By David Ignatius (THE WASHINGTON POST, 30/08/07):
Ayad Allawi, the former interim prime minister of Iraq, hinted in a television interview last weekend at one of the war’s least understood turning points: America’s decision not to challenge Iranian intervention in Iraq’s January 2005 elections.
«Our adversaries in Iraq are heavily supported financially by other quarters. We are not,» Allawi told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. «We fought the elections with virtually no support whatsoever, except for Iraqis and the Iraqis who support us.»
Behind Allawi’s comment lies a tale of intrigue and indecision by the United States over whether to mount a covert-action program to confront Iran’s political meddling.… Seguir leyendo »
By George F. Will (THE WASHINGTON POST, 30/08/07):
«We,» the finance minister says, «have a terrible past.» She also says: «In a way, we’ve had it too easy.» Christine Lagarde is correct on both counts.
Her first «we» refers to Europe, the second to France. Both Europe’s cataclysms and France’s comforts condition the context for reforms.
Lagarde, 51, has a more informed affection for America than anyone who has ever risen so high in this country’s government. She was an exchange student at a Washington prep school and a Capitol Hill intern during the Nixon impeachment proceedings. As a partner in a large law firm based in Chicago, for several years she lived in, and loved, the most American city.… Seguir leyendo »
By Kyle Teamey, a former Army officer who served in Ramadi, Iraq, in 2003 and 2004. He is a co-author of the military’s counterinsurgency field manual (THE WASHINGTON POST, 30/08/07):
In early 2005, Americans still seemed interested in the war in Iraq. If I mentioned that I had been a soldier there, they wanted to learn more about the country and how our troops were faring. By the end of 2005, as the violence continued to rise, they began to seem less interested, and by mid-2006 nobody wanted to talk about the war.
Regardless of their feelings about the troops or the case for going to war, Americans I spoke with last year either wanted to ignore Iraq or believed it was already lost.… Seguir leyendo »
By Sir Basil Markesinis, professor of common and civil law at University College London (THE GUARDIAN, 30/08/07):
Nearly 40 years after the Americans escaped from the rooftops of Saigon, this great country may be on the verge of a second retreat, this time from Iraq. To be sure, this exodus has not begun yet, and President George Bush’s recent speech on the «lessons from Vietnam» suggests that he is in denial. How superficial the parallel was that he drew has been noted by many. The consensus is that the speech was little more than spin, preparing official reaction to the publication of General David Petraeus’s report on the effects of the «surge» of US forces in Iraq.… Seguir leyendo »
By Agnès Poirier (THE GUARDIAN, 30/08/07):
I had sworn never to fall into an anti-globalisation rant but, let’s face it, globalisation is a bummer. And I’m not saying this because I’m French. All of us watch the daily turmoil in the financial markets with fear and little understanding; wake up in a gut-wrenching panic about the imminent housing property crash; suffer devastating floods and unprecedented heatwaves (don’t tell me there is no link between globalisation and climate change). And soon we’ll be struck by an even bigger crisis. Globalisation is going to strike us where it hurts most: in our stomachs.… Seguir leyendo »
By Bronwen Maddox (THE TIMES, 30/08/07):
There is no foreign country that matters more to Iran than Iraq (except perhaps the US). The puzzle is why the US imagines that Iranian involvement in Iraq will melt away if it protests angrily.
Yesterday’s skirmish, in which the US arrested eight Iranians in Baghdad and then let them go after consulting the Iraqi Government, was trivial and irrelevant to the broader clash between the two countries. However, it is another small sign that Iraq’s Shia-led Government is prepared to side with Tehran against the US, if only to avoid antagonism.
There is no reason – although Tehran may not need one – to connect the incident with President Bush’s speech the previous night, in which he declared that Iran’s nuclear ambitions put the region “under the shadow of a nuclear holocaust”.… Seguir leyendo »