HOW TO UNDERSTAND JIHAD. . . . OH, AND, UM, EVANGELICAL PROTESTANTS - DAVID BENFELL (LIVE JOURNAL, OCTOBER 22): .
NATO TO BATTLE TALIBAN ON YOUTUBE: AFGHAN MISSION FINALLY READY TO PULL PLUG ON COLD WAR CAUTION AND STONE AGE METHODS - MITCH POTTER (STAR.COM, OCTOBER 21): http://www.thestar.com/News/article/268897
IRAN ROCKS ITS NUCLEAR BOAT - KAVEH L AFRASIABI (ASIA TIMES, OCTOBER 22): Iranians are coming to terms with the sudden resignation of their chief nuclear negotiator, Ali Larijani, and his replacement with Saeed Jalili, a deputy foreign minister and close ally of President Mahmud Ahmadinejad. While it is too early to draw any comprehensive review of Larijani's performance as negotiator, it appears that his distinct contribution was in the area of tactical maneuvers, quiet diplomacy, and less in terms of public diplomacy. http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/IJ23Ak03.html
THE COMING U.S.-RUSSIAN TRAIN WRECK -- IS ISRAEL CAUGHT IN THE MIDDLE? - ARIEL COHEN (JERUSALEM FOR PUBLIC AFFAIRS, OCTOBER 23): Arms sales are but one item in Moscow's full array of modern international relations tools: from public diplomacy, to weapons sales backed up by the ample credit lines of an energy superpower; from putting former and possibly current political leaders on the petrodollar payroll, to strategic information operations (SIOs) aimed at depicting America as an out-of-control hyper-power and a threat to the international community, to coddling terrorist organizations. In the words of one incisive observer, "Russia has left the West."
INDIA PRESSED TO TAKE A MORE PUBLIC ROLE IN PRESSURING MYANMAR JUNTA ASSOCIATED PRESS (INTERNATIONAL HERALD TRIBUNE, OCTOBER 22): 'As a democracy one expects more from India," said Brad Adams, the Asia director at the New York-based Human Rights Watch. "We would like India to speak publicly. They do their diplomacy in private but there is no doubt that public diplomacy is necessary" said Adams, adding that India needs to make it clear to the Myanmar junta that there will be consequences for its actions.'
ABUSE OF SKILLED-WORKER VISAS: THE TECHNOLOGY INDUSTRY WANTS MORE GUEST-WORKER VISAS. THE PROGRAM NEEDS CLEANING UP FIRST EDITORIAL (CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR, OCTOBER 22): But even with reforms, demand for more temporary visas should meet with skepticism. The better effort would be to adjust salaries, which have been flat or falling, and encourage science and math studies, so that Americans can again restock the pipeline.
WHAT TO DO ABOUT PIXELS OF HATE - MICHAEL MOSS (NEW YORK TIMES, OCTOBER 21): One by one, starting a few weeks ago, 40 militant Islamist Web sites got knocked off the Internet. Happily claiming credit for the jihadi blackout is a Christian-Lebanese engineer named Joseph G. Shahda, who is waging a private, and passionate, war on terrorism from his home near Boston. Most of the 40 sites he brought down eventually came back online by switching to new Internet providers.
STATE DEPARTMENT STRUGGLES TO OVERSEE PRIVATE ARMY: THE STATE DEPARTMENT TURNED TO CONTRACTORS SUCH AS BLACKWATER AMID A FIGHT WITH THE PENTAGON OVER PERSONAL SECURITY IN IRAQ - KAREN DEYOUNG (WASHINGTON POST, OCTOBER 21): Many at State acknowledged the Pentagon's point that soldiers were not trained as personal protectors. Others worried that surrounding civilian officials with helmets and Humvees would undermine the message of friendly democracy they were trying to instill in Iraq.
2 REPORTS ASSAIL STATE DEPT. ROLE IN IRAQ SECURITY - ERIC SCHMITT AND DAVID ROHDE (NEW YORK TIMES, OCTOBER 23)
IRAQI INTERPRETERS WALK THE TALK: THEY GO ON PATROL WITH U.S. TROOPS, WITHOUT WEAPONS, AND LEAD SECRET LIVES IN FEAR OF INSURGENTS - TINA SUSMAN (LOS ANGELES TIMES, OCTOBER 21)
SUICIDE IS NOT PAINLESS - FRANK RICH (NEW YORK TIMES, OCTOBER 21): America has routinely betrayed the very values of democratic governance that it hoped to export to Iraq. The culture of corruption, Iraq war division, remains firmly entrenched.
NEXT CHALLENGE IN IRAQ - DAVID IGNATIUS (WASHINGTON POST, OCTOBER 21): The one certainty about Iraq is that a large US troop presence isn't acceptable over the long run, for Iraqis or Americans. So US military commanders are wise to examine how to use the remarkable success of recent months to create alternatives that rely less on US firepower.
WHO'S AFRAID OF GEN. PETRAEUS? - JOHN TAYLOR (ANTIWAR.COM, OCTOBER 22): As Bush uses Petraeus to prolong the agony in Iraq, the military becomes the administration's water-carrier as well as its spear-thrower.
NEW PIECES CHANGING THE IRAQ PUZZLE ? IRA CHERNUS (COMMON DREAMS, OCTOBER 22): All we know for sure is that hundreds of billions of our tax dollars are paying for daily slaughter, and whatever aims our government may have now, they have nothing to do with the best interests of the people of Iraq.
DEPLOYING FOR 'THE NEW NORMAL' - JIM HOAGLAND (WASHINGTON POST, OCTOBER 21): A fatal flaw in the U.S. occupation of Iraq has been to insist too long on an illusory national unity enforced from Baghdad and to refuse to let Iraqis find their own messy, at times violent, ways of resolving their internal conflicts.
CAUSE OF IRAQ'S CHAOS: BAD BORDERS: PEOPLE, INCLUDING IRAQIS, LIKE TO LIVE AMONG THEIR OWN. SO LET THEM - O'BRIEN BROWNE (CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR, OCTOBER 22): Iraq should be allowed to separate into three distinct nations -- one Sunni, one Kurd, and one Shiite. Moreover, none of these entities should even go by the name of "Iraq," which is little more than a colonial sobriquet.
MAKE WALLS, NOT WAR - PETER W. GALBRAITH (NEW YORK TIMES, OCTOBER 23): Partition is a better outcome than a Sunni-Shiite civil war. There is, in any event, little alternative to partition. Iraq cannot be reconstructed as a unitary state, and the sooner we face up to this reality, the better.
POST-U.S. SCENARIOS: THE BAD, THE WORSE, AND THE UGLY: SCENARIOS FOR A POST-OCCUPATION IRAQ - ROBERT DREYFUSS (MOTHER JONES, OCTOBER 18)
DIAGNOSING BUSH'S FAILURE IN IRAQ; STAGECRAFT, NOT STATECRAFT - DENNIS ROSS (NEW REPUBLIC, OCTOBER 22)
THE ROADS NOT TAKEN: HOW WE NARROWLY AVOIDED DEFEAT IN IRAQ - FRED BARNES (WEEKLY STANDARD, OCTOBER 29): The war is winnable and indeed now is being won, thanks to the surge.
DEADLY EMBRACE: HOW MUCH OF THE WAR ON TERROR IS BLOWBACK FROM U.S. POLICIES? - FAWAZ A. GERGES (WASHINGTON POST, OCTOBER 21): As Americans contemplate the morass in Iraq, one of the saddest questions is whether it is partly "blowback" -- intelligence jargon for what goes around, comes around.
THE 'KURDISH PROBLEM' IS OUR PROBLEM: TURKEY HAS A LEGITIMATE COMPLAINT AGAINST THE U.S. FOR NOT DOING MORE TO STOP KURDISH TERRORISTS IN IRAQ (LOS ANGELES TIMES, OCTOBER 22)
EVEN CLOSER TO THE BRINK - EDITORIAL (NEW YORK TIMES, OCTOBER 23): The news out of Iraq just keeps getting worse. Now Turkey is threatening to send troops across the border to wipe out Kurdish rebel bases, after guerrillas killed at least a dozen Turkish soldiers. This latest crisis should have come as no surprise. But it is one more widely predicted problem the Bush administration failed to plan for before its misguided invasion -- and one more problem it urgently needs to deal with as part of a swift and orderly exit from Iraq.
TURKEY'S WISE HESITATION: AN INVASION OF NORTHERN IRAQ WOULD BENEFIT NO ONE BUT KURDISH EXTREMISTS EDITORIAL (WASHINGTON POST, OCTOBER 23)
THE TURKISH FRONT: THE PATH TO A BETTER MIDDLE EAST GOES THROUGH ANKARA (OPINION JOURNAL FROM THE WALL STREET JOURNAL EDITORIAL PAGE, OCTOBER 20): Turkey wants a unitary, stable and prosperous Iraq, and should know that any wrong moves in the north could jeopardize that. The Turks unabashedly support Israel's right to exist and can't abide a nuclear Iran. On these and other issues, Ankara is an indispensable partner for America.
HERE'S HOPING PELOSI PEEVES THE TURKS CHARLEY REESE (ANTIWAR.COM, OCTOBER 22): Given President Bush's determination to keep American troops in Iraq apparently forever, if the Turks made it harder to do that, they would be doing us a favor.
RETHINKING RELATIONSHIPS: TIME TO GET TOUGH WITH TURKEY? - JONATHAN FOREMAN (NATIONAL REVIEW, OCTOBER 22): The United States should radically rethink its relationship with Turkey. For the sad fact is that Ankara no longer seems to be an ally worthy of the name -- indeed its threatened invasion of Iraq would be the act of an outright enemy. Nor has Turkey behaved like a genuine ally for more than four years.
ARMENIAN GENOCIDE MEASURE IS MISGUIDED: PASSING JUDGMENT ON TURKEY WITHOUT ALL OF THE FACTS WOULD BE A TRAVESTY OF JUSTICE - BRUCE FEIN (SF GATE.COM OCTOBER 21)
LET'S LET THE ARMENIANS REST - WILLIAM F. BUCKLEY JR. (NATIONAL REVIEW, OCTOBER 22): On the moral point, there is no way in which Turkey can advance its credentials by trivializing what in fact was done to the Armenians, more than 1 million of them having been killed, allowed to starve, or exiled. But this ought not to be a quarrel that affects contemporary points of contention in Iraq.
THE U.S. AND TURKEY: HONESTY IS THE BEST POLICY - SAMANTHA POWER (TIME, OCTOBER 20): While Turkey may invoke the genocide resolution as grounds for ignoring US wishes, it has a longer history of snubbing Washington when it wants to.
US DENIAL OF THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE - STEPHEN ZUNES (FOREIGN POLICY IN FOCUS, OCTOBER 22/COMMON DREAMS): Dozens of other governments -- including Canada, France, Italy, and Russia -- and several UN bodies have formally recognized the Armenian genocide, as have the governments of 40 US states. Neither the Bush administration nor Congress appears willing to do so, however. Failure to pass a resolution calling on President Bush to acknowledge the genocide, then, amounts to an acceptance of his genocide denial.
THE POLITICS OF "APPEEVEMENT: IS THERE A METHOD TO BUSH'S MIDDLE EAST MADNESS? - RANNIE AMIRI (COUNTERPUNCH, OCTOBER 22): In a matter of weeks, the United States quite intentionally miffed the Russians, Chinese and Turks under the guise of defending Europe, upholding human rights and suddenly decrying an historical tragedy. This assures their cooperation on Iran will be made all the more difficult and gives the United States the pretext it needs to act unilaterally and likely, militarily. An ingenious, yet diabolical, plan.
FORGOTTEN FACES OF WAR - JAMES CARROLL (BOSTON GLOBE, OCTOBER 22): Iraqi civil war, conflict with Iran, Turkish-Kurdish violence, chaos throughout the Middle East -- and now President Bush tells us that, if we don't defuse the regional body vest carefully, World War III will start. There it is. Bush himself acknowledging at last what, under his leadership, the United States has done. We have put an explosive vest on Earth itself.
AVOIDING WWIII: THREATENING IRAN IS POOR STRATEGY EDITORIAL (LOS ANGELES TIMES, OCTOBER 20): Bush should be discouraged from threatening Iran -- either directly or via leaks about Cheney's alleged enthusiasm for bombing -- because Americans cannot be sure that he is just bluffing.
FALLOUT: NO, IT?S NOT REALLY WORLD WAR III - DAVID STOUT (NEW YORK TIMES, OCTOBER 21): President Bush did not complain about the news coverage when he suggested that an Iran with nuclear weapons could set off World War III, but his remark cries out for context nonetheless. Mr. Bush and top administration officials are known to believe that to renounce force unequivocally beforehand -- as a general diplomatic rule, not just in dealing with Iran -- would render the United States powerless diplomatically.
WWIII ? BRING IT ON - GORDON PRATHER (ANTIWAR.COM, OCTOBER 20): If Bush is to be believed, he's recently told Putin that he is willing to start World War III, not because Iran allegedly has nukes with which to allegedly attack Israel, or not because Iran has the capability of making the material to make nukes with which to allegedly attack Israel, or not even because Iran allegedly wants to make nukes with which to allegedly attack Israel. Now all it takes to start WWIII is some Iranians knowing how to make a nuke.
ON THE EVE OF DESTRUCTION - SCOTT RITTER (TRUTHDIG, OCTOBER 22): The issue of Iran is a national problem which requires a collective debate, discussion and dialogue inclusive of all the facts, and stripped of all ideology and theocracy which would seek to deny reasoned thought conducted within a framework of accepted laws and ideals. It is grossly irresponsible of an American president to invoke the imagery of World War III without first sharing with the American people the framework of thought that produced such a comparison.
STALIN, MAO AND ... AHMADINEJAD? CONSERVATIVES HAVE BECOME SURPRISINGLY CHARITABLE ABOUT TWO OF HISTORY'S GREATEST MASS MURDERERS - FAREED ZAKARIA (NEWSWEEK, OCTOBER 20): The American discussion about Iran has lost all connection to reality.
WHY DID LARIJANI RESIGN? IRAN BUYS MORE TIME - MICHAEL LEDEEN (NATIONAL REVIEW, OCTOBER 22): The main point is that we still have no Iran policy.
ONE STRIKE, IRAN COULD BE OUT - NIALL FERGUSON (LOS ANGELES TIMES, OCTOBER 22): Bush?s statement that "if you're interested in avoiding World War III, it seems like you ought to be interested in preventing them [the Iranians] from having the knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon" would seem to suggest that he is ready to use military force against Iran if he sees the alternative as mere appeasement. http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/la-oe-ferguson22oct22,0,1458042.column?coll=la-opinion-rightrail
CHENEY: US WILL NOT LET IRAN GO NUCLEAR - MATTHEW BARAKAT, ASSOCIATED PRESS (WASHINGTON POST, OCTOBER 22)
IS IRAN'S MILITARY 'TERRORIST'? CONGRESS WANTS THE ADMINISTRATION TO OFFICIALLY DEEM IRAN'S REVOLUTIONARY GUARD TERRORISTS ? EDITORIAL (LOS ANGELES TIMES, OCTOBER 20): President Bush isn't the only one shaking his fist at Iran these days. Getting tough with Tehran is an increasingly popular bipartisan sport in Washington.
THE DEAL ON THE TABLE - JACKSON DIEHL (WASHINGTON POST, OCTOBER 22): Rice's diplomacy has already produced one significant result: It has proved that the past seven years -- during which both Israelis and Palestinians did their best to change the terms of the available two-state peace settlement, while the Bush administration mostly refused to intervene -- were a tragic waste of time.
UPGRADING AUTHORITARIANISM IN THE ARAB WORLD - STEVEN HEYDEMANN (BROOLKINGS, OCTOBER 22): After twenty years, Arab regimes have become proficient at containing and disarming democracy pro¬motion -- if not exploiting it for their own purposes. Strategies that take advantage of the openings offered by authoritarian upgrading are more likely to advance democratic change in the Middle East than the continuation of policies that do not take into account how governance in the Arab world is being transformed.
TROUBLING TIMES IN PAKISTAN EDITORIAL (WASHINGTON TIMES, OCTOBER 22): The extensive penetration of Pakistan's powerful Inter-Services Intelligence agency by radical Islamists, including al Qaeda sympathizers, remains a huge problem. It continues to be a huge obstacle to Islamabad's full-fledged cooperation with Washington in fighting terrorism. But public opinion does give some signs of a trend toward moderation.
WHILE PAKISTAN BURNS: AL QAEDA REGROUPS IN THE TRIBAL AREAS, THE GOVERNMENT FALTERS. WHAT IS TO BE DONE? - DAVEED GARTENSTEIN-ROSS (WEEKLY STANDARD, OCTOBER 29): We are not doomed to remain on our present course -- supporting Musharraf no matter what he does and bombing targets of opportunity, with no plan for destroying al Qaeda's new safe haven. That course is plainly ineffective.
PUTIN THE PUPPET MASTER - OLIVER NORTH (WASHINGTON TIMES, OCTOBER 21): Moscow and Tehran share a strategic interest in bad outcomes for the United States in Iraq. An American collapse in Mesopotamia gives Iran the kind of regional hegemony Persians have sought for centuries. And a precipitous U.S. withdrawal from Iraq would confirm Moscow's assertion that the U.S. is an unreliable partner -- thus undermining NATO's eastward expansion.
MARCHING IN PLACE: CHINA'S COMMUNIST LEADER PLANS ANOTHER FIVE YEARS WITHOUT POLITICAL REFORM ? EDITORIAL (WASHINGTON POST, OCTOBER 20): The Chinese party congress itself symbolized the leadership's continued commitment to the hermetic and hidebound practices of the past. Secrecy and wooden orchestration marked the proceedings; political dissidents were swept up before the congress began. Newspapers were ordered to report only good news for weeks in advance. For that reason, we suspect many ordinary Chinese must have appreciated the decision by the U.S. Congress and President Bush to honor the Dalai Lama, Tibet's spiritual leader.
BIG RED CHECKBOOK - JOHN FEFFER (NATION, NOVEMBER 5 ISSUE): When it comes to US-China relations, Washington's mandarin class is worried less about soft-power competition at the margins than military confrontation over Taiwan, head-to-head economic competition and the potential of China to implode politically.
CHINA'S PROPAGANDA TSAR ENJOYED METEORIC RISE REUTERS (OCTOBER 22): Technocrat turned ideology tsar Li Changchun enjoyed a meteoric rise through the bruising arena of Chinese politics through skilful patronage and despite a provincial scandal involving massive AIDS infections.
US-INDIA FALLOUT EDITORIAL COMMENT (FINANCIAL TIMES, OCTOBER 22): It is in the interests of all nations -- in the end, including India and the US -- that the hard-won non-proliferation rules are affirmed and upheld.
GETTING SERIOUS ABOUT 'TORTURE' - DAVID B. RIVKIN JR. AND LEE A. CASEY (WALL STREET JOURNAL, OCTOBER 22): Coercive interrogations have been key in preventing post-9/11 attacks on American soil. To preempt future attacks the intelligence agencies must continue to have information that can often be obtained only from captured terrorists.
AMERICA MUST ACT NOW - ZACH WAMP (WASHINGTON TIMES, OCTOBER 22): We need to offer opportunities that allow peaceloving, moderate Muslims to condemn terrorism and encourage them with resolutions of support promoting peace between all three "Abrahamic" religions. The big picture means we must dramatically improve our foreign policy in the Arab world and throughout our allied countries because we should not have to kill hundreds of thousands of people to defend our way of life and extend freedom to future generations. (Rep. Zach Wamp is ranking member on the House Appropriations Subcommittee on the Legislative Branch.)
THE CINEMA OF TERROR - CHRISTINE SMALLWOOD (NATION, OCTOBER 22): Three new films -- Rendition, The Kingdom and Redacted -- take on the clash of civilizations. How does the "war on terror" look on the big screen?
HOW TO UNDERSTAND ISLAM - MALISE RUTHVEN (NEW YORK REVIEW OF BOOKS, NOVEMBER 8): So long as there remains a generation of European Muslims who feel alienated from their parents' traditions yet rejected by the wider society, the style of religiosity supported from Arabia will remain a powerful "ultramontane" force.
DEFENDING ISLAMOFASCISM: IT'S A VALID TERM. HERE'S WHY - CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS (SLATE, OCTOBER 22): As to the nation-state, al-Qaida's demand is that countries like Iraq and Saudi Arabia be dissolved into one great revived caliphate, but doesn't this have points of resemblance with the mad scheme of a "Greater Germany" or with Mussolini's fantasy of a revived Roman empire?
FORGET HALLOWEEN: IT'S ISLAMO-FASCISM AWARENESS WEEK - BARBARA EHRENREICH (NATION, OCTOBER 22): Halloween is a piece of pumpkin cake compared to Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week, which commences today. In this special week, organized by conservative pundit David Horowitz, we have a veritable witches' brew of Cheney-style anti-jihadism mixed in with old-fashioned, right-wing anti-feminism and a sour dash of anti-Semitism.
ON PROPAGANDA AND ISLAMOPHOBIA - ABUKAR ARMAN (ONLINE JOURNAL, OCTOBER 22): In this age of Reality TV where the real, the unreal, and the surreal are deeply entangled, few have the ability to decipher the disinformation or propaganda for what it truly is. Few would question: Is stereotyping a major religion in its entirety ethical or even prudent? Is there any historical or a current trend supporting the so-called 'Islamofascism' propagated by certain vociferous political and religious provocateurs?
TOMGRAM: CHALMERS JOHNSON, 12 BOOKS IN SEARCH OF A POLICY ? (TOM DISPATCH, OCTOBER 22): The American people must make the decision to dismantle both the empire that has been created in their name and the huge, still growing military establishment that undergirds it. It is a task at least comparable to that undertaken by the British government when, after World War II, it liquidated the British Empire.
UNDERMINING U.S. ABROAD - VICTOR DAVIS HANSON (WASHINGTON TIMES, OCTOBER 20): Recently hundreds in Congress have decided they're better suited to handle international affairs than the State Department.