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
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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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No, I Don't Have To Tell You I'm Trans Before Dating You

Demanding trans people come out to potential partners is transphobic.
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In 2014, Jennifer Laude, a 26-year-old Filipina woman, was brutally murdered after having sex with a U.S. marine. The marine in question, Joseph Scott Pemberton, strangled her until she was unconscious and then proceeded to drown her in a toilet bowl.

Understandably, this crime triggered a lot of outrage. But while some were outraged over the horrific nature of the crime, many others were outraged by a different detail in the story. That was because Jennifer Laude had done the unspeakable. She was a trans woman and had not disclosed that information before having sex with Pemberton. So in the minds of many cis people, her death was the price she paid for not disclosing her trans status. Here are some of the comments on CNN's Facebook page when the story broke.

As a trans person, I run into this attitude all the time. I constantly hear cis people raging about how a trans person is "lying" if they don't come out to a potential partner before dating them. Pemberton himself claimed that he felt like he was "raped" because Laude did not come out to him. Even cis people that fashion themselves as "allies" tend to feel similar.

Their argument is that they aren't not attracted to trans people, so they should have a right to know if a potential partner is trans before dating them. These people view transness as a mere physical quality that they just aren't attracted to.

The issue with this logic is that the person in question is obviously attracted to trans people, or else they wouldn't be worried about accidentally going out with one. So these people aren't attracted to trans people because of some physical quality, they aren't attracted to trans people because they are disgusted by the very idea of transness.

Disgust towards trans people is ingrained in all of us from a very early age. The gender binary forms the basis of European societies. It establishes that there are men and there are women, and each has a specific role. For the gender binary to have power, it has to be rigid and inflexible. Thus, from the day we are born, we are taught to believe in a very static and strict form of gender. We learn that if you have a penis, you are a man, and if you have a vagina, you are a woman. Trans people are walking refutations of this concept of gender. Our very existence threatens to undermine the gender binary itself. And for that, we are constantly demonized. For example, trans people, mainly women of color, continue to be slaughtered in droves for being trans.

The justification of transphobic oppression is often that transness is inherently disgusting. For example, the "trans panic" defense still exists to this day. This defense involves the defendant asking for a lesser sentence after killing a trans person because they contend that when they found out the victim was trans, they freaked out and couldn't control themselves. This defense is still legal in every state but California.

And our culture constantly reinforces the notion that transness is undesirable. For example, there is the common trope in fictional media in which a male protagonist is "tricked" into sleeping with a trans woman. The character's disgust after finding out is often used as a punchline.

Thus, not being attracted to trans people is deeply transphobic. The entire notion that someone isn't attracted to a group of very physically diverse group of people because they are trans is built on fear and disgust of trans people. None of this means it is transphobic to not be attracted to individual trans people. Nor is it transphobic to not be attracted to specific genitals. But it is transphobic to claim to not be attracted to all trans, people. For example, there is a difference between saying you won't go out with someone for having a penis and saying you won't go out with someone because they're trans.

So when a cis person argues that a trans person has an obligation to come out to someone before dating them, they are saying trans people have an obligation to accommodate their transphobia. Plus, claiming that trans people are obligated to come out reinforces the idea that not being attracted to trans people is reasonable. But as I've pointed out, not being attracted to trans people supports the idea that transness is disgusting which is the basis for transphobic oppression.

The one scenario in which I would say a trans person should disclose their trans status is if they are going to have sex with someone and are unsure if their partner is attracted to whatever genitals they may have. In that case, I think it's courteous for a trans person to come out to avoid any awkwardness during sex. But even then, a trans person isn't "lying" if they don't come out and their partner is certainly not being "raped."

It is easy to look at the story of Jennifer Laude and claim that her death was due to the actions of one bigot. But it's more complicated than that. Pemberton was the product of a society that told him that disgust towards trans people was reasonable and natural. So when he found out that he accidentally slept with a trans woman, he killed her.

Every single cis person that says that trans people have to come out because they aren't attracted to trans people feeds into the system that caused Jennifer Laude's death. And until those cis people acknowledge their complicity in that system, there will only be more like Jennifer Laude.

SEE ALSO: Yes, You Absolutely Need To Tell Someone You're Trans Before Dating

Cover Image Credit: Nats Getty / Instagram

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Donald Trump's Sanctions Toward The Iranian Government Are Giving Us Painful Flashbacks To North Korea

Whether the sanction is effective is uncertain. But just like the North Korean nuclear problem, there will also be an answer soon.

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The recent news is that Iran president Hassan Rouhani is willing to talk with Donald Trump and the American government about newly established sanction towards Iran. Three months ago, Donald Trump announced that the U.S. would exit the Iran Nuclear Agreement and threatened to impose sanctions on Iran nuclear in 180 days. Recently, Trump tweeted what could be seen as a threat to the Iranian government.

Donald Trump wanted to force the Iranian government to change their economic policy. There are a lot of domestic problems in Iran. The Iranian government is busy expanding their power in the Middle East. The government used to support the Syrian government. The Saudi Arabian government and the West, which supported the Syrian Rebels, attempted to stop Iran from interfering with Syria. The Iranian government worried that the Syrian governmental crisis would affect their political stability. The overuse of the financial budget has influenced economics, causing Iranian people to appeal the government to revolutionize.

Compare the North Korean Nuclear Crisis and the Iranian Nuclear Crisis and we can see Donald Trump's similar strategies. Firstly, Donald Trump has put in a lot of pressure of either country to force them to give up the nuclear plan and improve economics instead. In the North Korean Crisis, last year, Donald Trump called Kim Jong Un "rocket man" and Kim Jong Un condemned him "crazy."

After temporary language confrontation, Kim Jong Un gave and was willing to negotiate with Trump beginning in early 2018. As for Iran, Rouhani also laughed at Trump's policy and criticized Donald Trump's sanction to Iran which was not supported by the European Union. But the latest is that Iran officials are still willing to talk to the U.S. In the trade war with China, Donald Trump also exerted the pressure on China in order to negotiate.

Many people dislike Donald Trump. It is undoubted that Donald Trump's sanction has effectively forced the country to open their economy to a larger degree of freedom. In the Kim-Trump Summit, the U.S. government reportedly played a video that assumed the future of North Korea.

In Iran currently, the inflation is so high that the public wants the economics to be promoted and anti-America sentiment is expected to end. As Donald Trump mentioned, the aim of the sanction is not to overturn the Iranian government, but to let them rethink how to focus on economics rather than on political stability.

Whether the sanction is effective is uncertain. But just like the North Korean nuclear problem, there will also be an answer soon.

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