It may be time–yet, then it may be too late–for Israel to confess to its true intentions in the Palestinian territories. The sustained and myopic focus on the Palestinian leader, Yasser Arafat, has little to do with stopping “terrorism.” What removing Arafat will do is induce a Palestinian civil war and, by extension, give Israel a pretext for re-occupying the Palestinian territories. The campaign behind this strategy has been ongoing, but it has rapidly intensified since the U.S. military action in Afghanistan. As the U.S. focuses its efforts on Osama bin Laden, Israel appears to be making parallel moves against Arafat.
“Warlordism” and the War on Terrorism
The U.S government’s announced intention to broaden the war on terrorism beyond Afghanistan has triggered growing concern that other important U.S. foreign policy goals and principles will be subordinated in the process.
Yemen, the United States, and Al-Qaeda
There has been increasing attention on Yemen as the possible next major focus in the U.S. campaign against terrorism. Yemeni government forces have begun a crackdown against suspected Al-Qaida members and supporters, and a number of armed clashes have ensued. This comes just weeks after the November 26th meeting in Washington between President George W. Bush and Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, in which the Yemeni leader promised cooperation in the struggle against terrorism and President Bush promised additional security assistance to support that effort.
No One is Asking Ordinary Afghans What They Want
Afghans are accustomed to “hoping for the best and expecting the worst.” The fragility of the current situation begs for great care and concern not to repeat past failures of Western policy. Great care must be taken in any steps in formulating a post-Taliban Afghanistan that includes an acceptable government as well as provisions for development and economic stability. Most importantly, efforts must reflect the wishes of ordinary Afghans inside of Afghanistan in order to gain credibility and long-term stability. Sadly, these sentiments seem to be ignored.
Why the U.S. Did Not Overthrow Saddam Hussein
There has been a curious bout of revisionist history in recent weeks criticizing the U.S. decision not to “finish the job” during the 1991 Gulf War and overthrow the Iraqi government of Saddam Hussein. With such a lopsided victory in the six-week military campaign, these right-wing critics argue the U.S. could have easily marched into the capital of Baghdad and ousted the dictator.
Hawks Take Aim at Iraq
It’s all but official. Despite strong opposition from Arab allies, not to mention our NATO partners in Europe, it seems we’re headed for Round 2 of the 1991 Gulf war against Iraq. Not only are U.S. officials once again stepping up their rhetoric against Baghdad, but President George W. Bush himself last Monday issued an ominous three-word answer to the question of what happens if Saddam Hussein does not permit UN inspectors back into his country. “He’ll find out” was the terse reply.
The Natural Ally and the Tactical Ally
In the vaguely defined international coalition in the “war against terrorism” India and Pakistan occupy perhaps the most uncomfortable positions. Pakistan was an ally of the United States during the cold war, and India, a significant leader of the Non-Aligned Movement, was seen as an obstacle to U.S. goals and objectives. Throughout the 1990s U.S. relations with India warmed, while they cooled with Pakistan. Prior to September 11, Pakistan, an authoritarian regime, was one of three countries to recognize the Taliban, and its intelligence services had close ties to the Taliban. India, on the other hand, was a democracy, and had ties to the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance. By warming up to Pakistan in the aftermath of the attacks, the U.S. has reversed the tilt toward India for which it had assiduously worked for some three years, favoring its “tactical ally” (Pakistan) over its “natural ally” (India). The Indian government appears, however, to be sacrificing its traditions of non-alignment and support for international law in order to rebuild an alliance with the U.S.
Frankenstein’s Lament in Kuwait
“[T]his country of ours is kidnapped, hijacked by groups that call themselves Islamic but in truth use Islam as a cover and a garb for political goals.” So says Shaikh Saud Nasir al-Sabah, Kuwait’s former oil minister, information minister, and ambassador to the United States. Yes, indeed, but where did these groups come from? And who else in Kuwait has used Islam as a cover and a garb for political goals while in the process creating the monsters that so distress Shaikh Saud today?
Militarization in the Age of Globalization
Weapons, from handguns to fighter jets, are a profitable business. Generous government contracts, huge profit margins, and inevitable cost over-runs ensure spectacular dividends for weapons producers. Conflicts burning throughout the world guarantee plenty of buyers. After a post-cold war decline, global weapons purchases rose in 2000 to $800 billion. In the aftermath of the September 11 tragedies, arms production and sales worldwide will likely continue their upward trajectory–encouraged by national policies and supported by multilateral economic institutions.
Don’t Short-Change Nuclear Safety: Tightening Security Around Nuclear Storage Facilities Should Be an Urgent National Priority
As the horror of September 11 unfolded, the nation’s 103 commercial nuclear reactors and dozens of federal nuclear weapons facilities were put on high security alert. The U.S. government has long considered them potential terrorist targets, implementing programs to protect nuclear facilities against these threats. But is enough being done?