Rohingya Muslims Driven from Myanmar
Tensions between the militaristic governments of Myanmar — also called Burma — and the Rohingya Muslims who live in the Rakhine region on the border of Myanmar and Bangladesh, have been building for years. In 2017, the situation came to a head.
Over the course of roughly the last year, nearly 700,000 Muslim refugees have fled Myanmar, braving fields of landmines to seek shelter in Bangladeshi refugee camps. But Bangladesh is not able to adequately support the growing number of Rohingya, and conditions in the camps are rapidly deteriorating.
World leaders have called on Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi, who has driven efforts to bring democracy to the country, to do something. However, Suu Kyi has been relatively unwilling to step in, and with the global community largely ignorant, refugees are dying on both sides of the border.
War in Yemen Claims Civilian Lives
Yemen is not a place that comes with a positive connotation in the U.S. media. The highly conflicted region has been a hotbed of illicit terrorist and proxy war activity. This latest altercation, however, is not directly tied to the United States.
A clash between Houthi forces out of Yemen and Shi’a Islamists backed by a Saudi coalition has evolved into a humanitarian crisis. Airstrikes began in 2015, and since that time over 12,000 civilian casualties have been recorded.
Saudi Arabia has sought to cover up the level of violence in the small middle-eastern country, and with help from a U.S. media that remains focused on our partisan issues, they’re having success.
North Korea — Is a Policy Shift in Motion?
Typically, when we hear about North Korea in the news, it's to announce another missile test or verbal sparring with president Trump. However, during this year's Olympic Games in South Korea, the typically reserved North Korean state showed remarkable cooperation with their neighbors and other nations.
North Korean troops marched side-by-side with South Koreans in the opening ceremony of the games. The joint Korean teams marched in front of a white flag with images suggesting a unified Korea. Kim Jong-un's sister even made a point of showing up for multiple high-profile events. But not everyone is convinced the calm will remain.
A partisan divide in Korean politics has left some questioning whether the Olympic honeymoon is just a tactic. Conservatives from the south worry that Un may ask for a halt to joint exercises between the south and USA, possibly in exchange for a halt to missile testing that North Korea could cheat on.
Turning a Blind Eye
Even though many Americans don’t know about these issues, we remain enthralled with the tribulations of the Trump administration and other partisan issues. While these are things we should pay attention to, allowing ourselves to become cut off from the rest of the world isn’t a good idea unless we want to become the next North Korea.
Kate Harveston is a political journalist from Pennsylvania. If you like her writing, you can find more of it on Centrist Project, Independent Voter Network, or on her personal blog, Only Slightly Biased.
Views and opinions expressed in guest posts do not necessarily reflect those of Unite America.