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September 2015

Another Aspect of the Radicalization of US Youth at an "Unprecedented" Rate

A recently published bipartisan report by the Homeland Security Committee of the United States(US) House of Representatives, has found that Americans are being radicalized at an "unprecedented" rate by the Islamic State(IS). The report added that some 250 Americans have traveled to the Levant to fight jihad.

But why? Why would unprecedented numbers of Americans want to leave the comfort of their homes to venture to the Levant? 

While many intelligence experts have blamed the crafty lure and social media managing finesse of the IS as a major factor in attracting American recruits, a closer look at the current state of affairs in Syria and within the US, could reveal overlooked variables contributing to radicalization.

To Flirt with more Danger - To Accept the Fallacy that Authoritarianism Solves Terror

Russia's decision to fight against the Islamic State(IS) in Syria - joining what the United States(US) led International Coalition has done for months via air strikes, has some markings of a good ally in the battle against terror. Yet, the Russian plan amounts to a sinister ploy to shore up the failing regime of Bashar al Assad.

Hence, Russia is asking the international community to accept authoritarianism as the sole means to combating terror although the fallible system is marred with the destruction of individual rights.

An Assad-free Syria is Requisite for any Peace and Stability in the Levant

Since the crimes against humanity committed by Bashar al Assad's regime upon the Syrian people are grossly substantial and well documented - including gas attacks upon children causing many deaths, Assad must be precluded from any transitional movements in Syria; and he must be rejected of any part to the peace process for the Levant.

That any world leaders, having knowledge of the crimes against humanity committed by the current Syrian regime, could even venture to suggest that Assad could be a party to any peace process, is beyond preposterous.

What of the Islamic State? It Exists In Spite of an International Coalition and Cooperation of Nations Against it

French forces have now joined the bombing campaign by the International Coalition against the Islamic State(IS) in Syria. The Coalition, led by the United States(US) and including the United Kingdom(UK) and Arab Nations, has been conducting air strikes against the IS for months.

In Baghdad, Iraq, yesterday, military officials there confirmed that that country is now engaged in intelligence and security cooperation with Russia, Iran and Syria to counter the threat from the IS, Reuters reported.

The IS is not a

Acknowledgement of the Plight of the World's Poor - the UN Endorses a Plan to Eradicating Extreme Poverty

The 193-member United Nations(UN) on Friday endorsed "Transforming our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development" - 17 broad goals and 169 specific targets to eradicating extreme poverty and combating climate change.

In endorsing the progressive blueprint, the international organization has acknowledged the growing plight of the world's poor and displaced people. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon described the new goals as embodying " the aspirations of people everywhere for lives of peace, security and dignity on a healthy planet.

A Caution to Government and to Business of the Breaking Point of Effected and Disenfranchised People

As Pope Francis continues his historical visit to the Americas championing the equality of common folks with the reoccurring theme of dignity to all, his message should be taken seriously by all spectra of society -  from government, to the titans of industry and to the elite.

As a non-Catholic, and respectful of all faiths, I suffice from the appeals of Pope Francis an underlying caution that some might not have deduced: that the people have a breaking point which is approaching after generations of inequality and disenfranchisement; treat them fairly, with dignity and with respect, or pay the sordid consequences.

On Climate Change...

The science supports the fact that global climate is changing. 

Polar ice caps are receding. Violent weather systems are becoming more prevalent. Evidence of  a rising sea level abounds threatening ecosystems in many places. Yet, there are the non-believers, who fallibly assume,  human actions are innocent of climate change.

But the reality of the dire effects of the burning of fossil fuels upon the planet demands immediate action in order that lives may be saved and to ensure that the problem is not kicked farther down the road to future generations.

On Capitalism...

Capitalism - that individualistic economic system for profit that has fueled industry, innovation and much of human development for many generations, is good.

But irresponsible capitalism that allows greed to run corporate board rooms, that stokes the desire to dominate others and that which endorses the practice of the abridgment of human rights to sustain profits, is bad.

And in irresponsible capitalism, which flourishes in systems of inequality, lies the source of many conflicts to come.

Therefore, it becomes apparent that the capitalism that has given humankind great innovations and  abilities for ease-of-life for so long, should remain responsible and sensible in profit-making ventures over the years in order to avert global instability and additional conflicts.

On the Dangers of Promoting Fear and Stoking Hatred

From the migrant crisis on Europe's borders to the campaign for President of the United States(US), fear mongering and hatred stoking have been showing their ugly faces.

Charges from Republican candidate for President Donald Trump that many Mexican immigrants are criminals, amounts to a clear promotion of fear of a particular group of people. Similarly, charges by another Republican candidate for President Ben Carson that no Muslim should ascend to the White House, also bestows fear of a particular religion.

Another Democratic Exercise - the Greek Vote

For the second time in nine months, the Greeks went to the polls again yesterday to elect a new government. Election results indicate that the world's oldest democracy has reaffirmed its confidence in the young socialist, Alexis Tsipras and his Syriza Party.

Tsipras and the Syriza Party won 145 of the 300 seats in the Greek Parliament - giving Tsipras, the mandate to form a new government in coalition with the small right wing Independent Greeks Party. Syriza opted not to form a coalition with the larger conservative New Democracy Party, which gained 28.