Friday, July 21, 2006

Open Thread for Current Events

here ya go...


  1. Today destination is Cambodia, Southeast Asia
    The Headline said, “Khmer Rouge "Butcher" Ta Mok dies”
    Many Khmer Rough leaders are old and most of them are free men.
    Based on the report, none of the Khmer Rough leaders have faced any charges yet.
    The Cambodian-UN tribunal is expected to hear the case against the leaders next year.
    The Khmer Rough regime killed approximately 1.7 million people in a country that had about 7.3 million.

    I’ve heard about this trial since I was in Cambodia three years ago and till this day very little progress has been made. After living there for so many years, I think that none of the top leaders will be charged because of the levels of corruption. Most of the top gov’t officials have been working for the Khmer Rough regime when it was still in power. It is very unlikely that the Cambodian gov’t will take any actions against these people. The article also said that the trial will cost $53 million, I think only 10% of the money will go towards the trial; the rest is going to the top officials. It is sad that Cambodian people including myself will not see the leaders receive criminal punishment. People there, are being oppressed everyday by the gov’t, but very few have the will to speak against the authority. In my opinion, Cambodia is a democracy on PAPER.


  2. I guess my link didn't show up.



  3. Police in India have arrested 3 men in connection with the Mumbai bombings that left 183 dead and 700 injured. No specific details about their involvement were given by the police.

    Following the attacks India openly suspected terrorist from Pakistan of carrying out the attacks. This was probably not a good idea, considering that the two nuclear powers are going through peace talks. Now that men have been arrested, I hope that the peace talks can continue. Considering the rest of the violence going on in the Middle East, the last thing we need is another India-Pakistan conflict to break out. What this region needs is some stability, and two of its major powers fighting would not help. I know that Pakistan has a long history of dealing with terrorists, so I can understand why India would be wary following the attacks. We'll see what will happen in the coming weeks.

  4. My link didn't work, so here it is:

  5. A Somalian Islamist leader called for his people to wage a "holy war" against the Ethiopians in the country. These comments came after Ethiopian troops entered Somalia to "protect the weak interim government." A BBC reporter saw the Ethiopian troops patrolling, but Ethiopia denied that their forces were in the government's base.

    This is following Lila's post yesterday when she said she saw Ethiopian troops entering Somalia. I didn't think it would amount to anything at the time, but now it looks like the situation could escalate. However, I have never heard of this guy who is calling for the "holy war." He is most likely some radical that is trying to get attention. He probably saw all the commotion the Lebanon-Israel situation is getting, and he wanted some attention for himself. With the conflict between Israel and Lebanon escalating, I don't think this Somalia situation is the most pressing issue, but I do think we should keep an eye on it.

  6. Israel is sending troops and tanks to the Lebanese boarder for what they call a likely invasion.

    The regions occupied by Israelis and Palestinians are extremely volatile, especially in the past few years. At this point the only way to achieve relative stability in the area is for Israel to go into Lebanon and hunt down members of Hezbollah who continue to carry out attacks against them. The US has not condemned Israel's actions and I don't think we should. Hezbollah is their problem and we should let Israel deal with them however they see fit. I don't think it's a question of if, but when Israel will invade Lebanon. It will be interesting to see how long Israel occupies Lebanon and how Syria and Iran will react to an invasion. Condoleezza Rice is due to arrive in the Mideast on Sunday. I don't think this will affect the coming war in that region between Israel and Hezbollah and who knows who else.

  7. Severe flooding in North Korea has occurred over the past few days as the torrential rains continued. The Red Cross reported the deaths of more than 100 people and, in some cases, entire villages had been washed away. The rain has also caused damage to crops which will further affect the hunger-stricken country. Since South Korea has suspended food aid, this will hurt all the more. It is important to remember the other affects of flooding, as well. The extra water can cause extreme sanitary problems—often polluting the scarce clean water with chemicals and/or sewage. This can lead to the death of many by extreme dehydration—it’s so hard to understand this concept—there’s so much water, yet none to drink. Also, the flooding can lead to erosion; which causes a different form of pollution. And what about all of the people who lost their loved ones or their homes? What else needs to happen for people to become more aware of the environment and their place in it???

  8. Nick, based on your comment, I come to a conclusion that you are pro-Israel. Do you think that Israel SHOULD invade the SOVEREIGN state of Lebanon?


  9. Condoleeza Rice has finally figured out that the violence in Lebanon must end in... peace!

    Okay, I like Condeleeza. I don't know if it's just the particular quotes in this article, but it she told us absolutely nothing we didn't already know. What are her plans? How is she going to achieve peace in the region? I understand that the United States government is playing a complicated role, but where is the strategy that the headline promises she'll outline? It appears, once again, that Condie is lagging just a little behind.

  10. and the link...

  11. Three men were arrested for the bombings in India today.
    Although the three have not been linked to any group, the Indian government is already calling for the arrest of the leader of a Kashmiri separatist group.
    India is also still blaming Pakistan.

    Obviously the Indian government is using the train bombing as an excuse to blame Pakistan and Kashmir. This is a political move on their part, a situation much like the one in our simulation today where Russia blamed Pakistan for a terrorist attack just for blaming’s sake.
    I agree that the bombers were in some sort of bigger operation.

    What will India do if they find out the group is from India itself – like I was for China today?

  12. The UN is speaking out against Israel over using excessive force. Even though no one will change, at least the UN is saying what's on their mind. Ms. Arbour spoke about the grave conditions and unfair killing of civilians in both Palestine and Lebanon.
    Im sorry, but I dont agree with the UN at all. That proportional bit Ms. Arbour cried out was dumb. She said that Irsrael had no right to kill hundreds of enemies because they had only lost 30. That's ridiculous, because Hezbollah is a terrorist organization, Israel is retaliating the only way they can, since it cannot see an actual enemy. So what if Israel is shelling cities, Hezbollah and Palestine have been bombing random sites and shooting rockets across the border against innocent Israelis. Israel is sending a message that it will not sit by helplessly losing citizens and soldiers to terrorist organizations. If innocent civilians die in the process, then maybe the governments of those countries will reconsider allowing terrorism in their nation.
    If violence against Irsrael continues, I think that fighting will increase. I think that Israel is doing the right thing. But what will happen if more Islamic countries, like Iran and Syria, get involved? This could lead to something bigger than just a border conflict. We will see what happens in the near future.
    Take it easy and keep it real,
    -C.G.S. the fifth

  13. Dan! I TOLD you. Somalia and Ehtiopia are going at it, whether the press wants to pay attention or not. THAT should teach you to make fun of my predictions.

  14. Google Profit Surges on Strong Search Advertising

    Google has been successful... again. As this article shows, their profits for the second quarter were very impressive and they continue to be innovative which is what makes them so strong. However, I am more interested to see where Google will be in five or even ten years, will they even exist? The internet is relatively new so it is hard to predict how long companies will last based on previous examples.

    Google's international strength is also interesting. The article stated they struggled in Asia but were a success in Europe. I wonder why, any theories?

  15. my link:

  16. More restrictions in Iraq

    According to the BBC, a new rule in Baghdad makes it illegal to drive during certain hours. This restriction was put in place for the safety of people during traditional prayer hours at Mosques. While I agree that having a traffic ban during certain hours of the day can make sense I think that the Iraqi people are losing another liberty. I wonder what effects this loss of traffic is having on businesses. In theory the traffic ban was a good idea but I think that it could have serious repercusions like trickier bomb attacks by insurgents, and a serious effect on the economy.

  17. Andrew-
    Even though Pakistan and India are some what at odds with each other Pakistan offered total cooperation with India to try and find the terrorist group inside Pakistan that India thinks did the bombing in Bombay. India did not accept Pakistan's offer, do you think if India had accepted P's offer that relations between India and Pakistan would be better?

  18. Lila-

    I guess I owe you my '94 Jetta...

  19. Kate-
    Maybe Google's struggles in Asia are in some way linked to China's censorship? I can't really say, though, because I still don't even know how Google makes money - it's a search engine. Whatever...

  20. Dan-
    If Lila doesn't want the Jetta I'll take it! I'm a huge VW fan (aka freak!)

  21. Just for the fun of it.
    Here is a quote from Larry Sabato
    professor of politics at the University of Virginia, on the massage President Bush gave to Angela Merkel, "Almost any male alive today knows that you don't offer uninvited massages to any female, much less the chancellor of Germany"
    What do you think?


  22. looks like I am still in Somalia, but I just couldn't stay away from this one. Though Ethiopia denies it, their troops have been seen in the town where the interim government is. Also, though they say they aren't planning to attack, the Islamist leader has called for a Holy war to drive the Ethiopian troops out.

    I had the feeling that the conflict would get more and more violent, and if things go the way they seem to be going, then there will only be more conflict. I can only see this situation spiraling out of control. Though it would appear the Islamists want peace, it its not headed in that direction. and the declaration of a holy way will defiantly not bring about peace. What are your thoughts guys?

  23. Mickey Mouse7/21/06, 10:02 PM

    One more qoute,
    G.Bush said, "These boys and girls are not spare parts."

    maybe one more,
    Jay Leno said, "Dick Cheney said that either we are serious about this war or we're not. People weren't sure if he meant the war in Iraq, or the war against people who disagree with him.”

    and the last one,
    "What a great idea, because if there's anything that calms the Arab world down, it's a cartoon.”
    -Jon Stewart

    and another one,
    "I don't like chickens"


  24. kate-
    i wouldn't be surprised if the resitance google faced came from China, as we saw in class the other day, their version is, cough, slightly different from ours

  25. Simon and Dan-

    I thought about that also, but I'm not sure China's censorship actually makes that much of a difference. I also wonder what the explanation for the rest of Asia is.

  26. hey c-man: that was moronic

    just kidding

  27. Anonymous - that type of comment is unacceptable at my blog.
    You should not hide your identity when you make statements that you think are controversial. If it's worth saying, it's worth taking credit for. This is a place where you can say whatever you want (civily) and people will engage your ideas respectfully.

    I will tolerate a diversity of ideas, I will not tolerate disrespect.

    So, if you think that what Charlie said is wrong, then tell him why, but don't resort to insults. In fact, by simply insulting him, you have implied that his argument (while disagreeable) is so well constructed that even someone who intensely disagrees with him can't refute it without resorting to un-civility.

    Stand up and take responsibility for what you believe, or realize that it simply isn't important enough to you for you to fight about it...

  28. Saddam Hussein had to be taken to the hospital because he has been refusing to eat since July 7 due to the death of his lawyer. He is currently at the hospital being fed by tubes. I am sure lots of people think that if he refuses to eat, they should just let him starve to death.

  29. Head way is finally being made between Israel and Hezbollah. The Israeli government is willing to allow EU peacekeepers become involved with the conflict. Why all of a sudden is Israel open to the idea of peace keepers? It seems odd to have them suddenly decide that they need help with this conflict. I think that it is very smart of them to ask for help because obviously Hezbollah is not willing to step down any time soon.

    Also in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia is begging the United States to try and negotiate a cease fire between Israel and Hezbollah. Maybe I'm missing a huge link here (which I probably am, it's been a long day) but why would Saudi Arabia be interested enough in the conflict to approach the US for help?


  30. woops, the link didn't work

  31. 22 people were killed in Afghanistan today. 19 of them were supposed Taliban members.

    I am getting increasingly critical of the press now that I have seen Ben live and in action at our simulation as an annoying press person. Were they really Taliban or just people fighting against the US? There is a difference.

    Also I find iot interesting that the US is gloating overthe deaths of 19 Taliban members when we are considered a nation of quick, preemptive strikes and tehnological advancement. This article shows how slow and ongoing the war in Afghanistan has become.

  32. This article talks about the struggle to get Iraqis to join police forces.

    Building strong institutions is one of the things that W. talked about in his National Secuirty Strategy, and the strength or weakness of the Iraqi police force is certainly going to factor into when American troops will be leaving Iraq. One of the motivations for many to join the police force is the high salary ($360 a month), which is an excellent way to help out the Iraqi economy. I wonder, however, how long Iraq will be able to pay such a salary without U. S. support. Furthermore, there have already been instances of corruption among senior Iraqi police officials.

    All things considered I think a strong Iraqi police force will be essential for sustainable peace in Iraq.

  33. The United States has been selling weapons to Israel for a long time. They are, in fact, our biggest customer. However, with Israel’s attack on Hezbollah in Lebanon, the situation becomes extremely sticky. Apparently, a large weapons deal was made between the US and Israel last year, but Israel asked us to speed up the shipment after they began their attacks, only twelve days ago. This puts the US in a tight spot—do we stay true to our belief that Lebanon is an independent state or do we seemingly help the other side by supplying them with the weapons needed for their attacks? This weapons ordeal could also change other countries’ viewpoints of us. I can understand the side that says we should not give them the weapons because of what they are doing with them but I am also not sure that we should back down on a deal—especially since we made the deal not knowing what the weapons would be used for.