Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Is Kerry finally taking the bait on Iraq?

While Bush went in front of the UN today defending the invasion of Iraq, he has called the international community to support the cause. How does he expect his old allies to come back after he snubbed them so rudely last year?! On the other hand, Kerry has been providing encouraging signs that he is finally ready to use Iraq as a campaign issue, a relief to many, although many of my colleagues have resigned to a Bush victory in November. An editorial in the NY Times: Finally, Kerry Takes a Stand, reports that he said the United Nations must play a central role in supervising elections. He said other nations should come in to protect U.N. officials. He called for an international summit meeting this week in New York, where other nations could commit troops and money to Iraq. He said NATO should open training centers for new Iraqi soldiers. He also stated that Iraq was never a serious threat to the United States, that the war was never justified. Second, Kerry argued that we are losing the war in Iraq. Finally, Kerry declared that it is time to get out, beginning next summer. The message is that if Kerry is elected, the entire momentum of U.S. policy will be toward getting American troops out of Iraq as quickly as possible and shifting responsibility for Iraq onto other countries. I hope this message will shine through all the summer chaos, especially during the 3 upcoming national debates.

"Ideological idealism drives successful movements, but idealism that ignores practicality cannot forward ideals and can even be counterproductive in the struggle to realize them. Recognizing this, we've formed the committee and ask progressive students in swing states to support Kerry." This article appeared in my university newspaper by 2 recent graduates David Segal, minority leader of the Providence, R.I., City Council & Austin King, an alderman in Madison, Wisconsin. Interestingly, they are both members of the Green party!

I came across a really depressing report in the Christian Science Monitor - at a time, when educated Iraqis are needed the most to rebuild their country, many of them are fleeing.This truly is a tragedy because the people who are leaving have skills that are vital for a stable society. "Officials say they have issued more than 500,000 passports since sovereignty was restored in June. Iraqis speak worriedly of a brain drain that is denying Iraq apart of the educated, moderate, and entrepreneurial population required to move forward. It's a reversal, in the 18 months since the war, of the euphoria that brought thousands of exiles back for the opportunity to build a new Iraq." Many university professors have left due to threats from an unknown source - estimates are as high as 2000 since the war & about 10,000 since the war in 1991.

Iran has been feeling the heat by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Over the weekend, the IAEA's governing board unanimously passed a resolution that demanded for the first time that Iran freeze all work on uranium enrichment, reported the Associated Press. The IAEA "expressed alarm at Iranian plans to convert more than 40 tons of raw uranium into uranium hexafluoride - the gas that when spun in centrifuges turns into enriched uranium," reports AP. However, a news article in The Guardian says, Of course Iran wants to develop nuclear weapons - and has the legal entitlement to do so, which gives an interesting historic background after WWII about nuclear proliferation.

For those of you interested in the CBS fiasco about forged documents that the network aired regarding Bush's military service, check this NY Times editorial out: "The government and the courts have no business forcing journalists to reveal sources. But no ethic requires a journalist to protect a source who lied. Accordingly, Dan Rather went to the Texas ranch of his source and telecast Bill Burkett's admission of having falsely "thrown out the name" of someone who gave him the false evidence. Burkett now claims his real source was some hard-to-find mystery woman. What benefit did the Bush-hating Burkett gain from CBS in return for his fake documents? One plausible answer: he got coveted access to someone high up in the Kerry campaign."