Detaining. An Act of War?

May 09 2011

Detaining. An Act of War?

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North Korea Identifies Detained American

Jun Young Su, an American citizen was arrested and detained after he allegedly committed a crime against the state of North. He has been in custody since November 2010. Information revealed from the state department states that he is a Korean-American businessman who possessed a visa to enter the North. Due to the fact that neither the United States nor South Korea currently holds diplomatic relations the North, the U.S. State Department is working with the Swedish Embassy in Pyongyang. The United States is seeking his freedom based on grounds of humanitarian relief. This has not been the first occasion in which North Korea has detained American citizens. In 2010, Aijalon Mahili Gomes had to be rescued by former President Jimmy Carter. He had been convicted for crossing over the Chinese border and punished to eight years of hard labor and fined more than half a million dollars. The previous year, former President Bill Clinton had to go seek the release of Laura Ling and Euna Lee, two American journalists who had been sentenced to twelve years of hard labor.

3 UAE Activist Detained Since Friday

Ahmed Mansoor a blogger who was noted for calling for reform in the UAE has aducted late at night. A group of ten men including two uniformed police officers seized Mansoor along with his passport and laptop. They did not reveal to his wife were they were taking him or why.

Saturday evening, Farhad Salem al-Shehhi, a friend of Mansoor’s who assisted with his blog was also abducted. Lastly, the government detained Nasser bin Ghaith, a writer by occupation who likewise helped the men to maintain to their blog.

Although inquires about the detaining of the men by news agencies such as CNN have not received a response, the capture of the men is believed to be related to their protest of the government. In March, Mansoor joined a group of 133 nationalist portioning Presidnet Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and the Supreme Council. It sought direct elections and legislative powers for the Federal National Council.

Iran Helping Syria Quell Protests, US says

Iran is being accused by the US State Department of assisting the nation of Syria in suppressing protest. The State department says the assistance is in the form of “gear used to suppress crowds, as well as equipment and technical advice for monitoring and blocking e-mail, cell phones, text messaging, and internet postings by and among activist.” Syria’s Foreign Ministry has responded to the allegations by say that they do not hold merit or truth and are similar to US propaganda to tarnish both Iran and Syria. The US sees Iran’s actions as continuing to meddle in the region. Another major accusation made by the US is regarding the tactic of photographing protestors and then arresting them at night in the following weeks as not to gain detection.

In light of our recent discussion of war in chapter eight, these three articles stimulated my mind to explore the topic more in-depth. After reading the articles I started to analyze them and came up with one question: Is detaining an individuals an act of war? In my mind, I believe it is. Consider North Korea for instance. Despite its hatred for the West, it cannot openly retaliate against the United States or its allies. Doing so would come at the cost of the demise of the nation. Although China is a known support of the North, I do not believe it would spare the nation from the wrath of the West for one reason: it’s growing economy. In recent years, the Chinese government has opened markets to some measures of capitalism. The government is mesmerized by the growth and profit. Supporting or defending an act of aggression against the United States would severely jeopardize its growth. So for the time being, Pyongyang will have to settle for detaining US citizens.

The UAE has experience relative growth from capitalism and investment. However, it still seeks to maintain it firm grip on the nation like China. In the long run, I believe this could be dangerous for the UAE because it will deter US tourist who because of the war in the Middle East and Libya are more cautious of their travel arrangements. Likewise, censoring free speech could hurt the nation. If it continues it could result in open rebuke by the US State Department which would further hurt its economic base: US tourist.

Lastly, I view Iran’s efforts to aid Syria in restricting free speech my censorship and detaining citizens as dangerous. It expectedly has been condemned by the United States. It will continue to create more tension between the regions and push the US to take more stringent measures when dealing with Iran. Likewise, the spreading of technology to aid human rights violations may in the future be a final straw in the United States’ diplomatic policy to the nation. Helping Libya in such a manner is jeopardizing US interest and security by stimulating further unrest in the Middle East.

Like North Korea, could Iran be assisting Syria as an unofficial act of war?

One Response to “Detaining. An Act of War?”

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