By Janusz Reiter, Poland’s ambassador to the United States (THE WASHINGTON POST, 29/08/07):
Congress’s recent changes to American visa laws will be of little comfort to people in Central Europe who wish to travel to this country. Citizens of these countries will continue to undergo visa application procedures whose rules they do not understand and which they consider to be anachronistic, unjust and even humiliating.
American visa policy is driven by two concerns: fear of unwanted immigrants and concern about U.S. security. These concerns are reasonable, but it’s difficult to understand why they should create a barrier against people from Central Europe.… Seguir leyendo »
By Harold Meyerson (THE WASHINGTON POST, 29/08/07):
Nobody loves Nouri Kamal al-Maliki. In his own country, the Iraqi prime minister heads a government of, by and for fractious Shiites, against which enraged Sunnis, among others, have taken up arms. In our country, which sustains him in power, both liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans call for his ouster. A National Intelligence Estimate finds his administration utterly incapable of settling the differences that are pulling his nation apart.
The bill of particulars against Maliki is long and convincing, but it all boils down to this: The prime minister has done nothing to reconcile Iraq’s warring populations and, to the contrary, seems either content or resigned to heading a government that consolidates the Shiite ascendancy in Iraq.… Seguir leyendo »
By James Martin, a Jesuit priest and the author of “My Life With the Saints” (THE NEW YORK TIMES, 29/08/07):
THE stunning revelations contained in a new book, which show that Mother Teresa doubted God’s existence, will delight her detractors and confuse her admirers. Or is it the other way around?
The private journals and letters of the woman now known as Blessed Teresa of Calcutta will be released next month as “Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light,” and some excerpts have been published in Time magazine. The pious title of the book, however, is misleading. Most of its pages reveal not the serene meditations of a Catholic sister confident in her belief, but the agonized words of a person confronting a terrifying period of darkness that lasted for decades.… Seguir leyendo »
By Bronwen Maddox (THE TIMES, 29/08/07):
The success of Abdullah Gül in becoming Turkey’s new President is a victory for democracy. But it is a blow for secularism, in that it accurately reflects the new strength of the conservative, low-key Islamic voters from the heart of Anatolia at the expense of the secular cities.
At the expense of the army, too. Despite the threats on Monday from the head of the armed forces that he saw “centres of evil” trying to undermine Turkey’s secular character, the scale of popular support for Gül’s AK party, and its big majority in parliament, has given the military little choice but to stand back.… Seguir leyendo »