Syria: Alone but United

The Syrian govnerment has pledged for comprehensive reforms but has answered with ferocity to growing protests, seen in the latest attack on the city of Hama leaving the city clouded in smoke and rubble, with reports telling of bodies literring the streets. 

Up to 80 people have been killed according to BBC reports.  Government security forces were sent into Hama, a large site for anti-government protests for over the last month, on orders by President Bashar al-Assad.  Syrian anti-government protests,  inspired by similar events in Tunisia and Egypt, were sarked by the initial arrest of teenagers for spar-painting revolutionary slogans on a wall.  Since then, protests have escalated dramatically and the civilian casualty count has been reported to be as high as 1,700.

Despite the action taken by government forces, the rebels have not yielded in the slightest against the government and reports have stated that protests will on increase in severity with the upcoming holiday of Ramadan.  The feeling of persistence and is demonstrated by the shouts, “We will not be killed again”.  The reference is to a prior massacre in 1982 by the current President’s father, Hafez al-Assad, who acted against revolts inspired by the Sunni Muslim Brotherhood. The causalities of 1982 ranged in the tens of thousands, some reports estimated the deaths to be close to 30,000. With such willpower and aggression filling the hearts of current protesters, the international community can only watch as the developments of the “Arab Spring” have descended from hopeful to tumultuous. 

“Hama will be very harsh to them,” said al Habbal, who lives in the city. “The whole city has decided to resist with stones, not weapons. The army will either join the demonstrators or leave our city.”

The reluctance of the protestors to be intimidated by the show of force by President al-Assad has come at high prices but as the US embassy spokesperson, JJ Harder, stated, “the recent assault was a last act of utter desperation”.  Though the statement seems rather idealistic considering the increase in tensions and strife throughout the region of Syria, such willpower and outlook has emerged victorious in the past. In 1989, the Iron Curtain crumbled because of anti-Communist protestors and although the majority of those nations did not react militarily, Romania did.  The security forces of Nicolae Ceausescu  responded with military force, killing numerous civilian protestors, but the protestors were victorious in the end.  So saying, the Syrian people have been left without foreign/international assistance but they have continued their fight and the President has felt the pressure, but at how high of a price will it come?

The international community has remained divided on the event sin Syria, none have explicitly called for President Assad to go.  At this stage, the movement is up to the Syrians themselves.  The anti-government forces have spread to other areas including Homs, Latakia, Jisr al-Shughour, and Baniyas; but they have yet to engulf the two biggest cities of Damascus and Aleppo.


Libya: NATO Involvement May Be Ending

On July 28th, General Younis, the rebel leader, was assassinated by the militia group known as Obaida Ibn JArrah Brigade, an Islamist group associated with the rebels.  The assassination came as a “slap in the face” of the Western countries that have come to recognize the rebel National Transitional council as the legitimate government.

Earlier this week, Britain expelled visiting diplomats representing Col. Gaddafi, adding its name to a growing list of Western Nations that have recognized the rebel groups of Libya as the rightful source for the formation of a government.  Along with the USA, the nations of the EU have actively supported the Libyan movement for liberalization, supplying rebels with funding and arms.  Yet the supposed unity and righteousness of the Libyan movement has been thrown into disarray because of the apparent deception by fellow rebels.  Blame has been thrown at the feet of al-Qaeda, as well as Gaddafi. As ever, turmoil has left the people of Libya seeking a scapegoat for retribution.

Ibrahim Beatelmal, the military spokesperson for the NTC (Naitonal Transitional Council), has stated that the death of the General will not lead to internal division; yet there have been persistent reports of low moral, fracturing, and rumors of potential internal purges.  As history has shown, the use of purges has never served as a precursor for a successful government or movement.  Moreover, with NATO’s and the EU’s support being questioned, the outlook for the Libyan rebel may be worse than thought.

With the global community in the draws of vast unemployment, debt, and general financial recessions, the billions spent on Libya are being debated and cut.  The coalition of NATO countries partaking in the air campaigns are under strain by public opposition domestically, as well as reports for high civilian casualties (rumored to be 700) being directly caused by NATO air sorties.  The USA has already limited its support by lending support indirectly through its European allies, who have also begun a withdrawal of their support.  Italy has withdrawn its only aircraft carrier and half of its airforce contingent,mirroring Norway’s full withdrawal of all F-16 warplanes.  With much of the pressure being put upon the remaining countries (Britain, France, Belgium, Denmark, and Canada), NATO’s involvement may be coming to a rapid end.

Furthermore, political negotiations have yielded as much success as the NATO bombings apparently, as Libyan diplomats have stated that the sides have only grown more apart, leaving peace talks polarized from either side.  So saying, military involvements and political negotiations have both failed to yield a solution; rather, both have seemed to have furthered the degradation of the situation.  With foreign funding and military assets, the rebel militia have experienced slim results which brings into question what the  expectations my be awaiting once NATO is forced to depart.  Evidently, the”Arab Spring” has not yielded the quick liberalism the troubled region had aimed at; rather, the “Spring” seems to be rolling towards a long future of turmoil and uncertainty.

Cyprus: 2 States, 1 Government

Territoriality and security issues have led to an impasse on UNFICYP sponsored negotiations between two long standing enemies, the Republic of Cyprus and the Turkish Republic of Cyprus.

Current negotiations, being mediated by the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP), are aimed at the eventual establishment of a federal government with a single international personality consisting of a Turkish and Greek Cypriot Constituent State, both of equal status.  Beginning on July 25th, a series of 4 meetings have been devoted to governance and power-sharing. Nevertheless, Michalis S. Michael, Deputy Director for the Center for Dialogue, has stated that despite the 126 high-level meetings since 2008, little progress has been achieved on the core issues separating the two sides: territory and security issues.

The agreement on the creation of a bicommunal and a bizonal federation has brought about occurring flashbacks of Obama’s speech detailing the need to a “two state solution” the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.  The long standing conflict between these two peoples has been eons old; spanning ideology, religion, culture, and history.  Evidently, the conflict between Palestine and Israel holds a much larger place on the international stage due to its cultural and symbolic significance but the inability for cooperation to emerge serves as a shadow over the Cypriot talks.  The history of violence between Turkey and Greece on the island of Cyprus has resulted a tense relationship at best.


On the 16th of August, 1960, the island of Cyprus was established as an independent nation under the Zurich and London Agreement.  At the time, 30% of the population were Turkish Cypriots, serving as a minority of the nation.  The division of culture and peoples became evident in 1963 when Turkish and Greek Cypriots began to clash. The conflict escalated after the military junta in Athens advocated the coup d’etat by the militia group EOKA-B against Greek Cypriot president, Makarios.  According to the junta, Makarios could not be trusted to be a “true supporter” of union.  His replacement, Nikos Sampson, was an ultra-nationlist sparking Turkish fears of anti-Turkish sentiment.  In response, Turkey began to pressure the Greek Cypriot government with demands for sovereignty for the Turkish community.

Turkish fears led to military intervention on the 20th of July, 1974. Turkey launched “Operation Atilla” to force Greek Cypriot exodus from northern Cyprus and enforce Turkish equality on the island.  Following the demise of the military junta on mainland Greece, Karamanlis became the Prime Minister and aimed at a formal relaxation of tensions, detente. As with every international conflict requiring “peace” and “tranquility”, peace talks were head in Geneva. Regardless of the negotiations, both talks failed and Turkey launched a “Second Peace Operation”.  In the end, Turkey seized control of 37% -40% of northern Cyprus, forcibly removing 180,000 Greeks form their homes.  In 1983, the land was formally declared as the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus adopting a constitution and recognized only by Turkey. The division of the Turkish and Greek territory was marked by the construction of a wall (Berlin Wall?) along Lendra Street.


Furthermore, recent developments have shed some light on a potential reconciliation between the two powers. In 2004, the Republic of Cyprus was able to join both the UN and the EU, demonstrating both its political stability and economic potential as both organization have structural requirements.  Although the UN sponsored Annan Plan of 2004 failed in reunifying the divided states, the Lendra Street wall was demolished in April of 2008. The street has become a famous shopping lane for both Turkish and Greek Cypriots, as well being the 6th line of crossing between the Greek south and the Turkish north.

Sadly, the 1st meeting on July 25th marked the beginning of a series of 19 all day intensive meetings that have already begun to be plagued by disagreements and stalemate.  The Center for Dialogue stated that disagreements over reunification fundamentally revolve around its structural form, with persistent disputes over territoriality and property claims, as well as the nature of power-sharing.  The Turkish Republic has stated that it fears a strong Greek Cypriot government because it will leave them as an isolated minority.  Meanwhile, the Greek Cypriots have advocated for a strong central authority, as well as demilitarization of the Turkish region.  The Turkish people are fearful of a strong opposing military separated by only a border, leaving them guarded and resentful of Greek demands. Ironically, the fear of invasion leading to heightened military awareness was the reason for the creation of the Iron Curtain, the buffer zone of apparatchik regimes for the USSR, according to the Long Telegram by Keenan.  With history illustrating the slippery slope of international tension and  ideological opposition, the future for UNFICYP talks seem gloomy.

“Incentives for change are weaker than the security of the status quo” – Michalis S. Michael, Deputy Direcotr of the Center for Dialogue.

Boehner, Reid, and the Cliff

“Dead on arrival” has been too oft repeated these past few months as a Republican House, a Democratic Senate, and a Democratic President have yet to see eye to eye, working towards the communal goals of “We the people…”

GOP Majority Leader Boehner was forced to delay a vote on his bill because of his inability to present the statistics behind the budgets of his resolution.  First promising an estimated $1.2 trillion in cuts of Government spending, the Congressional Budget Office published that the Boehner’s resolution would only deliver $850 billion.  Moreover, Boehner’s attempt to portray Reid’s plan as an “accounting gimmick” has clearly been reciprocated towards the conservative side of the boxing ring.  The extent to which Boehner’s failure ranges is illustrated by the lack of backing from more than a dozen House Republicans, five GOP Senators, and naturally the majority of the Democratic party. Already being characterized as a “timid” resolution, the recent developments have only furthered the erosion of Boehner’s hyper-partisan stance on his ow bill, as well as his constant verbal attack on Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid.

Some Republicans have challenged the Treasury’s warnings, arguing that the economic impact of cutting off the Treasury;s borrowing power would be limited.  Clearly the inability of the American to support federal health-care, retirement benefits, military salaries, and military payments is not a considerable consequence for the conservatives.  Rather than focusing on reality, people have turned their hopes towards the Federal Reserve in an inexplicable hope that they will bailout Congress.  The truth is, the Federal Reserve must focus on the integrity of American currency.  When a central banks monetizes the debt it often loses its credibility as being politically independent and the value of the currency falls, leading to high inflation.  Consequentially, the credit rating agencies would have further grounds to downgrade the AAA rating of the US and the government would be forced to increase tax to cope with high levels of inflation.

I want to eliminate any expectation that the Fed through any mechanism could offset the impact of a default on the government debt” – Ben S. Bernanke, Federal Reserve Chairman

In regards to the Nevadan Democrat, Reid, the efforts taken by the Democrats to present a balanced resolution to appease both Obama and Republicans has yielded in slim substantial results for the future of the US. Based on reports, the main problem Republicans like Mitch McConnell have with the liberal bill is that the bill relies on funds from “winding”down wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.  So saying, Reid has taken the initiative to collaborate with both Boehner and McConnell to develop a potential compromise but the leaders remain divided over the size and duration of an increase and the mission of a debt-reduction committee that each measure would create.  Instead, Reid has taken actions to work with both aisles on Boehner’s plan, adjusting it to Obama’s interests but White House budget director Jacob J Lew had stated clearly that, “there is a lot in Speaker Boehner’s plan that we do not like and actively oppose.”

With the clock ticking and efforts towards solutions coming to their final gasps, the plan developed by Reid and fellow Democrats seems to have a more realistic chance of providing a long term solution.  Efforts towards a plan created by a GOP speaker that could not present his facts correctly does not seem as an effective means of spending America’s time.  There will be no perfect solution to the growing crisis because of the divergence of interests that exists in the US, and will always exist.  The American government must focus on creating a more perfect union, rather than focusing on just a perfect union.

Although the plans being offered by Democrats and Republicans are exactly that, plans skewed by political bias, the attacks on both plans have left elements of bipartisanship as the only available means for forward movement.  Observing the attention and hype that is heaped towards any and all developments (I, as a blogger, am I victim to this), the American government has fallen victim to moving for the sake of moving: backwards or forwards, right or left; the roads are all ending in a drop.  The will of the people has been demonstrated, 40,000 calls per hour were made to the Capitol, all of them heeding President Obama’s national address.  Expectations have risen and fallen but there are still expectations from within and without America that will bring about the construction of a bridge over the impending drop.

Global Integration

“The greatest country on earth” is faltering due to partisan efforts to blame those across the aisles, creating a vacuum in which the economies of the world will soon descend into, establishing the fact that the dreams of the past have become today’s nightmares.

Globalization was an objective of past generations in hopes of creating a global community in which all goods and people would be able to move freely. An interconnected society, they said, in which all nations would be able to have direct communications, as well as be able to readily provide assistance of any form to fellow nations. The dreams of the past have come to fruition as the links between each nation are in existent but they have become coated in fiscal gilding. As seen in the “Gilded Age” of post-Civil War America, society is coated in a fake layer of gold, an ostentatious display meant to serve as a facade of worth and prosperity. The interconnected economy, the global financial system, led to wide spread of prosperity and economic growth for many nations. Asian markets such as China and India are able to grow at extreme rates near 10% because of the readily available investments of Western markets. Yet there doe exist a mutual dependence of each economic market upon another, which has led to the current fiscal dilemma.

Foremost among recent developments are the struggles of the US against party line stubbornness that seems to only propagate throughout supposed bipartisan negotiations. Along with GOP Majority leader Boehner, the Republicans have withdrawn to their corner of a tediously long and overdrawn boxing match against the other party, the Democrats and Senator Reid. The concept of opposition parties is to inspire healthy debate to ensure the equality of the nation, to ensure that the will of the people is presented by the government, but not to bicker and pester for extended periods of time. The similarities between the Reid and Boehner plan are evident, but it is only Reid that has taken action to work across the aisle to develop the Boehner plan along lines to which President Obama would accept. Their efforts to appease both sides has been sluggish but the attempt at mediation between opposites may serve as the spark needed to bring logic to fruition. If logic prevails, a long term deficit fix may become reality, as well as a potential bipartisan committee to mediate future problems, a much needed concept in times of extreme polarization.

“This isn’t a game of chicken. This is a game of reality. We’re about to go over a cliff.” – Reid.

Moreover, the IMF has stood fast in face of growing global problems, stating clearly that the US must splinter the political impasse in Congress. The IMF stated that a US default would “have significant global repercussion, given the central role of US Treasury bonds in world financial markets”. The US stands as a beacon for Western growth and the potential for the US to default may stand as an overriding symbol for weakening confidence that even major countries in Europe cannot be trusted to pull through the growing calamity. Without the individual power to remedy the situation, the European nations would be forced to borrow, provoking a spike in borrowing costs for multiple industrialized nations as investors lose confidence in government debt. This would further handicap wealthy nations along with faltering growth and stagnating employment rates in the West. Manipulating Eisenhower’s “Domino Theory”, the defaults and crisis of one nation will spread and topple its partners and the mutual dependence of every nation on global trade will result in a global toppling of the financial system.

Furthermore, the developments in Europe have demonstrated the need for individual action, as well as international action to assist in a growing crises that spans both land and sea. Despite the breakthrough in negotiations by French President Sarkozy and German Chancellor Merkel in creating a second sweeping bailout for Greece, Moody downgraded the nation’s debt to junk bond territory. The ability for Greece to descend into one of the worst recessions in history but receive an unending stream of assistance from the backbone nations of the EU illustrates the markings of desperation for the EU. Collaboration has only yielded efforts to continue a stream of money and investment to which Greece has not been able to bounce back upon, nor have they been able to reciprocate any funds towards private investors.

The resolution to “throw money” at Greece has led to Moody warning healthy European nations, on the hook for big bailouts, to be aware of potential downgrade, emphasizing the vulnerability of France, a major trade port for America and Europe. Evidently, the limited default of Athens may become a model for other ailing nations such as Italy and Spain, further eroding the value of the Euro and the foundation of the European Union, an organization standing as a trademark of globalization.

In Britain, a long time ally of the US, the new conservative party under David Cameron has also grown tired of the rising problems of the global financial system. Because of the independence of its currency, Britain has been able to isolate itself from the majority of European crisis but its reliance on trade and investment, like every nation, will leave it open to future problems because of the lack of fiscal security in its economic partners. Similarly, the Liberal Democrats of Britain have grown tired of political rigidness and American arrogance to the growing problems of the fiscal situation, emphasized in Vince Cable’s statement: “The biggest threat to the world financial system now comes from a few right-wing nutters in the American Congress”.

Lastly, the Asian markets have also begun to feel the erosion of its trading partners overseas. From New York to London to Tokyo, problems have bee emerging, illustrating the approaching tipping point for the globalized economy. Thus far, the most prevalent fear of China, the world’s largest holder of US debt, is seeing the value of its investment decline under the circumstance that the credit rating agencies were to downgrade the US. The mutual dependence of globalized economies is no more prevalent then in the relationship between the US and China. The trade between China and the US reached an estimated $385.54 billion in 2010, and in 2010 the Chinese own over $900 billion in US bonds. Without one another, the growth and mere existence of their economies would falter and collapse.

China serves as one of the largest investors in US trade, and with the funds available from US trade, China is able to ensure the development of nations such as Brazil, Taiwan, Cuba, and even South Korea. The US and China serve as the hub of all economic development for their respective hemispheres, illustrating the importance of their continued relationship, as well as the existence of roots connecting every fiscal organization in the world. According to Thomas Mayer, the chief economist at Deutsche Bank in Frankfurt, “the only nations that would not feel such an event are those not integrated in the global financial system”. Coincidentally, the financial system has co-opted third world nations (industrializing, backward nations, etc) into the system because of their dependence on the availability of resources and trade from the modernized nations of Europe, North America, and Southeast Asia.

“The Whole World is One Neighborhood” – Franklin D. Roosevelt

Somalia: Trail of Tears and Death

Hawa Madey looked at her children, ages 2 and 3 months. They had yellowing skin and small sores on their heads, both signs of severe malnutrition. “I worry a lot about what will happen to my babies. Can you help?”

Last week, the United Nations formally declared the outbreak of a famine in two southern regions in Somalia, yet there are already 3.2 million people within Somalia that require lifesaving assistance and international relief is either slim or nonexistent. Already beginning in March, Somalian have been fleeing the land to cross the borders into Kenya and Ethiopia in search of refugee camps and hope; rather then being welcome with medical assistance, there were no doctors and no aid agencies distributing food. As Xuken Muhumed stated, “I am asking the international community to give me medication to help my children and food to feed my family. So far, I have not gotten any support”.

To make matters worse, last week, the al-Qaeda linked terrorist organization known as al-Shabab has rescinded its promise to end its barring of international aid agencies from delivering assistance to regions it controls. Perhaps the organization views foreign aid as a manipulative weapon for Christian crusaders to convert the people of Somalia, perhaps the organization aims at blocking aid to deliver its own assistance in its mission to gather support against the US backed transitional government in Somalia, or perhaps the terrorist organization has developed a conscious after discovering 19 to 24 children per 10,000 under the age of 5 are dying every day? No. The terrorist organization refuses to recognize the existence of a famine in southern Somalia. Tens of thousands of Somalian women and children are walking hundreds of miles of dust and heat, passing bodies of the more unfortunate, fleeing the worst famine in generations. Clearly, the famine is a figment of imagination that is part of a larger Western conspiracy theory to undermine the radical ideologies of al-Qaeda.

Nearly 17,000 Somalians have already fled the appalling situations of Somalia, deserting a corrupt and weak transitional government that has refused to assist in the situation because of its struggle to keep al-Shabab to establish an Islamic emirate. In Kenya about 1,300 are arriving in daily and 1,700 in Ethiopia. These are the lucky few to have survived the journey.

“These are becoming roads of death. Over half the women I talked to had to leave children to die or had children die” – Josette Sheran, UN World Food Program

Aid agencies have been sounding the alarm for months and yet the UN deceleration is only a week old, leaving any help from the international community to a slow and sluggish start. Refugee camps are on the verge of being overrun and aid agencies are struggling to keep refugees sheltered and fed. The Somalian people are strong, having dealt with 2 decades of civil war and 2 seasons of no rain, but current circumstances have not made matters worst. The World Food Program is aiming at establishing aid distribution sites and camps in Dolo, but the international community must have a stronger presence in Somalia. A stronger presence will aid the people of Somalia and help weaken the established militia of al-Shabab, a mission the West has undertaken for generations.

Jingoism in Norway and European Backlash Against Immigration

To save Norway and Western Europe from “cultural Marxism” and Islam, Anders Behring Breivik wanted to “induce the greatest amount of loss to the Labour Party” to prevent their “mass importation” of Muslims into Norway.
Jingoism was coined in Britain in 1870 during a spark of anti-Russian sentiment, exemplifying the extreme nationalism that Jingoism has come to define.  The term refers to citizens of a country judging their country as superior to another, an excessive bias and extreme nationalism.  So saying, Anders Breivik has demonstrated the illusion of false superiority that can lead to events such as”ethnic cleansing” (e.g. Bosnian Serb Genocide and Rodovan Karadzic).

Anders Breivik was responsible for the death of an estimated 76 people, which may increase due to missing peoples.  With recent updates from his trial today in Norway, Breivik worked in collaboration with two other cells to plot the car bombing in Oslo and the mass shooting in a youth labor party meeting on Utoeya island.  Believing that the killings were “gruesome” but “necessary”, Breivik contended that he was waging a Christian crusade against multiculturalism.  This coincides with his loathing for Islam and his determination to preserve a Christian Europe, rekindling old memories of Ted Kaczynski (Unabomber) and Timothy McVeigh (Oklahoma bomber).  The extent to their similarities is illustrated by Breivik’s persistent quoting of Kczynski throughout his 1,500 page hate pledge, as well as the aggression and alienation felt by both Breivik and McVeigh from their government, leading to their extreme backlash.

Furthermore, the infatuation of Breivik with nationalism and aggression is capitalized by his interest in the National Socialist German Workers Party (NSDAP) from Hitler’s Third Reich.  The movement by Hitler was aimed at the unification of all Germany under a guiding ideology, bringing Germany to the forefront of global superpowers.  Hitler scapegoated an existing minority to which the populace already felt aggression towards, aiding in his attempt to claim German superiority over surrounding nations, hence Jingoism.  Hitler further targeted the existing regime for treason as the Social Democrats had signed the “Diktat”, betraying the German people, as well as the memories of the Germans who fought for what we being taken away.  Similarly, Breivik successfully targeted a vulnerable discussion point of Muslim immigration, as well as adding violence and death through his objective of nationalism.  Moreover, Breivik felt those targeted, the Labour Party, were guilty of treason, betraying Norway by allowing Muslim migrants to live within Norwegian borders.

“Multiculturalism is an anti-European hate ideology designed to deconstruct European cultures and tradition, European identities, European Christendom and even European nation-states.  And, as such, it is an evil genocidal ideology created for the sole purpose of annihilating everything European.”  – Anders Breivik
Once again, the fear of nationalism has risen because of the lunacy of a single individual.  Though the comparison between Breivik and Hitler may be extreme, the repercussions of Breivik’s actions have brought into question the topics of globalization, multiculturalism, and the rise of nationalism within a supranational organization, the EU.  The EU is a political body that promotes supranational identities, illustrated by its intended creation of the “United States of Europe”, but cries for sovereignty and independence led to the planned political unionization to fall through.  Today, the EU accommodates sub-national identities and cultural differences within the EU; therefore, the EU citizenship merely compliments the existing national citizenship as the national is still taken as the point of reference throughout the EU block.

Nevertheless, one stated purpose of the EU is to guarantee the free movement of people across borders. It is this point that has brought conflict to the European Union.  The migration of Eastern European peoples, as well as Middle Eastern peoples, has led to an increase of nationalist fears. This was most commonly seen by the forced exodus of the Gypsies from France back to Romania and further embodied by France outlawing the public wearing of full-face Muslim veils, or niqabs, in April 2011.  Coupled together with the growing power of conservatives and nationalist powers throughout the European continent, the anti-multicultural sentimenet has been evident for a growing period of time.  One rather startling example is the lack of an elected government in Belgium because of nationalistic tendencies within the country that is home to Brussels, the de facto headquarters of the EU.  The growing divergence between the Dutch-speaking Flemish and French-speaking Walloon in Belgium has left a power vacuum in Belgium for over a year, the longest recorded period of time that a country has gone without a government in the world.

Elsewhere, right-wing populism has been on the rise, illustrating the backlash against immigration.  For example, the Jobbik Party in Hungary, essentially a xenophobic aligned party, won 47 seats in elections this year, up from none in 2006.  Another example are the Netherlands, known for tolerance, who held elections in which the far-right party known as the Party for Freedom won 15%.  So saying, the re-nationalization of Europe is most clearly displayed by the Western European countries because of their allure to eastern people for being liberal, wealthy, and home to supposed tolerance.  Ironically, France and Germany, two countries home to more Muslim immigrants that the majority of Europe, are the two most opposed towards Turkish membership in the EU.  In 2010, Chancellor Merkel even stated that “multiculturalism has failed”.

The countries of the EU were joined together by future thoughts of prosperity and an unbreakable bond of fellowship, an idealistic symbol that seemed possible after the events of both World War II and the Cold War.   Yet, the globalized society of the world has only added to the disparity between the West and the East, leading to the East dreaming of the luxuries of the West.  As with every circumstance in history, the lure of democracy and freedom leads to those with it, trying to keep it.  The growing problems of the world, both political and financially, have forced nations to be wary of all persons and all motives.  The concept of “fish eat fish world” has become prevalent as the growing weight of these problems has created a “powder barrel” in which each member of society is reaching a breaking point.  Anders Breivik, as throughout history, has served  as a unique example of extreme consequences of paranoia and intolerance.

As the people are oft to say: “With death comes hope”.  An international message has been delivered across land and sea. Society must listen and join together to confront the seemingly endless problems that plague a nation filled with great minds, great ideas, and great potential.

To the families and friends of all those that have lost in Norway, you have my condolences and my well wishes towards a much brighter future.