Archive for October, 2008


Republicans Embrace the Cootie Effect
31 October 2008

Back in the 1950s, at the height of the McCarthy era, simply being friends with someone suspected of being a Communist could ruin your career. It became known as “guilt by association.” During this year’s presidential campaign, however, it’s been extended to guilt by spatial proximity, which could appropriately be called the “cootie effect.” If you sit on the same board, have appeared at the same event or otherwise have been in close physical proximity of someone deemed undesirable, you therefore must have been infected by their politics or, at minimum, have no problems with things they may have done in their past….


Obama’s Missed Opportunity
21 October 2008

Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama missed a number of key opportunities during the presidential foreign policy debate on September 26 to challenge the dangerous and reckless foreign policies of Republican nominee John McCain….


The Republicans Embrace the Cootie Effect
20 October 2008

Back in the 1950s, at the height of the McCarthy era, simply being friends with someone suspected of being a Communist could ruin your career. It became known as “guilt by association.” During this year’s presidential campaign, however, it’s been extended to guilt by spatial proximity, which could appropriately be called the “cootie effect.”


Haidar’s Struggle
9 October 2008

Aminatou Haidar, a nonviolent activist from Western Sahara and a key leader in her nation’s struggle against the 33-year-old U.S.-backed Moroccan occupation of her country, won this year’s Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award….


Evaluating the Democratic Party Platform
7 October 2008

The excitement over the nomination of Barack Obama as the presidential nominee of the Democratic Party has been tempered by some key foreign policy planks in the 2008 platform, particularly those relating to the greater Middle East region. These positions appear to run counter to Obama’s pledge early in the primary race to end the mindset that led to the Iraq War…


Mauritania’s coup is a setback for democracy
3 October 2008

The overthrow in August of what arguably constituted the most democratic government in the Arab world marks a serious setback in Africa as well as the Middle East.


What the Prospective VPs Got Wrong
3 October 2008

The October 3 debate between Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and Delaware Senator Joe Biden was disturbing for those of us hoping for a more enlightened and honest foreign policy during the next four years. In its aftermath, pundits mainly focused on Palin’s failure to self-destruct and Biden’s relatively cogent arguments. Here’s an annotation of the foreign policy issues raised during the vice-presidential debate, which was packed with demonstrably false and misleading statements….


The VP Debate: Dishonest Foreign Policies
3 October 2008

The October 3 debate between Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and Delaware Senator Joe Biden was disturbing for those of us hoping for a more enlightened and honest foreign policy during the next four years. In its aftermath, pundits mainly focused on Palin’s failure to self-destruct and Biden’s relatively cogent arguments. Here’s an annotation of the foreign policy issues raised during the vice-presidential debate, which was packed with demonstrably false and misleading statements….


Distorting Obama’s Views on Israel
2 October 2008

Barack Obama has alienated key sectors of his progressive base with statements and policy proposals regarding Israel in which he allies himself with right-wing Republicans. These have included: rejecting calls by human rights activists to condition military aid to Israel on an improvement in the government’s human rights record; defending Israel’s massive 2006 assault against Lebanon’s civilian infrastructure, which killed more than 800 civilians; disputing findings by Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and other reputable human rights organizations citing Israeli violations of international humanitarian law; calling for an undivided Jerusalem as the capital of Israel without supporting the right of the Palestinian-populated eastern half of the city to be the capital of a Palestinian state; making exaggerated claims about Iran’s threats towards Israel while refusing to express any concerns regarding Israel’s threats towards Iran; and bringing in Dennis Ross — a prominent supporter of Israeli government policies — as his principal Middle East advisor….