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22 Dec 2007 - 22 Aug 2011
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Project on Middle East Democracy
The POMED Wire Archives
Month: November, 2007
POMED Notes: "Turmoil in Pakistan: Implications for U.S. Security"
November 30th, 2007 by Celest
Today, the Center for American Progress hosted a panel discussing the current turmoil in Pakistan and how the US should respond. The panelists were: Senator Tom Daschle, Distinguished Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress; Robert Grenier, Managing Director, Kroll Inc. and former CIA Chief of Station, Islamabad; and Robert Hathaway, Director, Asia Program, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Lawrence Korb, Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress, moderated the discussion.
Senator Daschle spoke about his trip to Pakistan in mid-October with the National Democratic Institute and compared it to the trip he took earlier in year. He note an increase in fear. Robert Hathaway spoke about the positions of each of the main players in Pakistan and their weaknesses or strengths. Robert Grenier began by stating that he believes counter terrorism is the overriding concern in Pakistan and should take precedence over other interests. He went on to argue that “democracy is the answer in the long term” and the best way to fight terrorism.
For POMED’s full notes, click here.
Posted in Events, Pakistan, US foreign policy | Comment »
Learning from North Korea
November 30th, 2007 by Celest
Zbigniew Brzezinski, writing in the Washington Post, argues that the US should follow the precedent set with North Korea and involve China in solving the nuclear issue with Iran. “A comprehensive, strategic dialogue between the United States and China regarding the relevance of their shared experience dealing with North Korea to the potential crisis with Iran could be timely and historically expedient.”
Posted in Iran, US foreign policy | Comment »
Pakistan Under Civilian Rule
November 30th, 2007 by Celest
An editorial in the Washington Times questions what may happen in Pakistan now that President Musharraf has become a civilian.
Posted in Pakistan | Comment »
Is Bush Moving Forward in Iraq?
November 30th, 2007 by Celest
An editorial in the New York Times argues that rather than looking for ways to compel Iraq’s leaders to perform, President Bush is lessening the pressure on them.
Posted in Iraq | Comment »
How Sharif’s Return Could Affect the War on Terror
November 30th, 2007 by Celest
Stanley Kurtz, writing at NRO’s blog, argues that supporting democracy in Pakistan will lead to Nawaz Sharif’s return to power, which will mean an end to Pakistan’s support for the War on Terror. “When popular will itself is largely illiberal and pro-Islamist, government driven by popular will means more terrorism, not less.” He also comments on Saudi Arabia’s influence with Sharif.
Jay Solomon, in the Wall Street Journal (subscription only), writes that the Saudis helped Sharif to return to Pakistan to strengthen their influence there.
Posted in Democracy Promotion, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Terrorism | Comment »
In a Spirit of Giving
November 30th, 2007 by Celest
If you enjoy this blog, please consider donating to POMED during our first annual Year-End Fund Raising Drive. Remember that because POMED is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, every penny is tax deductible. It is only through support of readers like you that we can continue to provide this service. Thank you!
Posted in Uncategorized | Comment »
A Step Forward for Human Rights In Egypt
November 30th, 2007 by Celest
The BBC reports that an Egyptian court sentenced four police officers convicted of torture that caused the death a prisoner to seven years in prison, the longest sentence in 10 years.
Posted in Egypt, Human Rights | Comment »
Syria, Israel, US and the Golan
November 30th, 2007 by Celest
On his blog Syria Comment, Joshua Landis provides a series of articles and comments about how Israeli is attached to the life-style of the Golan (ski resorts, wineries, etc.). A separate post also contains several articles about a possible thaw in Syria-US relations.
Posted in Israel, Syria, US foreign policy | Comment »
Attack would Guarantee Iran gets the Bomb
November 30th, 2007 by Celest
Juan Cole posted an article with an interview with International Atomic Energy Agency head, Mohamed Elbaradei, on how to deal with the Iranian nuclear issue. “He cautions that a direct military attack would almost guarantee that Iran develops an atomic bomb.”
Posted in Iran | Comment »
Iraqi Refugees and Political Gridlock
November 30th, 2007 by Celest
On his blog, Abu Muqawama asks what is going to happen when Iraqi refugees try to return to an essentially ethnically cleansed or divided Baghdad and who is going to sort out where they will live when other people are probably already living in their houses.
Juan Cole’s post today includes a section about how Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki “tried and failed to play ‘divide and rule’ with the Sunni Arabs in parliament on Thursday.” He concludes, the episode underlines the political gridlock in Iraq, which undermines any military success of the surge.
Posted in Iraq | Comment »
POMED Notes: Which Countries Will the Millennium Challenge Corporation Choose in 2008?
November 30th, 2007 by Celest
The Center for Global Development hosted a presentation entitled “Which Countries Will the Millennium Challenge Corporation Choose in 2008?” The speakers were Sheila Herrling, Senior Policy Analyst, Center for Global Development, and Steve Radelet, Senior Fellow, Center for Global Development. Based on their assessment of the indicators, they explained which countries passed or failed and which countries they think the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Board will actually select. For their full paper on the topic, click here.
They also raised several issues with the MCC program that they believe ought to be addressed including including budgetary limitations and the lack of transparency in the Board’s decision making. They also argued that the democracy indicators should be a “hard hurtle” that countries must pass in order to qualify for the program. This would affect countries such as Egypt, Jordan and Morocco. Jordan and Morocco are the only non-democracies that have been selected.
For POMED’s full notes, click here.
Posted in Democracy Promotion, Egypt, Events, Jordan, Morocco | Comment »
POMED Notes: Digesting Annapolis: What Happened, What it Means, and What Happens Next?
November 30th, 2007 by Sean
Americans for Peace Now, American Task Force on Palestine, Israeli Policy Forum, Arab-American Institute, Brit Tzedek v’Shalom, and Churches for Middle East Peace sponsored a briefing on Capitol Hill yesterday analyzing the proceedings at Tuesday’s Annapolis meeting.
Former Ambassador Phil Wilcox of the Foundation for Middle East Peace moderated a panel featuring former Israeli negotiator Daniel Levy, ATFP’s Ghaith al-Omari, Scott Lasensky of USIP, APN’s Ori Nir, and Greg Khalil of the Palestinian Authority’s Negotiations Support Unit.
For POMED’s notes on the panel discussion, and the Q & A that followed, click here.
Posted in Events, Israel, Mideast Peace Plan, Palestine | Comment »
Ruling FLN Wins in Algerian Local Elections
November 30th, 2007 by Sean
In Thursday’s elections, the ruling National Liberation Front (FLN) took a majority of seats at stake, followed by its coalition partner the National Democratic Rally. Voter turnout is reported at 43%.
Posted in Algeria, Elections | Comment »
Will Democracy Follow in Lebanon with Beirut’s Top General?
November 30th, 2007 by Amanda
An opinion piece in the Los Angeles Times asks if democracy will follow in Lebanon now that Beirut’s top general, “who has ties to Syria and Hezbollah”, is in line to be president?
According to the article, “The bewildering crisis in Lebanon has taken another perplexing twist with reports that the gridlocked parliament has agreed to choose the country’s top general, Michel Suleiman, as its next president.”
Although Suleiman was “originally handpicked by the Syrians” and “enjoys close ties to Hezbollah,” the article says “the West will probably recognize Suleiman” because while he “is no white knight” he “might be able to keep Lebanon from a new civil war.”
Posted in Elections, Lebanon | Comment »
Syria and the Prospects for the Golan Heights
November 30th, 2007 by Amanda
Helene Cooper in the International Herald Tribune writes that “For almost three years, Syria has been in the diplomatic doghouse,” and now that Syria has a seat at the Annapolis meeting, Cooper asks “What has changed?”
While the US and Israel have opened up somewhat to Syria, the issue of the Golan Heights is still conditional on other factors. One US official says in the article that the ball is in Syria’s court and that they have a “​fundamental choice.”
“Are they going to make a strategic decision, give up their support for terror, let Lebanon alone, support a new Iraqi government, rather than obstruct it and undermine it, and make a decision for peace? If they do, I think there are opportunities for them in the Golan Heights.”
Posted in Israel, Syria | Comment »
Musharraf Sets End Date for Emergency Rule
November 29th, 2007 by Sean
Today Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf has declared that he intends to
lift emergency rule on December 16th. His speech, which also gave justifications for emergency rule and addressed his view of Pakistani democracy, came after he was sworn in for his second five-year term as President earlier in the day.
Posted in Military, Pakistan | Comment »
Shias and Sunnis in Iraq
November 29th, 2007 by Sean
Steve Schippert writes yesterday at the National Review Online of the significance of Ayatollah Ali Sistani’s leadership within the world’s Shia community. On Tuesday Sistani met with Sunni clerical leaders and called for Iraq’s Shiites to protect their Sunni brothers.
Meanwhile, a senior Sunni religious leader, Sheikh Ahmed Abdul Ghafour al-Samarraie​, called Wednesday for the integration of Sunni fighters into the Iraqi military.
Posted in Iraq, Sectarianism | Comment »
Iraqi Refugees Return
November 29th, 2007 by Sean
The current issue of Newsweek contains a report on the return of refugees to Baghdad, discussing the improvements in the security situation as well as the difficulties for resettlement created by the sectarian cleansing carried out in many neighborhoods.
Posted in Iraq, Sectarianism | Comment »
Out of Injustice, Limited Progress in Saudi Arabia
November 29th, 2007 by Sean
In the Weekly Standard yesterday, Stephen Schwartz and Irfan Al-Alawi write of the attention given to the case of “the woman from Qatif” and the arbitrary judicial procedures that result in injustice against women and Shia in the kingdom. They credit the woman and her lawyer, human rights activist Abd Al-Rahman Al-Lahem, with opposing this system, leading to rare criticism of the sentence against the rape victim from both Saudi foreign minister Saud al-Faisal and White House spokesperson Dana Perino.
Posted in Human Rights, Judiciary, Saudi Arabia, Women | Comment »
POMED Notes: Pakistan Crisis and U.S. Policy Options
November 29th, 2007 by Celest
The Heritage Foundation hosted a panel of speakers discussing the current political crisis in Pakistan and the various policy options open to the United States. The panel included Dr. Marvin Weinbaum​, Scholar-in-Residence, Middle East Institute; James McCormick​, Senior Counsel, Republican Staff, House Foreign Affairs Committee; Husain Haqqani, Director, Center for International Relations, Boston University; and Lisa Curtis, Senior Research Fellow, Asian Studies Center, the Heritage Foundation. Walter Lohman, Director, Asian Studies Center, the Heritage Foundation, hosted the panel.
Dr. Marvin Weinbaum talked about how US policy towards Pakistan has been “short-sighted and self-defeating.” Husain Haqqani focused on the history of Pakistan and its influence on the current situation. James McCormick discussed Congress’s reactions to the situation in Pakistan. Lisa Curtis looked at what the US needs to do to ensure free and fair elections and stability in Pakistan in the long run. The discussion emphasized that the US must take concrete steps to restore democracy in Pakistan, and that the choice between fighting terrorism or promoting democracy is a false dichotomy.
For POMED’s full notes, click here.
An audio recording of the event are available from The Heritage Foundations website.
Posted in Events, Pakistan, US foreign policy | Comment »
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