Regions / Middle East & North Africa
Since the attacks of September 11, 2001 it has become a commonplace that religious extremism, particularly of the Muslim kind, lies at the heart of the problems that seemingly condemn the Muslim majority world to political and social backwardness, economic stagnation, and cultural oppressiveness.
Elections are needed, but the timing is wrong, with the insurgency growing with every passing moment and Iraqis bracing themselves for the worst.
As the U.S. occupation of Iraq heads toward its third year, there is a remarkable absence of debate over withdrawal, despite the evidence that a clear majority of the American people want out.
Jubilant over President George W. Bush maintaining his position for another four years, neoconservatives who played a leading role in shaping the radical trajectory of U.S. foreign policy after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks appear increasingly divided on key issues and uncertain of their position in Bush's second term.
The United States has long been the number one military, diplomatic, and economic backer of the world’s most repressive regimes in the world, a pattern that has only been strengthened under the Bush administration.
With the nomination of Karen Hughes as the new undersecretary of state for public diplomacy, the United States has the potential to embark on a new and more effective phase in its communication with the international community, particularly with the Arab and Islamic world.
When President Bush took the oath of office, one pledge he didn't make that he should have was to stop the torture.
Amid the orgy of self-congratulation over the bravery of Iraqi voters, officials and commentators have ignored the most important story of the election results: a Sunni electoral boycott that demonstrates a level of support for the insurgency in the Sunni triangle that is far greater than what the administration has admitted.
Largely unnoticed with the focus on the war and insurgency in Iraq, and overshadowed by an upsurge in violence in Saudi Arabia, terrorist violence is also on the increase in neighboring Kuwait.
It is now time for the United States to pursue the one policy option that has been missing from the national discussion of Iraq: the negotiation of a peace settlement with the insurgents that would involve the complete withdrawal of U.S. troops in return for the surrender of the insurgents and the reintegration of the Sunni region into the post-Saddam political system.