Here’s a quick news story, “Egypt sees Ethiopian dam as risk to water supply” in the Guardian, to illustrate the importance of access to water. I stated in my last blog piece that access to water may prove to be one of the gravest friction points in decades to come. In this report, Ethiopia, sensing Egyptian weakness, appears intent to move on a dam project. This dam project will provide much needed energy for Ethiopia and development opportunity. On the other side, this dam might spell looming crop failures and a crisis for Egypt. Egypt, already in a precarious situation from the much-hyped Arab Spring, could collapse even more, because the Arab Spring was a big lie. President Obama backed the Muslim Brotherhood – the group that spawned radical Islamism. President Obama keeps trying to paint the Muslim Brotherhood as a mostly secular organization, but there again is another one of those big lies he told. Egypt’s economy has gotten much worse since the ouster of Mubarak and the prospect of a diminished water supply or an impediment to the primary water source for Egypt portends a potential for more conflicts, both internal and external.
This little example illuminates just one factor that might ignite another war or another internal revolt inside Egypt and we see these regional friction points all over the globe. It would be lovely if some naive notion like Global Zero could resolve the world’s problems and make us all safe. The truth is we need to maintain our military might, restore our economic equilibrium and start working to be a shining example for democratic ideals. The United States should be upgrading our aging nuclear arsenal, not dismantling it or allowing it to decay. We need to be able to protect ourselves and the many countries that rely on our nuclear umbrella for security. The Wall Street journal ran an interview with former Defense Secretary, James Schlesinger, in 2009 that I came across yesterday mentioned in another article (I forgot which article or I’d put a link to that too). Mr.Schlesinger provides the most insightful, detailed, clear reasons why we need to remain a nuclear power for the foreseeable future in this piece titled,“Why We Don’t Want a Nuclear-Free World”. (WSJ interview here).
We should take a leadership role with other world powers to strike a path toward resolving the third world hot spots by forging consensus, instead of playing out our high stakes strategic gambits on the backs of these much poorer countries. Constantly upping the ante and fueling these conflicts with more and more weapons just prolongs the carnage. Recovering from war takes decades, sometimes longer. The American South remained trapped in poverty for almost a century after the US Civil War and even today remnants of the effect of that war can easily be found. Some of these third world countries remain trapped in almost endless strife, where the people face a daily struggle for just the vestiges of survival.
To confidently support arming some lunatic rebel bands in Syria, where a video hit the airwaves and online, with one such “commander” slicing up his fallen foe and yanking out his heart and liver – and eating it, well, obviously it’s reprehensible to arm these types of barbarians in our name. Assad is a monster too, so I’m not supporting him either. The solution would be to try to limit the arms flowing in, instead of trying to find ways to fan the flames. I watched Vladimir Putin talk about this video and I agree with him, but I think his trying to prop up Assad won’t work either. If Russia, China and the US decided to end this Syrian tragedy, they could do it. All it would take is deciding the carnage has dragged on long enough, end the senseless slaughter and work toward some sort of political arrangement. President Obama and Hillary Clinton’s arrogant presumptions about redrawing the map of the Mid-East to fit their political agenda has led to the deaths of thousands upon thousands of civilians and will end up costing even more. To use US might, directly or through arming others, imposes responsibility for the end result. Supporting the Arab Spring has destabilized the entire region and their cavalier bravado looks likely to end in the region spiraling out of control and likely will lead to a larger regional war.
The last century’s collapse of colonialism, world wars and cold war era need to become historical stepping stones on a path to more constructive cooperation among the world’s leaders. Assuredly there will be many twists and turns along the path and maybe even a few obstacles that seem insurmountable. We might even come upon some obstacles that seem like a Sisyphean boulder that will keep rolling downhill to crush our hopes for peace. If we believe it is possible, the only thing standing in our way is the will to chip away at that boulder until it becomes just gravel to pave our path. Being the daughter of a man who built roads for a living, I watched Pop blast away entire mountains, so I know it can be done;-)