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World News Report: September 2013

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World News Report: September 2013

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News for the world continues to worsen—AND FAST. The latest “fire” to break out (and it’s a big one) is in Syria, where chemical weapons were recently used against towns just outside Damascus. Officially listed as either the second or third chemical weapons incident, sources unofficially admit that President Bashar Assad’s regime has used them 11 times. Officials estimate that 1,429 people were killed this time, including 426 children. United States intelligence reports confirmed the use of sarin gas. The videos taken after the attacks were simply horrifying to watch. Even the world seems somewhat “shocked” at such evil. Yet this attack is but the tiniest incident compared to what lies just over the horizon for all countries of the world.

Western nations have begun to move forward in regard to military action against Syria. France has said it is open to supporting strikes on Syria, yet British Prime Minister David Cameron was unable to convince his Parliament to authorize attacks. U.S. President Barack Obama had previously warned Syria that the use of chemical weapons on its citizenry constituted crossing a “red line.” While President Obama has stated that America will take action, he has not yet detailed the nature, severity or duration of the attack to come because disagreement throughout the administration, Congress, the military and of course the American people is practically without end. By all accounts, having waited this long to take action has left the country—and to a large degree the whole world—no good options. Every course of action brings with it its own “slippery slope” scenario. A recent article reported, “While President Barack Obama insists he wants only a limited air attack on Syria, his proposed authorization of force would empower him to do much more than that. Congress is likely to impose tighter reins, as lawmakers have learned that presidents are prone to expand on powers once granted.

“The substantive part of Obama’s proposed authorization of the use of military force, conveyed to congressional leaders over the weekend, contains 172 words. That’s significantly more than either the 1964 Tonkin Gulf Resolution authorizing the Vietnam War or the 2001 resolution authorizing retaliation for the 9/11 terror attacks, two measures that later became notorious for how aggressively presidents used them.

“The proposed resolution gives Obama a go-ahead to use the military as he ‘determines to be necessary and appropriate in connection with the use of chemical weapons or other weapons of mass destruction in the conflict in Syria.’ Specifically, the president could act to ‘prevent or deter the use or proliferation’ of the weapons or to ‘protect the United States and its allies and partners’ from the weapons” (McClatchy’s Washington Bureau).

The Syrian civil war has been raging for two years. Conservative estimates have at least 110,000 Syrians having been killed, with rebel groups doing the fighting having also begun to fight each other. The war has resulted in around two million Syrian refugees, and it is now entangling other nations. Jordan has absorbed 600,000 refugees and, by all accounts, the king of Jordan will be overthrown within a year if this process does not soon stop and then reverse. America will lose another strong ally. In fact, a larger, regional war in the Middle East now seems imminent. For instance, just yesterday morning, Israel test-fired a missile over the Mediterranean Sea: “The Sparrow, which simulates the long-range missiles of Syria and Iran, is used for target practice by Israel’s U.S.-backed ballistic shield Arrow” (Reuters).

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