Obama’s Popularity Declining
What It’s About: As the leader of one of the largest economies in the world, and the commander and chief of its armed forces, Barack Obama has helped to shape global policy during his four years in office. With the 2012 American Election season nearing, critics have begun to ask whether he’s done enough to secure re-election. An overly negative campaign that focuses on the problems left by George Bush, not on his own accomplishments, and unpopular foreign policy agendas has left Americans and the global community unconvinced of Obama’s ability to fulfil the promises he made to the Nobel prize committee.
Why It’s Important: Hope was the word on everyone’s lips in 2008 as Barack Obama won the presidency. Over four years later few share this sentiment as dissatisfaction with the Obama’s progress on issues like human rights, healthcare, and the economy has increased. Consequently it is conceivable that Obama could lose the election; an outcome that would significantly affect America’s position in the world. Although not always popular, Obama has made consistent efforts to reach out to minorities and to apologize for past injustices on behalf of American foreign policy. These steps towards a more accountable and tolerant America have the potential to be replaced by a more Hawkish set of policies that favour American Exceptionalism.
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The KKK Wants to Clean Up Its Act
What It’s About: A chapter of the infamous White Supremacist group know as the Klu Klux Klan has recently filed a request to adopt a highway in North Georgia. State Officials denied the request on the basis that the 65mph stretch of road was not safe to collect trash on and therefore not adoptable. State officials have also stated that the organization’s history informed the eventual decision to deny the application. Speaking to CNN, members of the local chapter stated that they are not racist and bear little resemblance to their fore bearers.
Why It’s Important: The KKK has had a long and brutal history in America; lynching and terrorizing non-White Christians for much of the twentieth century. The return of a “friendlier” KKK raises the question as to whether or not an organization’s history can be held against it. More specifically, can an organization established on the principle of denying the human rights of minorities reconceptualize itself so that it maintains it’s ideal of White Power without being racist? Although its checkered history would cast suspicions on the KKK’s ability to “reform,” of greater interest is the response of the general public and state officials.
- Will you extend your trust to the KKK? Will you uphold the rights and freedoms of a reformed militant organization? Or is this just a sham?
Russia May Be Providing Syria With Attack Helicopters
What It’s About: As the conflict between the Syrian government and Opposition forces passes the one year mark, government forces have adopted a new tool to aid them in regaining control of the country: attack helicopters. Heavily armed and armoured these aircraft are able to decimate under equipped Opposition forces with relative ease. Although strongly condemned by the US and the UN, it would seem that Russia does not share their qualms as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recently announced that the helicopters are being sold by Russian arms manufacturers.
Why It’s Important: As one of the five permanent UN Security Council members, Russia has the ability to block or veto any sanctions that pass before it. As of June 13, 2012 all attempts to force the Syrian government to put a halt to its aggression have been thwarted by Russian diplomats who oppose the use of sanctions. With the continued diplomatic stand off between the US and Russia showing no signs of abating, the arms shipments risk escalating an already tense situation. At risk is not only the lives of members of the Opposition, including children, but any multilateral agreements that depend on Russian cooperation.
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