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The Missing 13,000: What Force for Lebanon’s Frontier?

After five weeks of fighting, starting on July 12, massive destruction and displacement of persons, a cease-fire has been reached on the Israel-Lebanon frontier.  The UN Security Council has decided to increase the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (Unfil) in place since 1978 to 15,000 peacekeepers who will join 15,000 soldiers of the regular Lebanese Army to control the southern frontier area with Israel in order to prevent both Hezballah rocket launches into Israel and Israeli Army attacks into Lebanon.  The cease-fire and military deployment is a necessary first step in a renewed conflict resolution process which, for the moment, no one is leading. read more


Clandestine “Summer Reading”

"This is nice, light summer reading." I look up, smiling, at the customer who proclaimed this about one of the best-selling new releases at the bookstore where I work. This whole concept of "summer reading" has been on my mind ever since I left this job when the season began to pursue something vaguely resembling a summer vacation. Now I'm back and, with one more hot and sticky month to go, the reading masses are still in search for the perfect summer book-something nice and light.

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Tahiti: Nuclear cover-up stokes tension with France

Oscar Temaru, the pro-independence president of the Tahiti Nui (Temaru’s preferred name for the French colony known as French Polynesia), dropped a political bombshell in the Pacific country’s parliament on July 28. Temaru released a letter from a respected government health expert in Paris that officially confirmed for the first time what most Tahitians have long known and France has always denied: that French nuclear explosions in their territory have increased cancer rates throughout the Tahitian islands. The revelation has further strained tensions between the Temaru-led coalition government and Tahiti’s colonial masters in Paris. read more

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A War Over Nothing

"See, this war is different from all the ones that our fathers and grandfathers fought. Those wars were for something. This war is for nothing," accused rapist and mass murderer, Private Steven Green said in an interview with Stars and Stripes reporter Andrew Tilghman in February, 2006. "I came over here because I wanted to kill people."