THREE AMERICAN COMICS FIND ISLAMIC AUDIENCES LAUGH TOO: THE 'AXIS OF EVIL' TOURS THE MIDDLE EAST POKING FUN AT STEREOTYPES - DAN MURPHY (CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR, NOVEMBER 26)
FOREIGN SHOPPERS HIT 'MALL OF AMERICA': THANKS TO WEAK DOLLAR, MORE EUROPEANS AND CANADIANS ARE TRAVELING TO US TO DO THEIR HOLIDAY SHOPPING - RON SCHERER (CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR, NOVEMBER 26)
U.S. PEACE CORPS RECRUITING OLDER VOLUNTEERS - SARAH ABRUZZESE (INTERNATIONAL HERALD TRIBUNE, NOVEMBER 25): Though older recruits are nothing new to the Peace Corps, it recently began an initiative to entice people age 50 or older into joining at a time when many of them are stepping away from careers and into the great unknown of retirement. In the 1970s, older members represented 5 percent of the corps. That grew to a high of 9.7 percent in 1991, but the number slowly fell back to 5 percent last year.
CANADA'S MORAL COMPASS - PIERRE ATLAS (REAL CLEAR POLITICS, NOVEMBER 24): "Unlike the United States, Canada does not wield tremendous military or economic power, but it does have something in abundance that America has been losing of late: soft power. According to numerous surveys of world opinion, respect for the United States has dropped dramatically over the past seven years, and George W. Bush is the world's most reviled leader. But nobody hates Canada, and I doubt few people around the world, or even in Canada, really hate Prime Minister Stephen Harper."
IRAQ HAS ONLY MILITANTS, NO CIVILIANS: "TACTICAL PERCEPTION MANAGEMENT" IN IRAQ - DAHR JAMAIL (TOMDISPATCH, NOVEMBER 26): At the time of this writing, the group Just Foreign Policy has offered an estimate of Iraqis killed since the U.S.-led invasion and occupation. Their number: 1,118,846. Consider that possibility in the context of the latest round of news from Iraq about lessening violence. It is an indication of the success of an effective Pentagon "tactical perception management campaign," of the way the Bush administration has continued to "catapult propaganda," and of the dehumanization of Iraqis that has gone with it, that the possibility of the number of dead Iraqis being in this range has largely been dismissed (or remained generally undealt with) in the mainstream media in the United States.
IRAQIS RETURNING, BUT AT LOWER RATE THAN GOVERNMENT REPORTS - DAMIEN CAVE (INTERNATIONAL HERALD TRIBUNE, NOVEMBER 26)
20,000 VETS' BRAIN INJURIES NOT LISTED IN PENTAGON TALLY - GREGG ZOROYA (USA TODAY, NOVEMBER 24): At least 20,000 U.S. troops who were not classified as wounded during combat in Iraq and Afghanistan have been found with signs of brain injuries, according to military and veterans records compiled by USA TODAY.
TROOP LEVELS IN IRAQ TO FALL BY 5,000: THE U.S. ARMY'S 3RD BRIGADE, 1ST CAVALRY, WHICH HAS BEEN OPERATING MOSTLY IN VOLATILE DIYALA PROVINCE, IS TO DEPART - ANN M. SIMMONS (LOS ANGELES TIMES, NOVEMBER 25)
$144 MILLION OVER BUDGET AND STILL NOT OPEN FOR BUSINESS: IRAQ EMBASSY AS GILDED PALACE - CHRISTOPHER BRAUCHLI (COUNTERPUNCH, NOVEMBER 24)
MILITARY WANTS MORE VIEWS ON IRAQ REPORTS: SEPTEMBER'S ASSESSMENT PUT TOO MUCH FOCUS ON GEN. PETRAEUS, SAY OFFICIALS CONCERNED ABOUT THE WAR'S EFFECT ON PUBLIC SUPPORT - JULIAN E. BARNES (LOS ANGELES TIMES, NOVEMBER 26): "This is not Dave Petraeus' war. This is George Bush's war," said one senior official, underscoring the military's view that its role is to carry out the decisions made by political leaders.
HOW GOES THE WAR? - PAUL GREENBERG (WASHINGTON TIMES, NOVEMBER 24): However encouraging the news from Iraq, the news from Washington grows ever grimmer. Divided we fall.
LET'S HEAR IT FOR GOOD NEWS FROM IRAQ - JEFF JACOBY (BOSTON GLOBE, NOVEMBER 25): The news from Iraq has been so encouraging in recent months that last week even the mainstream media finally sat up and took notice. Can the Democratic Party be far behind?
THE CASE FOR ILLEGAL MINGLING - THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN (NEW YORK TIMES, NOVEMBER 25): Casualties are down in Iraq, but we need to see a lot more.
HANDS OFF IRAN - CHRIS HEDGES (NATION, NOVEMBER 21): A war with Iran is doomed.
A SEPARATE PEACE WITH SYRIA ? EDITORIAL (BOSTON GLOBE, NOVEMBER 24): For Israel, the United States, and those Arab regimes that seek to counter a perceived threat from Iran, Syrian President Bashar Assad has a valuable card to offer: the option of subtracting Syria from an arc of Iranian influence that now stretches through Iraq and Syria to Lebanon.
AMERICAN FOLLY - CAROLINE GLICK (JERUSALEM POST, NOVEMBER 25): The Americans have shown themselves to be unworthy of Israel's trust. There is no good excuse for the Bush administration's decision to embrace the Palestinians at Israel's expense.
OBSTACLES AND OPPORTUNITY FOR MIDEAST PEACE - JAMES CARROLL (BOSTON GLOBE, NOVEMBER 26): The internationalization of Middle East reconciliation efforts can break the choke hold that has suffocated not only Israeli and Palestinian impulses, but those of the heretofore ineffectual negotiating partners, especially the United States.
BUSH'S MIDDLE EAST UNRAVELS FURTHER JUAN COLE (INFORMED COMMENT: THOUGHTS ON THE MIDDLE EAST, HISTORY, AND RELIGION, NOVEMBER 26): As of this weekend, Lebanon does not have a president and the country's stability is in doubt. The Palestinian Authority is divided and is a mess, with the elected government having been overthrown by a US-backed coup.
THE REAL TWO-STATE SOLUTION - ALUF BENN (SALON, NOVEMBER 26): This week President Bush will convene an international conference in Annapolis, Md., to promote the "two-state solution" for Israelis and Palestinians. The meetings and noble proclamations toward that goal, however, will bear little relation to reality here in the Middle East. Essentially, Bush is too late. For most Israelis, the two-state solution already exists.
THE REGION: INVITING A BULL INTO THE CHINA SHOP ? BARRY RUBIN (JERUSALEM POST, NOVEMBER 25): What most of Washington simply fails to understand is that any real demand for Palestinian or Arab concessions will be fodder for radical groups and frighten Arab regimes, pushing the latter away from support for America rather than toward it. And any Israeli concessions obtained by this process will not satisfy their demands, either
THROUGH IRAQ'S CLOUD COVER - VICTOR DAVIS HANSON (WASHINGTON TIMES, NOVEMBER 24): If you take the anger about George Bush out of the equation, along with the Iraq war and the fear of any more invasions by the United States, why not support democratic reform in the Middle East? We know the alternatives only play into the hands of terrorists.
DEMOCRACY MYTH: FANTASY PAKISTAN - STANLEY KURTZ (NATIONAL REVIEW, NOVEMBER 26): Pakistan has never been a democracy. Woe to us if Nawaz Sharif and his ?democratic? friends take power. And shame on us if, charmed by manipulators of that magical word ?democracy,? we hand power to Nawaz Sharif and his Islamist allies on a silver platter.
BACK TO THE BRINK IN THE BALKANS - RICHARD HOLBROOKE (WASHINGTON POST, NOVEMBER 25): The United States and most of the European Union (led by Britain, France and Germany) will recognize Kosovo quickly. Russia and its allies will not. Kosovo's eight-year run as the biggest-ever U.N. project will end with great tension and a threat of violence that could spread to Bosnia.
VENEZUELA'S PATH TO SELF-DESTRUCTION: VOTERS ARE ON THE VERGE OF HANDING PRESIDENT HUGO CHAVEZ THE POWER TO TURN THEIR COUNTRY INTO A DICTATORSHIP - WILLIAM RATLIFF (LOS ANGELES TIMES, NOVEMBER 24): Chavez promises Venezuelans perks, such as six-hour workdays, and redress of their grievances against domestic and foreign oppressors, including the United States.
AUSTRALIA'S PATH BENDS AWAY FROM U.S. - RAYMOND
BONNER (NEW YORK TIMES, NOVEMBER 26): The defeat of John Howard, Australia?s prime minister, in Saturday's election deprived President Bush of one of his most steadfast allies and will bring changes in Australia's foreign policy that will be felt in Washington.
AUSTRALIAN U-TURNS - EDITORIAL COMMENT (FINANCIAL TIMES, NOVEMBER 26): The generational shift represented by the triumph of the 50-year-old Mr. Rudd over a man 18 years his senior will affect other aspects of policy and further diminish international support for President George W. Bush.
AUSSIE OUSTER ? REVIEW & OUTLOOK (WALL STREET JOURNAL, NOVEMBER 26): Australia's new Prime Minister is Kevin Rudd, a Mandarin-speaking former foreign service officer. On foreign policy, Mr. Rudd's policies also aren't likely to be radically different from those of Mr. Howard -- though his rhetoric tilts more toward the United Nations.
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OBAMA IS RIGHT ON IRAN - SHELBY STEELE (WALL STREET JOURNAL, NOVEMBER 26): Moral authority is the single greatest challenge of American foreign policy.
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FIGHTING IDENTITY: WHY WE ARE LOSING OUR WARS - MICHAEL VLAHOS (HUFFINGTON POST, NOVEMBER 25): In a world of the stripped and left-behind -- one-half about to become two-thirds of humanity -- we do not have a counter-offer. We offer only lordly altruism, while denying our own identity problem.
AMERICA IN THE TIME OF EMPIRE - CHRIS HEDGES (TRUTHDIG, NOVEMBER 26): The decision to measure the strength of the state in military terms is fatal. It leads to a growing cynicism among a disenchanted citizenry and a Hobbesian ethic of individual gain at the expense of everyone else. Few want to fight and die for a Halliburton or an Exxon. This is why we do not have a draft. It is why taxes have not been raised and we borrow to fund the war. It is why the state has organized, and spends billions to maintain, a mercenary army in Iraq. We leave the fighting and dying mostly to our poor and hired killers. No nationwide sacrifices are required. We will worry about it later. It all amounts to a tacit complicity on the part of a passive population. This permits the oligarchy to squander capital and lives.
RICE'S TURNABOUT ON MIDEAST PEACE TALKS - ELISABETH BUMILLER (NEW YORK TIMES, NOVEMBER 26): 'There was absolutely no prospect of a Middle East peace process that was going to lead to anything,' Rice said in an interview in May about her thinking in 2001. 'I just didn't see it.' Nearly seven tumultuous years later, Ms. Rice, as secretary of state, has led the Bush administration to a startling turnaround and is now thrusting the United States as forcefully as Mr. Clinton once did into the role of mediator between the Israelis and Palestinians.
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