Commentaries

Aid That Doesn’t Deliver

The Bush administration has pledged $350 million to tsunami relief. It’s a safe bet that at least $248 million of that money will be spent right here in the U.S.
Nepal’s 14-year-old experiment in constitutional monarchy suffered a major assault on February 1, 2005 when King Gyanendra sacked the prime minister, formed a new cabinet composed largely of royalists, and established direct monarchical rule.
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.

Nepal–Nursing the Pinion

While the U.S., India, and Great Britain have sharply condemned the Feb. 1 coup by King Gyanendra Bir Bikram Shah of Nepal, the policies of those three governments vis-à-vis the ongoing civil war in the Himalayan nation must share considerable blame for the present crisis.
Right now, there is a vacancy for the most senior post in official world development circles, a job that is of direct interest to billions of people across the globe. The process and candidates are shrouded in secrecy and the only candidates in the running are U.S. citizens.

Cornering the Dragon

When newly appointed CIA Director Porter Goss recently warned that China’s modernization of its military posed a direct threat to the U.S., was it standard budget time scare tactics?
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.
While on one level appointing John Bolton as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations is the contemporary equivalent of having King Herod as head of UNICEF, there is some comfort to be drawn from it. He will be singularly ineffective in winning friends and support for the White House’s policies.
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.
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