In Venezuela, self-declared interim president Juan Guaidó is failing to ignite a military revolution. As a result, 25 Venezuelan soldiers who side with him fled. They now seek asylum in the Brazilian Embassy in Caracas. Knowing that their lives are at risk for defecting, they had few options. After all, betraying Maduro can carry a life sentence.
It’s been more than three months since Juan Guaidó declared himself the Interim President of Venezuela. He has since tried to end Nicolás Maduro’s dictatorship ruling the country with an iron fist. The Venezuelan interim president has been doing his best to ignite a revolution to bring back democracy and dignified life to citizens of his country. At first, he tried to peacefully remove Maduro and his crew from power. But since it didn’t work, he has recently resorted to more violent means.
Michael Ottavio | United States
On January 21st, Israel announced that they had struck multiple Iranian targets in Syria following a missile attack that was intercepted by Israeli defense systems. This major escalation follows the beginning of U.S. troops withdrawing from the area at the start of the month.
In a strong message to Tehran, Israel launched wide-ranging strikes against Iranian targets in Syria. This missile strike came in response to an Iranian surface-to-surface missile fired towards the Israeli occupied Golan Heights. The Iranian missile that was intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome defense system originated from an Iranian occupied area outside of Damascus, roughly 31 miles from the Golan Heights area.
Back and Forth
As reported by The Wall Street Journal, the missile strike hit munition storage sites and a military training camp, as well as another Iranian occupied site near Damascus international airport. Israel has stated that they made Syria aware of the strike and warned them not to interfere, but the Israeli missile strike turned on Syrian air defense systems after they began firing on the Israeli jets carrying out the strike.
All this escalation comes after a very volatile few months and talks of a total U.S. withdrawal from Syria. According to the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), this was the “most intense and violent attack against the regime forces and their allies in terms of casualties since May 2018.” Israel continues to take a hard stance against the Iranian presence in Syria, and now as the last pillar of stability in the Middle East, they must vehemently defend their borders from hostile nations.
Two Powers Collide
The United States is now in the beginning stages of withdrawing their troops from Syria after they once again intervened in a war that was none of their business. The departure of American forces is going to cause more destabilization, so why did we get involved in the first place? Back in 2017, the American mindset was manipulated with pictures of war zones and deadly attacks. A need for immediate action became almost unanimous. While it is very unfortunate, people die in conflicts all around the world and there’s almost never a call to intervene. That may be due to the fact that Russia isn’t involved in every other conflict, but they are heavily involved in Syria.
In September of 2015, Russia started a military intervention in the Syrian Civil War, in which they fully support the government of al-Assad. Then in April of 2017, less than two years since Russia began intervening in the Syrian Civil War, the United States launched its first attack on a Syrian target. In an ever-growing need to impede Russian imperialism, the United States entered into yet another conflict to oppose the Assad regime. It would soon become readily apparent this was not a conflict that was going to be quickly resolved by lobbing missiles at an already destabilized area.
Just like the last Middle Eastern country the U.S. got involved in, we launched our first strike under the guise of deterring the use of deadly chemical weapons. That sounds familiar, right? It’s almost as if the United States didn’t learn its lesson in Iraq when the power vacuum that formed after dismantling the Saddam regime led to the perfect platform for the terrorist group ISIS to gain a legitimate foothold in the Middle East.
One thing is certain we have not seen the end of the violence in Syria, and Iran has shown no signs of backing down. The United States has, once again, participated in the destabilization of an area, leaving before the conflict has been resolved. By launching this strike Israel has sent a clear message to Tehran that even in the absence of the United States they are not backing down and will continue to oppose all Iranian operations inside of Syria.
As a nation that has been built, funded, and supplied by the United States, Israel is more than capable of handling the situation on their own. The United States needs to learn from their mistakes and turn away from the old imperialist mindset because every single time we invade a middle eastern country it blows up in not only our faces but our allies as well. We are not the world police, we need to bring our troops home and keep them here.
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TJ Roberts | United States
If I broke into your house, I would not be justified. I would be a violent criminal with no respect for private property and personal sovereignty.
If I broke into your house, you would be justified in using force to remove me from your house. You would even be able to use lethal force.
If I broke into your house, I would not be justified in using violence against you when you attempt to remove me. You have the right to do what it takes.
If I broke into your house, everything I do in your house is a breach of your rights, no matter how kind I am about it.
If I broke into your house and you pulled a gun on me, I do not have the right to kill you. I do not have the right to kill your family either.
If my friend told me to break into your house, I still would not be justified. My friend would be inciting violence.
If I broke into your house and took everything you had, you’d want your stuff back. You’d want your family back. You’d want revenge.
If I Broke Into Your House and Called it War, Does That Change Your Mind?
Why is it that these principles are so universally accepted when it applies to you, but not for others? Americans as a whole condemn any person or group who would violently invade the property of another. This attitude, however, immediately changes when we transition to war. America is an empire; there is no existential threat to the U.S. Ultimately, every war the U.S. is engaged in is nothing more than an act of aggression against another sovereign nation.
War is the foundation of the modern state. So far, the U.S. has killed more than 20 million people since the end of World War II in pursuit of empire. In fact, America’s attempt at destabilizing and radicalizing the Middle East has killed at least 4 million people. If other any nation was responsible for so many deaths, the world would rally against it and burn its leaders like the witches in Salem.
Now that the U.S. is withdrawing from Syria, it is time to withdraw the military from the rest of the world and truly pursue non-interventionism. The Military Industrial Complex has not made us free or safe. Rather, U.S. intervention has led to massive debt, breaches of privacy, and a complete disregard for civil liberties on the domestic front. It is even worse for the inhabitants of foreign nations. If the Chinese government murdered your family, you would want revenge. If the Chinese government slaughtered your friends, it would radicalize you. American intervention has killed millions, destroyed the infrastructure, and radicalized the survivors.
This, of course, leads to blowback in the US. If you want to know why 9/11 happened, ask yourself what you would do if the United Nations invaded your nation, flipped its regime, killed your family, destroyed your home, crippled your infrastructure, and oppressed your culture. Would you want revenge?
This is exactly what happened on September 11th. While war hawks (who would never enlist to fight the wars they are calling for) will say that ending the wars will pave a way to the next 9/11, the fact is that U.S. occupation of the Middle East in the 90s is what caused 9/11. It wasn’t a random attack. It was unjustified, but the U.S. nonetheless created the climate for such an attack.
A Foreign Policy of Freedom
Perhaps our foreign policy should resemble the golden rule. If you were invaded, you would use violence to repel the invader whether the invader is a military or a home intruder. Why do you expect something different from sovereign nations that the U.S. government sees as its colonies? If you don’t want to be invaded, don’t invade other nations. To avoid falling victim to economic warfare, don’t engage in economic warfare. If you don’t want nations to bomb you, don’t bomb other nations.
It is time that we reject war as the racket that it is. Too many people have suffered as a result of the American Empire’s attempt to destroy the sovereignty of any nation that did not bend its knee to the will of the U.S. War is nothing more than legalized mass murder. It is breaking into someone else’s house. Don’t be surprised when they respond with violence.
This article was originally published in LIFE.
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