Sunday, July 16, 2006

Open Thread For More Current Events

My students are at it again, check out what they have to say, and please feel free to respond.

I think most of the time you'll click on their name and go to the article they're talking about...



  1. The Democratoc Republic of the Congo is set to hold elections on July 30. The elections will be
    supervised by the United Nation and will be the countries first free elections in over 40 years.
    The Congo as been plagued by war, most recently from 1998-2003. Presidet Kabila was assinated
    in 2001 by his bodyguard, and his son Joseph Kabila came to power. Kabila is asking for peace for
    the upcoming elections but militias are killing people in the eastern portion of the country. Many
    of the displaced citizens are now living in schools which were to serve as poll stations.

    This relates to class because the Congo appears to be a failing state. The governments inability
    to surpress the violent militias and killing of innocent people shows that it cannot control groups within
    its borders and provide security for its citizens. So it lacks security and unity some of the elements of
    Emperical sovereighnty which are neccesary for a state to be regarded as "established." It will be intersting to
    see if the elections take place, who wins, and how the UN intervens to help ensure the legitimacy
    of the elections.

  2. The Congressional Budget Office has announced that the Iraq war will become the second most expensive in US history, passing Vietnam and Korea. The war, which has cost $291 billion, will cost another $184 billion even if troops are sent home in 2009. If the US keeps a continued military presence for the long-term, it could cost another $406 billion over the next decade.

    No one doubts the importance of providing ample funding for our troops, but another 400 billion dollars is quite a steep price for a fight that might not be making much progress. The war on terror requires us to make tough decisions about costs vs. benefits, and a large budget deficit will be pretty costly. I hope we get out by 2009.

  3. The situation between Israel and Lebanon got bloodier today (Sunday).
    At least 23 citizens from Lebanon were killed in air raids by Israel. This happened in response to Hezbollah killing 8 Israelis with rockets. 5 of the people killed in Lebanon were both Lebanon and Canadian citizens.
    Fuel tanks at Beirut's airport were set on fire after an airstrike. Also, Iran denied supplying Hezbollah with rockets.

  4. Guys, great job with the aticles so far.
    However, I'm seeing quite a lot of summary. I can read the articles myself, thank you. They're only a click away, after all.
    I'd like you to tell me why and how these articles are important...where are the connections between these stories and other articles. I'm not even just looking for how they relate to class, I'm looking for how they relate to the just a few sentances.

    Andrew's post is a good mix of summary and analysis, along with being a good short lenght...

    And, Andrew, as far as budget deficits go, please see the post called "Money in the Bank" which is about five posts down on my blog...
    Another point for you to think about would be that if we actually fund and supply our troops correctly, maybe they can do the job right, so we won't need to be dealing with so much, so it will cost less in the long run...and maybe we need to spend money now to increase the stability and prosperity in the world so that we can make more money later...just a few thoughts...

    Again, great job so far...lets see if you can step it up a notch...

  5. As the fight between Hezbollah and Israel becomes more and more bloody the UN has finally decided that it needs to take action. The UN's idea for a resolution is good in theory but it won't work because it is not getting at the root of the problem, Hezbollah. If the UN wants to permanently resolve the Hezbollah and Israel issue then they are going to have to try and have Hezbollah disbanded.

  6. In Pakistani related news, hundred of tribesmen fighting for the independence of the southern Baluchistan region surrendered today. 600 fighters began laying down their arms after talks, in hopes that it will speed the end of the revolt. The Baluchi region is rich in natural resources, especially natural gas. the wealth from all these resources isn't really going to the people of the region, and the fighters want greater autonomy and more wealth for the regions population.

    the article is form al jazeera

    It's pretty obvious why Pakistan doesn't want to let Baluchistan go though, since its Pakistan's most wealthy region in natural resources. I can sympathize with the fighters wanting more autonomy because of the poor living conditions there right now, but are the talks really going to lead anywhere? I think that the revolt led by Bugti might have had a chance, but i also would like to see the conflict resolved peacefully. Further more, if Pakistan let Baluchistan go, other minorities in the country might want their independence also, which could tear the country apart. And where do failed states lead to? In some respects, terrorism, and i think we can all agree thats something we probably don't want on our plates.

  7. Woops I guess the address of my article did not get posted. It's

  8. U.N. Council, in Weakened Resolution, Demands End to North Korean Missile Program

    The Security Council has demanded that North Korea stop its nuclear weapon program. However, in under an hour North Korea rejected the resolution. What does this say about North Korea and the U.N.'s power? It certainly doesn't look good.

    Clearly North Korea does not believe the Security Council can tell it what it can and cannot do. The troubling thing is the Security Council can't do much about this. Unless they impose sanctions or use military force this sort of resolution is not helpful.

  9. Hezbollah had something important to say today. “We are in our full strength and power," says the Hezbollah TV station. Hezbollah is obviously very pleased with this, but Lebanon citizens are not. “Hezbollah has taken the country hostage. They have destroyed people's homes and infrastructure," says one merchant.

    This article connects to the writing I read on guerrilla warfare by Mao today. He says that guerrilla warfare does not work without the support of the people. “The terrorist must more through the populace like a fish through water.” Hezbollah is ruining its chances of being the fish in its interactions with the Lebanese people.




    A tsunami hit the Java Coast killing 80 people and the number is thought to rise as more and more debris is cleared. The tsunami reached between 6.8 and 7.7 on the Richter scale. It was centered beneath the Indian Ocean 110 miles south of Pangandaran. Unfortunately for these people they have already experienced a tsunami earlier in December of 2004 which killed around 200,000 people.

  12. Yeah! The Dicovery made another successful landing. No damage was reported, which is very good news for the US space program. This is a major morale booster as work on the International Space Station basically stopped after the Columbia explosion. The actual mission itself wasnt as important as the confidence gained by both the crew and all of NASA. Now more missions can be planned and work on the ISS can be completed. Booyah! The US space program is on the move again.

  13. Alissa

    The Senate passed a bill for funding of stem cell research, setting up the first veto in the presidents years in office. The vote ended up 63-37 four short of the numbers required to override the veto. Members of the Bush Party are trying the plead with the President to reconsider vetoing the bill. I wonder if Bush will rethink his threat of veto, or overturn the bill?