Former Prime Minister Mohammad Khatami whose tenure in that office was marked by efforts to reduce the power of extremist religious figures, urged the world to stop trying to halt his nation from engaging in peaceful uses of atomic energy. He noted the IAEA reported “contained positive points and I believe that the Iranians and the International Atomic Energy Agency have developed cooperation in a logical manner and achieved the desired results. However,” he admitted, “the report also included some negative points and ambiguities which can provide a path for those who are seeking a pretext to prevent a diplomatic settlement of the nuclear issue.” Khatami insisted that Iran only wants to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes and raised the issue as to why Israel is allowed possession of nuclear weapons.
There is no doubt the world has reason to be suspicious of an Iranian government headed by a man like Ahmadinejad. But, men like Khatami who reached out to western nations, including the United States, in an effort to establish peaceful relations, were rejected. The United States now lives with the consequences of a Bush policy that focused on warlike rhetoric rather than supporting forces of moderation in Iran.
President Pervez Musharraf made clear to American newspapers and TV that he will not back down in the fight which has erupted between himself and Pakistan political activists. He told the New York Times that opposition leader, Benazir Bhutto, could not tell him to resign and classified activists as lazy people who don’t even bother to vote. He told an American TV interviewer that “When the nation is about to be declared a failed state, tell me whether the restoration of so-called democracy is important or efforts to save the country? Of course, it is important to save the country.” In other words, is democracy more important than survival of the nation of Pakistan? As he spoke, a 100 car caravan of Bhutto supporters took off from Lahore on the opening stages of a long march for freedom. Ms. Bhutto is still confined to house arrest and when supporters attempt to visit her, they are being arrested.
President Musharraf certainly raises a key issue — which comes first, democracy or survival of a nation? However, he fails to note present problems in Pakistan occurred on his watch as president so some responsibility for it being termed a “failed state” must rest on his shoulders. Ms. Bhutto, and other political opponents, are justifiably asking whether or not Pakistan can become a functioning state only after getting rid of Musharraf. Perhaps, the emerging grand alliance of political parties covering a spectrum of views may become the coalition which can institute reforms that make Pakistan a functioning nation. The current crisis undoubtedly raises new issues for President Bush regarding aims of American foreign policy in Pakistan and Asia.
Posted in Asia, George Bush, Human Rights, Military, Peace, Politics, US Foreign Policy, World News
Tagged Bhutto, Musharraf, Pakistan democracy, US policy
Several months ago, President Bush encouraged Ethiopia, which is predominantly Christian, to invade and conquer its Islamic government because he regarded the fundamentalist Muslims as part of the international terrorist movement. The Islamic government was wiped out and a new Somalian government put in place. In the past few days bloody fighting has erupted on the streets of the Somali capital, Mogadishu which has left at least 51 people dead in one of the goriest 24 hours the city has seen. Ethiopian soldiers fought insurgents in up-close battles that resulted in at least 10 soldiers being killed and one of the dead was stripped of his shirt and dragged through the streets in a scene reminiscent of the killing of American soldiers in the 1990s. The Ethiopian soldiers became infuriated and went through the city shooting people in an indiscriminate manner. A resident, Zakaria Adde, said, “We collected 12 bodies, mostly elderly people, women and children. They were shot by Ethiopians. Some of them bled to death in the streets where they were left all night.”
Thousands of people have left the capital and flooded into outlying towns where they create a new humanitarian crisis. The Bush administration provided air and naval support for the Ethiopian invasion. This is simply on more example of the inability of George Bush to conceptualize what happens after you overthrow a government?
Posted in Christianity, George Bush, Human Rights, Islam, Military, Multicultural, Muslims, Peace, Politics, US Foreign Policy
Tagged Bush, Ethiopia, Somalia, Somalians flee, US policy