New Poll: Don't Go It Alone

The United Nations Foundation released the results of a major survey of Americans' foreign policy attitudes today. Americans, the poll finds, are virtually unanimous (86% of all voters) in the belief that working with allies and through international organizations is a wiser strategy for achieving America's foreign policy priorities.  

The poll also finds that 73% of all voters are more likely to vote for a candidate for President who understands that "solutions to world problems require international cooperation, whether they are economic problems, environmental problems, or problems of peace and war and that international cooperation is a better way of solving some of the world's key problems."  Voters also show a strong preference for a candidate who can put an end to anti-Americanism and "restore trust in America through strong diplomatic efforts and cooperative partnerships with other nations around the world."

Read more. 

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No News is Bad News: Pakistan

Just a heads-up on Pakistan, Musharraf has declared a state of emergency and surrounded the Supreme Court.  The eight judges ordered the prime minister and the military to defy his orders.  Bhutto has been safely back in Dubai for a couple of days.  This is bad news.  My RSS feeds from Pakistan are dead at the moment, Musharraf has cut off all communication from Pakistani news outlets to the outside world.

From AP:

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AP) -- President Gen. Pervez Musharraf declared a state of emergency in Pakistan on Saturday ahead of a crucial Supreme Court decision on whether to overturn his recent election win and amid rising Islamic militant violence.

Eight Supreme Court judges immediately rejected the emergency, which suspended the current constitution. The government blocked transmissions of private news channels in several cities and telephone services in the capital, Islamabad, were cut.

"The chief of army staff has proclaimed a state of emergency and issued a provisional constitutional order," a newscaster on state Pakistan TV said, adding that Musharraf, who took power in 1999 coup, would address the nation later Saturday.

Matthew Pennington - AP 3 Nov 07

Also the BBC report.  This is not a terrific omen for the 'war on terror' in Waziristan and neighbouring Afghanistan.  We have been urging Musharraf not to do this but he must have compelling reasons of his own.  Looks like the Bhutto power-sharing deal is off for the time being too.  Musharraf is desperate to get the court to validate his presidency and apparently anticipated they would rule against him.  Islamic militants in Swat have been handing the Pakistani Army some embarrassing reverses lately and such fighting against Islamic militants has traditionally also brought up tensions within the military establishment.  Hope this all blows over in few days of dictatorial martial law, there are many unpleasant scenarios which could lead from this kind of national unrest in Pakistan.

Remember Bin Laden's recent tape which called for jihad in Pakistan?  He may have been on to something.

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An Unholy Triangle: George Bush, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and al Qaeda

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The topic below was originally posted on my blog the Intrepid Liberal Journal as well as The Peace Tree, the Independent Bloggers Alliance and Worldwide Sawdust.

Foreign Affairs published a sobering article by Bruce Riedel in their May/June issue entitled, "al Qaeda Strikes Back."Riedel, a Senior Fellow at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution retired last year after 29 years with the CIA.

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Wanted: A Twenty First Century George Kennan

The diary below was originally posted earlier today on my blog the Intrepid Liberal Journal.

In July 1947, George F. Kennan published an article in the quarterly edition of Foreign Affairs entitled "Sources of Soviet Conduct." Kennan originally drafted the article as a paper for Defense Secretary James Forrestal. When he submitted it to Foreign Affairs, Kennan used the moniker "Mr. X." The piece was known as "containment" and is credited with guiding American foreign policy under presidents of both parties during the cold war.

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Latin America Matters: Populist or Leftist?

Bumped, as part of the build-up to the Mexican elections--Chris

Latin America matters: 560 million people. 9th and 13th largest economies (Brazil & Mexico). 3rd largest recipient of US Military Aid (Columbia). Latin America enjoys considerable natural resources, but suffers from stark economic disparity, not to mention a history of US intervention.

Populist vs Leftist

While the US geopolitical attention has focused on Middle East oil resources and the rise of China as an economic power, closer to home a number of Latin American countries have recently undergone political shifts to the left. But do these changes follow the old populist, nationalist and demagogic line, or might they lead to real structural economic changes.

This exact question is pursued in a great six page article in Foreign Affairs by Jorge Castañeda Latin America's Left Turn. Castañeda resigned as Mexico's Foreign Minister in 2003, and is now a professor at New York University. He points out that a leftward tendency is inevitable when you have democracy in countries with great disparities in income and large class of poor people.

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