Today marks the beginning of the Annapolis conference which supposedly will deal with issues related to resolving the Israel-Palestinian conflict. After seven years of doing very little about this issue, President Bush is now claiming a great interest in resolving a complex problem. His failure to push hard on the Israel government in order to obtain an agreement regarding establishing key issues on the agenda or to clarify a timetable to attain goals has placed a damper on the meeting. The Saudi foreign minister has already indicated he won’t even shake the hands of Israel representatives. Part of the problem in accomplishing anything is the president’s lack of knowledge regarding historical developments in the region or understanding the desires and needs of Palestinian leaders. According to Flynt Everett, who was a key advisor to Condi Rice, he was at a 2002 meeting at which Bush stated that once Palestine had a democratic government its leaders would cease making a fuss about borders or its desire for control of east Jerusalem.
The reality of this conference is the inability of President Abbas to make broad decisions since Hamas controls Gaza and the lack of political leverage for Prime Minister Olmert who confronts hostile groups in West Bank settlers and religious leaders. The prospect is a more likely wonderful time for photographs of smiling people, but it is doubtful if Bush will proclaim “Mission Accomplished” after this conference.
Posted in Dick Cheney, Don Rumsfeld, George Bush, Human Rights, Iraq War, Islam, Israel, Judaism, Multicultural, Muslims, Peace, Politics, Republicans, United States, US Foreign Policy, World News
Tagged Annapolis conference, George Bush, Olmert-Abbas, Palestine, Rice
In the world of globalization, businessmen must compete with their rivals on a world scale, and this attitude has even spread to universities in the United States and the European Union. However, Japan’s schools, particularly their universities, are falling behind and are in need of serious reform. The World University Rankings of major institutions that is issued by The Times Education Supplement only lists three Japanese universities among the world’s top 100. American universities constitute 11 of the top 20 and 33 of the entire 100. The TES rankings are based on the number of foreign teaching staff and students, the faculty-student ration, and citations of works published in academic journals. It is evident Japan’s universities make scant effort to recruit foreign faculty or students and their government places too many restrictions in the way of foreigners obtaining work permits in their nation. The historic Japanese quest to be self sufficient is now endangering the quality of work in Japanese universities.
Sayed Eman,(also known as Dr. Fadl) the man who authored the blueprint for the armed struggle adopted by Al-Qaeda and its affiliates, this week renounced the use of violence and asked his comrades to “put an end to the bloodbath around the world.” Eman;’s Jihad, was among the most feared terrorist groups in Egypt and carried out the massacre
of 58 tourists in 1997. Islamic lawyer, Montasser El Zayat, says “his revisions are the outcome of long years of reflection and debate.” it appears that even among those caught in a terrorist mode of behavior, some are beginning to examine the consequences for the Muslim people of strategies that invariably result in the death of innocent Muslim women, men, and children.
Al-Qaeda, undoubtedly, will reject the ideas of men like Sayed Eman, but at least it offers the Muslim world alternative jurisprudence which regards violence as antithetical to the Muslim religion. Hopefully, others will commence the long road towards creating a liberation strategy that utilizes peaceful alternatives.
Posted in Human Rights, Iraq, Iraq War, Islam, Military, Muslims, Peace, Politics, US Foreign Policy, War, World News
Tagged al-Qaeda, Iraq, Jihad alternatives, non-volence
A soldier whose wounds in iraq forced him to leave the military early got the shock of his life when he opened the mail and found a letter from the United States Army asking him to repay of portion of his sign-up bonus. Pfc. Jordan Fox was asked to repay $2,800 of his $7,500 enlistment bonus because he did not serve out the entire length of time. The military is now checking to find out if any other wounded soldiers received such an idiotic letter. Jordan was partially blinded in the right eye as a result of a roadside bomb. Perhaps, the military felt since he only got blinded in one eye, he was perfectly fit to fire a weapon with the other good eye.
This is just another example of how so many of those brave young men and women who serve in Iraq have been treated. We have a president who argued against the 3.5% pay increase proposed by Democratic congressmen because it was excessive and he initially opposed increasing funding for the VA until forced by the Democratic Party.
There is a growing sense among both Republican and Democratic members of Congress that the issue of when and how the United States becomes involved in fighting a war should be under the control of Congress, not merely the Executive. A proposed bill would amend the War Powers Resolution which was enacted during the Vietnam War over a Nixon veto in an effort to restore Congressional control by requiring the president to report any military action to Congress within 48 hours. It also required the president to withdraw forces after 60-90 days unless Congress didn’t explicitly vote an extension. The Constitution clearly places power to declare war in the hands of Congress, but in recent years presidents have simply bypassed that body and deployed troops in war situations. According to Republican Rep. Walter Jones of North carolina, “Throughout American history, the balance too often has been ignored” since Congress has not been allowed to exercise its war making power.
The proposed legislation would prohibit the president from ordering a military actions without congressional approval unless American troops were attacked. This proposal is certainly in the spirit of what our Founding Fathers wanted when they wrote the Constitution. AS Republican congressman, Ron Paul, stated, “we don’t want the debate after the war,”
Posted in Conservatives, Democrats, George Bush, Human Rights, Iraq War, Liberals, Military, Peace, Politics, Republicans, United States, US Foreign Policy, War, World News
Tagged Congress War, presidential power, Ron Paul, War debate