Monday, December 8, 2014

I read the newspaper today. Here's what I learned.

One of the cool things about working at Cal State Fullerton is the free newsstand.  Outside the Student Union building, there are racks of free newspapers every day.  I almost never read the newspapers.  But today, on my lunch break, I picked up a copy of the LA Times, and read three articles.  Here's what I read, and what it made me think about.

I read an article entitled "Long tough talks with Iran" which was about how diplomats from several major countries (including the U.S.) have been trying to negotiate a "deal" with Iran, to get them to halt their nuclear program.  So far, no deal has been reached, despite tough economic "sanctions" which really end up hurting ordinary Iranian people because things become more expensive.  Why can't these countries make a deal?

My first thought is that the "deal" would represent a double standard.  Why should the U.S. be allowed to have nuclear weapons, while Iran cannot?  If the U.S. really wanted Iran to get on board with this deal, the U.S. would have to dismantle its own nuclear weapons.  Then there would be a level playing field.

This article made me think of a speech by Indian writer Arundatiu Roy called "Come September" in which she talks about the great disparities of power in our world.  Currently, the United States is the most powerful country in the world.  This means that the U.S. gets to play by certain rules, while other countries have to  play by different rules, as is clearly demonstrated by the Iran nuclear talks.  Put another way, the U.S. gets to make the rules of the world because we are the most powerful.

This seems wrong to me.

I read two other articles about Israeli military strikes against their neighbors Syria and Gaza (where Palestinians live).  Despite the casualties and possible war crimes, Israel seems to be facing no consequences for these strikes because they were against weaker nations and people groups.  Syria is embroiled in a civil war, and the Palestinians in Gaza don't even have a country of their own.  One of the reasons Israel is so powerful and gets to play by its own rules is because they are allies of the United States, which is the most powerful country in the world.  This made me think of how police officers in America never get in trouble for brutalizing and killing people.  They have power in this system in which we live.  So, they get to make the rules.

What I learned from reading the newspaper today is this:  In today's world, might makes right. 

But, again, this seems wrong to me.

This is a rocket being launched from Israel at people and/or places in Syria.

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