The Loomis Chaffee World Bulletin Bringing the World to the Island
Treasure Hunting in Bulgaria
Correcting Misconceptions about Africa The History of the Baâ€™ath Party Modern Slavery
North Korean Nukes
U.S. Immigration Reform
from the Editor-in-Chief
A letter to our readers: Democracy and the Common Good
This issue of the World Bulletin finds us at the end of a long winter, at the beginning of a hopeful spring. Nevertheless, the snow-covered, cold days of this winter on the Island offered us ample time for reflection – reflection on ourselves and our characters as we all strive towards a “common good,” reflection on our positions and influences within the Loomis community and within the greater global community. By learning about the democracies of Loomis – how to negotiate among friends, how to settle disputes, how to ask for help, how to ask our parents for more money (haha) – we will be able to navigate democracies abroad in the future. We learn how to negotiate these social democracies; similarly, countries must negotiate with their allies and their enemies, must ask for aid from other nations, and must be bailed out. President Woodrow Wilson, in an address at Swarthmore College in October 1913, said, “You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world.” The prerequisite to “enriching the world” is an active spirit of mind and a burning curiosity – a curiosity about what is going on around you. The World Bulletin hopes to satiate that curiosity, teaching you about current events across the globe, widening your perspective. The World Bulletin hopes to inspire you to make a change— to get involved in combatting modern slavery, to correct your misconceptions about
Africa, to learn about political parties and systems of government in countries as far as Bahrain, or as close to home as Canada, and to enrich your cultural understanding and appreciation of places such as Turkey or Singapore. With a greater perspective and a continued curiosity, you can enrich the world and strive for a common good. Sincerely, Arianna Calabrese ’13
Winter 2013 / Volume 4, Number 2 EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: Arianna Calabrese ’13 Assistant Editors: Ekaterina “Kath” Kryuchkova ’13 Krishna Kulkarni ’13 Woo Jin Lee ’13 Tuan Anh “Thomas” Lam ’14 Samuel Verney ’14 Faculty Adviser / Copy & Layout: Rachel M. Engelke
Winter 2013 / Volume 4, Number 2
5 | Britain’s New Europhobia -Michael Carter ’15
21 | A Story Like Srey Rath’s, A Modern Slave - Grace Denny ’13
6 | Treasure Hunting: Archaeology in Bulgaria -Arianna Calabrese ’13
22 | Cow Diplomacy -Jean Lee ’15
7 | The Oncoming Storm in Greece -Samuel Verney ’14
23 | China’s Economy: Waiting for the Bubble to Pop -Paul Nguyen ’14
8 | Pope Benedict XVI’s Resignation -Catherine Choi ’16
9 | Actions Across the Atlantic: Radicalism in Africa -Rohin Bhargava ’14 10 | The Fragile State of Kenyan Democracy - Paige Mickel ’14 11 | French Presence in Mali: Advice to President Hollande -Michael Horowicz ’13 12 | Through a Different Lens: Ms. Blunden and Mr. Osei-Mensah Address Misconceptions About Africa -Melissa Ladner ’13
Middle East 15 | Syria: A Ticking Time Bomb - Karina Masri ’14 16 | A Walk in Time: The Ba’ath Party (Part I) -Yusuf Alnawakhtha ’14 18 | Turkey: A Confluence of Cultures -Krishna Kulkarni ’13 20 | Keeping Promises: U.S. Troops in Afghanistan -Kath Kryuchkova ’13
23 | No Chewing Gum in Singapore -Eliana Zhou ’14 25 | The Nightmare of North Korean Nukes -Leah Rubin ’14 25 | Loomis Makes Me “Whole”: Perspectives from an International Student -Natasia Nabila ’16
The Americas 27 | The Clinton Administration -Jamie Neikrie ’13 28 | Prime Time for Comprehensive Immigration Reform -Paul K. Lee ’13 30 | Acapulco: Vacation from Hell -Bobby Turner ’14 31 | Canada Has a Queen? A Brief Guide to the Canadian Political System -Jenny Li ’14 32 | Native American Studies: Reflections from a South Korean -Woo Jin Lee ’13 — 33 | Also in the News 34 | Images Sources
About the Writers
YUSUF ALNAWAKHTHA ’14 (“A Walk in Time: The Ba’ath Party, Part 1”), born in Manama and raised in Tubli, is the resident Bahraini in Batchelder Dormitory. A new junior on the Island this year, Yusuf is a member of the Arab World Affiliation, the Math Team, Robotics Team, Model United Nations, and the Debate Society. He made his World Bulletin debut this past fall with an article entitled “Finding Peace in Nuclear Weapons.” ROHIN BHARGAVA ’14 (“Actions Across the Atlantic: Radicalism in Africa”) is a day student from West Hartford, Connecticut. An avid Model UN delegate and world affairs enthusiast, this is his third article in the World Bulletin, having previously written about India and Syria for the Spring and Fall 2012 issues, respectively. When not writing about foreign policy, Rohin enjoys acting (you may have seen him in this fall’s The Comedy of Errors at the NEO), skiing, and hiking. ARIANNA CALABRESE ’13 (“Treasure Hunting: Archaeology in Bulgaria”), the World Bulletin’s Editor-in-Chief, is a boarder in Mason Dormitory. From Vernon, Connecticut, Arianna is also a Head Tour Guide and a Peer Counselor, and she serves on the student advisory committee for the Center for Global Studies. This is Arianna’s ninth article (!) for the Bulletin, having written about everything from Islam in America and Occupy Wall Street to Silvio Berlusconi and Burma. MICHAEL CARTER ’15 (“Britain’s New Europhobia”), from Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, makes his World Bulletin writing debut with this article. A resident of Longman Dormitory, Mike is the sophomore class boys president, an avid fan of Lady Gaga, and is a budding thespian, having appeared in this fall’s The Comedy of Errors at the NEO. CATHERINE CHOI ’16 (“Pope Benedict XVI’s Resignation”), from Seoul, South Korea lives in Harman Hall. She plays JV Volleyball, JV Basketball, and JV Tennis, and is a member of the Concert Band. This is Catherine’s first article in the World Bulletin. GRACE DENNY ’13 (“A Story Like Srey Rath’s, A Modern Slave”) is a tour guide, an editor of The LOG, and a member of the Cross Country team. This is her World Bulletin debut. MICHAEL HOROWICZ ’13 (“French Presence in Mali: Advice to President Hollande”), from Montclair, New Jersey, lives in Batchelder Dormitory. He is a captain of the Varsity Cross Country and Track teams, he plays JV Hockey, is Co-Managing Editor of The LOG, and is a 3-year participant (and multiple award winner!) at both the Yale and Boston Model UN conferences. Mike wrote about the economic divisions in England for the Fall 2012 World Bulletin. KATH KRYUCHKOVA ’13 (“Keeping Promises: U.S. Troops in Afghanistan”) from Moscow, Russia, makes her home on the Island in Palmer Dormitory. Kath is an International Student Ambassador, was a Sophomore Retreat facilitator, and is a 2-year member of the Yale Model United Nations team. She also volunteers with the community service program and plays guitar. This is Kath’s fifth article for the World Bulletin; previous contributions include: “The Cult of Putin” (Spring 2011), “Russian Parliamentary Elections: Fraud Goes Too Far” (Winter 2012), “A Cold Denial of Human Rights: Anti-LGBT Legislation in Russia” (Spring 2012), and “A Dream Come True for Georgia, But Whose Dream?” (Fall 2012). KRISHNA KULKARNI ’13 (“Turkey: A Confluence of Cultures”) is from West Hartford, Connecticut. An RA in Batchelder Dormitory, Krishna is also a 2-year member of both the Yale and Boston Model UN delegations. Additionally, he plays the tenor saxophone, runs Cross Country, and plays Ultimate Frisbee. Krishna has previously written about racism in Australia (Winter 2012), Egypt’s president Mohamed Morsi (Fall 2012), and malaria in Africa (Fall 2012). MELISSA LADNER ’13 (“Through a Different Lens: Ms. Blunden and Mr. Osei-Mensah Address Misconceptions About Africa”), from Palm Beach County, Florida makes her World Bulletin debut with this interview. A resident of Palmer Dormitory, Melissa sings in the Concert Choir, competes on the Track & Field team, and serves as a tour guide. You may also have seen her in this winter’s NEO musical, Legally Blonde. JEAN LEE ’15 (“Cow Diplomacy”) is from Seoul, South Korea. A resident of Harman Hall, Jean performs in the Orchestra, runs track, and plays 3rds Soccer. In addition, Jean is a tour guide, a member of the Debate Team, and she serves on the Student Council. This is Jean’s World Bulletin debut. PAUL K. LEE ’13 (“Prime Time for Comprehensive Immigration Reform”) is an RA in Taylor Hall from Norwood, New Jersey. He is the president of Student Council, Co-Managing Editor of The LOG, a 3-year Model UN delegate, a member of the Cross Country, Swimming, and Tennis
teams, and principal cellist of the Orchestra. This is Paul’s third essay for the World Bulletin, and his second about immigration; previous articles include: “Argentina, Spain, and Oil” (Spring 2012) and “Harming or Hurting America? Mexico and Illegal Immigration” (Fall 2012). WOO JIN LEE ’13 (“Native American Studies: Reflections from a South Korean”), from Seoul, South Korea, is a Student Council representative and a member of its Rules Committee. A resident of Taylor Dormitory, Woo Jin is also a 3-year delegate to Yale Model United Nations and an active performer in both the Concert Choir and Chamber Singers. In his spare time he loves to play tennis. This is Woo Jin’s third article for the World Bulletin, having previously written about violent brawls in the Korean National Assembly (Winter 2012), and the politics of the Arab Spring for the 2012 Election issue (Spring 2012). JENNY LI ’14 (“Canada has a Queen? A Brief Guide to the Canadian Political System”) is from Ontario, Canada. Here on the Island she serves as a prefect in Carter Dormitory, performs with the Jazz Band, and competes on the Cross Country and Swim teams. Jenny is pursuing a Global Studies Certificate, and this article marks her World Bulletin debut. KARINA MASRI ’14 (“Syria: A Ticking Time Bomb”), from Southborough, Massachusetts, makes her World Bulletin debut with this article. A resident of Palmer Dormitory, Karina enjoys AP Art and serving as a tour guide, as well as competing on the Varsity Softball and Field Hockey teams. Karina is pursuing the Global Studies Certificate and traveled with the school to the Dominican Republic over March break. PAIGE MICKEL ’14 (“The Fragile State of Kenyan Democracy”) is from New Providence, New Jersey and a prefect in Carter Dormitory. She is cocaptain of the JV Soccer team, and is a tour guide. Paige wrote about the Scottish independence movement for the Spring 2012 World Bulletin, and about the reelection of Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez for the Fall 2012 issue. Paige also traveled to the Dominican Republic with fellow Loomis Chaffee students in March as part of the Global Studies program. NATASIA NABILA ’16 (“Loomis Makes Me “Whole”: Perspectives from an International Student”), from Jakarta, Indonesia, is a resident of Carter Dormitory. Natasia is on the JV Hockey and Tennis teams, and this article marks her World Bulletin debut. JAMIE NEIKRIE ’13 (“The Clinton Administration”) is a day student from Glastonbury, Connecticut. A 3-year Model UN delegate (and 2-year award winner), Jamie plays Varsity Lacrosse, serves as a tour guide, and is an avid political junkie. This is Jamie’s second article for the World Bulletin, having previously written about U.S. foreign policy in a piece entitled “The American Way?” for the Winter 2012 issue. When he’s not following the weekly exploits of his fantasy football team, Jamie finds time to appreciate Taylor Swift and Chipotle. PAUL NGUYEN ’14 (“China’s Economy: Waiting for the Bubble to Pop”), from Hanoi, Vietnam, is a new junior at LC and a resident of Batchelder Dormitory. He is a member of the Debate Team and Boston Model UN, and enjoys cycling and playing tennis. Paul made his World Bulletin debut in the Fall 2012 issue with an article entitled “Myanmar: What’s the Future for Asia’s Next Economic Tiger?” LEAH RUBIN ’14 (“The Nightmare of North Korean Nukes”) is a boarder in Palmer Dormitory from Stamford, Connecticut. She is on the Confluence staff, is an active (and award-winning!) debater and Model UN delegate, is Vice President of the Junior Class, and she serves on the Rules Committee of the Student Council. Leah made her World Bulletin writing debut last spring with an article about the Arab Spring and Israeli-Egyptian relations, and this fall wrote about the Bo Xilai scandal in China. BOBBY TURNER ’14 (“Acapulco: Vacation from Hell”) is a new junior from Windham, Connecticut. A resident of Taylor Dormitory, Bobby competes on the Cross Country and Track teams, and he participates in the community service program. SAM VERNEY ’14 (“The Oncoming Storm in Greece”) is a day student from West Simsbury, Connecticut. A member of the Loomis Chaffee Concert Choir and Chamber Singers, a proud 3-year Club Soccer veteran, and former NEO thespian (Hairspray), Sam has written for the World Bulletin about AlJazeera (Winter 2012), the election of French president Francois Hollande (Spring 2012), and Libya a year after the Arab Spring (Fall 2012). ELIANA ZHOU ’14 (“No Chewing Gum in Singapore”), as her article indicates, is from Singapore! She is a resident of Palmer Dormitory, a threetime participant in Yale and Boston Model UN, is a member of the Orchestra, a tour guide, and she runs Cross Country.
europe Britain’s New Europhobia The typical map of the world includes the United Kingdom as part of Europe. Historical relations reaffirm this, and tradition provides yet another reason to believe in this idea. Nevertheless, the government of the UK may soon decide otherwise. The United Kingdom Independence Party, or UKIP, is working with a group of zealot Tories to pressure British Prime Minister David Cameron and other MPs (Members of Parliament) into introducing a referendum which
British Prime Minister David Cameron
may split the island from the European continent. By departing from the European Union and possibly choosing not to engage in European politics, the United Kingdom poses a major threat to its domestic, economic, and political power. While the UK opted out of accepting the Euro as a continental currency, it had shown great interest in joining the European Union (EU) in the 1970s, when many considered this option profitable and beneficial. In 1973 the UK joined the European Economic Community (EEC), an organization concerned primarily with promoting free trade among its member nations; it has since been replaced by the European Union, which the UK joined in November 1993. Of course, the European debt crisis has struck, and the sparkles that used to attract Britain have turned out to be fool’s gold. With the EU sinking fiscally, with no immediate or long-term financial solution in sight, investment in the continent is losing its attraction and becoming more and more of a problem, as demonstrated by the rise in popularity of the UKIP and by the 54% approval rating in
by Michael Carter ’15
favor of the split. (The Independent, 26 November 2012). Additional reasons to make the break include the public disapproval of the restrictive labour laws set forth by the EU, which reduced the work week to 48 hours and, in turn, have made British business hostile to the continent. However, Britain also faces trouble as tariffs that protected business in the past have now turned against the country. Though the price of exclusion has fallen since Britain joined the EU, the application of tariffs to British imports would cause an explosive loss of revenue. British goods could face tariffs of up to 200%, a prohibitively high cost for Continental Europeans, as their trades are meant to be protected by these foreign tariffs. (The Economist, December 2012). With the British economy facing a new challenge to domestic business, many corporations that have resided on the island for decades would be forced to move to the continent or face losing their entire EU consumer base. In terms of remaining on Europe’s “good side,” Britain has two viable options. The first, remaining in the European Economic Area (EEA) and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) would place Britain in a similar position to that of Norway. While Britain would have a position in the EU to help shape major decisions, it would not only lack the power to contribute to the final decision but also be forced to abide by any laws or directives set forth by the Union without the nation’s consent. It is a position that many British would be unhappy with, and a choice that the public may perceive as weak. The second choice is to follow the Swiss: the United Kingdom could avoid the EEA altogether and simply remain in the EFTA alone. This is a position of great power, as the Swiss can pick and choose the directives by which they will abide and virtually ignore the rest. But this outcome is rare and difficult to obtain. The case of Switzerland is widely regarded as EU’s weakness. Thus the Union will likely hesitate, if not outright reject, Britain’s choice to apply for this position. Alas, any deal with the EU that doesn’t involve full membership would diminish Britain’s international power. The impending defense treaty between Britain and France could be seriously damaged, and the relations with North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) might be taken much more lightly. Britain stands to lose politically, but the truth is that Parliament might be forced to cave to 5
public opinion. With the popularity of UKIP rising and the concessions of the three other parties to the radical new political force, MPs could find themselves in a serious bind between the responsibilities to their state and those of their constituents. Britain could
change political and mental maps of Europe for good, but it will take advanced political maneuvering and much national and continental integrity to make it a change for the better.
Treasure Hunting: Archaeology in Bulgaria
by Arianna Calabrese ’13
Wake up call came at 6 am. We had to report to the refilled with dirt upon our departure; our findings site by 6:45. We dug, with one fifteen-minute break, have yet to be documented, analyzed, and published. with no shade, until 1 pm. When we left, we covered Bulgaria is rich with archaeological sites and artifacts our findings with garbage bags. Our site was located on St. Kirik’s island, an island right off the coast of Sozopol, Bulgaria, a high tourist destination on the Black Sea. St. Kirik’s island had been a Soviet military academy that was purposefully destroyed upon the fall of the USSR in 1991. So, next to and underneath graffitied Soviet emblems and shattered glass lay ruins of an ancient Apollonian temple from the 3rd century AD. I soon learned that there was a certain hierarchy on site, and that our job as student archaeologists was to provide the manual labor. Each day, we would dress up as the quintessential archaeologist – kneelength khaki shorts, button down shirts rolled up to our elbows, bandanas around our necks, work boots, and, of course, sunglasses – but our experiences were Our site on St. Kirik’s Island, Bulgaria nothing like Indiana Jones’. We pick-axed, shoveled, and wheel barrowed for seven hours each day alongside hired gypsies, continuously throwing any shard of that can provide important historical information, found pottery into a plastic bucket. We periodically holding the third largest number of archaeological took breaks to sort through this earthenware, sites in Europe, following Greece and Italy. However, separating pieces with paint and/or designs from only a handful of those sites are published about and sculpted pieces from plain shards. only a handful of those artifacts Piles of unmarked pottery filled the are displayed in museums. There rooms of the abandoned school. In are simply too many artifacts and the afternoons, we “washed” these too few archaeologists. In fact, the pieces with toothbrushes. ground is so rich with undiscovered Any “special find” – a piece of settlements, that any contractor metal, a skeleton, an alabastron must first, before building, – was photographed and then request and financially support an quickly removed from its position, excavation on his land to ensure placed into a sealed plastic baggie, that he will not disrupt any ancient marked with its coordinates, and ruins. To avoid these extra costs, then stored in a warehouse for an many contractors will secretly unspecified period of time. These dig and build foundations in the special finds are seminal to historical middle of the night, destroying research – Bulgarian archaeology, any unearthed sites. In addition, often underrated, holds high grave robbers and treasure hunters importance in understanding trade run rampant throughout Bulgaria, between Greek civilizations and destroying sites and ransacking in understanding the development them of all of their precious artifacts. 6 of Eastern Europe. Our site was A special find, head of a small figurine
Nevertheless, Bulgarian archaeologists have made revolutionary finds. In October 2012 they discovered the oldest prehistoric town in Europe. A fortified settlement, the town dates back to between 4700 and 4200 BC , more than a millennium before the start of ancient Greek civilization. Home to 350 people, the town was a salt production center; at the time, salt was more valuable than gold. Therefore, the
walls surrounding the town served to hide the salt. “Highly valued by surrounding tribes, [this salt] may explain why ancient caches of gold jewelry and ritual objects have been unearthed in the region, noted Nick Squires. (“Archaeologists Find Europe’s Most Prehistoric Town,” The Telegraph, 31 October 2012). We can only wait in anticipation for what Bulgarian archaeologists will uncover next!
The Oncoming Storm in Greece by Samuel Verney ’14 On February 20th, 2013, thousands of Greeks bailout deals, for 110 billion euros, passed on October participated in a protest against the recent austerity 16th but was met with widespread criticism in the deal. The deal was struck by the government with the Greek community, and resulted in the October 18, Greek creditors, a group of organizations referred to 2012 protest. as the “troika.” The troika consists of the European This protest was organized by the two major Greek Commission (EC), the European Central Bank (ECB), labor unions, including Adedy, the Greek Federation and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), to whom of Public Service Employees. Naturally, a high Greece owes money. Ever since the financial collapse percentage of Greeks have grown displeased with the of 2009, which, according to The Guardian’s Helena present financial situation in the country, as well as Smith, consisted of the withdrawal of approximately with the unemployment rate and the increased taxes. 65 billion euros from Greek banks by the citizens, Consequently, the Greek unions have been mobilizing Greece has verged on the brink of financial ruin, and organizing protests frequently throughout the unable to pay back the many nations to which it is past few years. Just before the most recent austerity indebted. (“Greek Unions Propose Popular Revolt Over Bailout”, 22 February 2013) To prevent this ruin, the Greek government has adopted a number of austerity policies, hiking up taxes and slashing incomes, occasionally by an entire third (Niki Kitsantonis, The New York Times, “Greek Workers Walk Out in Fresh Austerity Protest,” 20 February 2013). The failed economy has led Greek protestors rally against their government’s recent austerity measures to an enormous increase in the unemployment rate, which presently rests around 27%, according bill was passed and the 110 billion euro bailout deal to Kitsantonis’s research. Rising unemployment, in was accepted, hundreds of thousands of Greeks combination with the slashed incomes, has resulted (“Greek Unions”) protested against the short-sighted in a significant number of Greeks unable to pay the policies designed to give the country a brief financial heightened tax rates. Consequently, Greece remains reprieve good enough to convince its creditors that it incapable of paying back its creditors, and has been can, in fact, pay back its debts. The Prime Minister forced to accept bailout deals that, in theory, give Lucas Papademos’s sole goal is to completely avoid Greece enough money to get the economy back on bankruptcy, and therefore he accepts these bailout its feet so it can pay off its debts. The deals are made deals even at the expense of further economic damage in exchange for the adoption of the aforementioned to his people. In fact, he seems to believe that these austerity policies of increased taxes and slashed policies will eventually aid Greece’s recovery in the government spending. The most recent of these future. That said, the Greek population appears to have 7
very little faith in these policies, and has even started to lose faith in the larger unions. The comparative failure of the most recent strike in late February, in which only a few thousand people participated, in contrast with the hundreds of thousands in prior strikes, may indicate that the Greek people are losing interest in voicing their dissent, for the strikes seem to have brought about little change. Ilias Iliopoulos, from the trade union Adedy, told The Guardian that if the government continues to take away people’s property, “…soon they won’t take it anymore. There’ll be a popular revolt.” Greek Federation of Public Service Employees
The Resignation of Pope Benedict XVI
In the span of 700 years, we have sent a man to the moon, fought hundreds of wars, and completely changed, mostly for the better, our standards of living. In 700 years, we have watched popes cycle through the Vatican, reigning until their death. Since Gregory XII in 1415 no pope has resigned, until now. Understandably, the whole world was shocked when Pope Benedict XVI announced on February 11, 2013 that he would be resigning, explaining that “...both strength of mind and body are necessary, strength which in the last few months, has deteriorated in me to the extent that I have 8 had to recognize my incapacity Pope Benedict XVI
by Catherine Choi ’16
to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me.” Pope Benedict XVI’s conservative views were known throughout his reign, particularly pertaining to homosexuality and women priests. Elected pope in 2005 at an experienced age of 78, he became one of the oldest elected in history. The pope’s decision to resign brought about mixed opinions from the public, ranging from approval and praise to skepticism and conspiracy theories. Some say that he made the right choice in handing over such an influential position to someone more physically suitable for the job, while others suggest that he was blackmailed to resign due to scandals and tension within the inner circles of the papacy. Regardless of the reason, 74% of Catholics found Benedict XVI favorable. (Pew Forum, February 21, 2013) The remarkable number of followers on his verified Twitter account (@Pontifex)—over a million—show that Benedict XVI was an intriguing man. Known as scholarly rather than worldly, Pope Benedict XVI loved teaching documents and presenting speeches. He also wrote three books on Jesus and the Catholic faith. At 8:00 PM (Roman time), February 28, Pope Benedict XVI left a legacy of teachings and ideas that has impacted Catholics all over the world. On March 13, the papal conclave elected Argentinian Jorge Mario Bergoglio, known as Francis I, as the 266th Pope of the Catholic Church. Pope Francis I
africa Actions Across the Atlantic: Radicalism in Africa by Rohin Bhargava ’14
Religious radicalism seems to be a trend that but as the fighting continued, each side had become has swept across the world many times before, but so hostile that other nations (the UK and the USA) now, a new region has been plagued by it. The once were forced to increased military presence and drone internationally non-aggressive Africa now teems with attacks. After an intense battle in Timbuktu, once areas of religious fervor. From piracy in Somalia, to known as the land of gold, the Associated Press diamond conflict in Sierra recovered a document listing Leone, to child warfare 22 steps to hide from drones in Uganda, Africa has that was written by senior proven itself to have much al Qaeda member, Abdallah oppressive, violent internal bin Muhammad. This conflict, but has never comprehensive plan reveals established itself to be hostile that the radical insurgencies to other continents. In the in the area had an adequate aftermath of the Arab Spring, knowledge of western the temporary tyrannical military technology. In early tendencies of Egypt’s 2013 after sixty airstrikes, democratically elected American drone attacks and president, Mohammed Morsi air intervention increased, of the Muslim Brotherhood causing former presidential party, demanded the candidate Ron Paul to call Presidential candidates post political posters around Kenya attention of the democratic in anticipation of the first upcoming democratic elections. the conflict an “undeclared world, thereby allowing the war.” (RT, January 2013) As rise of religious factions in the 2014 deadline for the other regions. Shortly after the Egyptian situation withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan approaches, appeared to be resolved, Algerian Islamists held President Obama is going to have to reassess the new foreign workers as hostages in an unforeseen Algerian situation in Africa and determine if he should allocate gas complex hostage crisis, refocusing Western more American force in the region. Whatever he attention on the radicals in Africa. In doing so, the decides, he will have some difficult decision making. democratic countries responded as usual - sending Nevertheless, democracy in Africa is beginning to forces in to stabilize the area. Most recently, fighting spread through some of its most dependent nations. in Mali has drawn major world power response. The most poignant example of this is in Kenya, Al Qaeda established where for the first time, itself in Mali, one of the elections are being held to most historically diverse determine the country’s and rich countries in next leader. Even though Africa, in late 2012. these countries are taking When initial reports steps toward democracy, of insurgent violence regional tensions still surfaced in November, the remain alarming to the African Union allowed the world. So the real question European Union and the is: is the conflict in Mali United Nations to become simply a small blemish on involved and quell the tide the African continent, or of these radicals. France will it infect the continent took the lead in fighting Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi drew Western attention altogether? away from growing religious radicalism in Africa. against Mali insurgents, 9
The Fragile State of Kenyan Democracy
by Paige Mickel ’14
While all eyes are on Kenya, a contentious once again. A few of the candidates running were question arises: will history repeat itself ? As the involved in the turmoil of the last election, most notably Uhuru Kenyatta, son of the first president of March 4th presidential election date draws near Kenya, who currently has charges brought against him for the African country, many citizens live in fear of possible impending violence. Considering the by the International Criminal Court for crimes against aftermath of Kenya’s last election in December of humanity in organizing the violence of the previous 2007, they have a right to be scared. The brutality that election. His running mate, William Ruto, is under the same allegations. Kenyatta’s biggest competitor followed current president Mwai Kibaki’s re-election is Raile Odinga, current Prime Minister, narrow victory was horrific, with over 1,000 left dead and runner-up in 2007, and an estimated 300,000 son of Kenya’s first forced to flee from vice president. Many their homes. (BBC have accused the News Africa, “Kenya Kenyan government Election: Hatred of not taking enough Leaflets in Kisumu action after the 2007 and Mombasa,” 22 election, and fear that February 2013) Troops this one will cause of men demolished rioters to clash just opposing ethnic as forcibly. Already, communities. Many violence has sparked of the clashes are at party primaries, caused by rivalries portending mayhem between tribes in when it comes to Kenya. The Kikuyu, the actual election. which Kibaki belongs Reports of murder, to, is the biggest and bribery, threats, most prosperous and intimidation tribe, followed by the connected to political Kalenjin. The past motives have already three presidents of A visual representation of alliances in Kenyan elections surfaced. Hatred Kenya have all been leaflets, meant to stir up rivalries and spread alarm and either Kikuyu or Kalenjin. Citizens have a tendency to panic, have been circulating in Kimusu, Odinga’s home vote in ethnic blocs, so politicians often exploit these city. Another element in the likelihood of oncoming rivalries. Elections besides the presidential one have chaos is the fact that the stakes are perhaps even provoked contention over land and politics between higher in this election than they were in the last one. other tribes. Members of the Pokomo and Ormo tribes Recently, oil preserves had to receive treatment were discovered in in separate areas of a Kenya, adding profitable hospital following an incentive for the winner inflamed debate over a of this presidential race. governor’s race. Now, as For Kenyatta and Ruto, Kibaki retires after his in particular, victory second term as president, would be beneficial, as many Kenyans question it excludes them from whether they should brace the I.C.C. trial due to themselves for bloodshed presidential immunity. and rioting once again. The recent violence, Unfortunately, there extra incentives, and is a very real chance that the violence of five years A sign daubed on the wall of a destroyed house in Nairobi’s Kibera determined candidates all 10 ago could rear its ugly head slum during post-election violence in 2007. point to another messy
election. But Kenya has made impressive strides since 2007, which could make a notable difference this time around. It has adopted an entirely new constitution, improved its judiciary, and tightened restrictions against hate speech. New positions in the government have since been created to promote equally balanced resources. Other preventative measures include educating the candidates on election procedures and installing security teams in violence hotspots. Reputation and responsibility could also have a positive effect in assuaging brutality in the election. As proved by the disastrous results of 2007, many countries depend on Kenya, and economic and political turmoil would affect them as well. In its position of influence,
Kenya has the opportunity to set an example and prove that peaceful election is possible. The United States, France, and Switzerland have already stated that their relations with Kenya will likely change if Kenyatta is elected. Whether these favorable changes will be enough to prevent political turbulence is to be determined. One could argue either way as to what the result of this election will be: relatively peaceful transition or bitter backlash. The world will have to wait for the results and the aftermath of the March 4th election to find out. [Editor’s Update: Uhuru Kenyatta was elected as the fourth president of Kenya, defeating Raila Odinga 51% to 44%.]
French Presence in Mali: Advice to President Hollande by Michael Horowicz ’13
François Hollande assumed the French presidency on May 15th 2012, and since then has seen little success, falling out of favor in the public eye. Just like new presidents around the world, Hollande came into office promising new and invigorating economic growth and
promising to create multitudes of new jobs. For many Americans this sounds oddly familiar. Unfortunately for President Hollande, and more so for the French people, little has come of these promises, for unemployment in France is still over 10%. (CIA World Fact Book). In the past month however, President Hollande has done well combatting terrorism in Mali. Back on January 11th, he ordered air strikes on Islamist extremist terrorists advancing on Bamako, the capital city, stunting their advance. Fortunately, the French only lost one pilot. In March 2012, a mutinous Malian French President Francois Hollande
military group staged a coup d’état, launching northern Mali into chaos and opening the door for more terrorist activities throughout the North. The North, controlled by the Tuareg minority, has now become a breeding group for terrorist activity, and has caused many African and European nations with a stake in Africa great concern. Many leaders fear that Northern Mali will become a new “Afghanistan,” a breeding and hiding place of internationallyfeared terrorist groups. Al Qaeda has even established a presence in the region. Needless to say, Mali is a highly volatile and dangerous country. After ordering the air attacks on the terrorist groups, President Hollande increased the number of French troops in Mali to 2,500. France had drafted a United Nations Resolution, which was unanimously agreed upon, in which neighboring African countries would come together to create a UN ground force that would bring safety and stability to the Malian region. Thus, Hollande increased French troops in the area to allow for the installment of this UN force and to allow for the country to finally create a new legitimate government with democratic elections by April. So far, the operation in the region has gone well as French forces have driven the terrorist groups into the mountains on the Malian-Algerian border. Now that all has gone well in Mali for the unpopular French president, it would be wise for him to stick 11
with his original assertions that the French only wish to remain in the region for a short time. What warrants the warning? This situation has painfully similar facets to the American past and present entanglement in the Afghan region. The American government went in to aid in the creation of a stable government following the collapse of the Taliban in 2011, with intentions to remain in the situation for a relatively short time. The Americans were fighting guerilla groups who were very familiar with the area and, once pushed into the mountains, were able to evade American forces. U.S. entanglement in the Afghan region has resulted in the loss of American lives, dollars, and time. President
George W. Bush’s post-9/11 popularity plummeted with the issue and has made the once-amiable politician an international symbol for negative American stereotypes. If President Hollande were to maintain a prolonged presence in Mali, his reputation and that of his country may spoil like President Bush’s did. Fortunately, France already has begun removing troops from the region and has set up for a UNcommissioned military force to come in and take control of the situation. However, the presence of eight French hostages in the terrorist grasps could muddy the waters.
Through a Different Lens: Ms. Blunden and Mr. Osei-Mensah Address Misconceptions About Africa by Melissa Ladner ’13 The world takes a more distinct shape every day. We have lightning-fast Internet, world news on BBC, and travel opportunities that bring places once too distant to properly understand, more directly accessible to us. With such access to knowledge, it would seem that the days of misunderstanding foreign countries should be long gone; yet, there remains much ignorance and confusion about many of the countries that don’t fall under the category of “the western world.” One of the places plagued most by persistent inaccuracy is the continent of Africa. Africa is comprised of 54 different countries, and as of 2011, had a population of 1,037,694,509 persons. (en.worldstat. info/Africa) It is a large continent full of varying languages, cultures, histories, and people. But for such a massive place it has garnered many stereotypes and opinions based on misconceptions, the most prominent of which are: -Everyone in Africa is black and ethnically monolithic. -Africa is all poverty, violence, and disease. -African leaders are corrupt. -Africa is “backwards” technologically, economically, and educationally. In order to dispel any misunderstandings others (and myself) might have, I needed to know more about Africa. What better way to learn about a place than to discuss it with those who lived there? So I interviewed two of our Loomis Chaffee faculty 12 members who happened to have grown up and lived
there: Ms. Blunden from South Africa and Mr. OseiMensah from Ghana.
Science Teacher Koby Osei-Mensah and History Teacher & Director of International Students Meg Blunden
True or false: everyone in Africa is black and ethnically monolithic. Mr. Osei-Mensah: That’s not true. It’s very diverse in South Africa, and in Ghana it is probably not as diverse as South Africa but still, just like it is in (Loomis), we have people from all over who live and work in Ghana.
What about the perception that Africa is all poverty, violence, and disease? Ms. Blunden: There are very violent areas in Africa, very impoverished areas, and areas that are rife with disease. But I think when people make these generalizations they forget about the cities that are highly developed. (There are) medical advancements in South Africa; South Africa was the first country where a successful heart transplant was done, and people forget about those accomplishments. Although there is some truth to this statement, the generalization is incorrect. Do you agree or disagree with the statement that African leaders are corrupt? Ms. Blunden: I may be throwing some personal bias in here, but Nelson Mandela is my idol and he was not corrupt…he was a great leader, and there are some examples of really excellent leadership in Africa, like in Rwanda at the end of the genocide. But I do think there is an over-arching corruption that is going on right now. Mr. Osei-Mensah: Yes, I agree, but we have come a long way in making progress, like how crimes are becoming more and more transparent. [Crime is] not as much as in the past, we have made improvements and going forward it’s going to become more and more transparent and free. I think it will get there, but right now they are definitely corrupt.
What are your thoughts on the suggestion that Africa is “backwards” technologically, economically, educationally, and socially (lack of civilization) and needs foreign aid in order to develop? Ms. Blunden: I think that Africa being looked at as lacking civilization and being economically backward is a complex issue. I disagree with that statement, but there are flaws that need to be acknowledged. In terms of education, Africa is set up with a European education system, and so it is trying to rebuild its identity in terms of what its system looks like. Mr. Osei-Mensah: It takes time - it’s a gradual process. I didn’t have access to computers growing up, but halfway through high school, you saw more laptops, emails being sent, and cell phones all of the sudden spurred from nowhere. It’s not as backwards as people see it. More and more businesses are moving there as well as the technology, online banking, fast Internet; it’s all there. Compared to the U.S., they are on different levels, but I think it is not as backwards as people see it. Even if you go to the tiniest village, they might not have clean drinking water, but they do have a cell phone. Where do you think these generalizations come from? Ms. Blunden: I think the generalizations do come from ignorance; but, I think people do not do enough independent research and discovery about the continent on their own, and the ignorance is fed by what
people see on the media, and the media, I think, naturally gravitates towards the negative things. So the poverty, this over-arching AIDS epidemic, the
poor education systems - those are the things the media exposes, and so those are the things they know.
Do you believe that most people hold these views? Ms. Blunden: I think that there is understanding that has grown over the years, but not enough. Mr. Osei-Mensah: I think it’s changing. I think older folks who have not been there and just see what’s on the mainstream TV have those opinions, but as the world becomes more global and more and more kids travel to Africa I think it will change even more.
What do you picture when you think of Africa? Mr. Osei-Mensah: I see a peaceful place. Peaceful people very happy and content with what they have. A lot of people don’t have a lot but they seem to enjoy life. (They) just enjoy the simple things in life. It’s relaxed. What would you like people most to know about your country? Ms. Blunden: South Africa has such a special feeling about it in terms of the culture and the cultural practices of the people. Just like in the U.S., nailing down a specific American identity is impossible; finding a specific generic South African identity is definitely impossible. I think the history and the story of the country is so rich. What do you think could be done to dispel such misconceptions? Ms. Blunden: It terms of a full solution, I don’t have one. But what I can do is educate, or at least help to educate within the Loomis community, and that’s what I can do at least on a small scale. Mr. Osei-Mensah: I think perhaps encourage people from abroad to come visit and see for themselves what it is like to live in Ghana and what we do there.
middle east Syria: A Ticking Time Bomb
by Karina Masri ’14
In Thomas Friedman’s op-ed column titled evidence that points “Obama’s Nightmare” (13 November 2012), The New to these exchanges, York Times journalist “[C]autioned that while Libya, Hezbollah has Egypt, Yemen, Bahrain and Tunisia implode, Syria denied direct would explode if a political resolution was not found involvement with quickly.” Indeed, for any one of us observing how the Syria. Furthermore, Arab Spring is or has been unfolding within various Imad Salamey, countries of the Middle Professor of East, one cannot help Political Science noticing that the and International conflict in Syria is Affairs at the taking a much more Lebanese American complex and dangerous University, argues, path than that in the “a sustained surrounding countries, and significant risking a destabilization involvement by of the entire Arab Lebanese parties Syrian President Bashar World. Furthermore, in the Syrian Hafez al-Assad Syria appears to serve conflict would risk Official flag and logo of Hezbollah as a catalyst to the exacerbating a tense advance of Islamist situation [in the Middle East]. If unchecked, such governments throughout the Middle East. activity could lead to an ‘uncontrollable situation’ in Iran has acted as one of the greatest accomplices Lebanon” (Josh Wood, “Hezbollah Offering Direct to Syria’s regime and to the fall of the Arab World in Help to Syrian Army, Rebels Say,” The New York Times, general. Iran directly and publicly supports Bashar al17 October 2012). Assad’s regime in Syria, and the country is likely to Finally, the ongoing conflict within Syria exploit any U.S./NATO involvement by the United increasingly resembles a regional Shi’ite-Sunni war States to further advance its own nuclear program. “The that could ultimately engulf the whole Middle East, aid from Iran is increasing, and is increasingly focused just as it already has done in Iraq, Bahrain, and, to on lethal assistance,” a certain extent, Lebanon. helping Syria crackdown Washington Post journalists and execute rebels, Warrick and Sly state, explained an anonymous “the flow of military aid to official (Joby Warrick and Assad comes as Arab states Liz Sly, “U.S. Officials: Iran are considering arming the is Stepping Up Lethal Aid regime’s opponents, raising to Syria,” The Washington the risk of a wider conflict Post, 3 March 2012). that U.S. officials fear could Unfortunately, Iran’s lethal spread to neighboring aid is only one of many countries.” As Syria examples of acts that are continues to cause conflict destabilizing the countries throughout the nations of Hezbollah displays its militant power of the Middle East. the Middle East, it is highly Likewise, with Iran’s direct support and financing, possible that the advance of Islamist governments will Hezbollah, an armed militia in Lebanon, has been lead to a greater conflict encompassing the entirety of aiding Assad’s regime by sending their rebel fighters the region, or even to the involvement of China and to Syria. Despite the overwhelming amount of Russia. 15
A Walk in Time: The Ba’ath Party (Part I)
by Yusuf Alnawakhtha ’14
The Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party, more commonly Declaration, which announced British support for a known as the Ba’ath Party, manages to generate Jewish homeland in Palestine (including present-day controversy through its name alone. Recently, the Israel). Ba’ath Party has become synonymous with terrorism A decade later, Zaki al-Arsuzi founded a movement and dictatorships. It has that aimed for an Arab gotten to the point where even renaissance, named after a peace advocates who claim to library he regularly attended in be enlightened would make Damascus—the Arab Ba’ath. the statement “Not all Arabs Some people, including are members of the Ba’ath former Syrian president Hafez Party, there are some good al-Assad, believe that Zaki alones,” as if being a member of Arsuzi is one of the founders the party gives one malicious of the Ba’ath Party. While it tendencies. The Ba’ath Party is true that al-Arsuzi was the may have many controversial first to establish the concept beliefs, but people attribute of an Arab renaissance— to them ideals that are not in Ba’ath—it was far from being Flag of the Ba’ath Party their foundational statements. For one, considered a political party. Salah al-Bitar, members of the Ba’ath Party have often a moderate who comes from a dynasty of been referred to as radical Islamists, yet the party’s religious Muslims, and Michel Aflaq, a Syrian who founder happens to be a Christian. There are many left Catholic school because it was too sectarian, misconceptions about different parties and ideologies are in fact considered to be the founders of the and the only way to fix those misconceptions is to Ba’ath Party. At the time, however, they had started walk in the timeline of these parties, as this article a different undertaking, the Arab Ihya Movement, plans to do. that was influenced by some of the ideals of Karl The Ba’ath Party was established Marx. However, Aflaq and al-Bitar to unite all Arab countries under one were not very attached to the nation. This idea first started prior idea of communism, in fact, most to the First World War. At the time, of their relations with the Syrian Arab countries were under the rule Communist Party were due to their of the Islamic Ottoman Empire, common opposition to imperialism, which treated Arabs as secondnot their sharing of economic class citizens—behind the Turks. beliefs. So, even though their This sparked the nationalistic views movement was initially an economic of Arabs around, and outside, the one, they found themselves more Ottoman Empire. These views were concerned with issues facing the embodied by youth-based parties, Arab nations. In the meantime, the Arab Socialist Movement al-Arsuzi’s movement was losing being the most notable. The Arab momentum due to his poor ability Socialist Movement was founded in managing a political party. In in the 1930s by Akram al-Hawrani 1941, the members of al-Arsuzi’s to rebuild the union broken by the Arab Ba’ath joined Aflaq and alOttoman Empire which, by then, Bitar’s movement and a new party had already fallen. The Movement was established from this merger quickly gained momentum around Philosopher Zaki al-Arsuzi, founder of under the name of the Ba’ath the Arab world, especially amongst the first Ba’ath Party, aimed at an Arab Party. However, not only was Zaki college students. Members of the Renaissance al-Arsuzi not recognized as one of Movement, at the time, were more the founders of the party, he wasn’t concerned about the nationalist side of it rather than even invited to become a member. the socialist side, due to the land disputes caused Soon after being established, the Ba’ath Party took 16 by the fall of the Ottoman Empire and the Balfour to the political scene but their activeness was restricted
to Syrian issues. They started out issue rather than an Arab one, which lending power to movements that caused the rise of radical Islamic were advocating basic political rights groups that alienated Christian like the freedom of press, and then Muslims. And above all, the Shia and they branched to more socialist Sunnis were in constant conflict due causes like localization of factories. to the struggle of power within the In 1946, the Ba’ath Party published Arab nations. Aflaq aimed to unite all its own newspaper, The Ba’ath, which Arabs regardless of religion or sect. was the first to feature the party’s While Syria was struggling with slogan “One Arab Nation, Bearing its own issues, the Ba’ath Party an Eternal Message.” In 1947, the tried to extend in both Lebanon Ba’ath Party was made into an official and Jordan. It managed to elect two political party with Michel Aflaq as representatives into the parliament president and Salah al-Bitar as First of Jordan. The relationship between Former King Hussein of Jordan Secretary. The party also established the Ba’ath Party and the Jordanian its own constitution that stated that king, however, wasn’t very pleasant, all natural resources, large factories, and banks belong especially since the party was advocating a change to the state and it will manage them according to in the ruling system of Jordan. This sudden, strong, the benefit of its people; citizens will maintain the arrival of the Ba’ath in Jordan led the nationalists in right of possession; the right of inheritance will be the Jordanian army to join the Ba’ath Party, hoping for maintained; freedom of the Arab nations must be a military revolution. In 1952 the rebellion of the Free attained; and, most importantly, it called for uniting Officers dethroned King Farouk in Egypt; the Ba’ath the Arab nations. All in all, the Ba’ath Party stood for Party announced their support for the Egyptian three things: unity, freedom, and socialism. However, movement. The king of Jordan, fearing for his position, the party repeatedly claimed that its definition of convicted members of the Ba’ath Party, especially the socialism differed from Marx’s because its socialism ones in the military. In an attempt of the leaders of would maintain the citizen’s right for possession, but the Ba’ath Party to help the Jordanian members of the it would also localize big industries and place natural party, they made a promise that they would not lead resources under the ownership of the state alone. a revolution against the monarchy of Jordan. That Nationalists at the time received heavy criticism promise was seen by many of the Ba’ath Party as a because they were considered anti-Islamic - this hypocritical movement since it went against one of view of nationalists continues to this day, especially their basic premises—freedom. The hypocrisy did not towards members of the stop there, after Colonel current Ba’ath Party. Gamal Abdel Nasser Aflaq had received more became president of Egypt criticism than other in 1956, the party gave him nationalists because he its support and started was raised as an Orthodox an alliance with him but, Catholic. He replied to soon after, it announced the criticism by stating that he was trying to that he believes that Islam create a dictatorship. That benefited the Arab culture, announcement shocked but sectarianism damaged many of the members, since it severely. Aflaq was a huge Nasser was considered a protester of sectarianism, socialist nationalist who which was steadily on the was implementing a lot of rise in the Arab world: the Ba’ath Party’s ideals Arabs of Jewish belief were even though he wasn’t a shunned due to the recent member. [Editor’s Note: establishment of the state Part 2 of Yusuf ’s history of Israel (in 1948). What of the Ba’ath Party will made it worse is that some appear in the Spring 2013 considered the Palestinian- Former Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser with Ba’ath issue of the World Bulletin!] 17 Israeli conflict an Islamic Party founders Michel Aflaq and Salah al-Bitar in 1958
Turkey: A Confluence of Cultures Walking the streets of Istanbul, Turkey, is a sensory adventure. The towering minarets soar over the idyllic skyline of the city, a hodgepodge of modernistic office buildings and architectural relics of the ancient world. The inevitable blaring of car horns in a big city softens for the call to prayer. Street vendors sell traditional Middle Eastern delicacies, filling the air with tantalizing aromas, among the Starbucks and McDonalds. Understanding Turkey requires insight into this collision of worlds. Founded in 660 B.C. by a Greek King named Byzas (hence, Istanbul’s original name, Byzantium), this city lies at the crossroads of Eastern and Western culture. What may seem a superficially Western city contains a deeply embedded Eastern undercurrent. Fittingly, then, with a foot on each side of the Bosphorus waterway, Istanbul exists physically in both Asia and in Europe. The incredible diversity of this city serves as a microcosm of the greater role Turkey has to play in world affairs, the gatekeeper between the East and the West. Another key factor in understanding not just
Kemal Atatürk revolutionized Turkey’s culture with the Turkish War of Independence
by Krishna Kulkarni ’13
Istanbul, Turkey, street view
Istanbul, but Turkey as a whole, is the cultural revolution of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. Atatürk (meaning “father of the Turks”) spearheaded the Turkish War of Independence after the defeat of the Ottoman Empire in World War I. After defeating Allied forces, Atatürk utterly transformed Turkey’s culture into his vision of a modern state. By abolishing the caliphate, Atatürk affronted one of the critical aspects of Sunni states up to that time, and moved Turkey closer to a European-style government. Additionally, he prohibited the wearing of the traditional fez, a cap worn by many Turks at the time of the Ottoman Empire. Atatürk, even in death, holds a heavy influence in Turkey, his face appearing on nearly every wall of Istanbul’s buildings. Yet today, Turkey struggles with the secular roots established by Atatürk and with the resurgent influence of Islam. Economically, Turkey has thrived in recent years, due in a large part to its largest city. Istanbul, according to an OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) report, “has established itself as the industrial, financial, and logistics center of the country.” The city produces nearly one-third of Turkey’s economic output, and has one of the highest economic growth rates of any city in the world. Tourism serves as an immense economic boon for Istanbul, considering it houses hallmark wonders like the Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque, and the Topkapi Palace, and was named the European Capital of Culture in 2010. Yet the immigration that has created such a mélange of a population has also put an immense burden upon the local infrastructure, and the economy is beginning to transition from a labor-based economy to a services-based economy. Current Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has
PKK seeks to form an official Kurdish state, or at least have more rights granted to Kurds within the Republic of Turkey, according to Murat Karayilan, the leader of a Kurdish rebel group. On the other hand, Turkey also struggles with the European Union, into which it currently desires to enter as a full member state. Much opposition to Turkey’s entry lies in its status as a majorityMuslim nation. Luis Lugo, director of the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, said that, “Interestingly, opposition to Turkish accession is coming Sites like the Hagia Sophia draw thousands of tourists to Istanbul each year. from secular as well as religious shaken the foundations of Turkey’s political culture. quarters in Europe. Some nonreligious Europeans In “successfully [challenging] the nation’s secular worry that bringing a large Muslim country into elite” (Profile of Erdogan, The New York Times), Prime the EU could endanger the continent’s tradition of Minister Erdogan has refused to back down from any gender equality and tolerance of alternative lifestyles, challenge without a fight. He has taken an unwavering for instance. For traditionalists, Turkish accession position against the regime of Syrian Bashar al-Assad, threatens the very idea of Europe as a Christian by sheltering refugees in Southern Turkey and by civilization.” Undoubtedly, the strong economy of shelling Syria’s border in response to Syrian mortar Turkey and its foothold into the Arab world would strikes on Turkish soil (Tim Arango and Anne Barnard, serve as an invaluable asset for the EU, but cultural “Turkey Strikes Back After Syrian Shelling Kills 5 divides may put off a large many Europeans. Civilians,” The New York Times, 3 October 2012). But Turkey cannot fit into a predetermined category. although Erdogan’s confrontational attitude towards Refusing to be labeled simply as East or West, Asia crises can sometimes seem commendable, many or Europe, Muslim or Christian, the rich history of his policies have aggravated internal tensions in underneath the success and turmoil of its current Turkey and irked his political counterparts. Turkey state create an unparalleled society in this world. has struggled with the Kurds (people indigenous to a The Turkish language, a dialect with Mongolian region in Southwest Asia called Kurdistan) for nearly roots, serves as an example of the distinctive nature 40 years now, with violent clashes between the Turkish of Turkey’s society. As I stood in the Roman cisterns army and the PKK, the Kurdistan Worker’s Party. The beneath Istanbul, among the stone columns of the ancient world, I could feel the unfathomable depth of Turkey’s identity. Yet Turkey has a long way to go before it grows into a mediator between cultures; regional and social divides threaten to tear apart Turkey’s political system, dooming it to the internal struggles of neighboring countries like Syria, Iraq, and Iran. Turkey has also begun drifting away from its secular foundation, a scaffold that enabled its prosperity in the first place. How Turkey responds to the many crises that lay ahead will undoubtedly shape not only regional politics, but also will have profound effects on the divide, or unity, between Eastern and Western cultures. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Keeping Promises: U.S. Troops in Afghanistan
by Kath Kryuchkova ’13
In his 2013 State of the Union Address, President Taliban in order to secure power. Obama announced his intention to continue the Afghan locals also express concern about the drawdown of American troops in Afghanistan. potentially premature drawdown. As Shah and Faiez According to the President’s promise, by early 2014, of The Christian Science Monitor reported, Aziza 34,000 American troops will return home, and “by Maisam, a female member of the provincial council in the end of next year, [their] war in Afghanistan will eastern Ghazni Province, feared that without foreign be over.” presence the Taliban might Amir Shah and Rahim restore its former power, and Faiez, journalists at The she expressed her concern Christian Science Monitor, said regarding women’s rights. “I that Afghan President Hamid heard the news this morning Karzai welcomed President and I was thinking of the effect Obama’s plan. Karzai believes it would have on women. The that local citizens will more situation is bad and insecure eagerly cooperate with in Ghazni Province. It is a Afghan forces than with premature decision by Obama foreign troops. In his recent to withdraw the troops,” she negotiations with President said. “The foreign troops Afghan President Hamid Karzai Obama, he prompted are very necessary. The fighting is not over, as the acceleration of the President Obama said.” transition of security power from foreign troops to Foreign citizens are not the only ones who have Afghanistan’s newly created security forces. Karzai’s reservations about diminishing the presence of U.S. office announced, “This is something Afghanistan has troops in Afghanistan. On Tuesday, March 5, General wanted for so long now. The withdrawal in spring of James Mattis, who supported the President’s plan foreign forces from Afghan villages will definitely help for 2013, recommended keeping 13,600 troops in in ensuring peace and full security in Afghanistan.” Afghanistan after 2013. Mattis made his announcement It is clear that Karzai, strives to create an image of to a Senate Committee, and the White House has a responsible, sovereign country, and not of a failed not yet responded to his statement. While President state. Obama emphasized the weakened state of Al Qaeda, However, the Afghan armed forces might not be Maj. Thomas W. Casey remarked that there are still ready to assume such responsibility. Low morale and places “that the Taliban can find sanctuary, and we remarkably high levels of desertion – consequences still believe there is an informal network or support of the lack of equipment and training – can hardly structure in place that they can rely on.” (Matthew be improved before the designated date of U.S. Rosenberg, “U.S. Troops Leave Afghan Outposts, drawdown. Blatant corruption Still Facing Fire, The New furthermore hinders alreadyYork Times, 15 February 2013) insufficient funding of the Maj. Thomas W. Casey is the Afghan army. Thus without executive officer of the Third foreign troops, the government Battalion, 41st Infantry, which is unlikely to maintain operates in the eastern and stability. Sajjad Ashraf, Adjunct central half of Zhare. Professor in the National Regardless of the role that University of Singapore and the U.S. ultimately takes over Former High Commissioner the course of the next few of Pakistan to Singapore, said years, as Afghani newspaper in The Straits Times, “Everyone Hasht-e Sobh warned, “the cost expects a repeat of the civil war of arming and funding Afghan that followed the withdrawal security is much lower for the of Soviet troops” in 1989. In Marine Gen. James Mattis, recent commander of U.S. world than the cost of having the worst-case scenario, Karzai forces in the Middle East, recommends keeping 13,600 to deal with re-emergence of 20 will need the support of the troops in Afghanistan. terrorism.”
asia A Story Like Srey Rath’s, A Modern Slave Although we may not see it, slavery still exists today. The number of people currently enslaved in the world is estimated to be around 27 million (according to the non-profit organization Free the Slaves). On the surface, modern slavery may look very different from what we’ve learned in the history books, but the international slave trade has existed for centuries, and modern slavery is no less terrible than it was as
Srey Rath, a teenager in Cambodia, and sex slave
recently as the 1840’s and 50’s. The U. S. Department of State divides modern slavery into eight different types: forced labor, sex trafficking, bonded labor, debt bondage among migrant laborers, involuntary domestic servitude, forced child labor, child soldiers, and child sex trafficking. Every year, millions of children are kidnapped and forced into prostitution, the army, or abusive work conditions. Their stories often resemble that of Srey Rath, a Cambodian teenage girl who, at fifteen, went to Thailand to try to support her family as a dishwasher, but was kidnapped by a job agent who sold her to gangsters in Malaysia. There, she was forced to become a prostitute. She was beaten, abused and sexually harassed against her will (Half the Sky, by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn tells the story of many extraordinary young women in Africa and Asia who have suffered under tremendous hardships.). Her story is only one among millions of others, of children and adults forced into various types of slavery every year. With such an astonishing number of similar cases of modern slavery, one would think that there would be more attention paid to this issue. However, these
by Grace Denny ’13
instances of modern slavery occur daily and often go largely unnoticed by the media, making voices against the onward march of underground slavery almost impossible to be heard. Often times those subject to such iniquity are those least able to defend themselves or escape - immigrants, people who do not speak the language of the country they are in, women, and children. They lack the necessary knowledge of how to navigate the system and help themselves, and the governments in countries where modern slavery is prevalent are often corrupt and do little to help victims. The situation, unfortunately, is incredibly bleak. But there is still hope. Many organizations are working tirelessly to help current and former victims, and there is a litany of information online about how you can help. You can vote for candidates who will continue to support funding and programs that will help victims. And you can make sure your own choices do not support those who are exploiting slavery. Try to avoid products that are made in places where child labor or forced labor is prevalent. Perhaps, most importantly, you can make sure people are aware of this problem. You can make sure the millions of people who are forced into slavery every year are not forgotten. For more information about the women in Kristof and WuDunn’s book, visit www. halftheskymovement. org, whose mission is “Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide. Free the Slaves is an organization committed to helping victims of modern slavery.
by Jean Lee ’15
On June 10th 2008, thousands of Korean citizens The Free Trade Agreement between the U.S. poured into the streets with candles in their hands. and Korea not only provoked Koreans’ unfriendly Terrifying rumors regarding an unjust Free Trade sentiments towards the U.S. but also stimulated antiAgreement between Korea and the U.S. pushed people government organizations and opposition parties to out of their homes to fight for what was right, or at protest against the trade agreement. They were led to least what seemed to be right. These rumors led to believe that the president acted submissively towards chaos that shook the entire nation and dropped former the U.S. After numerous protests and turmoil on President Lee’s support from over 60% to less than 8% social media, President Lee finally resolved to import (Han Gyu Rae, 25 September, 2008). Frightened voices only young cattle under thirty months old that had called for the impeachment of less risk of suffering from mad President Lee Myung-bak and cow disease. He was criticized, the country’s salvation from an however, for not taking outbreak of bovine spongiform measures to prevent the U.S. encephalopathy, also known as from smuggling older cows. “mad cow disease,” which first Jang Dae-hyun, a key organizer caused worry in South Korea of the People’s Association and other nations in 2003, Against Mad Cow Disease leading to a ban on U.S. beef for stated, “The President asked nearly five years. us to trust the United States The cause for Korea’s but there are no substantial nation-wide protest resulted measures that people have from what seemed like a rumor sought. Such assurances are Former South Korean President Lee Myung-bak on one of the popular Korean ineffective.” (Korea Times, 19 websites. The article stated that June 2008) Chun Sang-chin, a President Lee signed an agreement that would allow sociology professor at Sogang University epitomized infected beef to be imported to Korea. Simply put, the public’s discontent towards the president: He the mad cow disease forms holes on cows’ brains and “bowed down once again, apologized once again but does the same for whomever consumes the beef that nothing has changed.” has been infected. The Korean government dismissed After months of struggle between the government the anxieties and claimed and its citizens, the FTA that United States beef was issue was settled in 2008 safe, but its persuasions had and the 2003 ban on beef no effect on the citizens. from the United States Provocative video clips of was lifted after scientific cows and people suffering evidence proved that U.S. from the disease spread beef was safe from any throughout the Internet. harmful diseases. By 2010, Critics quoted certain South Korea became the clauses and articles from third largest importer the Free Trade Agreement of U.S. beef (behind and accused the Korean Mexico and Canada), a government of becoming 66% increase upon the too economically previous year, according subservient to the U.S. For to the Korean Ministry of example, the “ratchet” clause South Koreans protesting U.S. beef trade deal in 2008 Foreign Affairs. In 2012 the prohibited both countries U.S. government confirmed from returning products once either country has a fourth case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy. imported them; the critics saw this as an agreement South Korea briefly increased its inspections, but it to import an unlimited amount of beef infected did not ban U.S. beef altogether. The problem appears with mad cow disease between the Korean and U.S. to have subsided, at least for now. 22 governments.
China’s Economy: Waiting for the Bubble to Pop Traveling across Chengdu, a metropolis in western China, one can easily notice a large number of tall cranes rising up on the skyline. However, only a few of these cranes are actually functioning; they linger statically as a result of the real estate “bubble” in China. Outside of Chengdu, the inflated real estate industry has resulted in many other vacant cities, one of which is Ordos, the futuristic city of China. With estimated inhabitants of more than a million, the city that was intended to become China’s Dubai now remains as quiet as a ghost town. Along with the rapid economic growth since 2005, home prices rocketed, which stimulated the majority of Chinese people to pour years of their savings to buy as many houses as they could, with the hope that their estate would triple in value within a few months (Jia Lynn Yang, “As China’s Economy Slows, Real Estate Bubble Looms,” The Washington Post, 2 October 2012). But the overheated market could not hold for long, and so the inflated bubbles of land finally deflated. Unlike other industries, the problem of real estate is harder to solve, as it is a fixed-asset investment, which also accounted for 13 percent of the country’s gross domestic product in 2012. In addition, the household debt rose sharply, from 31.3% in 2008 to 53.6% in 2012, according to The Washington Post’s Yang. Only in Beijing, the amount of vacant houses is astounding, standing at 3.8 million. One of the leading culprits of the real estate bubble is the people’s belief that a stable house is an investment. This belief drives up real estate prices, which leads even more Chinese to invest, driving up prices even more. But because citizens treat housing as an investment, the market is artificially inflated. People buy apartments, but don’t live in them. If one day Chinese consumers decide that “investment apartments” are actually unsafe investments after all, or that they need to free up the cash they used to buy
them, they will want to start selling the properties. That will lead prices to drop, perhaps catastrophically. On average, a standard Chinese family would have 41% of their money tied up in real estate. There is no quick solution to the real estate problem;
nevertheless, the government has taken steps to curb real estate speculation and to stabilize the market. These steps include increasing down payment and mortgage requirements and restricting home purchases in about 40 cities. In Shanghai and Chongqing, the authorities also started to impose a property tax. Additionally, the government spent millions in low cost housing projects and in financing to protect average middleclass Chinese people. (“How Real Is China’s Real Estate Bubble? And What Should Be Done About It?” Wharton, University of Pennsylvania, July 2005) The Chinese economy has been a miracle. But every advantage is a double-sided sword, and the overheating of real estate is no exception. It will take a lot of time and money to completely solve the problem; however, other quickly-growing economies like Vietnam and Burma can learn a lot from China’s housing crisis.
No Chewing Gum in Singapore Growing up in a bright, fast paced city that takes less than an hour to travel across, and perhaps a little less than three hours to drive along its perimeter, I smile when people ask if Singapore is a city or a country. Singapore is a country that is a city—a city state, if you will. People often refer to Singapore as a city in a garden, but as time glides by and skyscrapers rise, she becomes more of a city garden or a concrete jungle
by Paul Nguyen ’14
by Eliana Zhou ’14
complete with towering constructions. With strict regulations, the government in Singapore makes sure that the city remains clean and organized. Although Singapore is famous for its multi-story buildings and shopping districts, Singapore’s laws are some of the most discussed issues today. Our most noted and well-publicized ban on chewing gum, implemented in Singapore in 1992, emerged as a 23
result of voiced concerns about Another widely discussed its fouling effects; in addition, law includes the ban on bungee gum removal is very expensive. jumping. Previously, bungee According to the law, cited on jumping had been illegal in many websites, including on Singapore. But now, “in a the Singapore Airlines website bid to loosen up Singapore’s as a warning to travelers and notoriously strict grip on tourists, the ban on chewing society” and in an effort to gum in Singapore “outlaws encourage more risk-taking, import, sale, and manufacture the government lifted the ban of chewing gum, and can be in 2003, allowing residents to considered an extension of the bungee jump. ( “Asia’s 5 Highest littering law. Therefore, the act Bungee Jumps,” CNN Travels, 2 of chewing gum in Singapore, October 2009) “Prime Minister associated with similar penalties Goh Chok Tong said the lifting to those imposed for littering, of the bungee jumping ban requires a fine of $500 to $1,000 reflects a new mindset in the U.S. Dollars (USD) for first time Asian city-state. ‘In fact, so offenders. Repeat offenders changed is our mindset that we may be fined up to $2,000 will even allow reverse bungee USD and assigned a Corrective jumping, which shoots you Work Order.” Nevertheless, upwards into the sky,’ Goh said A pharmacy in Singapore, with a sign on the “chewing gum with therapeutic chewing gum case warning: “Under the regulations before the Remaking Singapore value” —chewing gum which set by HSA, sale of chewing gum is prohibited in Committee.” (“Singapore is a medicinal product— the absence of the pharmacist. Your cooperation is pushes the boundaries,” CNN, and oral dental gum, “which greatly appreciated. The Management.” 14 July 2003) contains calcium lactate at a Singapore, the third concentration of between 2% to 5% weight in weight densest country in the world, with an area of only and xylitol at a concentration of between 12% to 36% 269 square miles and a population of 5.4 million weight in weight, or is sugarless and contains sodium people (CIA World Fact Book, July 2013 est.), prides hexametaphosphate at a concentration of between 1% herself on her ability to maintain a beautiful and to 2%” will be permitted and legalized. (Regulation of clean environment ensured by the stringent laws and Imports and Exports (Chewing Gum) Regulations. regulations. For example, smoking is not allowed in all Definitions 2) public indoor places and most outdoor places, unless otherwise mentioned. Offenders face a maximum fine of $810 In addition, smokers who dispose their cigarette butts indiscriminately will be fined $161.33. Spitting and throwing cigarette butts are banned while offenders of vandalism and graffiti will be arrested. (2013 ExpatSingapore Information About Singapore: Law and Order In Singapore). Despite these severe laws, Singapore continues to be a highlypopular tourist destination, with the number of sightseers reaching more than double of Singapore’s population. This warm and loving city glows with life as she fuses the joyous hubbub of voices with the buzzing hum of traffic, becoming a 24 The beautiful city-state of Singapore at night distinct concoction of brilliance.
The Nightmare of North Korean Nukes Over the past two decades, North Korea has adopted an extremely hostile, isolationist foreign policy, fluctuating between confrontation and compromise with its neighbor, South Korea, and with the United States. North Korea is the world’s last Stalinist state (according to the BBC’s Damian Grammaticas, the only British journalist invited into the notoriously closed country), and in 2006 it became the latest country to successfully conduct nuclear testing. In May of 2009, North Korea carried out its second effective underground nuclear test, which is said to be more powerful than the first in 2006. Since then, it has been slowly amassing a small stockpile of relatively simple nuclear weapons, along with a substantial arsenal of more Kim Jong-un developed chemical weapons. The uneasiness surrounding the actions of Pyongyang, North Korea’s capital, were only heightened following the report by state media on December 19, 2011 that its elderly ruler, Kim Jongil, had died of a heart attack days before. Kim Jongun, Kim Jong-il’s youngest son, was declared as his father’s successor and immediately adopted a more aggressive version of his father’s “military-first” policy. Kim Jong-un only aggravated relations with China, North Korea’s main economic supporter and military ally, by ignoring China’s firm warnings against ballistic missile tests. In fact, within his first few months as leader, Kim Jong-un set a goal to be able to strike the American mainland with an intercontinental ballistic missile. On October 9, 2012, North Korea officially
by Leah Rubin ’14
announced its possession of weapons capable of reaching American soil. (“North Korea Says U.S. is within missile range,” USA Today). Following this military development, North Korea only faced minor setbacks when in December 2012 a satellite aboard a long-range rocket tumbled in orbit, most likely dead. Yet, in the early hours of February 12, 2013, North Korean, as well as American and South Korean, sources confirmed that a third successful nuclear test had been carried out. An announcement by the (North) Korean Central News Agency confirmed that the test involved “using a miniaturized and lighter nuclear device,” provoking fears throughout the international community that Pyongyang’s ultimate goal is to create a device small enough to fit on a long-range missile. The most recent test has posed an inherent challenge to administrations in Seoul and Washington in its efforts to prevent North Korea from becoming an absolute nuclear power. Recent diplomatic discussions with American and Chinese officials has led to a North Korean pledge to temporarily end nuclear testing and uranium development and to allow nuclear inspections in exchange for American aid to the impoverished nation. However, North Korea’s international position remains strained due to its totalitarian government and blatant disregard for international steps of cooperation. The question remains: Will North Korea’s continued acts of aggression prompt foreign military intervention and, if so, when?
Loomis Makes Me “Whole”: Perspectives from an International Student by Natasia Nabila ’16 Although I am, by definition, “whole,” I often feel fractured, as if at least one part of me is constantly missing. But I suppose that must be happening because I have multiple faces, careful not to show my cards all at once, or to invest my entire personality, minds or beliefs in one soul alone. It is a type of security system, I would say, when you are 10,042 miles away from home in a foreign country with frequent surges of emotions that are incredibly difficult to quell. I am a Chinese Indonesian who grew up in Singapore. I would say America and Singapore are
as different as the sun and the moon. In Indonesia, you call a bathroom the ‘toilet’ or ‘WC (water closet).’ I remember when I shot up my hand and asked if I might be allowed to go to the ‘toilet,’ and the class broke into a series of uncontrollable snickers. Confused by my classmates, I asked my friend to explain the amusement to me. That was just the first cultural difference I encountered, followed by many, many more. Thankfully, I do not take small things to heart, and so I laughed along with my classmates. As I began to immerse myself in American culture, 25
I realized how students and teachers build friendly rapport, a rarity in South East Asia. When Loomis Chaffee teachers see you, they acknowledge you with a smile or a nod or even start a friendly conversation. But if I were back home, we would have to bow down at least 90 degrees, the depth of the bow signifying the level of respect for a particular teacher. We were also instructed to wear a freshly-ironed school uniform; we were allowed to use only black hair accessories, and to grow our hair long only if we were dancers.
School officers check to see how neatly trimmed our nails are, and they evaluate how loudly we sing the national anthem. If you fail to meet their expectations, they ask you to squat in front of the faculty office, with your hands above your head. One time, I forgot to remove my nail polish, and I was subject to that punishment. I felt so embarrassed that I imagined a hole in the ground, from which a white rabbit in a tuxedo enticed me to follow him and free myself from a system that restricts and hinders, from a system that may sound absurd because of its austerity. Unable to subdue my curiosity, I followed that rabbit and fell into a wonderland called Loomis Chaffee. At Loomis Chaffee, most students are incredibly ambitious despite their young ages. Feeling filled with self-doubt, I sometimes worry that I will simply fall behind my peers. But Mrs. Naogan Ma quelled my worries with a “Lollipop moment,” like
Mrs. Naogan Ma
the one Drew Dudley mentioned in his convocation. She cleared her throat and complimented me, “ I think you’re wonderful just the way you are.” “But I am so ordinary.” “No, you are not.” No one has ever said that to me before. I was dumbfounded. The Loomis family is wonderful. It helps international students discover their passions, lose their inhibitions, and pursue their goals. The road to success is unpredictable, but our international community makes us ‘whole’ by accepting our differences, whether linguistic, cultural, or personal, by making each student, faculty, and staff an ardent exponent of individuality.
the americas The Clinton Administration Hillary Clinton has stepped up. Appearing before a Senate committee on January 23, 2013, discussing last September’s debacle in Benghazi, then-Secretary of State Clinton shrugged off attack after attack, looking increasingly presidential as the hearing continued. Facing questions as to whether requests for increased security ever reached her, as well as her attempts to initially discount the attacks as a mere reaction to a YouTube video, rather than a premeditated attack, Clinton protested, “What difference does it make?” Conservatives instantly jumped on this statement for diminishing the importance of a very serious attack, but they ignored the Secretary’s follow up, which included accepting full responsibility for the attacks and doing everything in her power to make sure such a disaster “doesn’t happen again.” For her leadership in what has become the greatest calamity of Obama’s presidency, Clinton has won over many, but this great performance was just one of the many in Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State. No doubt Hillary Clinton didn’t envision herself working in Obama’s administration when she ran for president in 2008. Regardless, she began her service by speaking with numerous heads of state, informing them of the Obama administration’s intent to change direction. “We have a lot of damage to repair,” said Clinton. (“U.S. has a ‘lot of damage to repair,’” The Raw Story, 27 January 2009). No matter what your opinions are of Clinton’s management, there is no doubt that she distanced herself from the policies of the Bush Administration and of the former Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice. Under Clinton, the State Department’s annual budget has increased 7%. (http://www.state.gov/s/d/rm/rls/bib/) Even with the extra money, Clinton has called for the U.S. to lead through “civilian power” as a cost-effective way of responding to international challenges and defusing crises, specifically emphasizing the role of women in international relations and diplomacy. (“Leading Through Civilian Power,” Foreign Affairs, December 2010). She highlighted both of these goals in her most ambitious initiative, the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review, later telling Newsweek, “I believe that the rights of women and girls is the unfinished business of the 21st century.” Clinton has constantly pointed out the role that women have played in the momentous change occurring in the Middle East.
by Jamie Neikrie ’13
Former First Lady and Senator from New York, Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State during President Obama’s first term in office. She was succeeded by former Massachusetts Senator John Kerry on February 1, 2013.
“We believe that women were in Tahrir Square, and they should be part of the decision-making process. If [the Egyptians] are truly going to have a democracy, they can’t leave out half the population.” (“The Hillary Doctrine,” Newsweek, 6 March 2011). Clinton’s strategy, commonly referred to as Smart Power, underscores the need for a strong military, but also stresses the importance of alliances and partnerships to expand American influence. Idealistically, Clinton’s tactics seem great, and have largely been successful, but her tenure has not been without setbacks. Many have criticized Clinton’s failure to repair relations with Russia, especially after she infamously began renewing relationships with Russia by giving its Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, a big, red, button that said, “reset;” great idea, except that the word the Americans chose was “peregruzka,” which actually means “overloaded” or “overcharged” and not “reset.” (Oops.) Conservatives lambasted Clinton for her criticism of Canadian Prime Minister Steven Harper’s policies on abortion in Africa and for icing relationships with England by bringing up past issues. Regardless of a few gaffes or of the controversial 27
opinions she’s Libya Attack,” The expressed, Clinton Daily Herald, 23 has remained stoic January 2013). Her and true to her ideals critics point to the through a complex and rising threats of Iran revolutionary time. and North Korea, the She acted swiftly in U.S. lack of leadership Libya and refused to in Syria and Libya, acknowledge critics and the increasingly who disagreed with U.S. hopeless state of the support of the rebel Pa l e s t i n i a n - Is r a e l i insurgency. During conflict as evidence Clinton’s tenure, of her failures. As the numerous Middle highest-ranking female Eastern countries have in politics, Clinton Then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, during the hearing for the established democratic incident in Benghazi, in which four Americans were killed in Libya on the serves as an inspiration systems and despite anniversary of 9/11. to women everywhere, the fact that those but some have never countries aren’t electing officials with whom we forgiven her for refusing to leave her husband in light completely agree, Clinton has remained firm in her of the Monica Lewinsky scandal, which they see as support for the democratic system, against American a moral failure. But critics of her stance in the affair interference. Navigating an incredibly politicized ignore her admirable devotion to family. Politically, her role, Clinton advocated for gay rights abroad, refused opponents need to accept the fact that no one person to release photos of Osama bin Laden’s death, and can fix all of the world’s problems, and that Clinton fought for women’s rights worldwide, empowering has established a lasting U.S. policy that provides aid other women to do the same. and support all over the world, especially to women. Even beyond Benghazi, Clinton has become one Personally, I believe that the greatest inhibitor to her of the most polarizing figures in the political world. 2016 presidential bid will be her age (65), and whether Her proponents cite her tireless travels to nearly 112 she is willing to endure the hardships that accompany counties, recording nearly a million miles over 401 the office. But whether Clinton decides to run for days on the road, as evidence of her work ethic and president or not, her ideals and her legacy in our loyalty. (“Defiant Clinton Takes on Lawmakers on rapidly changing world will remain.
Prime Time for Comprehensive Immigration Reform by Paul K. Lee ’13
How far has the United States immigration system developed over the past few decades, or has it developed at all? In former President Ronald Reagan’s words, is it “better off today” than it was 27 years ago? The 1986 attempt at comprehensive immigration reform—the Simpson Mazzoli Act, signed by none other than the Republican president himself—did not yield the positive results that legislators hoped it would. The law, also known as the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA), was, as Brad Plumer of The Washington Post noted, “supposed to put a stop to illegal immigration into the United States once and for all; instead, the exact opposite happened.” (“Congress Tried to Fix Immigration Back in 1986. Why Did It Fail?,” 30 January 2013) The undocumented 28 immigrant population in the United States grew
from approximately 5 million to 11.1 million today, and document fraud plagued the process of reading applications for amnesty. The “amnesty” part of the law was that undocumented immigrants who could prove that they lived in the country continuously for five years would be awarded temporary citizen status, which, after six years, would turn into official citizenship—officially, 2.9 million immigrants received came out of the shadows and received citizenship (“A Reagan Legacy: Amnesty for Illegal Immigrants,” NPR, 4 July 2010). The law sought to control immigration flow by “directing the Attorney General, from funds appropriated to the Department of Justice for INS, to provide for improved immigration and naturalization services and for enhanced community outreach and in-service personnel training; authorizing
additional appropriations for wage[s]...; revising the criminal penalties for the unlawful transportation of unauthorized aliens into the United States; authorizing a $35,000,000 immigration emergency fund to be established in the Treasury for necessary enforcement activities and related State and local reimbursements.” (Brian Koenig, “American Legion Calls Obama’s Amnesty Plan a ‘Bad Sequel’ to 1986 Law,” The New American, 13 February 2013). Today, immigration—both legal and illegal—is as pressing an issue as ever. Other than the burgeoning number of undocumented immigrants, bills such as Arizona’s SB 1070 threaten to allow state-level policies of discrimination, while the green card lottery only awards a miniscule number of cards to prospective immigrants from “high demand” countries such as Mexico and India. The greatest cry for reform comes from the DREAMers, or the “1.5” generation of immigrants, who came to the United States at a young age simply according to their parents’ will. Both Democrats and Republicans agree that one of the requirements for an undocumented immigrant to receive permanent residency should be English proficiency. For some— especially the DREAMers, for whom English is a first language—this is the easiest qualification. Many others, however, such as adults who came to the United States late into their lives, work and live in the country without speaking a word of English. According to Paul Musselman, president of Carnegie Speech, a virtual language learning company that makes language software, the English as a Second Language system is “cobbled together with toothpicks and Band-Aids.” (Liz Goodwin, “English Requirement in Immigration Reform Will Test Underfunded ESL System,” Yahoo! News, 26 February 2013). Furthermore, Margie McHugh, an immigration integration expert at the Migration Policy Institute, estimated that currently, about 55% of undocumented immigrants would not be able to pass the English portion of the U.S. citizenship test (Goodwin, Yahoo! News). ESL programs, which are often provided at public libraries and community colleges, have been damaged by state budget cuts because of the recession. The combination of these three factors leaves education as a difficult challenge for legislators to tackle. Will they take a similar route as their predecessors in 1986, who required undocumented immigrants to take 40 hours of English courses before obtaining permanent residency? Perhaps online courses, which were
undeveloped and unavailable 27 years ago, can be used to maximize efficiency in educating the immigrants, while making sure that they can properly integrate into American society. When signing the groundbreaking and controversial piece of legislation in 1986, President Reagan commented, “Future generations of Americans will be thankful for our efforts to humanely regain control of our borders and thereby preserve the value of one of the most sacred possessions of our people — American citizenship.” (Karen Tumulty, “Why Immigration Reform in 1986 Fell Short,” The Washington Post, 3 February 2013). In return for altering
President Obama has vowed to make immigration reform one of the top priorities of his second term.
the citizenship status of a “relatively small population” of immigrants (Koenig, The New American), Reagan focused his punitive efforts on the employers who hired undocumented immigrants. After being reelected for a second term with the support of an enormous 71% of the Latino vote (Pew Research Center, 7 November 2012), President Obama vowed to make immigration reform one of his top priorities. In his State of the Union Address on February 12 of this year, Obama reaffirmed his devotion to change in the immigration system; he vouched for more deportations of criminal immigrants, heightening border security, encouraging the learning of English, cutting waiting periods, and attracting high-skilled workers. On January 29, President Obama released an immigration reform proposal that sanctions a “Pathway to Earned Citizenship.” Under the president’s plan, illegal immigrants who presently reside in the United States will have to register with the federal government, pass a background check, and pay a number of fees and penalties in order to obtain 29 “provisioning legal status.”
Recent attempts at immigration reform are very similar to IRCA: the four pillars of the new proposal of comprehensive immigration reform are border enforcement, employer enforcement, “flow” of legal immigration, and an eventual pathway to citizenship. Republican Senator and 2008 presidential nominee John McCain, who sponsored the federal DREAM Act in 2005, spoke positively for the group of senators working on reforming the United States immigration system by saying to reporters after returning to Capitol Hill, “We are committed to trying to get the issue resolved as quickly as possible and I think we will... in a reasonable time frame.” The senators, known as the “Group of 8,” are a diverse and experienced group, with Democrats Charles Schumer (NY), Dick Durbin (IL), Michael Bennet (CO), Robert Menendez (NJ), and Republicans Marco Rubio (FL), John McCain (AZ), Jeff Flake (AZ), and Lindsey Graham (SC). In case the legislation in Congress does not pass, President Obama has prepared a draft legislation that would be used as a backup proposal; the “Plan B,” which was leaked by USA Today would create
a “Lawful Prospective Immigrant” status available for undocumented immigrants. After eight years, according to the incomplete draft, Lawful Prospective Immigrants would be able to apply for official citizenship. Other requirements include a criminal background check, a biometric screening, and pay application fees (Matthew Larotonda, “White House: Leaked Immigration Bill Draft is Plan B,” ABC News, 17 February 2013). Ultimately, the bipartisan efforts might just be a Republican ploy to win back the Hispanic vote, with McCain commenting on ABC’s This Week (27 January 2013), “Look at the last election. Look at the last election. We are losing dramatically the Hispanic vote, which we think should be ours, for a variety of reasons, and we’ve got to understand that.” Whatever the reason is, hopefully legislators will learn from the mistakes of 1986 and work toward a solution that will provide justice to those who are in the shadows, as well as ensure responsibility from both immigrants and the government.
Acapulco: Vacation from Hell? In 1953, JFK took his wife, Jacqueline, on a honeymoon to Acapulco, Mexico; Frank Sinatra commemorated this famous port city with his song “Come Fly With Me”; Elizabeth Taylor was married here for the third time. In those decades, just as people began tearing down the grand old hotels, crime in Acapulco had rested at a minimum. But what was once a gorgeous beach-side resort in the Mexican state of Guerrero has transformed into a crime-ridden town, characterized by looting, violence, and, most recently, rape. On February 4, 2013, at 2 AM, six masked and hooded gunmen stormed into a vacation rental, then inhabited by Spanish tourists, bound up the men using cell phone cords and bikini straps, and raped six women. Although this headline-generating event is rather strange for this popular tourist attraction, it raises the question – is there hope for Acapulco? Erik de Santiago, a bar owner in this town of just over 687,000 people, thinks so. In fact, he asked regular customers of his beachfront bar to post, via Facebook, what they thought of Acapulco in one word. Of the numerous posts, many had negative responses, although some were positive. De Santiago is definitely an optimist, considering he is the president of Habla Bien de Aca, or Speak Well of Acapulco, a recent group of business owners from around the city who try to “balance the city’s litany of harrowing drug-war 30 headlines with reminders of its enduring charms.”
by Bobby Turner ’14
Acapulco, a popular vacation destination, is now crime-ridden
(“Accentuating Acapulco’s Positives in a Time of Negatives,” Los Angeles Times, 16 February 2013). There are other people in the town who have been taking action and trying to slow down the crime rate, including mayor Luis Walton. He spoke at a news conference just after the attack, and said “It’s a delicate situation...we are going to have the full weight of the law against those responsible.” (“Gunmen Rape 6 Tourists Near Acapulco, Mexico,” CNN, 6 February 2013). Since then, new military checkpoints have been placed to and from the city center to try and determine the suspects involved in the assault. The
Police tape sectioning off the Acapulco crime scene, where six Spanish tourists were raped on February 6, 2013
mountainous region surrounding Acapulco was always thought to be fairly safe, but a recent surge in drugaffiliated deaths has caused British and American travel authorities to issue warnings.
According to Habla Bien de Aca, things have been looking good for Acapulco, aside from this horrendous rape incident. During the Christmas and New Year’s break, hotel and club occupancy was at a sizzling 98%, almost like the good old days before the high crime rates. (Los Angeles Times, 16 February 2013) Tennis star Rafael Nadal is scheduled to play a series of matches later this month, and the world’s richest man, Carlos Slim, has proposed a series of investment projects. Of course, this comes with a catch. The tennis tournament will “deploy a gigantic security operation of 4,000 personnel,” (Tennis.com, 19 February 2013). Much of the new force will be from state and federal police, as Acapulco has been ranked “the second most violent city in the world.” There is no way around arguing that Acapulco is a safe place to spend a vacation, and, at the same time, no way to deny that the drug wars have wreaked havoc on the area. In Acapulco, entertainment, and leisure, certainly comes at a price.
Canada Has a Queen? A Brief Guide to the Canadian Political System Many Americans lack basic knowledge of their Northern neighbor, from the geographical structure of the country (Canada has provinces, not states), to the governmental system (Canada is still a member of the Commonwealth of Great Britain, and yes, that means they share the same Queen). How does the Canadian government work? Although Queen Elizabeth II is the head of state, and the governor general stands in the Queen’s place for Canada, the prime minister is the one who truly governs the country. Like the U.S., elections are held for the prime minister every four years, with the last one in 2011 and the next in 2015; however, the general population does not directly elect the prime minister. The candidates are chosen from different political parties, the major parties being Conservative, Liberal, New Democratic, Block Québécois, and the Green Party. The country is divided into 308 sections based roughly on the population, which include a body of voters called ridings. In each riding, a single member is chosen to represent that district in parliament. The representative, or Member of Parliament (MP), sits in the House of Commons for important decisions like voting and debating on bills. From the members, the majority of a party selects a leader who will become the prime minister. Currently, the prime minister is Stephen Harper, a Conservative. The prime minister has duties that include directing the work of the government and overseeing the
by Jenny Li ’14
preparation and consideration of government business; therefore, although the Queen is technically the head of state, the prime minister is the one holding real power to influence the country. The 41st federal election in May 2011 brought Stephen Harper to the job for a second term, Conservative Stephen Harper, but he still remains Canada’s prime minister, is currently serving his second an unpopular figure term. He remains a divisive figure in the eyes of the amongst the Canadian public. majority of Canadians. Growing up in a conservative middle class, Harper was described as “charisma challenged” by The Globe and Mail as he is “uncompromising, serious, and distrustful of the media” (Steven Harper and the Future of Canada, by William Johnson, reviewed in Quill & Quire, August 2005). Other than these criticisms, however, Harper seemed to change as he struggled to balance the budget. According to Angus Reid Polls, the general population has since then diminished their
critical views of Harper and has begun to appreciate his work. The next election in 2015 is another chance for a change in prime ministers. In Canada, there are no limits to how many terms a prime minister can serve; therefore, Stephen Harper may continue in his role. Currently, judging from the seats in the House of Commons, Harper’s biggest competition is the New Democrat Thomas Mulcair. But will he overthrow the current Conservative domination? The election in two years will decide this conflict. Thomas Mulcair, a member of the New Democrat Party, is Stephen Harper’s primary political opposition for Prime Minister.
Native American Studies: Reflections from a South Korean by Woo Jin Lee ’13
It may be hard to understand why I would be interested in studying Native American history as an international student. My academic interest in the Native Americans sparked during my sophomore year when I realized that I’ve been walking on a land that was once inhabited by an almost exterminated civilization, The Pequots. I was also was compelled to study the Native Americans because of the similar history we shared. Koreans, subjugated by the Japanese during its colonial years in the early 20th century, were forced to adopt a Japanese way of life. My grandmother vividly recalls her experience during the annexation years when she had to call her friends by their Japanese names. As I read more and more about the Carl Schurz planned to educate Native Americans, and culturally assimilate Native I empathized with Americans, just as the Japanese their experience of forced Koreans to adopt their way of life in the early 20th century. acculturation and assimilation. In fact, I remember during my junior year, when my peers in my AP U.S. History class casually defended Carl Schurz’s plans to educate and culturally assimilate Native Americans, I couldn’t believe my ears. Pointing out how Native American tribes had a thriving educational system and culture before Schurz’s plans, I vehemently debated against my friends. As Native American history became my primary 32 academic interest, I pondered during my summer
vacations about possible topics for research. The first question that came straight up to my mind was: What are some generalizations that Americans frequently make when thinking about the Native Americans? After a few days, I was able to come up with a specific topic: gender roles. I realized that despite the scholarly efforts to correct stereotypical views of Native American social life, many misconceptions remain. I thought this was especially true in previous attempts to address the complex and subtle questions pertaining to gender in Native American societies. After much research, I concluded that, although varying in their construction across tribal contexts, the social manifestations of Native American gender roles all reflect the influence of the material conditions associated with these tribal contexts; in this way, though not dictated directly by circumstances of biology, such roles are governed essentially by human reactions to underlying ecological conditions. Through a comparative study of the material conditions of the pre-colonial New England Pequot and California Ohlone tribes, respectively, I began to see the varying construction of gender roles in educational practices, marriage customs, division of labor, and hierarchy. Ultimately, I was able to show in my research that Native American gender is neither wholly biological nor wholly social in origin. In conclusion, I would like to offer you some food for thought: Whether you are interested in studying the Native Americans or not, it is important to realize that we, as citizens of the world, sometimes glance over some of the most obvious things that surround us. Today, many people frequently refer to themselves as “globally aware individuals;” but before we can call ourselves such, we must reflect - do we have the right to do so when we frequently ignore or set aside an integral part of our own society, the Native Americans?
Also in the News Argentina - On March 11, 99.8% of the residents of the Falkland Islands, an archipelago located off the southern coast of Argentina, voted in favor of remaining a British Overseas Territory. For more information, see Seyun Kim’s article in the Fall 2012 World Bulletin entitled “The Last Colony: The Fight for the Falkland Islands.” Chad - Chad’s military announced that its forces in Mali have killed Mokhtar Belmokhtar, the mastermind of the January assault on an Algerian gas plant. The attack left 37 foreign hostages dead. China - A 5.5-magnitude earthquake hit Eryuan County of Dali Bai Autonomous Prefecture, southwest of China’s Yunnan Province on Sunday, March 3, 2013 causing hundreds of homes to collapse and injuring at least 30 people. Great Britain - Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II was briefly hospitalized in early March with a stomach infection, Buckingham Palace reported. The palace said she had experienced symptoms of gastroenteritis and was being treated at London’s King Edward VII Hospital. Doctors not involved in the queen’s medical treatment said she would be rehydrated intravenously due to her excessive loss of body fluid - a common effect of gastroenteritis. Further precautions prevented her from making a two-day trip to Rome scheduled to start a few days later, as well as other planned engagements that week. The Queen, age 86, is a remarkably hearty monarch, with very few health problems to speak of over her sixty-year reign. Fascination with the British royal family is once again on the rise, as her popular grandson, William, and his wife Catherine (Kate), wait expectedly for the arrival of their first child in July. If Kate gives birth to a girl, the daughter will indeed be the future queen of England, according to a bill that officially passed Parliament this month (it was introduced in October 2011). Overturning 300-year old primogeniture laws, the new law says that the first-born child, regardless of gender, will sit on the throne. In addition, the Parliament passed another provision allowing royals in the line of succession to marry Roman Catholics (but it maintains the law that the monarch must still be a Protestant.) Mexico - Mexico’s Interior Ministry announced in late February that more than 26,000 people disappeared during former president Felipe Calderón’s six-year administration, which ended on December 1, 2012. Many of the cases were linked to organized crime, and Human Rights Watch released a report saying that security officers had been linked to some abductions. The government of President Enrique Peña Nieto, Calderón’s successor, has formed a special working group to focus on finding the missing, said Lia Limon, deputy secretary of legal matters and human rights for the Interior Ministry. Locating people “is a priority for this government,” Limon said. Russia - In January, Sergei Filin, the artistic director of the Bolshoi Ballet, a revered Russian cultural institution and one of the most prestigious ballet companies in the world, was the victim of a brutal acid attack outside of his apartment in Moscow. A masked man waited for Mr. Filin as he approached the entryway of his building, then, after calling his name to get Filin’s attention, threw the contents of a jar of sulfuric acid in Filin’s face. Pavel Dmitrichenko, a principal dancer with the company, has admitted hiring two men to carry out the attack, but he denies that he ordered the use of sulfuric acid, which nearly blinded the director. Filin claims that professional jealousies are at the root of the assault; he is recovering and is expected to return to the Bolshoi in time for its summer tour in London. South Africa - Valentine’s Day was not exactly filled with flowers or chocolate candy in the home of Olympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius. Instead, the man known as the “Blade Runner,” whose fame and fortune grew after the London 2012 Olympics, was charged with the murder of his girlfriend, model Reeva Steenkamp. Pistorius claims that he mistook Steenkamp for an intruder when he shot her in his bathroom on February 14. He has been released on bail, and is currently awaiting trial. United States - Secretary of State John Kerry has released $190 million to the Egyptian Government in his first visit to Egypt since his appointment. This is the first increment in a pledged $450 million to Egypt, in an effort to support the struggling Egyptian economy and bring together the deeply divided factions within the country. Venezuela – On March 5, 2013 President Hugo Chávez, who had been reelected just months prior, died at age 58 after a long battle with cancer. For more information, see Paige Mickel’s article in the Fall 2012 World Bulletin entitled “Hugo Chávez Wins Venezuelan Election: Déjà Vu, or Is It?”
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Published on May 21, 2013