Shades of Gray

Complicating the War in Iraq

By Lev Weiss (for Safe Democracy)

Lev Weiss writes on the changing nature of war in the 21st century and on the failures of the United States government in adapting. In Weiss‘ opinion, no amount of military might will be sufficient to win the wars of the present. Instead, complex solutions need to be devised involving diplomacy, and thorough planning. Iraq could have been a success had the Pentagon planned properly to win the trust of the Iraqi people. And the US can still win the War on Terrorism, once it realizes that terrorism is not something that can be warred against. The US must leave behind its simplistic idealism, and open its eyes to the growing complexity of the twenty first century.


Paz Zamora’s New Latin American Left

Lessons for Bolivia’s future

By Pedro G. Cavallero (for Safe Democracy)

Pedro G. Cavallero writes on the difficulty that the Latin American Left has had in governing, according to former President of Bolivia, Jaime Paz Zamora. In Paz Zamora‘s opinion, it is essential for the Left to create unity rather than division, to seek out friends in all political parties, and to avoid becoming lost in close-minded, partisan manoeuvring. A new trend of social democratization is sweeping Latin America. By branching out to create unity rather than division, Morales can also be a part of Latin America‘s New Left.

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Waiting For The Kirchners

Argentina 2007: Latin America’s Last Election

By Fabi


War is Hell

Finding alternatives to violence

By Daniel Bavly (for Safe Democracy)

Daniel Bavly writes on the changing face of War in the 21st century, and how, after two world wars, the menace of terrorism has arisen as a new threat to peace. In Bavly‘s opinion, insufficient coordination, poor planning, cumbersome bureaucracies, and increasing citizen disillusionment are weakening militaries. As war changes, the military must also change, and society must seek new diplomatic alternatives to fighting violence with violence. A century and a half after the statement that War is Hell, Bavly writes, society may finally be beginning to believe it.


Is Urban Revitalization Tantamount to Redlining?

Government and private control over impoverished minorities

By Ryan C. Napoli (for Safe Democracy)

Ryan C. Napoli argues that while politicians are now championing urban revitalization projects as the remedy to cure the ills suffered by American cities, in reality the only people to benefit are the rich and the private corporations. In Napoli‘s opinion, the past practice of redlining, whereby Federal and State government policies and practices pushed America‘s minority communities and poor into isolation in impoverished neighborhoods, is very much alive today in urban renewal projects. Today, with government approval, private corporations are again pushing minority communities and the poor out of their neighbors to make room for the rich and their expensive businesses.


A European Hamas, an American Abu-Mazen

Contradictions in the Middle East peace process

By Walid Salem (for Safe Democracy)

Walid Salem writes about the growing contradiction within European, American, and Israeli decision-making since the West dropped its sanctions-regime against Hamas. In Salem‘s opinion, while some States favor gradual diplomacy to legitimate Hamas and establish a five-year ceasefire, others are seeking the negotiation of an immediate permanent status solution with Abu-Mazen. And as the complexity of the contradiction grows, one thing has become clear: Abu-Mazen‘s hope lies in a permanent peace agreement. Continuing partial agreements will only damage Abu-Mazen‘s Presidency, increase tension between Hamas and Fatah, and weaken the possibility for an eventual reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians.

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Military Rule in Pakistan

A failed political party system

By Sohail Mahmood (for Safe Democracy)

Sohail Mahmood details the history of democracy in Pakistan since its independence in 1947. After half a century of a corrupt, self-serving, and authoritarian political party system, the public outcry for democracy, accountability, and social justice can no longer be ignored. In Mahmood‘s opinion, no single leader can rescue Pakistan from its current political crisis, nor should the baby be thrown out with the bathwater. Reform is needed, not revolution, in order to build a solid democratic foundation for the future of the country. Only by respecting democratic norms, reconstructing the political party system, and promoting national reconciliation can Pakistan find its way out of its current, multidimensional crisis.


ETA’s Division?

The return of bombs in Spain

By Javier Ortiz (for Safe Democracy)

Javier Ortiz explains how the bomb that ETA set off in the new terminal of Madrid‘s Barajas Airport, destroying a parking lot and killing two Ecuadorian citizens, has shaken the foundations of Spanish and Basque politics, and raised enigmas essential to the future of the peace process. In Ortiz‘ opinion, the renewed violence is inconsistent with ETA‘s traditional modus operandi, and may signify an internal division within ETA itself, which will greatly complicate negotiations. The bombing is also evidence of the volatility of the Spanish political system, and the possible shift of pro-socialist voters to the right.


Daniel Ortega’s Second Opportunity

Pragmatism tempers a revolutionary past

By Rafael Moreno Izquierdo (for Safe Democracy)

Rafael Moreno Izquierdo analyzes Daniel Ortega‘s second opportunity as President of Nicaragua. Despite his friendship with Raúl Castro, Hugo Chávez and Evo Morales, Ortega is not the same revolutionary that we remember from the seventies and eighties. He has managed to temper his revolutionary past with a strong dose of pragmatism to make him effective in the twenty first century. In Moreno Izquierdo‘s opinion, Ortega‘s election will not transform Nicaragua into a capitalist paradise, nor will the Nicaraguan economy model itself off of the highly regulated examples of Cuba or China. The future, therefore, will depend on Daniel Ortega‘s ability to prove that he truly has changed, and on the politicians and businessmen of the United States and Europe to believe him.