Julie Weier –
According to Dr. Winston Wells, Professor of Political Science at Illinois College, right now there are four international points of crisis that America should be focusing on, not including one of the most exciting votes to happen in the United Kingdom.
These four points are: ISIS (the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria), the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, the resurging conflict between Israel and Palestine, and Ebola.
For America, the threat from ISIS is continually increasing. To combat this extremist group, President Obama announced a new plan of attack to defeat it.
This new strategy will implement more air strikes as well as more support to the forces fighting them on the ground. It will also give aid to the opposing government in Syria and continue to use counterterrorism to prevent ISIS attacks while giving humanitarian help to innocent civilians all of whom have been displaced.
Considering the last two years President Obama has promised America will stay out of Syria, and the fact that withdrawing from Iraq was one of his biggest accomplishments, one might wonder about the change in political goals.
Dr. Wells said, “I don’t think Obama has any choice.” Two months ago, America was not in favor of entering either Iraq or Syria. “[However,] the beheading of the two journalists dramatically changed public opinion.”
ISIS is not the only political concern; America also has its eye on the conflict between Ukraine and Russia.
President Vladimir Putin declared that Russia has the right to send troops in on the pretext of protecting the Russian speakers who live in eastern Ukraine. This gave rise to fear in the other countries that used to be a part of the Soviet Union.
Fortunately, the fear was quickly relieved by NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) when President Obama announced NATO’s decision to a rapid response force if Russia tried to invade any other countries.
While America has taken a stand on further Russian intrusion, it’s stance on whether or not to help Ukraine only goes so far. Dr. Wells added “we are going to help short of using military force.” Hopefully, the cease-fire will allow time for Russia and Ukraine to talk and be able to come to a peaceful agreement.
The third crisis point to pay attention to is the conflict between Israel and Palestine. The conflict between the two flares up every few years. This summer Gaza was devastated. One of the shelters the UN set up in a school was hit by shell fire.
The importance of this hit shows how bad it truly is. When the UN’s power is not enough to keep a designated shelter for civilians safe, then it is a clear sign of the escalating danger.
The fourth crisis point is another danger that has been overlooked by many Americans, but continues to escalate in Africa: Ebola. Ebola was not a prominent news story in America until it was brought home by an infected doctor and it became necessary to quarantine American citizens.
Dr. Wells related that “[In Africa,] the last two weeks the epidemic has just exploded and the number of cases and deaths has dramatically increased.”
Of the four points, many people would say that this is the least important. Dr. Wells disagrees with that and saying, “…they are all of equal importance. [However, Ebola] is really worrisome…out of control… and I don’t think the international community including America has done enough.”
All four points are or should be major political issues important in our country. This is just a brief synopsis of each point and each one has more information. If you are interested in learning more Dr. Wells suggests the New York Times, the Economist, and even Twitter as information sources.
The news story that has really stirred excitement in this writer is on the upcoming vote in the United Kingdom.
This will be the most politically dramatic occurrence to happen in the last 300 years for this country. On Thursday September 18, there will be a vote on whether or not to have Scotland secede from the UK. For clarification on how important Scotland is to the UK, here are some points.
One, Scotland makes a lot of money through black gold, or oil. It contributes a significant amount of revenue. Second, it makes up a 1/3 in landmass of the UK. Losing these two things will significantly diminish the power of the UK.
If Scotland does secede, Prime Minister David Cameron says, “There will be no going back.” In an attempt to prevent the secession, he visited and offered Scotland “further powers related to taxes, spending and welfare”, according to the New York Times article “ ‘There Will be No Going Back,’ David Cameron Tells Scotland as Independence vote nears” (Castle and Cowell).
As of now, it could go either way as the polls show it neck and neck. It is possible that William Wallace’s call for “FREEDOM!” will finally be answered.