U.S.-ARAB ALLIANCE AIMS TO DETER TERRORISM, IRAN PLAN SEEKS TO SECURE SUPPLIES OF ENERGY; ARMS ROLE CRITICIZED - JAY SOLOMON (WALL STREET JOURNAL, AUGUST 9): Iran has improved its strategic position through the effective use of charities, social-services networks and public diplomacy. "Iran trumps Washington in the use of soft power," says Emile El-Hokayem, a Middle East analyst at Washington's Henry L. Stimson Center.
THE GRAYING LADY: CUTS IN NEWSPAPERS' FOREIGN REPORTING WILL LEAVE THE WORLD WORSE OFF - ROSA BROOKS (LOS ANGELES TIMES, AUGUST 10): In this age of globalization, terrorism and war, we particularly need good reporting on the rest of the world. But as newspapers shed column inches and reporters, it's foreign news reporting that has suffered most. In these days of shrinking newspapers and shrinking global news coverage, the world, for most Americans, is in danger of becoming as flat as a postage stamp -- and almost as small.
IF YOU THINK THEY HATE US NOW: A REPUBLICAN VICTORY IN 2008 COULD SINK AMERICA'S REPUTATION IN THE WORLD EVEN LOWER - JOE CONASON (SALON, AUGUST 10): In his rhetoric, the president usually seeks to distinguish the religion of Islam, which he has honored in the White House on many occasions, from the murderous perversion of that faith. The Republicans most likely to win their party's presidential nomination constantly use language that is meant to inflame anger against Muslims for political advantage.
WHEN HEDGE FUNDS MEET ISLAMIC FINANCE: U.S. FIRMS HIRE SCHOLARS TO HELP DESIGN PRODUCTS - JOANNA SLATER (WALL STREET JOURNAL, AUGUST 9): Islam prohibits all kinds of speculative behavior that is embedded in Wall Street's DNA. But Mr. Sheik Yusuf Talal DeLorenzo, a Massachusetts-born convert to Islam, is on a mission to meld centuries-old Islamic law with modern finance in the U.S.
http://www.thomaspmbarnett.com/weblog/2007/08/the_only_strategic_comms_we_ne.html (has mention of public diplomacy)
NO BETRAYALS EDITORIAL (WASHINGTON TIMES, AUGUST 10): It is too late for the estimated 250 Iraqi translators who have been murdered as "collaborators" since working with U.S. forces. It is not too late for thousands of others. Those who have partnered with British or American forces and thus risk kidnapping, torture or worse deserve a credible assurance of forthcoming visas, now, to relocate their families to the West once this war is over.
INSIDE IRAQ - WILLIAM KRISTOL (TIME, AUGUST 9): 'I spent a week in Iraq recently, and here's what impressed me most: the Americans. In particular, the quality and character of the American soldiers and Marines who are fighting there and trying to help rebuild the nation. I don't mean to slight, in some ethnocentric way, the steadfastness and courage of the Iraqi people. But it was meeting and watching the American soldiers at work that I found most interesting.' http://www.time.com/time/printout/0,8816,1651505,00.html
THE BAGHDAD FABULIST - CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER (WASHINGTON POST, AUGUST 10): The Iraq war -- "George Bush's war," as even Hillary Clinton, along with countless others who had actually endorsed the war, now calls it -- has caused not only the sorrow and destruction that we read about every day. It has, most perniciously, caused invisible damage: It has perverted and corrupted the young soldiers who went to Iraq, and now return morally ruined.
THE CULT OF PETRAEUS - JEFF HUBER (MILITARY.COM, AUGUST 7): As the U.S. four-star in charge of Iraq, Petraeus has shown a definite penchant for public relations.
IRAQ REPORT HINTS: MORE TIME NEEDED - ASSOCIATED PRESS (NEW YORK TIMES, AUGUST 9): Anyone who still wonders what America's top two officials in Baghdad will report to Congress next month just hasn't been listening. The military and diplomatic public relations machines are running full bore. The message: ''Things are getting better, but we need more time.''
STRATEGIC PATIENCE - AUSTIN BAY (WASHINGTON TIMES, AUGUST 10): Toppling the Taliban in Afghanistan and Saddam in Iraq created the opportunity for significant, positive, long-term change throughout the region. Now, the challenge is twofold: nurturing and supporting the incremental cultural, political and personal changes that make for societal change, and sustaining America's will to maintain that support. For the surge to really work, the effort must be sustained.
LOOKING FOR THE LEAST BAD IRAQ PLAN: THE U.S. FACES A "PORTFOLIO OF UNAPPEALING OPTIONS," A NEW STUDY CONCLUDES - KEVIN WHITELAW (U.S. WORLD & NEWS REPORT, AUGUST 8): Amid the sharpening debate over whether or not the United States should withdraw from Iraq, a new study by the respected Rand Corp. think tank sheds some light on why Bush administration officials have been defending their controversial "surge" plan so vociferously. Put simply, the other options are all worse.
U.S. SEEKS U.N. HELP WITH TALKS ON IRAQ: AIM IS TO MUSTER REGIONAL SUPPORT - COLUM LYNCH AND ROBIN WRIGHT (WASHINGTON POST, AUGUST 10)
THE SURGE'S NEW MATH: ONE STEP FORWARD, TWO BACK - WILLIAM S. LIND (COUNTERPUNCH, AUGUST 8): Despite political setbacks, American commanders are clinging to a hope that stability might be built from the bottom up -- with local groups joining or aiding U.S. efforts to root out extremists -- rather than from the top down, where national leaders have failed to act. That is what American commanders should do, because it is all they can do. But it is a step away from, not toward, a restored Iraqi state.
ANBAR 'TURNAROUND' UNDERCUTS WAR RATIONALE ? GARETH PORTER (ANTIWAR.COM, AUGUST 10): After five years of unsuccessful US military operations in Anbar, the US military's agreements with Sunni tribal leaders in Anbar represents an acknowledgment that it was dependent on the very Sunni insurgents it once considered the enemy in Iraq to reduce al-Qaeda influence in the province.
AMERICA'S ILLUSORY STRATEGY IN IRAQ - DAVID GARDNER (FINANCIAL TIMES, AUGUST 10): Having upturned the Sunni order in Iraq and the Arab world, and hugely enlarged the Shia Islamist power emanating from Iran, the US finds itself dependent on Tehran-aligned forces in Baghdad, yet unable to dismantle the Sunni jihadistan it has created in central and western Iraq. Ignoring its Iraqi allies, it is arming Sunni insurgents to fight al-Qaeda. And, by selling them arms rather than settling Palestine it is trying to put together an Arab Sunni alliance (Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia) with Israel against Iran. All clear? How can anyone keep a straight face and call this a strategy?
JUST ANOTHER VACATION FROM REALITY - EUGENE ROBINSON (WASHINGTON POST, AUGUST 10): What on earth would make Bush -- or the neocon ideologues who are his enablers -- believe that any nation would appreciate being invaded, occupied for years by tens of thousands of foreign troops and having a particular brand of Western democracy imposed at the point of a gun?
WILL THE REAL COLIN POWELL STAND UP? THE WHITE HOUSE FEARS THAT THE FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE WILL FINALLY TELL THE TRUTH ABOUT PLANNING FOR THE IRAQ WAR - SIDNEY BLUMENTHAL (SALON, AUGUST 9)
IN THE DEBATE OVER IRAN, MORE CALLS FOR A TOUGHER U.S. STANCE - ROBIN WRIGHT (WASHINGTON POST, AUGUST 9)
"TO SET THE SHIP ON A BETTER COURSE, YOU HAVE TO BE READY TO SINK IT" - ANNE-MARIE SLAUGHTER (TMP CAFÉ, AUGUST 9): 'Here is my nightmare. The Cheneyites succeed in creating a situation in which Bush does decide to bomb Iran. Iran retaliates, as they openly threaten to do, with terrorist attacks against us on U.S. soil. That tilts the election. I can imagine a Karl Rove political calculation that would buttress a Cheney-Addington national security calculation, probably with Eliot Abrams' support.'
BANKROLLING IRAN: THE WORLD BANK'S LARGESS IS UNDERMINING THE U.N. AND THE WEST - MARK KIRK (WASHINGTON POST, AUGUST 10): While the World Bank is part of the U.N. family, the bank's board is disconnected from the policies of key U.N. agencies -- especially the Security Council and the IAEA. The success of this diplomacy will be enhanced if the United Nations and World Bank work together, particularly on Iran. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/08/09/AR2007080901929_pf.html
PROMOTING DIVISIONS ACROSS THE MIDEAST - GEORGIE ANNE GEYER (CHICAGOTRIBUNE.COM, AUGUST 10): The United States is quickly moving to establish a major Arab-Persian confrontation across the Middle East -- from Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, with their large underprivileged Shiite populations, to Sunni Egypt, Jordan and Kuwait, and against Iran itself and its "landsmen" in Lebanon's Hezbollah as well as other Shiite minorities.
HURDLES FRUSTRATE EFFORT TO SHRINK GUANTÁNAMO - WILLIAM GLABERSON (NEW YORK TIMES, AUGUST 9): The administration has had a difficult time reducing the Guantanamo detention center's population. The effort has been hampered by a laundry list of diplomatic, legal and political challenges, including the unwillingness of some countries to accept detainees and concerns about human rights abuses in others, officials and critics of the administration say.
BONO, FOREIGN AID AND SKEPTICS - NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF (NEW YORK TIMES, AUGUST 9): Foreign aid can be cause for celebration, not embarrassment.
AMERICA, STOP WAVING THE NUCLEAR THREAT AT POTENTIAL ADVERSARIES: THE US SHOULD USE ITS NUCLEAR ARSENAL FOR DETERRENCE ONLY AND PRESERVE THE 'TABOO' ON NUCLEAR WEAPONS USE - JACK MENDELSOHN (CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR, AUGUST 10)
MECHANISTIC DESTRUCTION: AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY AT POINT ZERO - GABRIEL KOLKO (ANTIWAR.COM, AUGUST 10): We are at point zero in the application of American power in the world: the U.S. cannot win its extremely expensive adventures nor will it abstain from policies which increasingly lead to disasters for the nations in which it intervenes and for itself as well.