Marian Wang: The U.S. has spent billions on to train the dysfunctional police force, which has been riddled with high turnover and continued corruption.
Kirwin: Terry Jones’ Quran burning resulted in killings and extreme danger in Afghanistan. The United Nations ordered all of its personnel to remain locked down in their compounds. A credible rumor has it that the UN will decide whether to completely pull out of the country, despite multiple assertions to the contrary by the UN Special Representative, Staffan de Mistura, who is based in Kabul.
Norman Solomon: And so, the secretary of state condemns awful Iran, invoking “our sense of human dignity, the rights that flow from it and the principles that ground it.” But don’t hold your breath for any such condemnation of, say, Saudi Arabia — surely an “awful” government that “routinely violates the rights of its people.”
Guy Laron: Though protesters in Cairo are clamoring for democracy, the underlying cause of the demonstrations may be the economic plight of the Egyptian middle class, according to historian Guy Laron. In this essay, Laron traces the roots of that economic plight back to the 1952 coup that brought the current military regime to power.
Carl Bloice: To do something meaningful the Obama Administration must go beyond lecturing the local establishment leaders about human rights and political plurality. It must be to move to respond positively to the aspiration of the kids with the rocks in the streets. It should not involve telling the Pakistanis how to price gas.
Ivan Eland: The problem is that the U.S. goal in Afghanistan—although President Obama has reduced it from George W. Bush’s instituting democracy to merely stabilizing the country—is still too ambitious.
Ann Wright: Just as Daniel Ellsberg blew the whistle on the lies of the US leaders of the Vietnam War, Manning is accused of blowing the whistle on the illegality of today’s wars. What will our response to the information Manning is charged with releasing be? Can we make today’s Pentagon Papers lead to an end to illegal and wasteful wars abroad and the return of our troops home?
Linda Milazzo: Many Americans, myself included, feel a sense of guilt at being unwitting pawns in Israel’s forty-year occupation and systematic torture, deprivation, and dare I say, ethnic cleansing of Palestinians. Many Americans are further incensed that our legislators have voted annually to award Israel, a wealthy and thriving nation, 3 billion of our tax dollars which go directly into its military.