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Middle East

How to fight terrorism?

by on Apr.08, 2017, under Posts>Opinions>Politics>World Affairs>Middle East>Posts>Opinions>Politics>Terrorism

I guess Trump has been attacked on so many fronts that he does not know what are the right things to do any more. Now he is doing exactly what Hillary would have done if she had become President: trying to take down the Assad regime. Never mind that neoconservatism is going to destroy America! It is popular right now!

Since Trump has been saying that he will focus on fighting terrorism, I will just talk about how to fight terrorism. Firstly, take a look at why terrorism is not just happening in the Middle East but also in America, Europe (including Russia) and China. People who become radicalized in America, Europe (including Russia) and China are not foreign nationals but mostly citizens or legal residents. These people are radicalized not just because they are inspired by others but mainly because they feel hopeless in some ways for economic or political reasons. If they are not inspired by others, they may still commit violent acts or do drugs or find some other ways to self-destruct, just like any other citizen who is not inspired by Islamic Extremism. To fight terrorism, the problems these people are facing need to be solved. Problems of only part of the population in any society are actually problems of that whole society, not just problems of that part of the population.

Secondly, can countries outside of the Middle East use force to eradicate Islamic Extremism in the Middle East? It depends. Regimes like those in Germany and Japan during WWII were taken down by force by Allies. But so far, have we seen any regime like that popping up in the Middle East? Regimes that may be repressive but are not committing genocide or waging large scale wars against other countries may not be taken down by force. They need to be dealt with in other ways.

Waging wars not for self-defense is self-destructive. That is how empires fall apart, which is illustrated by the fable “The Death of a Camel”. The death of the camel in the story started with a kick at a piece of glass out of anger, which caused a foot to bleed. Then the blood attracted a vulture and a wolf which scared the camel into running until exhaustion, which resulted in the camel falling next to an anthill and getting attacked to death by the ants.

By the way, supporting the Assad regime is a wrong way for Russia to fight terrorism in Russia. And it is considered an interference in Syria’s internal affairs. Russia can be friendly to Syria. But to provide military support to a regime is more than being friendly.

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The failed Western approach to terrorism

by on Mar.06, 2017, under Posts>Opinions>Politics>World Affairs>Middle East>Posts>Opinions>Politics>Terrorism

The failed Western approach to terrorism is like painkillers which make you unable to feel the pain but do nothing to help your body recover or eliminate the source of pain.

Like painkillers, which are prescribed to patients to make them happy by making them unable to feel the pain, operations that “kill terrorists” are good propaganda to make the general public happy. But they not only always fail to eradicate terrorism, but also more likely than not increase terrorism.

If you can not understand why I am saying it is a Western approach and it is a failed approach, please study the difference between Western medicine and Chinese medicine. In Western medicine, if an organ in your body fails to function normally and causes pain and suffering, often times it is removed. In Chinese medicine, the goal is to make a failed organ get back to normal.

Trying to get something back to normal is not as easy as removing it all together. That is why people often throw away things that have malfunctioned rather than try to fix them. But for a body to function properly, organs should not be discarded so readily. For a society to function properly, people should not be purposely killed. Just like organs depend on each other to function, people depend on each other to live. You and me may not be directly affected by the removal of a person, some of that person’s relatives and friends and associates may.

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Trump’s priorities

by on Mar.05, 2017, under Posts>Opinions>Politics>Immigration & Globalization>Immigration>Posts>Opinions>Politics>World Affairs>Middle East

Trump has made several promises that are contradictory. For example, his promise to deport unauthorized immigrants is contradictory to his promise to make America great again. So what does he think is more important? Obviously, from what he has been doing since he took office, we can tell that he is putting his own interest and his own party’s interest above the interests of the country. Making America great again has to come last. The first thing in his mind is to keep his supporters happy so they will vote for him again in 4 years. The next thing in his mind is still future elections: how to make sure there will not be more Democrats.

Trump’s small-minded thinking reinforced my impression that he is mediocre, that he can not put the country’s interests first, that he does not have what it take to be a great president. His chief strategist Steve Bannon may be to blame for his petty strategies. But Trump has to be the one to take the ultimate responsibility since he does have the power to say no to Steve Bannon.

I can understand why there can not be a great president at this time though. People on the extreme right would kill any president who dare not to answer to them. So there is not much of a chance for anyone to do anything great right now. Innocent lives will continue to be destroyed for some crazy people to be happy. For the short period of time since Trump took office, innocent women and children have been killed in raids in the Middle East, immigrants have been killed, attacked, or separated from their children to be deported. All of these have been weighing heavily on those like myself who did not support Hillary to defeat Trump.

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The consistency and inconsistency in US Middle East policy objectives

by on Aug.28, 2014, under Posts>Opinions>Politics>World Affairs>Middle East

The US Middle East policy objectives seem to be consistent in that almost all governments in the Middle East, be it secular or religious, Sunni dominated or Shiite dominated, are considered to be undemocratic and deserving to be overthrown.

Because of this consistency, there are inconsistencies in US Middle East policy objectives also. For example, the US has supported Shiite Muslims in Iraq and Sunni Muslims in Syria because they were both oppressed in their countries. As a result, the same Sunni group could have been supported by the US in Syria while at the same time is suppressed by the US in Iraq. Americans getting caught in the middle of all of these can be killed by the same group that they are there to help. And America has become the common enemy to all these different people.

The US needs a fundamental change in how it views and manages conflicts around the world. Conflicts always exist everywhere in the world. Not every conflict needs to be resolved immediately and with force. It takes time to resolve most conflicts and a lot of conflicts can be resolved without the use of force.

If resolving conflicts is only an excuse for military interventions to achieve the goal of regime change for the protection or promotion of American interests, then forget about it. American interests can not be promoted or protected by using such a flimsy excuse.

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