Swing voters…looking for a wonk? Reply

In the lead up to the Presidential debates, the two candidates are courting the swing voters or those who haven’t decided yet who they are going to vote for. As an absentee ballot voter myself, I probably should count myself among those who haven’t quite made up their minds for whom they’re going to cast their vote. The latest international events have given me food for thought and I must admit I’m a little disappointed at how the United States is dealing with the Arab Spring. Wikileaks Julian Assange came out of hiding yesterday (he’s holed up in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London to avoid being extradited on…trumped up?…charges of wrongful sexual conduct in Sweden…) to speak his mind. He proclaimed that the Arab Spring was being sold down the road for political reasons. I’ll always remember  Neda Soltan, a beautiful Iranian woman who died on the streets of Tehran on Saturday, June 20. She was a student of philosophies at Tehran University. According to news reports, she was just a bystander who was watching the protesters with her father, a university professor.   As a woman, a professor and someone who is interested in what’s happening to women across the world, she touched my heart and her vision still haunts me.She has become an icon for the Arab Spring and the hopes and dreams of the young people who dared combat a tyrannical regime. But to really understand what’s happening in the Middle East and America’s role in these burgeoning revolutions would take a real “wonk”. This word is being thrown around a lot during this electoral period as someone who is an expert, a nerd, a specialist, etc. in some field. Here I think we need a “wonk” in International affairs and who is not afraid to speak the truth. A lot of my students have been asking me about Julian Assange’s speech to the United Nations. So to satisfy their curiosity (and mine) let’s listen to the Wikileak’s founder while keeping an open mind and with no particular political agenda involved just the resolve to listen to all sides: Julian Assange UN Speech transcript

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