Peace in the Middle East: Analytical Essay

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One could say that our aggression that translate to war is within human nature, and achieving positive peace can make things difficult, as we are all wired into having our own strong beliefs. War is inevitable as it occurs when people are oppressed and change via peaceful protest is no longer an option. Positive peace can be achieved when there is justice for all sides of discussion while eliminating the tension from rising once again. Since March 15th, 2011, the civil war in Syria has claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of people and displaced millions of civilians. My theory of positive peace will showcase how we can put aside violence to obtain peace and look for a way we can end the civil war in Syria through a much harmonious approach.

Positive peace can only be seen when there is a desire for good without any violence and tension. Positive peace can be obtained when we can eliminate the hatred between one another and inflict a general and complete peace in society. That being said, pleasing each side of the situation can be a daunting task. Coming up with a plan that will make both sides happy enough will not be successful if there is negative peace, which tends to occur without justice. Negative peace only gives a flawed solution that will erupt when tensions boil over the surface. For instance, if sending airstrikes to a foreign enemy is the aggressors’ plan to ensure peace, it fails to recognize that the foreign citizens from that nation will only retaliate as injustice was used to pursue peace.

Society can be recognized by the two extremes: general and complete war (GCW) and general and complete peace (GCP). GCW is a state in which violent interactions among individuals is the rule and where living conditions are dire, if not impossible. Under GCW, “the Hobbesian condition reigns, there is bellum omnium contra omnes… The world has a completely individualistic structure; there is no group formation with cooperation within and conflict between the groups” (Galtung, 1964). The use of violence to destroy whomever's livelihood will lead to growing tensions and an ever-increasing injustice amongst themselves. On the other hand, GCP is a utopia without any boundaries. A prime example is the Pax Romana. The Pax Romana was the longest time of peace for the Romans, lasting two hundred seven years. The peace led the empire to focus on science, which brought even greater prosperity to mankind (Britannica, 2018). Overall, the thought of peace can be achieved to better of mankind by bringing justice for all.

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The civil war in Syria is one of the worst humanitarian crises of all time, as millions of Syrians are seeking refugee from their war-torn homes. The recent use of chemical weapons which is a direct violation to the Geneva Conventions, shows the severity of this growing issue. Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad ordered shots to be taken against peaceful Arab demonstrators. This led to protestors to fire back and thus the civil war began. Shortly after, extremist groups from all around the world start to join the rebels, which made foreign powers to support the rebels in a time of need. Around the time of 2013, the Middle East is divided between Sunni powers, supporting the rebels, and Shias, supporting Assad, and the USA under the Obama administration entered the proxy war as Russia is backing Assad. Meanwhile, during all this conflict an internal disagreement within the rebels awakened a former al-Qaeda affiliate breaks away and call themselves Islamic State. The Islamic State (ISIS) begins it caliphate capturing land. This led to the United States of America to reveal its ulterior motive and attack the greatest threat to them. With no country being on the same page, the US begins to support the Syrian rebels only if they attack ISIS instead of Assad. When Trump was elected to be president, he vowed to stay away from the Syrian crisis and let Assad remain in control. In 2017, Assad once again launches chemical weapons, ultimately killing eighty-five people and twenty children. This multidimension chess is horrendous as it does not appear to be a solution in the near feature through negative peace.

Through peace, the Middle East and Syria can be restored if mankind can persevere. Solving the crisis in Syria is a very hard problem to deal with as the United States and Russia are supporting rival countries and extremist groups fighting for their own goal which does not go hand and hand with everyone’s ultimate desire. Achieving positive peace can happen when all the injustice can come to a holt. One of the first step would be reconciliation amongst the former combatants (Wagner, 2017). In order to do so, Russia and the United States would have to stop insinuate the civil war in Syria and let their personal motives go. Secondly, any extremist groups would have to eliminate their tactlessness and show some diplomacy with their movement. Using Syria to further their goal only creates more internal affairs, and having their goal projected in unity can go a long way. Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Iran would have to stop be beneficiaries for Assad and the rebels to stop adding fuel to the war. Their involvement adding officers, money and cargo supplies will surely help de-escalate the situation from getting any worse than it is in its current state. With ISIS losing its power in the Middle East, the foreign fighters will have to deter from the extreme narratives and co-exist with Western or Eastern society. Finally, Assad and the rebels would have to ensure a peaceful agreement at this point due to all the fighting that transpire.

Based off my theory of peace, two options could develop, such as a democracy modeled off of an elected government is ideal since there was a such a divide in sides leading up to the civil war. Alternatively, the International Court of Justice can intervene as its overall objective is come to a peaceful solution on the foundation on justice.

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