Novel approaches to peace

In the absence of intelligence, baseless opinion rules

By Daniel Bavly (for Safe Democracy)

Dan Bavly explains how the post-Cold War immigration of Muslims to many Western countries, as well as the increasing globalization of the 21st century, have exacerbated the modern era’s clash of civilizations. In Bavly‘s opinion, terrorism should not be shocking as it is simply an updated form of warfare in a world that has always been dangerous. But to meet this new threat, Bavly writes, the West must improve its intelligence systems, and open up dialogue with the countries that it has placed in the axis of evil based upon mutual respect, equality, and understanding. Only then can the baseless opinions that have been ruling Western foreign policy be replaced with more innovative and intelligent approaches to peace.


Lula: the legacy of reelection

Similarities to Cardoso’s regime

By Mauro Victoria Soares (for Safe Democracy)

Mauro Soares discusses Lula‘s unwillingness to change the conservative economic policies that have hurt, rather than helped, the annual growth of Brazil‘s economy. Despite campaign strategies to distance his administration from the negative legacy of ex-President Cardoso, in upholding these policies, Lula is in fact continuing Cardoso‘s heritage. In Soares‘ opinion, the real debate in Brazil, concerning specific economic policies, has been pushed aside in favor of political rhetoric and electioneering.


How to stop violence in the Middle East

The importance of the peace process

By Mario Sznajder (for Safe Democracy)

Mario Sznajder explains how the growing cycle of violence between Palestinians and Israelis demonstrates a mutual insensitivity and lack of leadership on both sides of the conflict. Apart from the loss of lives, the ongoing violence is contributing to a growing public indifference to suffering, which may very well lead to the degradation of both the Israeli and Palestinian societies. In Sznajder‘s opinion, the political elite of both nations needs to adopt the necessary political measures to open up negotiations, thus placing the good of their respective societies above self-interested motivations for political survival.


Notes on human security and peace

Reflections on the challenges of the Gaza Strip

By Walid Salem (for Safe Democracy)

Walid Salem explains how the Gaza Strip could become the next Hong Kong of the Middle East provided that steps are taken to reach a permanent peace. In Salem‘s opinion, while the Hamas government has shown enormous restraint in upholding the promised ceasefire with Israel, there are three major challenges confronting it: growing social unrest and chaos, its own refusal to recognize Israel, and suffocating international sanctions. Salem explains the importance of human security in establishing a responsible citizenry and building up strong democratic structures, and outlines a possible approach to give the people of Gaza their right to human security and peace.


When the solution lies within

Who can detain Iran’s nuclear program?

By Ricardo Israel Z. (for Safe Democracy)

Ricardo Israel Z. explains how the only people capable of detaining Iran‘s nuclear program are the Ayatollahs themselves. In Israel Z‘s opinion, neither a blockade on boats and airplanes, nor an imposition of international sanctions, nor an attack of nuclear installations will be effective in containing a regime that already has the capacity, resources, and will to continue in its nuclear plans. The solution lies with the Ayatollahs, who hold the true and undeniable power in Iran.

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The True Meaning of Victor’s Justice

Verdicts of history and Saddam Hussein’s death sentence

By Arshin Adib-Moghaddam (for Safe Democracy)

Arshin Adib-Moghaddam explains the influence of outside interests and a quasi-legal framework in determining the outcome of Saddam Hussein‘s trial. With a hastily announced death sentence, the United States, Britain, Germany and their allies have avoided acknowledgement of their history of collusion with the Ba’thist regime and involvement with Saddam Hussein‘s war crimes and chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons programs. In Adib-Moghaddam‘s opinion, the verdict ignored truth, impartiality, and comprehensiveness, clarifying the distinction between justice, and victor’s justice.

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New Risks, New Threats

The Iranian Nuclear Crisis and Politics of the Western Powers

By Sohail Mahmood (for Safe Democracy)

Sohail Mahmood explains how despite Iran‘s insistence that it is developing its nuclear program for purely pacific means, it can be reasonably assumed that Iran wants to obtain nuclear weapons. The possession of nuclear capabilities would reduce Iran‘s historical sense of insecurity, and allow the ambitious country to become a leader in the Muslim World. In Mahmood‘s opinion, in order to avoid the further escalation of the crisis, the US and Western powers must learn to be patient, and establish multilateral negotiations with Iran in order to convince the country to give up its nuclear program without losing face. Given the weakening of the US in Iraq and Afghanistan, Iran‘s history of prominence in the Middle East, and the lack of support for sanctions, diplomacy is the only viable option available.


Oaxaca: Democracy or Anarchy?

Behind the Protests in Mexico

By Zidane Zeraoui (for Safe Democracy)

Zidane Zeraoui explains that far from having anything to do with indigenous or democratic interests, the current conflict in Oaxaca is a classic struggle for power between section 22 of the independent syndicate of the magistracy and the state government. In provoking protests in one of Mexico‘s poorest regions, the syndicate leadership is looking for more than its traditional share of the power. Linked with the interests of the PRD, it seeks to destabilize the entire leftist region and further the legitimacy crisis that Mexico’s government has mired in since the presidential elections in July. In Zeraoui‘s opinion, the decision taken by Vicente Fox to act was not only legitimate, but also greatly needed.

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Lula’s Challenges

An Analysis of a Tremendous Victory in Brazil

By Julio Cesar Casarin Barroso Silva (for Safe Democracy)

Julio Cesar Casarin Barroso Silva examines the elections in Brazil and explains what unknown policies await the country after Lula’s overwhelming victory. Ruling out the possible radicalization of the Brazilian Social Democracy Party, Casarin Barroso believes that it will be necessary to wait and see if Lula will be able to spur economic development and implement urgent income redistribution measures in one of the most unequal societies on the planet.

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