The recent U.S. report on Muslim engagement was crafted carefully by a very bipartisan group in which I played a role, but this article argues that it strongly favors Obama’s foreign policy.
WASHINGTON, Sep 24 (IPS) – In an implicit indictment of President George W. Bush’s “global war on terror” and the hawkish pronouncements by Republican candidate John McCain, a bipartisan group of nearly three dozen U.S. leaders called here Wednesday for Bush’s successor to place much greater emphasis on high-level diplomacy — including direct engagement with Iran and Syria — in dealing with the Middle East and the Muslim world.
In a 152-page report, the group, which included former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and Bush’s former Deputy Secretary of State and McCain adviser Richard Armitage, also called for any new administration to work “intensively for immediate de-escalation of the
In the context of major global conflicts, where everyone is analyzing what is right or wrong, black or white, left or right, it has occured to me that the definition of reality sometimes gets lost in the mix.
Here are few definitons of reality occording to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary
1: the quality or state of being real
2 a (1): a real event, entity, or state of affairs
reality(2): the totality of real things and events realityb: something that is neither derivative nor dependent but exists necessarily
Imagine for just a moment if headlines coming out of the Middle East read like this tomorrow….
Today thousands of Arabs, Jews, Israelis,
Palestinians, Seculars and Religious, Christians, Muslims,
Druze, young and old gathered to dance, to cry, to share, to
laugh, to work, to play and ultimately, to live together for
three days just a few miles outside of …
Yesterday Marc participated in panels on Capitol Hill and at The National Press Club to coincide with the release of a seminal report entitled “Changing Course: A New Direction for Relations with the Muslim World” issued by The US-Muslim Engagement Project. Marc was one of thirty four Americans who constituted the Leadership Council on U.S. Muslim Engagement. It was a bipartisan group of leading Republicans, Democrats, Muslims, Christians, and Jews, secular and religious, liberal and conservative. They met over a period of two years to create this report which has detailed recommendations for the United States Government, NGO’s, and for the governments of the Muslim world. The convening this extremely diverse group was also meant as a model of how to change course and what kind of negotiations need to take place in the United States in order to create positive change, as well as in the global …
While Sulha participants offer many different stories and personalities, Abu Awwad’s story is exceptional in that he truly comes from the “other side.” A resident of a village near Hebron and self-described “participant” in the second intifada who spent six years in an Israeli jail, Abu Awwad has seen his share of fighting and loss.
“My brother Yusef was killed at a checkpoint in 2000,” Abu Awwad said. “And another one of my brothers, Said, was killed in 2004.”
Abu Awwad explained that a third brother, Ali, who was in attendance at Latrun on Tuesday, had been shot and wounded during the intifada, along with his son, who was also wounded by gunfire in 2004.
“We’ve been through it all,” he said. “And
A young Pakistani man who I met recently said to me, “If Pakistan is safe the world is safe, if Pakistan is in danger then the world is in danger, because we have “atom.” And Pakistan is in deep danger.” He was sincere, persuasive, brilliant, but also blunt in that special way that survivors whose lives are in danger tend to be. He was also on a mission to rediscover the religion of his youth, an Islam he could be proud of. He watched helplessly in his lifetime as the contest for Pakistan and Afghanistan that ensued between the Soviet Union, Iran, the United States, and Saudi Arabia morphed into a bloody battle in the name of religion.
The young man, who we will call Malik, has been searching to restore the earlier Islamic culture to his native Pakistan, but the forces arrayed against him are enormous. This is what …
I had written a piece earlier on Leo Kramer’s pioneering work supporting Palestinian and Israeli doctors who work together. Leo’s follow-up article, Israeli, Palestinian Doctors Affect Change on the Ground, is even more revealing. Leo writes that the medical work is vital because doing is more important than talking, a theme I have been trying to push recently in It Is What You Do That Defines You. Leo writes:
These efforts, however, must also be directed toward achieving results on the ground. That means ameliorating the insecurity of the Israelis, while addressing the deprivation of the Palestinians, their need for medical services, goods, utilities, food and freedom of movement. The overt violence of the conflict is bad enough for both sides, without the medical and humanitarian border crises, which thwart the struggle to maintain a basic standard of living for the Palestinians.
To properly approach security and
Wahabism is generally a short-hand expression for conservative Saudi Arabian religion. It has become synonymous in the West, but also in the Islamic world, with a very repressive form of Islam that is responsible, at least in part, for the growth of militarism in the name of Islam. I must confess that over the years I generalized about Saudis and their religion, while actually knowing very little about their culture or their religion. I heard many bad stories from Muslims and non-Muslims alike, but I did not really take the time to ask Saudis themselves. In truth, Saudi Arabia is an extremely conservative society with many religious laws in place that I do not agree with. But that did not give me the right to malign a culture in its entirety. That was reverse bigotry in the name of tolerance.
Imagine the cognitive dissonance of an entire hall full of …