The Band Played On

Continued Military Rule in Pakistan

by Kamran Asdar Ali | published May 9, 2002

On May 8, a bomb blast rocked central Karachi, killing at least 14 people, including a number of French nationals. This suicide bombing comes on the heels of the brutal murder of Daniel Pearl, the Wall Street Journal reporter, allegedly by Islamist extremist groups who had recently fallen out of the favor of the Pakistani military government. Similar explosions have hit churches and other places of worship around the country this spring. In Karachi, Shia professionals have been assassinated in escalating sectarian violence that has gripped the larger cities of Pakistan.

The "Do More" Chorus in Washington

by Charles D. Smith | published April 15, 2002

Secretary of State Colin Powell arrived in Israel April 11 calling on Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to immediately withdraw Israeli troops from the West Bank. As of April 15, Sharon remains defiant, insisting that his troops must stay until full victory has been achieved. In Washington, Press Secretary Ari Fleischer remarked that Palestinian Authority (PA) head Yasser Arafat had to make greater efforts to stop Palestinian terrorism.

Toward Submission or War in Palestine?

by Adam Hanieh | published January 26, 2002

For the last few days one topic has dominated conversation in the West Bank town of Ramallah: will tonight be the night? A general consensus holds that it is only a matter of time before Israeli tanks and troops take over the city completely, imposing a curfew that confines residents to their homes, conducting house-to-house searches, arresting and assassinating activists and destroying offices of political factions, non-governmental organizations and the Palestinian Authority (PA).

Turkey's Ecevit

Hopes and Worries Arrive in Washington

by Ertugrul Kurkcu | published January 15, 2002

When Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit arrives in Washington, DC this week to meet with President George W. Bush he will come bearing a symbolic gift: a replica of a 16th century Koran, beautifully embroidered and written with real gold lettering. The original of this Koran comes from the Topkapi Palace Museum, once the seat of the Ottoman Sultans who ruled the Muslim world for over four centuries.

Iraq: Rolling Over Sanctions, Raising the Stakes

by Sarah Graham-Brown | published November 28, 2001

Late in the evening of November 27, the US and Russia appear to have reached an agreement to once again roll over existing sanctions on Iraq for six months, by which time Secretary of State Colin Powell hopes the two powers will have agreed on a version of his proposed "smart sanctions." The December 3 deadline to renew the UN oil for food program, under which Iraq is allowed to sell its oil on the world market to import needed civilian goods, brings the familiar rhetoric, mutual accusations and rejections that have accompanied most renewals since 1997 when the program began. But this time, the stakes are higher, and the outcome is linked to broader uncertainties about future US policy in the Middle East.