Why the NATO Policy in Libya is Better than the BUSH Doctrine

I grew up in a place where we had enough land to raise a few animals. Raising animals is valuable because it teaches lessons of life and death. There were also object lessons of self-reliance and of care taking. We raised chickens and one of the most beautiful parts of that was watching a hen dutifully sit on her eggs until they would hatch into soft fuzzy chicks.  It was a momentous occasion to watch that little chick peck its way out of the shell. As a young child, my…

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Converting Our Enemies To Friends

Conflict Resolution around the world

I destroy my enemies when I make them my friends. – Abraham Lincoln We often hear people speak of finding “common ground” when debating contentious issues. But even when opposing political factions find common ground, it is the areas where they disagree that perpetuate political divides. Resolving disagreement by finding common ground is a myth. What resolves conflict is a more thorough understanding of those we disagree with. Understanding why our opponent believes what they believe is much more important than seeing similarities in our beliefs.  Understanding the values of…

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The Slow Progress of Democracy in the Middle East

Middle East Freedom and Democracy

When watching the Middle East revolutionizing itself towards more democratic government, Americans would be wise to remember our own history and some of the key elements that helped us develop our own democracy where we can have free and fair elections where they outgoing political leaders voluntarily leave office without being forced with weapons or other threats of violence. The trust of shared religious values breeds the trust necessary to build a society. In America that religious trust was based on Protestantism, but in the Middle East it is Islam.…

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Stability in the Middle East | Time to redefine.

Winning hearts and minds

Josh Rogin reports the Rep Adam Smith (D-WA) spoke with reporters over the weekend and stated that “Supporting regimes that abused power turned many Arabs against the United States and bolstered often violent opposition movements.” It has been said that Osama bin Laden’s goal has always been to overthrow the Saudi Arabian Monarchy.  As with many oligarchies, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. Although bin Laden was the beneficiary of family wealth, he is able to use the extreme poverty of many young men to recruit for…

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A Season of Revolution

Middle East and North African Map

We have yet to see the final result for the revolutions that are occurring in the Middle East and North Africa, but with the fall of dictators in Tunisia and Egypt, and now populist uprising in Yemen, Bahrain, Libya and Iran may also lead to more nations toppling their dictatorships. Countries to keep an eye on are Algeria and Morocco. The following breakdown shows the longevity of dictatorial leadership in these countries. Bahrain Constitutional Monarchy – King Hamad ibn Isa Al Khalifa as ruled since 1999 when he took over…

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Put Mubarak on a time table | how the Egyptian President may step down peacefully

Hosni Mubarak's portrait is shredded in Alexandria during protests. Photograph: AP

First the Egyptian Army said Mubarak would go, and they Mubarak said he will stay until September until a peaceful transition can occur.  Meanwhile America stands on the sideline both supporting a change to more direct democracy and supporting the stability that Mubarak represents. It is probably best that Mubarak stays and actually makes the changes to the Egyptian Constitution that will make the democratic elections even fairer than they would be under current law. Changes to the current articles are necessary before September 2011 Article 76 – limiting who…

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