The Butcher of Beirut, as he was long known, is no more. After eight years in a coma, during which the militaristic hard-right leader was re-branded a peacenik, Israeli General Ariel Sharon was finally pronounced dead.
The reality of power – that the U.S. is still the financial, military, diplomatic and political superpower patron on which Israel depends – was not reflected in the press conference that followed the meeting.
Renewed U.S. efforts to bring sanctions against Iran are more backlash for being snubbed in favour of a tripartite deal with Turkey and Brazil than they are about nuclear proliferation. A UN Security Council coalition may be able to block U.S. pressure for sanctions that would only punish Iranian civilians.
What the civil war in Syria has exposed is that the massive political and social transformation, and real regime change under way is led by people themselves. US military involvement serves only to escalate the destruction.
The peoples of North Africa and the Middle East are looking for less, not greater militarisation of their countries. It is time for U.S. policy to recognize that reality and reject proposals for a 'no fly' zone.
The U.S. is 11 years into its current war in Afghanistan and still losing. We never had a chance to "win" this war of vengeance – and while few in Washington are ready to admit that, they’ve continued to revise and redefine just what "winning" might look like.
President Obama's speech reflected accountability not to his base, the extraordinary mobilization of people who swept this anti-war and anti-racist candidate into office, but rather to the exigencies of Washington's traditional military, political, and corporate power-brokers who define "national security."
Giving the Nobel Peace Prize to the EU for maintaining peace is like crediting Alexander Graham Bell for the i-phone. Since its formation in 1993, the EU has increasingly shunned peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights.
We can expect the traditional US policy of support for Israeli repression to continue also in 2008, with predictable results: more repression generates more deadly radicalism. The similar pattern can be seen also in Pakistan.
When the histories are written, it is certain that Israel's Flotilla Massacre will be remembered as a key battle in what Richard Falk, the UN's Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in the Occupied Territory, calls Israel's "war of legitimacy."
Ten years and two wars later, Americans face the monetary and psychological costs of both militarism and Wall Street materialism, effectively bankrupting the country; not to mention the casualties of war at home, and in Afghanistan and Iraq.
There's widespread disappointment over India's choice of negotiators for the recent dialogue over Kashmir, which looks more like an effort to pretend - in advance of Obama's visit to the country - that the government is "doing something" about the situation.