For the past two years, states in the Middle East have defined the word unstable. Citizens have risen against oppressive governments and defended their right to choose who represents their interests. Unfortunately, some of the states have yet to resolve the issue, specifically Egypt and Syria. In each case, civilians are dying and being displaced. Both countries struggle with terrorist groups infiltrating either side, which complicates distribution of aid. Either way, both conflicts have gone on for too long. A resolution would be closer if the Obama Administration had taken decisive action in the beginning.
Initially in 2011, citizens of Egypt forced out their president of forty years, Hosni Mubarak, and held democratic elections. Citizens elected Mohamed Morsi, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, which is known to have ties with terrorist organizations. After a year with no progress in the state, the military decided to take control of the government until another round of elections could take place. Since, supporters of Morsi and their opposition have held violent protests leading to multiple civilian deaths. The main problem with this situation, besides what is almost a military coup, is that it could have been prevented. President Obama received intelligence on the issue, but he utilized a “wait-and-see” approach, which led to increasing violence in the region.
The Arab Spring has ended in the majority of countries that were involved, except in Syria. President Bashar al-Assad has refused to appease his citizens and has even referred to them as terrorists. Two years ago, those rebels were fighting for freedom, but now true terrorist organizations have infiltrated their ranks. Once again, America did not take a decisive stance on the situation, but instead gave arms to the rebels. More weapons in a fight don’t help end it, but prolongs it. President Obama stated that chemical weapon use would be his “red line” in the situation. However, videos and reports have shown symptoms of a sarin gas attack on citizens. The only action taken has been sending a fourth navy ship toward Syria. I don’t understand what he plans to do because he has avoided this situation for two years.
Obviously, President Obama cares more about the situation in Egypt than Syria. This makes sense, as America considered Egypt friendlier than Syria because of their cooperation with Israel. However, after two years of death and displacement, it’s time to take concrete action in both states, rather than sit back and wait to see what happens.