Martin Varsavsky analyzes the current war between Israel and Lebanon labeling it a distraction strategy on the part of Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. In Varsavsky‘s opinion, Ahmadinejad used his influence with Hezbollah to create a war and divert attention away from his nuclear aims. Varsavsky identifies three possible outcomes for the current conflict: either Israel succeeds in drawing UN troops to police the Israel–Lebanon border, Lebanon turns into a second Iraq, or Israel and the United States decide to wage war on Iran. No matter what the outcome, Varsavsky reminds us, those who will suffer the most in this conflict will be the civilians.
Walid Salem lays bear the rhetoric on both sides of the Israel–Lebanon war, claiming that despite the confusion and emotion built up over decades of conflict, it is possible to find a solution for peace. In Salem‘s opinion, Israel must withdraw from the Shebaa Farms and release its Lebanese prisoners, and Hezbollah must recognize Israel, disarm and integrate into the Lebanese army, and promise to uphold a lasting peace on its borders with Israel. The most important way to sort through all of the rhetoric and propaganda on both sides, Salem points out, is to view your enemy as human. Only then can the healing necessary for peace take place.
By Arshin Adib-Moghaddam (for Safe Democracy)
Arshin Adib-Moghaddam explains how Iran has developed a multilateral strategy to enhance the diplomatic bargaining power of the Ahmadinejad administration. In Adib-Moghaddam‘s opinion, given Iran‘s defiant international stance and widespread influence, resolving the nuclear crisis will depend on a realistic assessment of Iran‘s role in world politics.
Mohammad Darawashe describes what life is like as an Arab Israeli living in Northern Israel during war. Hezbollah does not discriminate between Jewish Israelis and Arab Israelis in its bombings, and for Darawashe and his family, the Katyusha rocket attacks have become routine. Yet, despite the equal dangers that Jewish Israelis and Arab Israelis share in the North of Israel, Jewish towns are better equipped to defend themselves against missile attacks, making Darawashe feel that Arabs are being treated as second rate citizens by the Israeli government. Maybe it is too early to point the finger –states–, but one thing I know for sure is how to sympathize with the innocent civilians who are dying because of this ridiculous show of power.
Carlos Taibo explains how diplomatic relations between Russia and the United States have become strained over the last two years. In Taibo‘s opinion, the United States has been pressuring Russia to dissuade the country from alliances with rogue nations, and to impede Russia from returning to its status as a Cold War world power. US pressure has made it difficult for Putin to put foreign policies into practice that achieve positive results for his country.
Bernardo Kliksberg comments on the recent mega-donation of guru of finance Warren Buffet of over 85 per cent of his fortune to humanitarian causes, and of Bill Gates‘ decision to leave his company and dedicate himself fulltime to his foundation. Kliksberg believes that it is no coincidence that the most successful businessmen of our time are fighting to uphold corporate responsibility. These leaders are giving a message for all businessmen to be conscientious of their place in the world, and of the impact that their actions have upon others. And while Buffet and Gates cannot change the world with one decision, they can begin to make a difference in the lives of many people.
George Irani discusses the impotence of the United States and Israel before the growing threat of a more powerful Iran, Syria, Hezbollah, and Hamas. In Irani‘s opinion, Iran and Syria have set out to prove their power by urging Hezbollah into open war with Israel. As the cycle of vengeance, violence, and misunderstanding continues, Iran‘s power grows, and the Israeli–US alliance finds itself incapable of handling its war against what it calls the Axis of Evil. A difficult time lies ahead for the Middle East.
Pedro G. Cavallero explains the current dilemma of the United Nations in electing the next country to replace Argentina as a temporary member of the Security Council. Venezuela and Guatemala are the leading contenders for the position, and in Cavallero‘s opinion, choosing Venezuela would be a very dangerous mistake for the UN. With Hugo Chavez as President, the country has caused considerable damage to Latin American politics, acting erratically, creating tensions, and associating itself with some of the worst dictatorships. The international community must do all that it can to ensure that Venezuela not be allowed to replace Argentina on the Security Council.
In Ruben Campos‘ opinion the execution and symbolism of the multiple bombings of Mumbai‘s rail network epitomizes the work of Al Qaeda. India‘s recent alliance with the United States as well as its age-old conflict with Pakistan over Kashmir has made the country a prime target for international Islamic terrorism. How the attacks will influence India‘s peace process with Pakistan, what the government response should be, and how the citizens of Mumbai have given the world a lesson on courage and unity: Campos carefully addresses all of these issues.