This appeared in the Farmerville Gazette, Farmerville, Louisiana March 7th.

The world suddenly seems to be thrust into chaos as three major civil disturbances are pushing three separate countries toward civil war. Though these three sovereign countries are thousands of miles apart, different in religious majorities and speak different languages; they all have one common thread. This commonality is that they want to throw off the yoke of suppression and demagogue and move closer to a life style that we take for granted in our great nation. It is too late for the United States to quickly squash the genocide and horror that is taking place in Syria but we do have time to make a difference in the Ukraine and Venezuela without committing military resources.
Three years ago when I first began writing this column I discussed the Syrian problems and how the United States could quickly end this confrontation by taking a strong stance against the leadership regime and force an expedited completion. At that time there were 245 reported dead in the uprising. Then the government used gas on its’ own civilians and a line that had been placed in the sand by American had been crossed only to find that the greatest country in the world did nothing and thus lost the respect of the majority of the world. While Russia is sending arms to the Syrian government with impunity the death toll has risen to over ninety-seven thousand killed. Children are being arrested and both children and adults are being tortured by the Syrian government. When this is finally over I’m afraid that as the cities are opened for inspection and the horrors of the refugee camps are disclosed many will ask how we could have let this happen much like what was said when the Jewish death camps of World War II were liberated.
The Ukraine is undergoing disobedience that is calling for a change in the current government. The typical citizen is tired of corruption and the close alliance to Russia. The straw that broke the camel’s back was the economic aligning with Russia instead of the European Union. When the civilians took to the streets America did not repeat the same mistakes that it did in Syria. President Obama called the president of the Ukraine and strongly urged him to not slaughter the Ukraines in the streets. It worked and the Ukraine president has gone into hiding, negotiations have been held with the protesters and a new world is on the horizon for the country. Then our bluff was called. Russia’s president Putin is a major backer of the corrupt administration. His hands were tied during the Olympics as he does not want anything to detract from his countries hosting of the major athletic spectacle. President Obama took a strong line when talking to his counterpart, President Putin, and he emphasized that Russia does not need to be imposing its’ will on the government and people of the Ukraine. Putin has not listened and Russian troops are in the Crimean part of the Ukraine. The Russian president has positioned himself to put Russia back in the forefront of world leadership. He was instrumental in the Libyan settlement and America waited for Russia to lead. He has major pipelines crossing the Ukraine that feed Europe with oil and gas. Europe is now dependent on Russian petroleum and it waits to be seen how much Europe will participate in any critical confrontation against Russia. Teddy Roosevelt said “speak softly but carry a big stick”. Unfortunately this has been over the years and the world is beginning to look at America as hollow rhetoric. It’s time that we change this perception.
When President Chavez of Venezuela died there was hope that the government would be less dictatorial and be more open to America. It did not happen. Last week the civilians took to the streets to protest government suppression and the uprising is expanding. A key opposition leader has been arrested and from his jail he is calling for nonviolent demonstrations. This leader is a direct descendent of Simon Bolivar, the man that led the revolution that ended with a country that bared his name, Bolivia. America’s influence on this government is practically zero. We have been the whipping boy used to pull the country together for a common goal. The country finally realizes that America is not the bad boy in the argument. Instead it is the government of Venezuela.
The unique situation that is unfolding around the world is that countries are striving to move toward a government that is open and administers itself in a way that is less socialist. These new governments will provide less regulation with more opportunities for the population of the countries. It is amazing that while countries are trying to throw off the yoke of socialism and be more like the United States, America is moving away from its’ own roots and is looking more like a socialist government.
I recently had a class and the instructor told us that he recently has a class in Poland. They were incredulous. The Poles told the instructor that they had protested and spilled blood to turn their country into a free, democratic and capitalistic economy like the United States. Now the United States is moving to a socialist society that Poland recently threw off this yoke of oppression.

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