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How Syria Ruined the Arab Spring

How Syria Ruined the Arab Spring | Geography Education | Scoop.it
How Syria Ruined the Arab Spring « | Foreign Policy | the Global Magazine of News and Ideas
Seth Dixon's insight:

Unraveling the situation on the ground in Syria is much like opening a Russian nesting doll, it's a battle, inside of a battle, inside of a battle. A complex series of local, regional, and global rivalries all playing out on the battle grounds of Syria, turning the country in a wasteland. It's created a nightmare for the millions of non-combatants forced to flee, and those stuck within the borders. What started as Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad cracking down on Arab spring protesters in early 2011, quickly escalated into a civil war. Regional rivals Iran, and Saudi Arabia then got involved sending aid to differing sides. Soon, as a result of the rise of ISIS, the west and Russia chose to intervene. Lost in the greater game of Geo-politics is the sad, slow death of the optimism that accompanied the Arab Spring. As Marc Lynch laments in 'How Syria ruined the Arab Spring', all of the momentum was lost and forgotten when Al-Assad resorted to force and Syria became a pawn in regional and global geopolitics.

 

Tagsop-ed, Syria, war, conflict, political, geopolitics, Middle East.

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Interactives about Syrian Refugee Crisis

Interactives about Syrian Refugee Crisis | Geography Education | Scoop.it
War, sectarian violence, and famine have forced more than 50 million people from their homes—the largest number of displaced people since World War II.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Here are two excellent ESRI StoryMaps about the Syrian refugee crisis; these are two very good examples of a great web maps. 

 

Tags: GIS, ESRI, mapping, cartography, geospatial, edtech, Syria, political, refugees.

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Jukka Melaranta's curator insight, March 3, 10:40 AM

Here are two excellent ESRI StoryMaps about the Syrian refugee crisis; these are two very good examples of a great web maps. 

 

Tags: GIS, ESRI, mapping, cartography, geospatial, edtech, Syria, political, refugees.

malbert's curator insight, March 4, 1:30 AM

Here are two excellent ESRI StoryMaps about the Syrian refugee crisis; these are two very good examples of a great web maps. 

'The Uprooted' (focused more on Syria).
Epicenter of a Deepening Refugee Crisis (puts Syria into larger global patterns).

 

Tags: GIS, ESRI, mapping, cartography, geospatial, edtech, Syria, political, refugees.

Rachel Stutzman's curator insight, March 11, 10:28 AM

Here are two excellent ESRI StoryMaps about the Syrian refugee crisis; these are two very good examples of a great web maps. 

'The Uprooted' (focused more on Syria).
Epicenter of a Deepening Refugee Crisis (puts Syria into larger global patterns).

 

Tags: GIS, ESRI, mapping, cartography, geospatial, edtech, Syria, political, refugees.

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Syria's war: Who is fighting and why

Watch how the Syrian civil war became the mess it is today.
Seth Dixon's insight:

A few weeks back I posted a shorter (90 seconds) BBC video on the Syrian war.  This Vox video adds more detail and includes a very helpful timeline to show how more internal and external forces became involved in the fighting.  This is an incredibly complicated geopolitical situation because of all the regional and international players involved.  


TagsSyria, war, conflict, political, geopolitics.

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Gene Gagne's curator insight, November 4, 2015 5:10 PM

I read articles about the Syrian war and watched this film and I got to tell you it sure is confusing. The picture on one of the websites that really disturbed me is the father holding his lifeless  8 or 9 year old daughter in his arms. I have a 9 year old daughter and it was her birthday on that day I saw the picture. Sometimes it is better emotionally to be ignorant about what is going on in the world.

Kevin Nguyen's curator insight, December 7, 2015 1:37 PM

Syrian civil war has escalated into a proxy wars between many nations that all have different goals in mind. It all started from the Arab Spring and is still on-going because there are many sides taking place and none of them wants to back down. Mainly due to the emerge of the Islamic State that cause a shift in the war of fighting a terrorism organization to fighting the different factions within Syria. 

Nicholas A. Whitmore's curator insight, December 16, 2015 5:19 PM

An interesting and well written breakdown of the Syrian war and its local, regional and global factors that have caused the escalation to this point. It should however be pointed out that some of the information within the video is actually wrong. The United Nations did a investigation and report regarding the use of chemical weapons and found ti was the rebels not Assad who had used them. Furthermore it leaves out some reports from the initial protests in Syria that some of them were armed with weapons and fired on police (suggesting that instead of one side it was mutual escalation). Plus much of the fighting in Syria is also sectarian with Shiites backing Assad and the Sunnis backing Assad's opposition (prior global intervention). If these pieces of information were corrected in addition to talking about the Kurdish predicament a bit more along with the origins of ISIS the video would be perfect. So in a way I suppose the video kind of left out important local geographic details that influenced the regional and global ones.

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Syria: Epicenter of a Deepening Refugee Crisis

Syria: Epicenter of a Deepening Refugee Crisis | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Thousands of refugees, many of them fleeing the brutal conflict in Syria, are streaming across Europe in search of safety and security.
Seth Dixon's insight:

If you were hoping someone would make an interactive Story Map with 8 maps on the global refugee crisis, then this is absolutely for you.  While some of the data is centered on Syria and Europe, other maps are global in focus.  This is a VERY good example of a great web map.  


Tags: GIS, ESRI, mapping, cartography, geospatial, edtech, Syria, political, refugees.

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Luis Cesar Nunes's curator insight, September 30, 2015 7:29 AM

Syrian refugees

Emma Boyle's curator insight, October 2, 2015 1:58 PM

For your debate research.

Tanya Townsend's curator insight, November 23, 2015 11:42 AM

This story map is a great visual of the current refugee crisis. This would be a helpful aid in describing the geographical barriers refugees face and how it affects them. For example the map shows where highest concentrations of deaths occur, naturally it is in the ocean. The ocean is a barrier for fleeing refugees. Think about how different landscapes and land forms can affect refugees available paths to flee

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Infographic: The Syrian conflict

Infographic: The Syrian conflict | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Syria's civil war has inflicted a humanitarian crisis, expansive exodus of the population and a severe death toll. New Internationalist presents the facts in this zoomable infograph.


Tags: infographic, Syriamigration, political, refugees.

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Fran Martin's curator insight, September 18, 2015 6:29 AM

This might help if any questions come up, particularly if working with upper KS2 or beyond.

Courtney Barrowman's curator insight, September 23, 2015 3:54 PM

unit 2

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Understanding the Refugee Crisis in Europe, Syria, and around the World

"In which John Green discusses the Syrian refugee crisis and the growing number of refugees from Syria, Afghanistan, and Eritrea crossing the sea with the help of smugglers to seek refuge in European Union nations. Also discussed: The difference between migrants and refugees, the rights of refugees as established by international law, the globalization of all regional crises, and how the death of 3-year-old Alan Kurdi galvanized the world."  http://wp.me/P2dv5Z-1YS 

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Sryrian Migrants On Greek Island Of Kos

A Greek police officer brandished a knife and slapped a migrant while others sprayed fire extinguishers to break up crowds of migrants and asylum seekers on the Greek island of Kos. The UNHCR is calling the migrant crisis a “humanitarian emergency.”
Seth Dixon's insight:

Not since the end of World War II have there been so many refugees seeking safety.  There are several regional hot spots of political, ethnic and religious turmoil; many are now asking how the global community should response to the worst refugee crisis in generations.


Tags: migration, political, refugees, Greece, Syria.

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Fred Issa's curator insight, September 9, 2015 3:05 PM

Where is the United Nations in wave after wave of human tragedy? People leaving their homes with the clothes on their back, many dying before journeys end. Quiet Greek Islands are overwhelmed by the tens of thousands of people fleeing from ISIS and war. These poor people have no food, little or no money, and less hope that they are going to be able to reach some safe haven for their families. Fred Issa

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A bird's-eye view of war-torn Syria

A bird's-eye view of war-torn Syria | Geography Education | Scoop.it
A school that lays in ruins, hospitals and refugee camps under attack, and a city center with the size of Manhattan destroyed by shelling — these are some of the shocking details of a new United Nations report on the conflict in Syria, four years after in began.


Tags: SyriaMiddleEast, conflict, political, remote sensing.

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Shane C Cook's curator insight, May 27, 2015 8:57 AM

Due to the current terror war in Syria, it has caused many people to flee to surrounding countries or countries where there is no terror and discrimination. This has caused them to be refugees or internally displaced persons.

Gene Gagne's curator insight, November 4, 2015 4:42 PM

The stupidity of this whole thing is the reparations and its cost. Its the injury and death tolls during the conflicts followed by the high cost to rebuild. One must ask is the war or conflicts worth it.

Benjamin Jackson's curator insight, December 13, 2015 7:20 PM

from the air the war looks like many historical photographs of bombings, and in this age of precision warfare it is somewhat disturbing that warfare can still look like this. this is a destruction of infrastructure on a scale unseen in the middle east since the Iran-Iraq war.

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Iraq's Current Devolution

"A radical fringe Islamic group names ISIS is fighting to establish a extremist Islamic state in Iraq and Syria...and beyond. They control eastern Syria, western Iraq, just took control of Iraq's 2nd largest city of Mosul and are advancing on the capital Baghdad.  In this podcast, the professor John Boyer outlines just a few of the contributing factors to why this significant event is taking place, the geographic/historic background of the state, and the consequences for the future of the region."

Seth Dixon's insight:

If you haven't yet discovered John Boyer, a.k.a. the Plaid Avenger,  I recommend exploring his site.  He has numerous resources for world regional geography and current global affairs.  His colorful persona is highly entertaining for college age-students as his class attracts over 3,000 students each semester (you can decide for yourself whether that personality works for you and your classroom).  This particular 'plaidcast' discussion focuses on Iraq's current devolution and possible total collapse. 


Tags: SyriaIraq, MiddleEast, conflict, political, geopoliticsborders, colonialism, devolution.

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Courtney Barrowman's curator insight, June 23, 2014 12:27 PM

unit 4

Michael Mazo's curator insight, October 6, 2014 3:04 PM

Iraq's position in regards to the militant groups has steadily affected the countries global and economic status in more ways than one. As these militant groups such as ISIS continue to grow then so will their territory and intensity of self-less acts. Not only are these groups a disease to the world but they affect the way our global economy works. ISIS controls oil fields and vast amounts of land in Iraq, Syria and other middle-eastern countries. In my opinion, America's decision to fire airstrikes onto these militant groups could be both good and bad. Good because it will decrease the amount of ISIS members but bad because it could be an incentive for ISIS to cause further damage and chaos in reference to revenge. At this pace, ISIS and other such groups will gain claimed territory in which will come at the cost of innocent lives of women and children. They must be stopped before issues get worse.

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Conversation: Al Assad Consolidates Power in Syria

Conversation: Al Assad Consolidates Power in Syria | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Stratfor Founder and Chairman George Friedman and Chief Geopolitical Analyst Robert D. Kaplan discuss how Bashar al Assad has legitimized his authority over the course of the Syrian conflict.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Stratfor specializes in global intelligence in key geopolitical regions.  Syria certainly fits that description and in this video, the two most public faces of Stratfor discuss the reasons for the Syrian Civil War from and internal perspective and also impacts from a broader outside lens. 


Tags: SyriaMiddleEast, conflict, political, geopolitics.

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Debating the U.S. Response to Syria

Debating the U.S. Response to Syria | Geography Education | Scoop.it

Students will:

  • Analyze the issues that frame the current debate on U.S. policy towards Syria.
  • Consider the role of the U.S. public, the president, and Congress in the decision of whether to use military force.
  • Work cooperatively within groups to integrate the arguments and beliefs of the options into a persuasive, coherent presentation.
  • Explore, debate, and evaluate multiple perspectives on U.S. policy towards Syria through a role-play activity.
Seth Dixon's insight:

You want resources for teaching the most important geopolitical issue right now?  This set of resources from the Choices Program is just what you are looking for. 


Tags: SyriaMiddleEast, conflict, political.

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Interactives: War and Refugees

Interactives: War and Refugees | Geography Education | Scoop.it

UNHCR has been attempting to count the world's refugees since it was created. If you want to find out which years resulted in the worst displacement, which were the biggest countries of origin and which were the biggest countries of asylum, use the interactive map.

Seth Dixon's insight:

This interactive on refugees is especially timely, given that the Syrian civil war has created refugee situations in many of the neighboring countries.  One of my favorite elements of the Guardian's interactive is that they provide the raw data, so students can create their own maps with the same high quality data.  Equally important, this interactive shows the regional power bases of all the various factions of the Syrian rebellion that is seeking to overthrow the Assad regime.  The political conflict has huge demographic implications.    

Tags: refugees, Syria, migration, conflict, political, MiddleEast, war.

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Emilie Kochert's curator insight, September 8, 2013 4:25 AM

via gduboz

Courtney Barrowman's curator insight, October 6, 2014 12:16 PM

unit 2

Emma Conde's curator insight, May 26, 2015 10:16 PM

Unit 2: Population and Migration

 

This article features an interactive map that displays the numbers of IDPs (internally displaced persons) made by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. You are able to look through the years and see the varying amounts of IDPs, as well as the countries that produced the most of them and which continue to.

 

This goes along with the human geography theme of refugees and IDPs, and this is a very helpful article in providing a simple way to see an overview of where and to what extent this most occurs. 

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Republicans and Millennials Are More Likely to Find Syria on a Map

Republicans and Millennials Are More Likely to Find Syria on a Map | Geography Education | Scoop.it
45 percent think the U.S. should intervene, but only half can identify the country.
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Looting and Conflict: The ISIS Antiquities Pipeline

Looting and Conflict: The ISIS Antiquities Pipeline | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Since the outbreak of the civil war in Syria in 2011, ISIS has looted ancient sites, using the plunder to help finance its operations."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This short comic-book style interactive from National Geographic is incredibly well-done and very engaging.

 

Tags: National Geographic, Syria, political, terrorism, ISIS, historical.

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Putin: Turkey's downing of jet a 'stab in the back'

Putin: Turkey's downing of jet a 'stab in the back' | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Russian warplane crashes in Latakia province in Syria and two pilots seen ejecting from the aircraft.
Seth Dixon's insight:

A border is not a line in the sand but a vertical plane, defining airspace as well as underground assets. The protection of borders and airspace is something that sovereign states take very seriously and can lead to some tense situations.  


Tags: borders, political, conflict, geopolitics.

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Benjamin Jackson's curator insight, December 13, 2015 4:48 PM

it is truly insane that turkey would shoot down a Russian jet engaging anyone in Syria, especially when the Turks are shooting at the Kurds, who are fighting the people that the Turks claim to hate. this is especially troubling, as Turkey is a part of NATO and may drag the rest of the NATO nations into any war they start.

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Who is fighting whom in Syria?

"There has been an intense wave of Russian air strikes in two areas of Syria, activists say. Moscow says it is targeting jihadist groups like Islamic State in co-ordination with Syria's government. But NATO is worried some of the attacks are hitting rebel groups opposed to President Bashar al-Assad - some of whom are backed by the West. So just who is fighting whom in Syria?"

Seth Dixon's insight:

Following the old adage, "an enemy of an enemy is a friend" can make for a very complicated geopolitical situation in a hurry.  This video is a nice overview of the complexity without being complicated.   


TagsSyria, war, conflict, political, geopolitics.

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"Why don't we just bomb them?"

"Why don't we just bomb them?" | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"The west’s failure has already fueled Syria’s dirty war. Now it needs to address how we got here, the endgame, the legality and the global implications before it asks for permission to shoot."

Seth Dixon's insight:

I think we've all heard someone say something along the lines of "why doesn't someone just take them out/bomb them?" about ISIS or Syria's leader, Bashar al-Assad.  As is often the case, it's not that simple to remove a thorn as actions can have reverberating consequences.  Here are three articles to consider when discussing the merits/feasibility of military intervention in Syria:


TagsSyria, war, conflict, political, geopolitics.

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Matthew Richmond's curator insight, November 4, 2015 7:20 PM

Every time I hear this mentioned, whether right or wrong, I instantly assume that I know something about their education level. This situation is going from worse to even worse, and the involvement of the world's "leaders" isn't going to help at all. This is an internal problem that needs to fixed internally. Any involvement will just lead to more pointless deaths of American soldiers. It is time for the Arab nations to get together and take out their own garbage. After all, idea's are bulletproof.

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How Climate Change is Behind the Surge of Migrants to Europe

How Climate Change is Behind the Surge of Migrants to Europe | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Even as Europe wrestles over how to absorb the migrant tide, experts warn that the flood is likely to get worse as climate change becomes a driving factor." http://wp.me/P2dv5Z-1YS 

Seth Dixon's insight:

This article from TIME and this excellent comic book-styled article both come to the conclusion that "drought, in addition to its mismanagement by the Assad regime, contributed to the displacement of two million in Syria."  Climate change can exacerbate political, culture and ethnic tensions as well add stress to already stressed systems.  This is a part of a the broader Syrian refugee issue.   


Tags: drought, Syriamigration, political, refugees, climate change.

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Kevin Nguyen's curator insight, December 7, 2015 2:24 PM

The surge of migrants to Europe has another major contribution other than the Syrian War. Climate change cause food and water shortage to the region of middle-east. The intense droughts and flood are killing their agriculture ultimately lead them to find a food source somewhere else. It's like adding stress to more stress and now you have a massive problem that is showing no sign of stopping.

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Teaching about Syrian Refugees

Teaching about Syrian Refugees | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The Syrian Civil War that stemmed out of the Arab Spring in 2012 morphed into a conflict unlike any of the other Arab Spring protests. In the years before the Arab Spring, Syria experienced an extended drought led to declining agricultural production and social discontent even before the spark of revolutionary change swept the region. The rise of ISIS in the power struggle has led to horrifying atrocities that leave ordinary citizens seeking the most basic of human needs: safety, shelter, food and water.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This problem is not going away and I decided to gather some of my favorite resources on how to teach this very difficult, but incredibly important issue into the linked article. 


TagsSyriaMiddleEast, migration, political, refugees, regions.

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Luis Cesar Nunes's curator insight, September 17, 2015 9:40 AM
 Syrian Refugees
Gene Gagne's curator insight, November 4, 2015 4:40 PM

Its amazing how a civil war sparked a total of 11 million refugees or displacement up to date. Turkey, Iraq, Jordan, are a major help in providing space for these refugees.

Kevin Nguyen's curator insight, December 7, 2015 2:08 PM

The conflict in Syria that stemmed from the Arab Spring led to many refugees fleeing to escape the horrible political condition. These people are different from migrants because they have no choice but to leave. According to UN laws they are provided necessary aid and a place to stay until their country is safe again. However, the Syrian War is escalating quickly rather than showing any sign of stopping. It may be possible these refugees will not have a home and will be an ethnic minority in host countries. 

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Syrian Journey: Choose your own route

Syrian Journey: Choose your own route | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Put yourself in the shoes of a Syrian migrant and see whether you could make the right choices on the journey to Europe.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This BBC interactive tries to get the user to empathize with the plight and the geographic circumstances of Syrian refugees that are fleeing a land a strife.  The choices are not easy and there is no certain path.  This is an interesting interactive that is designed to build geographic empathy.


Tags: refugees, Syria, migration, conflict, political, MiddleEast, war.

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Norka McAlister's curator insight, April 5, 2015 8:01 PM

Citizens of Syria have experienced difficult times since their country entered into a period of continual war in the past few decades. People migrate to Europe in demand of better life for their families. All begin with a plan and a &helper,&  called trafficker or coyote in Mexico, and money to cross few borders and be able to live life free from war. Although, with countries such as Egypt, Lybia, Lebanon, Turkey, and Greece, with a massive migrations, tough economies, lack of jobs, nothing and no one is safe. However, Europe is very attractive in terms of quality life and safety to raise families. Furthermore, to be able to survive during this migration transition, many risks are involved and even in some cases, killings. Immigrants migrate by boat, truck, train, and sometimes even walking. Day or night immigrants keep moving and pay  high prices to be transported to the next point. It takes them weeks, months, and even years to reach thier final destinations. This is the same for those immigrants in Mexico and U.S. 

Claire Law's curator insight, April 25, 2015 8:41 PM

UK interactive resource to put students in the shoes of refugees fleeing conflict

zane alan berger's curator insight, May 26, 2015 4:42 PM

this is a virtual stimulator showing the struggle of a Syrian migrant, proving that one risky decision can be detrimental for these people. this can be related to the migration unit

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The 9 biggest myths about ISIS

The 9 biggest myths about ISIS | Geography Education | Scoop.it
If you want to understand the Islamic State, better known as ISIS, the first thing you have to know about them is that they are not crazy. Murderous adherents to a violent medieval ideology, sure. But not insane.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This interactive is a series of related articles, each designed to tackle popular narratives that have been constructed to explain ISIS; there are bits of truths in these myths, but they fail to fully contextualize the reality on the ground.  These nine myths are:

  1. ISIS is crazy and irrational
  2. People support ISIS because they like its radical form of Islam
  3. ISIS is part of al-Qaeda
  4. ISIS is a Syrian rebel group
  5. ISIS is only strong because of Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki
  6. ISIS is afraid of female soldiers
  7. The US can destroy ISIS
  8. ISIS will self-destruct on its own
  9. ISIS is invincible

 

Tags: SyriaIraq, MiddleEast, conflict, political, geopolitics.


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David Lizotte's curator insight, March 14, 2015 2:39 PM

This article does a good job helping the reader gain a more rounded perspective of ISIS, that is ISIS' rational. The writer feels it necessary for people to better understand ISIS' reasoning for its being so there are in turn no misjudgments formed about the terrorists. I knew the writer was in no way defending ISIS, rather giving an intellectual input on the matter to try and enhance everyones perspective. However, as contextual as it was, the writer truly needed to get across how crude/violent the movement truly is. Yes, understanding ISIS is important, it helps form a more precise explanation for their actions... but they are terrorists whom are exploiting the misfortune of a people (Sunni misrepresentation in a political setting) in order to form a society... which is ultimately founded on violence and acts that counter the true fundamentals and meaning of Islam. A less experienced reader could perceive this article as defending the reasoning(s)/rational of ISIS.

Personally, I find that there is rational behind every movement/terrorist factions/rebel actions, etc... There is usually a common goal, no matter how well-thought out and actions then occur in order to obtain this goal, no matter how well-thought out. Even Joseph Kony (at his height), rampaging through central Africa has a rational behind his actions-to disrupt villages/communities, gain profit in food and money, as well as abduct and dehumanize young children in order to make them fierce warriors, all these reasons ultimately support his main issue/goal, that being fighting government suppression. Horrible rational which leads to atrocities, yet no piece was written to help the world gain a better understanding of Kony and the Lord's Resistance Army. Because in either case they are terrorists...

Yes, understanding the enemy and how/why it functions the way it does is important. Yes, interpreting there rational is important. But this article truly fails to get across how ruthless and disturbed ISIS actually is. The writer states ISIS is basically doing what many rebel groups do when upset with the political setting... they rebel and try to form there own territory. Well, this is true, especially the political reasoning behind ISIS' actions and its existence (something the article does do a good job explaining) but the way ISIS goes about is non-comparable. Look at the Russian-backed separatists in the Eastern Ukraine. Both oppositions engaged in war fare. They aren't playing a game of hide and seek beheading civilians, torturing reporters, etc... all for political gains... ISIS are terrorists-of course they have a rational, of course they are smart, there predecessor "al-Qaeda" were smart too. Joseph Kony can be seen as smart... he hasn't gotten caught, thats smart isn't it? 

The article explains that them being smart and having a strong rational motive makes them dangerous. No kidding they are dangerous.

The article does a good job at educating people about ISIS yet it certainly teeters on the line of defending them. It gives reasoning behind there soulless attacks, scholars know the reasoning, they do not have to be written out in a quasi defense format like I believe this article does. "The end justifies the means" is the perspective of the Islamic State... it shouldn't be so for this writer!

Lora Tortolani's curator insight, March 18, 2015 9:04 PM

This may be a little off topic but with a President like Obama, how could America even try to stop ISIS alone?  That man has made a fool of our country!  I don't think ISIS would self-destruct on its own; it will continue to grow and become more powerful because people are afraid.

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, October 23, 2015 6:13 AM

Like much of the Middle East, ISIS is shrouded in myth. To many Americans, they are just a band of savage lunatics who want to chop peoples heads off. In reality they are not that insane. The violence they commit is calculated. "It  is targeted to weaken their enemies and strengthen ISIS' hold on territory, in part by terrorizing the people it wishes to rule over". They are driven by radical ideology, but they do have an ultimate goal in mind. They want to rule territory and form their own radical empire. Violence is a tool to achieve that aim.  The rest of this article describes eight other myths commonly associated with ISIS. This article does an excellent job of breaking down commonly held assumptions of ISIS.

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The Beginning of a Caliphate: The Spread of ISIS

The Beginning of a Caliphate: The Spread of ISIS | Geography Education | Scoop.it
With Tuesday's seizure of Mosul, Iraq's second largest city, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria notched a major victory in its campaign to create a new country containing parts of what had part of both Syria and Iraq. On Wednesday, the insurgents continued their march south, taking control of Tikrit, the hometown of Saddam Hussein.


The story of ISIS's spread -- and its influence -- is one that begins in Syria, where the group has been waging a brutal insurgency against the regime of Bashar al-Assad and, increasingly, other more moderate and secular rebel groups. The map above depicts the areas of Syria under its control. The group's influence is bounded by the Free Syrian Army in the west, the Kurds in the north, and pockets of government influence.  Who is the ISIS/ISIL?


Tags: SyriaIraq, MiddleEast, conflict, political, geopolitics.

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Jacob Crowell's curator insight, October 6, 2014 3:06 PM

ISIS has demonstrated how geographies are ever changing and how disputes over borders are constantly occurring. ISIS is looking to reshape the political geography of the land from the Mediterranean to Iran's Zagros mountains into a caliphate. The movement of ISIS has been influenced by geography. The group is contained to transportation corridors because reaching into the countryside is difficult. Furthermore, the physical geography of Iraq and Syria has made ISIS an extremely powerful force. They have taken control of many of Iraq and Syria's oil fields. ISIS has also shifted population geographies causing mass displacement as they advance. In Syria 2.8 million people have fled, 200,000 have come to Iraq. ISIS is causing major shifts in the political, demographic, and economic geographies of Iraq and Syria.

Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, October 6, 2014 3:25 PM

ISIS has shown both in the past and more recently that it is far from a group of disorganized rebels and in reality is a competent and dangerous organization. Recent land grabs show that ISIS not only seeks to gain land mass but an economic base. This map shows the the strategic land ownership corresponds with oil fields throughout the area. ISIS' leadership is competent enough to know that in order to run a large Caliphate and support it's troops a viable source of income is needed.

 

Nicole Kearsch's curator insight, October 6, 2014 3:29 PM

With the help of maps one can see how much of an impact ISIS has had on Syria and Iraq.  We can see where ISIS has taken over, where they have attacked and what areas they have their people around.  This gives people an idea of where they have been and where they may be going.  Another map shows what cities have been overtaken by ISIS.  This gives exact points where ISIS has terrorized the people to gain control.  Another map shows just Syria and the control that ISIS has in that country.  The fourth map is important to a larger portion of the world.  It has Iraq and the where ISIS has taken over and where the area of control is in reference to where oil fields are.  The last map refers to the people in Syria and where they have taken refuge to stay safe from ISIS.

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Walled World

Walled World | Geography Education | Scoop.it
We chart the routes of, and reasons for, the barriers which are once again dividing populations
Seth Dixon's insight:

This is an in-depth, multi-media interactive that explores the political, economic and cultural implications of borders that are heavily fortified or militarized (I found this too late to be included in the "best posts of 2013" list, but this will be the first to include for 2014).  Not all of these borders are political; in Brazil it explores the walls that separate different socioeconomic groups and in Northern Ireland they look at walls dividing religious groups.  The interactive examines various borders including U.S./Mexico, Morocco, Syria, India/Bangladesh, Brazil, Israel, Greece/Turkey, Northern Ireland, North/South Korea and Spain The overarching questions are these: why are we building new walls to divide us?  What are the impacts of these barriers?

  

Tags: borders, political, territoriality, unit 4 political.

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Lauren Sellers's curator insight, May 29, 2014 1:06 AM

We looked at this map in class its really interesting nd weird to see all the dividing walls in the world and to discover ones youve never seen before.

Tanya Townsend's curator insight, October 12, 2015 9:53 PM

The video attached to this article reminded me made me think "racism". It is not Americas first time targeting one cultural group and antagonizing them. We did it to the Indians, Jews, at one time we denied Chinese immigrants the right to enter the country or become a citizen. The projection of walls in my opinion only creates more room for crime. I would love to research what benefits its had. I think the world is lacking the understand that people are people .period. This segregation and division is so unnecessary and creates wars, tension, hostility, and divide.

 

Gene Gagne's curator insight, December 2, 2015 9:41 AM

the social impact is we do not get to mingle with people of different culture, religion, ethnicity. Economically businesses do not grow at least on the small business side. There is no chance of growth. what about population once again if you stay with in a section divided by walls then the population stays within. a society would have to stay above the 2.06 fertility rate to keep their population stable.

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Complexity in Syria

Complexity in Syria | Geography Education | Scoop.it
A color-coded map of the country's religious and ethnic groups helps explain why the fighting is so bad.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This map of the various ethnic and religious groups in being shown on major media outlets as some Western countries (including the United States) are considering military action in Syria.  This and other maps like it powerfully conveys while many may conceptualize Syrians as a single monolithic group, that idea is a fiction that was created in the absence of geographic content to fill the void. 


Additionally this diagram has also been circulating lately for the same reasons; this flow chart lays out the Middle East's political rivalries and alliances.  "The enemy of my enemy is my friend" is a well-quoted proverb to simplify Middle Eastern political alliances and rivalries.  Seeing this web, you can only imagine that living by that dictum can certainly lead to complicated geopolitical conflicts among countries and culture groups.


Tags: SyriaMiddleEast, conflict, political, ethnicity, religion.

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Jessica Rieman's curator insight, April 2, 2014 6:19 PM

This map shows tha tthere are an overwhelimg amount of Arabs especially in centeral Syria. And then on the coast lline it is mostly mixed with pink representing the overwhlming other majority.

Joseph Thacker 's curator insight, April 2, 2014 8:11 PM

It appears from this article that Syria is a complicated country. The map shows the different ethnic and religious groups of Syria, along with other groups, all of which live within a small area. Syria, along with other countries within the Middle East have been faced with one serious issue or another. Many different people live within a very small area; those people practice different religions and are ethnically and culturally different. Unfortunately, being different in this part of the world may get you killed.   

Paige Therien's curator insight, May 4, 2014 1:25 PM

Maps such as this one are very valuable when trying to understand conflict.  In Syria and the greater Levant area, unbalanced power and representation in politics is the result of many different religious and ethnic groups living in such close proximity each other, allowing conflict to become very invasive.

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A parched Syria turned to war, scholar says; Egypt may be next

A parched Syria turned to war, scholar says; Egypt may be next | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Prof. Arnon Sofer sets out the link between drought, Assad’s civil war, and the wider strains in the Middle East; Jordan and Gaza are also in deep trouble, he warns
Seth Dixon's insight:

This is an interesting article and the concepts in it were recently echoed by Thomas Friedman in the New York Times; some seem the linkages that he is making between population growth and drought with war and conflict as being environmentally deterministic while others think that it is appropriately taking the geographic factors into consideration.  Conflicts over water can erupt, but how much of the conflict can be attributed these factors?  What do you think? 


Tags: SyriaMiddleEast, conflict, political, water, environment,

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Nathan Chasse's curator insight, April 1, 2014 11:25 AM

The article explains how population growth, climate change, drought, and water shortages could have contributed to the rise of war in Syria. This is an interesting interpretation, one which certainly could have been a contributing factor, but not all the Arab Spring can be attributed to water shortages so it is not a direct cause. The water shortages in Syria and a lack of government response certainly could have fanned flames which already existed due to an oppressive regime and regional conflicts. Climate change gets a lot of attention for the potential damage it could do to the environment, but I had not given much thought to the conflicts it could cause between nations and peoples.

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 2014 3:22 PM

Egypt may be the next country to be in deep trouble. With so many militant attacks coming out of Egypt to being with there is no surprise that the Middle East thinks it will be next on the list.

Pamela Hills's curator insight, July 18, 2014 8:37 AM

 A world at war and hot spots are growing with people caught in middle <3