The details revealed thus far from the investigation that led to the five-count indictment against I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby seem to indicate that the efforts to expose the identity of undercover CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilson went far beyond the chief assistant to the assistant chief. Though no other White House officials were formally indicted, the investigation appears to implicate Vice President Richard Cheney and Karl Rove, President George W. Bush’s top political adviser, in the conspiracy. More importantly, the probe underscores the extent of administration efforts to silence those who questioned its argument that Iraq constituted a serious threat to the national security of the United States. Even if no other White House officials ever have to face justice as a result of this investigation, it opens one of the best opportunities the American public may have to press the issue of how the Bush administration led us into war
It is doubtful that the Bush administration will be very successful advancing America’s image in the Islamic world as long as its representatives have such trouble telling the truth. A case in point took place on October 21, when U.S. Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy Karen Hughes was talking before a group of university students in Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim country. As she has found elsewhere in her visits in the Islamic world, there is enormous popular opposition to the U.S. invasion of Iraq and the ongoing U.S. counter-insurgency war….
One of the most tragically irresponsible decisions of the Bush administration in the critical hours following Hurricane Katrina was its refusal to accept offers by the government of Cuba to immediately dispatch more than 1500 medical doctors with 37 tons of medical supplies to the devastated areas along the Gulf coast….
President George W. Bush’s October 6 address at the National Endowment for Democracy illustrated his administration’s increasingly desperate effort to justify the increasingly unpopular U.S. war in Iraq. The speech focused upon the Bush administration’s claim that the Iraqi insurgency against U.S. occupation forces somehow constituted a grave threat to the security of the United States and the entire civilized world.
U.S. hostility toward Libya appears to have been largely reactive and not based on any well-conceived strategy. Demonizing the eccentric Qaddafi, with his penchant for harsh and provocative rhetoric, has been useful in bolstering the domestic standing of successive U.S. presidents and feeding the sense of self-righteousness Americans feel for the U.S. role in the world. But it has netted little tangible benefit for U.S. policy interests.
The U.S. veto of a proposed UN Security Council resolution criticizing Israel’s March 22 assassination of Hamas founder Sheik Ahmed Yassin has once again placed the United States both on the fringe of international public opinion and in opposition to international legal norms. Despite the proposed resolution condemning “all attacks against civilians,” the United States once again was the lone dissenting vote, marking the 28 th time since 1970 that the U.S. has blocked a Security Council resolution criticizing the actions of its most important Middle Eastern ally….
The U.S. has long considered Syria the most intractable of Israel’s front-line neighbors due to its autocratic government, links to terrorists, and virulent anti-Israel posture. However, a variety of factors—both international and domestic—have led this one-time rejectionist government to pursue a peace agreement with its long-time enemy. Syria’s less belligerent stance toward Israel is not as much a result of greater American influence in this former Soviet client-state as it is a reflection of the more pragmatic drift of Arab parties that has been evolving since the mid-1970s.
President Ghazi al-Yawar was initially viewed suspiciously by many Iraqis because of his Saudi ties, his many years in exile, and his membership in the IGC, though he has since gained some credibility for his criticism of U.S. counter-insurgency tactics. He wields very little power, however, even compared with the prime minister.
The broader implications of the February 14 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, who was seen by many as the embodiment of the Lebanese people’s efforts to rebuild their country in the aftermath of its 15-year civil war, are yet to unfold. A Sunni Muslim, Hariri reached out to all of Lebanon’s ethnic and religious communities in an effort to unite the country after decades of violence waged by heavily armed militias and foreign invaders.
The recent release on April 22 of Mordechai Vanunu from an Israeli prison provides an opportunity to challenge the U.S. policy of supporting Israel ’s development of nuclear weapons while threatening war against other Middle Eastern states for simply having the potential for developing such weaponry. Vanunu, a nuclear technician at Israel ’s Dimona nuclear […]