WORLD TO AMERICA: LISTEN TO US - AMAR C. BAKSHI (WASHINGTON POST, OCTOBER 16): 'World opinion surveys show Brand America slipping. "'So what should America do to improve its image in the world?' a few worried Washingtonians asked me over coffee. The group fired off their own solutions: Elect Obama. Stabilize Iraq. Expand public diplomacy. Democratize the Middle East. Solve Israel-Palestine. Increase foreign aid... But none of them mentioned what I'd put first on my list: Listen more closely to the world.'
LAURA BUSH'S DIPLOMATIC JOURNEY TO THE MIDDLE EAST - MARK SILVA (SWMAP, BALTIMORESUN.CO, OCTOBER 15): The popular face of the White House will hit the road again this month, with the details of First Lady Laura Bush's public diplomacy trip to the Middle East announced today. At a time when President Bush's own approval ratings are lagging, and international opinion of the United States is sagging, the first lady serves as a potentially more welcome ambassador.
HILLARY CLINTON AND AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY - DONALD DOUGLAS (AMERICA POWER, OCTOBER 16): http://americanpowerblog.blogspot.com/2007/10/hillary-clinton-and-american-foreign.html
AN ENDURING PEACE BUILT ON FREEDOM - JOHN MCCAIN (REAL CLEAR POLITICS, OCTOBER 15): We must also revitalize our public diplomacy. In 1998, the Clinton administration and Congress mistakenly agreed to abolish the U.S. Information Agency and move its public diplomacy functions to the State Department. This amounted to unilateral disarmament in the war of ideas. I will work with Congress to create a new independent agency with the sole purpose of getting America's message to the world -- a critical element in combating Islamic extremism and restoring the positive image of our country abroad.
SUN SETS EARLY ON THE AMERICAN CENTURY: EVEN HARD-HEADED REALISTS IN THE U.S. POWER ELITE FEAR THE IRAQ WAR HAS CRIPPLED AMERICA'S ABILITY TO LEAD - PHILIP S. GOLUB (TORONTO STAR, OCTOBER 15/COMMON DREAMS): Transnational opinion surveys show a consistent and nearly global pattern of defiance of U.S. foreign policy as well as a more fundamental erosion in the attractiveness of the United States: The narrative of the American dream has been submerged by images of a military leviathan disregarding world opinion and breaking the rules. World public opinion may not stop wars but it does count in subtler ways.
BLACKWATER SECURITY, BUSH'S PRIVATE WAFFEN SS: THE IRAQI GENOCIDE - PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS (COUNTERPUNCH, OCTOBER 16): International polls show that the rest of the world regard the US and Israel as the greatest dangers to world peace. Americans claim that they are fighting wars against terrorism, but it is US and Israeli terrorism that worries everyone else.
SLAUGHTER OF THE INNOCENTS: SOMETHING IS ROTTEN IN IRAQ AND THE PENTAGON - DAVE LINDORFF (COUNTERPUNCH, OCTOBER 16): We are conducting a slaughter of innocents in Iraq that is as bad as anything the Nazis did in their Eastern Front campaign.
AS VIOLENCE FALLS IN IRAQ, CEMETERY WORKERS FEEL THE PINCH - JAY PRICE AND QASIM ZEIN, MCCLATCHY NEWSPAPERS (YAHOO, OCTOBER 17)
ASK THE IRAQIS - LAWRENCE WRIGHT (NEW YORKER, OCTOBER 22): We didn't ask the Iraqis if we could invade their country; we didn't ask them if we could occupy it; and now we are not asking them if we should leave. Whatever we end up doing, we need to remember that eventually the only people who are going to occupy Iraq are the Iraqis, and that the decision of when we leave, as inevitably we will, should be as much theirs as ours.
THE REAL IRAQ WE KNEW - 12 FORMER ARMY CAPTAINS (WASHINGTON POST, OCTOBER 16): Today marks five years since the authorization of military force in Iraq, setting Operation Iraqi Freedom in motion. Five years on, the Iraq war is as undermanned and under-resourced as it was from the start. And, five years on, Iraq is in shambles. .
THE PRO-WAR UNDERTOW OF THE BLACKWATER SCANDAL NORMAN SOLOMON (COMMON DREAMS, OCTOBER 16): Unless the deadly arrogance of Blackwater and its financiers in the U.S. government is placed in a broader perspective on the US war effort as a whole, the vilification of the firm could distract from challenging the overall presence of American forces in Iraq and the air war that continues to escalate outside the American media's viewfinder.
AL QAEDA IN TROUBLE EDITORIAL (WASHINGTON TIMES, OCTOBER 16): There is some very good news coming from the battlefield in Iraq: The changes in U.S. military strategy instituted earlier this year by Gen. David Petraeus have been achieving remarkable success against al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI).
FIRE FIGHT: ONLY AFTER AMERICA LEAVES IRAQ CAN THE CONFLAGRATION WE STARTED BE BROUGHT UNDER CONTROL - PAUL W. SCHROEDER (AMERICAN CONSERVATIVE, OCTOBER 8)
LISTEN TO THE ENEMY: THE STAKES - JACK DAVID (NATIONAL REVIEW, OCTOBER 16): We cannot wish away the wars al Qaeda and Iran are waging against us. Preventing Iran and al Qaeda from gaining control of Iraq is a vital U.S. interest and a central near-term objective in those wars. Those who think otherwise have not listened to the enemy.
THE IRAN HAWKS: RUDY GIULIANI AND HILLARY CLINTON THINK A TOUGH LINE ON TEHRAN WILL SELL POLITICALLY. THEY COULD BE RIGHT - JUAN COLE (SALON, OCTOBER 17): The Iraq problem is so intractable that bringing it up with voters is dangerous, since they will then ask about policy prescriptions, and most experts agree that the U.S. has no good options. Iran, in contrast, looms as a vague sort of threat on the horizon and politicians can therefore pull out of their tool kits their favorite instrument -- speaking hypothetically without committing to a particular course of action.
UNINTENDED (MEANING BAD) CONSEQUENCES OF PROMOTING DEMOCRACY IN IRAN: JUSTIN ELLIOTT (MOTHER JONES, OCTOBER 16): Will the administration ever learn that intrusive U.S. policy isn't helping matters in Iran? Probably not.
THE FOLLY OF WAR WITH IRAN: IT'S INSTRUCTIVE TO RECALL A COMMENT PRESIDENT LINCOLN ONCE MADE: "ONE WAR AT A TIME...."
WALTER RODGERS (CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR, OCTOBER 16)
NORMAN PODHORETZ'S WAR PRAYER - MUHAMMAD SAHIMI (ANTIWAR.COM, OCTOBER 16): Neoconservatives have been talking about "freedom" for Iran's people. But the freedom they advocate is Iranians' freedom from their religion, historical and cultural heritage, and natural resources, so that a puppet government similar to Iraq's is installed in Iran, the country and its resources are controlled by the West, and the U.S. can have "enduring military bases" in Iran.
IRAN'S CHOICE: PLANES OR BOMBS? - MICHAEL B. KRAFT AND BRETT WALLACE (WASHINGTON TIMES, OCTOBER 16): With Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice calling the Iranian regime liars about their nuclear program, it is time to consider sharply cutting off Iran's air links to the outside world.
SECRETARY OF STATE PELOSI REVIEW & OUTLOOK (WALL STREET JOURNAL, OCTOBER 16): House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, famous for donning a head scarf earlier this year to commune for peace with the Syrians, has now concluded that this is the perfect moment to pass a Congressional resolution condemning Turkey for the Armenian genocide of 1915. Problem is, Turkey in 2007 has it within its power to damage the growing success of the US effort in Iraq. We would like to assume this is not Speaker Pelosi's goal.
ARMENIAN STORY HAS ANOTHER SIDE - NORMAN STONE (CHICAGOTRIBUNE.COM, OCTOBER 16): For years, Armenians have urged the US Congress to recognize their fate as genocide. Many US leaders -- including former secretaries of state and defense and current high-ranking Bush administration officials -- have urged Congress either not to consider or to vote down the current genocide resolution primarily for strategic purposes: Turkey is a critical ally to the U.S. in both Iraq and Afghanistan and adoption of such a resolution would anger and offend the Turkish population and jeopardize U.S.-Turkish relations.
CONGRESSIONAL TURKEYS: THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE RESOLUTION IS UNNECESSARY - FRED GEDRICH (NATIONAL REVIEW, OCTOBER 17)
HISTORY LESSON EDITORS (NATIONAL REVIEW, OCTOBER 17): If the Turks are to be dissuaded from pursuing their national interests by military force in order to accommodate the U.S., then they need to feel that the U.S. remains a good friend and will seek a solution in northern Iraq that respects their interests. It is at this very moment that Nancy Pelosi and the Democrat-controlled House Foreign Affairs Committee consider a resolution that describes the massacres of Armenians in 1915 by troops of the Ottoman Empire, Turkey's precursor state, as a 'genocide,' thus placing the Mark of Cain on Turkey's brow.
NICE TIMING ON THE ARMENIA 'GENOCIDE' RESOLUTION, MS. PELOSI TRUDY RUBIN (BALTIMORESUN.COM, OCTOBER 16): The timing of this resolution couldn't be worse. http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/oped/bal-op.rubin16oct16,0,5944470.story
U.S. CAN CALM A RUFFLED TURKEY: ON BOTH THE GENOCIDE AND IRAQ ISSUES, THE US CAN TAKE STEPS TO REPAIR TIES WITH THIS KEY NATO ALLY EDITORIAL (CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR, OCTOBER 17)
GENOCIDE: AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH: THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE BILL HAS BEEN ATTACKED BY BOTH THE RIGHT AND THE LEFT -- AND IT MAY MAKE MATTERS WORSE. BUT IT'S NECESSARY - GARY KAMIYA (SALON, OCTOBER 16)
SPEAKING OF EGYPT MARC LYNCH (ABUAARDVARK, OCTOBER 15): Egyptians are divided over what is more relevant: American hypocrisy (talking democracy but doing nothing about it) or American impotence (failing to move Mubarak even when it does "try").
OUTSOURCING TORTURE CHRIS HEDGES (TRUTHDIG, OCTOBER 15/COMMON DREAMS): We have nothing left to say to the Mubarak regime. The torture practiced in Egypt is the torture we employ for our own ends. The cries that rise up from these fetid cells in Egypt condemn not only the Mubarak dictatorship but the moral rot that has beset the American state. http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2007/10/15/4538/
FOLLOW THE LEADER: THE OPEN SECRET ABOUT THE ISRAEL LOBBY - PAUL FINDLEY (COUNTERPUNCH, OCTOBER 16): The interests of one small foreign country almost always trump U.S. interests. That nation of course is Israel. (Paul Findley represented Illinois in the U.S. House of Representatives for 22 years.)
U.S. AND ISRAEL I: HOW ABOUT A PEACE LOBBY? DANIEL LEVY (INTERNATIONAL HERALD TRIBUNE, OCTOBER 16): For all its influence and -- for argument's sake -- good intentions, the existing "pro-Israel" community has not helped deliver what is most vital for Israel's future: permanent agreed borders and an end of conflict.
U.S. AND ISRAEL II: BLAMING ISRAEL DORE GOLD (INTERNATIONAL HERALD TRIBUNE, OCTOBER 15): Lobbies have been around for decades in Washington in domestic and foreign affairs. In the case of Israel and the United States, real interests and shared values are the true glue bonding the two countries.
BUSH-RICE CALL FOR MIDEAST PEACE CONFERENCE: WHAT'S THE RUSH? EDWARD M. GOMEZ (WORLD VIEWS, SFGATE.COM, OCTOBER 16)
THE FAILED MOSCOW TALKS - ARIEL COHEN (WASHINGTON TIMES, OCTOBER 16): The old Soviet obsession -- that Russia's fate, its cosmic goal, is to fight "American imperialism" -- remains undiluted, even 15 years after the collapse of communism. This is tragic -- for Russia, Europe and the world.
A PARLEY WITH PUTIN EDITORIAL (BOSTON GLOBE, OCTOBER 15): It is a good thing the U.S. and Russia are engaged in dialogue among their specialists and top government officials. But if their efforts at conflict resolution are to succeed, both sides will have to climb down from positions that are rooted in self-delusion, paranoia, or political posturing.
EXPAND OR SCRAP MISSILE BAN: A COLD WAR TREATY HAS OPENED A GAP IN U.S. AND RUSSIAN SECURITY - KEVIN RYAN (LOS ANGELES TIMES, OCTOBER 16)
AS U.S. CONGRESS HONORS TIBET'S DALAI LAMA, CHINA IS "FURIOUS" EDWARD M. GOMEZ (WORLD VIEWS, SFGATE.COM, OCTOBER 17)
THE HORN, THE LIST AND THE RISKS EDITORIAL (NEW YORK TIMES, OCTOBER 16): The administration should be using its influence to press Ethiopia to recognize and demarcate the new border with Eritrea -- drawn by the United Nations -- in talk to lower tensions.
RENDITIONS AND THE RULE OF LAW - DANIEL BYMAN (BOSTON GLOBE, OCTOBER 15): Increased care regarding treatment and greater attention to the legal dimensions of renditions is particularly important today given that the program is tainted by its lack of transparency and association with torture. In the public mind, torture is the purpose of renditions -- a perception even stronger among the publics of US allies.
SWEEPING OUR INHUMANITY UNDER THE RUG - MARIE COCCO (TRUTHDIG, OCTOBER 15): As things stand now, the US government can seize an innocent individual, abuse him, later admit that it had held the person in error -- but then declare the whole episode a state secret and so block the wronged man?s case from ever being heard.
GITMO WHISTLEBLOWER CONDEMNS PROPOSALS TO HOLD NEW TRIBUNALS - ANDY WORTHINGTON (ANTIWAR.COM, OCTOBER 17): Lawyers hope that the Supreme Court will decide, once and for all, that the detainees have the right to challenge the basis of their detention, and that crucial passages in last fall's shameful Military Commissions Act, which stripped them of their habeas corpus rights, will be struck down.
NOT -SO-NEW HOMELAND SECURITY STRATEGY CHARLESV PEÑA(ANTIWAR.COM, OCTOBER 17): Al-Qaeda's ideology is not simply driven by a desire to destroy America because they hate us, our freedom, and our way of life. Indeed, in an October 2004 video, Osama bin Laden said to the American people: "This is contrary to Bush's claim that we hate freedom. Let him tell us why we did not strike Sweden." To paraphrase James Carville, it's not us, our freedom, and our way of life; it's our policies, stupid.
GOTHIC AMERICA - THOMAS KAPLAN-MAXFIELD (COMMON DREAMS, OCOTBER 15): Call other people 'terrorists' and deny that you are a terrorist (in some form), and produce the very terrorism you are trying to eradicate. In short, as Pogo said, 'we have met the enemy and he is us.'
RICE'S DIPLOMATIC 'NO SPIN' ZONE? - MICHAEL ABRAMOWITZ (WASHINGTON POST, OCTOBER 16): As anyone who watches her on television can attest, Rice is very skillful at deflecting efforts to knock her off her talking points, and she calmly bats away questions that imply US policy has been anything less than absolutely the best approach to whatever problem may be at hand.