Advertise - Print Edition

Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

What is going on in the world?

Published: September 26, 2008
Section: Arts, Etc.

People, WAKE UP! These are “interesting” times to read the news, we are living history. Changes all over the world are taking place. Below is a brief list of some of the issues that I believe everyone should be aware of. Then, I will try to explain how all of them might be inter-related, after all, we live on a truly inter-connected society where a Tsunami on Asia can affect the Stock Market of America.

1) Fidel Castro is dying!

2) Iran is developing Nuclear Technology! (supposedly for civil purposes…will they get nukes?)

3) America is building Missile Defenses on Czech Republic and Poland.

4) Russia invaded the sovereign state of Georgia!

5) Guess what? America no longer has an ambassador in Bolivia, nor Venezuela and vice-versa.

6) If Georgia joins NATO, and Russia attacks again, America might go to war with Russia- according to Sarah Palin.

7) Global Warming, dah.

8) Economic crisis?

9) Commodity prices rallying?

10) Collision of Protons?

Fidel Castro is dying but Cubans might not be so lucky, Raul Castro (his brother) is succeeding him on power, and is enjoying generous gifts from oil-rich Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez. But Raul is not the only happy kid on the block, since 2001 Chavez has been financing far-left governments throughout Latin America: Ecuador, Uruguay, Bolivia and Nicaragua. Chavez is wasting the Venezuelan money spreading dead ideologies mixed with hatred towards American “Yankees”. Even worse Chavez has made Iran one of its strongest allies, and today, there are proofs that the Venezuelan government is financing terrorist groups, even Hizbollah (in Latin America).

Yes, Iran, another American-hating regime together with their preach of the destruction of The State of Israel are developing Nuclear Technology, for civilian purposes. But one has to stop and wonder, why would an oil-rich country like Iran need Nuclear Energy? This does not make sense. That is why the International Community is trying to deter them through economic sanctions…so far, this has not worked and it does not seem like it might change the direction.

The world is not a safe place, the U.S.A knows this, and that is why they signed an agreement with both Poland and Czech Republic (with strong opposition from the Kremlin) to build a Missile Defense system on their countries, against a possible “Iranian Attack” but is that really the reason behind it? Why would the Bush Administration risk the relations with the Kremlin to defend itself and its allies against Iran…it would seem much “easier” to stop them in other ways.

Russia, packed with money from gas and other natural resources wants to let the world know that they are back on the international scene, and strong. Last month, the same day the Beijing Olympics inauguration was taking place, the Russian Army invaded and attacked an independent ex-soviet country, Georgia, claiming to be defending the interests of Russians “wherever they are”. Was that demonstration of might and determination from the Kremlin to the Bush Administration?

The Bush Administration offered Georgia an economic aid package of $1billion, and NATO sent warships to the black sea…

*The Missile Defense System significantly diminishes the offensive/defensive strategies of Russia.

As you read this, Russian war ships are on their way to Venezuela to take part in maneuvers with the Venezuelan navy. It will be the first time since the end of the Cold War that the Russian navy has held maneuvers in these waters… less than two weeks ago, two Russian bombers held training flights in Venezuela.

Evo Morales, the far-left President of Bolivia decided to expel the American Ambassador, accusing him of conspiring against the government. Venezuela, as a demonstration of fraternity did the same “Go to Hell, Yankees” said Chavez. The Bush Administration followed suit, and expelled the ambassador of those countries as well.

On her first TV interview, Republican VP nominee Sarah Palin called for Georgia and the Ukraine to be included in NATO, a treaty that requires the U.S. to defend them militarily. Palin said Russia’s attack into Georgia last month was ‘unprovoked’. Asked to clarify that she’d support going to war over Georgia, she said: ‘Perhaps so.’

Global Warming is something that every Brandeis student is definitely aware of, so I don’t really think there is much to write here. Except what many may refuse to accept: The world does not care, and nothing will be done until it is too late. Take the example of a cigarette-addict, he knows he is killing himself, but probably won’t quit until he gets diagnosed with cancer. There is also the problem of free-riders, some countries (specially developing countries) are either not willing or can’t afford to become so environmentally friendly.

I am an Economics major…but I don’t really understand why am I learning economics of a system that is failing and leaving hundreds of thousands without jobs. So far, two banks (Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers) have gone bankrupt, with many others tumbling or being bought out by bigger banks. This is a very important subject , so much that it is overshadowing the international concerns about standoffs with Russia, Iran, North Korea, Venezuela, et al.

But hey, see the bright side, at least the demand for oil is declining with the falling market, and now your gas tank wont be as expensive as you were expecting, right?right?

This is a very extensive and important subject, which I will write for the next edition of The Hoot-

Stock and commodities traders are aware of everything that I have written so far, or at least they seem to be. Commodity prices have been rising since the beginning of this year, because people are uncertain of what the future might hold for them. Therefore, it has been a well-known fact since the beginning of times, that commodities is a good “thing” to hold on times of uncertainty, or G-d forbid, war.

Not everything is bad and ugly, about a week ago, scientists from all around the globe switched-on an enormous experiment, which they hope, will recreate the conditions a few moments after the Big Bang. The experiment is very complex, but it basically consists of colliding particles, called hadrons, at cataclysmic force on a 27-km tunnel under the French-Swiss border. The collider is operated by the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN). If you like rap, and would like to understand this experiment on a fun way, go to:

Just to keep up with the depressing mood, the “LHC” has officially shut down until early Spring 2009. Apparently a faulty electrical connection between two of the accelerator’s magnets triggered a helium leak. But the magnets involved can’t even be opened up for investigation until the sector is brought to room temperature, which will take three or four weeks. This is “undoubtedly a psychological blow” said CERN Director General Robert Aymar

My theory of inter-connection of events is the following:

When Russia attacked Georgia, several countries supported the Kremlin decision (China and Venezuela amongst them), and several countries condemned it (EU, U.S.A. amongst them) that created a polarization of alliances, call them interests if you want.

The reality right now is that if Iran does not get deterred, it will eventually develop a WMD, with the support of Russia, China, Venezuela, North Korea and other countries. However, Israel has publicly said that all options are on the table to prevent Iran from doing so.

This means that an attack on Iran is very likely. With powerful countries on both sides of the ring, these sides were defined when Russia invaded Georgia. This would be Chapter I. I would like to call it “The drop that spilled the cup”

Chapter II would be the beginning of a war for resources (oil and water).

The rest of the Chapters I can’t even guess what will be, but it will be very different from the world we live on today, that’s for sure.

There is a popular belief that the world is so economically inter-dependent that a World War is plain ridiculous. But wasn’t there a laissez-faire before WWI?

I don’t mean to scare anyone, or to paint your sky gray, I just want you to wake up and analyze what is going on. This might just be my crazy theory, but you have to admit, it makes sense. So go out there, read some news and get ready.