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Category Archives: International Politics

Nobel Peace Prize

“We cannot achieve democracy and lasting peace in the world unless women obtain the same opportunities as men to influence developments at all levels of society”  Thorbjoern Jagland, Nobel Peace Prize Committee Chairman

 This year, the prize was split between three amazing women– Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the President of Liberia and the first female head of state in Africa, fellow Liberian peace activist Leymah Gbowee, and the very first Arab woman to win the prize, Takakkul Karman fromYemen.

 Thanks to the enduring work and commitment of these women, the world is a better place than it used to be.

 

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We Interrupt Your Regularly Scheduled Posts…

I was all set to watch the season finale of American’s Next Great Restaurant last night, but was unable to. Our regularly scheduled programming was interrupted with breaking news- Osama bin Laden was dead, and his body was inUScustody.

I’m not certain I agree with the commentator’s comment that this is the most important moment in the current Presidential term. I still think passing health care reform was pretty major. But this is the moment that pretty much guarantees Obama a second term. The timing, with scheduled troop withdrawals and movement in his cabinet, turned out pretty perfect.

 

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HIV Prevention Drug Trials Halted in Africa

A major trial of a pill meant to help prevent HIV infection has been halted. Given how rarely drug trials are truly successful, this news isn’t surprising, but it is sad.

Women inAfricararely have options when it comes to protecting themselves from the virus. This pill was hope that they could finally exert some control over their health and the health of their children to be. Sadly, the results show it isn’t working. The women given the real drug and the women given the dummy pill are being infected at the same rate.

On to the next study.

 

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We’re in Libya

Have you ever stood up for a friend? When it wasn’t really your fight, but you were more capable of taking on the challenge? Because your friend had done the same thing for you? Is it wrong to stand up for your friends?

This may seem simplistic, and yet President Obama is being criticized for going in to Libya in order to aid our European allies. No, we weren’t directly at risk, but they were. And guess who has our back in other places around the world?

We have alliances for a reason. We can’t expect them to be one-sided.

 

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Atlantis Discovered?

It was thought Troy was just a legend until Heinrich Schliemann paid for a dig in the late 1860s. While we don’t know if the Trojan War actually happened, we do know that Troy was real.

Now, researchers believe they have found the fabled lost city of Atlantis– in Spain. As with Troy, the only mention of the city was in ancient Greek writings, but it may be time to remove “fabled” from the description. Buried under centuries of mud in the marshlands north of Cadiz, there’s a city that was wiped out by a tsunami. Have we found Atlantis?

 

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The Disaster in Japan

The magnitude of the disaster in Japan is growing. I had such hopes that the number of dead would remain in the hundreds. As of this morning, 2,800 were confirmed dead, but with suspicions of 10s of thousands more.

The earthquake, tsunami, aftershocks, and explosions at the nuclear power plant are causing devastation not known in that country since the end of WWII.  Hopefully, an outpouring of aid will commence. Their government is not equipped to handle a disaster on this scale.

To my friends who have friends and family in the country- I hope your loved ones are safe.

 

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8.9 on the Richter Scale

The question for insensitive me is, will individual people be sending aid to Japan? The quake was huge- 8.9. But Japan has modern infrastructure. The quake has left hundreds dead- hundreds, not thousands. Can you imagine what this would have done to a coastal area of China?

At the same time, this is likely to be the most expensive natural disaster in history. The costs to repair will be huge. So will there be an outpouring of aid via the Red Cross? Will we text to donate $5. Or do we decide Japan can afford to care for its own?

 

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My Democracy Problem

I have not written about Egypt here, or Tunisia, which may seem strange considering I write about Lebanon. I wish the people of Tunisia and Egypt the best and truly do hope they will be able to form working democratic governments that can be an example to the rest of Africa and the Middle East.

But, at least in Egypt’s case, I am afraid that their democracy will be 51% of the people enslaving 49% of the people. I see hope in Lebanon because they have 3 strong factions to balance. In Egypt, right or wrong, I see another Iran.

 
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Posted by on February 13, 2011 in International Politics, Politics

 

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Lebanon’s Day of Rage

I’m going to keep coming back to Lebanon. The people are upset about where the government is going, and there may even be a rival government forming. I would normally say that I don’t condone violence, but if democracy has ever had a peaceful birth, I’m not aware of it.

When the people are willing to fight and die to found their government, that’s when a democracy or republic can actually work, because the people are invested. They say birth is a beautiful thing. If you want to see democracy born in the Middle East, keep your eyes on Lebanon.

 
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Posted by on January 26, 2011 in International Politics, Politics

 

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Lebanon’s Parliamentary Collapse

Democracy can only take hold when the people are willing to fight and die for it. In no case has a successful democracy ever been installed by an outside power. In 2005/2006, if you would have asked me about democracy in the Middle East, I would have to you we should forget Iraq; we should put our support toward Lebanon.

The Lebanese were kicking out Syria. They were fighting for a voice. They established their own Parliament. And now it’s fallen apart. This is the real Middle Eastern experiment in representative government.  Watch carefully, the future may depend on it.

 
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Posted by on January 17, 2011 in International Politics, Politics

 

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