From freedom agenda to freedom doctrine

Posted by , 11th February 2011

Egyptian2011ProtestsBCharles Krauthammer

The United States needs to adopt a Freedom Doctrine that unabashedly supports democracy throughout the Middle East. Such a doctrine would include aiding emerging democracies in throwing off dictatorships and protection for new democracies against regional and global totalitarianism. It would allow time for key elements of democracy (such as a free press and independent political parties) to establish themselves before holding elections so as to avoid rogue coups coming to power and destroying the democracy that elected them. This is not reinventing the wheel, says Krauthammer. Similar foreign policy was implemented successfully in post WWII Europe and during the Cold War. A freedom agenda powered by guiding principles can be as effective now as it was in Truman’s day.

Krauthammer is a weekly columnist for The Post, writing on foreign and domestic policy and politics.

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The Next Step for Egypt’s Opposition

Posted by , 11th February 2011

Mohamed-El_BaradeiMohamed ElBaradei

ElBaradei lists the problems facing Egypt, including poverty, illiteracy, and being listed as a failed state, while people live in a state of fear and repression where democracy has been denied to its people. Young people have been preparing for this moment through the Internet, which gave them opportunities for expression and assembly that their government did not. The tipping point was the Tunisian revolution, which sent them the message that they, too, could succeed. President Mubarak can no longer hold on to power that is no longer his, ElBaradei says. He outlines the actions needed next to ensure a peaceful and orderly transition of power to a new Egypt based on freedom and social justice.

ElBaradei, as the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005. He is the author of the forthcoming book “The Age of Deception: Nuclear Diplomacy in Treacherous Times.”

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Date With a Revolution

Posted by , 31st January 2011

Egyptian riotMansoura Ez-Eldin

Ez-Eldin was present during the beginning of the protests in Egypt and says those who began it and organized via Facebook and twitter it are angry at police cruelty and the repression and torture from Mubarak’s regime. He says it is not a plot of the Muslim Brotherhood. He reviews how the government used violence–including live ammunition–against peaceful protestors to prevent an ouster as in Tunisia, and the chaos that has devolved. He says silence is a crime and Egyptians will find a way to have their voices heard to the world to demand freedom and justice.

Mansoura Ez-Eldin is the author of the novels “Maryam’s Maze” and “Beyond Paradise.”

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The Coming Iraqi Business Boom

Posted by , 21st December 2010

BagdadBartle Bull

Nine months has been a long time to wait for a new government in Iraq, but the process has happened peacefully and constitutionally, and Bull is encouraged by that. There is evidence that Iraq can avoid much of the “oil curse” and build a more cosmopolitan and modern economy than those of its autocratic neighbors. Iraq’s greatest resource is its famously resourceful, tough, educated, and enterprising people. Whereas the capitals of the Gulf oil monarchies did not have paved streets a generation or two ago, Baghdad and Basra are ancient capitals of commerce, ideas, and global finance. However, Iraq still faces the challenge of overcoming inefficient bureaucracy, rampant corruption, and sporadic violence.

Bull, a former journalist, is a founder of Northern Gulf Partners, an Iraq-focused investment bank.

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An Obama foreign policy win in South Sudan

Posted by , 10th December 2010

Michael Gerson

The new independence of South Sudan is a diplomatic success worth celebrating. After the Obama administration offered the Khartoum regime (the Muslim north of Sudan) a series of incentives called “the road map,” the regime agreed to allow southern Sudan to “go quietly.” The bipartisan nature of this pending diplomatic solution is worth noting: the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) was begun in 2005 under the Bush administration, and helped create a unified national government in Sudan and guaranteed an “independence referendum” for south Sudan in 2011. That referendum will be voted on this January 9, with many southern Sudanese who now live in Khartoum returning to their home region to vote. Of course there will be challenges as the newly independent South Sudan becomes a nation, but this successful venture shows how government officials can do a great deal of good in the world.

Gerson is a nationally syndicated columnist who appears twice weekly in the Washington Post.

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Anger over papal visit shows religious freedom is alive and well in Britain

Posted by , 21st September 2010

Pope Benedict UK VisitAnne Applebaum

The pope’s visit to the United Kingdom stirred up religious and atheistic fervor. While Applebaum points out that a noted Jewish or Muslim leader would not receive the same angry protests as a Christian one, she also notes that the furor was ultimately good for the cause of religious freedom. Due to the protests, the pope received a tremendous amount of media attention. And because of the left-leaning nature of the more vicious protests, the conservative right came to the pope’s defense and ended up learning more about some important aspects of Catholicism. All in all, Pope Benedict XVI’s visit was beneficial politically and socially.

Applebaum is a weekly columnist for The Post, writing on foreign affairs.

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Peace Talks? What’s on TV?

Posted by , 15th September 2010

Israel y PalestinaRoger Cohen

Cohen reports from Israel, where he says little attention is focused on the peace talks with Palestine. People prefer to watch the Israeli version of American Idol on television. People do not trust politics, they don’t trust peace, and the recent arrivals from the former Soviet Union don’t have democratic values, which has weakened democracy there, according to Israeli historian Tom Segev, whom Cohen interviews. He says people are “busy privatizing themselves in online worlds where national politics matter little” and have become cynical and blasĂ©, which has eradicated idealism.

Cohen is a New York Times columnist.

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An End to “Home-Grown” Jihadist Terrorism?

In a movement rife with contradictions, the lines between collective and individual action are blurred

Posted by , 30th January 2008

europe_9112.jpgOne of the quandaries facing terrorism analysts today: the jihadist’s dilemma of whether to promote collective or individual action among potential adherents. Although this may appear to be an obscure issue, so specific as to interest only counterterrorism analysts, it is actually a widely applicable and underappreciated topic that could directly impact the type of terrorism Europe may face in the future. As such, it is a concern for all.


An Urgent Call for a New Dialogue between the West and the Islamic Civilization

War of the Minds

Posted by , 27th October 2007

Soul searching, an atmosphere of toleration and respect and a dialogue among the civilizations (the West and Islam). Mutual respect, justice and equity and the rejection of bigotry and hatred; all basic humans values that the West and Islam have in common. Why then is a dialogue between these two civilizations so hard?