July 2008 Archives

Guest Voice  |  July 2, 2008 3:06 PM

A Case For Covert Action in Iran

Editor’s Note: PostGlobal received this e-mailed commentary from a former CIA officer who has extensive experience with covert and paramilitary action. It argues for a much more aggressive covert-action program against Iran, comparable to what the CIA mounted against the Soviet Union during the Reagan administration.

The author has requested anonymity because of the sensitiivty of the subject, and the fact that he continues to work and travel overseas.

We are sharing that perspective with PostGlobal readers not because we necessarily agree with it, but because that argument is rarely expressed in public. We include it here to add another layer to our debate.

Iran cries out for a global, comprehensive Foreign Intelligence and Covert Action program. They are so exposed in the Gulf, Africa, Asia, and South America. Here in the United States as well.

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Guest Voice  |  July 8, 2008 9:27 AM

Czechs to U.S. Missile Defense: Keep Out

By Dana Kutchova

Secratary of State Condoleeza Rice is in Prague today to ink the U.S. Missile Shield Treaty, but the question remains, who invited her?

The U.S. National Missile Defense project is a complex, far-reaching system involving the production of new weapons and the installation of U.S. military bases around the world. In Europe, the first step is the installation of an advanced radar facility in the Czech Republic, as well as a base for interceptor missiles in neighboring Poland.

But Czechs want no part of it. Polls have consistently confirmed that 70 % of the Czech population are against building even “defensive” radar installations on their soil (the Polish numbers are not much different). And thus far all attempts to allow referenda have been blocked. This disregard for the will of the people could lead to a breakdown of the governement’s tenuous coalition.

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Guest Voice  |  July 14, 2008 6:16 PM

A Fresh Start for Iraq

By Jonathan Steele

There's an odd thing about Baghdad: Iran is the only regional power with an embassy there. U.S. President George W. Bush's best Arab allies – Egypt, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia – refuse to let their diplomats live there.

That’s not for a lack of U.S. effort to convince them otherwise. U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has raised the anomaly several times with Iraq's Arab neighbors, as have lesser emissaries. So far, to no avail. Jordan’s embassy in Iraq was bombed by al-Qaeda agents in 2003; Egypt’s ambassador was ambushed and murdered. Iran, meanwhile, is currently enjoying the most cordial relations it has had with an Iraqi government for several decades.

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Guest Voice  |  July 17, 2008 9:36 AM

Somalia: Time to Pay Attention

The United States has contributed to the mess in Somalia by failing to grasp the nuances of the Muslim world.

By Frankie Martin

While the world looks elsewhere, Somalia is in flames. The nation just topped a list of the world’s most unstable countries by Foreign Policy magazine, and the United Nations has declared the humanitarian situation there “worse than Darfur.”

In the next three months the number of people requiring immediate food aid will reach 3.5 million. Over one million refugees have fled their homes. Due to a raging insurgency against the current transitional government – which has support from both the West and Ethiopia – Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, has earned the nickname, “Baghdad on the sea.”

In Somalia, there are no diplomatic superstars like Condoleezza Rice or Kofi Annan, who rushed to Kenya to settle its election crisis; there are no celebrities like Mia Farrow or Jim Carrey to urge international action and awareness as they did in Sudan and Burma.

Instead, Somalia’s crisis has elicited a collective yawn of indifference. Just mentioning the country’s name is enough to cause even the most dedicated diplomat or aid worker to throw up their hands in desperation.

Ironically, unlike the above conflicts, the current crisis in Somalia has developed in part due to America’s "war on terror" and failure to grasp some of the nuances of Islam.

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Guest Voices  |  July 22, 2008 11:30 AM

Bush Should Apologize for Torture

By William Bache

ISTANBUL, Turkey - In the wake of Abu Ghraib, "extraordinary rendition" and Guantanamo, torture has become a stain on America's good name, something that would have been unthinkable only a few years ago. This stain, which has especially harmed U.S. relations with the Muslim world, must be removed, with all those involved being held accountable for their actions.

The U.S. Congress needs to conduct a thorough investigation into crimes of torture authorized and carried out by U.S. officials, while governments worldwide should work together to prevent future abuses and encourage an environment of mutual respect for human rights.

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