How Soon Can the Spring Come to Syria?
Yoon Han Eunjung  |  smt_neun@sm.ac.kr
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승인 2012.10.13  23:07:08
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Syria: Syrian Civil War


The Syrian civil war is an ongoing internal armed political conflict in Syria.  The conflict began on March 15, 2011 with public demonstrations as part of the wider Arab Spring and developed into a nationwide uprising, and a civil war in 2012.  Protesters have demanded the end to nearly five decades of Ba’ath Party rule, as well as the resignation of President Bashar al-Assad.  In the spring of 2011, the Syrian government deployed the Syrian Army to quell the uprising.  Several cities have been besieged, and soldiers were ordered to put down civilians very cruelly.  Civilians and army defectors began forming fighting units and unified under the banner of the Free Syrian Army.  According to various sources, including the United Nations, between 24,495 and 32,895 people have been killed, of which about half were civilians, but also including 12,400 armed combatants consisting of both the Syrian
army and rebel forces and up to 1,900 opposition protesters.  International organizations such as the UN Commission of Inquiry have also documented abuses of this nature, and also have documentation that indicates rebel forces have been responsible for displacement of civilians.  Also, the Arab League, United States, European Union states and other countries have condemned the use of violence against the protesters.  China and Russia have opposed attempts to agree to a UN resolution condemning Assad’s actions saying that such methods could escalate into foreign intervention.  On July 15, 2012, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) assessed the Syrian conflict as a “non-international armed conflict” (the ICRC’s legal term for civil war), thus applying international humanitarian law under the Geneva Conventions to Syria.

*Arab Spring : The Arab Spring is a name given to the revolutionary wave of demonstrations and protests occurring in the Arab world that began on 18 December 2010.  Also known as the the Arab Revolution

United Kingdom – Ecuador – Sweden – United States: Assange’s Asylum, is it Feasible or Not?


WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is in a crisis.  WikiLeaks is an international, on-line, self-described not-for-profit organization publishing submissions of secret information, news leaks, and classified media from anonymous news
sources.  Especially, it is famous for digging up the military and diplomatic facts of the United States.  Mr.  Assange was accused of sexually assaulting two Swedish women, and arrested in United Kingdom in December 2010.  A few days later, Assange was freed on bail in the U.K., but British authorities obtained a court order authorizing them to extradite Assange to Sweden for questioning in a sexual molestation case.  Assange raised a lawsuit against extradition to Sweden, but it was dismissed.  Right after getting the judgment, Assange took refuge in Ecuador’s London embassy a few days before his extradition was due to occur, and Ecuador last week offered him permanent asylum.  British authorities have indicated Assange will be arrested if he leaves the embassy.  There is an inner plot as to why Assange strongly resisted the extradition to Sweden.  If he is extradited, the Sweden government must re-extradite him to the United States.  Then, the US government will put him to the death penalty for treason and criminal espionage, which is related with his WikiLeasks’ activity revealing the military and diplomatic facts of the United States for many years.  Although, there is no evidence that the Swedish government will give orders to extradite him to the US, it seems to be an established fact.  In this situation, extradition to Ecuador can be considered as the last way for for Assange to survive.  The Obama administration has said Assange‘s immediate fate is in the hands of Britain, Sweden and Ecuador.  However, this attitude of the US is interpreted as a diplomatic trick.  Despite claims by Julian Assange that Washington is plotting to extradite and execute him, US and European government sources say the United States has issued no criminal charges against the WikiLeaks founder and has launched no attempt to extradite him.

United States: Barack Obama was Nominated to Run for a Second Term


The Democratic National Convention has convened in Charlotte, North Carolina, USA, September 4, 2012.  President Barack Obama was nominated to run for a second term at the convention.  Obama didn’t attend the convention, but went on campaigning in the swing states.  The highlights of the convention were the election time for nominating Obama for the Presidency, and the speech of Michelle Obama which was aired during prime-time.  Michelle Obama drew enthusiastic cheers from the crowd.  On September 5, 2012, Bill Clinton give a speech designating the nomination and finally on September 6, 2012, Barack Obama delivered a speech accepting the nomination to run for president to the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday night.  “We must once again come together and stand together for the man we can trust to keep moving this great country forward - my husband, our president, President Barack Obama.”- Michelle Obama at the Democratic National Convention At the same time, the Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is going on the offensive against Obama, emphasizing a deteriorating economy and a continuously high rate of unemployment during past few years.  Anyway, the Republican president Reagan was the only case that the incumbent president getting reelection despite high rate unemployment in 1984.  In the forthcoming elections, voter’s choices are being under the eye of the world.

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