Labor, Migration, & War in the News

In the comments section (click title to get to comments), post a link to two news articles that relates to your particular research topic. Write a few sentences highlighting what you think is most interesting or relevant about each article. Please comment on at least two of your group members’ articles as well.

Your post is due by Wednesday, February 25, at 1pm, and your replies are due by the following week.

10 thoughts on “Labor, Migration, & War in the News”

  1. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-koehler/traces-of-evil_b_5843132.html

    This great article by Robert Koehler on American military might is very informative about current events regarding ISIS and how Obama is “selling” another war to the American public. It outlines US foreign policy and how it (and has for a while) heavily relies on military actions/interventions that are fueling further insecurity rather than making “America safer”. Traces of Evil refer to any terrorist threats encountered post-9/11 and recently, since ISIS has fallen under this radar there have been significant build up towards military action to counter this non-state actor. What I found most interesting is when the author points out that adopting bombing campaigns is so convenient for politicians that they never think of its far-reaching consequences for innocent public. Koehler continues on to say that “James Foley [journalist beheaded by ISIS] is not an ad for war.”

    https://global-factiva-com.mutex.gmu.edu/redir/default.aspx?P=sa&an=USAT000020050923e19n0001j&cat=a&ep=ASE

    This article written after the war on Iraq commenced, talks about the anti-war protests that lit up the streets near the White House in DC. The article also shows polls climbed up to a point where 56% of American public were pro-withdrawal of American troops from 2003-05. I found it very interesting the comparison to the Vietnam War, in which President Johnson’s war decisions made him suffer terrible approval ratings followed by President Bush on his decision on the war in Iraq. It took American public 8 years into the Vietnam War to realize the loses but when the Iraq mission came around, the public was warned much earlier due to earlier loses in Viet Cong.

    1. Hello Bharti,

      I liked your articles. Especially, the second one. Yes, that’s true that American public didn’t support this war and didn’t like the decisions that were made.

      Bharti, I am interested to know what is your topic for the research?

    2. Bharti,

      I thought you picked great articles and enjoyed reading them! I think ever since Vietnam War and the war in Iraq, the general public is not in support of war since these are wars that haven’t been won. I think U.S. intervention in these wars lost a lot of public support because the government hasn’t been 100% transparent in their foreign policy, and the public doesn’t understand why we’re fighting a war that is being dragged out. Obviously it is beneficial for these corporations that are providing military weapons, but men and women who are defending this country are losing their lives in exchange for money.

  2. http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/illegal-immigrants-more-likely-to-have-lived-in-the-us-for-over-a-decade/2014/09/03/50f70120-3382-11e4-9e92-0899b306bbea_story.html

    I found this article relevant because as American citizens we often don’t think of illegal immigrants as someone part of our country, but usually have a negative view towards them. The article reveals that almost half of the 11 million people that are undocumented immigrants have lived here for at least 13 years, and as many as 4 million have bore children in the U.S. Children who were born in the U.S. automatically are considered citizens but their parents are not. This article depicts the struggle of undocumented immigrants and the numbers speaks for itself. This article will help support my research topic on illegal immigrants in the U.S. and their deep, strong ties.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/07/undocumented-immigration_n_5657565.html

    I chose this article because it covers the political viewpoint as well as Americans viewpoint on undocumented immigrants flooding into the U.S. I find it interesting because we were all once illegal immigrants trying to find a place we could call home, away from our motherland. But now there are rules and regulations that divides families and chooses who is eligible to stay and who is not. With the election coming up it has become a hot political debate on what should be done with the immigration reform. Republicans have already been upset with Obama over Obamacare but this has further added fire to the fuel with Obama being charged of overstepping his authority. Immigration will be an important topic when candidates are asking voters to vote for them, and will change our nation with the upcoming elections in 2016.

    http://eds.a.ebscohost.com.mutex.gmu.edu/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=6f52a9ab-5534-4d86-9ccb-d46946c5f88c%40sessionmgr4002&vid=1&hid=4111

    This article supports and legitimizes the immigration policy through the notion of America being a “melting pot”, where diversity and different cultures are accepted. The idea of being an “American” is shared through nationalism and a new identity is born with immigrant integration in America. I did think that this article was interesting because it argues that cultures are dominated by the “Anglo-Saxon” mold and those that are of color are often discriminated. I think this article supports my research topic of immigration in the US because we as Americans pride ourselves in being a country made up of people from different backgrounds and nationalities. I think this supports the argument of why there should be an immigration reform on illegal immigrants.

    1. I found your articles very interesting and as well as your topic. I couldn’t agree more on what you said about us all being immigrants at some point. I especially enjoyed your second article choice with HuffingtonPost stating that upto 70% of the Americans, including majority Republicans, that illegal immigration is damaging American cultures and beliefs. To my understanding, American culture is heavily based off of a capitalist society in which any one person can muscle their way up to success and the same applies to people coming from across the borders.

      Instead of completely denying the whole issue of illegal immigration, the Congress and associated policy makers need to find a different and more efficient approach in resolving this problem.

      Good luck in your research!

    2. Hello Sharon,

      Your articles are very helpful for your topic. I really like the statistics that you picked from the articles. Also, the second article was interesting to read where it says that we all were illegal immigrants once. Great job!

  3. http://www.bostonglobe.com/business/2015/02/19/bangladeshi-factory-agrees-union-peace-win-back-clothing-brands/M7iB050flJnZGH6Mk4YteK/story.html

    This article talks about the recent step that some of the popular western brands like, Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein have taken to improve the conditions of the developing countries in which their apparels for sales are being produced. They warned Azim’s industry in Bangladesh that they will cut off contract with them if they do not stop harsh behavior such as beating their employees. Therefore, these industries are leading to improvement and have made changes to their treatment of the employees.

    http://www.npr.org/blogs/goatsandsoda/2015/01/17/377742762/fire-doors-and-sprinklers-debut-at-garment-factories-in-bangladesh

    This relates to my research because it is about the inspections from various organizations of factory improvement. These organizations are inspecting many of the factories in Bangladesh to improve the conditions of the factory and factory workers. Yet, there are still many companies that are under government system and need to be inspected.

    1. Hi Lalah,
      You have found some great articles. What exactly is your research topic?

      If it’s labor conditions in cheaper labor markets, you are looking at the right places. Bangladesh and neighboring countries such India and Cambodia are all victims of harsh labor practices. Big textile companies from Calvin Klein to athletic giant Nike are exploiting these areas for cheap labor but with little regards to human rights violations that accompany this work.

      Good luck in your further research!

    2. I liked the articles you chose, I read the Bangladesh article and found it very depressing. It was difficult to read I think a lot of times while living in U.S. it’s hard to imagine since we live comfortably, but I think while taking this class it opened my eyes to see the world as it is. I’m glad that big companies like Calvin Klein, North Face, and GAP threatened/cut off their business with Azim Group. The workers union members were being beaten and harassed for fighting for their rights, and I’m glad that Western corporations finally took a stance to let Azim Group know that it wouldn’t be tolerated. But my question is will this last or is it just a temporary solution to keep business open?

  4. http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/02/19/us-usa-louisiana-trafficking-idUSKBN0LN03820150219

    This article reports the recent court case ruling between an Indian guest workers and U.S. ship repair firm Signal International. The article reports that the New Orleans jury awarded $14 million to five Indian men who were lured and forced to work under inhumane conditions in Louisiana since Hurricane Katrina. The article also stated that this was the largest labor trafficking case in U.S. history, with a dozen related lawsuits with over 200 plaintiffs. This article is interesting not only because it reports the largest labor trafficking case in U.S. history, but because it is rare to hear the court ruling in favor of foreign workers as opposed to large U.S. corporation. Reading this article helped me to look more in depth to legal aspects of labor trafficking, and study what is included in U.S.’ labor laws, and how corporations are enforced to protect the rights of migrant workers.

    http://www.theguardian.com/global-development-professionals-network/2015/feb/25/shedding-light-on-human-rights-do-businesses-stand-up-to-scrutiny

    I chose this article because it ties in with the first article. The article talks about relationship between business and human rights, and how increasingly corporations have to pay a high cost for violating human rights. It says in the article how there has been a progress over the past 13 years in business industry, and “now 35 of the world’s 50 largest companies have a publicly-available human rights policy, as well as many smaller firms” (Short, The Guardian). The article highlighted many the efforts global community is putting into the address the issue of labor trafficking. UN set up a Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights in 2011, and Business and Human Rights Resource Centre launched a “Company action platform” which illustrates many corporations efforts to help tackle labor trafficking.
    Lastly, the article also talks about the reality of corporations and their position in combating labor exploitation. The article stated that retail sector and state-owned firms are not so on board with actions plans to combat labor trafficking.

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