children warzone UN photo/Flickr

The Escalating Arab Wars

The violence that has plagued North Africa and the Middle East since the beginning of the Arab Spring may turn out to be just a first taste of what is to come. Without a change of course among the region’s leaders, a further spiral into chaos, violence, and bloodshed is likely to become the only alternative left.

BEIRUT – The violence unleashed in Arab countries in the last four years may turn out to be just a first taste of what is to come. Escalating brutality and the actions of governments have put Arab citizens under immense pressure. Without a change of course, the outcome could easily be further conflict and a new wave of uprisings – this time not peaceful.

Not since the end of World War I have Arab countries undergone such a momentous upheaval. Conflict has broken out in no fewer than nine Arab countries, and the carnage has reached unimaginable levels of inhumanity. Tensions are mounting even in countries that are nominally at peace. Long-standing value systems are weakening, and once-solid societal foundations are crumbling.

Fighting in Syria, Iraq, Sudan, Libya, and Yemen has torn apart entire communities. Ethnic cleansing perpetuated by the Islamic State has reversed centuries of religious, ethnic, and cultural intermingling, and pushed close to two million people from their homes.

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