The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

88° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat



    Russian rushin’

    Supported by dubious geology and encouraged by rapidly melting Arctic ice, the Russian government recently deployed a miniature robotic submarine to plant a tiny Russian flag on the frozen seabed of the North Pole, in a wacky attempt to stake a claim at the top of the world.

    This attempted land grab is not as random as it might seem. Russia is a signatory of the 1982 Law of the Sea Convention, which requires nations to stake out their seabed rights no later than 2009. The U.N. may refuse to recognize the claims of signatories that miss this deadline. Due to the position of an underwater Arctic ridge, Russia actually has a legitimate claim to the Arctic seabed. With an estimated one-quarter of the world’s undiscovered oil and gas lying beneath the polar seabed, it makes perfect sense for the Russians to start making plans to sip vodka with Santa. As for other nations with legitimate claims to the area, well, this is a cruel world of Bismarckian realpolitik. If the international community doesn’t want an illiberal, increasingly authoritarian Russia to control vast new energy resources, then it had better come up with a different plan – and fast.

    -Lauren Myers is a sophomore majoring in mathematics and microbiology.

    While one can’t blame any country for trying to grab all the land it can get on any reasonable pretext, that’s no reason the rest of us should stand by and watch Russia pull a fast one on international law. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not calling for another Cold War (pun not intended). But if there’s any part of the world we shouldn’t be fighting over, it’s the two poles. They rightfully belong to all of us. I don’t want scientists to have to ask Russia for permission to do research in the Arctic, nor do I want the Putin regime endangering the already vulnerable polar bear by being given a free hand to meddle in the environment. Besides, as everyone knows, the North Pole has already been claimed by the third-century Lycian bishop St. Nicholas, so the region rightfully belongs to Turkey.

    -Justyn Dillingham is a senior majoring in history and political science.

    Pushy primaries

    Gov. Janet Napolitano said Aug. 15 that she is “”not inclined”” to push Arizona’s 2008 presidential primary date any earlier than Feb. 5, ending speculation that Arizona would jump on the bandwagon of states scooting their primaries forward to attract attention from presidential candidates.

    Jockeying for a more significant primary is not a new phenomenon; most states can only dream of earning the attention granted to those with early primaries. Nonetheless, lengthening the campaign season increases the funding needed to make a serious bid for nomination. The Federal Election Commission reported that 2004 campaign expenditures totaled over $1 billion, a 56 percent increase from 2000. The desire to place a higher premium on our state’s pork increases the amount of money needed to join the race, heightening the gross disparity between the wealth of those who run for government office and those whom they govern. Napolitano’s decision is an admirable refusal to exacerbate the problem.

    -Sarah Devlin is a sophomore majoring in English and political science.

    Napolitano should strike while the iron is hot and reserve Arizona a piece of primaries prestige. With more than 30 states now hungrily eying Feb. 5 as a presidential-preference election date, the 2008 primaries are starting to resemble a Toys “”R”” Us the day after Thanksgiving. It’s clear only a federal reform can slow down this mad dash towards Super-Duper Tuesday. Arizona is an important bellwether of changing population demographics, unlike vanilla Iowa and New Hampshire, and deserves to be heard in the ramp-up to November 2008. Napolitano should fight tooth and nail to claim our Tickle-Me Elmo and check out early.

    -Matt Rolland is a junior majoring in economics and international studies.

    More to Discover
    Activate Search