Monday, December 19, 2011

The philosophy of "juche" Takes Place in North Korea as Leader Dies

"The philosophy of 'juche,' or self-reliance, is the basis of North Korea's reclusive nature." (CNN: North Korea's Kim Jong Il dies; South goes on high alert) Today the people of North Korea are putting this principle into action as their leader, Kim Jong II dies at the age of 69.

Jong has been leading the socialist country since 1994, and has had an array of health problems. Officials state that Jong suffered "great mental and physical strain," suffering a heart attack on Saturday that could not be salvaged.

The people of North Korea appeared starry-eyed, as they learned the news about their "dear leader."

"My leader, what will we do? It's too much! It's too much!" one person sobbed on state television. "Leader, please come back. ... You cannot leave us. We will always wait for you, leader."

Set to take over is Kim's youngest son, Kim Jong Un, a four-star general that has received increasing responsbilities from his father.

But, North Korea isn't the only civil society under strain and devastated about the news of their leader's death.

As North Korea silences itself, struck with grief, South Korea is tightening security in preparating for an unpredictable North Korea. Officials are placing the region on emergency alert, prepping them for overtime shifts.

Obama stated that President Lee of South Korea and he have spoke about staying in touch as the situation develops. Lee has advised his people to "go on with their lives." I, for one, really hope that we do not send out troops to the region unless needed. I don't feel it is right to Americanize them. (Similar to this debate is the US's Role in Africa in African Security and the African Command.)

"For the sake of the future of the Republic of Korea, peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula is more important than anything else. It should not be threatened by what has happened," he said.

Former U.N. Ambassador, Bill Richardson of the United States stated that the humanitarian efforts should remain there for the people of Korea, but to keep a watchful-eye. I feel there must be a fragile balance between politics and humanitarian concerns. We, as the U.S. should aid them in food and security, but we should not control their political endeavors.

"People are starving there," stated Richardson.

Will North Korea embrace South Korea or push them into further war? Will North Korea talk about nuke control with the United States? Deep questions like these hope to be answered over time.

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Cat Belonged to Which Witch in Witching Country?

With the lack of government funding, political upheavals, social changes, innovations in technology and a worldwide fight against terrorism, the 21st Century looks self-reliant, belligerent and down-right awkward. So, how are we supposed to deal with the tides of the 21st Century?

To survive and succeed in this environment, individuals must understand the driving forces of globalization and the trends that are likely to shape our future. Employing an accessible "connect-the-dots" metaphor, Kumarian Press publication, Coming of Age in a Globalized World pulls together the threads that link humanity.

Our Modern Age may seem bleak to some, but it must be better than the past, with technology, democracy and civilization. Sure, we have to deal with change, both good and bad, but change inspires progression. And, we are working on building peace with our international comrades. Don't believe me that we have it better than our relatives in the past? Read on.

During routine maintenance on a reservoir today, engineers uncovered an artifact from one of Britain's most-famous witch trials in Pendle Hill in Lancashire, England. But, unlike a sterling-silver fork, or glimmering sapphire, a once-feline friend was found hidden in the walls of the old-age withc trial cottage.

The cottage is known for housing trials in the 1600s for 10 women and 2 men suspected of using witchcraft to murder.

"It is thought the unfortunate feline may have been buried alive by the cottage's superstitious inhabitants, in an attempt to protect them from evil spirits." (Read more at CNN - Mummified cat walled up in 17th century 'witch's cottage'

How do you feel now? And, we thought we had it rough.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Warning of Taliban Return in Afghanistan Is On the Horizon

Afghanistan President, Hamid Karzai, warned the international community on Monday that the Taliban could make its return if immediate action is not taken.

"There has been progress in Afghanistan since the overthrow of the Taliban in the wake of the hijacked plane attacks on the United States," he said.

President Karzai stated that much help is needed in the fight against Terrorism - and the Taliban - but will need at least a decade's worth of committment and assistance by outside military forces, including the United States.

During a conference to discuss the U.S.' role in Afghanistan (and whether we will pull a troops out by 2014), U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton vowed that the United States was "prepared to stand with the Afghan people for the long haul."

Iran's Foreign Minister spoke out against having troops in Afghanistan, and stated that the country should discard any outside foreign military bases.

"We believe that any international or regional initiative to restore peace and security in Afghanistan could only be successful if they discard the presence of foreign military forces and especially ... the founding of foreign military bases in Afghanistan."

I found this statement intriguing, as African Security and the African Command's contributors discuss the U.S.' right to "assist" other countries in times of warfare. Are we westernizing the countries? Or, are we just acting as bullies to show our role as a supreme power?

But, although I feel that we should not interfere in other countries' policies, I do feel the timing is appropriate to "assist" when the welfare of the world rests on our helping partners shoulders. If we all work together, then we can build peace, not just for Afghanistan, but for the international community.