The world outside of Western
War in Iraq: With United
States President George W. Bush’s
popularity floundering in opinion polls, it seems to be time
for the Bush administration to take action to counter the negativity.
Hence, the proposed bumping up of Iraq’s first national
election from January 2005 to this fall.
Currently under fire for the widely publicized photos depicting
U.S. soldiers abusing Iraqi prisoners — most notably
at the now-infamous Abu Ghraib prison, where prisoners were
photographed being paraded around on leashes and forced into
naked human pyramids — Bush et al are determined to show
their support for a rapid transition to self-rule in Iraq.
In the meantime, an interim government put together by the
United Nations is set to take power in Iraq on June 30. However,
the UN Security Council has raised concerns about whether this
government will really restore sovereignty in Iraq, or if U.S.
occupation will continue to prevent this from becoming a reality.
This concern hinges on the reluctance of U.S. officials to
hand over greater control of the U.S.-led multinational military
force to the new Iraqi leaders.
Gaza raids: Israeli troops have left the Rafah refugee camp,
located in the Gaza strip, after spending the past week demolishing
Palestinian homes in an effort to destroy arms-smuggling tunnels,
which the military believed to exist below the dwellings.
Estimates of the damage done vary greatly. Palestinian officials
claimed 300 houses were destroyed in the raid while Israel
pegged the number at 56. The United Nations total currently
stands at 45.
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon faced criticism from all
sides for the attacks, which prompted the withdrawal. Palestinian
leader Yasser Arafat has promised to prepare a Gaza security
plan by June 15.
Federal Election: Roll out the lofty promises, cutting attacks
and stale rhetoric — the Canadian federal election is
set for June 28, and the politicos are making their faces visible
across the nation.
Nationalism has become a key word in the federal election
campaign as Liberals accuse Conservatives of wanting to turn
Canada into a mini-America, while Conservatives argue such
claims are without merit and instead suggest Liberals are using
a nationalistic stance as justification for financial scandal
and mismanagement: “Waste my money, I’m Canadian.”
In other news, the New Democratic Party has worked hard to
create a roster of extreme leftist promises while Bloc Quebecois
leader Gilles Duceppe is intent on playing down his party’s
sovereigntist stance in a valiant effort to capture one or
two votes outside of Quebec.