The release of previously classified, Bush administration legal opinions analyzing whether “harsh” interrogation techniques would violate legal prohibitions against torture has reopened a moral and ethical debate about the U.S. response to the Sept. 11 terror attacks. It is certainly appropriate to question whether the measures adopted were consistent with the traditions of the nation, or whether they would even work. But there is no criminal charge for acting immorally, for making decisions contrary to our country’s principles or for choosing an ineffective intelligence gathering technique. At its core, then, the underlying issue that advocates for the criminal investigation and […]

IQUITOS, Peru — JUSTICE FLOWED SMOOTHLY FOR FUJIMORI: Here in northern Peru, the compact, luxury cruise ship Aqua glides through the brown waters of the Amazon River, escorted by pink dolphins and serenaded from the surrounding rain forest by birdsong and chattering monkeys. Because this is the high-water season, the typical shoreline lies up to 35 feet below the fast-flowing river surface. While other parts of the globe safeguard every drop of their precious water resources, the Amazon will have discharged millions of tons of fresh water into the Atlantic Ocean by June, as it does every year. Deep in […]

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Well, my time here is up. Judah should be back in the driver’s seat before long and I’ll be back to my regular home on the Web. It’s been a pleasure filling in for Judah over the last week, and my partner in crime, Matt Eckel, and I thank both him and Hampton for having us here at World Politics Review. We had a great week and a lot of fun, and invite readers to keep up with our regular musings at the link above. In the meantime, I have one piece of advice for the Obama administration: if you’re […]

There is no doubt that Zimbabwe needs financial help to revive itseconomy and social services. It is also indisputable that the SouthernAfrica Development Community (SADC) is the best-positioned organizationto spearhead this effort. An extraordinary summit of SADCleaders last month pledged to support Zimbabwe in implementing ashort-term emergency recovery plan, with promises of “budget support,lines of credit, joint ventures and toll manufacturing.” But while theregional group’s ambition to raise $10 billion for Zimbabwe is noble,its approach is bound to fail. A figure like $10 billion mightnot sound like much to Western observers. But in Africa, that amountrepresents the annual budget of […]

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa — Zimbabwe’s national unity government faces imminent collapse, due to its failure to get critical financial aid from the international community. Experts have now warned that the government might soon fail to pay its workers, with the potential for serious civil unrest as a result. Zimbabwe needs at least $8.5 billion in financial aid in order to reconstruct its economy. But its appeals have so far drawn blanks due to donors’ skepticism over President Robert Mugabe’s sincerity in working with the opposition. Even the regional Southern African Development Community (SADC) — which brokered the accord establishing the […]

Only a few days remain before the opening of the United Nations anti-racism conference in Geneva, and maneuvering surrounding the controversial event is reaching a fever pitch. The stated goal of next week’s Durban Review Conference, as it is officially named, is to “evaluate progress” in the global fight against racism since the U.N.’s 2001 anti-discrimination conclave held in Durban, South Africa. That original Durban meeting turned into an embarrassing fiasco for the U.N., prompting Western nations to brace for a difficult and possibly unsuccessful effort to keep the “Durban II” gathering in Geneva from becoming another propaganda tirade in […]

When the International Criminal Court issued its ground-breaking warrant for the arrest of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir on March 4, human rights activists celebrated the move as a major milestone. The action would not only boost hope in Darfur — Bashir is alleged to have played a key role in the tragic conflict — but it would also help prevent atrocities everywhere. For the first time, a sitting president faced the threat of arrest, forcing other perpetrators and would-be perpetrators of crimes against humanity to consider the trials awaiting them should they follow in Bashir’s footsteps. Less than a month […]