Monday, June 17, 2013

Conflict in Syria; part II

Following my previous comments on the conflict in Syria;

I have a different concept as to how certain international circumstances should be dealt with by the international community.  It's a concept, a thought, a direction to consider.

Take the following examples:  Hafez Al-Assad followed by his son - Bashar Al-Assad, both of Syria; Moammar Khadafi former leader of Libya; Saddam Hussein of Iraq.  These are the most significant and well known examples that I think of.  Hafez Al-Assad in power from 1971 – 2000 upon his death, followed his son, Bashar, currently in power.  These are both “Leaders” of a sovereign nation who are known by the international community to have committed large scale atrocities including voluminous murders and torture on large numbers of the population of their country. 

However, neither of these two are or ever were  “Legitimate” leaders of their country!  They were/are dictators; having unjustly attained power.  While Syria and other countries should be considered as sovereign nations; an illegitimate “leader” of a sovereign nation, does not attain the status of the “Leader of a sovereign nation” – they are illegitimate.  The nation is sovereign, they are not.  An illegitimate ‘dictator’ of a sovereign nation, who, abuses the power that has been usurped in their favor, and conducts murders, torture and other atrocities in order to hold onto power, is in violation of “Crimes against Humanity” and probably even “War Crimes.”

In these two and other cases when it is known among the international community that they are guilty of using the country’s military in attacking, murdering and torture of innocent and helpless civilians; they should be then considered as war criminals. 

They have no claim as the “Leader of a Sovereign Nation” because they are not; they are not legitimate, and have no protection as leader of a sovereign nation. 

Their status is that of “war criminal” and one who is guilty of committing ‘crimes against humanity.’

With this being the case, then they have no protection as a sovereign leader of a sovereign nation; and should be subject to apprehension and justice under international laws. 

If the U.S. and other countries think that the actions of Bashar Al-Assad in using his military against the citizens of that country are unacceptable, and believe that he should not be allowed to continue, then, I believe that under international law, as interpreted through international courts and possibly coordinated through the United Nations, the offender should himself be apprehended. 

With the circumstances as they are in Syria, the U.S., Great Brittan and possibly other countries are considering arming the civilian rebels who are fighting the Assad Government forces, in order to provide a more realistic balance of power and affording them a ‘fighting chance.’  In my thinking, although this would be considered well intended, and/or, better than nothing; I think that it’s not the best option by a long shot.  Doing this, expands the ability of one side to conduct war on the other, while the other side, already has significant power.  Among the people who will die and/or be injured in these actions are numerous innocent and basically helpless civilians; and/or, soldiers who may or may not be personally in support of Al-Assad. 

Following this, the apprehension, taking-out of Al-Assad which should easily be considered legitimate by the international community, would be far and away the best resolution and provide the least casualties. 

Following this, it is up to the people of Syria to form a legitimate government.  The country/people of Syria would be advised of the status of Al-Assad as an international criminal subject to apprehension by the international community.  If Syria is to be considered a sovereign nation, then it is not the place of another country to determine their status or leadership; following the removal of an illegitimate dictator.  The dictator is the offender, he is responsible, offer him the opportunity to surrender, then if not, take him out, with as little damage as possible to the non-responsible civilians or soldiers as mentioned earlier. 

I believe that the circumstances concerning Moammar Khadafi former leader of Libya and Saddam Hussein of Iraq, could have and should have been considered under the same criteria.  Especially considring the case of Saddam Hussein of Iraq, there could have been incredible differences in the number of people who had to die or be injured in order to complete what has been referred to as ‘regime change.’    

This would be far and away preferred to the possibility of further conflict within Syria between civilians and the Govt, especially considering the potential for larger/regional/global conflict as I believe should be  considered, as stated in my post of June 13th, preceding this.

If there are no provisions under international law and or provided by the United Nations, then they should be implemented.   

For the sake of argument; if any of the individuals mentioned above, or any one else who ever comes under similar circumstances has or had in fact been legitimately elected by their country; even if so, once they have committed the atrocities, murders, etc…, as mentioned above, they have given up their status as a legitimate leader of a sovereign nation. 


Thursday, June 13, 2013

Conflict in Syria; Larger/Regional/Global Conflict(?)

I hate to say this.  I’ve been considering this for quite a while.  Frankly, the circumstances concerning the conflict in Syria, really appear, more than anything in memory, to have the potential for a Larger/Regional/Global Conflict. I hope I'm wrong. Neither side is ready to give up or collapse.  Large countries are taking sides.  Countries which will pretty certainly become involved to at least some extent, at least in their wanting their opinion heard - United States, Great Brittan, Russia, Iran, Hezbollah from Lebanon, Israel… Likely at some point, to some extent – Turkey, Jordan, and whatever other regional countries affected somehow or another.  The fact that the U.S. is considering further arming and supporting rebels and the fact that Russia has recently arranged to provide Assad and the Government with Air Defense Systems, and whatever else, is certainly problematic.  If Russia sees us supporting/arming Rebels, will they then decide to back off on their support of the Assad Government?

Not an easy solution in any way.  Arming, supporting rebels(?)  We armed, supported Afghans fighting Russia years ago; they turned into Al Qaeda and the Taliban.  Currently we’ve been in Afghanistan since 2001.  We supported Iraq in its conflict with Iran, they turned into Iraq, where we’ve fought two wars since the early ‘90s, the most recent one being extremely lengthy and costly in every way.

History shows, we tried to stay out of WWII; turned out, that couldn’t be done; and the possibility, we would have been better to have entered earlier.  At least, it seems, it would have been better for the United Kingdom if we had entered earlier.  Hard to tell best course of action under such circumstances!  

Former Asst Secretary of State P.J. Crowley on MSNBC, includes China of those supporting the Assad Govt.  I don't know to what extent, but, it's still something to be considered.  Bob Franken also on MSNBC, mentioned a reference to the Al Qaeda, Hezbollah factor (Sunni, Shiite).  Haven't heard too much mention of Al Qaeda so far, but, their sympathizers, supporters, wannabees....  

Continued, revised, edited as needed...   

Saturday, June 08, 2013

China’s hacking the U.S., the NSA is hacking “us”

From recent news we understand that China is, and has been for probably quite some time, hacking the U.S., I suppose at various levels, probably any level that they can.  Following that, we understand that the NSA (National Security Agency (of the U.S)) is hacking “us” the people of the U.S., also it appears at various levels. 

Why doesn’t the NSA work on the security problem that the country has concerning the circumstances of our being hacked by China? 

As always, I could be wrong about this; at least in part, but, at this point, this is initial thinking.

I also include some concerns that I think may not be the main reason that certain people object. 

Normally I agree with and trust President Obama.  Just not certain about this, for the reasons mentioned.  Certainly he knows more than me, but, there are things to be considered.

For one, as I said starting out, if the U.S. is having problems being hacked by China, and who knows who else; then I would think the NSA would have sufficient resources applied to this matter, rather than whatever amount of time, manpower, money, resources they are applying to gathering personal phone calls and internet use of multi-millions of U.S. citizens.  Frankly, I think that the scope as it’s being described in the news, is, if nothing else, a tremendous, enormous, amazing waste of – ‘Time, Manpower, Money, Resources’ – and I can’t see it otherwise.  Frankly, they’re more likely to only complicate and or even confuse things with a program like this.  More data lost in the shuffle, and an incredible lack of focus on the part of the NSA.  At least to me, I would think that if the NSA, has time, money, manpower, resources to capture the multi-multi-millions of phone records and internet traffic from U.S. citizens, then there must be absolutely nothing whatsoever going on in the world that would normally be considered the type of threat that the NSA, you would think, would be concerned about and paying attention to.  Like the circumstances as reported concerning the hacking by the Chinese.  So, if they don’t have that particular problem completely resolved and in hand, then why are they devoting what must be enormous amounts of money, manpower, etc… to gathering innocent records on innocent U.S. citizens.  To me, at some point, their focus is off!!! 

Following that, there is way too much, tremendous opportunity for abuse of something (information) like this.  Especially if it falls into the wrong hands; which is not impossible.  What if the Chinese hack the NSA, then all the data collected would be at their disposal.

As I remember, quite a while back, before the Al Qaeda attacks of 9/11/01, the NSA had been for some time tracking Osama Bin Laden by his phone use.  Well, that was leaked and Bin Laden then changed his habits and that was the end of that.  So, as any other agency, or any other human run operation, the NSA is not without fault. So there’s always room for abuse or some other misfortune or unforeseen consequences.

Another aspect to be concerned about.  From what I understand, the FISA court itself is quite secret.  I don’t really appreciate that either.  Who knows, is this something that Dick Cheney put together, or what(?) Did GW Bush and D Cheney 'pack' the FISA court?

In addition to considerations as mentioned above; I’d recommend other considerations as follows.  What I hope to be the subject of another post, at some  point, which I’d like to summarize here: given the circumstances concerning the confidential leaks attributed to Pvt Bradley Manning from the U.S. Army and the information revealed by civilian Ed Snowden, I think it should be considered that, there is no guarantee that absolutely anyone and everyone who has the appropriate clearance and access is someone who is completely trustworthy and has the character, maturity, professionalism and discipline to be trusted with any information to which they may have access.   

That said, this is another area whereas the average American may have reason to fear abuse of what should be considered personal, privileged information which they would like to think is not going to fall into hands of someone who could potentially abuse it.  Or, if not abuse it themselves, possibly just act irresponsibly, unprofessionally enough that they inadvertently make the sensitive information available to someone else, who then, may be disposed to abusing such information. 

This post is currently continued and edited on an ongoing basis.