Middle East Desk
That is the excuse that was given for the entry of the US into the actions against Libya….Qaddahfi said that he would kill everyone who opposed him in the town of Misrata…..that promise brought the world to the decision that NATO must take him to task and prevent a humanitarian crisis……Now that so many in Washington are stomping their feet for an end to the Libyan action….some, like McCain are still using the humanitarian thing as a reason for continuation of “hostilities”…….
I have asked the same question since the beginning of the Libyan operation……when does a situation become a humanitarian crisis? So far, I have NO definitive explanation. Then I ask, if we are hell bound to intercede in humanitarian crises….why was Rwanda or Sudan not worthy of our intervention? There were actual people killed in those two countries and not just a threat by a despot……..why were these countries ignored?
Now we come to Syria….is it a humanitarian crisis? Over 1,200 people, most of them civilians, have been killed in the violent suppression of protests that began in March, and more than 10,000 have been detained. “widespread human rights violations” included “violated freedoms of assembly, expression and movement”, “excessive use of force in quelling demonstrators, arbitrary detentions, summary executions, torture and other cruel or inhuman treatment”. “Syrian security forces directly blocked the distribution of critical food supplies in certain locations”, depriving Syrians of basic food resources.
When does the Syrian situation become serious enough to be called a Humanitarian crisis? Other than some limited sanctions and a wealth of lip service. I think we all would like to hear the real story of the problems in Syria and just what are the plans…….what criteria are they using to determine what is or is not a humanitarian crisis?
We have all had those awkward moments in life…..you know like what to do with that free hand on a date…..or after sex when you bend over to get your pants and you fart….or when you are there to defend your thesis to a panel of hostile inquisitors because you are challenging conventional wisdom of the Founding Fathers…….we all have those moments, if not then you have NOT lived at all…….
Jon Huntsman has had an awkward moment……when he chose to announce his candidacy for the GOP nomination, he chose the very place the Reagan announced in 1980, a park in Jersey with the Statue of Liberty in the background….the problem is with Huntsman you could not see the statue and his head was framed by a tourist ferry….awkward!
It only got more so……the credentials issued to the press in attendance had the candidate’s name mis-spelled….John instead of Jon….awkward!
There is more……the press corps was to journey to New Hampshire for his speech in the Granite state…they were to fly on a separate plane……they were taken to the wrong plane….the one they were on was bound for Saudi Arabia…..awkward!
None of these will make or break his candidacy….just some minor bumps on the road to the nomination…just nice to see that even beautiful rich people can have awkward moments just as the rest of us humans.
Like I said…this is NOT a big deal….just shows that “Sh*t Happens!”….no matter how rich or dashing you maybe…..”Sh*t Happens”!
How many of you remember your Greek history? NO! I am NOT talking about the Spartans or Plato, Socrates or Aristotle or even the trials of Heracles ……NO! I am talking about the days of the 70′s…….
There was a time when I had to do a bit of travel and Greece was on my agenda….that was the Dark Ages of the 70′s…….a little of Greece’s recent history…..
After the end of WW2…Greece went through a bunch of social upheavals….mostly between the pro west forces and those darn pesky commies……it was a civil war that left the country in economic trouble as well as a hit to the social side of life….there were almost daily protests and violence….like shootings bombings and other assorted civil war thingys….it was not safe for Americans to travel to the country and in 1975 there were elections and a centrists won…..in the years after, the left was marginalized and there was rapid economic growth…most of it was from the remnants of the Marshall Plan…you know that plan to help countries re-build after the war…..and then all was quiet for a couple of decades…there was political and social progress that made most everyone happy….but in 2010 that came to an abrupt halt….(key sounds of screeching tires)…..
Fast forward to today……there are protests and violence and political woes…….
GREEK SOCIETY has exploded into protest against austerity measures, threatening to bring down the government of Prime Minister George Papandreou and his center-left PASOK party. Meanwhile, the country staggers to the brink of default and economic collapse.THE VAST majority of Greeks reject Papandreou’s attempt to implement austerity measures demanded by the European Union, International Monetary Fund (IMF) and European Central Bank in return for a bailout package negotiated in May 2010 that was worth nearly $160 billion. This “troika” is threatening to withhold further funds for the Greek government unless it accelerates the pace of the cuts.
As a result of the bailout deal, Greece’s population of 11 million is suffering its deepest social crisis in generations. Waves of draconian cuts, including a 20 percent wage cut for public-sector workers, reductions in pensions of up to 55 percent, and an increase in the retirement age have upended social life in Greece and decimated working-class living standards.
Now turn the page back…..the 70′s have returned….but this time it will not be communists vs anti-communists but rather banks vs people….the violence has returned, the shootings have returned, political upheaval has returned and the people have returned to the streets….how long before the cycle is completed?
As I see it, there is a way to avoid all this repeat of history…..my thoughts will piss off the banks and power elite….but it needs to be done to save Greece…..I know….what is my big idea?
Glad you asked! 1–leave the EU, 2–drop the Euro, 3–write down debt and 4–cut spending 5–raise taxes……this would NOT be popular with the bosses of the EU….but I think the people of Greece would be better off and maybe help eliminate the need for them to take to the streets….but as long as the answer to Greece’s problems is the people and what they must endure to make the economy whole again…there will be return of the days of yore….the 70′s.
Side note: Greek PM wins vote of confidence……more violence will follow closely…..