June 2009 Archives

Guest Voice  |  June 2, 2009 11:25 AM

Time for Peace in Kashmir

By Mansoor Ijaz

India's recent elections have ushered in a historic opportunity to address the issue of Kashmir. Over 417 million voters turned out to give the world's most populous democracy its most stable government ever. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the affable economist-turned-politician, should now turn Congress's election mandate into an impetus for making unprecedented decisions on national security. Kashmir should be at the top of the priority list.

Some would argue that the landslide election results mean India doesn't need to make peace with Pakistan over Kashmir. I argue the opposite. India's political maturity and growing economic power give it maneuvering room not available to Pakistan, a country besieged by Islamist insurgency, shattered confidence in institutions and a failed economy.

India defeated Pakistan twice in two wars. Pakistanis have watched India rise to regional superpower status economically, politically and militarily. In many ways, India's success fostered Pakistan's radicalization. Rather than confront its self-created demons at home, Pakistan first blusters and then begs the world to save it.

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Guest Voice  |  June 12, 2009 3:50 PM

The Speech Netanyahu Won't Give

By Ori Nir

Here's what Benyamin Netanyahu should - but most likely won't - say in his much-anticipated policy speech on Sunday.

Bar Illan University President Moshe Kaveh, distinguished faculty, distinguished guests, dear Israelis:

In every nation's history, there are moments that call on its leader to face the truth and tell the truth to his fellow countrymen and women. This is such a moment. It is a moment of peril, but also a moment of great opportunity.

You have heard a lot from me in recent months about the peril. I am terribly concerned about the existential threats to our country. But you have not heard enough from me about the opportunity that we have today to devise a strategic, long-term approach to reduce these threats.

We have an opportunity - one that may not reoccur for generations to come - to reach the kind of regional security that we have been seeking since our parents and grandparents established this astonishing country sixty-one years ago.

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Guest Voice  |  June 18, 2009 5:11 PM

Young Iranians' Collective Release

"We can't be careful," he said when I urged him to stay indoors. "We can't lose this chance."

By Jonathan Spollen

Iran's electoral watchdog, the Guardian Council, said today that it was investigating 646 complaints of polling violations in the country's disputed presidential elections, and announced it will hold a meeting Saturday with the three defeated presidential contenders to hear their allegations of voting irregularities.

Meanwhile, more than 100,000 opposition protesters filled the streets and squares of Tehran in the sixth straight day of mass rallies in Iran's capital, with many wearing black and holding candles to commemorate the deaths of at least eight demonstrators killed by Iranian security forces on Monday.

Reports of voting irregularities in last Friday's election range from shortages of ballots to voting centres being closed prematurely to reports of turnouts in at least 30 locations registering over 100 per cent.

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Guest Voices  |  June 26, 2009 11:40 AM

Was Iran's Election Stolen?

By Mark Weisbrot
co-director, Center for Economic and Policy Research

Since the Iranian presidential election of June 12, allegations that the announced winner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's victory was stolen have played an important role in the demonstrations, political conflict, and media reporting on events there. Some say it does not matter whether the elections were stolen because the government has responded to peaceful protests with violence and arrests. These actions are indeed abhorrent and inexcusable, and the world's outrage is justified. So, too, is the widespread concern for the civil liberties of Iranians who have chosen to exercise their rights to peacefully protest.

At the same time, the issue of whether the election was stolen will remain relevant, both to our understanding of the situation and to U.S.-Iranian relations, for reasons explained below. It is therefore worth looking at whether this allegation is plausible.

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