The start of 2012 looks rather similar to the start of 2011. We are a year into what has become known as the Arab Spring, the most provocative act of rebellion against dictatorship known in our generation. The uprising started in Tunisia in early 2011 followed by Egypt, Bahrain, Yemen, Libya and now Syria. It has produced the most transformative changes in the Arab world to date. With Syrian citizens being the latest to demand a shift in the regime being ran by President Assad, whose father also led Syria for many years. According to CNN International, we learned this week fifty prominent Republicans signed a statement in support of arming the opposition who are fighting the regime and demanding President Assad step down.
This is eerily reminiscent of how we as Americans became apart of the Libyan revolution; some Republicans took a rather swift stand concerning Libya in 2011. This later included a partnership with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) that included arming many rebel groups and the bombing of Libyan leader Gaddafi strongholds and his compound located in the capital city of Tripoli. The rebels who are still around, are still armed and demanding a greater role in the newly formed government. The United Nations Security Council would eventually pass a resolution to acknowledge the Libyan peoples fate would not be left to an autocratic dictator. The resolution then stated the international community as whole had a moral obligation to step in and assure the Libyan people would survive the brutal attack and execution being implemented by the regime.
What the United Nations and the entire western world need to understand is; it is not enough to just draft a resolution and remove dictators. What happens after the dictators are removed is the million dollar question? We have yet to see any of the countries get back to what we call any level of normalcy. Tunisia still has not seen it’s once thriving tourism economy come back to life. The Military who is in charge of governing and holding elections in Egypt since the fall of it’s leader has yet to implement sustainable changes therefore making the Egyptian people restless in the wait for democracy and legitimate freedom. The National Transition Council now in charge of running the Libyan government has not reopen schools and universities, nor has provided electricity and running water. This brings me back to those fifty Republicans who signed the statement on this week to arm questionable rebels without sufficient intelligence, a definitive timeline and a strategic exit.
Why? Yes, we all should educate ourselves about the concerns still facing the Arab world and do more to understand the plight, but what is the best way to aid? According to publish reports, President Obama’s top military adviser “said it was premature to aid in Syrian opposition at this point, the revolution was in the early stages and do not have the support of the international community as the previous revolutions did.” But they would continue to monitor the events as they happen and be qui vive. I believe this was the perfect response to such a sensitive matter. Yes, we do have a moral obligation to act when we see our fellow humans being tortured and murdered on a grand scale. The question is not should we act, but what is the most effective way to act, eliminate casualties and further setbacks for our fellow brother and sisters. Other questions that should be given consideration, Is military action always the best option? Should we do more to aid and rebuild after the removal of a dictator? What is the length of time we commit to the rehabilitation of a country? All of these questions need answers and should be considered before any and all action. Therefore we wait and watch as the Arab spring continues on through the winter.