Mercedes Herrero explains the motivations behind Russia‘s moderate stance towards Iran in its bid to harness nuclear energy. Despite US and EU criticism, Russia has acted with great reserve in condemning Iran, for various reasons. Economically, Iran‘s move towards nuclear weapons could be quite lucrative for Russia, and politically, Russia is using the crisis to gain international power as a world player. Yet, if the situation were to worsen, and Mahmud Ahmadineyad were to become even more radical, Moscow would be one of the principal nations in danger of the Iranian threat, and may be one of the firsts to suffer if Teheran obtained nuclear missiles.
George E. Irani analyzes previous conflicts in the Middle East emphasizing the power that Syria holds in influencing Israeli-Palestinian relations. Irani views Syria as a possible instigator for the violent actions of Hamas, and the Bashar Assad regime as a major source of conflict in Palestine. The coming days will be important in determining how the delicate balance of power in the Middle East plays out. Irani explains the complex relationship between Ehud Olmert, Bashar Assad and Hamas.
Pedro G. Cavallero sheds light on the mistreatment and under representation of minorities in government throughout Europe. In Cavallero‘s opinion the recent riots in France are simply the beginning of what promises to be a massive immigrant outcry for change, integration, and recognition in European societies. The problem of immigration will not go away by ignoring it. Europe must accept its loss of homogeneity, recognize the importance of immigration, and give voices to its immigrants. Only then can Europe move forward, creating more open and tolerant societies.
Juan Tokatlian explains how the United States has increasingly practiced policies of unilateralism and aggression, ignored international protocols, and responsibilities, and set its own goals above those of the global community. Because the rest of the world cannot ignore Washington‘s international influence, the best response to the country’s increasingly belligerent foreign policy would be to involve Washington more in nation building, and to promote and defend international interests. Yet, while the US remains resolved to hold its course, the rest of the world need not sit by and allow itself to be intimidated. The battle against world problems such as poverty, the abuse of human rights, the destruction of the environment, the abuse of drugs, the proliferation of nuclear weapons, AIDS, and wide-spread corruption, can be fought without the United States. In the end, multilateral solutions can prevail over unilateral interests.
By Chimène Coste (for Safe Democracy)
Chimène Coste analyzes the history of the relationship between the European Union and Cuba, pointing out that the two options Brussels now has are either to maintain its current sanctions against Cuba, thus condemning the political repression of the country, or it can open itself up to dialogue, trade, and institutional cooperation. Spain and France have taken particular interest in relations with Cuba from the very beginning, and as Coste explains, the future of relations between Europe and Cuba is entirely in the hands of these two countries. The best decision now for Europe would be to follow in the diplomatic footsteps of previous Spanish and French presidents Felipe Gonzalez and Francois Mitterand. These two showed that it is possible to continue sanctioning Cuba, while establishing constructive dialogue.
Fernando Delage explains the role of the recently formed Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in what many see as the eastern alternative to NATO. The organization, led by China and Russia, has as one of its principal objectives to hinder and counteract the growing influence of the United States in Central Asia. Yet the possibilities for change of the SCO span beyond its capacity as a defensive and diplomatic group. With enough European and American backing, the SCO could serve as a major starting point for the authoritarian nations in Central Asia to undergo great political change.
Ariel Moutsatsos discusses the importance of economic, and fiscal reform in the upcoming elections in Mexico. He believes that what is at stake in these elections is not just the battle between progressive and traditionalist viewpoints, liberals against conservatives, nor is it a simple confrontation between independents and realists, revolutionaries against porfiristas; what is at stake is the wellbeing, future, and credibility of the Mexican nation itself. Moutsatsos explains the complexity of these issues, and describes how Spanish and Chilean socialism can serve as examples for Mexico in order to create and sustainable development, better the quality of life, and reduce poverty and social inequalities.
Javier Ortiz draw attention to the ups and downs that the fight against terrorism has taken during the last few years in Spain, and analyzes how the policies implemented by Rodríguez Zapatero (before his presidency) could now become obstacles to the very peace process that he began. In 2000, Zapatero took a hardliner stance on terrorism in order to gain support against ex-President Aznar. Since then, he has entirely changed his position on terrorism, and yet the mechanisms that he set in motion continue to function, and risk jeopardizing the whole peace process. In Ortiz‘s opinion, an important lesson can be learned from the current President of Spain on the dangers of political opportunism of any kind.
By Arshin Adib-Moghaddam (for Safe Democracy)
Arshin Adid-Moghaddam explains how a common ignorance and stereotyping of Islam has led to strained relations between the Muslim and Judeo-Christian world. These misinformed views place blame inaccurately on the teachings of the Qu’ran, and lack a complete understanding of the variety of factors that influence modern day Islam, perpetuating what Adid-Moghaddam refers to as a belief in nihilistic terrorism. It is increasingly difficult to ignore the fact that throughout Europe and the wider Western world, Islam is being turned into a police matter. Western governments are increasingly calling for new policies in order to manage the growing threat to social order that Islam appears to present.