Schmidt Wrote: There are two trends that I follow globally...inequality and climate change. Inequality is something that we talk about with respect to USA politics, but its effects are global. Inequality leads to social unrest, revolution and often civil war. The Middle East with their strong armed rulers have not done enough to promote the economic well being of their people, and especially the young people who cannot find jobs despite having an education. The Great Recession made their situation even worse.
The effects of climate change are having devastating effects on the local populations of peoples worldwide, and the Middle East is no exception. Combine the effects of inequality with climate change and you have what is described as a "threat multiplier". The effects on Climate Change are discussed in the following article:
Center for American Progress: The Arab Spring and Climate Change
Troy Sternberg of Oxford University investigated the connections between climate events in other parts of the world and social unrest in the Arab world. More specifically, he looks at drought conditions in China, subsequent global wheat shortages, and how those shortages may have influenced the Egyptian uprisings. In his own words, he paints a picture of “how a localized hazard became globalized.”
Sarah Johnstone and Jeffrey Mazo of the International Institute for Strategic Studies investigate the vulnerability of the Middle East and North Africa region to fluctuations of food supply and prices both globally and locally, and how current and projected climatic changes interact with those phenomena. They conclude that, “The Arab Spring would likely have come one way or another, but the context in which it did is not inconsequential. Global warming may not have caused the Arab Spring, but it may have made it come earlier.”
As Johnstone and Mazo argued as early as April–May 2011, in an article written just at the outset of the Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions, it was already possible to see that climate change played a role in the complex causality of the revolts spreading across the region. They called it a “threat multiplier.” It significantly increased the interactive effects—and hence the overall impact—of political, economic, religious, demographic, and ethnic forces.
This concept of a “threat multiplier” is a helpful way to think about climate change and security more broadly. In Syria, for instance, as Femia and Werrell tell us, a combination of “social, economic, environmental and climatic changes … eroded the social contract between citizen and government in the country, strengthened the case for the opposition movement, and irreparably damaged the legitimacy of the Assad regime.”
In citing these references, I am not dismissing the role of America and Europeans in meddling in their affairs. Dutch is right to say that we do not care about the Muslim well being...it's only about the oil mainly, but in the case of Iraq, a secondary reason was Israel's security. Saddam Hussein was considered a threat to Israel.
But it's interesting that US oil companies were largely shutout of the oil deal making that followed the conclusion of the Iraq war. Royal Dutch Shell got the plum deal, the Majoon Oil field, one of the largest oil fields in the world. I wonder what it took to swing that deal.
Schmidt Wrote: Dutch -- I am not arguing those points. As you know, I have been an outspsoken critic of the Iraq war and America's support for Israel. A lot of the bad that that is happening can indeed be attributed to our involvement. However, in following your numerous posts, EVERYTHING bad is America's fault...the "Great Satin" if you like. The corollary to that thinking is that the Middle East would be living in peaceful harmony if only America had a non-interventionist policy and kept out of their affairs. Do you really believe that? Not likely with the global competition for their oil resources and the internal battles within Islam.
As I read your worldview, there is nothing complicated...it's black and white. All I'm saying is that several factors have contributed to the social instability of the area. The economic well being of the youth of the region is an important factor. Religion is also a major factor. Certainly our politicians have gotten it all wrong...especially the Bush era neocons. But much of the social instability was like being contained in a pressure cooker waiting for the right moment to be unleased.
The Arab Spring was the beginning of a series of events that had less to do with the Iraq war and America, and more to do with the youth challenging the repressive regimes in dictator states as the global economic conditions worsened with drought and recession.
I know you disagree with me, and I'll just leave it at that.
TJ Wrote: I heard last night that ISIS/ISIL is getting a million dollars a day from private contributions. Many from Saudi Arabia. Because they don't care about Iraq and/or Syria. I think it's time for some serious debate over these conditions. Perhaps Europe, US, Canada, Australia/NZ should pull up stakes and move out. Sending the message....... It's up to you Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Saudi, UAE, Qatar..... Settle your own problems. Good luck with it all. When ISEL is climbing up your ass....... give us a call. Maybe we will be able to do something. It's time for this to not be our problem.
jaredsxtn Wrote: It looks like even more 'advisers' are heading back to Iraq to help 'advise' the Iraqi government on what they need to do to combat ISIS.
I shouldn't make a comparison to a conflict that went on well before I was even born, but I can't help but think about the 'advisers' Kennedy sent to Vietnam in 1961. Johnson added even more 'advisers' for two more years until our leaders at the time decided that it was in our national interest to invade a tiny country in Southeast Asia and send thousands of our citizens off to fight and die in a conflict they hardly knew anything about.
As most of you know, I am firmly against the American military getting involved in Iraq's civil war. I have no problem with us actually advising them, but I am very worried that we are slowing marching back into a war that we already know cannot be won. It is not in our national interest to pick winners and losers in a religious civil war. This is something the Iraqi people have to work out themselves.