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Contemporary Issues in Southwest Asia. World Studies. Overview. Today, Southwest Asia is at the center of many conflicts that are global in nature and have far reaching consequences. As Americans, we find ourselves involved in and affected by these conflicts. We will examine…

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Presentation Transcript
  • Today, Southwest Asia is at the center of many conflicts that are global in nature and have far reaching consequences.
  • As Americans, we find ourselves involved in and affected by these conflicts.
  • We will examine…
    • Arab- Israeli Conflict
    • Conflict over oil
    • Terrorism
who is an arab and who is an israeli
Who is an Arab and who is an Israeli?
  • An Arab (pronounced Air-rib, not A-RAB) is a person who is a member of an Arabic speaking people.
  • Arabs are spread throughout the Middle East, and make up large parts of Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Syria, Egypt, and Libya.
  • An Israeli is a person who lives in the country of Israel, usually a person of Jewish descent.
issue 1 arab israeli conflict background
Issue #1: Arab-Israeli Conflict Background
  • Jews claim that modern day Israel is the land of their ancestors and it belongs to them (Old Testament)
  • Over the course of thousands of years, many Arabs had moved into this area and lived peacefully.
  • During this time, most Jews lived in Europe.
  • Following WWII and the Holocaust, many Jews returned to their ancient homeland, and with help from Great Britain and the U.S., created a Jewish state.
  • This led to a conflict between Arabs (Palestinians) and Jews lasting over 60 years.
the conflict
The Conflict
  • The conflict has consisted of:
  • Military Actions (1948 war, 1967 war)
  • Terrorist Attacks (Munich, suicide bombing)
  • Human Rights Violations (Palestinian refugees)
  • Peace Talks
the conflict today
The Conflict Today
  • As of 2010, the conflict remains unresolved.
  • Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton both made attempts to bring each side together but were unsuccessful.
  • President Obama has stated that this is a priority for his administration as well, but nothing major yet.
  • Barriers to peace:
    • Israel unwilling to give up land
    • Tough talk from radical Arabs
    • Military action/ Terrorism
    • Cycle of violence
    • U.S. Involvement
issue 2 oil politics
Issue #2: Oil Politics
  • Southwest Asia has 60% of the world’s oil reserves.
    • Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya.
  • Extremely important and profitable natural resource.
    • Liquid Gold
  • U.S. and other powerful western nations have strong desire for this resource.
  • Because of this, the U.S. has found itself involved in the politics and affairs of this region.
key events
Key Events
  • 1953- CIA backed coup in Iran
    • Overthrow democratically elected socialist Mohammed Mosaddeq in favor of authoritarian Shah.
    • Why? Oil.
  • 1960- Formation of OPEC
    • Oil producing countries band together to stop western control of oil prices.
  • 1980- Iran/ Iraq War
    • Iraq (led by Saddam, supported by the U.S.) invades Iran.
    • Oil tankers are attacked; U.S. sends ships to protect.
  • 1990- Persian Gulf War
    • Iraq (led by Saddam, opposed by U.S.) invades oil-rich Kuwait, also threatening Saudi Arabia.
  • 2003-2010- Operation Iraqi Freedom (2nd Gulf War)
    • U.S invades Iraq: WMD’s, connection to 9/11?
    • No WMD’s, no connection to 9/11….OIL?
    • Saddam dead, new govt. friendly to the U.S.
oil politics today
Oil Politics Today
  • 40% of U.S. energy comes from burning of oil.
  • 2/3 of oil is imported.
  • 5% of population; 25% of oil consumption
  • U.S. oil allies: Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq
  • U.S. oil enemies: Iran, Venezuela (not SW Asia)
  • China/ India: large populations, need for oil will increase. Potential conflict? Alternatives?
  • What’s next?
issue 3 extremism terrorism
Issue #3: Extremism/ Terrorism
  • In response to the conflict and inequality in SW Asia, many individuals and groups have resorted to terrorism.
  • Terrorism comes from the Latin word terrere, which means “to frighten.”
  • Terrorism uses violence or the threat of violence to achieve goals.
  • There are many examples of terrorism, but we will focus on terrorism related to SW Asia.
why do people groups resort to terrorism
Why do people/ groups resort to terrorism?
  • They have been mistreated and feel terror is fair retaliation (violence=more violence)
  • A need for immediate action.
  • They are out numbed and out armed…no way of winning an official war.
  • They feel their opinions have been ignored by national and/or international governments.
  • Formal methods have failed.
terror in southwest asia
Terror in Southwest Asia
  • Arab- Israeli Conflict
    • Israeli army
    • PLO…Palestinian govt. or terrorist org?
    • Hamas…Terrorists or freedom fighters?
    • Suicide bombings, hostages
    • Why? Conflict over land in Israel.
  • Al-Qaeda
    • Radical Islamist group led by Osama bin Laden
    • Global, well-funded, well-coordinated attacks
    • Responsible for 9/11, Madrid, London, U.S. embassies in Kenya and Somalia.
    • Why? Jihad (holy war) against western capitalism/ retaliation for western (U.S.) involvement in SW Asia.
impact of terrorism today
Impact of Terrorism Today
  • War in Afghanistan
    • 9/11 attacks planned in Afghanistan
    • Disrupt Al-Qaeda network, find bin Laden
    • Stabilize government
    • Longest war in American history
  • Post- 9/11 America
    • New awareness of world around us
    • Increased security (airports)
    • Justification for military action (Iraq, Yemen)
    • Border security
    • Fear (media, politics)
  • Post- 9/11 World
    • Terror/ conflict still exist
    • World on edge