February 2008 Archives

February 18, 2008

Office of Prime Minister May Be re-established in Kenya

The Standard of Kenya reported February 19, 2008, that, "The executive Prime Minister’s office, abolished [in Kenya] on December 12, 1964 when Jomo Kenyatta became Kenya’s first President [after winning independence from Britain], is now inevitable if a political settlement out of the impasse is to be reached, The Standard has learnt." See "Reforms could see the return of powerful PM.

"The Standard said, "It is understood to be behind the inordinate delay in striking a deal because of its far-reaching political implications."

For background on what led to the call for power sharing and the reinstitution of the executive Prime Minister’s office,image see Kenya Elections.com, "Kenyan General Election, 2007 and "Twilight robbery, daylight murder."

Meanwhile, Standard correspondent Ben Agina reported February 19, 2008, that, "US Secretary of State, Ms Condoleezza Rice, gave the strongest hint yet of a possible power sharing arrangement between [Kenyan] President [Mwai] Kibaki and ODM [Orange Democratic Movement] leader, Mr Raila Odinga. See "US proposes ‘real power sharing.’"

The Daily Nation of Kenya told its readers February 10, 2008, that, "The US has asked President Kibaki and ODM leader Raila Odinga to cede ground and quickly agree on a power-sharing deal to restore stability to the country. See "US pushes for quick peace deal."

The publication quoted Ms. Rice, "at the Muthaiga residence of US ambassador Michael Ranneberger," as saying: “The time for a political settlement was supposed to be yesterday and it (agreeing on a coalition) has to be urgent. The leaders (President Kibaki and Mr Odinga) have to come together and there is need to have a power sharing arrangement for the country to move forward.” 

RELATED LINKS

Grand coalition government could save Kenya -- The Sunday Standard, Standard News Team, Kenya

Coalition can still function without Raila, Kibaki at helm -- The Standard, Dominic Odipo, Kenya

Permalink | No Comments

February 14, 2008

Canada Holds Summit of Envoys With Afghan Portfolios

"Canada's envoys to Washington, London, Kabul, Islamabad, Paris, The Hague, the United Nations, the European Union and NATO"... were "summoned to Ottawa [the Canadian capital] for a meeting at Foreign Affairs headquarters last Friday [February 8, 2008] to be briefed on the Manley report," according to a February 14, 2008, CanWest News Service report in the National Post of Canada. See "Diplomats assigned to troop search."

"While they were getting a firsthand briefing, Prime Minister Stephen Harper was leading his visible diplomatic offensive with telephone calls to the leaders of the U.S., Britain, NATO and France," according to the Post.

The publication quotes Foreign Affairs Minister Maxime Bernier as saying: "We need strong international leadership [on Afghanistan]. We need better co-ordination. That's why my government asked for a UN special envoy on Afghanistan and the Manley report [which was put together by Captain T. F. Manley] told us that: that the international community must better co-ordinate their work."

Permalink | No Comments

Don't Expect Change in House Foreign Affairs Committee's Agenda

CHICAGO, USA -- Democratic Representative Howard L. Berman of California,USA, the No. 2 Democrat on the United States House Committee on Foreign Affairs, will become chairman of that committee in March, 2008. He succeeds Representative Thomas Lantos, also a Democrat from Californian, who died of cancer on February 11, 2008.

Unlike the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the House committee, called Committee on International Relations, from 1995-2007, does not ratify treaties confirm ambassadors. One of its strengths conducting investigations into international issues that affect the United States, among other things.

By the way, Mr. Berman, who represents California's 28th congressional district, has been a congressman since January 3, 1983.

If you want to read more about him, please see "Berman Brings Different Style but Familiar Agenda to Foreign Affairs Panel."

Permalink | No Comments

February 12, 2008

El Diario: 'Hillary Clinton's Campaign is in Trouble...'

CHICAGO, USA -- El Diario of New York, USA says, "Hillary Clinton's campaign is in trouble and the highest ranking Hispanic in her camp is paying the price." See "Last in, first out."

Permalink | No Comments

Joshua Green's Informed Perspective on the Clinton Shake-Up

CHICAGO, USA -- Joshua Green at The Atlantic Online has published a fascinating look "Inside the Clinton Shake-Up, which commenced on February 10, 2008. although some observers saw if coming after the Iowa caucus in January 2008." In an insightful, must read political analysis, Mr. Green wrote:

Like so much involving Hillary Clinton, Sunday’s departure of her campaign manager, Patti Solis Doyle, has imagegotten tons of attention, but its larger significance has been somewhat misunderstood. I’ve spent a fair  amount of time over the last two years reporting on “Hillaryland,” as Clinton’s inner circle is known, for pieces like this one and this one, and also, infamously, for one that did not run when GQ magazine opted to kill it after learning of the Clinton campaign’s displeasure (full story here)
Mr. Green said, "The latter piece focused on the inner workings of Clinton’s presidential campaign and Solis Doyle’s controversial role in it, and I’ll draw on what I learned then to try to add perspective to recent happenings."

He certainly added perspective, which compels me to highly recommend the article. I'd love to see it gain wide circulation and be the subject of informed debate. I think it provides a clue to how a Clinton Administration would perform.

For an earlier analysis of the inside workings of the Clinton campaign, see Michael Cottle's article in the January 25, 2008, edition of The New Republic headlined "Putsch in Hillaryland."

Permalink | No Comments

Huckabee Thinks Obama Would Be a Tougher Opponent

CHICAGO, USA -- Former Arkansas governor "Mike Huckabee, still battling against the odds for the Republican nomination, weighed in on the Democratic fight today [February 12, 2008], saying he’s not surprised that Senator Barack Obama is doing so well against Senator Hillary Clinton, and he suggested Obama would be a tougher opponent for the Republicans this fall,"image Wall Street Journal reporter Laura Meckler reported February 12, 2008, in the Washington Wire blog.

Ms. Meckler said Mr. Huckabee told attendees at a breakfast hosted by the Boston, Massachusetts, USA-based  Christian Science Monitor:

Voters, ultimately, when they think about a leader, are not thinking about somebody who can fix the carburetor as much as it is they want someone who can drive the car and … describe the destination they want to go. That’s where I think Obama has had the distinct advantage.
According to WSJ Online, Mr. Huckabee said thinks political observers underestimated the junior senator from Illinois, USA, and “his capacity to inspire and I think bring a different kind of dialogue to the race.”

WSJ Online quotes Mr. Huckabee as saying Mr. Obama “has energized an enormous level of the electorate–not only in the Democrat Party — but I think in the general population.”

He gave Clinton credit for in-depth knowledge of policy but said: “She does not have the personality of her husband. But then again very few people do.”

Permalink | No Comments

Was Clinton's Replacement of Patty Solis Doyle Inevitable?

CHICAGO, USA -- "The only real surprise in the announcement by the Clinton campaign of a senior staff reshuffle was that it took so long, proclaims Gerard Baker in an "American View" column in the February 12, 2008, Times Online headlined "Treacherous path to power trips Team Hillary Clinton."

Chicago Tribune correspondents Mike Dorning and Jill Zuckman reported in the February 11, 2008, edition of that newspaper that, Patti Solis Doyle, Democratic Presidential contender Hillary Clinton's former campaign manager, "had been living on borrowed time as Clinton's campaign manager following the poor showing in Iowa and the rockiness leading up to the New Hampshire primary. See "New head for Clinton campaign."

"What happened today [February 10, 2008] would have happened the day after New Hampshire had we lost," one knowledgeable source said, adding that others may soon follow Solis Doyle's departure," the Tribune reported.

According to Mr. Baker, United States Editor and an Assistant Editor of The Times, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch,  Ms. Solis "has been the object of repeated internal criticism and intense efforts to unseat her in the past few months. He contends:

The news that she was being replaced by Maggie Williams, a long-time adviser and friend to the New York senator, was the latest indication of how treacherous and unpredictable Mrs Clinton's once inevitable path to the Democratic nomination has become. It came in the midst of another slew of primary state victories for the surging Barack Obama that are close to providing him with the kind of momentum that, if unchecked, could carry him through to the nomination.
The Tribune said, "Initially, Williams was brought in to run the campaign even though Solis Doyle was still there. The result was confusion for the staff, who weren't sure who was really in charge, the source said." The Tribune noted:

But even more troublesome was the campaign's money crunch. Over the last seven years, Clinton had raised $175 million for her re-election and her presidential campaign. But Solis Doyle didn't tell Clinton that there was next to no cash on hand until after the New Hampshire primary.

"We were lying about money," the Tribune quotes its source as saying. "The cash on hand was nothing."

According to the Tribune, "Clinton didn't tell Solis Doyle she was lending money to keep the campaign afloat. Solis Doyle found out third-hand. And when she asked Clinton about it, the senator told her she couldn't understand how the campaign had gotten to such a point, the source said.

To read the email Ms. Solis Doyle sent to the Clinton staff about her replacement, see TPM Election Central's February 10, 2008, report headlined "Breaking: Hillary Top Staff Being Reshuffled; Solis Doyle Replaced As Campaign Manager."

NOTE: Links added to make readers familiar with the persons mentioned in this post.

Permalink | No Comments

February 11, 2008

Macharia Munene, professor of history and international relations at United States International University in Nairobi, Kenya, published an unflattering indictment of professor Ali Mazrui, who, according to Mr. Munene is "one of the most prolific academics that Africa has produced."

His article was in response to Mr. Mazrui's January 28, 2008, article in Uganda's Daily Monitor headlined "Should Kenya be suspended from the Commonwealth?" In the article, Mr. Mazrui, a professor of political science and currently director of the Institute of Global Cultural Studies at State University of New York, at Binghamton,said:

Kenya should be flattered, rather than insulted, by the amount of international attention it has received from the African Union, the European Union, the United States, other African leaders and the indefatigable Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
He also said, "If the crisis in the DRC [Democratic Republic of the Congo] had received half the attention that Kenya hasimage attracted since the December 2007 election, two million Congolese lives might have been saved.  If the DRC has been the most neglected African crisis of this 21st century, the Kenya crisis has been the most responded to internationally."

Mr. Munene, writing in the February 11, 2008, edition of the Kenyan publication Business Daily, said Mr. Mazrui, "unlike [Senegalese]historian Cheikh Anta Diop or poet [Ugandan] Okot p'Bitek, did not create intellectual trouble for imperialist gatekeepers. They then promoted him as probably the best that Africans could produce."

Mr. Munene also wrote:

Seemingly in tune with the West that deliberately based its conclusions on selective information, Mazrui called for the AU and the Commonwealth to ostracise Kenya. His plea to Kenyans to do everything not to “lose friendship with the wider Western world” is amusing, but not surprising

Blind to the on-going post modern colonialist manipulations in Kenya, Mazrui appeared to be quick to accept and repeat flawed logic from the West. The tragedy of Ali Mazrui, therefore, whether knowingly or not, is that he always gives the impression of being an articulate instrument of Western imperialism against African interests.

If you want to Mr. Munene's entire argument, please see "The ‘tragedy’ of Ali Mazrui."

RELATED LINKS

These Kenyans aren't traitors, they are the people's heroes -- By Cabral Pinto, Daily Nation, Kenya

Heed the adage that peace and injustice cannot cohabit -- By William R. Ochieng, Daily Nation, Kenya

Permalink | 1 Comment

February 10, 2008

Where Does Barack Obama Stand on Foreign Policy?

CHICAGO, USA -- Any observer of the American presidential campaign who claims not to know where Senator Barack Obama stands on foreign policy matters should read 'Remarks of Senator Barack Obama to the Chicago Council on Global Affairs." 

That includes Mr. George W. Bush, the American president, who on February 10, 2008, told Chris Wallace, host of "Fox News Sunday" at Rupert Murdoch's conservative,  Fox News Network, he doesn't know what Mr. Obama believe in. Said Mr. Bush, according to a Fox News "Transcript: President Bush on 'FOX News Sunday":

I certainly don't know what he believes in. The only foreign policy thing I remember he said was he's going to  attack Pakistan and break the Mani Mijad (ph). I think (INAUDIBLE) that in a press conference.
By the way, the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, once called the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations, has been trying to influence global affairs since 1922. I've attended some of their events over the years.

Permalink | No Comments

Bush: I Don't Know What Obama Believes In

CHICAGO, USA -- Chris Wallace, host of "Fox News Sunday" at Rupert Murdoch's conservative,  Fox News Network, interviewed Mr. George W. Bush, the American president, on February 10, 2008.  See "Transcript: President Bush on 'FOX News Sunday."

Not surprisingly, Mr. Bush was asked, among other things, about Senator Barack Obama's presidential campaign. According to the above-referenced transcript, Mr. Bush said of Mr. Obama:

WALLACE: Do you think there's a rush to imagejudgment about Barack Obama. Do you think voters know enough about him?

BUSH: I certainly don't know what he believes in. The only foreign policy thing I remember he said was he's going to  attack Pakistan and break the Mani Mijad (ph). I think (INAUDIBLE) that in a press conference.

WALLACE: I hope not. But so you don't think that we know enough about him or what he stands...

BUSH: It doesn't seem like it to me, but this campaign is plenty of time for candidates to get defined. He has yet (ph) his party's nominee.

WALLACE: So why do you think he's gotten this far if people don't know what he stands for?

BUSH: You're the pundit. I'm just a simple president.

William Burton, an Obama spokesman, reportedly responded to Mr. Bush with the following: 

“Of course President Bush would attack the one candidate in this race who opposed his disastrous war in Iraq from the start. But Barack Obama doesn't need any foreign policy advice from the architect of the worst foreign policy decision in a generation."

Permalink | 3 Comments

The Editor and Publisher

I've had an interest in international affairs since the late 1950s. It came about because I enjoyed sitting with my father, a veteran of World War II and Korea, while he listened regularly to a news show on CBS called World News Roundup. Through this show, and my father's stories about his foreign travels, I was able to imagine a world far away from the sharecropper's farm I was born on in the Eastern Arkansas Delta.

Asthma played a major role in developing my interest in international affairs. As a child, I spent most of childhood years reading hundreds of books on a wide range of subjects since I couldn't play or work in the fields without triggering a severe and life-threatening asthma attack. Constant reading became a habit. As a result of that discipline, I've managed to read a fews thousand book during the past four decades or more. Mostly on international affairs, world history, American history, African history, Middle Eastern history, diplomacy, politics, espionage history, spy thrillers and detective mysteries.

After high school graduation, in Memphis, in 1969, I registered for the draft and waited with dread for my greeting from Uncle Sam telling me I was wanted in Vietnam. Thankfully, it never came. I wanted to be a journalist, not a soldier.

PHOTOJOURNALIST

I began working as a photojournalist in 1970, starting with a community newspaper in West Memphis, Arkansas called Many Voices. I was paid $14.50 every two weeks but I didn't care. I wanted to write. Not only did I write, I also developed and printed photographs for the paper and helped with layouts. After I left Many Voices, I contributed periodically to the The Southern Mediator Journal in Little Rock and had photos published in Jet magazine and other publications.

Sometimes in  early 1973, I met photojournalist Chester Sheard, then a correspondent with Muhammad Speaks, a controversial Muslim publication with a huge circulation, bureaus all across the U.S. and stringers in various countries. He encouraged me to contribute to it, which I did.

During those days, I visited or reported from numerous small towns in Alabama, Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Missouri, Kansas. Over the years, I also took reporting trips to California, Georgia, Indiana, Michigan, North Carolina, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Washington D.C., etc. But most of the time, reporting was done by phone. In 1974, after having several freelance articles published in Muhammad Speaks, I was invited to Chicago and offered a position as a staff reporter. A year later, the paper sent me to the Printing Industries Institute of Illinois and Indiana where I studied newspaper and magazine layout and design. I wasn't interested in it but went anyway. I wasn't ready to look for another job. For years, I was stuck doing layouts and reporting.

LAYOUT, REPORTING AND EDITING
From 1974 to 1987, I worked as a reporter, layout editor, copy editor, managing editor and foreign affairs editor. I eventually became the editor of Chicago-based Muslim Journal and held the position for about two years before I was dismissed. Among the people I interviewed were former U.N. Ambassador Andrew Young, former Liberian, U.N. envoy Winston Tubman, the late Jamaican Prime Minister Michael Manley, Dumasani Khumalo, South Africa's Ambassador to the U.N., representatives of South Africa's apartheid regime when it was in power, Palestine Liberation Organization officials and revolutionaries from the African National Congress, the Pan Africanist Congress and the Southwest Peoples Organization of Namibia, the Polisario Front of the Western Sahara, to name a few.

Although I've covered events in the the Caribbean and North Africa, 99 percent of my work was in the United States, where I concentrated during the mid-1980s on diplomatic reporting and interviewing foreign officials that regularly visited the U.S. I've also visited England and Mexico.

My articles were often pirated by publications in the U.S., the Caribbean, South Africa and other countries. Some articles have been referenced in books. I never complained about the pirating because I was glad to have the exposure.

During my tenure at Muslim Journal, I spoke to inmates at Federal prisons in Lewisburgh, Pennsylvania and at Terra Haute, Indiana. I also spoke at a few colleges, universities and high schools in Illinois and Michigan.

I was a frequent guest on WBEZ, the public radio station in Chicago, and WGCI radio during the tenure of Chicago Mayor Harold Washington. I was also profiled in the Grand Rapids (Michigan) Press.

After leaving Muslim Journal, for a while I served as a correspondent for Sadaqa-TV, a local cable access program.

THE LEGAL PROFESSION

I also worked for the Chicago Council of Lawyers. While at the council, I took and completed a course at John Marshall Law School called "Law for Community Developers and Social Workers. This made me think about becoming a lawyer. But first I decided to go to paralegal school, to gain experience working in the legal profession and to see if I wanted to undergo the rigors of law school. Since I wanted to be able to go home at a reasobale hour, I chose to remain a litigation paralegal.

THE DIPLOMATIC TIMES, INC.

In December 2000, I formed The Diplomatic Times, Inc. (TDTI) For a while, I published The Diplomatic Times newsletter, and a website at The Diplomatic Times.Com. Those ventures were folded to concentrate on Internet publishing. In between, I taught myself how to create web pages after spending hundreds of dollars to have one designed that was never completed.

I've studied Arabic off and on since 1999 and intend to study it for the rest of life, off and on. I've studied at Chicago State University and East-West University in Chicago. I am a graduate of Roosevelt University's acclaimed Paralegal Studies program and have taken continuing legal education courses.

Finally, I've written two, unpublished novels. But that's because I haven't made much if an effort to publish them. They are: (1) When the Sun Rises in the West and (2) The Man From Port-au-Prince. A third, unfinished novel is in limbo. I may try to publish them one day or leave them for my granddaughter to publish, if she chooses to.

Last Updated: December 20, 2008.

Permalink

Politics and Foreign Policy Matters

CHICAGO, USA -- Irwin Stelzer, described by Sunday Times Online as "a business adviser and director of economic policy studies at the Hudson Institute," a Washington, D.C., USA-based think tank, argues in a February 10, 2008, article in Times Online that:

POLITICS MATTER. Not whether Hillary Clinton really shed tears before key primaries. Not whether John McCain’s famous temper might erupt, scuppering his chances of getting into the White House. And not whether Barack Obama can revive Camelot, and find a place in America’s future for the ageing Kennedy clan.

Mr. Stelzer said, "Only two things really matter, and they matter a great deal. The first is foreign policy. The lines are clearly drawn. McCain would continue what he sees as a long war against terrorism, until it is won. Obama or Clinton would pull our troops out of Iraq immediately and rely on a series of conversations with the likes of Iran’s president and the Tal-ban to produce peace for our time."

If you want to read the entire analysis, see "American voters must choose: more benefits or more defence."

NOTE: Links added for the benefit of Diplomatic Times Review readers who may not be familiar with the individuals and institutions mentioned in the excerpt above.

Permalink | No Comments

Real Clear Politics: A Great Sources of U.S. Political News

CHICAGO, USA -- I consider Real Clear Politics.com (RCP) a Chicago-based aggregator of political news and analysis, to be best site of thisimage kind in the United States. Founded in 2000 by John McIntyre and Tom Bevan, the site offers daily links to important "political commentary, election analysis ;.. polling averages" and straight political news.

If you are a political junkie, this one's for you. In fact, it has become a must read for many political analysts in the U.S.

By the way, on February 7, 2008, Chicago Tribune blogger Steve Johnson published an article on Real Clear Politics headlined "Real Clear Politics real clear on its growth, mission. It's worth reading.

Permalink | No Comments

Maggie Williams Takes the Hot Seat in the Clinton Campaign

CHICAGO, USA -- Some news outlets in the United States are reporting that Patti Solis Doyle, potential Democratic Presidential nominee Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton's campaign manager, "announced [February 10, 2008] that she is stepping down" as head of the Clinton's campaign. See "Clinton Campaign Manager Calls It Quits."

CNN's unequivocal headline is "Clinton replaces campaign manager." According to The New York Times, "She will be replaced by Maggie Williams, a senior adviser to the campaign."

"Ms. Solis Doyle will stay on as a senior adviser and “will continue to be a key part of the campaign,” said Mo Elleithee,image a spokesman," Julies Bosman reported February 10, 2008, in The Caucus, The Times' political blog.

“It’s not a shakeup,” he [Elleithee] said, Bosman reported. “It will be a seamless transition. She and Maggie are longtime friends and they have been working closely together for the last month.”

Maggie Williams is African-American and Solis Doyle is Hispanic, not that it matters. Ms. Clinton is in serious trouble regardless of who is heading her campaign. That is unless she can connect with the kind of voters who think Senator Barack Obama of Illinois, USA, her opponent for the Democratic nomination, is a better alternative to Clinton, who is closely identified with the past.

By the way, if you are a campaign manager and you lose five states in a row you know you are most likely going to be fired. You can step down on your own, and save face, or wait to be replaced. What happed in this case? I don't know. All I know is that Solis Doyle is no long Clinton's campaign manager.

Permalink | 1 Comment

Has The United Kingdom's Lost Interest in the Caribbean?

CHICAGO, USA -- David Jessop, director of the London-based Caribbean Council, proclaimed in a February 10, 2008, article in the Jamaica Gleaner headlined "Changing the rules of engagement - UK disinterest in Caribbean requires new foreign-policy approach:

Late last year, a book was published in Britain that should be essential reading for every Caribbean prime minister, minister of foreign affairs and senior official. Importantly, it provides clues about why the United Kingdom (UK) cares little about the Caribbean and suggests how the region might be better able to move policy to its advantage.

The book, The Triumph of the Political Class, written by a leading British political commentator, Peter Oborne, has as its central theme the emergence of a political class that has ceased to serve the country; one that has lost touch with the people and largely acts not in their interests but to maintain its own power and privilege.

He argues that the British political model has changed. Politics has become a profession unleavened by the experience or practicality of periods working in normal employment.

Mr. Jessop adds: "When it comes to foreign policy, Oborne suggests that the decline in the influence of the Foreign Office has occurred precisely because it had integrity and was an independent and powerful voice in government."

"For the Caribbean, with government models and thinking largely based on the British system, all of this is significant," Mr. Jessop contends. "It explains not only why it has become ever more difficult to attract the attention of senior British ministers and officials, but also suggests that the reason the region no longer has a policy space in the European Union (EU) is because the problems of the Caribbean hardly ever relate to the maintenance of domestic power."

Permalink | No Comments

February 9, 2008

Applying the 'One-Drop' Rule to Barack Obama

CHICAGO, USA -- Former Caribbean diplomat Sir Ronald Sanders has captured an important theme that has periodically surfaced during the presidential campaign underway in the United States. That theme is the matter or Senator Barack Obama's race. The most recent public debate about it was caused by former U.S. President Bill Clinton. While campaigning January 23, 2008 for his wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Mr. Clinton tried to pigeonhole Mr. Obama, his wife's opponent in the quest for the U.S. presidency, as the "black" candidate, meaning he is not to be taken seriously.

Mr. Obama, of African and European descent, is considered black because of the 'one drop' rule, which many contemporary voters have probably never heard of. The Senator from Illinois, USA, is regarded as African-American although his mother and maternal grandparents, and most of their relatives, are of European descent. While he probably wouldn't admit it, Mr. Clinton tried to appeal to white voters in the U.S. based on the one-drop rule, which says if you have a drop of African blood, your are black. Sir Ronald makes an important observation closely related to that notion:image

It is amazing that the world has adopted, almost without question, the methodology of Apartheid in  measuring who is ‘black’ and who is ‘white’.

So, Obama has become an “African-American” because his father is an African from Kenya, but he is not a “European-American” because his mother is white from America.

The latter fact is discounted altogether in this adoption of a myopic and profoundly racialist system that makes a person “black”, if he has a jot of African blood. The world has fallen prey to the dogma of white-racial purity established by minority white regimes that ruled parts of Africa on the basis of their self-declared racial superiority.

A product of mixed races myself, I have always found it impossible to denounce people on the basis of race or to be prejudiced against them because of the colour of their skin. For by doing so, I would put into that collective of denunciation and prejudice, members of my own family.
Obama clearly feels the same. He writes of his early childhood growing up with his mother’s parents in the US: "That my father looked nothing like the people around me—that he was black as pitch, my mother white as milk—barely registered in my mind."

In this regard, Barack Obama is no different from me, or, I suspect, many other mixed race people. I further suspect that, like many of us of mixed race, he is colour blind. And when he speaks out against injustice meted out to black people in the United States, he does so not because he favours black people over white, but because he favours right over wrong.

I highly recommend Sir Ronald's post. I'm linking to it to give it wider exposure and perhaps start a discussion of this important issue.

To read it in its entirety, please see "COMMENTARY: No Black in the White House."

Permalink | 1 Comment

Can Africa's Conflicts Be Resolved?

CHICAGO, USA --  Council on Foreign Relations News Editor Stephanie Hanson asserts in a February 8, 2008, post:

Kenya is just one of several continental calamities. On February 2, [2008] rebels attacked N’Djamena and attempted to overthrow Chad’s president. Across the border, the crisis in Sudan’s Darfur region that has displaced millions and left hundreds of thousand dead continues. In the same neighborhood are the conflict in Somalia, considered a failed state, and the border standoff between Ethiopia and Eritrea, which threatens to escalate into war.

African states that were once seen as continental leaders, such as Nigeria and South Africa, are preoccupied with domestic issues. “South Africa and Nigeria need time for internal reflection because previous presidents were very ambitious internationally,” says Alex Vines, head of the Africa program at Chatham House, a British think tank. This leaves a leadership void on the continent, according to some experts, and bodes poorly for long-term security.

To read Ms. Hanson's entire analysis, please see "Resolving African Conflicts."

RELATED LINKS

Africa Policy Outlook 2008 -- Foreign Policy In Focus, USA

Africa: Kagame Blasts Dictators -- AllAfrica.com, Washington

Comoros government prepares to wrest back control of Anjouan -- Agence France Press, Paris

The unseen crisis in Africa -- Brandeis Hoot, USA

Depolitise ethnicity for peace -- Daily Nation, Kenya

Permalink | No Comments

February 8, 2008

News and Opinion on U.S. Foreign Policy After Bush

CHICAGO, USA -- While many observers are paying close attention to U.S. presidential candidates' domestic policy pronouncements, others are discussing their potential impact on U.S. foreign policy. The Diplomatic Times Review presents a few of those views.

African Views

Nigeria, agent of change – Obama, US presidential aspirant -- Daily Sun, Nigeria

SA needs its own Obama - columnist -- Independent Online, South Africa

Barack Obama provides potent lessons in politics -- Namibian, Namibia

Asian Views

An Obama win could win over the world -- United Press International, Asia, China

Australia and Oceania

Whoever wins, US likely to be in safer hands -- NEWS.com.au, Australia

Australia now in the 'top tier' of US allies -- Sydney Morning Herald, Australia

Canada

UNB professor believes Obama better for Canada -- Canada East, Canada

The vanishing election issue: foreign policy -- Toronto Star,  Canada

Caribbean Views

Monumental change unfolding in America -- Jamaica Gleaner, Jamaica

European Views

Europe hopes for change with US elections -- EurActiv, Belgium

Election Will Be New Start for Trans-Atlantic Ties, Says Advisor -- Deutsche Welle, Germany

'Next President Will Demand More From Europe' -- Spiegel Online, Germany

Obama: the transatlantic president? -- Guardian Unlimited, United Kingdom

Obama's policy on Iran -- Transnational Institute, Netherlands

At the crossroads -- Ken Gude, Comment is Free, United Kingdom

Obama, Lebanon and the myth of change -- Agoravox, France

One person can lift America's gloom -- Times Online, United Kingdom

Now things really get dirty -- New Statesman, United Kingdom

Latino lessons -- Guardian Unlimited,  United Kingdom

Barack Obama: How I am still haunted by my father -- Daily Mail, United Kingdom

Latin American Views

2008 Candidates and Latin America -- Latin Business Chronicle, USA

American neighbors would like some attention -- Los Angeles Times, USA

American indifference -- MiamiHerald.com, USA

Middle East Views

Analyze This: Why 'maverick' McCain is likely to follow consensus ... -- Jerusalem Post, Israel

New Arab interest in US elections -- Middle East Times, Egypt

Arab-American thoughts on Super Tuesday -- Daily Star - Lebanon

Can I Have My Change Back: Arab-Americans and Obama’s False Hope -- Al-Bawaba, Jordan

How about an Obama about-face? -- GulfNews, United Arab Emirates

Russian Views

Obama for President -- Kommersant, Russia

U.S. Views

Foreign Policy, Anyone? -- American Spectator, USA

A Major Difference on Foreign Policy -- DemocracyArsenal.org, USA

No Intervention? Envoys Join Debate on Obama -- Jewish Exponent, USA

Obama's Promise -- The Nation, USA

Behind Obama and Clinton -- Foreign Policy In Focus, USA

Can Obama Save Us?: Justin Raimondo -- Antiwar.com, USA

Obama And Source Of The Nile -- Black Star News, USA

Arab Americans Tend to Favor Obama -- Arabisto.com, USA

Tony Lake Talks to Cleveland's Polish Leaders About Obama -- Polish News, USA

Permalink | No Comments

Archives