The following interview is an excellent story of Syria told by an old Syrian activist, Yassin Al-Haj Saleh. He is now in his late fifties and tells (philosophically) of both his personal and countries plight under the al-Assad regimes’. Murtaza Hussain & Marwan Hisham ask some intriguing questions and in return get some insightful answers.
However, as much as Yassin Al-Haj Saleh portrays a deserved heroic life under incredibly harsh conditions, I do not believe he fully appreciates or understands the U.S. (West) position and more importantly the global implications of a regional, religious, and cultural problem.
I will provide my personal assessment of his observations and experience by commenting (highlighted) at the end of individual paragraphs and let you decide their validity.
by Murtaza Hussain & Marwan Hisham
Archives for April 2017
After this week’s chemical attacks in Syria, I decided to blog on our current U.S. position as it might compare to President Obama’s “red line” decision in 2012. During my research, I came across Derek Chollet’s 2016 article, “Obama’s Red Line, Revisited.” At that time, Mr. Chollet was the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs under President Obama. His article resonates today and possesses merit on President Obama’s handling of Syria’s chemical attacks in 2013.
But for reasons that are markedly different than what the Assistant Secretary surmised.
“Space, the final frontier…”
The iconic excerpt from the introduction to the 1960s cult TV show “Star Trek,” said so much to so many. The U.S. was on the verge of landing a person on the moon beating out our arch enemies, the Soviet Union. And more importantly, it was our first terrestrial adventure outside Earth. We were embarking on a path that would physically separate our species from all others…stepping us into the vastness of space. How exciting!!
as much as this adventure seems provocative and inevitable, not everyone shares this excitement. Per Debate.org, as many as 55% of those surveyed said “no” when asked, “Is Space Exploration good?” Per Debatewise.org, 51% said no to space exploration. Their disapproval ranged from “solving earthly problems” to “little benefit” to “excessive cost.” In general, a waste of time and money.
And it’s not as if the naysayers don’t have a point.
More than one billion people live in extreme poverty. 750 million do not have access to clean water. Climate change appears to be a real problem. Preventable diseases take 2 million children a year. And one-fifth of all humans live without electricity. In addition, the U.S. and other nations are trillions of dollars in debt, and the number of deadly conflicts increased substantially over the last 50 years. Not to mention our ongoing problem with global terrorism.
With all these challenges it begs the question, why do something as frivolous as exploring space?
The benefit is more than you can imagine!