THE MIDDLE EASTERN DRUG OF CHOICE: VIOLENCE

            Anyone following events across the Middle East cannot avoid the constant theme that runs through every story. Violence never stops.

            After the seemingly endless war George Bush visited on Iraq, the proclamation was that we have now planted democracy. Really? This week a bomb exploded in a Sunni Mosque in Baghdad killing at least 13 people. Another attack at a funeral northeast of Baghdad killed three more people. Near evening a blast at the Khalid bin al-Walid mosque wounded 35 people. The fact is that Iraq has been experiencing the worst violence it has seen in some time. Of course, these are all Sunni mosques. The attackers were possibly Shiite militia. Sunni extremists and remnants of Al Qada just as frequently target the Shittes. The wars between the two Islamic factions only feed on the violence

Though unreported, Israel airplanes attacked a storage of antiship cruise missiles that Russia had sold to the Syrian government. On July 5, near Latakia (Syrian’s principal port city) the Israelis made an airstrike on Russia’s Yakhont missiles stored in a warehouse. Though the Israeli government will not discuss the attack, it is the third attack inside Syria this year. Pre-emptive strikes are never commented on by Israel.  However, they are prompted by concern that missiles will be transferred to Hezbollah. In January, Israel attacked a convoy carrying Russian made SA-17 missiles that were intended for Hezbollah. Of course, Iran sends weapons to Syria by flying through Iraq’s airspace.  My, my, who would have thoughts that Iraq would allow such a thing.

Of course, the drug of choice is violence.

Meanwhile the United States maintains warplanes and antimissile batteries in Jordan. American F-16s and Patriot missies are supposed kept in Jordan at the request of Jordanian military. We also know the CIA has been training Syrian rebels in a covert program to put more pressure on the Syrian government. Could it be possible that the United States also prefers violence as their drug of choice?

Of course, the specter standing in the shadows is Vladimir Putin. Russia is suppling all the weapons that keep the Assad Syrian government in the war against their own people. Russia’s economy directly prospers by the Syrian conflict. That old KGB agent Putin certainly understands how Russia can profit from violence.

Let us not forget Egypt where the military just deposed President Morsi. Of course Morsi was attempting to impose Islamic authoritarianism on the country. But even to this hour, his followers are confronting the Egyptian military and the bodies continue to be stacked up in the streets. Egypt can tall us a great deal about violence.

My point is basic. Violence only spawns violence and the Middle East is caught in a downward spiral. All attempts to stop the killing must be pursued with diligence. Lives are precious and talk is cheap. Forget the clowns; send in the peace doves. It’s time for action that counts.

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Filed under Egypt, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, middle east, Violence

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