Monthly Archives: April 2004

Message for the Middle East

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Relations between America and the Arab world are pretty shrill these days. Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak says anti-American sentiment among Arabs is at an all time high. Just this week, Jordan’s King Abdullah cancelled a long-planned meeting with President Bush.

He’s angry over the President’s support for the Israeli Prime Minister’s plans for the West Bank and Gaza. But while Arab leaders are quick to voice their anger and frustration at U.S. policy toward Iraq and Israel, they haven’t done a lot to put forward their own ideas for stability and peace to the region. The critics ask again if they really want those things after all.


Saad Eddin Ibrahim, political sociologist, American University, Cairo

Khaled al-Maeena, editor in chief, Arab News, Saudi Arabia

Rami Khouri, executive editor, The Daily Star, Beirut, Lebanon

The Women of Rwanda

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Ten years after the Rwandan genocide, it is the woman who hold the future of the country in their hands. After the massacre that claimed 800,000 lives, there were many more women than men, left in the country. Aside from their own memories of murder and of rape, they collectively faced a future of poverty, disease and displacement. They were also the ones who had to take an awesome responsibility of rebuilding the nation. And they are.

Today in Rwanda, women are participating in politics, running the NGO’s and leading grassroots organizations. Theirs is a story of determination and courage. In the second of our two part series, two women from Rwanda, talk about their experience in the days of the genocide, and their decision to look ahead, rather than dwelling only on the past.


Chantal Kiyatesi, survivor of the Rwandan Genocide, co-founder of AVEGA, the Association of the Widows of Genocide, based in Kigali, Rwanda

Rangira Bea Gallimore, Professor of Romance Language and Literatures at the University of Missouri at Columbia.

Courts at War Time

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The Supreme Court is arming itself for the war on terror. Next week, the justices will hear two cases that could adjust the balance of power between the decisions of the president and the rights of American people.

At issue is whether a U.S. citizen, picked up on the battlefields of Afghanistan or on American soil, can be deemed an “enemy combatant” and detained indefinitely. Critics say the Yaser Hamdi and Jose Padilla cases fly in the face of due process rights guaranteed in the 5th amendment to the Constitution. The Bush Administration argues that the nation is at war, and that this gives the President the power to arrest any and all enemies, regardless of their passport. The high court weighs in on the definition of war, the battlefield and U.S. citizenship.


Deborah Pearlstein, Director of the U.S. Law and Security Program at Human Rights First;
Pete Peterson, Former U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam;
Doug Kmeic, Professor of Constitutional Law, Pepperdine University;

Romeo Dallaire

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Retired General Romeo Dallaire, Force Commander of the UN Assistance Mission for Rwanda, and author of Shake Hands with the Devil: The Failure of Humanity in Rwanda

Redefining the Weekend Warrior

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Life may never be the same for the weekend warriors in the reserves and the National Guard. One out of every five soldiers serving in Iraq signed up as a reservist or for the National Guard. They had every reason to believe that they were going to be cleaning up after hurricanes and floods rather than dodging rocket-propelled grenades on the highways outside Baghdad.

Now, the strength of Iraqi insurgency has caught the Pentagon by surprise, and that means extended deployments for 4,500 of them. What’s more, the number of those in the National Guard and reservists in Iraq will double in the next rotation of soldiers. It is, in many ways, transforming the overall make up of the U.S. military.


Richard Kohn, professor of history at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and co-editor of “Soldiers and Civilians: The Civil-Military Gap and American National Security,” and former chief historian of the Air Force

Captain Winfield Danielson, press officer for the Massachusetts National Guard

Brigadier General Mark Hertling, of the 1st armored division in Iraq

Paul Vogel, father of Army Reservist Aaron Vogel of the 652nd Engineer Company;Chris Munson, husband of Felice Munson, Staff Sargeant E-6, 737th Transportation, Army reserves

Choosing the Real Republican

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It’s been called a fight for the soul of the Republican Party. A heated Senate primary race in Pennsylvania is attracting national attention as a contest over what it means to be a Republican.

Next week, the four-term Senator Arlen Specter, a self-confessed centrist, will face Patrick Toomey, a fiery conservative congressman. Some don’t expect Specter to survive. Toomey’s supporters say its time to get rid of soft-bellied politicians like Specter who reach across the aisle from time to time and wobble on Holy Grail issues like taxes, abortion, and small government. And so the battle pits Republican moderates against conservatives, and it has many of the faithful wondering where the future lies. Specter’s people insist that without moderates, the center of the Republican Party will not hold.


Stephen Moore, president , Club for Growth

Robert Jubelirer, Pennsylvania State Senator (R)

Dennis Roddy, political reporter, Pittsburgh Post

Straining the Coalition

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It’s been a rough week for the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq. And it’s only Tuesday. First Spain, now Honduras, is announcing it will pull its troops from the country. And with other countries like New Zealand questioning its commitment, “the coalition of the willing” is looking a little weak in the knees, leaving the Bush administration vulnerable to criticism that its much vaunted international force isn’t much more than window dressing on an American mission.

This hour, as concerns grow over whether U.S. partners in Iraq will stay the course or cut and run, we hear the latest from Madrid, Rome, Beijing, and Washington.


Jeremy Shapiro, Brookings Institution

Daniel Trotta, Madrid correspondent, Reuters

Piero Benetazzo, correspondent, La Repubblica

Rob Gifford, Beijing correspondent, National Public Radio

Back in Black

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The curtain is about to rise on several new Broadway plays written by or about African-Americans, including a big-budget revival of “A Raisin in the Sun.” It’s the latest example of what some are calling a renaissance in black theater both on and off Broadway.

It has been a little more than 30 years since plays about the African American experience were in the national spotlight. And while critical acclaim has usually been forthcoming, commercial success has been more elusive. Now, black playwrights and producers are making a play for a new double bill — economic and artistic viability. Some are embracing the classics; others are mining the modern African American experience, hoping the drama will translate to audiences of any color. Black theater’s second act.


Kenny Leon, artistic director, True Colors Theatre Company and director, “A Raisin in the Sun”

Akiba Abaka, founder, Up You Mighty Race Theater Company