News and Analysis (11/25/07)

In spite of a lack of evidence demonstrating the Virginia-based Islamic Saudi Academy’s curriculum espouses “extremism”, the US Commission on International Religious Freedom and some US Senators continue their drive to shut down the school: 

Editors from the libertarian-leaning Reason Magazine, argue in a Washington Post editorial that the rising success of the Ron Paul campaign has less to do with the candidate himself and more to do with “…Americans who are increasingly disillusioned with the two major political parties’ soft consensus on making government ever more intrusive at all levels…” 

In a dramatic turn of events, key opposition leader Nawaz Sharif returns to Pakistan and is greeted with the arrest of 1,800 of his supporters, meanwhile Musharraf finally launches long-delayed counter-offensive against Taliban militants in the Swat valley: 

A National Security Council report notes that despite the string of tactical battlefield successes against militants in Afghanistan, a strategic failure could occur due to lack of effective governance and political successes… 

…meanwhile, paralleling Afghanistan, Washington Post correspondent Tom Ricks asserts modest security gains made in Iraq thus far have as much to do with the success of ethnic cleansing as the presence of extra US troops, and further notes such progress is not sustainable without significant political concessions and more effective governance by Baghdad, however the Bush administration sets itself up for failure as it tones down its push for crucial political reforms and deals by the Iraqi government: 


Alejandro Beutel is program assistant for the Minaret of Freedom Institute with expertise in religious freedom, democratization and security issues.






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