Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Critic Likens GOP’s Attempts to Force UN Reform to Deadly Suicide Bombing

A House Republican bill aimed at driving United Nations reform by withholding U.S. funds is part of “an even more destructive assault” on the world body than Friday’s suicide bombing of a U.N. building in Nigeria, a critic of the initiative said. Read

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Arab Democracy Deficit No One Is Talking About

Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas’ decision to postpone local elections – for the fourth time – has drawn little international attention, and no criticism from the U.S., the European Union or the Mideast “Quartet.” Read

Monday, August 29, 2011

With Megrahi ‘Near Death,’ Will Lockerbie Secrets Ever Be Revealed?

The only man convicted in the Lockerbie bombing is reported by CNN to be apparently near death, an eventuality that may deprive the families of the 1988 atrocity’s victims, and the world, of ever learning exactly who gave the orders for the deadliest act of terrorism on British soil. Read

Friday, August 26, 2011

Troubled by Growth of Christianity, Iranian Regime Destroys Bibles

A Shi’ite cleric affiliated with the Iranian regime has warned about the “danger” of Christianity spreading in the Islamic republic. This come amid reports of an anti-Christianity propaganda campaign and the seizure of thousands of Bibles. Read

Palestinian Bid for U.N. Recognition Has Unintended Consequences, Legal Expert Warns

As China and India join the growing international support for the Palestinian Authority’s bid for U.N. recognition, Palestinian leaders have been confronted by an eleventh-hour warning that the move could prove severely detrimental to the Palestinians themselves. Read

Thursday, August 25, 2011

White House Must Prove Its Opposition to China’s One-Child Policy, Critics Say

If the Obama administration indeed “strongly opposes” China’s one-child policy and finds it “repugnant” – as Vice President Joe Biden’s office asserts – then it should reverse its 2009 decision that restored federal funding to the U.N. Population Fund. Read

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Obama’s Policy of ‘Engaging’ Rogue Regimes Looking Shaky

The unfolding climax of the Libyan revolution and the ongoing crisis in Syria again raise questions about the value of seeking to engage leaders long hostile to the United States and the West. Read

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

U.N. Human Rights Council Condemns Violence in Syria Without Support From China and Russia

An emergency meeting of the Human Rights Council to discuss the crisis in Syria is underlining once again the deep differences between democracies and others over the purpose of the U.N.’s top human rights body. Read

Biden Won’t ‘Second Guess’ Chinese on One-Child Policy

As remarks by Vice President Joe Biden expressing an understanding of China’s one-child policy resonate in pro-life circles, a U.S. House bill seeks to deny entry into the United States of any Chinese official involved in rights abuses, including coercive population control measures. Read

Monday, August 22, 2011

Across the Political Spectrum, Egyptian Parties Want Israel Punished

As Israel grapples with its most serious diplomatic rift with Egypt in years, one of the clearest signs of the fragility of the relationship at the heart of Israeli-Arab peace efforts is the wide range of Egyptian political parties and leaders demanding that their government take a harsh line against Israel. Read

Friday, August 19, 2011

Obama Administration Misrepresents Timing of Sanctions on Syria

As the Obama administration Thursday defended itself against criticism that it took too long to call for Syrian President Bashar Assad to stand down, officials incorrectly claimed that sanctions had been imposed from the start of the crisis. Read

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Hezbollah Rejects Assassination Charges, Refuses to Cooperate With U.N.-Backed Tribunal

Two weeks before Lebanon’s Hezbollah-dominated government assumes the presidency of the U.N. Security Council, Hezbollah on Wednesday reiterated its refusal to cooperate with a U.N.-backed tribunal that has indicted four of its members in the most politically charged assassination in Lebanese history. Read

‘No More Important Relationship’ Than That With China, Biden Says

Vice President Joseph Biden kicked off a five-day visit to China Thursday by exchanging warm words with his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, the man expected to lead the ruling communist party next year and then assume the presidency in 2013. Read

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Bloody Ramadan: More Than 100 Killed in Iraq So Far

Iraq’s day of carnage on Monday may result in this year’s Islamic fast month of Ramadan matching last year’s when it comes to deadly violence in the country. Read

Obama Administration and ‘Quartet’ Partners Knock Israel but Sidestep Palestinians’ Statehood Bid at U.N.

The Obama administration joined its “Mideast Quartet” partners Tuesday in a statement criticizing Israeli plans for new housing in disputed territory – but skirting around the Palestinian Authority’s looming bid for United Nations recognition of “Palestine.” Read

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Palestinians Under Fire in Syria, but Arab League Condemns Israel

The Arab League on Monday slammed Israel for various activities in Jerusalem purportedly harmful to Palestinian aspirations, and it also announced an “emergency meeting” would take place in Qatar next week to discuss Palestinian plans to seek U.N. recognition in September. Read

Monday, August 15, 2011

Israel Looms As a Key Issue in GOP Race

While foreign policy has not featured strongly in the early stages of the Republican 2012 presidential campaign, events in the comings weeks look set to change that, as candidates seek to burnish pro-Israel credentials in the face of a Palestinian push for U.N. recognition. Read

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Pawlenty Withdraws, Newcomer Perry Seeks His Endorsement

Tim Pawlenty withdrew Sunday from the 2012 Republican presidential campaign following a disappointing showing in the Iowa straw poll, and newcomer to the race Rick Perry moved quickly to seek the former Minnesota governor’s endorsement. Read

Friday, August 12, 2011

White House Scrubs Web Site of Reference to ‘Jerusalem, Israel’

The Obama White House, in removing one word from a photo caption on its Web site this week, has drawn fresh attention to two consecutive administrations’ tussles with Congress over whether American citizens born in Jerusalem should have the word “Israel” appear on their U.S. passports. Read

Conservatives Clash Over Iran in Iowa Debate

Thursday night’s Republican presidential debate in Iowa revealed two very different conservative approaches to how the United States should deal with the threat posed by Iran. Read

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Bin Laden’s Death Has Not Affected Battleground in Afghanistan, U.S. Commander Says

U.S. forces in Afghanistan have not detected any noticeable effect on the battleground from the killing of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, the commander of U.S. and coalition forces there said Wednesday. Read

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

U.N., NATO at Odds Over Targeting of Libyan State TV

Media installations and personnel should not be targets of military action, even if they are being used by an adversary regime to disseminate propaganda, a senior United Nations official said this week. Read

Countries With Worst Religious Freedom Grades Are Mostly Islamic

Muslim-majority countries score worst across a range of measures in a comprehensive new study tracking government restrictions on religion as well as social hostilities involving religion around the world. Read

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Afghan Reconciliation Chief Blames ‘Foreign Intelligence,’ Not Taliban, for Assassinations

The head of the “high peace council” set up by Afghan President Hamid Karzai last year to seek reconciliation with elements of the Taliban says a spate of assassinations of high-profile Afghans is the work of unnamed “foreign intelligence agencies” who seek to defame Islam and the Taliban. Read

Monday, August 08, 2011

Amid Waning Support, Syria’s Assad Defends Crackdown Against ‘Outlaws’

Despite witnessing a slow erosion of support from usually sympathetic quarters, a defiant Syrian President Bashar Assad insisted Sunday that his security forces’ crackdown on dissent was in keeping with the state’s duty to act against “outlaws.” Read

Iranian-Backed Shi’ite Cleric Threatens U.S. Troops in Iraq

As the U.S. military contended with the greatest loss of life in a single incident since the war in Afghanistan began, Iraq’s Iranian-backed Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr warned that any American troops remaining in Iraq beyond year’s end would be regarded as occupiers and targeted. Read

Friday, August 05, 2011

Creation of U.S. Special Envoy on Religious Freedom Raises Hopes of Pakistani Christians

Christian activists in Pakistan have welcomed a congressional initiative to establish a special envoy to promote religious freedom in the Middle East and South Asia, voicing hope that the move may lead to more U.S. pressure on Pakistan to end the persecution of non-Muslim minorities. Read

‘Blow to the West’: Iran Elevates Revolutionary Guard Commander to Helm of OPEC

In what the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps described as “a blow to the West,” Iranian lawmakers this week confirmed President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s nomination of a senior IRGC figure as oil minister, a position that also elevates him to the presidency of the OPEC oil cartel. Read

Thursday, August 04, 2011

4 Months and 1,600 Deaths Later, U.N. Security Council Issues Statement on Syria

Twenty-one weeks after Syrian President Bashar Assad launched a crackdown on anti-government protests, the U.N. Security Council on Wednesday issued its first response to the crisis in the form of a statement condemning the violence that has killed more than 1,600 people. Read

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

U.S. Move to Create Envoy for Religious Freedom Seen as Meddling by Islamists

A vote in the U.S. House of Representatives to establish a special envoy to promote religious freedom in parts of the Middle East and South Asia is causing ripples in Egypt, where a Muslim Brotherhood leader says the decision amounts to more U.S. “interference” in Egypt’s affairs. Read

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

U.N. Human Rights Committee Takes Aim at Blasphemy Laws

Blasphemy laws are incompatible with a leading international human rights covenant ratified by most of the world’s countries, according to a new document released by an authoritative United Nations body of independent legal experts. Read

U.N. Security Council Urged Not to Repeat Earlier Failure to Respond to Syrian Bloodshed

When then Syrian President Hafez Assad 19 years ago oversaw the killing of tens of thousands of people in Hama, the U.N. Security Council was silent. As the death toll in the 2011 uprising against his son’s rule continues to climb, and with fresh bloodshed in Hama this week, there are mounting calls for the top U.N. body not to repeat that failure to respond. Read

Monday, August 01, 2011

Iraq Violence Grows Amid Concerns About Iranian Involvement

Five months before the last U.S. troops are scheduled to leave Iraq, a U.S. government watchdog said Saturday the country is more dangerous now that it was a year ago, and suggested that the U.S. military has been underplaying the violence. Read