U.S Foreign Affairs: The Number of Wars the U.S is Currently Waging

U.S Foreign Affairs: The Number of Wars the U.S is Currently Waging

The seven one sided wars the U.S is currently waging, and other inconsistencies
Soukaina
Soukaina
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There are many who aren't aware of the status of the United State's foreign politics. Saying that American politics are flawed is an understatement, especially when considering the new President elect, who won the election by alienating all those who have suffered institutionalized discrimination and reinforced white supremacy. But I'm sure you as a reader, are sick and tired of reading about the same flawed domestic policies in your country. Instead, here's a glimpse at American foreign policy; the United States is currently waging war against seven, yes you read right, SEVEN countries.

Before we get to the seven countries that the United States is bombing, it's worth mentioning that ISIS, the Islamist terrorist group, is to Islam what the KKK or Westboro is to Christianity. Also, 95% of ISIS victims are in fact Muslim.

ISIS is understandably a major concern around the world. They're a threat to people's lives, democracy and freedoms. Not Islam. There are other terrorists groups that exist in the world such as the Taliban, ALQaeda, and Al Shabab to name a few. The United States took to addressing these terrorists by dropping bombs on the countries they allegedly inhabit, all the while disregarding the homes and lives of the people residing in the following countries.

IRAQ

The United States has been bombing Iraq for on and off for about 25 years. The reason varies from year to year, but ultimately the war started because of an arms conflict where the United states and the United Kingdom believed that Iraq allegedly had weapons of mass destruction. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the war was started on a hunch and assumptions rather than fact.The Bush administration believed that Sadam and his government posed a threat to the United States because he maybe had WMD. After over half a million Iraqi lives were lost, in 2011 the United States troops left Iraq, only to come back in 2014 because of the threat of insurgency. Now, they're still bombing it because the United States has gathered intelligence that proves that Isis is located in Iraq.

SYRIA

The United States is waging a very complicated war again Syria, since there are at least four coalitions fighting each other. The four coalitions are the Supreme Military Council of the Free Syrian Army, The Islamic Front, The Syrian Islamic Liberation Front and Independent groups such as ISIS. Because there are so many groups and factions fighting each other, there is often confusion on who's on whose side. The United States goal is to knock our ISIS and Bachar Al Assad. So, while the United States is bombing Syria and most recently the last children's hospital in Alleppo, Syria is being ravaged by it's civil war. It has now become an immense humanitarian disaster as half of teh country's 22 million people have either been killed or displaced. On that note, there has been a little less than half a million confirmed deaths in Syria.

AFGHANISTAN & PAKISTAN

The United States invaded Afghanistan in 2001 in response to the tragic 9/11 attacks. They have been fighting them for fifteen years, making this war the longest war in American history. They targeted the terrorist groups the Taliban and AlQaeda, both splinter groups of the Mujaheddin. The interesting factoid here is that Al Qaeda and its former leader Osama Bin-Laden had ties to the CIA and the American government during the Soviet War in Afghanistan. The CIA allegedly armed and trained the mujaheddin to fight and win against the Soviet Union during the cold war. The Taliban was formed by the Pakistani Intellegence Agency (ISI), but was allegedly funded by the United States. The United States was believed to have provided $3 billion to build this Islamic group by providing them with ammunition during the Cold war. After the Soviet war ended, the United States lost track of the ammunition they provided the Taliban, and thus was taken aback when millions worth in weapons that they had provided were allegedly being used against them. In 2004, they started bombing the northern border of Pakistan along the Afghan border because it was believed that Taliban and Al Qaeda troops hide out there.

YEMEN

The United States war on Yemen is incredibly complex. The U.S is conducting drone strikes to target Al Qaeda camps but is also currently supporting Saudi Arabia's massive attack on the Houthis, a group of Yemeni rebels. Yemen is currently a monstrous humanitarian disaster as " 80% of the Yemeni population is in desperate need for humanitarian aid to meet even it's most basic needs." There is even evidence that Saudi Arabians, who are backed by the U.S, are deliberately targeting civilians. The UN confirms about 10,000 civilian deaths in the Yemen since the drone strikes started in 2015, killing almost 13 civilians a day. According to the Guardian, more than one third of all Saudi led air raids on Yemen have hit civilian sites such as school building, hospital markets, mosques and economic infrastructure.

More on that, click on the following links:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-secu...

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/sep/16/thir...

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-eas...

http://www.salon.com/2016/09/02/despite-10000-civi...

On October 8th, 2016, a U.S backed, Saudi led airstrike on a funeral took place, killing 140 people and wounding 525 people.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/us-backed-sau...

According to the Associated Press, the aftermath of the strike turned the funeral location into a lake of blood and strewn unidentifiable body parts.

LIBYA

Libya is also dealing with political unrest, which first started at the hands of Muamar Gaddafi but now is because of civil insurgence and U.S bombing. In 2011, the United States bombed Libya to in order to get rid of Gaddafi. The consequence of his assassination was that the country descended into chaos and ISIS attempted to establish a stronghold over the Libyan government. The Americans also continued to bomb Libya because they didn't necessarily like the person they replaced Gaddafi with.

SOMALIA

In March of 2016, an American drone strike killed 150 people in Somalia allegedly targeting the terrorist group Al Shabbab. The Obama Administration put out a statement that claimed that everyone of these 150 people was part of Al Shabbab. No one but the American government has independently confirmed that particular statement. The only information we have of the 150 deaths were from the government that killed them.

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The question remains; who does the United States consider as an enemy combatant on the global War on Terror. According to the New York Times, the administration considers all military age males in a strike zone combatants... unless there is explicit intelligence posthumously proving them innocent. This is very convenient as it is scary to realize that any one male over the age of 18 standing near a location the U.S has decided to bomb because of suspicious terrorist activity is automatically an enemy of the U.S. What happened to innocent until proven guilty? Financially, since the beginning of the war on terror in 2001, the United States has spent around $4 trillion and about 1.3 million Americans have died in combat zones all around the world. To this day, there have been 4 million and it is even speculated that that number is nearer to 5 million deaths in the Middle East, a byproduct of the War on Terror.

One last thing:

ZERO of these one sided wars have been approved by Congress, and is thus more evidence of the rift in America's system of checks and balances.

Confused? Here's a simple breakdown of what's going on in the United States' foreign affairs. Educate yourself.





Cover Image Credit: Stop the Drone Strikes

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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Saying You "Don't Take Political Stances" IS A Political Stance

All you're doing by saying this is revealing your privilege to not care politically, and here's why that's a problem.

bethkrat
bethkrat
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I'm sure all of us know at least one person who refuses to engage in political discussions - sure, you can make the argument that there is a time and a place to bring up the political happenings of our world today, but you can't possibly ignore it all the time. You bring up the last ridiculous tweet our president sent or you try to discuss your feelings on the new reproductive regulation bills that are rising throughout the states, and they find any excuse to dip out as quickly as possible. They say I don't talk about politics, or I'm apolitical. Well everyone, I'm here to tell you why that's complete bullsh*t.

Many people don't have the luxury and privilege of ignoring the political climate and sitting complacent while terrible things happen in our country. So many issues remain a constant battle for so many, be it the systematic racism that persists in nearly every aspect of our society, the fact that Flint still doesn't have clean water, the thousands of children that have been killed due to gun violence, those drowning in debt from unreasonable medical bills, kids fighting for their rights as citizens while their families are deported and separated from them... you get the point. So many people have to fight every single day because they don't have any other choice. If you have the ability to say that you just don't want to have anything to do with politics, it's because you aren't affected by any failing systems. You have a privilege and it is important to recognize it.

Martin Luther King Jr. once said, "history will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people."

We recognize that bad people exist in this world, and we recognize that they bring forth the systems that fail so many people every single day, but what is even more important to recognize are the silent majority - the people who, by engaging in neutrality, enable and purvey the side of the oppressors by doing nothing for their brothers and sisters on the front lines.

Maybe we think being neutral and not causing conflict is supposed to be about peacekeeping and in some way benefits the political discussion if we don't try to argue. But if we don't call out those who purvey failing systems, even if it's our best friend who says something homophobic, even if it's our representatives who support bills like the abortion ban in Alabama, even if it's our president who denies the fact that climate change is killing our planet faster than we can hope to reverse it, do we not, in essence, by all accounts of technicality side with those pushing the issues forward? If we let our best friend get away with saying something homophobic, will he ever start to change his ways, or will he ever be forced to realize that what he's said isn't something that we can just brush aside? If we let our representatives get away with ratifying abortion bans, how far will the laws go until women have no safe and reasonable control over their own bodily decisions? If we let our president continue to deny climate change, will we not lose our ability to live on this planet by choosing to do nothing?

We cannot pander to people who think that being neutral in times of injustice is a reasonable stance to take. We cannot have sympathy for people who decide they don't want to care about the political climate we're in today. Your attempts at avoiding conflict only make the conflict worse - your silence in this aspect is deafening. You've given ammunition for the oppressors who take your silence and apathy and continue to carry forth their oppression. If you want to be a good person, you need to suck it up and take a stand, or else nothing is going to change. We need to raise the voices of those who struggle to be heard by giving them the support they need to succeed against the opposition.

With all this in mind, just remember for the next time someone tells you that they're apolitical: you know exactly which side they're on.

bethkrat
bethkrat

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