December 19, 2011 by Abukar Arman
In every society there is a small group of people who possess adequate authority to influence positive (or negative) change. This group—often referred to as The Elite—could come from any sector of a society from military, economic, political, social, spiritual, to the intellectual. In one way or another, every one of these circles of authority has participated in the failure of the Somali state. However, none has rejected that notion more than the Intellectual Class, whether religious, secular, or in-between.
Of course, contrary to the common misconception, not all intelligent persons, high achievers, or academically credentialed people who become experts in one field or another are intellectuals.
Unlike the segment often referred to as experts and technocrats whose function is often focused on the micro level of structure and governance, intellectuals, by and large, focus on the macro. They produce ideas that influence powers that be and shape history by moving societies towards one direction or another.
December 19, 2011 by Daniel Wagner
It comes as no surprise that Kim Jong Il died at a relatively young age of a heart attack over the weekend. Having suffered from ill health for a number of years (cancer and, more recently, a stroke), he was well known for his pleasurable excesses, and his father, Kim Il Sung, also died of a heart attack.
Kim Jong Il knew his end was near, which prompted him to catapult his youngest son — Kim Jong Un — believed to be just 28 years old, as his named successor.
December 19, 2011 by Ethan Wilkes
Note: All photos are the exclusive property of Ethan Wilkes. Photos of North Korea were taken in August 2007 and shots of South Korea in September 2009.
There are parts of the planet that are hopelessly poor. North Korea should not be one of them. Sitting at the crossroads of one of the most economically dynamic regions of the world, the dismal state of decay that this country currently finds itself is not a product of poor geography, but of decades of maligned politics and policies.
When stepping off the Tupolev Tu-154 and onto the tarmac at Sunan International Airport in Pyongyang, the impression is an immediate and profound “it doesn’t have to be this way.” Once seeing South Korea that impression is only reaffirmed tenfold.
December 19, 2011 by Iqbal Ahmed
I met with a friend, an expat from Bangladesh like me, at a bar in Arlington on the eve of Bangladesh’s Victory Day on December 16 for drinks. It was already December 16 in Bangladesh because of the 11-hour time difference. After a few beers, my friend, who is 10 years older than me, offered to tell me a story. It was April 1, 1971. I was six years old.
The West Pakistan Army unleashed its attack on East Pakistan on the night of March 25. We stayed in Dhaka for a couple of days until my father told us to get ready to leave the city on March 28.
December 19, 2011 by John Lyman
Following the news that Kim Jong-il has died at the age of 69 of a heart attack while traveling by train, international reaction from American and European policymakers and government officials has ranged from reserved calm to almost gleefulness.
William Hague, Britain’s foreign secretary, said, “This could be a turning point for North Korea. We hope that their new leadership will recognise that engagement with the international community offers the best prospect of improving the lives of ordinary North Korean people.”