Senator John McCain continued his whirlwind tour of the Middle East and Europe by arriving in Grreat Britain to announce that al-Qaeda was on the run and he was running straight for victory in the coming November election.He told Prime Miister Gordon Brown, “With all due respect I remained concerned about the situation in Basra. There ae different factions which have taken over certain areas. Everybody know that, it’s not a secret.” His comments were in reference to the decision of the Brown government to withdraw British troops from southern Iraq. As part of his desire to come across as a man who could get along with world leaders, McCain was mum about British plans to withdraw even more troops from Iraq.
Sentor McCain acknowleded the British people have been “frustrated by sometimes our lack of progress in both areas(Iraq and Afghanistan).” However, he assured one and all tht things would improve once he is in charge.
Part of the problem with such hurried trips to critical areas and pronouncements about success or failure is providing an impression talking with a few top leaders will provide insight into the issues at hand. McCain never spoke directly with President Abbas– he had a telephone chat– but spend considerable time with Israel leaders. He never spoke with other Arab leaders like President Mubarak of Egypt. However, there were plent of photo ops to be used in the November election.
Posted in 2008 Elections, Barack Obama, Conservatives, Democrats, George Bush, Hilary Clinton, Human Rights, Iraq War, Liberals, Military, Peace, Politics, Republicans, UK, US Foreign Policy, War, World News
Tagged Gordon Brown, Iraq, John McCain, Middle East
Salah Nasrawi, writing in the Turkish Daily News, emphasized the growing concern among Arab nations regarding the increased power of Iran in the Middle East. many share America’s anxieties, but regard a military option an an invitaton to disaster. Among there greatest fears is an American-Iran military confrontation could set the Middle East ablaze and give rise to violence and insurgency. Iraq and Lebanon are major concerns among Arab leaders since both nations are suseptible to Iranian influence, particularly, since Iran is funding insurgent groups. Even befoe America got into the picture, Arab leaders have been attempting to curtail Iran’s influence over what happens in Lebanon and trying to hedge in Hizbullah which is closely linked to Iran.
Many Middle East experts like Steven Cook at the Council on Foreign Relations, are warning that Arab leaders are probably hedging their bets rather than lining up behind the United States. Bush has confused most Middle Eastern nations, and they still wonder if he is serious about an Israeli-Palestinian peace or whether he simply lacks a copherent approach to dealing with the problem. That underlines the importance to Bush of being decisive and working to ensure both sides in the conflict are ready to accept compromise and move on rather than remained paralyzed in rhetoric.
Posted in Emerging Issues in the World, Human Rights, Iraq War, Islam, Multicultural, Muslims, Peace, Politics, United States, US Foreign Policy, World News
Tagged Arab nations, Iran, Iraq, Israel-Palestinians, Lebanon, Middle East, US
Tony Blair presented a plan for resolving conflicts between Palestinians and Israelis that left Palestinians wondering if the former British prime minister was truly an objective third party. His proposal calls for increasing the effectiveness of the Palestinian government in combating Hamas and other Islamic militants. He argued without successful operations against Palestinian resistance movements in the West Bank, there is no hope of reaching a settlement in the conflict. Blair wants a strengthened judiciary which will try members of the resistance and ensure they are not released from jail until completion of their sentences. He wants more European police assistance to train Palestinian police in becoming effective. His plan would lclreate a thee person committee to oversee implementation of the recommendations including Israel’s Minister of Defense, Ehud Barak.
A main issue between israel and Palestinians is the return of refugees. Blair proposes building a new city on the West Bank which would include housing to repatriate those who had fled. Palestinians are upset at what is never discussed in the plan as much as what it contains. No mention is made of dealing with oppressive measures used by the Israel government towards Arab residents of the West Bank. For example, since the beginning of the year, 350 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli bullets while terrorist organizations have killed five Israelis.
According to human rights organizations, West Bank settlers have committed thousands of assaults on Palestinians just in this year. Settlers have obtained laws allowing them to dig deeper wells than Palestinians s well as obstruct free movement of people. The report speaks of “reform” of the Palestinian judiciary, but ignores changes in the Israel system of justice for Palestinians. The Blair Report indicates it was a mistake to allow Tony Blair, a close ally of George Bush, to serve in a mediating role between Israelis and Palestinians. There was desperate need of an individual who could be viewed by both parties for his/her impartiality.
Posted in Christianity, Human Rights, Islam, Israel, Judaism, Multicultural, Muslims, Peace, Politics, Religion, US Foreign Policy
Tagged Draft Report, Israeli, Mediation, Middle East, Palestinians, Tony Blair