Gaza explodes: In this unfolding tragedy, borders have turned into instruments of collective punishment, Israel's way of bringing Palestinians to their knees - Soumaya Ghannoushi (Guardian, January 24): Enormous amounts of money were and continue to be, pumped into a public diplomacy strategy aimed at improving America's image in the world. But the truth is that a mere glimpse of what goes on in Gaza today, or what went on in Jenin, Rafah, or Beit Hanoun before, is enough to undo the work of years of exchange programmes, speaking tours, and PR campaigns. http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/soumaya_ghannoushi_/2008/01/gaza_explodes.html
In the Ideological War Against Terrorism, the Military Has No Mission - William M. Arkin (washingtonpost.com, January 24): http://blog.washingtonpost.com/earlywarning/2008/01/in_the_ideological_war_against.html?nav=rss_blog
Rummy Resurfaces, Calls for U.S. Propaganda Agency - Sharon Weinberger (Danger Room, Wired, January 23): http://blog.wired.com/defense/2008/01/rummy-wants-pro.html
Former SecDef Calls for new USIA (Updated, again) (MountainRunner, January 23): http://mountainrunner.us/2008/01/former_secdef_calls_for_new_us.html
Military Plans to Control Internet Revealed - Sopan Greene http://salonesoterica.wordpress.com/2008/01/23/military-plans-to-control-internet-revealed/
Why Hillary Clinton Will Restore America's Standing in the World - Lissa Muscatine and Melanne Verveer (Huffington Post, January 24): .
Chinese president calls for stepped-up propaganda work ahead of Olympics - Christopher Bodeen, Associated Press, Yahoo! News Malaysia, January 24): http://malaysia.news.yahoo.com/ap/20080123/tap-as-gen-china-propaganda-1st-ld-write-bb10fb8.html
Hiring of Soviet Scientists Has Strayed From Aim, Audit Says - Matthew L. Wald (New York Times, January 24): http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/24/washington/24nuke.html?sq=&pagewanted=print
Propaganda battle over Gaza plight - Jonathan Marcus (BBC News, January 21): Even before Israel began to implement its decision to restrict fuel supplies to the Gaza Strip there was strong international condemnation from the United Nations, from aid organisations, and indeed from a number of friendly governments.
Embattled Gaza: a Propaganda Coup for Hamas - Frida Ghitis (World Politics Review, January 24): Much of the news coverage has carefully concealed that, as many in the Arab world point out, responsibility for the current crisis lies squarely on the shoulders of Hamas, the extremist organization that runs Gaza.
Juan Cole Peddles Hamas Propaganda; Accuses Israel of "Atrocities," "War Crimes," and "Slavery" - Cinnamon Stillwell (Campus Watch: Monitoring Middle East Studies on Campus, January 22): http://www.campus-watch.org/weblog/id/162
End the occupation -- and get justice for its victims - Bassam Aramin (baltimoresun.com, January 24): Israelis and their government -- and Americans and their government -- should be ashamed at the travesty in Gaza today.
The Biggest Jailbreak in History: The Siege of Gaza is Broken - Stanley Heller (CounterPunch, January 24): The Palestinian people took their destiny in their own hands and smashed down the wall that divided Gaza from Egypt. Hundreds of thousands of people left their prison and walked into Egypt and bought up food, fuel and everything else in sight. It took great courage to do what they did.
he West's Orwellian Monopoly on Morality - Paul Craig Roberts (antiwar.com, January 24): The United States, the great moral light unto the world, has just prevented the United Nations from censuring Israel, the world's other great moral light, for cutting off food supplies, medical supplies, and electric power to Gaza
Breach in Gaza: As thousands stream across the border to Egypt, Hamas blockades the peace process Editorial (Washington Post, January 24): The Bush administration and European governments should act to stop the ongoing farce at the U.N. Security Council and the U.N. Human Rights Council, which have ignored months of daily rocket attacks aimed at Israeli civilians but now rush to condemn a partial, three-day disruption of Gaza's power supplies.
Gaza in Second Life (islamOnline.com, January 24): People from tens of different world countries gathered on IslamOnline.net's island inside the virtual world of Second Life for a peaceful rally protesting the situation in Gaza.
Iraq's New Law on Ex-Baathists Could Bring Another Purge - Amit R. Paley and Joshua Partlow (Washington Post, January 23): Under new legislation promoted as way to return former Baathists to public life, thousands could be forced out of jobs they have been allowed to hold, according to Iraqi lawmakers and the government agency that oversees ex-Baathists.
Remarkable progress in Iraq - Helle Dale (Washington Times, January 23): Not every dark cloud has a silver lining, but $100 per barrel oil could have at least one: the boost it is providing for Iraq's long-suffering economy. Combined with greater political stability, and spreading zones of security, ascending oil prices are showing promise of making 2008 one of the best years Iraq has had in a long while.
How fear turns to resolve in one Iraqi village: US-Iraqi forces persuade a remote town in Diyala Province to fight against Al Qaeda insurgents - Scott Peterson (Christian Science Monitor, January 23)
False Pretenses: Following 9/11, President Bush and seven top officials of his administration waged a carefully orchestrated campaign of misinformation about the threat posed by Saddam Hussein's Iraq - Charles Lewis and Mark Reading-Smith (Center for Public Integrity)
A message for Tehran Editorial (Boston Globe, January 24): With parliamentary elections in Iran coming in March and Ahmadinejad being blamed for dozens of deaths due to a shortage of natural gas, this is the ideal time to inform Iranians that they need not go on suffering from his incompetence or his bravado.
Familiar Mideast mania - Paul Greenberg (Washington Times, January 24): If the goal were more modest in the Mideast, like just containing the current brush fires, it might be achievable.
A Mideast lesson for Bush - H.D.S. Greenway (Boston Globe, January 22): President Bush's trip to the Middle East last week seems to have been an effort to blow some air into his sagging, anti-Iranian balloon. His Sunni allies in the region are indeed worried about the rising power and belligerency of Shi'ite Iran, but they also know that it was Bush's war in Iraq that empowered Iran, and they are not sure they trust him to come up with a solution.
Still Wrong in Afghanistan - Richard Holbrooke (Washington Post, January 23): President Hamid Karzai and much of the international community in Kabul have warned Bush that aerial spraying of poppy fields would create a backlash against the government and the Americans, and serve as a recruitment device for the Taliban while doing nothing to reduce the drug trade. This is no side issue: If the program continues to fail, success in Afghanistan will be impossible.
In Kabul, Shattered Illusions - Jean MacKenzie (New York Times, January 24): Out of the billions that have supposedly come into Afghanistan, only a trickle has been used to good effect.
A workable strategy - Harlan Ullman (Washington Times, January 23): "Winning" is not the correct goal in Afghanistan. However, making that region our top priority is.
The Shah of Pakistan? Malou Innocent (Washington Post, January 24): The United States once earned the title of the "Great Satan" by propping up the Shah of Iran. We should not go down that same path by propping up the "Shah" of Pakistan, President Musharraf.
A Pro for the Pakistani Army? Ashfaq Kiyani May Do What Pervez Musharraf Couldn't David Ignatius (Washington Post, January 24): http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/01/23/AR2008012303288_pf.html
Opinions Do Not Reflect Those of the Management - Al Kamen (Washington Post, January 23): http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/01/22/AR2008012203466_pf.html
Slowly, but Surely, Pyongyang Is Moving - David Albright and Jacqueline Shire (Washington Post, January 24): There is no indication that North Korea is backing away from its commitments to disable key nuclear facilities and every reason to expect this process to unfold slowly, with North Korea taking small, incremental steps in return for corresponding steps from the United States and others in the six-party discussions
NATO shows its age Editorial (Boston Globe, January 23): Ever since the Cold War ended nearly two decades ago, the proper purpose and ground rules for the NATO alliance have been still up in the air, and the debate is unlikely to be resolved soon.
Impunity in Sudan - Editorial (Los Angeles Times, January 23) : The U.N. must either stand up to the Sudanese thugs now or pack up its peacekeepers and go home.
Tehran, Havana and Caracas Editorial (Washington Times, January 23): One of the most troubling threats in America's backyard is the emerging axis of Cuba's Communist regime and the Iranian government, assisted by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.
A Clinton twofer's high price: Hillary Clinton's campaign reminds us that her husband's presidency looks good only when it's compared to the Bush years - Rosa Brooks (Los Angeles Times, January 24): Under Clinton, the United States didn't actively alienate huge swathes of the global population. But on foreign policy in particular, Clinton's presidency was an era of missed opportunities.