The Iranian government announced it had launched a new rocket called the “Kavosh 2″ in the midst of a world which is caught in tension and fears due to economic turmoil. The new rocket come after an earlier claim that Iran had test-fired a new generation of surface-to surface missiles which could be used either for defensive or offensive actions. Iran state television did not release any further details other than to say the Kavosh 2(which means Explorer 2) has both offensive and defensive capabilities. Western experts still do not have sufficient information in order to evaluate the actual abilities of the rocket as far as its real potential as a threat to world peace.
Iran is proceeding with both its nuclear and its rocket development programs while western nations only focus on nuclear issues. Halting Iran’s nuclear program is only half the struggle to establish peace in the region. There is need for newly elected president Obama to engage Iranian leaders in meaningful dialogue and deal realistically with the situation rather than pretend everything is going to be OK once Iran ceases nuclear development. The plus aspect of discussions is the damage to Iran’s economy by the fall in oil prices. Iran needs the west as much as the west needs Iran.
Posted in Barack Obama, George Bush, Iran, Military, Peace, Politics, United States, US Foreign Policy, War, World News
Tagged Iran, rocket, world peace
Among the tragedies of the Bush administration is its failed policy towards Russia. Vladmir Putin is certainly not among the most fervent supporters for democracy in his nation, but efforts by George Bush to frighten and threaten Russia have only resulted in supporting those in that nation who oppose extension of democracy to use fear of attack from outside to justify imposing strict standards on opposition voices. Fortunately, the election of Barack Obama offers the United States and the world a new opportunity to reduce tensions and support the democracy movement in Russia. Both Putin and President Medvedev on Monday indicated they were looking forward to working with Obama for a new approach between the two nations.
“We hope that the new U.S. leadership will be more constructive, responsible and –this is quite important-farsighted,” said Putin. A good first step toward reducing tensions and opening the door for new initiatives would be to suspend the construction of missile bases in Poland. In fact, why not work with Russia by constructing the missile bases in Russia and allowing them to be jointly operated?
Posted in Barack Obama, George Bush, Human Rights, Military, Peace, Politics, Russia, United States, US Foreign Policy, War, World News
Tagged Bush threats, Putin, Russia, US
We live in the opening decade of the 21st century and one would assume that in an enlightened nation such as Sweden historic anti-semitism would long have been laid to rest, but a first grade reader appears to present a stereotype of Jews that Nazis would be glad to offer their students in the 1930s. A first grade book which is intended to help children read has a passage about a boy with thick glasses who sits alone and apart from other children. The explanation offered by the book is: “Because he is a Jew.” That passage would have earned rave reviews from just about every Nazi publication. Elsewhere in the book, boys are portrayed as being skilled in mathematics while girls struggle with being able to count. Parents in Kariskoga in central Sweden are up in arms at such blatant examples of hate in a book for first graders.
The response by the author and publisher is revealing. They do not offer an apology but argue presenting such misinformation and prejudice provides an excellent opportunity to offer contrasting viewpoints! They want teachers to argue against the book as part of helping children learn how to read! Wow!
President elect Barack Obama most probably will announce the appointment of Robert Gates to be his Secretary of Defense. This decision will undoubtedly lead to complaints by many people who believed in electing Obama they were sending a message the current leaders of our Iraq-Afghanistan policy had to be replaced. However, there is some logic in the decision to retain a moderate Republican in office given that he has moved sharply away from previous behaviors by Donald Rumsfeld. Gates has made clear he is open to discussions with a variety of leaders in the Middle East and understands the fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan can not be won solely by reliance on military action.
The key point in selecting Gates must be the acceptance by the secretary of defense that he now serves the Obama administration and must be in accord with its goals. If he can work in this manner, his retention adds a sense of continuity in what is going right as well as a recognition there must be change in the coming months. The first point will be whether or not US troops begin withdrawing next year and continue that process in the following year. The goal must be 2011 for the majority of soldiers being out of Iraq.
Posted in 2008 Elections, Barack Obama, Democrats, George Bush, Human Rights, Military, Multicultural, Peace, Politics, Republicans, United States, US Foreign Policy, War, World News
Tagged Afghanistan, Gates, Iraq, Obama