Ever since the Ottoman Empire dissolved and the various world powers got their hands on it, the Middle East has been ensconced in conflict. For much of that time, the United States has been heavily involved in Middle Eastern politics. Specifically, it has recently battled the terrorist groups Al Qaeda, ISIS, and the Taliban. As a result of President Bush’s occupation of Iraq, Obama’s “War on Terror”, and Trump’s continued refusal to eject troops from the region, America still ravages an entire subcontinent. Despite this damage and death, America remains ineffective at quelling terrorism. Though ISIS has a greatly reduced presence, they and the other groups remain a significant problem for many Middle Easterners. But amidst America’s “well-intentioned” but damaging military action, local armies are also rising up to defend their own homes. The most notable of these is the Kurdish-based army, Rojava.
Just over a week ago, three Facebook users broke the internet with a peculiar event. In an effort to finally “see them aliens“, the users declared a (pretty clearly satirical) intention to storm Area 51 early in the morning on September 20th. Over a span of just a couple of days, the post skyrocketed in popularity, with hundreds of thousands of people “going” and “interested”. But late Sunday night, the event reached a new level: one million people now say they will attend.
Without a doubt, police brutality is a serious issue that the country must grip. After all, in the United States, cops kill 10 times as many people as mass shooters do; even the FBI grants that more than half of those are unjustified. It doesn’t stop at murder, either. With nearly a quarter of the world’s prison population (despite having only 4% of the world’s overall population, the highest incarceration rate on Earth), the country has sent its police officers to arrest countless people. Many of these individuals have not committed a crime, and an astonishing 86% of prisoners did not commit a crime with a victim. But despite this, many will claim that the police are doing no wrong and should have no accountability, putting these people behind bars. After all, “they’re just doing their jobs”.
On the first day of the Democratic debates, candidate Tulsi Gabbard surprised the nation with her graceful and consistent speaking. On a roster of 25 other Democratic nominees, the competition buried her. Candidates like Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, and Joe Biden stole the spotlight. But after the debates, Twitter, Facebook, and 4/8Chan were alight with the name “Tulsi”. In fact, she was the most searched candidate on the night of her debate. But what was really striking was the way those on the American political right jumped to support Gabbard.
On Tuesday, April 30th, the courts finally convicted the Minneapolis police officer who killed Justine Ruszczyk. After a month-long trial, the shooter, a jury convicted “Mr. Noor” on charges of third-degree murder and manslaughter. These together carry a maximum sentence of around 35 years, but he will likely not receive it.