US Pulls Out of Iran Nuclear Deal

It was a long time coming. In all fairness, President Donald Trump did warn us before today.

But we didn’t think he was actually going to do it. Not really.

But it did happen. And when it did, all people could think about was if Iran would start making Nuclear weapons again, violating the very purpose of forming the JCPOA, or Joint Comprehensive Plan Of Action.

The US President announced that he would, in time, work on another deal concerning Iran’s uranium enrichment policy, something which the JCPOA covered in all manners and forms. He said that Iran would come to the US for another deal.

But the withdrawal is wrong on so many levels.

For one, the USA finds itself isolated on many issues like the Paris Accords, the trilateral trade treaty between Mexico, USA, and Canada, and now the Iranian Nuclear Deal. The Nuclear deal was signed in 2015, when America’s allies joined it to limit the prospects of a Iranian Nuclear program. The US was obviously the most important player in the deal.

And now its withdrawal from the deal will expose it’s policies like a nerve to the rest of the world- on this issue, America’s allies have a different policy. This will prompt some irritation at best.

For another, it is possible that Iran may not want another deal with USA. In that scenario, USA would have to assess its options very carefully. Will it feel comfortable if this deal remains? Moreover, will it be comfortable with the idea that is not a part of a deal which directly restricts the capabilities of its rival? We already know the answer to that, but it prompts another question.

What are the options of the United States of America?

It has restricted itself to only a few options- those of a regime change (which would be disastrous), that of another deal (which is not likely) and that of reverting back to good old sanctions, which the EU and the rest of its allies may not even impose on their part.

None of these options are likely to benefit the US. Oil prices are bound to rise, which would make everyone very unhappy. It’s relationship with its allies may turn a bit bitter. Of course, there’s also the concern about the deal falling out if Iran decides to pull out of the agreement.

This route of not engaging in negotiations and dialogue may not pay off. There is no way that Iran will want another more restrictive deal. The USA is not happy with the current deal.

The most plausible (and better) situation for the deal is that JCPOA will continue without the USA.

The more worrying trend though, is that USA has not honoured its agreements. There is going to be instability if there is a change in government. But international dynamics are such that even a small upset could tip the balance into a haywire situation in which no one knows what’s going to happen next. This is naturally going to do more harm than good to the whole world. Screen Shot 2018-05-09 at 4.35.58 PM

 

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What Happened? Inside the Secret China-North Korea Meeting

The United States was quietly picking up the pace of its economy when it suddenly noticed, that it didn’t matter. After the decades of the Cold War, the United States had cemented its place as the leading world power- effectively ending the bipolarity which had existed in the years predating the 1970s.

The USSR (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) had disintegrated, leaving Russia as the only large force to be reckoned with, and that too disappeared when the economy collapsed as a result of the ‘Shock Therapy’ which was the defining factor that destroyed Russia’s economy (it only started picking up in 2000).

And now, none of these two former superpowers are leading. Now, it’s China which is picking up the pace.

Just this week, China held a secret meeting with the reclusive leader of North Korea, Kim Jong Un. This came despite the fact that Donald Trump had claimed just a few weeks earlier that North Korea had agreed for direct talks with the US. Ahem.

China’s political move was a master move. Secrecy was obviously of the utmost importance. China couldn’t have an official, publicised meeting with a man like Kim Jong Un. The US would scream it’s head off, and as a result of ‘supporting the USA in it’s sanctions and diplomatic isolation war’ against North Korea, China would have been forced to cancel the meeting. Thus ending any forms of communication.

The USA doesn’t want just anyone speaking to North Korea. They’re still the most militarily advanced nation in the world. Their economy is still the largest. They would want to be consulted, at least, before anyone spoke to North Korea. They demand it, not because of logistic reasons, but also because they want to maintain their place as the world’s leader.

But the reality is that China is unstoppable, and the USA is hitting hurdles because it’s being hit by internal problems like the Russia Probe and the hoards of people who leave the administration everyday.

The appointment of the new National Security Advisor John Bolton came as a shock. John Bolton used to represent the US at the United Nations, and also advocated for war against Iran.

He is someone who normally wouldn’t prefer diplomatic talks to war. He is someone who could be dangerous to military regimes like North Korea and the events taking place in the Korean Peninsula could have profound effects on China’s state and influence in Asia.

So, they planned a meeting before John Bolton even took office and thus prevented some tensions. Tensions, which could have hurt China’s stability.

Well done, China.

 

 

UNYCC 2018

As an international relations fanatic, I was extremely excited to know that I had been selected to attend the Young Changemakers Conclave.

I knew that there were a lot of famous keynote speakers at that event. Some of them were Justin Trudeau, Rupi Kaur, and Dia Mirza.

UNYCC 2018 was a lifetime experience because I could see my inspiration speaking some meters from me. It was certainly an experience I would never forget.

Justin Trudeau was introduced by his wife, Sophie Gregoire Trudeau who is just as fantastic as her husband. They raised important issues such as gender equity, wage gaps, and also social barriers for deprived sections of society.

I was in awe of how he was able to captivate the audience. His charisma and the way of conduct appealed to everyone inside the stadium. His speech was riddled with personal experiences and his time in India as well.

Perhaps the most important of all was, however, the fact that Justin Trudeau seemed so relatable. Part of that is because of his age, and his ideals. He represents what the youth all over the world wants- change. And that is what he preached in his speech.

He advised us change the perceptions of society and bring about real change because we are the only ones who could do so.

The other speakers- especially Rupi Kaur and Dia Mirza, had really outshone themselves. Rupi Kaur, with her verses and the trance she sang her poems in coupled with Dia Mirza’s personality made the event a truly memorable one.

Sean Spicer And His Spicy Six Months In The White House

 

And it is official, ladies and gentlemen. Sean Spicer has resigned.

Kudos to those who called it, and surprise for those who woke up in the morning to find that the White House Press Secretary resigned.

Sean Spicer, who found himself in a lot of news for the past six months, finally decided to resign when Donald Trump decided to make Anthony Scaramucci the White House Communications Director.

Sean Spicer had argued against the decision several times, according to leaks. However, instead of taking a step back and reconsidering his decision, Trump went forward and appointed Scaramucci as his communications director.

 

Long story short, Sean was not amused. So he resigned, bringing his spicy six months in the office to an end.

 

The foremost reason for his resignation in my opinion would be the fact he was not on the right page with the rest of the administration.

It has been exemplified by some events in the past.

The main reason Trump hired Sean Spicer on the advice of Reince Priebus, the Chief of Staff. Otherwise, Trump notes, he wouldn’t have even hired Spicer.

Spicer’s Six spicy months in the office have proven to take a toll on how the Trump administration has been perceived by the general public. After all, the Press Secretary is supposed to answer the media on behalf of the President.

He made insensitive remarks about the Holocaust, told a reporter to stop shaking her head, attacked the media for accurately reporting the inauguration crowd, wrongly used a PEW study to support Trump’s claim about non-citizen voting, said that the President called immigration action a ‘ban’ because of the media, and also used a salad dressing analogy to defend the White House.

And it were these remarks that drew laughs, tears of frustration, and certain ‘forehead smacking’ moments from the American public.

Each of the mentioned remarks by Spicer were completely ridiculous and nonsensical. Each of them refused to take proven historical facts, statistics, and raw data into account. Each of those statements ignored everything wrong with the Trump administration and attacked the media on the role they were supposed to play in the first place.

It’s not Trump, however, who has to breathe a sigh of relief as this only complicates the situation further.

Sean Spicer has distanced himself from the sinking administration. Now, Trump must try to convince the public that the members of the White House are on the right page (which, by Spicer’s resignation, has been proven false). And since Scaramucci and Preibus aren’t exactly best buddies, this situation has only just started. It shows signs of getting worse. Since Trump has taken charge, there have been eight instances where it is obvious that his own people disagree sometimes with the President, or have resigned or been fired.

The most notable example of such a discrepancy between members is that of the firing of Preet Bharara who had been promised his job by the President. The other 46 attorneys had quietly resigned.

Previously, Sally Yates had been fired by Trump for not supporting Trump on his travel ban, and she had also drawn much attention to the confused then NSA, Michael Flynn.

And now, Sean Spicer.

This is just proof that the Trump administration is confused. Rather than making laws and ensuring welfare, they seem to be protecting themselves in this plethora of controversies.

Well, at least Sean Spicer didn’t stick around in this sinking ship.

 

 

 

The Role of Women in Films

 

A few months ago, I was seeing a film, which involved a guy chasing a girl (sometimes literally) and asking her for her number, address, and what not. The girl keeps on saying no, and focuses on her studies like the normal human she is. But the boy doesn’t give up. Skipping the pleasantries, the boy and the girl, in the end, get married.

Now, these films do not show the reality of life, as many of you know.

In reality, situations like these hardly ever end well.

Instead of getting married to the boy, the girl has acid thrown on her face for refusing to get married to a certified creep. Instead of leading a happy life, the girl is sold off by her parents for money.

These kind of films do promote a certain level of objectification. They teach people that it’s okay to stare at and pursue a woman endlessly if she’s dressed in shorts and crop tops (like anyone who is normal); it’s okay to randomly stalk and click pictures of a girl even if she has said ‘NO’ many times.

But it’s not. It is not a joke, and it does not end happily.

I see interviews of many film stars, and they always talk about bringing some kind of revolution to the table. But what kind of a revolution do these stars want? Do they want a revolution against women? Or for women?

Many directors and producers claim their films to be ‘real, authentic, and in keeping with reality.’ But it’s not reality to say that women are comfortable with this kind of staring.

Even in songs, the women are dressed in skimpy dresses and dance of in front of a group of men who ‘order’ her to dance. And they’re portrayed as happy. But why are they happy about being objectified?

Here, we arrive at the role of women in films.

Is the role of women only ‘dancing’ to songs which talk about their body? Is the role of women to bend to the will of men? More importantly, if the role of women is that important in these films, is it okay to subject women to objectification?

First, it’s not the films which need a revolution. It is merely the role of women. Bring me a plot where the boy stalks the girl, but instead of falling in love, the girl makes a stand for herself. Make it a thriller, or make it a horror, but don’t subject the actors who are acting to a weak character like that.

Second, there isn’t a revolution needed for singers, but there’s a revolution needed for the kind of songs they write. The kind of songs I hear are truly GHASTLY. They are so vulgar and so demeaning that it is hard to imagine how one could have written a song about the weight of a girl. Not only are you saying that girls who weigh less are more pretty, but you are also objectifying her and her body.

Third, actresses themselves must put a foot down and think about all the young children who will watch and probably learn from the films about what they are and what they are not supposed to do in an uncomfortable situation.

Fourth, if the film industry is unable to move past its obsession with skimpily dressed girls and violent men with absolutely no morals, then maybe there is a need for a revolution where we start producing contemporary films which show the stark reality that many filmmakers refuse to acknowledge.

As a milennial, it’s never okay for me to see these things going on and to see women not getting their due respect. It’s not okay to see that women are being objectified and their roles are being defined by some people who do not even understand the basic struggles of women.

So, till women get their rightful place in the world, I will not stop writing about the daily issues that concern them, and their basic rights which are still being denied to them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comey VS Trump: A Non-American Student’s Perspective

If you’re a Political Science fanatic like moi, you would know that June 8th was no ordinary day.

It was perhaps THE most important day in the history of modern day politics of the United States. Maybe it was because Donald Trump didn’t even grace the American Public with the tweets they have come to love, or maybe it was the fact that fired FBI Director James Comey’s statements have pushed the American People to lose confidence in their President (not that there was much confidence in the first place), but the Trump scandal is finally coming to light.

After all the statements made by Comey, and after receiving no response from Donald Trump on twitter, one thing can be inferred: Donald Trump is certainly going to be one of the most infamous Presidents.

Comey VS Trump has totally changed the dynamics of present day politics in America. For one, Comey apparently has nothing to lose (he already lost his JOB), and in the eyes of the public, that makes him a very very reliable source of information, because he is no longer bounded by the rules of being a Director of the FBI. Sure, in this situation, Comey will get back his reputation, but it doesn’t make sense that he would lie to the general public to do so.

Second, according to James Comey, he has considerable proof against Jeff Sessions as he spoke in his hearing, but cannot reveal them in a public session. That puts Jeff Sessions in a very tricky spot, because of the reports of him going to a THIRD meeting with Russian ambassador to the United States Sergey Kislyak during Trump’s election campaign.

On March 2, Sessions had recused himself from the investigation relating to Russia’s involvement into the campaign which had potentially changed results.

Here is what Comey said: (I’ve highlighted the important)

“Our judgment as I recall was that he was very close to, and inevitably going to, recuse himself for a variety of reasons. We also were aware of facts that I can’t discuss in an open setting, that would make his continued engagement in a Russia-related investigation problematic. And so we were – we were confronted and, in fact, I think we had already heard that the career people were recommending that he would recuse himself, that he was not going to be in contact with Russia-related matters much longer. That turned out to be the case.”

This clearly implies that there was some ulterior motive as to why Sessions had recused himself from the investigation, unlike the reason that he had provided to the public (He had involvement in the campaign and his staff advised him to recuse himself of the investigation).

Third, Donald Trump just implied on twitter, weeks ago, that there are tapes. James Comey, whose only defence is his memo, is daring-BEGGING- the President to publish those conversations about him telling to drop the Flynn Investigation and to ‘let it go because Flynn is a good guy.’

A conversation between the President and the Director of the FBI would be really inappropriate (according to Comey) and would also put the FBI at the mercy of the President who didn’t want an investigation to open up which potentially dealt with whether he was directly involved with the Russians when they interfered with the election in USA.

It all rests upon how the closed hearing is going to go. Either Trump is going to be found guilty of Obstruction to justice, or he will walk away from this, having won a legal battle, but not a moral one.

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What Happened To Women’s Reservation Bill In India?

When the ‘Modi Wave’ took over India three years back, it resulted in a landslide victory for BJP which formed the government in India. I admit I was also captivated by the image projected by Prime Minister Narendra Modi: A new age, a new India free from all the corruption, all the promises about no disappointment, development at a rate faster than any country had ever exhibited. But I was a mere thirteen-year-old kid, with an easily influenced mind. I saw Modi as a powerful leader, who will deliver under any circumstances or pressure. It might have been true too.

B​ut what really impressed me was BJP’s commitment to go ahead with the much delayed promise of reserving seats for women candidates in the Parliament and state assemblies. That was what had made me support BJP (not that I could vote) in the first place.

It’s been three years and nothing has been done for the countless women who want to be a part of Indian politics. There has been no action taken by the Government with regard ​to reserving seats for women. The current number of women in Parliament stands at 61​,​ which is just 11.1%​ of the total of 545​.

And there is hardly any difference in the number of women BJP MPs vis-a-vis the number of women in the previous Congress Government. While Congress had 59 women MPs, BJP has just two more at 61.

 

This is a sad state of affairs.According to BJPs Manifesto, a  ‘Comprehensive scheme to encourage positive attitude amongst families towards the girl child’ must be made. 
​The mindset towards women in politics and other field remains conservative and backward. ​

We are more than halfway into the term for a political party to be in power. The opportunity to do something good for women has almost passed. The literacy rates for girls are still low. The mindset still hasn’t changed. And Indian society is one which is still extremely patriarchal. 
The one thing that the BJP government can feel proud of is the fact that they have started the path toward development, but the pace is too slow. Gender based violence is pushing women out of the public sphere. They no longer feel safe roaming on streets in a male dominated area. 
​BJP has also launched schemes like Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao. ​This scheme was launched to check the steep fall in the Child Sex Ratio in the country and to promote the idea of education among families with girl children. 

 

For something revolutionary to happen, the mindset towards women must be combated directly through means of law enforcement. We must move towards a brighter and safer India, where every woman can keep her head high, and join politics to directly make a definitive change in our country.