RICE TESTIFIES BEFORE THE HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE ON MIDEAST POLICY - CQ TRANSCRIPTS WIRE (WASHINGTON POST, OCTOBER 24): SECRETARY OF STATE RICE: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/10/24/AR2007102401683_pf.html
IRAN SANCTIONS AND THE "STRANGLING OF PERSIA" IRAN AFFAIRS: IRANIAN FOREIGN POLICY AND INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS (OCTOBER 26): Iran -- but let's face it, the US's 'public diplomacy' efforts in the Mideast have been an absolute, total, miserable failure all along because they can't get over the fundamental problem of Israel."
BUSH TOUTING CUBAN LIFE AFTER CASTRO - ASSOCIATED PRESS (NEW YORK TIMES, OCTOBER 24): President Bush, ever pushing for a Cuba without Fidel Castro, wants allies around the world to offer money and political support so the island can be ready to transform itself. http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/us/AP-Bush-Cuba.html?pagewanted=print
HOW NOT TO PROMOTE DEMOCRACY IN CUBA - VICKI HUDDLESTON (WASHINGTON POST, OCTOBER 25): It's unrealistic to expect Cubans to magically transform their authoritarian government into a democracy on their own. We won't see a viable political opposition or vibrant free press until we help build up Cuban civil society. We also won't see meaningful movement toward democracy without changes to the U.S.'s rigid travel restrictions. These prevent the person-to-person contact and exchange of ideas that could build support for democracy and competition within Cuba.
BUSH TACTICS ARE PLAYING INTO CASTRO'S HANDS ANDRES MOPPENHEIMER (MIAMI HERALD, OCTOBER 26): Bush -- and whoever succeeds him -- should de-couple U.S. rhetoric on Cuba: step up the defense of human rights, while setting aside U.S. ''programs'' and ''commissions'' for Cuba's transition that smack of U.S. interventionism.
WHY IRAN'S DEMOCRATS SHUN AID - AKBAR GANJI (WASHINGTON POST, OCTOBER 26): Iranians are viewed as discredited when they receive money from foreign governments. The Bush administration may be striving to help Iranian democrats, but any Iranian who seeks American dollars will not be recognized as a democrat by his or her fellow citizens. Iranian pro-democracy forces want the Iranian people to have access to the Internet and free television to be able to hear criticism of the regime's policies and learn about alternative models of government. The support we need at this point has nothing to do with funding the regime's opposition but with aiding Iranians in the quest for independent media and accurate information.
IRAQ'S POLICE TRAINING PROGRAM RECORDS IN DISARRAY - DAVID PHINNEY (ROUGH CUT, OCTOBER 23): The State Department so terribly managed a $1.2 billion contract for Iraqi police training that it can't figure out what it got for the money spent, a new report says.
US BOOSTS OVERSIGHT FOR IRAQ CONTRACTORS ASSOCIATED PRESS (NEW YORK TIMES, OCTOBER 24): Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Tuesday ordered new measures to improve government oversight of private guards who protect U.S. diplomats in Iraq, including tighter rules of engagement and a board to investigate any future killings.
USE OF CONTRACTORS BY STATE DEPT. HAS SOARED - JOHN M. BRODER AND DAVID ROHDE (NEW YORK TIMES, OCTOBER 24): Over the past four years, the amount of money the State Department pays to private security and law enforcement contractors has soared to nearly $4 billion a year from $1 billion, administration officials said Tuesday, but they said that the department had added few new officials to oversee the contracts.
ANOTHER $200 BILLION EDITORIAL (NEW YORK TIMES, OCTOBER 25): Despite a pretense of fiscal prudence, Mr. Bush keeps throwing money at his war in Iraq, regardless of the cost in blood, treasure or children's health care.
THE IDEOLOGICAL JOB-PROTECTION PLAN GEORGE PACKER (NEW YORKER, OCTOBER 22): Every Shiite party and militia in Iraq has ties to and gets money and other support from some Iranian faction. Together, these parties and militias have imposed on Iraq's streets and mosques a rule of fundamentalist gangsterism.
REMEMBER IRAQ - THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN (NEW YORK TIMES, OCTOBER 23): "General Petraeus's strategy is to keep trying to knit the different militias and tribal fragments in Iraq together into a national army and government so we can shrink our presence. I truly wish him well. But I don't see it happening without two things: some shock therapy -- like a firm U.S. withdrawal signal -- to spur Iraqi leaders, and a regional settlement."
WHAT A MESS TONY BLANKLEY (WASHINGTON TIMES, OCTOBER 24): We have lost the Turks almost as badly as we have lost the most angry religious, fundamentalist Arab, Muslims. If we can't keep a fair share of their friendly attitude, how do we expect to win the much-vaunted and -awaited hearts and mind campaign?
A BOOST FOR DIPLOMACY: TOUGH SANCTIONS AGAINST IRAN ARE THE ALTERNATIVE TO MILITARY ACTION EDITORIAL (WASHINGTON POST, OCTOBER 26): The broad package of sanctions against Iran announced yesterday by the Bush administration offers a badly needed boost to the campaign to stop Tehran's nuclear program by nonmilitary means.
SQUEEZING IRAN REVIEW & OUTLOOK (WALL STREET JOURNAL, OCTOBER 26): Yesterday's announcement by the Bush Administration that it is sanctioning Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps is a step forward, even if it is belated.
MADNESS AS METHOD - MAUREEN DOWD (NEW YORK TIMES, OCTOBER 24): The hawks are pounding the drums on Iran as they once did on Iraq, acting as if the hourglass is running out and we have to act immediately or, as the president apocalyptically suggested last week, we could be facing World War III.
PRESIDENT BUSH NEEDS A TIME OUT - VIVIAN SALAMA (WASHINGTON POST, OCTOBER 25): To use an old Vietnam War slogan, Ahmedinejad is winning the "hearts and minds" of those across the Muslim world with his anti-West, anti-Israel speech -- something that many of the Sunni regimes have failed to do given their pro-West stances and, in the cases of Egypt and Jordan, treaties with Israel. Sticks and stones from the West WILL break bones, but they will not solve a thing. How about some diplomacy for a change?
STRAITJACKET BUSH: THE PRESIDENT'S WARMONGERING REMARKS ON THE IRANIAN THREAT SUGGEST HE IS PSYCHOTIC. REALLY - ROSA BROOKS (LOS ANGELES TIMES, OCTOBER 25): We're in the middle of a disastrous war in Iraq, the military and political situation in Afghanistan is steadily worsening, and the administration's interrogation and detention tactics have inflamed anti-Americanism and fueled extremist movements around the globe. Sane people, confronting such a situation, do their best to tamp down tensions, rebuild shattered alliances, find common ground with hostile parties and give our military a little breathing space. But crazy people? They look around and decide it's a great time to start another war.
U.S. MOVE ON IRAN ALIENATING FOR EUROPE: FRUSTRATION OVER ITS FAILURE TO IMPOSE A THIRD ROUND OF INTERNATIONAL SANCTIONS ON TEHRAN PUSHES THE ADMINISTRATION TO STRIKE OUT ON ITS OWN - PAUL RICHTER (LOS ANGELES TIMES, OCTOBER 26)
TRICKY MIDEAST SUMMIT - CLAUDE SALHANI (WASHINGTON TIMES, OCTOBER 24): In seeking to differentiate himself from Mr. Clinton's policies, Mr. Bush tended to ignore the Middle East and its problems. It wasn't until the September 11, 2001, terror attacks on U.S. soil that the Bush administration woke up to the fact the Middle East cannot be ignored: In addition to the regional turmoil itself, continued unrest in the Middle East can have direct repercussions in the U.S. homeland.
AFGHAN HOMECOMING - KHALED HOSSEINI (WALL STREET JOURNAL, OCTOBER 24): Now more than ever, the global community must make a genuine, long-term and comprehensive commitment to the Afghans and ensure the future of the coming generation. In other words, the world must not forget the Afghans again.
AFGHAN APPREHENSIONS REVIEW & OUTLOOK (WALL STREET JOURNAL, OCTOBER 26): It's been six years since the Taliban regime fell, and Afghans are still optimistic about their future, according to a new national poll. But unlike last year's survey, worries about security are mounting.
TERROR VS. DEMOCRACY IN PAKISTAN - HUSAIN HAQQANI (WALL STREET JOURNAL, OCTOBER 25): From America's point of view, the good news is that the people who were cheering in the streets of Pakistan for Ms. Bhutto will likely cheer against terrorism under a government run by her. Pakistan's war against terrorism will likely make better progress with the support of the people than it has in recent years under an embattled military dictator.
SEIZE THE OPPORTUNITY WITH RUSSIA ON KOSOVO - JANUSZ BUGAJSKI AND EDWARD P. JOSEPH (WASHINGTONPOST.COM, OCTOBER 24): After the recent humiliation by Russian President Vladimir Putin of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates during their recent meeting in Moscow, it is crucial for Washington to take the lead on Kosovo, galvanized by the understanding that what happens in the Balkans matters not only for the people of that region, but also for the West's relationship with Russia.
ADMINISTRATION OF TORTURE [NEW BOOK PUBLISHED BY ACLU): When the American media published photographs of U.S. soldiers abusing prisoners at Abu Ghraib, the Bush administration assured the world that the abuse was isolated and aberrational. Government officials insisted that abuse took place in spite of policy, not because of it. But the government's own documents tell a starkly different story.