A Broken World

Voniel Brown, Reporter

2014 is shaping up to be a very interesting year, with all of the events that have already occurred and the ones that are bound to follow. As it currently stands, the entire world is in a peculiar state, which has left it in limbo on many fronts. Anything and everything is bound to occur in mere instants, which could shock the entire world. The political landscape of the world is in dire straits with all of the political turmoil, that has almost become commonplace throughout parts of the world. At the current state of the year, one would be inclined to believe that the entire world is going bonkers.  Here are just some of the few events that took place this year.

A plane filled with unaware passengers could suddenly vanish, without a trace. Causing for the entire world to wonder exactly what could have gone wrong. A Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 went off course on what was to be a routine flight from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to Beijing on March 8 with 239 people on board.  Not a single trace of the jet has been found since its disappearance, despite an extensive search by many different countries. That has ranged from satellite intelligence to grid search of the ocean’s surface by naval ships. The search was met with great challenges, due to the lack of substantial information.  The search lasted almost two months. After those two month, authorities decided a change course and began to search the ocean floor for clues. Still, nothing has been found.

All across the world political climates have been shifting, in a maelstrom of flaring emotions. From Brazil to Ukraine protesters have taken the streets to voice their discontent with their country’s administrations. While most of the protest that occurred around the world descended into violence, no other erupted more than the revolution that took place in the Ukraine. What started as protests for the future of the country’s allegiance, further relations with Russia or membership in the EU, quickly became something worse. Due to heavy handed tactics used by its government, protesters eventually began to take up arms to defend themselves.  The movement, created a chaotic situation. The protesters (EuroMaidan) were successful in the deposing of the then pro-Russian president Viktor Yanukovych, however this was not the end by a long shot. Not long after the ousting of Yanukovych, the Russian majority of the Crimean peninsula decided to break free from mainland Ukraine creating their own republic, an act backed by the Russian government. In the days to followed, unidentified armed men (later discovered to be Russian troops) filled into Crimea and promptly began to siege the Ukrainian military bases on the peninsula.

A referendum was held on May 16, 2014 on the future status of Crimea, which 95.60% believed joining the Russian Federation was the best course for the republic. This then lead to a landslide movement for most of Eastern Ukraine’s provinces pushing to create their own republic in hopes to accede to Russia. In response to pro-Russian militia activity, pro-Ukrainian militias have popped up to defend eastern Ukraine from the separatist. The new Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko vows to end the occupation of eastern Ukraine, which is evident in the decisive military action of the Ukrainian military towards the pro-Russia militia.

Another country that has turned into a tinderbox is Thailand. The country is currently embroiled in a political mess that does not seem to be clearing up anytime soon. The country has been in the mist of political unrest for months, with the opposition movement saying the democratically elected government, must be disposed because it is corrupt.  In the occurring protest a number of people have already been killed in the violence.  The problem arises from the deep political divide present in Thailand, between the mostly rural, often than not poor, supporters of Thaksin Shinawatra (the former Prime Minister of Thailand disposed by the military in 2006), and the urban middle class who claim that his presence can still be felt in Thai politics. Both sides have conducted regular protest since the disposition of Thaksin in 2006, however in the past few years the focus has been shifted to the current ruling Pheu Thai government (a thaksin approved government).

The protests slowly began to escalate into violence in November, after the lower house of the Thai Parliament passed an amnesty bill, which many believed could lay the groundwork for Thaksin making a return from exile without serving time in jail. Further  escalation of the crisis occurred earlier this month, when a court ruling removed Thaksin’s sister Yingluck from her position as prime minister, on the basis that she acted illegally by repositioning  her national security chief to another position. Due to the unrest and mass protest that were taking place in the country, the Thailand military took to the streets and issued martial law on May 20. The division in Thailand did not stop at only the people of the streets; it went to the people in uniform as well. It has long been suspected that the police favored the current Pheu Thai government policies, while the military was along the lines of the anti-government movement. This made sense in the fact that the Thai military has a long history of disposing the Thai government. This recent coup makes the 12th time the military has taken action against civilian rule since the end of absolute monarchy in 1932.

The world as it stands is in utter chaos, no one knows truly what the next weeks will bring. Countries that were once relatively calm, now find themselves in socioeconomic nightmares. The conflict in Ukraine does not appear to have an end in sight. If one is possible, the east will bleed before it is all over. Thailand is in a sticky situation, with yet another military coup which could not come at a worse time since the country is so greatly divided. If the junta was to be abolished, the political division will tear the country apart.

A beacon of hope and progress, that was birthed through chaos and strife, is the opening of the 9/11 memorial on May 21, 2014. This stands to serve as a reminder of endurance and perserverance to overcome trying times.  So, let us hope!