Politics

Sarkozy

Sarkozy’s Change of Direction: Expediency or Political Principle?

By Roland Bensted

“Old Europe”. United States Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s 2003 phrase was one of the more polite, if not fully precise, American descriptions of French and German opposition to the US-UK led invasion of Iraq. It also highlighted the gap at the time between the Anglo-American attitude to military intervention more generally, and that of the French and Germans. Yet the scale of recent French intervention in Africa - notably in Libya and Cote d’Ivoire - indicates that France under President Nicolas Sarkozy has well and truly moved on from the “old Europe” tag.

North Korea

What To Do With North Korea

By Mario Battaglini

The March 2010 sinking of the South Korean vessel Cheonan, near Baengnyeong Island, and the shelling of Yeonpyeong Island marked yet another in a long series of flare-ups of an entrenched conflict. 

J Street

J Street: A New Approach on Israel?

By Andrea Dessi

Almost four years have passed since J Street’s founding as a non-profit corporation and a registered lobbying organisation in Washington, DC. Calling itself “the political home for pro-Israel, pro-peace Americans”, J Street has positioned itself as an alternative to the more traditional, right-leaning, Jewish lobbying organisations and is today slowly emerging as a new force within America’s Jewish community. 

Rafsanjani

Ahmadinejad’s Power Grows as New Cold War Chills the Persian Gulf

By Arthur Hayes

The recent removal of Hashemi Rafsanjani as the Chairman of the Assembly of Experts in Iran occurred at a time when the region is swathed in political turmoil. His removal may be further evidence of the consolidation of the traditionalists and principlists within the Iranian Government. According to the Iranian constitution, the 86-member Assembly of Experts has the authority to select and remove the Supreme Leader if he is deemed not capable of carrying out his role in accordance with the constitution. Rafsanjani’s removal from the post of Assembly Chairman, and his replacement by Ayatollah Mahdavi-Kani, was authorised by the current Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei.

AP Photo/Hussein Malla

As Protests Mount, Is There a Soft Landing for Syria?

By Joshua Landis

The Baathist regime that has ruled Syria for 48 years is on the ropes. Even President Bashar al-Assad himself seems to have been shocked by the level of violence used by Syria's security forces to suppress demonstrations. 

AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis

Project Assimilation

By Sille Larsen Nielsen

The topic of integration, immigration and preservation of national culture once again sparked new debate in the Danish media earlier last week. Following a Cabinet reshuffle, current Minister of Development, the right-wing Soeren Pind, also became Minister of Integration. 

AP Photo/Bassem Tellawi

An Opportunity for Peacemaking

By Massimiliano Fiore

With the Middle East in turmoil and the Quartet (the US, UN, EU and Russia) eager to resume the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is under intense international pressure to prove he is serious about achieving peace.