures. And, without a cost of living increase the prognosis is that thousands more will be faced with foreclosure. All those TV adds that we see more frequently today when either Fred Thompson or Henry Winkler push reverse mortgages as a useful financial tool are really beguiling the public into thinking that it is free money when in reality all reverse mortgages are nothing more than a home line of credit that has to be paid back with compounding interest. Leave it to Einstein who visualized compounding interest as the eighth wonder.

With political rhetoric heating up many of today's Presidential contenders are not in tune with the realities of our times. A more brutal harsh world too many face is the reality now. As the harshness of winter fast approaches millions the world over still will be faced with the realities that their world has been turned upside down. For millions of refugees on unfamiliar ground too many dreams have already died. The squalor that many face even here as well as abroad is more apparent with each passing day.

In putting the conflict especially in Syria in perspective we have to truly understand the history of Syria and what actually is the driving force behind one of the worlds most violent civil war. Modern Syria was established after the First World War as a French mandate. After the First World War Syria represented the largest Arab state to emerge from the formerly Ottoman-ruled Arab Levant but didn't become an independent nation until 1946 after World War II. In 1946 the government of Syria was of a parliamentary republic. But, soon afterward began a series of military coups that began a reign instability that lasted over 20 years. It was in between one military coup that Syria had a brief union with Egypt from 1958 to 1961. It was too short lived and another military coup took effect where the whole country was and still is under Emergency Law. This Emergency Law effectively suspended most of the constitutional protections that were established when Syria first gained independence. Today, Syria is probably best describe as a country whose government is that of a non democratic where Bashar al-Assad has ruled since he took over from his farther in 2000. It was Assad's father who took control of the nation in the last military coup of 1970.

The aftermath of the United States led Libyan overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi and the subsequent violent overthrow in Egypt set off a tempest of unrest. That unrest spilled over into Syria. As a result ignited protest after protest against an entrenched leader who has done very little to combat the hellish living conditions that have existed in Syria for far too long. When Assad retaliated against anti government protests where tensions turned violent members of the Arab states issued a mandate to stop the violence or be suspended from the Arab League entirely. Since the violence has only escalated Syria 's membership in the Arab League has been revoked sending more shock waves through-out the Mid-East.

For the past couple of years the Syrian National Coalition has been the voice of an alternative government. This government was formed to gain entry into the Arab league and has since been recognized as the sole representative of the Syrian people completely cutting off Assad's own governmental rule. Recognized by the United States, Great Britain and even France all have made the case against Assad's regime almost to convincing to turn back now. A little over a year ago the Syrian national coalition elected a Moderate Islamist preacher, Moaz al-Khatib as the group's leader. Its vice-presidents are a dissident industrialist Riad Seif and Suheir al-Attasi, an anti-regime activist from a prominent Syrian family. Now with a semblance of a form of government, an Islamic one, that has already prepared to topple an existing entrenched leader have found out that to do just that requires more resources than are currently available to the Syrian National Coalition.

As in every situation there are two sides to tell. One is the Syrian National Coalition's account of atrocities committed by Syrian governmental forces and the other side of more reports of atrocities committed by Syrian rebel forces that could very well be under the guise of Assad's own troops. In either case the continued violence has ruined all creditability of Assad's government and just maybe the Syrian National Coalitions too. The latest attempt by almost all accounts has resulted in the use of weapons that have been outlawed by the International community. Whether or not biological or chemical weapons were used on unsuspecting inhabitants in and around Syria still has to be documented. But, what is being found out is that some sort of outlawed means of destruction was used. But, whether or not Assad authorized it's deployment or did some faction within the Syrian National Coalition purposely set out to deceive the International community by using these weapons against themselves and is trying to convince the rest of the world that Assad was responsible still remains an unanswered question. One that has to be answered before any further involvement by the West is undertaken. That question has never been answered and yet the United States continues to make foreign policy decisions that have only exasperated the on going crisis in the Mid-East.

When the United States has in the past responded like we did in the aftermath of 9/11 we have done so with sabers rattling only to end up creating more of a tinderbox waiting to catch fire. To further add fuel to this tinderbox it is a well known fact that Russia who has a military base located in Syria has remained steadfast and supportive with the Assad's government pitting the US against Russia. This quandary was just the beginning of many situations that pose a greater threat to the stability of the Mid-East. Today, with ISIS in the thick has only upped the ante for Russia to keep Assad in power. When you throw in what the US is undertaking by arming known aggressors to Assad and not creating an open dialogue with Russia by indirectly opposing Putin the quagmire will not only continue but get worse.

With the economic conditions that remain here in the United States where more financial woes continue to mount for thousands of Americans and our foreign policy that has jeopardized the stability of the entire world is not any wonder then as to why the United States still can't get it's house in order. Just maybe if the world isn't engulfed in flames of more terror and just maybe someone will come up with policy decisions that would actually evoke a resolve just like the Good Friday agreement that ended much of the violence in Ireland back in 1990's. Sad to say though like today in Israel where the Jewish population is still very wary of the Arab population where tensions have now turned to violent reprisals the same is happening all over again in Northern Ireland. Why can't we all just get along.? The year of the Saber has already begun.

By Dr. Tim G Williams

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