Archive for September 17th, 2008

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World’s Bi-Weekly Blue Streak

September 17, 2008
Muslim women watch the funeral of a pro-independence leader killed in Kashmir

Quote of the Week:

“Agreement with two people, lamentation with three”

-Kashmiri proverb

 The Tiger’s Cub Grows Up

September 16, 2008: INDIA—It’s always risky to partition a hefty chunk of fertile land to three vastly different countries, and when those competitors happen to be India, Pakistan, and China—well, it’s no wonder Kashmir is a hotbed of insurgency. Recently renewed violence due to Muslim-Hindu clashes and a harsh Indian crackdown has led experts to fear that Pakistani militants could gain power in tribal areas. The key issue appears to be who exactly will be running Kashmir in the long run—India, the Pakistani military, or as many pro-independence protestors advocate, Kashmir itself. The United States may be turning a blind eye for now, but it will only hurt counterterrorism efforts in the long run. Kashmir has just given us a wake up call, and it’s too dangerous to sleep in. 

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 Where Have All the Ambassadors Gone?

September 16, 2008: BOLIVIA—The crisis in Bolivia that has spurred tensions between Venezuela and the United States escalated further this week. President Evo Morales has declared martial law, the opposition governor Leopoldo Fernandez was arrested, and deaths related to civil unrest increased to 30 over the weekend. The country is split over support for Mr. Morales’s socialist attempts to redistribute petrol royalties. A minority of lowlanders in the oil-rich east, led by governor Mario Cossio, is accusing him of pulling a Fidel Castro, while the majority of the country supports Mr. Morales. Last week, Bolivia expelled the American ambassador for allegedly supporting rebel groups, as has Hugo Chavez in defense of Mr. Morales. This less-than-cozy love triangle reflects a growing divide in Bolivian interests. Diplomatic hope currently rests on Brazil’s shoulders, but even that is far from sunny. 

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 Sanctions S’il Vous Plait? 

September 16, 2008: FRANCE—France has gone ahead this week and pushed for a fourth round sanctions against Iran. The move was spurred by a recently released report that stated Iran has continued to block an investigation into its nuclear program. New sanctions however, are unlikely to go through the UN Security Council without China and Russia’s support. And although China “hopes” Iran will cooperate, they have also stated that they “don’t think sanctions are the way out.”  It’s a nice gesture from France from the United State’s point of view, but not a particularly effective one.

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By Dana Liebelson

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