Sunday, May 30, 2010
The Big One: 30% of the world's land, and 60% of its population
Asia - so diverse what can possibly be pointed to? I'll start with two items, both of which frame the troubles so easily found there. #1, in late May, a tipping point was quietly passed, with more US combat troops now in Afghanistan than in Iraq. For the many who are weary of this smoldering conflict in South Asia, you are invited to read "Three Cups of Tea" by Greg Mortenson (or a sequel) for a humane and positive view which also touches on what is at stake. #2. On the far eastern side of the continent, another trouble brews. North Korea has been accused of torpedoing a South Korean military ship - China is caught in a reluctant role of buffering North Korea from a variety of angered and anxious countries in close proximity.
The two Koreas that have never resolved their civil war in the early 1950's showcase a legacy of dictatorial ideology in the North with a population in abject poverty, in contrast to a prosperous democracy in the South (albeit modern and therefore fueled by oil of course, but no matter, I really like Hyundais.) The picture by the way is part of the publicity for the North and South Korea soccer team match - both trying to qualify for the 2010 World Cup)