I really need to be working on a paper and a lesson plan for tomorrow, but I have been blown away by some things that are happening in the news today, and I've been shocked at how little it's seemed to have been talked about. Sometimes I am amazed at our naivety to what is going on in the Middle East right now. At the same time, I am very sympathetic to the amount that people have "on their plate" and to worry about the situation in the Middle East just doesn't even surface as priority. So, in an effort to educate the small audience that reads this blog, and to humor myself, I have compiled several headlines from CNN.com that I wanted to pass along.
I am reading a book about the Middle East by Joel Rosenberg entitled Epicenter so that is why I am thinking about this issue so much, but today some BIG stuff happened. Today Putin's current Prime Minister resigned and Putin named his replacement for purposes relating to the upcoming elections. Putin is a very clever and sly guy who is recreating a dictatorship over in Russia right before our eyes. Don't be surprised if he overlooks the constitutional limitation of two presidential terms and continues on next Spring as Russia's leader.
On this very same day, reports came out of Russia about the "daddy of all bombs" being tested by the Russians. The question must follow: What exactly is Putin planning. Also, of note, is the growing alliance between Russia and Iran, namely Putin and Ahmadinejad. Today, Ahmadinejad, Iran's President, repeated in uncertain terms what he has been saying for quite some time: that Israel is evil and needs to be destroyed and the U.S. destruction should soon follow. Follow news on Iran. It's coming out every day, and it's very interesting/scary.
Meanwhile, General Petraeus is back from Iraq and has presented an optimistic report about the goings on in Iraq, and he is receiving ridicule from the media that he cannot be trusted and that he is simply a puppet for Bush. Judge for yourselves.
The top story on CNN.com today is actually about how some Sunni Iraqis and American soldiers are getting along very well and sharing in culture and strategic alliance to rid the country of evil.
Other news, of personal interest to me, is that Indonesia (the island of Sumatra) was hit by an earthquake yesterday of an 8.2 magnitude. That's big and now there are concerns about Tsunami's. It never registered with me that 220,000 Indonesian people were killed by the 2004 tsunami. Imagine if that happened in the U.S.
Also if you're a traveller, Bolivia is on the verge of requiring Americans to obtain a visa for entry into their country. They are simply trying to replicate the treatment they receive from America when trying to enter the U.S.
I looked at the news more today than most days but all of these stories interested me and in certain ways are very intertwined. Take them with a grain of salt if you'd like, but think about the implications of some of them.