FROM Ruth Wedgewood
Piracy: The Legacy of a Failed State Yesterday, President Obama promised to work with other nations to " halt the rise of piracy " in the Indian Ocean. Since then, four more ships—from the Philippines, Liberia, Greece and Togo have been attacked off the coast of Somalia. Naval vessels are in the region.
Piracy: The Legacy of a Failed State In the hours since President Obama promised to " halt the rise of piracy ," four more ships from the Philippines, Liberia, Greece and Togo have been attacked in the Indian Ocean, off the coast of Somalia. Naval vessels are in the region. Pirate leaders are threatening vengeance for those killed during French and American rescues. How much longer can fishermen in motorboats defy history's most powerful navies? Can merchant vessels defend themselves? Can military patrols be increased? Is it time to take action on shore either with force or to deal with the political chaos and economic deprivation behind an epidemic of lawlessness?
Should America Use 'Soft Power' in the Middle East? In the aftermath of World War II, the United States was known for generosity to allies and former enemies. Lately, the US is seen as an international bully as President Bush and his neo-conservative advisors project America's "hard power" militarily and economically. Now, isolated and overstretched, as the wars grind on in Iraq and Afghanistan, the US is losing the battles even some Administration officials now say should be fought with "soft power." Even Defense Secretary Robert Gates made a recent reference to this prime American asset when he said that American has "a variety of tools. Not all of them are hammers." What is "soft power?" Are Iran and China beating the US at what used to be its own game? How could "soft power" serve America's interests in a world of terrorism and nuclear weapons?
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?
What is Trump's plan for Middle East peace? On his first foreign tour, President Trump has promised "peace" between Israel and the Palestinians. Are there any details for re-starting talks that have been stalled for the past three years?
Human Rights in the era of Donald Trump President Trump’s UN Ambassador, Nikki Haley, said today the US might pull out of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council. Serious violators of human rights are members of the Council itself–and a US resignation could make things worse. Later on today’s show, now that he’s into his second term, comedian turned US Senator Al Franken is telling jokes again.