Published Opinions

Submitted from Students Worldwide

September 29, 2017

PHOTO VIA THE GLOBAL STATE

Recent discussions on Bridge the Divide have centered around the North Korean threat of nuclear war, what the global response should be, and  how to deal with Kim Jung Un as a leader. Diplomacy with China, US, and other actors have also been widely discussed. In her follow-up, Maria Martin urges us to remember the real people suffering everyday at the hands of the Kim regime. 

Following Donald Trump’s statements at the UN and the apparent unstoppable missile race of Kim Jong Un, the North Korean issue has become one of the most searched terms on Google in the last months. The massive public interest, along with the tense situation in the region with regards to the trial and impact of several rockets in Japanese territory, has placed the Kim Regime in an international relations hurricane.     

North Korea long been the subject of academic studies and a main issue of concern in international analysis. Nonetheless, the missile program seems to h...

Question: How should countries address the Syrian Refugee Crisis?

Creating International Emergency Panels: Written by Dalya Al Masri, Canada

The Syrian refugee crisis began long before it sparked attention from international media outlets. To fully understand the complexity of the refugee crisis, one must look to the source of where it all began. Syria has been engaged in a civil war between the government of President Bashar Al-Assad, and several opposing forces. Entering the seventh year of war, over 500,000 casualties have been claimed, and more than half the country's’ population (approx. 12 million) have been dispelled from their homes and forced to relocate.

The conflict commenced in 2011, influenced by an Arab Spring in Tunisia, Libya, and Egypt, each of whom saw their presidents overthrown. When Syrians began peacefully protesting the Assad Regime, President Assad ordered the mass killing of hundreds of peaceful demonstrators and imprisoned others. Lack of freedom, violation of hu...

IMAGE VIA CNN

Question: Should the US involve North Korea?

Ending a Crisis and Restoring Balance: Written by Khushboo Shah, India

The territory of North Korea is a space of military containment and ideological restrictions. A nation built on a watch-dog routine; it requires each and every citizen to be profoundly self-reliant. The only irony is that, the very ‘democratic’ North Korean idea of self-reliance interprets to Juche; an ideology which authorities promote as jingoistic activism, wherein the citizens are forced to live in complete submission to national sovereignty and unquestionable totalitarianism.

While the North Korean regime believes that its practices are contributing to international revolutionary thought, the changing 21st century demographics have established that the isolated 38th parallel and the brutalities suffered by its people are alarming international issues. By early 2016, it was clear that even the United Nations Security Council was concerned as it stressed imme...

ORBAN THIERRY VIA IVT

As the so-called “siege of Qatar” by Saudi Arabia and other Muslim countries intensifies, major global figures are taking a hard look as to why this whole fiasco occurred in the first place and many opinions on this issue are dividing the world. Even the country where I come from, the United States of America, is visibly torn on the diplomatic crisis.

Let us consider one of the charges that the Saudis have accused the Qataris of committing: donating large amounts of money to fund Islamic extremist groups like The Muslim Brotherhood. Just a few days ago, President Donald Trump praised Saudi Arabia for their inflammatory accusations, saying that Qatar has “historically been a funder of terrorism at every level.” However, just hours ago, it was revealed that former US Attorney General John Ashcroft had been hired by the Qataris to clear their government of these claims that they consider to be totally baseless. While all of this invective being hurled from both sides...

June 30, 2017

AFP VIA THE NATIONAL

The recent diplomatic blockade ‘organised’ by Saudi Arabia and its allies actually shows the staunch vulnerability in the gulf region. The series of events bubbling up one after the other in quick succession is quite hard to digest. The pivot point of the circus of events was an alleged statement given by the Emir of Qatar which triggered a backlash from Saudi and Emirati media outlets. The Qatari government denied the claims, claiming that their national news agency, QNA was hacked. However, shortly thereafter, what is perhaps the most shocking diplomatic blockade of the recent times was drawn on the Qataris. Citizens residing in these countries were given a two weeks ultimatum to leave Saudi Arabia and its allied countries, flights including Etihad airways, Emirates etc. were abandoned in the region and all the diplomatic officials were removed from Qatar. 

This was not an impulsive reaction, but rather a result of tensions built up for qui...

Question: Which side is right in the Israel-Palestine conflict?

Pro-Israel, written by Noah Redlich, California 

There is an overwhelming consensus in the United States that it is crucial to have a pro-Israel foreign policy, but what exactly would that look like? This question is a source of huge contention that divides Jewish communities, political groups such as J Street and AIPAC, and ultimately, Washington’s politicians. Should we be more assertive in the Middle East? Can we afford to criticize Israel’s government yet still remain their strongest ally? By expressing concern about Palestinian rights and Israeli settlements, do we perpetuate anti-Israel and ultimately anti-Semitic sentiments around the world?  

For almost two decades, neoconservatives in both parties have argued for regime change in the Middle East, whether it be in Iraq, in Libya, or in Syria. Hawks like Dick Cheney, William Kristol, and John McCain have repeatedly stressed the need to implant American-style democ...

In the midst of a deplorable humanitarian crisis, why is there a growing stigma of hate?

AFP VIA INDEPENDENT

On November 14, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım ordered the blocking of more than five different social media sites, including Facebook and Instagram. This censorship comes after the coup directed towards the administration of current President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on July 15, 2016. This censorship is just one of many concerning decisions his administration has made. For many people, Turkey is not a nation that sticks out in their minds. It was once considered the center of a strong Muslim empire known as the Ottoman Empire, now it is just another ally of the United States and a “forgotten” country in the Middle East. However, it is important to understand that what happens to Turkey will directly affect the United States. If Turkey decides to be like many of their Muslim allies and turn into a non-secular dictatorship, it will cease to be a democratic and free-trade nation. The major switch could prove detrimental both to the U.S economy and to U.S foreign po...

February 22, 2017

IMAGE VIA THE EXPRESS TRIBUNE 

"I no longer love blue skies. In fact, I now prefer grey skies. The drones do not fly when the skies are grey." With these words a Pakistani child strikingly expresses his fear of clears skies, taken over by attack drones that fly constantly above the trembling population of countries such as Pakistan. These aircraft have taken center stage in international debate in the last few years, yet have been pushed aside in the face of the results of the most recent American election and growing geopolitical tensions. The use of drones has been a centerpiece of the Obama administration’s national security approach, meaning to separate the United States from direct military involvement in areas of conflict. This has been a highly controversial practice that has brought about heated discussions on the ethical and strategic implications of drones for modern warfare or threat management. In the anticipation of the new Trump Administration, the concern over the applica...

February 5, 2017

MILTON GRANT VIA UN PHOTO

When the Obamas first stepped in Cuba in March of 2016, they signaled the historic reconciliation between two countries — and two ideologies — hitherto considered unrelenting opposites. However, that gesture was but a small island of unity in a seething ocean of intolerance. About a month later, anti-Muslim feelings peaked in Europe when terrorist attacks killed 31 people in Brussels. In June, the United Kingdom turned its back to integration and voted to leave the European Union. To cap off the year, Colombians showed how divided their country is by rejecting the FARC Peace Accords in an almost evenly split referendum.

All these events, albeit different in nature, illustrate how polarization is alarmingly shaping the early history of the 21st century. We live in a time when comprehension, debate, and cooperation are often regarded as superfluous. As society has progressively loses the ability to maintain conscientious  dialogue and continually fails to empathi...

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