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July 12, 2013 · By Peter Certo
This past week, as many of you have probably noticed, FPIF rolled out a brand-new redesigned website. We’re still in the process of transitioning a few things, but it’s my great pleasure to show you what we’ve done so far.
Foremost of all, we’ve modernized our front page to put FPIF content front and center. We’ve got a stylish new slideshow display to feature more timely articles, but we’ve also left more space to keep newer commentaries up front so they don’t disappear after a few days. And while preserving front-page space for our regular columnists, we’ve also carved out a new section for blog posts, which represent about half of FPIF’s output. The goal is to make sure you don’t miss a thing.
Just as importantly, we’ve streamlined our archiving of older pieces, making it easier to browse commentaries and blog posts by subject, region, tags, and author. And if you don’t see what you’re looking for right away, we have a brand new Google-based site search that outperforms our previous search function by a long shot.
I’m also excited to announce that FPIF is now fully compatible with mobile devices, which means our content should be readable and accessible no matter what your screen size.
Our new site design also comes with built-in features designed to enhance social media sharing and search engine results for FPIF articles, which I hope will bring our progressive perspective on global issues to more people than ever.
FPIF has always been at the forefront of foreign policy analysis in the 21st century, connecting writers and activists working to make the United States a more responsible global partner. I’m happy to say we finally have a website that looks the part.
July 12, 2013 · By Netfa Freeman
This piece originally posted in Black Star News.
Apparently the phrase “blood is thicker than water” also compares to the Imperial ties that bind NATO, where the history of European colonial collusion runs thicker than internationalist ethics and treaties.
The recent brushing aside of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations by France, Spain, Italy, Portugal, and US that endangered the life of Bolivian president Evo Morales, should be an epiphany or at least a reminder to the people of Africa, Asia and Latin America. It demonstrates that only a radical and transcontinental transformation can abolish the vestiges of European colonialism and white supremacy.
The Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations is the international treaty that forms the legal basis for diplomatic immunity. But on July 2nd the fore mentioned NATO countries most likely led by the US breached the Convention by colluding to disallow a Bolivian presidential flight into their respective airspace.
This was allegedly based on unfounded suspicion that the flight was transporting US National Security Agency whistleblower, Edward Snowden. President Morales and accompanying Bolivian officials were returning to Bolivia after attending a Forum of Gas Exporting Countries in Russia. Low on fuel due to rerouting caused by denial of passage through the airspace of the European culprit countries, the Bolivian presidential flight had to make an emergency landing in Vienna, Austria.
This is another one of countless and arrogantly racist double standards that the US and its NATO allies have demonstrated since the dawn of colonialism and neo-colonialism. The Convention on Diplomatic Relations is supposed to be the framework governing relations between independent countries. It specifies the privileges of a diplomatic mission that enable diplomats to perform their functions without fear of coercion or harassment by hosts countries, including free and safe passage via land, sea or air.
Read the full article in Black Star News.
July 11, 2013 · By Colleen Teubner
Families across the country recently celebrated the Fourth of July like they always do: with annual beach trips, barbecues, baseball games, and fireworks. But one of my favorite local traditions was canceled, courtesy of Congress.
Every year on the Fourth, without fail, my family and I would take a trip to Sagamore Hill. Affectionately nicknamed the "Summer White House," Sagamore Hill was President Teddy Roosevelt's home on Long Island. Today, it's a National Historic Site operated by the National Park Service.
For me, Sagamore Hill was a magical place that came to life on the Fourth of July. Rough Riders rode their horses. TR look-a-likes strolled across the grounds. Nature trails demanded to be explored. And the great mansion begged visitors to see its curious antiquities.
Not this year. Due to the sequester, this national treasure was forced to reduce its annual budget by $76,000. Independence Day was canceled in 2013.
You know things are bad when the Summer White House can't afford to stay open on the Fourth of July.
But Sagamore Hill's event wasn't the only one canceled. All across the country, communities went without their July Fourth fireworks, traditions, and festivals. Bands were silent. Skies were empty.
Yes, the sequester has had worse effects: School budgets, environmental initiatives, and health services across the nation have been cut. People are losing their jobs. Some children have lost their Head Start slots. Some seniors aren't getting the meals-on-wheels they used to.
But the cancelation of smaller programs also demands outrage. They may be taken for granted, but they're the kind of services that build communities.
Colleen Teubner is a student at the George Washington University and an OtherWords intern at the Institute for Policy Studies. OtherWords.org
July 10, 2013 · By Emily Schwartz Greco
This week in OtherWords, we're highlighting the debate over the Obama administration's nuclear weapons policy, with op-eds by Peter Weiss and James C. Lewis and a cartoon by Khalil Bendib.
If you haven't already subscribed to our weekly newsletter, please do.
- Obama Sharpens His Nuclear Posture / Peter Weiss
A new Pentagon document indicates that contingent plans for the use of nuclear weapons are being made, with the self-evidently impossible task of minimizing collateral damage.
- It Can’t Happen Here / Tiffany Williams
Au pairs may get an experience they didn't bargain for when they head for a stint in the United States.
- One Step at a Time / Chris Schillig
The middle ground the Boy Scouts found on gay rights is one that rankles as much as it pleases.
- Smaller Arsenals Beat Bigger Ones / James C. Lewis
Obama is trying to enhance U.S. national security by reducing the threat of nuclear weapons.
- Taking Embarrassing to a New Level / Donald Kaul
Every administration hits rough waters.
- Predistribute the Wealth / Sam Pizzigati
The market has stopped working for working people.
- A Deadly Power Surge / Jill Richardson
Fracking might be profitable, but whether it's good for anything else is doubtful.
- North Carolina Rips More Holes in Its Safety Net / Jim Hightower
If ignorance is bliss, Governor McCrory must be ecstatic.
- Syrian Dead End / Emily Schwartz Greco and William A. Collins
How can the United States afford to keep proving that it's bad at bringing peace to conflict-ridden Middle Eastern countries?
- Washington Goes AWOL / Khalil Bendib cartoon
Emily Schwartz Greco is the managing editor of OtherWords, a non-profit national editorial service run by the Institute for Policy Studies. OtherWords.org
July 3, 2013 · By Robin Broad and John Cavanagh
This piece originally posted in YES! Magazine. John Cavanagh contributed to YES! as part of a new "idea sharing partnership" between YES! and the Institute for Policy Studies.
Robin is standing in front of a church in Guatemala with some of the other members of the first international delegation on “gold mining and the defense of water in El Salvador.” We are 44 people from 12 countries who have come to support El Salvador's right to stop environmentally destructive gold mining. We have come as allies of a coalition called the National Roundtable Against Metallic Mining (“La Mesa”), and we have traveled just across the border to Guatemala because the source of the Lempa River that supplies most of El Salvador's fresh water is here in the Guatemalan hills.
Goldcorp, one of Canada's largest gold mining firms, is building a mine here. The environmental havoc unleashed by this mine will affect not only Guatemalans, but also Salvadorans who depend on the Lempa’s waters as it meanders through El Salvador on its way to the Pacific Ocean.
Read the full article in YES! Magazine.