War Between India And Pakistan Would Be Useless And Violent

The India-Pakistan Attacks On Kashmir Show Why A War Could Be Both Useless And Dangerous

Kashmir has been caught in between these two countries as a disputed territory, and in turn, have lost 47,000 people since. How many lives would be lost if India and Pakistan went to war this time?

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The recent attacks on Kashmir, a disputed territory between India and Pakistan, have prompted a reevaluation of India-Pakistan relations. The two nations have been on ill terms since their split in 1947 after winning independence from the British.

In case you haven't heard, there have been a series of threats and physical attacks from each side over the Kashmiri border. What started this recent round of disputes was a Pakistani militant group bomb attack on Indian troops at the border, several Indian soldiers killed. An Indian airstrike followed attacking the militant group's headquarters. Pakistan's military responded with two more airstrikes and shot down an Indian plane. The rising conflict continued with the capture of an Indian pilot and a shot down Pakistani plane.

Tense Indian-Pakistani relations is nothing new, in fact, it's the norm. During the struggle for independence, a once unified colony split into a sea of burning villages and riots as the British isolated Muslims and Hindus from one another. While there was no perfect harmony between the two communities prior, there had been a peaceful enough coexistence. Since 1947, however, the two nations (though once the same people) have been in four wars and are currently inching towards one more.

What makes this so sad is not just the fact that it is essentially the same people fighting one another, but it's also the cause of a former Western power. Failing to look back on history, India and Pakistan have spent years believing in a viewpoint given by the British. Kashmir has been caught in between these two countries as a disputed territory, and in turn, have lost 47,000 people since. How many lives would be lost if India and Pakistan went to war this time?

Though they both seem to be unwilling to surrender, both countries would gain nothing in fighting a war. Pakistan would be challenging the world's fourth biggest army and the world's second best economy. India would likely be fighting a country backed by much of the middle east and even American weapon suppliers. To top it off, both India and Pakistan have nuclear weapons which could only mean mutually assured destruction, especially given the proximity to one another and the Kashmiri border. India's nuclear weapons were given by the Russians, whose indirect involvement might even instigate American involvement, given its unstable leader. Both nations need to take a moment and think about the consequences of their actions on world order and peace.

War is costly, both in lives and in money, so would it be worthy to enter a war over years of unfounded hatred? Just like Israel and Palestine, India and Pakistan should acknowledge their own faults and should not claim religion as the basis for their actions as a state. The global community is comprised of many leaders who are wavering in their opinions, but the public can pressure them to do their job and take action. Everyone must speak out. Now is the time before it's too late.

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An Open Letter To Democrats From A Millennial Republican

Why being a Republican doesn't mean I'm inhuman.
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Dear Democrats,

I have a few things to say to you — all of you.

You probably don't know me. But you think you do. Because I am a Republican.

Gasp. Shock. Horror. The usual. I know it all. I hear it every time I come out of the conservative closet here at my liberal arts university.

SEE ALSO: What I Mean When I Say I'm A Young Republican

“You're a Republican?" people ask, saying the word in the same tone that Draco Malfoy says “Mudblood."

I know that not all Democrats feel about Republicans this way. Honestly, I can't even say for certain that most of them do. But in my experience, saying you're a Republican on a liberal college campus has the same effect as telling someone you're a child molester.

You see, in this day and age, with leaders of the Republican Party standing up and spouting unfortunately ridiculous phrases like “build a wall," and standing next to Kim Davis in Kentucky after her release, we Republicans are given an extreme stereotype. If you're a Republican, you're a bigot. You don't believe in marriage equality. You don't believe in racial equality. You don't believe in a woman's right to choose. You're extremely religious and want to impose it on everyone else.

Unfortunately, stereotypes are rooted in truth. There are some people out there who really do think these things and feel this way. And it makes me mad. The far right is so far right that they make the rest of us look bad. They make sure we aren't heard. Plenty of us are fed up with their theatrics and extremism.

For those of us brave enough to wear the title “Republican" in this day and age, as millennials, it's different. Many of us don't agree with these brash ideas. I'd even go as far as to say that most of us don't feel this way.

For me personally, being a Republican doesn't even mean that I automatically vote red.

When people ask me to describe my political views, I usually put it pretty simply. “Conservative, but with liberal social views."

“Oh," they say, “so you're a libertarian."

“Sure," I say. But that's the thing. I'm not really a libertarian.

Here's what I believe:

I believe in marriage equality. I believe in feminism. I believe in racial equality. I don't want to defund Planned Parenthood. I believe in birth control. I believe in a woman's right to choose. I believe in welfare. I believe more funds should be allocated to the public school system.

Then what's the problem? Obviously, I'm a Democrat then, right?

Wrong. Because I have other beliefs too.

Yes, I believe in the right to choose — but I'd always hope that unless a pregnancy would result in the bodily harm of the woman, that she would choose life. I believe in welfare, but I also believe that our current system is broken — there are people who don't need it receiving it, and others who need it that cannot access it.

I believe in capitalism. I believe in the right to keep and bear arms, because I believe we have a people crisis on our hands, not a gun crisis. Contrary to popular opinion, I do believe in science. I don't believe in charter schools. I believe in privatizing as many things as possible. I don't believe in Obamacare.

Obviously, there are other topics on the table. But, generally speaking, these are the types of things we millennial Republicans get flack for. And while it is OK to disagree on political beliefs, and even healthy, it is NOT OK to make snap judgments about me as a person. Identifying as a Republican does not mean I am the same as Donald Trump.

Just because I am a Republican, does not mean you know everything about me. That does not give you the right to make assumptions about who I am as a person. It is not OK for you to group me with my stereotype or condemn me for what I feel and believe. And for a party that prides itself on being so open-minded, it shocks me that many of you would be so judgmental.

So I ask you to please, please, please reexamine how you view Republicans. Chances are, you're missing some extremely important details. If you only hang out with people who belong to your own party, chances are you're missing out on great people. Because, despite what everyone believes, we are not our stereotype.

Sincerely,

A millennial Republican

Cover Image Credit: NEWSWORK.ORG

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Brunei's Brutal New Penal Code Punishes Gay People By Stoning To Death

Defining being gay as a crime is appalling; likewise that a country would sentence gay people to stoning at this point in time.

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Recently, many celebrities, including Ellen DeGeneres and Elton John, have taken to social media to urge a boycott of certain hotels. These hotels are owned by the Sultan of Brunei, Hassanal Bolkiah. The purpose of the boycott is to protest Brunei's new penal code, which employs overly harsh punishments for acts that are normally not regarded as crimes.

Most notably, people can be stoned to death for having gay sex or an extramarital affair.

More specifically, stoning is used for gay men, while sex between two women is punished by whipping. Adultery, anal sex, and abortion will also be punished by stoning. Other punishments include amputation of limbs for theft and the death penalty for rape or heresy. It's clear why these celebrities are outraged at Brunei's new law.

The news of Brunei's penal code comes as a shock, especially in 2019. The law employs punishments that are very much outdated and easily defined as barbaric. Furthermore, these punishments apply to anyone who has reached puberty, even those who are considered minors by Western standards, and young children can still be whipped as punishment. These punishments are needlessly brutal. Punishments such as the amputation of limbs are irreversible and leave a permanent impact on a person for even a minor transgression.

The actions included in the penal code do not warrant such harsh punishments. Criminalizing sexual identity is appalling, likewise that a country would sentence gay people to stoning at this point in time. This seems to be the main focus of the celebrities who have spoken out against Brunei, and for good reason. While steps have been made worldwide towards equal rights for members of the LGBTQ+ community, Brunei's penal code is a huge step backward.

While it's good to keep the list of hotels to boycott in mind, for those of us who aren't traveling very often, the best thing to do is to speak out and bring attention to the injustice of Brunei's penal code. The penal code was initially delayed by international protest, and spreading the word and making Brunei's law widely known can make the difference in pressuring the country to change the law. This is an issue that requires immediate attention and action.

Brunei's penal code is unjust and a hindrance to the progress being made towards marriage equality and LGBTQ+ rights.

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