By Des Browne, defense secretary and David Miliband, foreign secretary of the United Kingdom (THE WASHINGTON POST, 31/08/07):
Recent weeks have brought a lot of misplaced criticism of the United Kingdom’s role in southern Iraq. It is time to set the record straight.
The question some people have asked is: Have British forces failed in Basra? The answer is no.
Following the overthrow of Saddam Hussein’s regime, the international community recognized, through a series of U.N. Security Council resolutions, the need to help the Iraqi people forge a better future for themselves. The people of all coalition countries know the sacrifices involved on the part of our brave armed forces.… Seguir leyendo »
By Charles Krauthammer (THE WASHINGTON POST, 31/08/07):
The government of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has had more than 15 months to try to pacify the Sunni insurgency by offering national accords on oil-sharing, provincial elections and de-Baathification. It has done none of these. Instead, Gen. David Petraeus has pacified a considerable number of Sunni tribes with grants of local autonomy, guns and U.S. support in jointly fighting al-Qaeda.
Petraeus’s strategy is not very pretty. It carries risk. But it has been effective.
The Shiite-dominated government in Baghdad, however, is not happy with Petraeus’s actions. One top Maliki aide complained that they will leave Iraq » an armed society and militias.»… Seguir leyendo »
By Joseph P. Hoar, a retired Marine general and commander in chief of the United States Central Command from 1991 to 1994 (THE NEW YORK TIMES, 31/08/07):
FOR more than a year, men and women in our armed forces have been urging the United States to bring to safety the Iraqi translators and others who have worked beside them and are now the victims of retaliation. A Marine captain, Zachary Iscol, said he owed his life and the lives of his men to his Iraqi translator. “Just coming to work was an act of heroism and courage on his part,” Captain Iscol said.… Seguir leyendo »
By Geoffrey Wheatcroft (THE GUARDIAN, 31/08/07):
For years past, international affairs have had an uncanny feeling of a time warp, a loop playing endlessly over and again, what goes round comes round. Ninety years ago there were British troops in Basra, and bloodshed between Jews and Arabs would shortly break out in Jerusalem. A hundred years or more after the Salisbury and Campbell-Bannerman governments, we have been dealing with just the same problems as they faced, from Ulster to South Africa, while even the conflicts in the Balkans have often seemed like the old Eastern Question writ new.
And an important anniversary also has contemporary resonances: today is the centenary of the Anglo-Russian convention of August 31 1907.… Seguir leyendo »
By Mehmet Karli, who is studying for a PhD at Oxford and is a former president of Oxford University Turkish Society (THE GUARDIAN, 31/08/07):
Your leader (Islam and democracy, August 22) is correct to state that a military intervention to defend secularism in Turkey would be «bad for the military itself, … bad for Turkey and, indeed, bad for the rest of the Muslim world». Moreover, it should not be forgotten that it was the Turkish army that prepared the fertile ground for the development of political Islam. The military coup of 1980 cleared the way for political Islamists by crushing established political parties and by propagating an authoritarian ideology called the Turkish-Islamic synthesis, a poisonous mix of nationalism and Islamism.… Seguir leyendo »
By Gordon Brown and Nicolas Sarkozy, prime minister of the United Kingdom and President of France, respectively (THE TIMES, 31/08/07):
There has been important progress on Darfur in the past two months. In July we agreed on the deployment of a robust UN/African Union (AU) force and the start of peace talks. But the situation remains completely unacceptable. In the coming weeks and months, we commit as leaders to redouble our efforts to make further progress.
At the end of July the UN agreed to our plan. UN Resolution 1769, passed –– for the first time –– unanimously, was the culmination of intense diplomatic activity over the crisis in Darfur.… Seguir leyendo »