Vivian Salama at PostGlobal

Vivian Salama

USA/Middle East

Vivian Salama is an award winning reporter, producer and blogger. Currently based in Lahore, Pakistan, she has reported for various publications from across the Middle East, Sub-Saharan Africa, the Balkans, the United States and North and South Korea. She has also appeared as a commentator on the BBC, France24, South African Broadcasting Corp., TVNZ, NPR and as a reporter for Voice of America radio. Her byline has appeared in numerous publications including Newsweek, USA Today, the International Herald Tribune, the National, Jerusalem Post, and the Daily Star. Salama has an MA in Islamic Politics from Columbia University and she previously worked as a lecturer of international journalism at Rutgers University. Close.

Vivian Salama

USA/Middle East

Vivian Salama is an award-winning reporter, producer and blogger. Currently based in Lahore, Pakistan, she has reported for various publications from across the Middle East, Sub-Saharan Africa, the Balkans, the United States and North and South Korea. more »

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November 2007 Archives



November 11, 2007 1:00 PM

Damned if We Do, Damned if We Don't

Whether or not America can actually accomplish anything by intervening in Pakistan is questionable -- after all, who are we to say what is for the good of the people of Pakistan – or the world, for that matter? Do Americans really know?

America's attempts to 'liberate' Iraq may have succeeded in doing away with Saddam Hussein, but are the Iraqis better off now than they were then? Certainly there are many who think so. Hans Blix is not one of them. The former UN weapons inspector was quoted last year as calling the Iraq war a 'pure failure' adding that it left the country worse off than it was under Hussein's dictatorial rule.

Ultimately it's the old argument of intervention versus isolationism. With regard to intervention – are we intervening in the right places? Certain situations require American involvement, but is Pakistan one of them? Has President Musharraf earned America's confidence (not to mention its dollars)? In this case, we are damned if we do, damned if we don't. Without a doubt, alliances with dictators reflect poorly on America, but many argue that Musharraf's dictatorial rule, harsh crackdowns and – now – martial law may be the only realistic way to prevent a radical (read: Taliban/Al-Qaeda) takeover of this nuclear-armed state.

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November 13, 2007 9:24 AM

Who Can Match Israel's Lobby?

The day after I returned from a three-year stint reporting in the Middle East, while war raged between Israel and Hezbollah militants, I turned on the news back here at home. It was eye-opening.

At the time I was jet-lagged, culture-shocked, and feeling seriously withdrawn from the controversy from which I had so suddenly removed myself. It was a difficult time to return. The first story I saw on TV was a pro-Israel war rally taking place here in New York. Would-be presidential candidate Hillary Clinton gave the keynote address. She told the crowd of thousands, "We will stand with Israel because Israel is standing for American values as well as Israeli ones."

A day or two later, still glued to the television set, I caught one of Pat Buchanan’s several MSNBC appearances. With the blunt candor he is known for, Buchanan said, with regard to presidential hopefuls and the Israel-Hezbollah war, "Let's face it: there are more people in America who will vote for you because you are pro-Israel than those who will vote for you because you are pro-Arab."

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