climate change

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.

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Plain Truths

The mirage of positive movement in the deadly gridlock between Israelis and Palestinians continued today, uninterrupted by reality. Following U.S. President George Bush’s footsteps, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, during a major Middle East policy address at the University of Louisville in Kentucky, finally confirmed the addition of the word “Palestine” to the U.S. political lexicon. More significantly, Secretary of State Powell explicitly acknowledged, for the first time ever, that Israel’s illegal “occupation” of Palestinian land and people “must end.”

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Placebo Peace Initiative

The new Israeli “peace initiative” drafted by Israel’s Foreign Minister Shimon Peres and the Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, is no more than a placebo for internal Israeli consumption and consumption by the U.S. and Europe in response to their pressuring Israel for positive movement toward ending the occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem.

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International Investment Rules and the Environment

Key Points

International competition for investment keeps environmental standards
"stuck in the mud."
With the right set of global rules, foreign direct investment could
be a channel for ecologically sustainable economic development.
In the coming decade, U.S. policy will be decisive in shaping International
investment rules.

The governance of international capital flows will be one of the key
environmental policy issues of the next decade. Along with labor, human
rights, and other social advocates, environmentalists are increasingly
demanding that international rules and corporate norms governing investment
explicitly embrace environmental and social performance goals.

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