foreign policy

The Scientific Activist

Category archives for foreign policy

Members of the Obama Administration have mentioned using science for diplomatic purposes on various occasions, most notably when President Barack Obama himself included this idea in his address at Cairo University in June. Today, SEEDMAGAZINE.COM published an article by Harvard’s Sheila Jasanoff on this subject, which you can read here. Seed has asked me to…

Blinded by Legalese

Arguably the biggest news story of the week was the release by the Obama Administration of four Justice Department memos from 2002 and 2005 that were used to justify CIA torture of detainees. An analysis by Jeffrey Smith in today’s Washington Post tries to explain the context and the mindset that led to the twisted…

You see, this is why you want to fill your administration with smart, qualified, thoughtful, and innovative people–especially in the sciences. From The Times A major investment in fighting tropical infections and chronic conditions like heart disease and diabetes in poor countries would transform international perceptions of the US, according to Harold Varmus, who co-chairs…

After a rapid media outcry, the US and Israel have come together to reinstate the Fulbright Scholarships initially revoked from several students from Gaza due to Israel-imposed travel restrictions. From The New York Times: JERUSALEM — The American State Department has reinstated seven Fulbright grants offered to Palestinians in Gaza for advanced study in the…

Something very unfortunate happened this week. The US had to revoke eight Fulbright Scholarships for students from Gaza to study in the US due to Israeli-imposed travel restrictions. From CNN: The U.S. government has taken Fulbright scholarships away from eight students in the Palestinian territory of Gaza, citing Israeli travel restrictions imposed on the Hamas-ruled…

You can file this one under “should have been done about twenty years ago.” From the Mail & Guardian: Lawmakers on Tuesday debated legislation to remove former South African president Nelson Mandela and the African National Congress (ANC) from an apartheid-era United States terrorist blacklist. Several members of the House of Representatives immediately expressed support…

Now that the Chinese ship An Yue Jiang–which was delivering arms from China to Zimbabwe–has been turned away for good, there are two significant aspects of this story upon which we should reflect. The first is that the true heroes of this tale are the unionized dockworkers, who catalyzed this turn of events by their…

From the Archives: My 9/11 Story

Last year, I recounted my personal experience on September 11, 2001, and I offered some commentary about what that day–and the events of the ensuing year–meant to me and to American politics in general. I’ve reposted my 9/11 story again this year, below. (11 September 2006) When I was a freshman in college, at Texas…

Barack Obama: Not Waffling on Cuba

Although he took some flack for a similar stance in last month’s CNN/YouTube Democratic Presidential Debate (see video at bottom of post), Barack Obama has an opinion piece published in The Miami Herald today in which he stresses the need for bilateral talks with Cuba and promises to “grant Cuban Americans unrestricted rights to visit…

This Says It All

From a news analysis by Sheryl Gay Stolberg in today’s New York Times: By stepping up the American military presence in Iraq, President Bush is not only inviting an epic clash with the Democrats who run Capitol Hill. He is ignoring the results of the November elections, rejecting the central thrust of the bipartisan Iraq…