The Loomis Chaffee World Bulletin Bringing the World to the Island
Spain’s Economic Troubles
Egyptian Democracy Malaria in Africa
The Future of Myanmar
2012 South Korean Presidential Election The Obama-Romney Debates
Cover Illustration by Arianna Calabrese ’13
from the Editor-in-Chief
A letter to our readers: From Twitter to The Daily Show: Where Do You Get Your News?
If you only had ten minutes today, what would you read? Your friends’ latest tweets? People magazine? Game reports? The Log? If you wanted to follow the news, would you read The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times? Or would you watch The Colbert Report or The Daily Show? So many sources compete for our attention. It becomes difficult to sift through this wealth of information, ignore what the stars wear, dismiss the pundits, and pick out what is truly important. With this year’s first issue of the Loomis Chaffee World Bulletin, we encourage you to take just ten minutes a day to look beyond our community, at the issues happening all over the world; a global perspective is critical to us in high school, because learning about international conflicts, foreign steps toward democracy, and the global economy is central to developing not only tolerance but understanding of the critical issues that surround differences. Learning about the civil war in Syria exposes us to the dangers of hatred; studying the Burmese peace treaties allows us to examine how to negotiate in a culture of fear.
Note: Technical difficulties prevented the release of this issue in early December, as originally planned. We do apologize for the delay.
What would happen if every student and every faculty member on campus spent just ten minutes a day dipping into world affairs? What service projects would we dream up? What designs would we propose for the new Center for Global Studies? What wisdom would we develop? What would it mean for our discourse? For our community? Let’s find out. Sincerely, Arianna Calabrese ’13
Fall 2012 / Volume 4, Number 1 EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: Arianna Calabrese ’13 Assistant Editors: Ekaterina “Kath” Kryuchkova ’13 Krishna Kulkarni ’13 Woo Jin “James” Lee ’13 Tuan Anh “Thomas” Lam ’14 Samuel Verney ’14 Faculty Adviser / Copy & Layout: Rachel M. Engelke
Fall 2012 / Volume 4, Number 1
4 | Sweet Mother of God, Deliver Us From Evil -Andrey Boycko ’15
15 | 2012 South Korean Presidential Election Makes History - Ji Hee Yoon ’13
5 | A Wounded Economy: Is Spain Following Greece’s Path? -Ana “Izzy” Fleming ’13
16 | Disgraceful Scandal Rocks China -Leah Rubin ’14
6 | A Dream Come True for Georgia— But Whose Dream? -Ekaterina “Kath” Kryuchkova ’13
17 | The Buck Stops Here: China’s Monetary Might -Daniel Keogh ’13
7 | Economic Woes Divide England -Michael Horowicz ’13
19 | Diaoyu Dispute: Sino-Japanese Turmoil in the East China Sea -Tuan Anh “Thomas” Lam ’14
Africa & The Middle East
20 | Myanmar: What’s the Future for Asia’s Next Economic Tiger? -Tung “Paul” Nguyen ’14
8 | Anti-Islamic Video Sparks Violent Protests in Middle East -Samuel Adler ’15 9 | A Year After the Fall—Where is Libya? - Samuel Verney ’14 10 | Mohamed Morsi: The New Face of Arab Democracy -Krishna Kulkarni ’13 11 | Finding Peace in Nuclear Weapons -Yusuf Alnawakhtha ’14 12 | Syria the Sickly -Rohin Bhargava ’14 13 | Malaria: Africa’s Invisible Enemy -Krishna Kulkarni ’13, with contributions from Arianna Calabrese ’13 and Nathan Harris ’13
Write for the Winter issue! Talk to one of the editors about your story idea and learn about the procedures & protocol for submitting articles. All articles are due by Sunday, February 24th. If you’d like to be added to the World Bulletin portal, please e-mail Ms. Engelke.
The Americas 21 | Harming or Hurting America? Mexico and Illegal Immigration -Paul K. Lee ’13 23 | Hugo Chávez Wins Venezuelan Election: Déjà Vu, or Is It? -Paige Mickel ’14 24 | The Last Colony: The Fight for the Falkland Islands -Seyun Kim ’14 25 | #debates -Arianna Calabrese ’13 27 | Clean American Energy -Ezra Kauffman ’13 — 29 | Also in the News 30 | Images Sources
europe Sweet Mother of God, Deliver Us From Evil When people talk about Russian politics nowadays, they usually make one mistake: they consider the attempts of the government to stop the protests as foolish and unreasonable. They assume that Vladimir Putin is selfish in his unwillingness to step down from the presidency for Russia’s sake, that he is, no doubt, an enemy of his country, and that he is using his power to make him and his relatives rich. Mr. Putin is the reason Russia remains a poor country. But does that make him and his government foolish? Let’s look over the recent protest movement: it started on December 10, 2011 when over 100,000 people came to a rally claiming that their votes in the recent parliamentary election had been stolen. The liberal, nationalist and communist opposition factions (including, also, anarchist, green, and gay activists) united against the government, and thus, swarms of people from these factions attended the rally. It makes sense - in the resistance, people of polaropposite political views have a lot in common: their shared feelings of patriotism towards “mother Russia” compels them to overlook their ideological differences and to protest against their government’s unfair treatment of its citizens. But this unity still surprised me. During the riots, I stood with a nationalist to my right and a communist to my left, and they didn’t question my political views - we simply held on to each other and resisted the police together. What was happening in the Russian government throughout the protests? Upset with Police spray tear gas at rioters the rallies, Putin fired the man responsible trying to break a barricade for preventing them, Vladislav Surkov, and replaced him with Vyacheslav Volodin. However, this mistake cost Putin dearly as his poll ratings dropped 4 ANDREY BOYCKO is a resident in Batchelder Dormitory from Moscow, Russia. He plays soccer and tennis, and races on the skiing team. This article marks his World Bulletin debut.
by Andrey Boycko ’15
dramatically. Surkov is careful and subtle in executing plans to thwart civil unrest, whereas Volodin prefers direct confrontation and armed conflicts, which resulted in more public discontent with the police force responsible for keeping riots in check. In the end, however, Volodin was fired and Surkov was asked back. Even when Surkov came back to office, he saw Putin’s approval ratings drop dramatically once again.
Pussy Riot members singing “Putin Pissed His Pants” last year at Moscow’s Red Square.
He saw more and more people joining the opposition, while a couple of unruly girls, members of a band called Pussy Riot, sang “Virgin Mary, Redeem Us of Putin” in a church, of all places. Many Russians were deeply insulted by these girls; even though only 1520% of the people are officially Russian Orthodox (CIA World Factbook, July 2012), this is still a mostly traditional and conservative country. This highlighted a fundamental difference between the opposition factions: the nationalists want the Pussy Rioters imprisoned because they believe that their action was immoral, while the liberals want them to be freed because they didn’t break any laws. Perhaps because of their diverging opinions about the appropriate response to Pussy Riot, the one-time alliance between the two factions was weakened. Surkov brought this difference into light and attempted to spawn many disagreements among the opposition factions. He hopes to portray the nationalists as supporters of the government (in its attempts to incorporate religious law) and of the Church. One thought is that if the trend continues Russia will make Putin into either a czar (king), arguing that God wants him to be one, or the Pope of the Orthodox Church; in either scenario, the government/church would have the authority
to respond with brutal might if another fraudulent election resulted in violent protest. The case of Pussy Riot may be the first attempt to restrict the engagement of the church in Russian society. Think about the religious countries we have now and about the religious countries we used to have: in my opinion, each country where religion and law are intertwined has become an aggressive country where human rights are ignored (especially women’s rights). Some may argue that all such countries are Islamic, but if we look to history for Christian countries, we see a same denial of human rights, such as freedom of
religion and women’s rights. We also see aggression, like in the Crusades, Spanish-Arab wars or AngloSpanish wars. Nevertheless, I believe that there is one good thing about religious countries, at least Christian ones, nowadays: few of them hold much actual power, and so they do not pose any danger to the democratic world. But what if Russia, a superpower with nuclear weapons, becomes a theocracy? How dangerous will it be for the rest of the world if there is a strong Christian country, and what will its interactions with, say, the Islamic Iran, that also has nuclear weapons, look like? Hopefully, we will never know.
A Wounded Economy: Is Spain Following Greece’s Path? by Ana “Izzy” Fleming ’13
At 25 years old, my cousin Fernando packed up his an unemployment rate life in Badajoz, Spain and boarded a plane for England. of 50% among young IZZY FLEMING is a boarder in Mason Dormitory from Desperate for a job, he had no other choice. Spain’s people (“Spain Recoils as Middlebury, Vermont. She is economy was continuing to collapse, and after several Its Hungry Forage Trash an editor for The LOG, and years of being denied employment, he had given up Bins for a Next Meal,” is involved in community on his country. The New York Times, 24 service. Izzy made her At 52 years old, my mom’s best friend, Marian, September 2012), Spain World Bulletin debut last spring with an article about cleared her desk after working for her company for is in a state of emergency the manufacturing of Apple 16 years. She was laid off. With two children, she must for the first time in its products in China. find the answer to one question: what is she going to history. The image of do next? the country has quickly transformed from one of At 38 years old, my uncle Israel now faces crowded beaches and celebrated mealtimes to one foreclosure on his home in Seville. After trials over of desperate and concerned citizens. Even though the government corrupting the financial stability of people continue to suffer, the government continues his business, he is now left with nothing. to cut jobs, salaries, pensions, and benefits. The With a Spanish mother, I have grown up traveling effects are immediately felt by the citizens as school to her home country every summer. For 17 years, I lunches are no longer offered to low-income families, have adopted the position as an “unemployed” is the new “it” word, “observer” on these trips. Upon and locks are installed on trash arrival, I note the mound of gel bins to prohibit digging for food. in each teenage boy’s hair, the Caritas, a Catholic charity, reported vibrant families crowding the earlier this year that 22% of Spanish outdoor seats in restaurants, and households are living in poverty and the rapid fluidity of the Romance more than 600,000 are living on no language. But this past summer, I income whatsoever. Furthermore, was struck by something different: these numbers are only supposed Demonstrators march to the Spanish the economy and its tragic toll on Parliament to protest austerity measures to worsen. Following the path of the lives of the people in my own neighboring Greece, who’s next in family. line to crumble? st At the dawn of the 21 century, As the government takes action Spain relished in a thriving property against the economic crisis, its boom that elevated the country’s harmful policies actually fuel more rate of home ownership to the and more protests within the nation. world’s highest. The country quickly Led under the slogan “Occupy lost this title as it entered a crippling Congress,” protesters congregated on economic crisis. With a national September 25 as Spain’s Parliament unemployment rate of 25% and Protesters gather for “Occupy Congress” began to look like a “heavily guarded 5
fortress,” according to CTV news. Fighting against the government’s actions, the protesters called for fresh elections. Thousands of people arrived to convict their nation and, in turn, the government promised to create a new draft budget for 2013.
With two recessions in the past three years, Spain is gradually spoiling its reputation as a successful country. Affecting the whole population, this crisis has proven to be widespread and detrimental. When will it end?
A Dream Come True for Georgia—But Whose Dream? by Ekaterina “Kath” Kryuchkova ’13
On October 2, 2012, parliamentary elections took with the United States, and he demolished Georgia’s place in the former diplomatic relationship with Russia. In August 2008, KATH KRYUCHKOVA, from republic Mr. Saakashvili, in an effort to return the territory of Moscow, Russia, lives in Soviet of Georgia. The South Ossetia, where Russian peacekeeping troops Palmer Dormitory. Kath is an were present, initiated a catastrophic war with Russia. editor of the World Bulletin, o p p o s i t i o n i s t an International Student Georgian Dream With the assistance of the EU serving as a mediator Ambassador, a Sophomore faction defeated in the conflict, the fighting ceased rapidly, but the Retreat facilitator and a member President Mikheil diplomatic ties remain severed. Thus on October 2, of Model United Nations. She the Russian government approved of the transfer of volunteers with the community S a a k a s h v i l i ’ s National power. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev service program and plays United guitar. Kath has written three Movement. The expressed his anticipation of change in Georgian previous articles about Russia for United States, the foreign policy, while Vyacheslav Nikonov, deputy the World Bulletin: “The Cult of Union, head of the Russian parliament’s international affairs Putin” (Spring 2011), “Russian European and the Russian committee, openly stated, “Anything that would keep Parliamentary Elections: Fraud all Saakashvili further away from the instruments of Goes Too Far” (Winter 2012), and Federation “A Cold Denial of Human Rights: hailed the victory of power is a plus for Russian-Georgian relations.” Anti-LGBT Legislation in Russia” Bidzina Ivanishvili’s However, Bidzina Ivanishvili, the leader of the (Spring 2012). Georgian Dream Georgian Dream bloc, was rather ambivalent in bloc. his statements: he admitted that the Georgian The elections signified the first democratic transfer government will attempt to negotiate with Russia of power in Georgia since its separation from the and to “sort out” the relationship, but hastily Soviet Union in 1991. The White House, advocating underscored the importance of maintaining ties with democracy once again, praised the elections and the EU and NATO. He also addressed Georgian declared that Georgia set “a regional and global citizens via Twitter with a pacifying comment, “The example by conducting a competitive campaign, people of Georgia need to react to our victory calmly freely exercising their democratic rights, and affirming and remember that those who voted for the UNM their commitment to undertake a peaceful transfer [Saakashvili’s bloc] are our brothers.” of power.” The European Union formed a consensus Mr. Ivanishvili represents a rather intriguing with the United States by concluding, “The generally figure. Having made a fortune in Russia during 1990s, positive conduct of parliamentary elections on 1 he became Georgia’s richest man, famous not only October, and the high level of voter participation, for his wealth, but also for his charity and patronage underscore Georgia’s commitment to its democratic of art. He started his political career last October, path.” when he accused the government of monopolizing Mr. Saakashvili appeared on power; he subsequently became national television to express an opposition leader. Georgian his acceptance of the outcome citizens welcomed his promises and the respect he has for the to use his wealth to eliminate will of the voters. The president poverty. However, many argue came to power in 2004, after that his philanthropic goals do the Rose Revolution. During his not compensate for a lack of two terms in office, the second experience in governing, and they of which expires in 2013, he expect that his policies will be attempted to establish closer inconsistent and unpredictable. Some attribute Ivanishvili’s 6 ties with the West, especially Mikheil Saakashvili (left) and Bidzina Ivanishvili
triumph not to his promises and charisma, but to the recent protest movement against the ruling party – a scandal that undermined the citizens’ faith in the current government. Perhaps the victory of Georgian Dream demonstrates the need for change rather than the agreement with particular policies of the bloc.
While the major powers of the world welcome the new Georgian Prime Minister and his ambitions, and commend the transfer of power as a democratic milestone in history, the citizens of Georgia, bound to rely on a tycoon, can only hope for improvement within the borders.
Economic Woes Divide England Many countries around the world develop regional divides, some more drastically than others. In the United States, the division of the North and South fueled the Civil War; in Germany, the country split into East and West Germany after the Cold War. The former Yugoslavia was split up into many ethnic groups who lived in very separate communities. These cleavages of the past came by political and ethnic divisions. Today, a new division in England has gained much attention. The formerly poor, industrial northern England has grown apart from the thriving, rich, intellectual South. This division began after the First World War when northern England’s industry became obsolete, with less need for heavy machinery and weaponry. And now, the North has become, in the words of Danny Dorling of the University of Sheffield, “a sea of poverty.” (“The Great Divide,” The Economist, 15 September 2012) The former industrial cities of Bradford and Middlesborough and the grim towns like Consett, litter the former bustling North. On the other hand, the gem of the United Kingdom, London, is thriving
This map shows the drastic regional divide in England. Clearly, the unemployment rate is a more serious concern in the North than in the South.
by Michael Horowicz ’13
like never before. MICHAEL HOROWICZ is a London, as well as senior from Montclair, New other prospering cities Jersey making his World in the South, runs on Bulletin debut. Mike is a an economy dominated captain of the Varsity Cross Country and Track teams, a by the private sector, Managing Editor of The LOG, while northern England and a 3-year participant in is driven by economies Model United Nations. based on public projects and on employment in federal agencies. Unfortunately for the North, and for England as a whole, the English government, much like the American government, has incurred a large deficit and has begun to look for ways to mitigate this debt. Because it is rather hard for the English to tax the private sector even more, the government has turned to cutting spending within the public sector. The Northeast, which has had the lowest amount of GVA (Gross Value Added) among the entire country since 1997, also has the highest percentage of public employment (nearly 25%). The public sector cuts hurt the North in three big ways: first, the English government has cut funding for regional development agencies that give money to aid northern growth; second, the budget cuts run deeper in poorer places, i.e. the North; and third, infrastructure funding has been steeply cut particularly in the North, while the South still has funding for major projects, such as the Olympic Games this past summer. Estimates suggest that spending in the Northeast will be cut by 12%, as compared to the 4.6% cut in the Southeast. This large federal budget deficit is clearly handcuffing the ability of the English government to mitigate the regional divide. Despite these cuts to the public sector, there is still hope for the once-industrial northern area. Because it is widely recognized that the entirety of England has become too reliant on the city of London, people are beginning to plug money into the weak private sector of the North. For example, the country has exported more cars this year than it has since 1976. Hopefully, the English government will learn to aid their country as a whole, so as to avoid a civil war, the building of a wall, or even a great split in the country and among its people. 7
africa & the middle east Anti-Islamic Video Sparks Violent Protests in Middle East by Samuel Adler ’15
Responding to the Americans, including the ambassador, Christopher notorious and derogatory Stevens. Although the attack was originally believed anti-Islamic video on to be an extreme reaction to Nakoula’s video, the YouTube uploaded this U.S. government has now confirmed that the attack summer, violent rioters was coordinated by a Libyan extremist group, Ansar protested across the al-Sharia, to coincide with the anniversary of 9/11. Middle East in early Nonetheless, violence still continued to plague September. the Middle East, especially when the protestors in The video, Innocence of Muslims, was created Khartoum, Sudan, raided the British embassy; by by Nakoula Basseley Nakoula under an alias, Sam now, sources suggest that more than 50 deaths have Bacile. An Eqyptian-born Christian currently been identified. In response to these attacks, the residing in Cerrito, California, U.S. government dispatched 50 Nakoula already had a lengthy marines and two Navy warships criminal record: manufacturing of to Libya and also moved to methamphetamine, a probation bolster embassy security around violation, and bank fraud. His the globe. Nakoula’s safety is video explicitly defaces the currently in danger. A Pakistani Muslim religion, depicting cabinet minister offered $100,000 Muhammad as sexually perverse to anyone who kills him. Nakoula and insane. However, the video did is also facing a jail sentence for not originally involve Muhammad A screenshot from the infamous movie violating probation, using an alias or Islam. According to the actors, Innocence of Muslims. and accessing the Internet without they were told that the storyline of the permission from a parole officer. the film would involve a desert adventure, but Bacile, Amid all the violent responses to Innocence of without the permission of the actors, taped over their Muslims in the Middle East, many non-Muslims and voices and transformed his desert adventure movie Muslims around the world have mixed reactions to into a highly offensive production. He further tried the video and the violence. Yusuf, a junior at Loomis to maximize the controversy by posting a video on Chaffee from Bahrain, strongly believes that the YouTube in English and then later publishing another segment from the video where Muslims burn Christian version in Arabic. Furious over Nakoula’s unacceptable homes was offensive, because they portrayed Muslims actions, the actors are now as intolerant and aggressive. suing Nakoula for falsifying Esraa, a Loomis senior the intentions of the film. also from Bahrain, initially Innocence of Muslims has found the video amusing, already sparked protests but as she watched more in more than 20 countries. of the film, she started to The conflict started when become offended by the protesters stormed the sexual references. When American embassy in asked about the attacks, Cairo on September 11th, both students condemned 2012. Violence then spread the violence, claiming that to Libya, where rioters the attacks have disparaged Female protestors condemning the film burned a U.S. compound the Muslim image. in Benghazi and killed four 8 SAM ADLER is a day student from Longmeadow, Massachusetts. He enjoys art and playing hockey and cello. Sam is a member of the Model UN, The LOG, and the Orchestra. This is Sam’s World Bulletin debut.
A Year After the Fall—Where is Libya?
by Samuel Verney ’14
Over a year after Libya’s revolution successfully led around in plain sight. SAM VERNEY is a day to the deposition and demise of the dictator Muammar They serve more as an student from West Gaddafi, the country still writhes in turmoil, struggling unspoken threat against Simsbury, Connecticut. to get back on its feet. During Gaddafi’s 42-year reign, violence, and help keep A member of the Loomis he sought to undermine any governmental or political the peace, although the Chaffee Concert Choir and Chamber Singers, a proud institution that might someday rise against him and, sheer number of weapons three-year Club Soccer so, with him gone, no pre-established administrative in the country is a bit veteran, and former NEO system exists to instantaneously fill the void of power troubling. According to thespian (Hairspray), Sam wrote for the World left by his death. Thus, in the year since his death, the BBC’s Jeremy Bowen, Bulletin last year about Libya has existed in a state of marginally controlled a common estimate the Al-Jazeera news chaos, with various militias fighting to maintain the states that the number of network, and France’s peace, as opposed to any sort of central government. weapons in Libya exceeds presidential election, and However, the militias have done a surprisingly good the number of citizens this year has joined the job of maintaining order in this newly free country, (“Libya: Gaddafi Death editorial staff. negotiating deals between various factions in order Anniversary: Unfinished to avoid widespread fighting. These sectional rifts are Business,” 20 October 2012). Similar to the widespread numerous, and permeate almost the entirety of the presence of militias, the ubiquitous ownership of country, as a result of the seeds of discord sewn by weapons serves more as a temporary solution than a Gaddafi during his reign, in a “divide and rule” sort of long-term one. strategy. In terms of enduring No rift poses as strides, a great one much of a threat to was made this past burst the country into summer, when the first conflict as that between Libyan election in years the cities of Misrata was held smoothly and its neighbor and without a hitch, Bani Walid, both demonstrating the governed by militias high public level of and functioning nearly interest in founding a as city-states. Misrata working, sustainable served as a key base of government. However, power for members of since there were no the revolution, whereas true politicians during Bani Walid harbored, up Libyan militiamen shoot at a building in Bani Walid in late October. Gaddafi’s reign, all the until recently, fugitives Gaddafi loyalists were still holding out in the town. current ones are new who still supported to the position, and Gaddafi’s reign. These supporters had, over the course thus learning as they go along. Though many citizens of the past year, abducted various individuals who complain about the lack of any sort of centralized fought against Gaddafi, including Omran Shabaan, government, hope still abounds. One man, interviewed the man who actually dragged Gaddafi out of hiding at in the BBC article “Libyans Trying to Move on From the end of the revolution. In recent weeks, members Gaddafi,” by Rana Jawad, referenced various historical of a Misrata-based militia launched an attack on Bani precedents for countries taking some time to settle Walid, liberating those whom the Gaddafi supporters down after a revolution, including France at the end of had imprisoned. Though the two cities currently the eighteenth-century. As the country fights to scrub exist in a state of relative peace, the seeds of conflict away the stain left by the dominance of Gaddafi, many remain in place. remain hopeful that a long-term strategy for securing Luckily, the average Libyan citizen has no desire peace in the region lies just around the corner, in the whatsoever for a continued state of conflict across the hands of the politicians elected so smoothly this past country. Citizens have laid claim to most of Gaddafi’s summer. weapon caches, and nearly everyone owns some form 9 of weapon, although it is frowned upon to carry them
Mohamed Morsi: The New Face of Arab Democracy by Krishna Kulkarni ’13
On June 30, 2012, Morsi, in his first speech to the UN, criticized Mohamed Morsi assumed both Israel, for not signing the Non-Proliferation office as the first civilian Treaty, and Iran, for refusing to cooperate with the to be elected President International Atomic Energy Agency. Acting as an of Egypt. In the wake of even-handed moderator of this issue will most likely the Egyptian Revolution be the best path to Iranian compromise, as Morsi will of 2011, which unseated not be viewed as a threat but still has the influence Hosni Mubarak, the to change Iran’s behavior. He has vowed to respect world waited anxiously the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty while supporting in anticipation for the the Palestinians, saying in his address to the UN, “the fruits of Egypt’s mostly fruits of dignity and freedom must not remain far peaceful revolution. from the Palestinian people.” Would corrupt governmental practices merely install The Arab world has already felt the influence of Mr. the former prime minister, or would democracy Morsi in his first five months as president. However, prevail? Since his historic election, Morsi has become many critics of President Obama have voiced bitter the poster-boy of calm transition, an utter rebuke to opposition to his administration’s allowing of a Muslim the extremist rhetoric of groups like Brotherhood candidate to take power Al-Qaeda that insist violence is the in Egypt. The main concern is that only path to change. But the question Morsi will refuse to exhibit the same remains: has Morsi successfully gained intolerance of extremist groups the trust of the world community, that Mubarak showed, and will not which is still suspicious of his Muslim cooperate with U.S. interests in the Brotherhood ties? How will his region. But as Morsi’s record so far presidency shape the Arab world and has shown, he is tough, determined, the U.S. position in the Middle East? and ultimately concerned solely The Arab world lies in a state of with the well being of Egypt and its tumult today. Syria is in shambles, Iran people. Despite America’s opposition is creeping closer and closer to nuclear to his attendance at the Non-Aligned weaponry, and Israeli-Palestinian The symbol of the Muslim Movement’s summit in Tehran, Morsi Brotherhood relations are still strained. Mohamed stood firm next to President Mahmoud Morsi, however, in his short time as president, has Ahmadinejad of Iran and spoke his mind about the emerged as a force in respect to the above conflicts. Syrian conflict. An official from Morsi’s government, Regarding Syria, Mr. Morsi has been perhaps the in regard to U.S. concerns of Morsi’s presence at the most outspoken critic of Bashar al-Assad’s regime, summit, said that “If it displeases the Americans, calling the war “the tragedy of our age,” and chastising then so be it. This is the new Egypt.” America’s Assad’s rule for “killing its people day and night.” Mr. interpretation of this viewpoint will be critical to the Morsi has backed up his words by spearheading an U.S. presence in the Arab world in coming years. If initiative involving Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and the U.S. takes a “If you aren’t with us, you’re against other important powers in the Arab world. This list us” approach to Morsi’s administration, America will noticeably involves both Saudi sacrifice cooperation with a key Arabia and Iran, rival nations figure in this important region. in the Middle East. But credit But if the U.S. can finally realize should be given to Mr. Morsi for that a foreigner’s first priority looking past regional tensions to is NOT agreeing with the U.S. focus on an issue that threatens on everything, and approaches to rip apart the Middle East, Morsi with compromise in mind, an illustration of his fantastic then progress can be made in leadership. In regard to nuclear mending the image of the United tensions in the Middle East, States in Arab eyes. KRISHNA KULKARNI is from West Hartford, Connecticut. An RA in Batchelder Dormitory, Krishna is also involved in Model UN. Additionally, he plays the tenor saxophone and runs cross country. Krishna’s debut article was in the Winter 2012 issue of the World Bulletin, addressing the issue of racism in Australia.
Mohamed Morsi, President of Egypt
Finding Peace in Nuclear Weapons Whether or not Iran is trying to build a nuclear weapon is a question that has been seriously debated between countries in a worried manner. It is also a question that will not be addressed in this article. Instead, this article will discuss whether or not Iran should have a nuclear weapon. Please take note that we are not claiming that they are planning on developing one. The moment Iran successfully develops a nuclear bomb, they will launch it at Israel, wiping the country off the face of the earth. Or at least that is what a lot of people seem to think. If that is the most likely scenario, then it is no wonder that nations are crying out to stop Iran’s uranium enrichment. However, launching a nuclear weapon on another country is not something you casually do on a Friday afternoon. Claims that Iran is planning a nuclear attack on Israel are based solely on the hatred the two nations have for each other. Hatred, however, is not a strong enough reason to decide to drop a nuclear bomb on a country - at least not if one plans to actually use the land. The struggle between Iran and Israel, at the end of the day, is for the holy land of Israel. Iran wants Muslims to be able to visit the sacred land, too; these visits would be nearly impossible if the land is declared a nuclear hazard. Of course, Iran is not willing to take the risk of destroying the holy land. So, since Israel will remain safe from a nuclear war, should Iran be allowed to develop nuclear weapons? To answer that, one has to understand Iran’s reason for wanting to develop them. Pakistan, a country right across the border from Iran, was in a similar situation during the 1 9 5 0 ’s - 7 0 ’s : India, at war with Pakistan,
by Yusuf Alnawakhtha ’14
was developing nuclear YUSUF ALNAWAKHTHA, weapons at the time, and born in Manama and raised Pakistan, of course, felt in Tubli, is the resident threatened and thought Bahraini in Batchelder that the only way to Dormitory. A new junior on the Island this year, prevent a nuclear war Yusuf is a member of the was to create a nuclear Arab World Affiliation, the weapon, too. Today, Math Team, Robotics Team, Iran feels the same way; Model United Nations, and Israel and the United the Debate Society. States both possess nuclear weapons, so why can’t Iran possess one and generate mutual fear of nuclear strikes? Well, the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) prevents Iran from developing its own nuclear weapon. On the other hand, Israel, Pakistan, and India, who have not signed the NPT, have been allowed to freely develop nuclear weapons. Would owning a nuclear weapon give Iran an advantage over Israel, even though Israel knows that Iran would be reluctant to use it because of the holy land? Yes. Even though Iran might hesitate to use nuclear weaponry against Israel, it would still be able to use those weapons to threaten Israel’s biggest ally, the United States. Over the years, the United States has been fighting to get power in areas surrounding Iran, such as Afghanistan, Pakistan, and most of the Middle East. With the U.S. placing military bases all around Iran’s borders, both land and sea, a nuclear weapon is Iran’s only option to find room to breathe. If the only purpose of owning a nuclear weapon is to instill fear, then why can’t Iran have nuclear w e a p o n s simply to guarantee its citizens’ safety? Iran is a country 11
where, in politics, sharia law holds the main power, competing only with Saudi Arabia in the terms of sharia influence. This means that the religious leader, the ayatollah, of Iran would likely be able to overrule the political leader, the president. No matter how rational the ayatollah may be, placing that much power in one man’s hands is terrifying. Religion is a sensitive subject, and religious believers (of any creed) are usually not pleased when their religion is disrespected. No one, aside from, perhaps, really avid believers, wants to get into a nuclear war over a 15-minute YouTube video. Yet we cannot let the Iranian people live in fear. If Iran does go into war, the country will be severely overpowered. They will bury countless, innocent bodies, and the job market will create a demand
Syria the Sickly
by Rohin Bhargava ’14
deliberate on whether or not to intervene after a year of the intense Syrian fighting. On November 27, the Social, Humanitarian, and Cultural Committee of the United Nations voted 132 to 12 (with 35 abstentions) to “strongly condemn the continued widespread and systematic gross human rights violations by Syrian authorities and call on that Government to immediately end all such abuses and attacks against civilians, protect its population and fully comply with its obligations under international law.” Among those opposing the resolution, arguing that it interferes too much in people have been killed in 21 Syria’s internal affairs, were months, according to the UKRussia, China, Iran, Venezuela, based Syrian Observatory for and North Korea. Human Rights. About half of Even though the UN has these deaths were civilians. overwhelmingly voted to While the war has drawn on, it condemn Syria, little has been has affected virtually every major done by major powers who power, and many minor ones as opposed the fighting to curb it. well, including the United States, Free Syrian Army soldiers run for cover in Idlib The largest two of these actions the United Kingdom, France, province, northern Syria. – economic sanctions and global Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Russia, Iran, asset freezing on the ruling China, Venezuela, North Korea, Turkey, Jordan, and Ba’ath party – had little effect on the ruling offender Lebanon. because Assad could forcibly take what he needed At the start of rebellion in 2011, Bashar-al-Assad, from anywhere in Syria or trade for it with his nation’s the leader of the ruling Ba’ath party in Syria, ordered economically well-off allies. Noticing this corruption, the nation’s army to open fire on political dissidents, the International Committee of the Red Cross applied effectively creating a bloody battleground between the International Humanitarian Law on July 15th, the Ba’ath supporters and rebels. The aggression is provoking aid organizations (including those involved causing deaths amongst the warring factions’ soldiers, with the UN) to try to help civilians caught in the which include a considerable portion of Syria’s crossfire. In response to the combat, Assad hinted civilian population. As the war proved to violate at a ceasefire and made a tenuous promise to step down from his post if voted out, but he did not and 12 basic human rights, the United Nations began to ROHIN BHARGAVA is a junior day student from West Hartford. This is his second article in the World Bulletin, having written about corruption in India for the Spring 2012 issue. Rohin enjoys ice creaming, hand fishing, and daydreaming. He still is a semi-pro Pokemon trainer and is looking to go pro soon.
Part of a region known as the “cradle of civilization,” Syria has quickly become an epicenter of mass death and injury. In what has been coined the Syrian civil war, prompted by the Arab Spring of 2011, an estimated 42,000
for undertakers. These images of a possible future bombard Iranians constantly. Therefore, to them, the development of nuclear weapons is appropriate, reasonable, and asked for. There is no simple solution to this dilemma. However, I suggest forming an Iranian Nuclear Council. At least half of the council must be made up of people who are not under the influence of the ayatollah. That way, the council would represent the will of the Iranian people rather than the will of their religion. The duties of the council, the size of the council, and the election process of council members are complicated issues that are not to be addressed by this article, but rather by those who are in charge of maintaining security. Iran, Israel, and the United States should all be able to feel secure.
has not done anything since to Dealing with a bombing that cement his claims. The situation killed eight in Tripoli, Lebanon worsened to the point that the mourns its dead and wishes UN Special Envoy to Syria, for an end to the fighting. former Secretary-General Kofi Meanwhile, Jordan deals with Annan, stepped down in August, its own terror groups, who have frustrated at the lack of response some alleged ties with the Syrian to the situation. Because of rebels. In all three instances, the marginal international aid, both inspiration for violence came then and now, in addition to from the neighboring hotbed of NATO’s noncommittal stance destruction. on the ensuing crisis, hostilities Looking toward the future, between opposing factions have many groups around the world grown constantly, plunging the have proclaimed their discontent country deeper into a chaotic with the Syria’s current behavior, abyss. and many more look to alleviate This fall, hostilities linked The destruction of Syrian communities such as the problem. In October the to Syria have flowed beyond these has only contributed further to the refugee UN tried to call for a hiatus the nation’s borders and into crisis. from fighting for three days the Fertile Crescent region, in celebration of the Muslim specifically into Turkey, Jordan, and Lebanon. In holiday Eid al-Adha but this failed due to the Turkey, mortar fire struck the southeastern town of mistrust between the warring groups. Another source Akçakale, triggering small scale retaliation from the stated that the Syrian protesters do not want direct Turkish government. Even as Turkey has explicitly involvement from any individual nation, but will accept expressed its support for the Syrian rebels, it does aid in unified movements. As social media activism not intend to wage war against the authoritarian rapidly expands throughout the world (reminiscent government, though its actions suggest otherwise. On of the Egyptian anti-Mubarak demonstrations, as the other hand, Syria’s other neighbors, Jordan and well as the KONY phenomenon in 2011), a call for Lebanon, have tended to shy away from the skirmish, peace, or intervention, could help to create just that rooted in the belief that involvement in Syrian affairs sort of movement. But for now, the solution remains could lead to the destabilization of the entire region. a mystery.
Malaria: Africa’s Invisible Enemy
by Krishna Kulkarni ’13 with contributions from Arianna Calabrese ’13 and Nathan Harris ’13
Countries in Africa face numerous challenges today, but perhaps the largest problem is the burden of infectious diseases on the continent, such as malaria, Ebola Zaire, Marburg’s, tuberculosis, and HIV/AIDS. These diseases, owing to their shocking lethality, are crippling to communities in Africa. Malaria is the disease most commonly associated with sub-Saharan Africa, as it has had one of the most profound effects upon the region. The presence of malaria, along with several other diseases, cripples the economies of developing countries and costs African countries $12 billion a year in economic losses, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Owing to the prevalence of mosquitoes in the tropical and sub-tropical regions of Sub-Saharan Africa, malaria is more common in Africa than anywhere else in the world. According to a 2008 CDC report, “an estimated 91% of deaths [caused by
malaria] were in the African region.” The disease stems from a female mosquito’s saliva, which contains Plasmodium microorganisms that enter the bloodstream of a human; the microorganisms are carried by the circulatory system to the liver, where they reproduce. Malaria can cause headaches, fever, convulsions, and ultimately death. Its prevalence owes to the fact that many people in Africa, namely young children and pregnant women, have little or no partial immunity
KRISHNA KULKARNI is from West Hartford, Connecticut. An RA in Batchelder Dormitory, Krishna is also involved in Model UN. Additionally, he plays the tenor saxophone and runs cross country. Krishna’s debut article was in the Winter 2012 issue of the World Bulletin, addressing the issue of racism in Australia. This is Krishna’s second article in this issue (see p. 10 for a piece about Mohamed Morsi).
to the disease; because of Sudan, and Tanzania. A this vulnerability, malaria progressive and debilitating kills nearly 3,000 children syndrome, Nodding has per day in Africa (5% affected more than 3,000 of all African children), children. Symptoms include according to the Johns epilepsy-like seizures, Hopkins Malaria Research confusion, inability Institute. to accept change, and Other diseases, such pyromania. The cause and as HIV/AIDS, Marburg’s, the cure are unknown. But tuberculosis, and Ebola World Health Organization Zaire are also rampant on (WHO) officials say 93% of the continent. HIV/AIDS cases are found in areas also actually originated in Africa with the parasitic worm in the early twentieth Onchocerca Volvulus, which century, and was discovered causes river blindness and is through genetic research carried by the black fly, and done by Paul M. Sharp thus suggest that perhaps and Beatrice H. Hahn at the worm and the disease the Cold Spring Harbor are linked. Nevertheless, Laboratory in September scientists are focusing Map of HIV prevalence in Africa of 2011. According to the their efforts on the aboveUnited Nations Global AIDS Report in 2010, “an mentioned diseases instead of trying to predict future estimated 11.3 million people were living with HIV in maladies. southern Africa in 2009.” HIV has devastated southern There are initiatives in place to confront Africa’s Africa, in particular, with countries like Swaziland, invisible enemy. Supported by many African nations Botswana, Lesotho, Zimbabwe, and South Africa (such as Nigeria, South Africa, Namibia, and ranking in the top 5 of Tunisia) private-sector total HIV cases in the partners like the population, while Libya Global Fund to Fight and Egypt hold much AIDS, Tuberculosis, better rankings, 81st and Malaria seeks to nd and 122 , respectively, use Africa’s natural among other north resources to improve African nations. (CIA the health of its peoples. World Factbook, HIV These organizations country comparison) have dedicated many Marburg’s disease and resources to help Ebola are sporadically address the issue, infectious diseases thereby saving lives that are extremely and reducing economic fatal but do not have loss. as widespread effect as Many developing HIV or malaria. nations in Africa hold In addition to huge potential to these well-known, become prosperous rampant diseases, and powerful, but until several countries have the invisible enemy become home to rare, of infectious disease unidentifiable diseases. is eliminated, their A recent example conceivable success President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) is a U.S. Government initiative, begun is Nodding disease, in 2005 when President George W. Bush pledged to increase U.S. funding will be forever held most frequently found of malaria prevention and treatment in sub-Saharan Africa by more than back. 14 in northern Uganda, $1.2 billion over 5 years.
asia 2012 South Korean Presidential Election Makes History by Ji Hee Yoon ’13
While the American presidential election swept Furthermore, if Ahn JI HEE YOON hails from Seoul, the mass media here in the United States, another wins, he, too, will South Korea. She is a resident presidential election has been greatly affecting South face struggles as he is of Palmer Dormitory and is Korea. This year, the Korean presidential election characterized by the the president of the Debate is quite interesting. South Korea has numerous mass media not only Team, a 3-year member of Model UN, she serves on the political parties, but traditionally the Saenuri Party as a clean-handed man Curriculum Committee, and is (SP) and the United Democratic Party (UDP) take but also an amateur a co-president of the PSO. In control of the government. (Incumbent President politician who needs addition, Ji Hee is the captain Lee Myung-bak, a conservative, by law cannot seek much more experience of the Varsity Volleyball reelection.) In the beginning of the 2012 election, the before running for team and has founded the LC Artorian, the first art history conservative Saenuri Party’s candidate Park Geun-hye such a crucial job. Not club at Loomis. Ji Hee made and the liberal opposition United Democratic Party’s to mention the two her writing debut for the candidate Moon Jae-in were the two likely runners. contenders could both World Bulletin in the Winter Park was most likely to win, as she obtained popularity end up running, which 2012 issue with an article from citizens and especially women voters (she would would mean that there about post-tsunami Japan. In the Spring 2012 issue become the first woman president in Korean history). would be three major she penned a piece about However, many citizens have grown tired of the two competitors in this endangered languages in major parties, for the politicians of both the SP and election. So stay tuned South America. the UDP have taken corrupt and deceptive measures for the December 19, throughout their careers. This discontentment led to 2012 election! the rising support of independent Overview of the Candidates: candidate Ahn Cheol-soo, who Park Geun-hye has never set foot in politics but Park is a representative of SP is a successful CEO of a computer and currently holds a government software company. Therefore, the office. She has kept all of her election has become a three-way promises made to the public, rivalry between Park, Moon, and and is thus widely trusted. She is Ahn. especially famous for being the Yet, if this three-way rivalry daughter of previous president continues, Park will have the Park Chung-hee, who led South most advantage, as she will gain Korea to modernization and conservative support, whereas enormous economic growth. Saenuri Party candidate Park Geun-hye Moon and Ahn will have to split However, this fact could also be votes among liberal progressives. interpreted as a disadvantage Thus, the progressives are urging the two parties as some people criticize her father’s undemocratic that either Moon or Ahn, but not both, run in the methods and his use of the military to maintain upcoming election, for fear that their support may be presidential authority. If Park wins the upcoming split and Park would win. election and becomes the first woman president, If the UDP can agree on a single candidate, the final she will be overcoming not only a male-dominated contender would result from popularity votes or public presidential history, but also the ancient Confucian polling, in which case Ahn will have a disadvantage as an culture in South Korea. In this viewpoint, her victory independent runner who cannot receive support from could be South Korea’s most significant political a party. Nonetheless, if Moon ends up representing transition in its history. the progressives, Ahn’s supporters, who do not want Moon Jae-in corrupt parties controlling the government, might The representative of the biggest opposition not cast their votes and Park would likely win. party (UDP), Moon seems to hold the advantage in 15
the election over fellow progressive Ahn Cheol-soo. Moon thrives off of his ability to relate to the lowincome class. His image resembles that of previous president Roh Moo-hyun. However, due to the other UDP members’ notoriety for bribery and fraud, Moon has been negatively viewed as a part of the UDP’s corruption. Ahn Cheol-soo Rising to stardom because of the citizens’ distrust of the current political parties, Ahn, an independent, is thought to be a clean-handed and, hopefully, more virtuous leader. This image accepted by the public currently gives hope to the electorate who greatly The UDP’s Moon Jae-in
disapprove of the major political parties. However, the major obstacle for Ahn would be the semi-final election between him and Moon, in which Ahn is at a disadvantage. Furthermore, the fact that Ahn has been a CEO and a businessman his entire life has prompted many people to disregard him as an uninformed contender who would not be able to wisely lead South Independent candidate Ahn Cheol-soo Korea politically. Although he might be book-smart, the world of politics is most of the time very different from books. [Editor’s update: On November 23, 2012, after Ji Hee wrote this article, Ahn Cheol-soo announced that he was withdrawing from the Korean presidential race, throwing his support to Moon Jae-in. On December 19, Park Geun-hye won the presidency.]
Disgraceful Scandal Rocks China
by Leah Rubin ’14
Bo Xilai was once Lijun, Chongqing’s popular police chief, allegedly the Communist Party affronted Bo and implicated his wife, Gu Kailai, secretary of China’s in the recent murder of Neil Heywood. Wang was growing Chongqing immediately placed under surveillance and was soon district. Industrious and demoted to the far less prestigious position of an well liked by his subjects, overseer of education, environmental studies, and Bo was on track to climb science. Fearing for his own safety, Wang fled to a China’s political ladder nearby U.S. consulate in Chengdu on February 6, a n d bringing with him evidence of Bo’s become wife in the murder. After being denied a asylum to the United States, Wang left prominent figure on the Politburo’s the consulate, only to be taken into powerful Standing Committee. custody by government officials. Bo However, he was dismissed from his acknowledged his poor handling of position due to a twisted political the Wang Lijun incident, but was still scandal involving the murder of removed from his post as Chongqing British businessman Neil Heywood party chief due to the disgraceful in the Chongqing district and an circumstances. Bo’s downfall not only alleged cover-up. This disgraceful confirmed the consensus among China’s scandal has shaken China’s strict, principal leadership that he needed to secretive system and has led to great bear responsibility for the Wang Lijun international embarrassment on scandal, but also indicated an impressive China’s behalf. victory for liberal reformers. Bo Xilai’s downfall first began As rumors began to swirl about Secretary of Chongqing Committee of when on January 16, 2012 Wang Bo’s link to Heywood’s murder, the the Communist Party of China Bo Xilai 16 LEAH RUBIN is a boarder in Palmer Dormitory from Stamford, Connecticut. She is on the Confluence staff, is an active debater, and is Vice President of the Junior Class. She made her debut on the World Bulletin last spring with an article about the Arab Spring and IsraeliEgyptian relations.
United Kingdom, doubting overseas for Bo and Gu and the declared cause of death that his demand for a larger (alcohol poisoning) requested cut led to the dispute. Much reinvestigation from the of the case still remains, and Chinese government. probably will always remain, a Thus began an extensive mystery. Oddly enough there examination of Gu Kailai is no indication of hostility and Bo Xilai’s involvement between Gu’s son, Bo Guagua, in Heywood’s murder. and Neil Heywood. Although By August of 2012, Gu, a Gu Kailai was charged with prominent lawyer, along Heywood’s murder, the with her servant, Zhang charges against Bo Xilai still Xiaojun, were convicted include accusations of bribery of murder. Shortly after related to the murder and of her trial, Gu was given a Gu Xilai, wife of Bo Xilai, standing trial in the Intermediate multiple past violations of suspended death sentence People’s Court in the eastern Chinese city of Hefei Aug. 9, party discipline. The live and 2012. for killing Heywood using a very public airing of such cyanide-based poison, while important and grave charges Zhang received a nine-year prison sentence for acting illustrate an inter-party agreement on the gravity of as an accomplice. Prosecutors claim Gu murdered Bo Xilai’s actions. His dismissal exposed the degree of Heywood over economic disagreements and in order internal conflict within the Chinese Communist party to protect her eldest son, Bo Guagua. Meanwhile, and sparked unprecedented political shock waves in many suspect that Heywood was funneling money China.
The Buck Stops Here: China’s Monetary Might
by Daniel Keogh ’13
Over the past decade, the Chinese economy, the 2010/11 world GDP DAN KEOGH, from Norwalk, specifically in manufacturing and exports, has grown per capita was just above Connecticut, is an RA in exponentially. Conversely, the United States has seen a $10,000; the U.S. ranks Warham Dormitory. He sharp decline in the amount of manufacturing, and thus 6th on the list with a PCI is a member of Model UN a subsequent decline in the welfare of both the lower of roughly $48,000, while and he writes for The LOG. and middle class workers. According to the Economic China ranks 93rd (out of Dan plays saxophone in the Jazz Band, is an Ultimate Policy Institute, a Washington-based economic think 185 countries), with a PCI Frisbee aficionado, and is tank, an estimated 5.1 million manufacturing jobs of approximately $8,000. an active participant in have left the United States in the last decade through In addition, the World the LC community service outsourcing of industries within the private sector, Bank reports that 16 of program. This is his first and of those losses, an estimated 2.7 million have the 20 most polluted article for the World Bulletin. been shipped to China. With a more expensive, more cities are found in the specialized work People’s Republic of China. force, entities in the In sum, China’s massive private sector have workforce and neglect of opted to exploit the the environment gives it an more lenient labor unprecedented advantage in and environmental manufacturing, a sector of laws in China the global economy the U.S. in order to cut used to dominate. regulatory expenses Even as the jobs have and increase profit been sent to China over the margins. According past 10 years, by the nature to the International of our consumer society, Chinese President Hu Jintao and U.S. President Barack Obama Monetary Fund, and China’s ability to easily 17
manufacture, it still remains one of our closest trade China supports regimes that the U.S. openly opposes. partners, largely out of necessity. According to the With the high rate of China’s GDP growth, the Office of the United States Trade Representative, increased spending has allowed China to expand its China was the 2nd largest goods trading partner in 2011; influence and power in Central and Southern Asia. China provided the U.S. its 3rd largest goods export While the increased stress on its military should market (7%), while China was the largest supplier not insinuate that an American-Chinese conflict is of goods imports for the U.S. (20%). The U.S. goods inevitable, China does provide arms factions the U.S. trade deficit with China, however, accounted for 41% does not support. of the overall U.S. trade deficit in 2011. In addition, the Chinese government has been The U.S. government attempted to stop the unfair buying up a large amount of U.S. debt. The fact that trade practices used by China; this undertaking was China, a nation so fundamentally different from the unsuccessful, since Chinese imports make up such a U.S., owns a large fraction of the American debt large percentage, and such practices are legal in that has disturbed many experts. Robert Kaplan, author country. The political ramifications of American jobs of “The Geography of Chinese Power” (Foreign being outsourced to China during the George W. Bush Affairs, May/June 2010), said, “We’ve been reading administration were relatively minimal. Many unfair a lot about China, about China holding so much of trade cases were overlooked our debt, about all these or not investigated, which problems the U.S. has in led to many jobs leaving its bilateral relations with during that time. Under the China over global warming Obama administration, the and over China’s support amount of cases brought of authoritarian regimes to China has more than in Burma and in Sudan.” doubled. With the current China owns an estimated administration trying to 8% of the national debt, cut back on outsourcing, more than any other understandably, this individual entity, according approach has created to the U.S. Treasury a certain degree of Department. The last main friction between the two investment that China has superpowers. been pumping money into In April 2008, speaking is the production of capital at the Alliance for Copyright © 2009 Creators Syndicate/Steve Sack, Minneapolis goods, both to increase American Manufacturing, Star Tribune manufacturing and presidential candidate professional jobs. It has Obama said, “The truth is, trade is here to stay. We large investments in technology and manufacturing. live in a global economy. For America’s future to be By building up all facets of its economy, its GDP is as bright as our past, we have to compete. We have growing very quickly. Currently, the U.S. has the to win.” In many respects, this message caused largest GDP, but if China’s keeps growing at this rate, heightened tensions between the Chinese and and that of the U.S. remains stagnant, China’s GDP American governments. A push over the past four will overtake the U.S. by 2018. years to bring manufacturing jobs back to the U.S. While there are many red flags surrounding China, brings them back at China’s expense. The amount of America’s consumer ideologies and relatively deep jobs is limited, and while 2.7 million jobs may seem pockets and China’s manufacturing power make negligible in a nation of 1.3 billion people, the U.S. the two ideal trade partners. That said, the Obama approach to reclaim those jobs has caused resentment. administration’s attempts to alter the appeal of Light has been shed on the woeful working conditions China’s manufacturing for American private sector caused by lenient regulatory laws, the advancement industries has stimulated competition. We’ll see how of business despite the environment, and the use of the ramifications of this approach will play out in cheap, dangerous materials in the creation of many of Obama’s second term, and will likely dictate whether the exports. or not China will surpass the United States in terms Three main directions of China’s spending are the of economic and political influence in the years ahead. military, the purchase of American debt, and capital 18 goods. Furthermore, by the nature of its government,
Diaoyu Dispute: Sino-Japanese Turmoil in the East China Sea by Tuan Anh “Thomas” Lam ’14
Sino-Japanese relations, which, for centuries have to purchase the islands THOMAS LAM, a resident been regarded as tenuous at best due to their historical from a private Japanese of Taylor Hall, hails confrontations and past misgivings, are now plunged owner in an effort to from Ho Chi Minh City, into even greater depths of enmity amidst rising diffuse the tension. Four Vietnam. He is a member tension between the two world superpowers. The days later, six Chinese of Phage, the Robotics Team, Boys and Girls Club, conflict concerns disputed islands in the East China surveillance ships sailed the Confluence staff, and Sea. The group of islands, known to the Chinese as into waters around the the Math Team. Thomas the Diaoyu Islands and to the Japanese as the Senkaku Diaoyu/Senkaku islands to also tutors in the QRC Islands, promises one of the world’s greatest reserves assert China’s territorial during his free time! He of oil and natural gas and, accordingly, power to those claims. The following wrote about the legacy of Egyptian Hosni Mubarak that claim them. Located northeast of Taiwan and west events were hardly in the Spring 2012 World of the Okinawa province of Japan, these islands have preventable: the biggest Bulletin. been held in territorial dispute since 1895, when Japan anti-Japanese protests formally obtained control of them. Since then various since China and Japan normalized their diplomatic incidents have occurred, ranging from Hong Kong relations in 1972 broke out in cities across China during activist David Chan’s symbolic drowning in these September 2012 and are still ongoing, during the waters as a form of protest against the Japanese claim, months leading up to China’s upcoming monumental to right-wing Japanese Youth Association members transition of power next year. In some cities, peaceful erecting a lighthouse on protests turned violent one of the islets, prompting as angry Chinese youths further outrage in mainland threw rocks at Japanese China, Hong Kong and even embassies, clashed with local Taiwan, which now also policemen and completely claims these islands, naming damaged many Japanese them Tiaoyutai. However, restaurants. The protests this dispute has received disrupted local business relatively little attention in and even major Chinese world news in the past as branches of Japanese firms both sides have agreed to such as Toyota and Honda. not let it overshadow their Unsurprisingly, these already shaky relationship protests were broadcast after World War II. publicly on state-run media Nevertheless, tension A demonstration in Zhengzhou, China, against Japan’s claim outlets such as Xinhua and to the islands, October 2010 arose in 2010 when a Chinese were discussed relentlessly trawler collided with on the most popular Japanese patrol boats Chinese governmentnear the notorious controlled website islands, and Japanese Weibo in an obvious authorities arrested attempt to flame the Chinese skipper, national pride among Zhan Qixiong. The Chinese citizens incident exacerbated and attract global the situation for attention to help the both parties and Chinese government drew attention to the pressure the Japanese dispute once again. On to hand over their September 10 2012, the sovereignty of these Japanese government disputed islands. announced its decision Despite growing
anti-Japanese sentiment raging across China and an increasingly threatening presence of both sides’ maritime militia in these areas, both countries have so far relied on international law and historical evidence to argue the legitimacy of their claims. The Chinese point to various fifteenth century documents revealing that the imperialist China did in fact own these islands in the past, while Japan substantiates its own claims by the results of a nineteenth century
survey and declaration of these islands as terra nullius (Latin: land belonging to no one). The Japanese side also refers to the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty, whose provisions included the protection of these islands as rightful Japanese lands. This means that a defense of these islands by the Japanese may compel support from the United States military; however, Washington is disinclined to get involved in this sovereignty debate.
Myanmar: What’s the Future for Asia’s Next Economic Tiger? by Tung “Paul” Nguyen ’14
Attention to Myanmar’s economic potential has been growing after its political reforms began in 2011. According to a recent study by the Asian Development Bank, Myanmar has the ability to triple its per capita income and become a middleincome nation by 2030, growing its economy at annual rates of 7-8%, if it keeps carrying out reforms. Myanmar, also known as Burma, possesses great potential: an abundance of natural resources like timber and minerals, as well as a population of 46 million people that promises to be the main supply for a large pool of low-cost labor. These characteristics are ideal for labor-intensive industries, thus attracting billions of dollars in foreign investment. Its strategic position, sandwiched between two Goliaths of Asia, China and India, also helps Myanmar to tap into these two countries’ growth. Additionally, in March 2012, a draft foreign investment law emerged that would allow foreign investors to start up business in Myanmar without a required local partner. Such incentives are turning Myanmar into a golden land for foreign investment. Recent visits by global businessmen and leaders to Myanmar have brought optimism to this young country. However, to 20 ensure the transition from TUNG “PAUL” NGUYEN, from Hanoi, Vietnam, is a new junior at LC and a resident of Batchelder Dormitory. He is a member of the Debate Club and Model UN. Paul makes his World Bulletin debut with this article.
an isolated market for decades to an economic miracle, Myanmar has to solve many issues ranging from basic infrastructure to fiscal policy. These challenges must be met in the near future to ensure the stability of Myanmar’s growth. Poor fiscal policy, along with poor monetary policy, is one of the reasons for the current macroeconomic instability. The government deals with the revenue deficit by monetizing it or printing money to pay for the deficit, but this approach also creates high inflation and unstable market exchange rate. Readjusting its tax codes by having a strong and effective tax administration to make the most money out of taxpayers presents a more beneficial option. Myanmar also needs to balance between raising tax codes for revenue to improve infrastructure and keeping the tax codes at a reasonable rate to stimulate the economy. The current infrastructure will not be sufficient for the future advancement of industries in Myanmar. The country also needs to strengthen its connectivity by improving infrastructure in transport, power and telecommunications services to regulate the economy at top speed. Social services, health and education are needed for humancapital development and a trained, long-term labor source. With these hurdles, Myanmar will have to take more careful strides towards an economic boom. However, hopefully the new democratic government will continue to take action by adapting bold and flexible reforms.
the americas Harming or Hurting America? Mexico and Illegal Immigration by Paul K. Lee ’13
are still getting across PAUL K. LEE is an RA The issues of illegal immigration and the U.S.is because they had in Taylor Hall from Mexico border often conjure images of Mexican drug criminal assistance.” lords, Border Patrol helicopters, and men jumping Norwood, New Jersey. He Supporting Mexican is the president of Student over fences in the middle of the night. Though these co-managing President Felipe Council, stereotypes are largely true today, conflicts on the editor of The LOG, a Model Calderon, who began UN senior leader, a member southern border of the United States date back to the deadly war against of the cross country, the 1800’s. After the Mexican-American War, the the drug cartels in swimming, and tennis Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ceded a huge portion 2006 with Operation teams, principal cellist of Mexico’s territory, including much of Arizona, Michoacan, the U.S. of the orchestra, and a New Mexico, California, and Texas, to the United (wannabe) political junkie. Drug Enforcement Paul made his World States, and established the 1,969-mile long border Administration has a Bulletin debut in the Spring between the two countries. U.S. Customs and Border large presence in Mexico. 2012 issue with an article Protection reports that only around 650 miles of the More than 35,000 people about the Argentina/Spain border is protected by fence under the Secure Fence have been killed in drug oil crisis. Act of 2006, leaving much of the border unprotected trafficking violence since and easy for people to cross illegally. The border Operation Michoacan, hundreds more die crossing region is defined as 100 kilometers (62.5) north the border due to the and south of the border line unforgiving conditions of itself, according to the La Paz the desert, and much of Agreement of 1983; the region the drug, human, and arms contains important American trafficking is left unstopped; and Mexican cities such as San however, the situation Diego, Tijuana, Ciudad Juarez, has shown some signs of Brownsville, El Paso, Nogales, improvement. In October Yuma, and Mexicali. 2012, Mexican sources According to the U.S. confirmed that Heriberto Department of Justice, around Lazcano, the boss of the 90 percent of marijuana, most violent and ruthless methamphetamine, heroin, drug cartel, the Zetas, was and cocaine consumed in the United States is supplied by Under the Secure Fence Act of 2006, this fence protects killed. As President-elect Enrique Peña Nieto steps Mexican cartels that make only 650 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border. into office on December billions of dollars annually 1, he must deal with the pressures and commit crimes such as drug of daily casualties and a threat to trafficking, kidnapping, and piracy. national security that these drug The cartels have a presence in almost cartels cause. Nevertheless, Peña 1,300 American cities near the Nieto has pledged to concentrate on border, and present a very difficult reducing violence in the drug war and situation for the governments of eventually withdraw the Mexican both countries. Many, including army. Arizona Attorney General Terry Throughout the 2012 U.S. Goddard, believe that thwarting the presidential election, candidates have Mexican drug cartels is the key to ending illegal immigration. Goddard Arizona Attorney General Terry discussed immigration, but mostly stated, “The main reason the border Goddard believes that thwarting the through the lens of young students is still being penetrated and people Mexican drug cartels is the key to who are “productive to society”— 21 ending illegal immigration.
specifically those who would be eligible for the combat a rise in the smuggling of alcohol and illegal DREAM Act. In recent years, states such as Arizona, immigration during Prohibition. The role of the Utah, and Alabama passed draconian laws that placed Border Patrol continued to expand through the 20th severe restrictions on undocumented immigrants. century. Especially in the 1990’s, the Border Patrol led Though some parts of it were later struck down, various attempts to crack down on illegal immigration, Arizona SB 1070, signed by Governor Jan Brewer, such as Operation “Hold the Line” in El Paso in 1993, included provisions that granted lawful searches and arrests “with reasonable suspicion” to police officers to check a person’s immigration documents. Mitt Romney has taken a highly conservative view on illegal immigration, touting the use of the E-verify system and mentioning a “self-deportation policy” as a possible immigration policy. President Barack Obama issued his deferred action executive order on June 15, 2012 to grant two-year work permits and safeguards against deportation for immigrants who entered the United States under the age of 16 but are under the age of 31, continuously resided in the United States for at least five years, have An illustration sponsored by Amnesty International promoting the Dream Act or are working for a high school diploma or honorable discharge from the military, and have and Operation “Gatekeeper” in San Diego in 1994. As no “significant misdemeanors.” According to the the rate of illegal immigration to the United States Immigration Policy Center, approximately 1.4 million increased, the Mexican government and the U.S. immigrants are eligible to apply for deferred action. Border Patrol created the Border Safety Initiative in Although Obama has pledged to make comprehensive 1998 to cooperate in their efforts to improve border immigration reform a priority in a second term, he control. Today, the Border Patrol is one of the largest has said very little and has been very vague about federal law enforcement agencies, and serves as an how to tackle the problem of border control and agency in U.S. Customs and Border Protection, a Mexican drug trafficking. Interestingly, there have branch of the Department of Homeland Security, been more deportations under Obama than under led by Janet Napolitano. Over 20,000 Border Patrol any other president; in 2011 alone, almost 400,000 agents monitor the U.S.-Mexico border daily using immigrants were deported back to their countries various vehicles, electronic sensors, and weapons. of origin. Despite the fact that around 12 million For over a century, the United States and Mexico immigrants—58% of them Mexican—have entered have shared a complicated relationship consisting the United States illegally in the last four decades, of drug cartels, gun policy, immigration, economic factors such as a stagnant American economy and alliances such as the North American Free Trade harsher immigration policies have caused illegal Alliance, and political diplomacy. Especially after immigration to reach a historic low under President the spotlight on national security after 9/11, the U.S.Obama, according to the Pew Hispanic Center. Mexico border and illegal immigration that occurs The Labor Appropriation Act of 1924 officially across it remain crucial issues that must be addressed 22 established the United States Border Patrol to by the presidents of the United States and Mexico.
Hugo Chávez Wins Venezuelan Election: Déjà Vu, or Is It? by Paige Mickel ’14
In a highly anticipated race, Hugo Chávez was the fact that Venezuela PAIGE MICKEL, a junior reelected president of Venezuela on October 7, 2012. and communist Cuba from New Providence, Clinching the victory with 55% of the vote, Chávez have a close relationship; New Jersey, is a prefect in will complete his new 6-year term in 2019, making it Venezuela boosts the Carter Dormitory. She is two decades since he began his rule over Venezuela Cuban economy by co-captain of the JV soccer team, plays lacrosse, and is in 1999. His opponent, Henrique Capriles Radonski providing cheap oil to a tour guide. Paige wrote garnered 44% of the vote, totaling a sizable 6.6 million the island nation while for the World Bulletin last people. The last time Chávez was elected, in 2006, overcharging oil exports spring with an article on the Scottish independence he won by a 26% margin landslide. (Source: Consejo to the United States. Nacional Electoral/National Electoral Council) The Chávez has made movement. relative closeness of this most recent presidential race accomplishments in signifies a noticeable decline in Chávez’s popularity housing and health initiatives, but admits a lack of among Venezuelans, and marks a milestone in progress in other areas of domestic policy since he Venezuelan politics. took office over thirteen years ago. Maria Genatios Venezuela has made notable developments ’14, who was born in Venezuela and currently lives in since 2006, with Chávez now its capital, Caracas, couldn’t agree encountering bolder opposition more: “My family and I wanted and a more politically aware Capriles to win this election. We society. According to the electoral have had Chávez as president for council, a staggering 80% of so long with no improvements the eligible population voted in in security, and the violence has this momentous election, some gotten even worse since he took testing their patience for hours office,” she explained. Various news before getting to cast their vote; organizations and human rights in comparison, the United States groups have reported that since has not achieved even 60% Chávez was first elected in 1999, voter participation in forty years. Opposition candidate Henrique Capriles there have been nearly 120,000 Despite his defeat, Capriles found homicides in Venezuela, with 90% hope in the mass turnout, declaring, “Venezuelans of the cases going unsolved. In 2009 alone, there were want to resolve our differences through democratic over 16,000 murders in the country, nearly four times means.” For a country that has for so long been under the number of civilian deaths in Iraq. The excessive the dominance of Chávez’s dictatorial rule, it is truly violence is not helped by the millions of illegal firearms remarkable that a challenger to his authority could floating around the country. Another concern centers come even within ten points around the growing gap between of unseating the long-time the rich and poor: “Chávez has president. created a hatred between the Venezuela and the United classes,” says Genatios, who is States have an important not surprised at all by the high relationship in trade, Venezuela homicide figures. “Because of being the third or fourth their disputes, the lower class largest exporter of oil to the steals from the upper class, United States. But outside of creating even more violence.” the economic realm, relations Genatios and her family moved remain tense. Chávez is known to the Dominican Republic in to distrust the U.S. presence 2009, because they no longer President Hugo Chávez in Latin America, viewing the wanted to live in the country United States as an “imperialist” power under Chávez. They only recently moved bent on extending its influence throughout the world. back to Venezuela to be with family. She states, “After The countries’ mutual misgivings are not helped by this election, we’ve pretty much lost hope for seeing
Venezuela get out of these problems any time soon.” In spite of this, Chávez has made some efforts to reform security, due in part to pressures from Capriles. He has pledged to make some of his government programs more effective and to improve in important areas such as education and health initiatives. The government has attempted to tackle the violence issues by creating a “security university,” where police recruits receive training from advisers from countries such as Cuba and Nicaragua, which boast low murder rates. Opponents of Chávez do have one thing to give them hope for possible reform before the next election in 2018: Chávez’s inability to govern effectively. He has been battling cancer, but the type and severity are secrets that have not been disclosed. The enigma of his health brings into question who his successor may be, if necessary; in Venezuela, if the president can no longer serve his position, there is a new election. This uncertainty may give Capriles and
the opposition another chance to gain control. Yet looking at the reality of government in Venezuela, one may even hope that Chávez lives long enough to name a successor; Chávez has consolidated so much power into his hands that in the case of his death or retirement due to illness, the massive power vacuum that would be left is frightening to ponder. From this perspective, one could say that Chávez’s death would cause Venezuela to fall into more chaos than it is under his rule. There is no way of knowing how the relative competitiveness of the 2012 election will affect Chávez’s new term, or whether he will carry out his promised changes. The next six years will be essential in determining the future course of Venezuela and the 20-year legacy that Chávez will leave behind. But although Capriles failed to unseat Chávez, Venezuelans can find hope and pride in showing that someone like Capriles could even come this close.
The Last Colony: The Fight for the Falkland Islands by Seyun Kim ’14
The Falkland Islands, an archipelago located 400 miles away from the mainland of South America, have been the focus of disputes between Argentina and Great Britain since the 19th century. The neverending debate regarding which country has the right to control the Islands has sparked numerous conflicts during the 20th and 21st centuries. The notion of colonial rule has long since vanished from the political mainstream, but the Falkland Islands remain an exception. Argentina and Britain condemn one another for claiming sovereignty over the archipelago. Argentina asserts that Spain granted it the territory after Argentina claimed its independence in 1810, whereas Britain argues that it formally announced its rule over the Islands in 1830. Even today, as these two nations continue to advocate their authority over this archipelago, the future of the Falklands Islands remains uncertain, even though the Falkland Islands, by choice, remain a United Kingdom Overseas Territory. The feud between Argentina and Britain was first rekindled during the second half of the 20th century. Shortly after the establishment of the United Nations, 24 both Argentina and Britain ardently demanded SEYUN KIM, from Seoul, South Korea, is a boarder in Palmer. She enjoys playing the flute in the Concert Band, is the president of the LC Art Club, and is an International Student Ambassador. This is Seyun’s first article for the World Bulletin.
Argentina and Chile; The Falkland Islands are in the lower right corner, just below the 50 degree parallel line.
recognition to conquer the Office recently asserted, islands. When the United “They (Falkland Islanders) Nations Special Committee are free to determine their on Decolonization declared own future and there will Falkland Islands too small be no negotiations with a territory to establish selfArgentina over sovereignty government, the debate unless the islanders wish escalated. In 1982, the it.” Yet, according to the Falklands Wars began as 2012 Falkland Islands Argentina invaded and Census, 59 percent of the occupied the territory, citizens consider themselves controlled by Britain since it “Falkland Islanders,” while established dominance over only 29 percent identify as the islands in 1832. Although “British.” This newly released Britain won the brief war, and Falkland Islanders information reveals the slow shift of identity among became British citizens, the inhabitants have the islands’ inhabitants. This new development proclaimed theirs a self-determined government. has alarmed both Britain and Argentina, and forced Recently, the dispute reached its climax Argentina to recognize the Falkland Islands as hostilities persisted between Argentina as a self-governed land. and Britain. On January 21, 2012, in order to In July 2012, Premier Oil announced commemorate the 30th anniversary of the that with recognition from Britain, the Falklands War and to begin his first overseas Falkland Islands will start producing oil military tour, Prince William visited the in 2017. As Britain strongly supports the remote archipelago. This visit enraged the development of the oil reserves and the Argentinian government. In response, prospect of economic advancement in the on February 8, Argentinian President region, Argentina argues that the drilling is Cristina Fernandez de Kircher officially illegal. This politically and environmentally complained about Britain’s militarization sensitive area continues to arouse conflict of the archipelago to the U.N. Security between Argentina and Britain. Council and UN General Assembly. The This contentious debate never seems to argument continued even through the Argentinian President end as both countries seek to gain control of Nuclear Safety Summit on March 27 at the Islands for their own interests. Should Cristina Fernandez de Kircher Seoul, South Korea as President de Kircher the Falkland Islands claim full recognition claimed that Britain sent nuclear arms near as an independent nation? Should its the disputed territory, adding: “It is an anachronism inhabitants emphasize their rights to choose their in the 21st century to still have colonies.” Isolating the nationality? Should Britain rescind its claim because Falkland Islands economically and raising the prices maintaining a colony in the 20th century is passé, or of essential supplies became her new measures to are the potential economic interests for the oncechallenge Britain. Nevertheless, the British Foreign great empire simply too good to pass up?
by Arianna Calabrese ’13
In a world of social media, what better way to track a presidential candidate’s popularity than to look to Twitter? Twitter allows people from all over the world to constantly share their true thoughts and analyses about what they believe is really important; in the case of presidential candidates and presidential debates, Twitter provides a platform for “regular people” to express their opinions and to decide what issues are important in the election in real-time, removing the media’s direct influence on citizen’s opinions.
Today, one of the best ways to track a candidate’s progress is through the public’s tweets. The first 2012 presidential debate was the most tweeted about political event in Twitter’s six-year history, and the other two debates have surely followed suit, with
ARIANNA CALABRESE, the World Bulletin’s Editor-in-Chief, is a boarder in Mason Dormitory. Originally from Vernon, CT, she is also a Head Tour Guide and a Peer Counselor, and she serves on the student advisory committee for the Center for Global Studies.
#debate and #horsesandbayonets among the most with unwavering strength throughout the debates, common hashtags. Some tweets were more serious: reassuring voters that he could be a steady and rational @ladygaga “Though[t] the president was passionate leader. The responses to the first questions posed by and knowledgeable and modern. Felt almost like he the moderators seemed, in a sense, to characterize the kept poker face last 2 debates and then came like rocky,” rest of the debate. For example, in the first debate, or @ehasselbeck “Um…mr. President…Your plan Romney answered the first question by clearly pointing clearly stinks. Record debt. Record unemployment. out his three proposals while Obama circuitously 1/2 of college grads have no job. #CantAfford4More” and unclearly stated his plans. Still, CNN journalist – while other tweets were more jocular - @DaneCook Nick Thompson commented, “Long stretches of “Romney loves talking about what he will do on presidential debates involve dry policy speeches, but “day 1.” I bet on day 2 he’s gonna play dance dance it’s usually a single gaffe or clever one-liner that comes revolution. #debate.” to define a debate in the annals of national memory.” These presidential debates serve as opportunities In fact, the most noted moments of the debates were for each candidate to express his views and outline those gaffes and one-liners: Romney’s “binders full of his proposals. Debates inform the average American women,” Obama’s “my pension is not as big as his,” so educated voters go to the polls on November 6. Romney’s “[Obama] is entitled to [his] own plane and However, debates target undecided voters while house,” and Obama’s “horses and bayonets” rebuke. reinforcing decided voters’ views. Particularly in the Finally, in a broad sense, Obama seemed to focus on 2012 debates, a lot of undecideds wanted to see Romney what he plans to do, offering his last four years as finally reveal his policies, for he has been very vague and support for his stances and repeating, “Here’s what indecisive throughout the campaign trail. Americans I’ve done,” while Romney seemed to focus on what also look for a candidate’s “presidentiality.” To most, Obama has done wrong, offering a lot of facts but an ideal presidential candidate is relatable (especially little plans, simply repeating “I know what it takes.” to the middle class), respectful, and secure in his vision Nevertheless, sometimes it is not the debate that can for the United States’ future on a domestic and global help or harm a candidate, but rather the post-debate stage. Nevertheless, commentary. as best portrayed by Pundits have the the first televised ability to change the debate between JFK public’s opinion of the and Nixon in 1960, debates in the aptlymany citizens focus named “spin room.” on the candidate’s Luckily, with the rise of demeanor rather than Twitter, these pundits his expressed policies. are not as influential as (In 1960, those who they once were. Even watched the debate so, the newest media clearly thought the fad is to focus on “factyoung, tanned, healthy checking” the different JFK won, while those candidates. National who listened to it on Journal reporter the radio thought Sophie Quinton that old, haggard, wrote that, “There sickly Nixon came out are independent factahead.) So much for checking websites, experience. fact-checking divisions ©2012 Patrick Chappatte. Distributed by Globe Cartoon. These past three at major newspapers, debates between and partisan factPresident Obama and Governor Romney have checking squads on both campaigns.” (“Do Debate focused on domestic policy, foreign policy, and Fact-Checkers Matter? Not So Much, 15 October voters’ questions in a town hall format. Obama’s 2012) In fact, Ms. Quinton writes, the campaigns performance improved as the debates went on – have “muddied the waters by deploying their own starting out restrained, passive, lackluster, and weak ‘fact-checkers,’ armed with competing data and in the first debate, he ended calm, cool, and collected academic studies that the candidates can whip out to 26 in the last debate. Meanwhile, Romney performed bolster their campaign-trail claims.” But, Obama and
Romney continue to misconstrue each other’s plans, portraying the “facts” in different lights for different effects. It seems as though voters don’t seem to care about who is right and who is wrong – the average viewer is not going to go back and check the facts. Marc Hertherington, a political science professor at Va n d e r b i l t U n i v e r s i t y, argues, “[W]hen candidates throw conflicting data points at one another, there’s a danger that voters are likely to throw up their hands and say, ‘I can’t ascertain what the truth really is.’” But does the truth or, better yet, do the debates themselves, even matter? The media puts so much emphasis on these three debates, convincing us that they are “make or break” moments for the candidates. We are told that the winners and losers of the debate will be the winners and losers of November 6. However, Gallup polls show that there has been little shift in voter trends before and after debates throughout the past couple of decades; there is no direct correlation between the winner of each debate and the winner
of the presidency (e.g. in the 2004 election, Kerry was considered the winner of all three debates, but still lost the election). It is clear that these debates have no effect on decided voters – they will stick by their original candidates no matter what. Dr. Christopher Curtis, a political analyst, reminds us that “polls are not the same as votes.” Americans love traditions and, so, despite the lack of influence of the debates, we continue to hold them in high esteem, to watch them with great interest, and to tweet about them with seriousness as well as humor. Debates have, in a sense, become “boxing matches,” where whichever candidate scores the biggest punches and blows wins, where winning depends on power, not ideas, on style, not substance. But just as Obama mentioned, while the winner of the debates may triumph with his strength and persuasion, the real winner will be the one whose promises, based on truth or fiction, will be kept.
Clean American Energy The U.S. needs to rethink its energy policy. Firstly, the country continues to rely on oil imports from countries with a risk of political instability. According to a March 2012 report by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), the top five oil importing countries in 2011 were Canada (29% of net imports), Saudi Arabia (14%), Venezuela (11%), Nigeria (10%), and Mexico (8%), accounting for approximately 70% of overall U.S. petroleum imports. OPEC countries comprised 52% of U.S. net imports, while Persian Gulf countries totaled 22%. While it’s comforting to see that we obtain 3540% of our oil from our two friendly neighbors, it is disconcerting that the U.S. imports such a large percentage from Venezuela, hardly a friend, and from Saudi Arabia, and other Persian Gulf nations, many of whom are semi-authoritarian, anti-democratic regimes with enormous gaps in wealth between the rulers and the ordinary citizens. Such a pronounced
by Ezra Kauffman ’13
disparity never benefits EZRA KAUFFMAN, a an economy. Secondly, senior from New York, NY, a country needs energy made his World Bulletin to achieve economic debut last winter with an development. When article about the Occupy looking at photos of Wall Street movement. He is a Peer Counselor, Cothe world at night, one President of the Arab World sees that countries with Affiliation, and a Business stronger economies, Manager for The LOG. He such as the U.S. and enjoys singing, speaking Norway, shine far French, and he hopes to row crew in college. brighter. Extremely poor and authoritarian countries, such as North Korea and Zimbabwe, are pitch black. Thirdly, as India and China experience economic growth, they burn more hydrocarbons, worsening climate change, which may lead to more global conflict. While renewable energy would seem a key answer to the problems surrounding global 27
energy, the industry lies in partisan deadlock. Republicans look to energy independence by drilling for oil, fracturing for natural gas, and burning coal. Democrats believe that the U.S. government should invest in clean forms of energy that will combat climate change. The U.S. militaryâ€™s use The world at night of renewable energy could unlock the debate about energy independence and climate change. The Department of Defense is the largest consumer of energy in the world; it uses over 300,000 barrels of oil each day. Burning so much oil costs a lot of money (the DoD spends $20 billion a year on energy, according to a 2012 Pew Project on National Security, Energy, and Climate Control), it harms the environment, and it limits the operational facility of the troops. Because oil is so unwieldy, fuel-carrying convoys are easy targets for enemies. The Defense Department has already announced five grants to biofuel producing companies to make fuel for military vehicles. Last summer, the U.S. Navy successfully fueled a fleet from green fuel. Currently, biofuel spending takes up only 7 percent of the $1.6 billion dollar budget that the Department is using for energy improvement. The militaryâ€™s use of alternative forms of energy could be a source of compromise between Republicans and environmentalist Democrats, and could lead to the development of cheaper sources of clean energy. Historically, the military has provided innovations in technology that finds its way into civilian society, such as the computer, which was developed by military codebreakers during World War II and has become practically second nature to us today. An expensive apparatus that once was the size of an entire room is now easily affordable and can fit on your lap or in the palm of your hand. If the military started to develop biofuels and other energy sources with the same spirit of innovation, these energy sources, too, would become much cheaper over time. Although renewable energy sources are more expensive today than crude oil, the United States would help itself and the world in the future by continuing 28 to contract renewable companies for military
production. If the U.S. focuses on supporting s m a l l e r economies and promoting democracy, it could restore its image as being a global force for good. Â The U.S. should begin to remove itself from Middle Eastern affairs and let the natural effects of democracy work. By ending its dependence on Gulf oil, over time the economies of the Gulf States would weaken, eventually triggering
Biofuels in simple terms democratic reform in the countries and ending authoritarian reigns. Free governments tend to have higher rates of economic growth and a stronger, entrepreneurial middle class than countries where a government restricts its people. The U.S. military could become a launching point for the U.S. to become energy independent, to fight climate change, and to promote economic development throughout the world.
Also in the News Malaysia - Four Malaysian Muslim transsexuals petitioned to declare unconstitutional the Islamic Sharia law that bans men from dressing as women. Their lawyer asked a secular court to uphold their freedom of expression and forbid gender discrimination. The four lost the case in October. Brazil - In an effort to clean up Brazil’s most dangerous regions before the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics, and to enact Brazil’s policy of “pacification” (establishing state presence in shanty towns), some 2,000 police, backed by armed cars and helicopters, raided two Rio de Janeiro slums this fall. These slums are centers for crack cocaine, and police searched houses with unusually little resistance. South Korea - Seventeen members of South Korea’s National Defense Committee flew to the Dokdo Islands (known to the Japanese as Takeshima) on military helicopters for a day-long visit, in stark disregard of the warning by Japan’s chief cabinet secretary Osamu Fujimura, who feared such trip would jeopardize bilateral ties. The islands, which lie between the two countries, are controlled by South Korea but are claimed by both nations. (See p. 19 for a related article: “Diaoyu Dispute: Sino-Japanese Turmoil in the East China Sea”) Myanmar – In October, authorities in Myanmar imposed a dusk-to-dawn curfew in towns where there have been fresh clashes between Buddhists and Muslims, leaving at least 3 people dead and hundreds of homes burned to the ground. Conflict between Rakhine Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims has led to the displacement of over 22,000 people from the Rakhine region of Burma (Myanmar). The Rohingya are viewed as illegal immigrants by the state government, and are the object of public anger. Hostilities between them and the Rakhine natives have been ongoing since June. This crisis is imposing a tangible threat to Myanmar’s development as a fledgling democratic nation after half a century of military regime ended in 2011. (See p. 20 for a related article: “Myanmar: What’s the Future for Asia’s Next Economic Tiger?”) Italy - Silvio Berlusconi, the on-again, off-again former Prime Minister of Italy, was sentenced in October to four years in prison for tax evasion. He is expected to appeal the decision. In the meantime, Mr. Berlusconi announced in December that he will seek election as his country’s leader, for the fourth time, despite numerous convictions on corruption and a history of sex scandals and continuous bad behavior. Lebanon - Bomb strikes in Beirut killed Brigadier-General Wissam Hassan, the Lebanese head of internal security, among several others. The Syrian regime was blamed for causing the bomb strike, and many people fear that the Syrian conflict has finally spilled over into the region after being largely contained for some time. China - On October 27th, residents in the port city of Ningbo, China wildly rioted against a recent proposal by the government to expand the size of a state-run petrochemical plant. Local residents have petitioned a plan to move the plant from Ningbo, but consensus between the residents and the government seem unattainable. Great Britain - Speculations that Great Britain is opting for an exit from the European Union are mounting. With more than three years in crisis, the troubled eurozone has made British Prime Minister question the effectiveness of the union. In December, the initial celebration surrounding the announcement that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and Kate Middleton, are expecting a child was quickly muted after a prank phone call gone awry. Jacintha Saldanha, a nurse at King Edward VII Hospital in London, committed suicide just days after answering a phone call from two Australian radio DJ’s pretending to be Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles. Apparently duped by the hoax phone call, Saldanha put the call through, which eventually led to a nurse revealing some personal information about Kate’s morning sickness. Nigeria - On October 28th, a suicide bomber drove a car filled with explosives into a Nigerian church, killing seven and wounding over 100 others. This has led to retaliatory killings throughout the city of Kaduna, and increased unease with regard to tensions along the line between Nigeria’s primarily Muslim North from its mainly Christian South. Olympics – It was announced recently that three cities have submitted bids for the 2012 Summer Olympics: Tokyo, Istanbul, and Madrid. Baku, Azerbaijan and Doha, Qatar were involved in an earlier stage of the selection process, but were eliminated from contention by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in May. Rome had expressed interest as well, but withdrew its name from consideration due to economic difficulties at home. Tokyo hosted the 1964 Summer Olympics; it also bid for the 2016 Games, but lost to eventual host Rio de Janiero. Madrid and Istanbul have never hosted an Olympics. After visiting the three cities this spring, the IOC will announce the host city on September 7, 2013.
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