Ira Chernus: Obama shows no inclination to back his words with the power the U.S. government could wield. Until he does, those words won’t provoke any change in Israel’s domination of the Palestinians.
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.