Safeguarding the Past for Iraq's Future | 11/05/2004 Archeologists estimate that there are 20,000-100,000 ancient sites in Iraq, most of them not yet excavated. The removal of artifacts from these sites could prove even more devastating than the loss of museum pieces, many of which have been catalogued and studied, making them easier to track down or identify once recovered.
The War for Muslim Minds
Three years after the terrorist attacks on American soil, many of us continue to wonder at the mindset of the perpetrators. In the past six months, the Council's Merrill House Programs provided an opportunity to hear from two leading European thinkers on the issue of what motivates jihad, one a scholar of the Middle East and the other a prominent expert on Asia.
Carnegie Council Covers Aftermath of the Iraq War
As of this writing, the 2003 Iraq war is in many ways incomplete, as is lingering conflict in Afghanistan and other far corners not in daily news reports. Questions remain about ends and means, targets and tactics. Gray areas have emerged. Moral principles are being tested.
Ask the Candidates--and Ourselves | 08/31/2004 Election seasons are a time of easy claims of moral clarity and virtue. Yet elections can also heighten our awareness of important issues, encouraging sharp debate on contested principles. To take the debate beyond the usual platitudes, the Carnegie Council offers a shortlist of questions focusing on current policy choices and the tradeoffs they entail.
Response to "Fighting for the Environment -- and Getting Democracy" | 05/06/2004 Joanne Bauer observes that environmental issues have become an impetus for grassroots political participation in transitional societies. Yang agrees, but with caution:"Approaching democratic change through environmental activism can be a tortured path. It is important to bear in mind the challenges this situation poses."
From the Margins to the Mainstream: A Blueprint for Ethics and International Affairs | 05/06/2004 "For me, the way into the study of ethics and international affairs begins with the concept of choice", says Rosenthal. "Ethics is a reflection on the choices one makes and the values that come into play when making those choices: how do you justify your decisions? It’s the weighing up of competing moral claims."
Humanitarianism in Jeopardy
Nowadays a red cross, a white flag, or a blue helmet is as likely to be a target as a shield--as tragically evidenced by the bombing of the headquarters of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and UN mission in Baghdad in August 2003.
From Andrew Carnegie to Hans Morgenthau | 03/04/2004 Carnegie and Morgenthau make an instructive pair, explains Council President Joel Rosenthal. Carnegie, an idealist, stood for "never again war," while Morgenthau stood for "never again genocide."
Response to "Promoting Democracy in a Divided World" | 03/04/2004 Omar Noman takes issue with several of Andrew Kuper's ideas on promoting democracy.
Fighting for the Environment -- and Getting Democracy | 03/02/2004 "I [spoke] with a Chinese environmentalist who was a high school student at the time of Tiananmen. He said he had watched the democracy demonstrations from his window and decided there must be a better way to achieve political change. This is why he went into environmental work."
Promoting Democracy in a Divided World | 01/01/2004 Democracies survive if per capita GDP surpasses $6,000, but developing countries have little chance of crossing this threshold. To make democracy work in such contexts, multiple international stakeholders must become involved in local communities. Without such support, democracy may be swept away by tides of militancy and militarism.
Response to “Searching for a New Iraqi Identity” | 12/19/2003 Elizabeth Cole's editorial shows a fundamental misunderstanding of the aims of the Iraq Memory Foundation. While she is right in asserting that "deciding on the 'truth' about the old regime will not be easy," I can think of no better way to achieve this than to create a comprehensive collection of the regime’s own documents, made accessible to all and thus open to interpretation and debate.
Response to "Shall We Call It an Empire?" | 10/28/2003 The argument about America’s world role has been dormant, but by no means moribund, for the past thirty years. By the time World War II occurred, the United States was clearly a satisfied empire in the 19th century territorial sense.
Searching for a New Iraqi Identity | 10/23/2003 In the early days of reconstruction, might Iraq in fact be better off focusing on its distant rather than recent past? An effort to restore the looted Iraq National Museum, with its wealth of ancient treasures attesting to the region’s glory days, might do more to restore a sense of national pride and belonging than an atrocity museum, with all of its potential to divide rather than unify.
The Carnegie Council Covers the New War | 09/25/2003 The most distinguishing feature of the "new war" on terrorism is the moral framework in which it has been cast. Following the terrorist attacks of 9/11, the Bush administration abandoned its rhetoric of arch-realism--emphasizing core national interests over humanitarian concerns--for one of robust moralism.
Response to "A New Turn in the New War" | 08/19/2003 As Rosenthal pointed out, the initial stages of the American-led war on terrorism--in particular, the war on al-Qaeda and the Taliban--enjoyed broad international support, whereas the 2nd phase, Operation Iraqi Freedom, destroyed this sense of collective purpose. I take issue, however, with Rosenthal’s statement that key European allies disagreed with the United States "over means, not ends."
Shall We Call It An Empire? | 08/19/2003 The projection of American power inspires the great debate of our time. Is the United States a twenty-first century empire, and if so, what kind? If “empire” is not the right term, what is?
Response to "Instead of Reconcilation, A Widening Gulf" | 04/28/2003 Japanese Prime Minister Koizumi’s decision to visit Pyongyang last September in response to the daring overtures of his counterpart Kim Jong Il led to a process that quickly spun out of the control of both leaders. Although no one could have predicted the intensity of the Japanese public outpouring in response to North Korea’s release of five Japanese abductees, the real reason why the historic meeting did not contribute to reconciliation was that neither side sought reconciliation as their primary objective.
A New Turn in the New War | 04/22/2003 The war on terrorism began with moral clarity and a widely accepted road map for immediate action. For 18 months there was strong international consensus on three issues: global condemnation of terrorist tactics, relentless pursuit of the al-Qaeda network, and the need for regime change in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan. All of this changed on March 19, 2003, with the launching of Operation Iraqi Freedom--a dramatic new turn in the new war.
Response to "Dealing Justly with Debt" | 02/21/2003 The IMF may sometimes prescribe the wrong medicine to countries experiencing a financial crisis. Right now, the IMF’s support for the Lula government in Brazil is looking pretty good. By contrast, the medicine Mr. Barry proposes to cure Brazil’s debt problem looks more like snake oil.