Sam Judd: Was the Syrian war caused by drought?Save
By Sam Judd
As the world reels from the atrocities being carried out by IS supporters, I feel that far too much time is spent on trying to fight an unbeatable enemy, rather than take action on the root causes of the crises.
While it may be understandable that the French want justice to be served for the horrific terrorist attacks, will dropping more bombs in Syria actually reduce the risk of terrorism?
At the same time, the United States' lobbyist-infiltrated foreign policy dishes out over $US3 billion of military support to Israel each year. This money directly supports the (United Nations-defined) illegal occupation of Arab lands in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, Golan Heights and the Gaza Strip.
While I don't condone terrorism, if you still can't see why this would be a reason for some to turn to terrorism, then read this letter from Osama Bin Laden, which explains it explicitly.
Now just imagine for a minute, if just some of the vast sums of money that have been spent on the Syrian conflict, war against IS and gifts to the already highly-developed state of Israel was pledged to fix environmental problems in the area?
An Iraqi friend of mine who fled the country to settle here (much to our gain I might add) told me once that he wished there was no oil in his country as before it was exploited, it was a wonderful and peaceful place.
Before the Syrian conflict, the country suffered a severe drought. Resulting crop failures sent over 1.5 million people into urban centres that contributed to the destabilisation of the country and devastating civil war. Research has now drawn very strong links to show that this drought was caused by human-induced climate change.
Can the 4.2 million+ people who have registered with the United Nations to escape the Syrian conflict be called 'climate refugees'?
Whilst that statement may be a stretch, I strongly believe that western countries would do more to reduce the chance of terrorism tragedies if we used our considerable expertise and resources to improve the natural resources and associated healthier living conditions in the places where extremists come from.
And like my friend has shown in New Zealand, I think the people from the area of the Syrian conflict have much innovation that they could use to support programs that would fix the environment.
Let's not forget that this area of the Levant - termed the 'Fertile Crescent' was home to the world's first complex societies - dating back to over 10,000 BCE - where wonderful inventions such as writing, the wheel, glass and irrigation began.
Perhaps we should stop reaming so much oil out of the region and concentrate on re-establishing the area as the earthly Garden of Eden? Jewish, Christian and Muslim faiths do agree that this was the location of this fabled place.
Would a reduction of fossil fuel consumption help to reduce conflict in the Middle East? What else could the Western World do to help these countries get through the crisis?