"Evil is powerless if the good are unafraid" - Ronald Reagan

New York

Analysis: Bush Flip-Flop or Another form of diplomacy

Caveman, Ramblings from the Rock Original Article

The absence or misuse of logic in Mr. Kaplan's article entitled "Bush Flip-Flops on Iran" mandated that I respond in detail. Let me start by analyzing Mr. Kaplan's statements.

"Don't look now, but it seems that George W. Bush is committing diplomacy."

Mr. Kaplan wrongly assumes that the only form of diplomacy is civil debate, discussion, and agreements. Reconnaissance in the Army is a lot like diplomacy. There exist two forms of reconnaissance: Reconnaissance by Stealth and Reconnaissance by Fire. There also exist two broad categories of diplomacy: Diplomacy by negotiation or Diplomacy by force.

Mr. Kaplan is plagued by faulty analysis, an incorrect conclusion, and a sheer hatred of Bush.

Bush Flip-Flops on Iran
Fred Kaplan, Slate Original Article

Don't look now, but it seems that George W. Bush is committing diplomacy. The New York Times reports today that Bush has agreed to join France, Britain, and Germany in their nuclear-arms talks with Iran. This marks a major reversal for Bush, who until now has refused to negotiate with any Iranian officials, arguing that to do so would reward them for bad behavior.

Good analysis, correct conclusion; however, what states can build up the Lebanese government’s strength? France? Germany? Saudi Arabia? Egypt?

Lebanon’s Hidden Dangers
Daniel Byman, Foreign Policy Original Article

A dark specter looms over Lebanon as the democratic momentum grows to oust Syrian forces: the risk of civil war. From 1975 to 1990, a bloody civil conflict claimed about 150,000 Lebanese lives. Many of the problems that plagued Lebanon in the past may recur in different forms or, worse yet, new forms should Syrian troops withdraw. This fear should not stop the international community from pressing Damascus to end its brutal occupation, but steps must be taken to ensure that freedom and peace remain long after Syria is gone.

Post election Iraq: Iraqis are now in charge of most checkpoints and security.

Meanwhile, Back in Baghdad
Dan Senor, The Weekly Standard Original Article

THE RECENT SUICIDE BOMBING in the southern Iraqi city of Al Hilla was, sadly, nothing new. Watching the news here with Iraqi friends, I thought I knew what would happen next, since it had happened often enough before I left Iraq eight months ago, when the United States handed over sovereignty to an Iraqi interim government. Then, the Iraqis standing around the bank of televisions in our offices would have turned to me, the representative American, asking why we could not get security under control.

Ultimately, the answer to high oil prices is a lot more production (and less regulation).

$55 Oil Won’t Last
Lawrence Kudlow, Real Clear Politics Original Article

When I put a $55 barrel of oil on the table and look at it from all angles, there’s no way the current price can be justified. As a free-market disciple, I am compelled to accept the market’s verdict: $55 a barrel. But that doesn’t mean it’s going to last.

In the 1600s people blamed floods and storms on witches who "cooked" the weather.

Kyoto gets debunked
Paul Jackson, Calgary Sun Original Article

Canada should build hundreds of nuclear plants and put fuel cells in all cars if it really wants to tackle atmospheric pollution. But even that won't alter the pattern of global warming. And cutting back on burning fossil fuels really won't do much to lower the amount of CO2 in the air because oil's contribution to pollution is negligible.

Saudi Arabia has broken a taboo. Until a year ago talk of elections was regarded as sacrilegious

A democratic kick at the evil twins
Amir Taheri, Times (UK) Original Article

WHILE THE crowds of the Cedar Revolution were chanting “freedom and democracy” in the squares and streets of Beirut, another revolution that will go much further in reshaping the Middle East has gone unnoticed.

We will wait and see what the details of the timetable.

U.N.: Assad Committed to Syrian Pullout
SAMAR KASSABLI, AP Original Article

President Bashar Assad reiterated his commitment to withdrawing all Syrian troops and intelligence agents from Lebanon, a U.N. envoy said Saturday, adding he would present a timetable for the pullout at the United Nations next week.

Another concilatory move by Egypt.

Egyptian Opposition Leader Ordered Freed
SALAH NASRAWI, Associated Press Original Article

Egyptian opposition leader Ayman Nour was ordered released on bail from prison, a judicial official said Saturday, a detention that had caused tension with Washington.

Another example of US Soldier professionalism at checkpoionts.

Checkpoint Iraq: A Tactic That Works
Bartle Breese Bull, Washington Post Original Article

As an unembedded freelance journalist in Iraq, I have safely driven through scores of American roadblocks all over this country. I have also spent many hours with U.S. troops as they set up and operate these mostly impromptu checkpoints.

Captain Ed: I call "shenanigans" on the Italians.

Italian Story Continues To Fall Apart
Captain Ed,Captain's Quarters Original Article

The AP reports that the Italian story of Giuliana Sgrena's release and later wounding at an American checkpoint, which also resulted in the death of intelligence agent Nicola Calipari, continues to fall apart. Two Italian newspapers now say that the general in charge of the Sgrena operation did not inform the US that Calipari's mission was to free Sgrena, and one of them reports that General Mario Maroli didn't even know it himself.

For the US to be safe it is vital that the Middle East become democratic.

What Is It That Bush Got Right After All?
Amir Taheri, Arab News Original Article

“Was Bush right after all?” This was the headline of the British newspaper The Independent last Tuesday. The fact that The Independent devoted its entire front page to the issue is significant because, two years ago, this left-of-center tabloid was the most vociferous opponent of the war to liberate Iraq. But The Independent is only joining a queue of other opponents of Iraq’s liberation to wonder whether or not the toppling of Saddam Hussein may have given democratic forces in the Middle East a historic chance.

She has said a load of nonsense, speaks somewhat carelessly and makes careless comments. Nice way to say she lied.

Hostage Shot By US Was Careless - Italian Minister
Phil Stewart, XtraMSN Original Article

Italy's justice minister urged former hostage Giuliana Sgrena on Friday to stop making "careless" accusations after being shot by US forces in Baghdad, saying she had already caused enough grief. Sgrena has repeatedly suggesting US soldiers shot her on purpose and said on Friday she had little faith in a joint investigation by Italy and the United States into the "friendly fire" incident.

Here's the carrot. The stick to follow

U.S. to Offer Iran Incentives Over Nukes
ANNE GEARAN, AP Original Article

The Bush administration on Friday softened its hardline stance on how to thwart Iran's suspected nuclear arms program, agreeing to support a European plan that offers economic incentives for the Tehran government to give up any weapons ambitions.

If he was under 18, he now could not receive the death penalty. Just a thought

Three Shot Dead at Ga. Trial; Gunman Flees
HARRY WEBER, Associated Press Original Article

A man being escorted into court for his rape trial stole a deputy's gun, killed the judge and two other people and carjacked a reporter's vehicle to escape, setting off a massive manhunt and creating widespread chaos across Atlanta, police said. Late Friday, police reported that the car had been found in a downtown Atlanta parking lot, not far from where it was stolen.

Despite the Title, the pullback continues.

Last Syrian Troops Leave Northern Lebanon
ZEINA KARAM, Associated Press Original Article

The last Syrian troops left northern Lebanon on Friday but left behind intelligence agents in nine offices, while the U.N. Mideast envoy said Syria needs to produce a timetable for a full withdrawal from the rest of Lebanon.

At least some Muslims leaders are beginning to understand.

Spanish Muslims issue fatwa against Al-Qaeda's Osama Bin Laden
AFX Original Article

Spain's Islamic Commission, which groups the nation's Muslim community, said it was issuing a fatwa against Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, 'We are going to issue a fatwa (religious decree) against Bin Laden this afternoon,' Mansour Escudero, who leads the Federation of Islamic religious entities (Feeri) and co-secretary general of the Spanish governmenmt-created Commission told AFP.The Commission invited Spanish-based imams to condemn terrorism at Friday prayers, when the whole country will be remembering the 191 people who were killed in the train blasts and the 1,900 injured a year ago.

Annan needs to focus on why Oil-for-food scandal & child molestation can happen in UN and let the US handle terrorism

Annan Calls for Treaty Outlawing Terrorism
Ed McCollough, AP1010 WINS Original Article

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan called Thursday for a world treaty on terrorism that would outlaw attacks targeting civilians and establish a framework for a collective response to the global threat. Although the United Nations and its agencies already have 12 treaties covering terrorism, a universal definition has been elusive.

What a concept. They kill one of ours and we press them until they relent.

A commander keeps his promise
David Zucchino, Baltimore Sun Original Article

When his battalion took charge here in mid-February, Lt. Col. Roger Cloutier made a vow to himself and his soldiers: If one of them was attacked, the entire battalion would respond swiftly and violently. "We will hunt down the enemy if he attacks us," the colonel told his staff. "I don't want to give him any rest or refuge. I want to haunt his dreams."

Time will tell who will win this fight; Hezbollah or the people?

Smarter than being a martyr
Dean Godson, Times (UK) Original Article

REMEMBER the South Lebanese Army? It was widely dismissed as a bunch of Christian stooges. Hezbollah? Well, they are authentic indigenous freedom fighters who kicked out the imperialistic Zionists and run brilliant clinics and schools for the disempowered Shia of Lebanon. Or at least that’s the impression you might derive from such indulgent portrayals as Jonathan Dimbleby’s New World War, let alone Robert Fisk’s articles.

The beginning of the end of the EU unless it dramatically changes course.

Dutch lose their faith in Europe
Anthony Browne, Times (UK) Original Article

EUROPEAN flags flutter in the freezing wind outside the bars in the marketplace, shops do brisk business in euros and the monument of metal Euro stars stretches skyward above the slogan: “We must move beyond nation states.”

"We need to stimulate our economy by holding down the tax burden." Look at any country in Europe for proof of this fact.

Senators Fight Over Tax Cuts, Alaska Oil
ALAN FRAM, Associated Press Original Article

Senate foes of oil drilling in an Alaskan preserve lost a skirmish Thursday while tax-cut supporters scored a victory in a sampling of the battles bedeviling Republicans pushing budgets through Congress.

So sad, next.

Insiders Fear Jackson Will Commit Suicide
Roger Friedman, Fox News Original Article

Michael Jackson's close friends now really fear that he will commit suicide. I am not kidding. The scene this morning at the courthouse in Santa Maria has convinced people who ordinarily do not say these things that Jackson is in serious mental trouble.

Kofi Annan "audibly gasped" when informed Bolton new US ambassador to UN. Sounds like right choice then.

John Bolton: Stalwart Movement Conservative
David Keene, Human Events Original Article

President Bush's decision to send current Undersecretary of State John Bolton to New York as the nation's ambassador to the United Nations infuriated liberals, but heartened conservatives who know Bolton as a steadfast spokesman for U.S. interests who has expressed continuing skepticism about the UN and the multi-lateralism that so enthralls American liberals and their European counterparts.

It is dishonest for liberals to admit that Bush might be right about his democracy strategy without reexamining their own opposition to the war.

Interesting Times: Hugged by reality
SAUL SINGER, Jerusalem Post Original Article

Dodging a bullet is said to be one of life's most exhilarating experiences. Here's another: a flood of critics admitting you were right. In the Toronto Star, anti-war columnist Richard Gwyn wrote simply: "Bush was right." Guy Sorman in Le Figaro wrote that many Europeans were "somewhat embarrassed" by the democratic awakening in this region. R diger Lentz, of the German broadcast network Deutsche Welle, wrote, "one has to acknowledge that Afghanistan and Iraq might have been catalysts for what we see now happening in Lebanon, in Egypt and even between the Palestinians and Israel."

Sadulayev figurehead while real power is wielded by Basayev.

Fundamentalist Seen As Chechen Successor
JIM HEINTZ, Associated Press Original Article

An Islamic fundamentalist judge emerged Thursday as the likely successor to Chechen rebel commander Aslan Maskhadov, raising the prospect of the separatist conflict turning decisively into a religious war more than a decade after it first erupted.

Once disarmed Hizbollah could undertake any political role in Lebanon that they can win democratically at the polls.

U.S. Denies Major Shift on Hizbollah
Reuters Original Article

The Bush administration would accept a political role for the Lebanese group Hizbollah if it disarmed, U.S. officials said on Thursday. But the officials denied a New York Times report that the administration had made a sharp policy shift and was grudgingly going along with efforts by France and the United Nations to steer the party into the Lebanese political mainstream.

Title says it all.

Karami Comeback Risks More Turmoil in Lebanon
Nadim Ladki, Reuters Original Article

Lebanon's president reappointed pro-Syrian Prime Minister Omar Karami on Thursday, risking a fresh battle with the opposition which had forced the Sunni Muslim politician to quit only 10 days ago.

Fatah needs to resolve its internal problems in a democratic way or it will lose power and authority.

Fatah Gunmen Storm West Bank Meeting, Challenging Abbas
Diala Saadeh, Reuters Original Article

Gunmen from the ruling Palestinian Fatah faction broke up a meeting of the party about reform on Thursday in a fresh blow to President Mahmoud Abbas's bid to end internal chaos and talk peace with Israel.

Fatah needs to resolve its internal problems in a democratic way or it will lose power and authority.

Fatah Gunmen Storm West Bank Meeting, Challenging Abbas
Diala Saadeh, Reuters Original Article

Gunmen from the ruling Palestinian Fatah faction broke up a meeting of the party about reform on Thursday in a fresh blow to President Mahmoud Abbas's bid to end internal chaos and talk peace with Israel.

Fatah needs to resolve its internal problems in a democratic way or it will lose power and authority.

Fatah Gunmen Storm West Bank Meeting, Challenging Abbas
Diala Saadeh, Reuters Original Article

Gunmen from the ruling Palestinian Fatah faction broke up a meeting of the party about reform on Thursday in a fresh blow to President Mahmoud Abbas's bid to end internal chaos and talk peace with Israel.

Democracy in action

Shiites, Kurds Reach Deal for Iraq Gov't
AP Original Article

Iraq's main Shiite party and a Kurdish bloc have reached a deal that sets the stage for a new government to be formed when the National Assembly convenes next week, officials from both sides said Thursday.

One China versus Independent Taiwan

China, the US and the 'Four Nevers'
Bryan Preston, TCS Original Article

A US military delegation arrived in Taiwan Saturday, just ahead of a pivotal period in the island's history. The American delegation is in Taiwan to assess technology that Taiwanese industry might provide to the US military, most likely semiconductors. The visit is part of a 25-year-old Pentagon technology upgrade program, yet is the first such trip to Taiwan. Its timing is interesting, to say the least.

We should stop being surprised and astonished that people all over the world want to be free.

Pejman Yousefzadeh, TCS Original Article

The night the Berlin Wall came down, I was glued to the television coverage and watched ABC's Prime Time Live engage in real-time reporting of the breach of the wall and the spread of democracy to Eastern Europe. Sam Donaldson -- who had served as the White House correspondent during the Reagan Administration -- was one of the co-hosts of the broadcast, and at one point during the coverage, he had a chance to interview his old rhetorical sparring partner -- former President Ronald Reagan.

No 'True' Al Qaeda Sleeper Agents Have Been Found in U.S.

Secret FBI Report Questions Al Qaeda Capabilities
Insert Name of Writer/News Service Here Original Article

A secret FBI report obtained by ABC News concludes that while there is no doubt al Qaeda wants to hit the United States, its capability to do so is unclear. "Al-Qa'ida leadership's intention to attack the United States is not in question," the report reads. (All spellings are as rendered in the original report.)

See Ya

Dan Rather Signs Off 'CBS Evening News'
DAVID BAUDER, AP Original Article

Dan Rather echoed a word he once briefly used to sign off the "CBS Evening News" — courage — in anchoring the program for the final time after 24 years on Wednesday.

This situation is going back and forth everyday now.

Lebanon May Reinstate Pro-Syria PM
HUSSEIN DAKROUB, Associated Press Original Article

Lebanon's pro-Syrian prime minister, who was forced to resign last week by opposition protests, was virtually assured of being asked to form the next government after a majority of lawmakers backed him Wednesday.

A great many of these stories involve Iraqi forces finding or battling the terrorists now.

41 Corpses Found in Iraq; Blast Kills Four
PATRICK QUINN, Associated Press Original Article

Iraqi authorities found 41 decomposed bodies — some bullet-riddled, others beheaded — at sites near the Syrian border and south of the capital, and said Wednesday they included women and children who may have been killed because insurgents thought their families were collaborating with U.S. forces.

Baby steps. Until the violence completely stops, take baby steps.

Israel, Palestinians Dispute Handover
LARA SUKHTIAN, Associated Press Original Article

Israeli and Palestinian security commanders failed to reach agreement Wednesday on the handover of this West Bank town to Palestinian security control, participants said, a new setback to a truce agreement meant to end four years of fighting.

The coming weeks will be very interesting.

Syrian Army Evacuates Bases in Lebanon
BASSEM MROUE, Associated Press Original Article

Syrian soldiers flashed victory signs and waved automatic rifles as they drove east through Lebanon's mountains Wednesday in the first phase of a pullback, and government lawmakers advised the president to bring back his pro-Damascus prime minister who was forced by opposition protests to resign.

"It is a very big loss but it is not a death blow to us, as Putin thinks."

Chechen Rebels Vow to Fight on After Chief Killed
Sonia Oxley, Reuters Original Article

Chechen guerrilla leader Aslan Maskhadov was killed by Russian security forces, giving a boost to President Vladimir Putin, but supporters vowed their fight for Chechnya's independence would go on.

"We're here for the independence of Lebanon but not for Syria to leave."

Thousands Answer Hezbollah Call in Beirut
TANALEE SMITH, Associated Press Original Article

Hundreds of thousands jammed a central Beirut square Tuesday, chanting support for Syria and anti-U.S. slogans in a thundering show of strength by the militant group Hezbollah — a rally that greatly outnumbered recent demonstrations against Syria's presence in Lebanon.

"We're here for the independence of Lebanon but not for Syria to leave."

Thousands Answer Hezbollah Call in Beirut
TANALEE SMITH, Associated Press Original Article

Hundreds of thousands jammed a central Beirut square Tuesday, chanting support for Syria and anti-U.S. slogans in a thundering show of strength by the militant group Hezbollah — a rally that greatly outnumbered recent demonstrations against Syria's presence in Lebanon.

"We're here for the independence of Lebanon but not for Syria to leave."

Thousands Answer Hezbollah Call in Beirut
TANALEE SMITH, Associated Press Original Article

Hundreds of thousands jammed a central Beirut square Tuesday, chanting support for Syria and anti-U.S. slogans in a thundering show of strength by the militant group Hezbollah — a rally that greatly outnumbered recent demonstrations against Syria's presence in Lebanon.

"We're here for the independence of Lebanon but not for Syria to leave."

Thousands Answer Hezbollah Call in Beirut
TANALEE SMITH, Associated Press Original Article

Hundreds of thousands jammed a central Beirut square Tuesday, chanting support for Syria and anti-U.S. slogans in a thundering show of strength by the militant group Hezbollah — a rally that greatly outnumbered recent demonstrations against Syria's presence in Lebanon.

"The hottest places in Hell are reserved for those who, in time of moral crisis, maintain their neutrality.''

Right is Might
Geoff Metcalf, Accuracy in Media Original Article

Planting the seeds of representative government and democracy in the Middle East, as a matter of POLICY, was viewed by critics as overreaching and too lofty a goal to suffer the realities of geopolitical diplomacy.

Syria, at the very minimum, is being neutralised and turned in on itself.

The eye doctor never saw it coming
Mark Steyn, Telegraph (UK) Original Article

I don't suppose Bashar al-Assad has much in common with Eric Clapton - though, come to think of it, "Layla" is a Lebanese name, and there must be a few of them among the smouldering, raven-tressed, black-eyed Beirut babes so fetchingly demanding their nation's freedom on the covers of this week's Economist, Newsweek, Weekly Standard et al. At any rate, Boy Assad has no desire to find himself wailing, "Layla, you got me on my knees."

Mahmoud Abbas interview by Time

Escaping Arafat's Shadow
Original Article

For his first interview with an English-language magazine since taking office in January, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas met with TIME's Jerusalem bureau chief, Matt Rees, and correspondent Jamil Hamad last Saturday in his West Bank office. After buzzing an aide for a cigarette (he does not carry his own pack, believing, he joked, that "this keeps down my consumption"), Abbas talked for an hour about his challenges.

Israel: Security officials to present PM with pullout details

Israel may transfer Tul Karm to PA on Tuesday
Amos Harel, Haaretz Original Article

Israel may transfer security control of the West Bank city of Tul Karm to the Palestinian Authority on Tuesday night, Israeli security officials said Monday. They said the handover was likely to take place shortly after a meeting Tuesday night between Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz and Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, if the meeting goes well.

Lets see how many show up prior to making this a news story.

Pro-Syrian Protest Set to Underline Lebanese Rift
Nadim Ladki, Reuters Original Article

Pro-Syrian protesters will take to the streets of Beirut on Tuesday in a show of strength highlighting deep divisions in Lebanon over Syria's role in the country.

I thought I would never live to see this. Thank you Mr. Bush.

Syrian Troops Begin Pullback in Lebanon
HUSSEIN DAKROUB, Associated Press Original Article

Syrian soldiers loaded trucks with furniture and other supplies and drove east from the Lebanese mountain posts they have held for decades, the first signs of a redeployment to Lebanon's Bekaa Valley announced Monday. But no deadline was set for their complete withdrawal, and Washington rejected the pullback as insufficient.

Until now the forces of decency in the region were alone and naked. Thanks for American power.

Three Cheers for the Bush Doctrine
CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, Time Original Article

Jon Stewart, the sage of Comedy Central, is one of the few to be honest about it. "What if Bush ... has been right about this all along? I feel like my world view will not sustain itself and I may ... implode." Daniel Schorr, another critic of the Bush foreign policy, ventured, a bit more grudgingly, that Bush "may have had it right."

We will not dictate, but will definitely voice our opinion and try to influence the outcome.

Bush cannot dictate peace: Abbas
Daily Times Original Article

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has that US President George W Bush was not the prime mover behind Palestinian moves toward democracy and that Bush would not dictate the terms of a peace deal with Israel. “I don’t think that we made democracy because President Bush pushed us. We decided that we should have a democratic process, and we did it without any pressure,” Abbas told Time magazine in an interview released on Sunday.

Interesting point regarding Iraqi checkpoints.

What Iraq's checkpoints are like
Annia Ciezadlo, Christian Science Monitor Original Article

It's a common occurrence in Iraq: A car speeds toward an American checkpoint or foot patrol. They fire warning shots; the car keeps coming. Soldiers then shoot at the car. Sometimes the on-comer is a foiled suicide attacker, but other times, it's an unarmed family.

I was shocked that this enemy, hated by the Arabs, treated us all with utmost courtesy, compassion, and respect.

Israeli Arab explodes Mideast 'lies'
WorldNetDaily Original Article

A Lebanese-born woman who later lived in Israel told a Columbia University forum today the Muslim Arab world's hatred of the Jewish state is blinding it to reason. Brigitte Gabriel, founder of American Congress for Truth, recalled being raised on "a steady diet of lies poisoning our attitudes toward the Jews. Israel – Aaesrael, Israel is the devil.

Problem is mine is buried in violation of international convention.

U.N. 'explodes' American kids
Joe Kovacs, WorldNetDaily Original Article

A new United Nations campaign designed to get the public involved in the global fight against landmines is apparently too explosive for American television, as it depicts children being blown apart on a soccer field.

Hezbollah calls for massive rallies in Beirut to show loyalty to Damascus. Let's see if massive rallies happen.

Hezbollah Mobilizes Supporters for Syria
SAM F. GHATTAS, Associated Press Original Article

The militant group Hezbollah, largely on the fence since anti-Syrian protests erupted in Lebanon last month, switched gears Sunday and threw its weight behind Syria and its allies — calling for massive rallies in Beirut to show loyalty to Damascus.

300-400 rounds fired at car. Driver not hit. Bodyguard shot once in temple. One bodyguard unknown. This doesn't add up.

Ex-Hostage Disputes U.S. on Iraq Shooting
ANGELA DOLAND, Associated Press Original Article

Left-wing journalist Giuliana Sgrena claimed American soldiers gave no warning before they opened fire and said Sunday she could not rule out that U.S. forces intentionally shot at the car carrying her to the Baghdad airport, wounding her and killing the Italian agent who had just won her freedom after a month in captivity.

"There is nothing worse than a pacifist that sells arms." I like this guy. He is a straight shooter.

Arms Sales Begin at Home
Thomas L. Friedman, New York Time Original Article

For the life of me, I simply do not understand why President Bush is objecting to the European Union's selling arms to China, ending a 16-year embargo. I mean, what's the problem?

We too, like the Romans, may fade into history. However, we will always be remembered for pursuing tyranny and instilling democracy & freedom.

What's in It for America?
Roger Cohen, New York Times Original Article

IN the Middle East, an old order is weakening - that of authoritarian, repressive states walled off from modernity. A new order is rising, with democracy stirring in countries from Iraq to Egypt, mass demonstrations pushing out Syrian troops from Lebanon and a Palestinian leader apparently committing himself to an open political system. But will this emergent democratic current, if consolidated, make America safer?

If the Founding Fathers were concerned about international opinion, we would still be European colonies and not the World Leader.

Wrong on All Counts
George F. Will, Washington Post Original Article

In 1992, before delivering the Supreme Court's ruling in an abortion case, Justice Anthony Kennedy stood with a journalist observing rival groups of demonstrators and mused: "Sometimes you don't know if you're Caesar about to cross the Rubicon or Captain Queeg cutting your own tow line." Or perhaps you are a would-be legislator, a dilettante sociologist and a free-lance moralist, disguised as a judge.

Iraqi CSPAN: Perhaps Osama bin Laden will also watch and see the end of his dreams.

What Hath Ju-Ju Wrought!
Reuel Marc Gerecht, Weekly Standard Original Article

HAVE THE IRAQI ELECTIONS PRODUCED a democratic earthquake that has changed forever the fundamental political dynamics in the Muslim Middle East? Only the culturally deaf, dumb, and blind--for example, Michigan's Democratic senator Carl Levin--can't see what George W. Bush's war against Saddam Hussein has wrought.

Waiting for Democrats to figure out some bad to all this good.

Time for a dose of Dr. No
John Leo, US News Original Article

The way I see it, every silver lining contains a new cloud. You just have to look for it. Maybe you noticed that right after the Iraqi elections, when most people were euphoric, half the reporters in New York and Washington started waving around a 1967 news clipping, headlined "U.S. Encouraged by Vietnam Vote, Officials Cite 83 pct. Turnout Despite Vietcong Terror."

A logicial extension of the Bush Doctrine

U.S. Adopts Preemptive Counterintelligence Strategy
David Morgan, Reuters Original Article

The Bush administration has adopted a new counterintelligence strategy that calls for preemptive action against foreign intelligence services viewed as threats to national security, officials said Saturday. The first national U.S. counterintelligence strategy, which President Bush approved on Tuesday, aims to combat intelligence services from countries hungry for U.S. military and nuclear secrets, such as China and Iran, both at home and abroad, counterintelligence officials said.

Interesting stance by Israel; they want all terrorists out of Lebanon.

Israel demands withdrawal of Iranian Guard
Ze'ev Schiff, Haaretz Original Article

Israel has informed a number of countries, including the United States and France, that the demand for the withdrawal of Syrian forces from Lebanon, in keeping with the United Nations Security Council decision, will not be complete if it doesn't also lead to the departure of Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps members, who have been in Lebanon for a long time and are providing assistance to Hezbollah's military wing.

"When the Founding Fathers said, 'We the People,'" Rice replied, "They didn't mean me."

When History Turns A Corner
Michael Duffy, Times Online Original Article

How can you tell when history turns a corner? An assassination in 1914, a sneak attack in 1941, a wall falling in 1989—each came with a bang that was impossible to mistake once it happened, even if no one saw it coming. Across the Middle East last week, a tide of good news suggested that another corner might be near. Amid the flush of springlike exuberance, though, it was hard to know which events history would immortalize.

Will Hosni Mubarak bring Egypt into the community of democratic nations?

A Crack in the Sphinx
Insert Name of Writer/News Service Here Original Article

The surprise decision by Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to propose a constitutional amendment, opening up the process of electing the president by direct competitive balloting, may well be a giant step for democracy in Egypt and the Arab World.

Ok, this explanation makes absolutely no sense.

Wounded Italian Journalist Recalls Ordeal
MARIA SANMINIATELLI, Associated Press Original Article

The freed Italian hostage wounded by American troops at a checkpoint in Baghdad shortly after her release said in an article Sunday that her Iraqi captors had warned her U.S. forces "might intervene."

Interesting, We will see what Monday brings.

Syrian Troops to Begin Pullback Monday
BASSEM MROUE, Associated Press Original Article

Syrian troops will begin pulling back to the Lebanese border following a Monday meeting of the two countries' leadership, the Lebanese defense minister said Sunday.

First show them what you stand for and then begin negotiations.

The Bush administration goes soft
Joseph S. Nye , The Daily Star Original Article

The first term of U.S. President George W. Bush's presidency was marked by unilateralism and military power. The United States was the world's only superpower, so others had to follow. The result was a dramatic decline in America's "soft" or attractive power. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said he did not know what soft power was. Now it is back in fashion in Washington.

Foreigners attribute releases to pressures from outside; Cubans know deaths polictical prisoners look bad for Castro.

Standing Up to a Dictator
Berta Soler Fernandez, Washington Post Original Article

After Cuban authorities released seven political prisoners recently, some of us, wives of imprisoned Cuban dissidents, received calls from abroad rejoicing over these "liberations" and over the improved human rights situation in Cuba. But these were not liberations; the regime simply released a few sick men on parole.

The US must modify the environment to produce another option or mitigate the risks in these options.

The Least Bad Iran Option
Jeffrey Bergner, Weekly Standard Original Article

DURING HIS RECENT TRIP TO Europe, President Bush sent mixed signals about U.S. policy with regard to Iran's development of nuclear weapons. At one point he dismissed the prospect of military action as ridiculous; immediately after, he emphasized all options were on the table; then at another point he suggested there might be "convergence" between U.S. and European views on how to address the problem.