Another World

In 1990, I thought that another world was not only possible, it was happening before my eyes. With hundreds of other activists, I was in Prague to attend the Helsinki Citizens Assembly (HCA). The Berlin Wall was no more, the Cold War was receding with breathtaking...

America the Exceptional

Our allies should organize an intervention. I’m not talking about a military intervention, though some neighborhoods in the United States might welcome UN peacekeepers to replace the local constabulary. I’m talking about one of those interventions that...

Regional Implications of the Iraq War

President George W. Bush’s vision for the Iraq War was nothing if not expansive. Liberal democracy and popular sovereignty were to supplant tyranny not only in Baghdad, but in nearby capitals as well. And the force of U.S. arms would not be needed to accomplish...
The Vishnu Strategy

The Vishnu Strategy

“The Supreme Lord said: I am death, the mighty destroyer of the world, out to destroy.” According to the great Hindu text Bhagavad-Gita, Vishnu delivered that speech to Prince Arjuna before a great battle almost eight millennia ago. Physicist Robert...

The United States and Lebanons Civil Strife

The ongoing popular challenge to the pro-Western Lebanese government of Prime Minister Fouad Siniora marks yet another setback in the Bush administration’s attempt to impose a new order on the Middle East more compatible with perceived U.S. strategic interests....

Bush at the UN: Annotated

President George W. Bush’s address before the United Nations General Assembly on September 19 appeared to be designed for the domestic U.S. audience. Indeed, few of the foreign delegations or international journalists present could take seriously his rhetoric...
Light among the Ruins

Light among the Ruins

The images most Americans have of the recent war in Lebanon are of shattered cities, dead civilians, and terrified people bunkered down in basements or picking their way through blasted streets. The carnage of modern war draws the media as ancient battles called forth...

Why We Need a UN Rapid Response

The UN needs a rapidly deployable UN Emergency Peace Service (UNEPS). Such a force, if it currently existed, would already be on the ground in Lebanon, creating a secure environment for a replacement team of more permanent peacekeepers. In Sudan, UNEPS could have been...

The Persistence of Illusion

The Middle East has always been a place where illusion paves the road to disaster. In 1095, Pope Urban’s religious mania launched the Crusades, the reverberations of which still echo through the region. In 1915, Winston Churchill’s arrogance led to the...

Lebanon, Sudan: Who You Gonna Call?

The world is holding its collective breath. Will the Lebanon ceasefire hold? Will war and ethnic cleansing escalate again in Darfur? UN peacekeeping, described by Secretary General Kofi Annan as “the only fire brigade in the world that has to acquire a fire...

Bunch of Losers

I met a traveler from an antique land Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone Stand in the desert … And on the pedestal these words appear: “My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings: Look upon my works, ye Mighty, and despair!” On August 14 at...

Lebanon Ceasefire

The UN Security Council resolution for a ceasefire to the fighting in Lebanon is certainly good news in terms of ending the carnage. Passed on August 11, Resolution 1701 is also a marked improvement over the original U.S. draft and contains some positive language....

The United States, the UN, and the Lebanon Ceasefire

The UN Security Council resolution for a ceasefire to the fighting in Lebanon is certainly good news in terms of ending the carnage. Passed on August 11, Resolution 1701 is also a marked improvement over the original U.S. draft and contains some positive language....

How Washington Goaded Israel

There is increasing evidence that Israel instigated a disastrous war on Lebanon largely at the behest of the United States. The Bush administration was set on crippling Hezbollah, the radical Shiite political movement that maintains a sizable block of seats in the...

Why the Dems Have Failed Lebanon

The Bush administration’s unconditional support for Israel’s attacks on Lebanon is emblematic of the profound tragedy of U.S. policy in the region over the past five years. The administration has relied largely on force rather than diplomacy. It has shown...