Several countries, because of special interest or importance, deserve further comment.
“Taliban” Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia
The Russians set up a communist government when they occupied Afghanistan. This government was overthrown in 1992 by Tribal leaders and a democratic-type government was set up. It recognized the rights of minorities and women. Pakistan became actively interested in developing its power and influence in Central Asia. Saudi Arabia and Iran both also began active efforts to develop their agendas in Afghanistan.
The Taliban movement began in the city of Kandahar by Mullah Omar from refugee students of a school in Pakistan. The movement was actively supported by Pakistani troops . Pakistan continues to support the Taliban .
The Taliban and its supporters have shown little regard for human rights and values and caused the deaths of thousands of civilians and the destruction of tens of thousands of homes and farms in the process of controlling th population.
Pakistan’s active support of Taliban and its efforts to spread its influence continues to make efforts to set up Democratic government impossible.
CHINA: THE MOST POPULOUS COUNTRY.
Pollution: Growth of GDP has been accompanied by large expansion of demand and supply of coal-fired power plants. Air pollution has been accompanied by a reckless ignoring of laws passed to protect water.
Quality of export products: There seems to be little governmental inspection of products exported. Wallboard exported to the U.S. proved to have acid outgasing that caused wholesale destruction of other materials and causing sickness. The only remedy was major rebuilding. Pharmaceuticals were often poor quality and sometimes of no value. Lead paints were used in toys exported to the U.S. Wholesale ignoring of patent rights, especially in music and movies.
Military and economic bullying: Incursions into Japanese waters by Chinese fishing fleets. Japanese efforts to curb by arrest were thwarted by Chinese diplomacy. A further action was the cutting off of vital rare earths to the Japanese market. Newsweek, November 22, 2010,
Overseas operations: Many projects in Africa including roads, manufacturing, dams and other construction have proved to be done in a shoddy and costly manner with many complaints by host countries. Newsweek, “Scope, August 18,2010, p 8.
Support of N. Korea: Many believe that China’s support of N. Korea is based on the fear that N. Korea’s collapse would see millions of starving N. Koreans crossing the Yalu into China. Newsweek, “Scope” November 22, 2010, p 7.
Territorial Claims: China has suddenly become quite aggressive, even printing maps showing an entire province of India as a part of China. It is not clear if this is mere bluster or true threat. Newsweek, “Scope”, December 6, 2010, p. 8.
Pharmaceuticals are woefully below standards, both for domestic and export use. Newsweek, November 29, 2010, p. 8
ISLAM, WINDS OF CHANGE, 21ST CENTURY
Based on an article “Wind of Change” by Ben Barber, American Legion Magazine, March, 2012.
Most of the revolts are by peoples seeking democratic processes. These processes are, in turn, being countered by active fundamentalist elements with active friction between Sunnis and Shiites.
ALGERIA: Democratic republic since 1976. Civil problems with a large Berber minority is a continuing problem.
BAHRAIN: Royalty’s Sunni based government faced the threat of a Shiite majority demonstrations. Saudi troops assisted in quelling the uprising.
EGYPT: The government was toppled by liberal and educated elements. The Army restored order and acts as a provisional government. Elections indicate the ascendance of Fundamentalist future if allowed by the army.
IRAN: The spiritual leader continues to be the most powerful person and continues to direct the actions of the government.
IRAQ: The country continues to be plagued with car bombings and suicide bombings by a group that seeks to overthrow the government.
JORDAN: King Abdullah was able to defuse a protest movement by reshuffling the government> Labor strikes continue to haunt Jordan in 2012
KUWAIT: The king dissolved the parliament and proposed election. This satisfied demonstrators.
LIBYA: Gaddafi ruled Libya for 40 years. It 6 months for rebel forces to topple him. The democratic government is having difficulty in establishing rule because of many tribal activities.
MOROCCO: The king offered concessions and elections. His special power is as head of holding c companies that own and control h of the economy of Morocco.
SAUDI ARABIA: A rebellion in 2011 of Shiites was short-lived.
SUDAN: South Sudan has won separation from Sudan. The Sudan Junta and its leader continue in power and continue its policy of harassing minorities.
SYRIA: The Damascus government has ruthlessly put down all demonstrations. Many thousands have been killed and the U.Sn has applied widespread sanctions. As of March 2012, the rebellion has been unsuccessful.
TUNISIA: A frustrated vendor set himself on fire after being harassed by police. It kicked off a series of demonstrations that caused the Dictator to flee the country. This was the beginning of a series of rebellions thought Middle East countries.
YEMEN: After conflict between the government and various tribes, the president resigned. Many concessions have as yet been enacted.
Israel continues to resist talking seriously about permanent borders with Palestine and with the difficulty of dealing with the leadership of the Gala strip and the continuing expansion of Jewish settlements and replacing ownership by Palestinians with that of Jewish settlers. Israel has never been able to operate without some assistance from abroad. Its security is currently unsettled by turmoil and change of leaderships in adjacent Arab countries. Domination by fundamentalists has created n inflexible barrier between Palestinians and Israelis that makes cooperation, necessary for a future Israel, impossible. Newsweek, November 7, 2011.
Tsunami: The Tsunami in March, 2011, has seriously crippled Japan’s economy itch the loss if several Atomic Energy plants. It may be years before Japan will have adequate electrical supplies.
Depressed economy has persisted since 1992 when inflated real estate prices tumbled. Stimulus packages have failed. An inflated Yen hs hampered export goods and an ageing population has reduced domestic consumption. Real Estate values have not recovered and all banks suffered serious losses. Newsweek,
“The Lady’s Destiny” Newsweek, March 12, 2012. (Pp. 40-48)
World Sanctions and a failed economy have persuaded the Junta to permit election in April 2012. Leading the opposition is Agung San Usu Kyi who has been in house arrest for over 2 decades. She was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991 for her work. She is now being permitted to run for office. This dramatic change may well see the beginning of democracy. Sanctions will not be lifted unless the election culminates in reform and a beginning of democratic processes.