After war comes peace. With peace must come justice, or it will be meaningless. It is one of the most enduring lessons of history.
With the end of the Bush presidency in sight and the desire for change strong, the next president’s inauguration on January 20, 2009 will be a turning-point. George W. Bush will retreat from the White House into retirement, leaving America exhausted, confused and polarized after eight years of foreign wars and domestic crises. His legacy will pass on to his successor. The conduct of the Bush administration has affected the lives of numerous people at home and abroad. As we approach something new and historic, a number of scenarios come to mind. The future not only depends on who will succeed Bush – John McCain, the old warrior, or Barack Obama, who increasingly looks like a renaissance man in the 21st century. It also depends on the nature of events to follow. They could force the hand of the incoming president. More
(ZNet, 18 October 2008 )
The 9/11 attacks on America and the subsequent ‘war on terror’ prosecuted by President George W. Bush have brought the debate on terrorism into sharp focus. Hardly any country today can claim to be immune from the threat of terrorism or the impact of the US offensive worldwide. In Afghanistan, Iraq, and increasingly Pakistan, it means war. India, ex-Soviet republics in Central Asia and US allies in the Gulf have become frontline states in the war against terrorism. Beyond the conflict zone, its manifestations can be seen in security operations. These include surveillance, kidnappings and detentions instigated by America and its allies, as well as immigration restrictions and checks on money transactions unprecedented in scale since the end of the Cold War.
When changes of such magnitude take place in the name of ‘war on terror’, it is natural to ask what constitutes terror and how is it caused? Yet the reluctance to confront these questions is far greater today than at any time in the last half century. ‘Terrorist’ and ‘terrorism’ have become widely used terms of abuse throughout the world by democratic and totalitarian regimes alike. Academics and human rights activists can be denied visas to enter the United State. The political opposition in Zimbabwe and Buddhist monks protesting against Chinese rule, even the Dalai Lama, are accused of engaging in terrorist activities. More
In a period of unprecedented financial upheaval, the recent surge in violence in South Asia is perhaps receiving less notice in the west than it deserves. The audacity of attacks by the Taleban and their Al-Qaeda allies in Pakistan and Afghanistan has implications for the region and beyond. The bombings of the Indian embassy in Kabul in June 2008 and the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad on September 20 have been devastating. Large swathes of Pakistan’s frontier provide militant groups with sanctuaries, from where they launch attacks in both countries. The targets are chosen with precision and the campaign of violence has spread to India. A few days before the Islamabad bombing, a series of explosions in the Indian capital, Delhi, killed and maimed scores of shoppers at several locations. There have also been attacks in other Indian cities in recent months. More