"Colombia is the largest recipient of U.S. military aid in Latin America, though its population is less than a quarter of Brazil’s, and the third largest in the world after Israel and Egypt....After the passage by Congress of the Clinton administration’s Plan Colombia in 2000, the military in Bogota has received approximately $7 billion in U.S. assistance, up from $50 million in 1998 when it was already the biggest beneficiary of American military aid in Latin America."
"For the last 63 years, the Palestinians have also been seeking independence – much like the south Sudanese. So have the Kashmiri people for the last 64 years. And their plight continues, in spite of the repeated promises made by India’s first Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru to hold a plebiscite on the question of Kashmir’s accession to either India or Pakistan."
"The irony is that most right-wing Republicans are opposed to the idea of separation of “Church and State” notwithstanding the first amendment....Some of the 2012 Republican aspirants are not much different. Some want the United States to be under the Biblical laws, while others in an effort to dupe them are stealthily raising a bogus threat from the Sharia laws. To protect all, multi-religious as well as irreligious citizens, would it not be better to, honestly adhere to the principle of “Separation of Church and State”, no lying, no ifs and no buts?....Instead of the loyalty test for ordinary law abiding citizens of any faith or no faith, the electorate should reject stealth candidates whose support the US Constitution is dubious. If elected they would have to take the oath of office with fingers crossed."
"The story is far from over. Egypt and Tunisia remain unfinished, while the movements for change in Yemen, Bahrain and Syria have been frustrated by obstinacy and miscalculation. And Libya, for its part, has taken a detour - with the role of NATO now fundamentally altering the course of this revolt, turning it into something quite different than "the Arab Spring". But even in this unsettled and uncertain state, there is a new spirit in evidence across the region. Even in governments where there is no demand for change, or where majorities are satisfied with their current circumstances, the dynamic of this region-wide revolt can be felt. Arabs have been inspired and imbued with a new sense of pride, governments will listen more carefully to citizen needs, and change will occur."