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Despots Mourn Chavez

Sean Penn lamented that he “lost a friend” when Venezuelan caudillo Hugo Chávez died yesterday. Sean, you’re not alone: So did the world’s dictators. Hugo Chávez championed Venezuela’s poor and America’s adversaries – an irresistible combination in the eyes of what’s left of the Cold War left. Chávez , in fact, seemed positively nostalgic for the…

Don’t Let Hamas Win

Sensing a rising Islamic tide in the Middle East, Hamas has picked a fight with Israel it can’t win militarily, but could win politically.  That’s something Secretary of State Hillary Clinton should prevent as she works to make a fragile cease fire hold. No one wants to see Israeli forces go back into Gaza. A…

Election Watch: Ad War Heats Up, Romney Goes Abroad

The last week has continued the earlier pattern of daily fireworks in the presidential contest (excepting a brief pause in hostilities immediately after the Aurora massacre), but little if any significant movement in the polls. As anyone near a battleground state television can attest, the Obama campaign (and the Priorities USA super PAC) has continued…

Top 10 Mistakes Candidates Make on National Security

Editor’s note: This item is cross-posted from Truman’s Doctrine Blog. With the Fourth of July coming up there are a lot of politicians talking about national security. These are the top ten mistakes they make. Next week we will have the top ten ways to win on national security. 10. Holocaust comparison. It doesn’t matter whether…

Italy Boots Berlusconi

A funny thing happened on my way to an international forum on democracy and human rights in Rome last week: the Italian government fell. It was hard to concentrate on the business at hand with crowds gathering in piazzas to demand the head, figuratively speaking, of the man who has dominated Italian politics since 1994—Silvio…

Can Unions Open Burma?

PPI Special Report The following is a guest column from PPI friend and sometime contributor Earl Brown, Labor and Employment Law Counsel for the American Center for International Labor Solidarity. If you want to see what a society without law or civic space looks like, go to Burma. A half century of military misrule has…

Another One Bites the Dust

Unlike the dictators of Tunisia and Egypt, Muammar el-Qaddafi refused to go peaceably when the Arab spring uprisings migrated next door to Libya. Last week he paid for that defiance with his life; an outcome that should rattle other regional tyrants, especially Syria’s Basher al-Assad. Qaddafi’s ouster was a triumph not only for Libya’s rebels,…

U.S. Outs Pakistan

Top U.S. officials this week accused Pakistan of abetting a terrorist group responsible for attacks on U.S. forces in Afghanistan. The bombshell here isn’t Pakistani duplicity—that’s old news—but the Obama administration’s decision to go public. It means Washington finally has run out of patience with our supposed “ally.” The U.S. complaint centers on the Haqqani…

Behind Abbas’s UN Gambit

Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas will ask the United Nations tomorrow to welcome Palestine as its 194th member and newest state. As Abbas well knows, that’s not going to happen. So why are Palestinians devoting their diplomatic energies to scoring purely symbolic points at Turtle Bay? In essence, Palestinians are engaging in a kind…

Reflecting on 9/11 from the New York Mayor’s office

Mark Ribbing, PPI's former Director of Policy Development, was a senior speechwriter for New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani on September 11, 2001. Here's how he remembers that day, over at NewGeography.com: Up on the sidewalk I kept my eyes on the pavement, lost in my own thoughts. Finally, after a good 70 yards or so,…