Most Important Events of 2012
The Greatest News & Stories of 2012
2012: A year of Subtle Transformations
2012 will, in all probability, be remembered not exactly because of what happened during the year, but because of the subtle transforming events that sowed the seeds for some of the more significant transformations of our times. The most important events of the year were not those that will find place in record books, but those which have the potential to lead to such significant events in future. Whether it was excalating sectarian violence in Syria or US exit from Afghanistan, it put the world on crucial crossroads from where unforeseen directions can open up. The year saw the resurgence of a former superpower, while also reopening tensions between old foes. The most important developments were in the most developed world, as economic vows seem to have no end, and politics repeatedly threatened to take over.
Here are the ten most signficant events of 2012, a somewhat laid back year of our history. Yet, these events can lead to some of the most signicant transformations of our times.
Muslim Brotherhood Comes to Power
Islamists Dominate Democracy in Middle East
After half a century of relentless struggle, the Muslim Brotherhood finally came to fore in the Middle East, when Mohamed Morsi won nearly 52% of votes in Egypt’s first competitive Presidential Elections in June. As the year progressed, Morsi was tied in a triangulat struggle for dominance with the Military and the liberals democrats, who opposed his Constitutional amendments but failed to stop him in the year end referendum. However, in Libya, Mahmoud Jibril’s National Force Alliance prevented the rise of Islamists to power by putting Ali Zeiden, a liberal independent as the Prime Minister.
Muslim Brotherhood's coming to power puts the world history at the most crucial crossroads it has faced since the second world war. It has the potential to restrain Wahaabi fanaticism and strengthen global peace, or ... it can support it and bring global disasters .... beginning from the Middle East, of course !
Morsi faces protests from liberal democrats
Thousands Violently Protest in Greece
Europe: Economic Instability Turns Political
European economic crisis continued throughout the year, escalating off and on, affecting individual countries and even threatening the bonds of its economic union. Greece was hit badly as over 80,000 people protested in February, at times violently, against the new austerity measures imposed to regain Greek creditworthiness. Catalonia, in Spain demanded liberation from Spain seeking a referendum in 2014 for self determination. In between, the EU Budget was passed amidst tense moments and fear of a veto by the UK, which strongly opposed the expanding bail-outs. Another interesting development was the progress towards Financial Transaction Tax, whose fate does not look very bright, but which may bring temporary destraction for the politicians.
At the end of 2012, Europe's fate still hangs in balance. From here, it can either turn to strengthening fiscal union, which would practically convert it into a Federal Unit, or ... it can end up in chaos and break out of the monetary union as well, practically breaking European Economic Union !
UK gets into greater friction with EU
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US & Western Missions Attacked in Muslim Countries
Amateur Movie Sparks Global Violence
A shabbily made amateurish you tube movie titled “Innocence of Islam” that criticized Islam and insulted the prophet lead to widespread protests around the world in September, with Muslim people venting their ire against the Western powers. In Benghazi, armed gunmen stormed the US Consulate and shot and killed US Ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens and three other embassy officials. There were simultaneous protests against many other Embassies of the United States as well as several other Western countries in various countries. There were violent protests in Cairo in Egypt and Sanaa in Yemen, as well as in Morocco, Sudan, Tunisia, Kuwait, Pakistan and Indonesia.
This unfortunate event marked the fragile nature of peace in digitally networked 21st century. If a casual act of a few stupid men could create such ruckus, imagine the havoc that organized sabotage can bring. It calls for a whole new approach to the security paradigm. Arms may not be enough anymore ... we desperately need trust !
US faces Muslim Ire for an Amaterur Movie
China Japan Dispute over Islands in East China Sea
China Flexes Muscles on Islands, Escalates Tension with Japan
Three decades ago, China might have decided to focus on regaining economic might before it expresses its military superiority. As the emergent superpower of 21st century showed signs of flexing its muscles on the issue of disputed islands in the South and East China Seas, the prophecies of doom seemed closer than what one might have thought earlier. While its tension with oil rich Spratley and Paracel islands with Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei can evolve into diplomatic crisis, the real threats arise towards the East, where a restive Japan began to have a full scale introspection as dispute over Senkaku islands worsened, and a Chinese surveillance aircraft breached Japanese airspace in December.
China and Japan share the strongest love hate relationship on this planet. An escalation of tension with China has the potetnial to result in passionate nationalism, and can force Japan to drastically change its approach. Even without a war ....that can revolutionise the political landscape of the Far East.
China, Japan issue threats on Diaaoyu Islands in East China Sea
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Civil War in Syria
Syria Burns Amidst Global Politicking
If there was one news that kept repeating itself from January to December, it was of violence and loss of lives in Syria, with over 50,000 killed, and many more displaced. The relentless battle raged throughout the year with forces of President Bashar-al-Assad, joined by Shabiha, a notorious paramilitary force of Alawite Shia Muslim minority on one side and and the mostly Sunni rebels, lead by Free Syrian Army on the other. Alongside, there was the usual drama of international politicking, with China and Russia twice blocking UN sanctions. The attempted Ceasefires did not last very long. Turkey sided with rebels and offered them safezone in its territory, while Western countries offered them non-combat support. Russia and Iran were seen as supporting the Government.
The biggest threat in Syria arises from the possibility of sectarian attacks on Sayyida Zeinab, a Shia shrine and mosque in Damascus, reminding a Shiite prophecy that an army headed by a devil-like figure will conquer Shiites and bring an end to the world ! An attack on the shrine can escalate serious sectarian violence in the region.
Syrian War causes growing international concerns
Facebook valued at Over $ 100 Billion
Facebook: Commercialization of the Virtual World
On May 17, 2012 Facebook became a public company, in the process raising $14 billion, the third largest public offering in the history of United States, after General Motors and Visa. The company was valued at $ 104 billion, even though the equity shares did not rise as expected. Facebook issue and valuations herald the onset of a new era, where commercialization and profits are going to dominate all future virtual societies. In 2011, the virtual networks marked their presence as powerful political platforms in organizing public protests. Just a year later, they seem to have become the most potent profit making business.
The implications are enormous - market and social communities have never ever co-existed in human civilization with greater proximity, as is happening now. Profit potential will lead to a surge of investments in virtual space, making it only a matter of time before our physical existence is subsumed by the virtual universe. In just a few decades, we may have a world that we cannot even imagine today ...!
Facebook shares become the talk of town
Russia Re-enters Mainstream With Confidence
Resurgent Russia Enters WTO
2012 will be remembered for the resurgence of Russia into global political stage. The Cold War is over, for sure, but Russia is still there, and it made its presence felt, even before taking the chair of the increasingly influential G-20 group. On August 22, it also made its entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO) after a long wait of nineteen years. Its entry into WTO is indicative of its economic reforms, but many would be more interested in its political aspirations under Vladimir Putin. Ever since Perestroika, Russia has never looked as assertive as it did this time.
The world has undergone some radical changes since the mid-nineties. Economic might now rules the world, and Russian entry into WTO is an indication of its readiness to play the ball. For the rest of the world, there could be nothing less welcome as the emergence of another pole of balancing power. US and China may need to watch out !
Russia enters WTO
US soldier kill civilians in Afghanistan
US Soldier Kills 16, Sparks Afghan Exit
On March 11, an American soldier, Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, under the impact of war stress and alcohol, went on a rampage, killing 16 Afghan civilians in the villages of Balandi and Alkozai, in Kandahar, Afghanistan. This random act of irrational and unexplained violence sparked widespread anti-US protests throughout Afghanistan. It not only threatened the ongoing talks for Strategic Partnership between United States and Afghanistan, but also had a significant impact in shaping the future US role in Afghanistan.
In May, NATO endorsed an Exit strategy that plans for handing over command of all combat missions to Afghans, and limit its role to training and guidance, while gradually withdrawing most of its 130,000 troops by 2014 end. US exit makes the next few years extremely crucial for the whole region.
US soldier goes on rampage, kills 16 Afghans
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Suu Kyi finally freed; enters the New Parliament
Democracy Finally Wins in Myanmar
Aung San Suu Kyi has been the symbol of deomocratic aspirations in Myanmar, and like democracy, she has been under house arrest for the last twenty years. This year, the efforts of her supporters finally bore fruit as by-elections were held for 45 seats of the Parliament, and Suu Kyi's National League of Democracy, which was previously declared illegal, was allowed to participate. With international observers keeping watch, NLD won 43 of the 45 seats on offer, marking the first real steps towards an actual democratic rule in Myanmar.
Myanmar connects Southeast Asia with South Asia, two historically linked regions that have been cut-off for most of the last five or six decades. Return of a vibrant democracy in Myanmar holds the key not only for its own economic development, but also increasing integration of these two regions. Democracy wins ... Myanmar develops ... Asia grows !
Suu Kyi sworn in as MP while Democracy rises in Myanmar
Humanity sides with Malala, condemns terrorism
Terrorists Shoot 14 Year Girl, Awaken Humanity
Malala Yousafzai, a fourteen year old daughter of a School principal in the Swat valley of Pakistan became the most forceful symbol of humanity in a region infested with terror. The couragious girl,had been blogging and supporting the right to education for girls like herself, much against the wishes of terrorists and religious clerics. On orders of a Taliban cleric, Mullah Fazlullah, Malala was shot on October 9, and remained critical for a while but survived. Her shooting raised widespread condemnation across the Muslim world, including Pakistan, where few dare to criticise militants. People, even ladies, openly protested and condemned the terrorist act.
Malala's shooting seemed to have finally awakened the human being inside. Terrorism is not a war of Taliban with United States. It is a war of humanity with violence and fanaticism, which needs to be fought in the hearts and minds. Once humanity awakens, the devil of violence will have to give way !
Humanity takes over as People openly condemn terrorists
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BIGGEST EVENT OF 2012
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© 2012 V Kumar
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