Sunday, April 26, 2009

Jumping in Pools: Top 10 Cool Countries

I've decided to start a new feature on the blog and all of our writers are encouraged to chime in with their own articles. This time I'll start it off with some of the cooler countries that I like and why. The US is, of course, number one, so we'll skip us for now.

1. Kurdistan: Having put up with 25 years of the rule of Saddam Hussein, the fascist government in Syria, repressive Turkey, and the theocrats in Iran, these people are resilient. While Muslim, they are surprisingly secular and definitely tolerant, sheltering Yezidis and Christians from al Qaeda terrorists. Iraqi Kurds are also the most pro-American people on the planet and fight side-by-side with our forces in Baghdad.

2., 3. Albania and Kosovo: Pro-American and democratic, these poor nations are eager to help spread democracy throughout the world. Albania just joined NATO and has sent troops to Afghanistan, Iraq, and Darfur to help stop the spread of Islamic extremism. Albania warmly welcomed President Bush during his visit there and is a secular Islamic nation.

4. India: The world's most populous democracy, this nation has moved closer to the United States in the last eight years. Friendly also with Israel, the nation is one of the few in the world with a slim history of anti-Semitism. Tolerant and on the forefront of the War on Terrorism, this nation is one that just screams awesome. India is also sending rockets into space now and may beat us back to the moon.

5. Israel: One of the most berated nations, Israel's democracy is tolerant, despite having hundreds of millions of people wanting to wipe it out. Israel proudly takes on fasicst and theocratic forces, like Saddam's Iraq, Hamas, Hezbollah, and the Islamic Republic of Iran. This nation is one of our closest allies and deserves much more credit than it gets.

6. Georgia: This small country is one of the most pro-America on the planet. Georgia is pushing to join NATO and sent 2,000 troops to Iraq. Georgia also offered 500 to Afghanistan. Unfortunately, Russia's brutal and unjustified attack last August has decimated the nation's infrastructure and military and Russia's dictatorship is actively seeking to topple the Western-backed democracy.

7. Colombia: A democracy that has fought off narco-terrorism, Colombia is the United States' cheif ally in South America. A hedge against Venezuela, this nation is planning to send over 100 troops to Afghanistan. Thanks in large part to President Bush's dedication, Colombia ended much of its fighting with drug traffickers and communist guerrillas.

8. Poland: One of America's top allies in Europe, this nation suffered at the hands of Hitler and Stalin. From the ashes of the Cold War, this former Warsaw Pact nation is a leader in the fight against terrorism. Sending 2,500 troops to Iraq and over 1,000 to Afghanistan, Poland is looking to avoid the mistakes of the past. Poland is also integral to American interests in Eastern Europe, especially when dealing with Russia.

9. The Ukraine: The breadbasket of Europe, this populous democracy has shone as a US ally. Although Russia is pressing on the democratic government, the people have not conceded. Despite Russia poisoning presidential candidate Victor Yushenko in 2004 and rigging the elections, the people rose up and demanded a new vote.

10. Mongolia: Yes, the former home of Genghis Khan, this remote nation between Russia and China has positioned itself in the US bloc. Sending troops to Iraq and Afghanistan, Mongolia is looking to rebuild after about 70 years of Communist rule. Mongolia warmly welcomed President Bush's visit several years ago.

Bonus Country: Yes, Britain should be on this list, but it's too obvious. Australia is America's tough brother who always seems to be there for us. The Aussies sent troops to Korea and 'Nam, as well as to Iraq and Afghanistan, where they served with distinction. Australia's a venerable democracy who's looking to help its neighbors, especially with its intervention in East Timor.

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