Miércoles, 4 de julio de 2012

While many of the world’s leaders traveled to a Mexican seaside resort in Los Cabos for the annual Group of 20 meeting a couple weeks ago, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad traveled a little farther south, to Rio de Janeiro, for another meeting of world leaders – the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development. This was Mr. Ahmadinejad’s sixth visit to Latin America since 2007 and his second this year.

In addition to Brazil, Mr. Ahmadinejad visited President Evo Morales in Bolivia and took time to stop by Venezuela to confer with his ideological bedfellow, Hugo Chavez, rounding up a three-nation tour of South America before heading back to Tehran on June 22.…  Seguir leyendo »

Independence Day is a celebration not just of America’s independence, but also of the values that are important to our nation, like liberty, democracy and human rights.

Recently, former President Jimmy Carter suggested that America should be a little less self-congratulatory and a little more self-critical. He was concerned that America is abandoning its role as a leading advocate for human rights. It is hard to disagree with some of his observations. But, America has not fallen behind in providing moral leadership in the world. The current period is no different from earlier decades. It is not, as Carter said, either «cruel» or «unusual.»…  Seguir leyendo »

On Sunday a missile launched from a U.S. drone struck a house in Pakistan’s remote tribal agency of North Waziristan, killing eight suspected militants, most of whom were loyal to the Pakistani Taliban commander, Hafiz Gul Bahadur. Bahadur has reportedly overseen multiple attacks against NATO troops in Afghanistan.

While the CIA drone war against al Qaeda in Pakistan is well known and is even, on occasion, publicly acknowledged by senior Obama administration officials, the strike against Bahadur’s fighters is part of a lesser-known campaign to target Pakistani militants, who are less able to pose a threat to the U.S. homeland. This represents an expansion of the drone program that was overseen by President Barack Obama’s administration.…  Seguir leyendo »

The counterterror campaign has evolved markedly during the past decade, from the centrally-directed al Qaeda plots of 9/11 through the rise of affiliated organizations in Africa, the Middle East, and South and Southeast Asia and, now, to the homegrown phenomenon in the United States and elsewhere. In each of these cases, the combination of effective counterterror operations and broad rejection of al Qaedaist ideology has hollowed the threat: al Qaeda’s core is struggling; with few exceptions (the Sahel, for example), affiliates are either in remission (Indonesia) or suffering serious setbacks (Somalia and Yemen); and homegrowns are prolific in number but limited in the strategic threat they pose.…  Seguir leyendo »

The election of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohamed Morsi as Egypt’s president temporarily puts to rest the debate about whether the nation will be secular or Islamist. Egypt is an Islamist state.

Not only does a member of the Muslim Brotherhood hold the nation’s highest post, nearly 75% of the legislature’s seats are held by Brotherhood members or by their harder-line Salafi cousins — or at least they were held by the Islamists before the dissolution of the People’s Assembly by the ruling military council last month. Though headlines will remain focused on the struggle for supremacy between the Islamists and the military, the more important political battle in Cairo will be over what kind of Islamic state Egypt will become.…  Seguir leyendo »

The deep pockets of Chinese governments are envied by countries around the world. But Chinese citizens, officially presented as the masters of the country, have little knowledge of how and where this public money is spent by their “servants.”

In particular, ordinary people are very resentful about “Three Official Expenses” (TOEs) of the government at all levels — official trips abroad, official car purchases and operations, and official entertainment and accommodations.

In May 2011, the State Council of China — the Chinese cabinet — decided that both central and local governments should reveal their TOEs. Although 54 of the 98 central governmental departments and organs disclosed their TOEs last July, for a total of 9.47…  Seguir leyendo »